A documentary series featuring the Browns premiered tonight on Travel Channel. Below are some highlights from the first episode of NFL Road Tested: The Cleveland Browns, so stop reading if you’ve set your DVR and don’t want to know what happens.
What stood out?: Early in the episode, new Browns owner Jimmy Haslam is introduced to the audience. He met with Cleveland fans outside MetLife Stadium before the Browns faced the New York Giants on Oct. 7 and talked to Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown before the Browns hosted the San Diego Chargers on Oct. 28. After the Browns defeated the Chargers 7-6, coach Pat Shurmur said, “We’ve got a new owner. Jimmy Haslam, this one’s for you.” Shurmur then tossed Haslam a game ball, and the Tennessee billionaire leaned over to catch the pass. It was the Browns' first win since NFL owners unanimously approved Haslam's purchase of the team on Oct. 16. … Rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden and rookie running back Trent Richardson attended the Cavaliers’ season opener on Oct. 30. They chatted with Cavs owner Dan Gilbert, who assured the first-round draft picks that they would love Cleveland sports fans. “They’re loyal, they’re hard working, they’re great people,” Gilbert said. “I mean you couldn’t ask for anything better.” … Former Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar presented a signed photo of deceased soldier Cory Endlich to the latter’s parents during a halftime ceremony when the Browns hosted the Baltimore Ravens on Nov. 4. The Endlichs, die-hard Browns fans, were overwhelmed with emotion.
What did we learn?: Mike Thatcher, a 66-year-old retired salesman, is an equipment assistant for the Browns. His other claim to fame is his role in a classic film, The Shawshank Redemption. He played a prison guard. … Kicker Phil Dawson said he takes about six pairs of kicking shoes and “a ton” of plant shoes to each game. … Each NFL team brings its own footballs to games, 12 for the quarterback and 12 for the kicker, which are specially treated to the liking of Weeden and Dawson. … While out to dinner with backup quarterback Colt McCoy and his wife, Rachel, Dawson and his wife, Shannon, revealed that they use hand signals to communicate during games when he’s on the field and she’s in the stands.
Quotable: “He’s not bashful. He has a mind of his own, but he can also listen. So that’s not a bad combination.” – Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown on Browns owner Jimmy Haslam
Quotable II: “I’m trying to turn this thing around.” – rookie running back Trent Richardson to Jim Brown as they chatted in the locker room after the Browns’ 7-6 win over the Chargers on Oct. 28.
Quotable III: “I’m not gonna lie. The first couple plays, I didn’t even look in the middle. Then he came on a blitz and just lit me up. I got [the pass] off, but he got me good. I was like, ‘All right. Welcome to the NFL.’” – rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden on what he experienced during his first encounter with Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis in the Browns’ 23-16 loss on Sept. 27
Quotable IV: “I just want to win games. Whether it’s touchdowns, field goals, safeties, their bus doesn't show up, I just want to win games.” – Phil Dawson after the Browns’ 25-15 loss to the Ravens on Nov. 4