Browns owner Jimmy Haslam III stood on the practice field and watched his new team in action for the second consecutive day.
Meanwhile, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell spoke to reporters (including Ryan Lewis of the Beacon Journal) at a youth football event in Akron this morning and said he hopes Haslam’s purchase of the Browns from Randy Lerner will be approved in the near future.
“Hopefully it’ll be a matter of weeks,” Goodell said. “I think it’ll be a little longer than two weeks. We’re not that fast. That part of the process is important. And we take great steps to ensure that it obviously meets all of the requirements of the NFL that we have the right type of structure in place with respect to the financing. All of those things are very important to us. It’ll be no later than October unless there’ some unusual delay."
The owners are scheduled to meet Oct. 16-17 in Chicago. However, Goodell could call for a special meeting to be held sooner. The NFL’s finance committee must review the transaction and then 75 percent of the league’s owners must vote for approval.
Despite the red tape, Haslam is already proving to be hands-on with the Browns. Instead of just sticking to the sidelines this morning, he spent time on the field, talking to President Mike Holmgren and coach Pat Shurmur as the action unfolded.
“He’s interested in the operation, and he’s watching it with fresh eyes,” Shurmur said. “So he has just questions about how we do things, and I think it’s something that he’s out there trying to learn and get up to speed with what we’re doing, how we do things, why we do certain drills, so that he can become educated under our process, of course. I feel like he’s really excited to own this football team, and I’ve enjoyed our conversations to this point.”
Goodell praised Haslam.
“Jimmy Haslam is going to do a terrific job,” Goodell said. “He’s dedicated, he’s committed, he wants to be a part of this community, and he wants to build a winner. Not just for one year, but for the long term and consistently be a franchise that this community is proud of. We had the good fortune of having him as a limited partner in Pittsburgh for several years and are confident he’ll be the kind of owner that fans here will be proud of.”
Here are some other notes from the eighth full-squad practice of training camp:
As reported earlier today, starting weakside linebacker Chris Gocong suffered what could be a torn right Achilles tendon.
Kicker Jeff Wolfert (undisclosed), wide receiver Carlton Mitchell (leg), free safety Usama Young (undisclosed), fullback Eddie Williams (undisclosed), tight end Benjamin Watson (undisclosed), defensive lineman Brian Schaefering (undisclosed), defensive end Frostee Rucker (undisclosed) and defensive tackle Phil Taylor (pectoral muscle) sat out.
Defensive tackle Scott Paxson returned to practice today after leaving Friday’s session because he didn’t feel well.
Another strong day
Cornerback Joe Haden intercepted a pass that quarterback Seneca Wallace intended for rookie fullback Brad Smelley during an 11-on-11 drill. Haden also had two interceptions on Friday.
"He's getting his hands on balls now," Shurmur said of Haden. "His coverage is tight, and I think he's having a good camp to this point."
In seven-on-seven action, quarterback Brandon Weeden completed a deep pass to rookie wide receiver Josh Gordon on a fade route along the sideline. Gordon beat cornerback Sheldon Brown’s coverage. … Undrafted rookie receiver Josh Cooper dived over the middle to grab a pass from Weeden, drawing cheers from the crowd. … Quarterback Colt McCoy threw a perfect pass to rookie receiver Travis Benjamin on a deep route, but Benjamin dropped the ball even though he was wide open. … In a two-minute drill, linebacker Scott Fujita deflected a pass from Weeden, and defensive end Jabaal Sheard picked it off. … Weeden and the first-team offense got another chance and capitalized when Weeden and Gordon connected for a long touchdown pass along the sideline on fourth down. … McCoy and the second-team offense set up Spencer Lanning’s successful 37-yard field goal. … In 11-on-11 action, cornerback Buster Skrine tried to come off the edge on a pitch to running back Brandon Jackson, and offensive tackle Oniel Cousins crushed Skrine. The players and fans went wild. … The 11-on-11 session ended with rookie defensive tackle John Hughes pinning offensive lineman Dominic Alford on the ground before teammates broke up the scuffle.