BEREA, Ohio--Browns owner Jimmy Haslam met with the media on Sunday before the team took part in their first full pads practice and talked about the current state of the Browns as he sees it.
"We’re excited about (the season)," Haslam said. "At the same time, we’re realistic. We’re realistic that last year we were 3-13. This is a franchise that has not drafted well over the years, and that of course is how you build a good football team.
"We are cautiously optimistic about the draft we had last year," he said. "We have a lot of picks coming up next year and hope to position ourselves. We will have a lot of picks in ’18. The takeaway should be we’re very excited, we’re cautiously optimistic but the same time realistic about where we stand.”
Haslam said he likes what he sees in Hue Jackson and his leadership abilities.
“First of all, Hue brings a tremendous energy level to the building," he said. "There’s absolutely no doubt about it. I believe you want your head coach to be the pacesetter for your organization. He certainly does that. You all have been here at practice enough to know and understand that. Second of all, the collaboration, the working together between player personnel and coaching is outstanding. Outstanding. Those are a couple of reasons that give us real cause for optimism.”
Haslam wouldn't speculate about the team's record this year, rather said it's all about building and hopefully, the Browns are playing their best football by season's end.
“I don’t know where we rank in terms of youngness, if you will, in the NFL, but it has to be toward the lower end," he said. "That’s one of the issues we had with our last couple of teams. We weren’t really good and we weren’t all that young. This is no question a very young team. None of us know exactly where the roster will settle out, the 53 and the 46 and even the 63, but I think with young players and the schedule is the schedule. We start out with five of seven on the road with some pretty tough games.
"Hue talks every day about getting better every day, just try to get a little better every day," he said. "It’s our hope that although we hope to get off to a good start that the team will be better at the end of the year than it is at the first of the year.”