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Jim Brown on Johnny Manziel: ‘I’m an ex-player, we used to party’

Jim-Brown-does-not-like-Trent-RichardsonCleveland Browns legend Jim Brown is a fan of Johnny Manziel. On Friday, Brown spoke about his appreciation for Manziel’s winning ways. The 78-year-old also admitted that he can relate to the whole partying thing.

“I like Johnny, you know, I like his type,” Brown said during an interview with ESPN Cleveland’s The Really Big Show on Friday. “Johnny is a champion, Johnny won games in college. He won the Heisman Trophy as a freshman, didn’t he? … That’s pretty bold. Not bad. You got to have something going on to do that.

“You’ve got to remember, I’m an ex-player. We used to party. Let’s get real, man, we chase girls.”

Brown noted that he does not condone drug and alcohol abuse, but it was clear that he can relate to Manziel on some level. I doubt Brown would have been caught rolling up a $20 bill in front of a sink even if there were camera phones in his day, but we get the point.

A lot of people feel the same way Brown does about Manziel’s party boy antics. The ironic thing is that Brown hinted last summer that he thought some of the Browns players were partying too much, which was leading to a lack of commitment on the field. Plus, Manziel and some other rookies were fined for being late to a team meeting earlier this week.

For the most part, I agree with Brown. Kids in their 20s party and there’s no need to overreact. On the other hand, there have been situations where Manziel hasn’t used his best judgment. He’s constantly under a microscope. Learning to adjust to that wouldn’t hurt.

H/T Pro Football Talk

Jim Brown: Adrian Peterson can break rushing record

Adrian PetersonJim Brown is a harsh critic when it comes to judging running backs, so if you receive a compliment from him, you know you’ve done something really special. And Adrian Peterson definitely has earned the respect of arguably the greatest running back of all time.

Brown spoke with the St. Paul Pioneer Press’ Chris Tomasson for a phone interview and said he believes Peterson can break Emmitt Smith’s career rushing record of 18,355 yards.

“If he wants that and he dedicates himself and he has good fortune, that’s a great possibility,” Brown told Tomasson.

“He’s a great football player,” Brown said of Peterson. “He’s always been a real fine gentleman and a great worker. His running style and the effort he puts in is unbelievable. I have the greatest respect for him. … I like his attitude as a runner. I like the fact that God gave him a body that’s big enough and he’s fast enough.”

Brown held the career rushing record record from 1963-1984, which is longer than anyone in league history. Walter Payton broke his record, and then Emmitt has been the new holder since 2002.

We’ve already seen Peterson rush for 2,097 yards in a single season, so it’s not a stretch to believe that he could set the career mark as he enters his eighth season in the league. Peterson has 10,115 career yards and this will be his last season before turning the dreadful 30. The good news is he reached 10,000 career yards faster than all but two people in history, so his pace should keep him in contention.

Brown believes Peterson has a shot at the career rushing record and so do we. With the way AD returned for the 2012 season following major knee surgery, we’ve learned to never doubt the talented back.

Jim Brown: Trent Richardson trade was a ‘brilliant move’ for Browns

Jim-Brown-does-not-like-Trent-RichardsonFor whatever reason, Cleveland Browns legend Jim Brown was never a fan of Trent Richardson. Brown disagreed with the team’s decision to use the No. 3 overall pick on Richardson in last year’s draft, saying that he felt the former Alabama star is “ordinary” and was simply the best back in a class that was below average. For that reason, we should not be surprised that Brown felt trading Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts was a wise decision.

“I was surprised,” Brown said Wednesday on Showtime’s Inside the NFL, by way of Eye on Football. “But then I thought it was a brilliant move … Because first of all, Trent [Richardson] couldn’t have carried the kind of load that Cleveland needed.”

Again, not a shock. I don’t know if Richardson is “ordinary” or not. He’s only in his second season in the NFL, so time will tell if he can be the explosive back everyone expects him to be in Indianapolis. However, I tend to agree with Brown that a running back has to be incredibly special to use a top-five pick on with the way the NFL emphasizes passing now.

Former Browns president Mike Holmgren ripped Cleveland for trading Richardson. As expected, Brown was happy to disagree with the man he openly admits he never saw eye-to-eye with.

“[Holmgren] had all his boys that were going to come in and take advantage of the kind of money that he could pay his guys and never really be there,” Browns reiterated. “He took advantage of Randy [Lerner] and it was just a shame. Randy’s a good guy. Young owner. Wanted someone to take the pressure off of him. Mike came in, saw the weakness and took advantage of it.”

It’s tough to judge the trade until we see what the Browns are able to get with the pick they acquired from the Colts. At the moment, there’s really no arguing that the Colts got the better end of the deal.

Jim Brown hints that some Cleveland Browns may be partying too much

Jim-Brown-does-not-like-Trent-RichardsonJim Brown may be 77 years old and getting up there in age, but he is still arguably the greatest running back to ever play in the NFL. Now that he is back with the Cleveland Browns, some of the players on the team would be wise to listen closely when he speaks — especially those who may be partying to much.

On Sunday while attending the Sprint Cup race at Pocono, Brown talked about how he plans to help the Browns and expressed concern over some of the players’ behavior.

“They have a little running back there [Trent Richardson] I might be able to help,” he said, via ESPN.com. “And some of those players are staying out a little too late at night. I have a little advice for them, as well.”

For what it’s worth, the NFL announced last week that wide receiver Josh Gordon has been suspended for the first two games of the season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. We don’t know if that’s what Brown is referring to, but he is obviously concerned over the way some of the players have been spending their free time

Mandatory minicamp began this week, so it is officially time for players to get out of offseason mode and into work mode. If some of the Browns have trouble doing that, it sounds like one of the greatest players in franchise history will be right there to help keep their focus.

H/T Eye on Football

Jim Brown: Mike Holmgren did not respect me

Jim-Brown-does-not-like-Trent-RichardsonThe Cleveland Browns announced earlier this week that legendary running back Jim Brown is returning to the team as a special advisor. During an interview with “NFL Total Access” on Friday, Brown referenced “respect” multiple times as the leading factor in his decision to join the Browns again.

In particular, Brown spoke about how former team president Mike Holmgren was responsible for straining the relationship between the Hall of Famer and the team with which he spent nine seasons.

“You have a man who wanted his team,” Brown explained. “(Mike) Holmgren was a successful president and coach and all those things. When he called a meeting with me, he didn’t fire me. He just decided I was getting paid too much. And he didn’t need me to do anything but maybe a little dancing.

“I didn’t feel that he understood my relationship with Cleveland, and I didn’t think that he really cared. I know he hired a lot of his own people and they made a lot of money. And now he’s gone, so the disconnect was that I was not one of his boys.”

When the Browns held a Ring of Honor ceremony in 2010, Brown was not invited. He admitted that being left out hurt but that he tried to take it in stride and not bash the organization. When he was fired, he said he was surprised that his fate rested in the hands of Holmgren and not the team’s owners, the Lerner family.

“I thought I had the kind of a relationship that would never, ever come to have someone from another city deciding my fate,” Brown explained. “I just thought it would be the Lerners, not the Holmgrens.”

The fact that Holmgren and Brown were not best friends was never a secret, but this is the first time Brown has spoken so candidly about it and pointed the finger so directly. Having the most iconic player in franchise history back with the team will certainly help Cleveland from a PR standpoint. Whether or not it helps the product on the field remains to be seen. Brown may have to start by having a conversation with a certain running back that he has not been all that kind to.

Jim Brown quickly abandoned his plan to fight Muhammad Ali

Jim Brown is one of the most competitive athletes to ever live. We know this because the Cleveland Browns legend has never been one to turn down a challenge — no matter what the contest. As crazy as it may sound, there was a point in the mid 1960s where Brown wanted to box Muhammad Ali.

No, he wasn’t joking. Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated recently sat down with 80-year-old Bob Arum, who is the most powerful promoter in boxing today and one of the most influential in fighting history. It was Brown who introduced Arum to Ali, and Brown who decided a fight between one of the greatest athletes in sports history the greatest fighter of all-time would bring home a fortune. Arum proposed the idea to Ali, and this is how it went from there.

“So I went to talk to Ali,” Arum recalled. “He says, ‘Jim wants to do what? Bring him here.’ So I took him to Hyde Park in London, where Ali used to run. Ali said, ‘Jimmy, here’s what we’re going to do: You hit me as hard as you can.’ So Brown starts swinging and swinging, and he can’t hit him. He’s swinging wildly and not even coming close. This goes on for, like, 30 seconds. Then Ali hits him with this quick one-two to his face. Jimmy just stops and says, ‘OK, I get the point.’”

That sounds about right. Brown is all about challenges. Remember the time he played and lost to Andre Agassi when Agassi was only 9 years old? He may be the greatest running back of all time and the greatest lacrosse player to ever live, but it’s no surprise to hear he backed down from Ali after realizing he wouldn’t last 15 seconds. Would everyone involved have made a lot of money? Yes. Would it have been worth the embarrassment for the Cleveland legend? Probably not.

Glove tap to Yahoo! Sports Boxing Experts Blog

Trent Richardson responds to Jim Brown’s criticism ‘I laugh at that situation’

Jim Brown, the greatest running back in Cleveland Browns and arguably NFL history, has expressed on two occasions that he does not think highly of Trent Richardson, who was drafted third overall by the team in April.

Richardson finally responded to Brown’s criticism.

“He has his own thoughts. That’s him being him,” Richardson said earlier this month, according to ESPN’s Jamison Henley. “I have no problem with it. I just wish the best of luck for him whatever he’s doing in life.

“I laugh at the situation,” Richardson said. “You don’t know me from spic to span. But he’s Jim Brown. He’s done a lot here and I haven’t done anything yet. I have a lot to accomplish and big shoes to fill. When it comes down to it, I have to work and make sure I make him a believer. I haven’t done anything yet.”

Brown may not know Richardson, but he’s certainly entitled to evaluate him as a running back. The best thing for the Browns would be for Richardson to use the slights as motivation to dominate on the field. We already know Brown said he’d apologize if Richardson proves him wrong, so at least he’s pledging to be fair about the situation.

For the record, I lean more toward Brown’s evaluation of Richardson rather than Cleveland’s.

Helmet knock to Pro Football Talk