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'He knows that we have something special': Browns excited to have Jadeveon Clowney back

Jadeveon Clowney
Posted at 8:00 AM, May 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-29 08:00:23-04

CLEVELAND — There were a few Browns players absent from the first week of voluntary OTAs, which is to be expected as some opt to work out on their own or simply plan to arrive in Berea once the practice sessions become mandatory. But Jadeveon Clowney, a player who many expected to sit out through the voluntary sessions, was very much present—because he was also busy inking a new contract with the Browns.

Clowney re-signed with the Browns on a 1-year deal, and while at the facilities, got his first work in with the team ahead of the upcoming season.

Looking agile and strong, Clowney worked through drills all afternoon Wednesday at the open practice session. It was a sharp reminder of why it was so important the Browns re-sign the defensive end. Last season, Clowney brought an undeniable pressure opposite of Myles Garrett, helping Garrett break the franchise sack record while boasting a resurgent year of his own with nine sacks, 37 tackles, two forced fumbles and two passes defended.

The return is something the Browns couldn't be more excited about—both coaches and players.

“Great to have JD back. He's a very active player. He was very productive for us last season," said Head Coach Kevin Stefanski. "He's very popular in this building so having him in the meeting room and having him around the building, you felt his energy and the guys were excited that he was here.”

Guys like linebacker Anthony Walker, who said he had texted Clowney about a month ago when the defensive end was still weighing options and considering the offer the Browns had made to him.

“I text him about a month ago, and he didn’t text me back," Walker said. "So then I saw him and I gave him a little look and he gave me a little look and we left it at that, and then I text him after he signed back and he texted me one thing: Super Bowl, that’s it. So happy to have him back, for sure.”

Clowney's eventual text back to Walker highlighted how confident he is that Cleveland can have a big season this year and why he was happy to be back for another year of it.

Even the younger guys on the team said they could see Clowney's resolve to be back in orange and brown and continue making an impact.

"I thought he was coming back. Especially when we got Deshaun [Watson]. You put the pieces together and things like that and just how successful he played last season playing alongside Myles Garrett," said cornerback Greg Newsome II. "And he sees what we’re trying to build here and I think everyone sees it and that kind of shows you that he knows that we have something special on this team so he wanted to be a part of it.”

Clowney found himself a home in Cleveland last season and he'll stay in it for another year. He'll be happy for it if he can replicate, or best, the season he had in 2021. The Browns will be too. And as of now, the team is expecting the guy Newsome referred to as a "big brother" to do just that while bringing a level of talent to the pass-rush room that will lead to a consecutive season of dominating defense.

"At the end of the day, that’s the game of football. You want to stop the run, get teams in third and long or get a big lead and make teams have to throw the ball and when you have two elite pass rushers on the edge, it makes our job a lot easier, so definitely to have him to go along with Myles. It’s a pretty sight to see as a linebacker,” Walker said.

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Camryn Justice is a reporter at News 5 Cleveland. Follow her on Twitter @camijustice.

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