Jim Brown reunites with Browns
AVON, Ohio -- After a two-year split, Jim Brown wants to reunite with the Cleveland Browns.
The Hall of Fame running back, who had been estranged from the organization after he was relieved of his duties as a senior advisor, attended an alumni golf outing Friday and said he hopes to have a new role with the team.
"I am forever a Cleveland Brown," he said.
Walking without pain and better than he has in years following two hip replacements, the 76-year-old Brown spent nearly 30 minutes speaking with reporters on a number of topics.
And as always, Brown had plenty to say.
Brown said he'll meet Saturday with incoming owner Jimmy Haslam III, who recently purchased the Browns for $1 billion from Randy Lerner. Brown would like to have a hand in developing "a new winning attitude" with the Browns, and is looking forward to meeting with Haslam to discuss a possible future with the club.
"What an opportunity to be able to sit down with him," Brown said. "It's a beautiful thing."
Brown has missed being involved with the team he helped make famous.
"I miss being around," he said. "I would love to have a role with the Browns. I think that's what every ex-player would like to do most of all, to be a contributor to the success of an organization that he was a player that brought a certain amount of success. I'm stuck with being No. 32 for the Cleveland Browns. I can't do anything about that and I don't' want to do anything about it.
"We are married because of that history. And if I can be a part of the development of a new winning attitude and help get some victories, that would be fantastic.
"Imagine having a championship team here again?"
Brown also plans to meet this weekend with team president Mike Holmgren, who reached out to the franchise's career rushing leader and unquestioned greatest player in hopes of welcoming him back to the team. Holmgren had been the one who had changed Brown's role as an advisor to Lerner. Brown said he didn't have any problem with Holmgren, and the two "didn't have much of a confrontation."
Holmgren also said he was looking forward to meeting with Brown.
"He's one of my longtime idols," Holmgren said before watching the Browns practice Friday in Berea. "He's a very, very important part of this organization and I'm really very happy he's coming in for the weekend and I hope to get a chance to visit with him."
Brown said he has seen flashes of greatness in Browns rookie running back Trent Richardson. Before the NFL draft, Brown had called Richardson "ordinary." Brown said he made the comments in part to motivate Richardson, who rushed for 109 yards and scored two touchdowns last week against Cincinnati.
"Why wouldn't you love to see a running back make two, three, four or five moves and shed those tacklers?" Brown said. "Ultimately a running back has to get rid of tacklers without his blockers being a part of it. So I was happy to see him show that kind of talent."
Brown intends to meet with Richardson before Sunday's game against Buffalo.
The initial reason for Brown returning to Cleveland this weekend was to take part in a halftime ceremony honoring former teammate Ernie Green, a fullback who blocked for him. Green is being inducted into the team's legends club along with Clarence Scott, who played safety for Cleveland.
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press