BEREA — Because success was much longer in coming than Columbus Blue Jackets captain/left winger Nick Foligno and center Brandon Dubinsky expected, they understand how the Browns must cope with high expectations.

In their previous 18 seasons, the Blue Jackets reached the playoffs four times, but failed to get out of the first round, including in 2016-17 and 2017-18. It wasn’t until last season that their late run took the National Hockey League by storm before they lost to the Boston Bruins 4-2 in the second round.

Foligno and Dubinsky did not address the Browns during their training camp visit Tuesday. They met quarterback Baker Mayfield and coach Freddie Kitchens and presented both with personalized Blue Jackets jerseys; Kitchens vowed to wear his to meetings later that night. Holding an unopened gift bag, Foligno hoped to receive one from the Browns before he left.

Had they been asked to speak, Foligno and Dubinsky might have talked of the challenge facing the Browns, predicted to reach the playoffs this season for the first time since 2002.

“I think we actually lived that a few years ago where it’s sometimes premature. You have everyone in the papers writing you as the Stanley Cup champion when you really haven’t proven anything,” Foligno said. “You have to believe it in your room first. I think we got caught in believing what everyone else was saying instead of what we felt.

“That would be my only advice, make sure your room is solid and understanding of what it’s going to take and what you’re trying to build and everything else kind of takes care of itself. That’s usually why the underdogs do well because they have a belief in themselves before anyone else does. I’m excited to see what these guys can do. I think they’ve gone through a hard enough time where they appreciate that, so we’ll see if they can put it on the field.”

Dubinsky said “it can be real tough” when expectations are through the roof.

“If you just stay within your group and your leadership and believe in what you’re doing and your process, then it really doesn’t matter what the expectations are,” Dubinsky said. “You’ve got to have your own expectations and continue to grow as a group and as an organization and you’ll eventually get to where you want to be.”

A month away from his camp, Foligno appreciated how hard the Browns worked in the heat.

“We’re so caught up in our world sometimes that we don’t get to see what these guys go through,” Foligno said. “Their training camp’s grueling. Their facility’s amazing, but they’ve still got to go through the work out here in 95-degree weather. They’re not holding back.

“As athletes, you appreciate each other’s craft. You awe at some of the things these guys can do on the field and I’m sure they awe on what we can do on a thin piece of blade. It’s really cool to share that and appreciate each other’s sports. We’re fans of sports in general, so when we get to meet them, we get excited like a kid would. We hope they feel the same way.”

Kitchens said he used to watch the Coyotes when coaching for the Arizona Cardinals and was one in awe of the Blue Jackets’ skills.

“I like hockey. I do not really follow all the rules yet … I do not really care to learn the rules,” Kitchens said. “I just like the fact that what they do is impressive. Have you ever tried to ice skate? I have been on skates. That is the reason why it is so impressive. Are you serious at what they do? It is unbelievable.”

Alabama native Kitchens said even ice skating with his family left him “exhausted … done for like two days.”

“They are out there doing it at speeds and just making it look easy,” Kitchens said.

Kitchens said was he watching the Blue Jackets’ playoff games on television and appreciated their late surge.

“It really reminded [me] of the run that we went on in Arizona when we went to the NFC Championship Game,” Kitchens said. “We really did not know if they were going to do very much once they got in the playoffs, and they just go on a run there. I was very excited watching it.”

Foligno has never been to Browns game, but said he was going to one this year.

Dubinsky said he attended the Ohio State game in 2017 when Mayfield tried to plant an Oklahoma flag in the artificial turf after the Sooners’ victory over the Buckeyes.

“I started not being a fan, but secretively just the way that I am — a little bit brash — I like that intensity,” Dubinsky said of Mayfield. “So I secretively thought it was great. Being a fan of Ohio State, we didn’t love it too much.

“He’s the type of guy his teammates seem to follow and he’s a really fun guy to watch. Especially for his age, it’s insane how competitive he is, how mature he is. You’re seeing it with this team, the players that they’re getting, players want to play with him, players want to be around him. That’s one of the reasons, this team is headed in the right direction because of a guy like that.”

Marla Ridenour can be reached at mridenour@thebeaconjournal.com. Read the Browns blog at www.ohio.com/browns. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MRidenourABJ.