BEREA, Ohio — Being welcomed by the fan base is an honor for any new member of the Cleveland Browns, but for defensive end Chase Winovich, he's got more than one Dawg Pound on his hands.
Winovich was traded to the Browns in March and quickly made Northeast Ohio his home. With it so close to his Pennsylvania roots, that wasn't hard to do.
"I've really enjoyed my time here in Northeast Ohio. Cleveland is a place that was close to home. Physically and emotionally, it was always along the way going to Ann Arbor where I went to school—I know a lot of Ohio people don't love that," Winovich said.. "Going to see my brother up in Toledo, two hours from where I'm from Pittsburgh, I would say this—Cleveland so far, it's a really special place to me already."
So Winovich got to work settling in. With his beloved dog, a Samoyed named Zeus, in tow, Winovich made his new city home.
"I bought a home here, my dog and I," Winovich said. "I bought a house at Columbia Station, but I've been going to all the restaurants in the Strongsville area. I go to a bunch of restaurants in Cleveland and [been] able to get an experience, a tour of the city in a way. But I spent a lot of time in the weight room just working out, eating food, crafting my body, and trying to get ready for the season."
Winovich also spends a lot of time diversifying his interests.
"I consider myself a perspective collector. Sometimes I kick back and play video games or hang out with friends or whatever. But for the most part, I have a pretty active mind. So I like learning about things like psychology, next gen stuff, crypto," Winovich said. "I like learning about philosophy, I like meditating, been getting into that the past couple years."
The offseason has been busy for Winovich. A new team, a new city, but also a new opportunity to give back. In the few short months he's been a Cleveland Brown, Winovich has been hard at work in the community, showing up to numerous charity events, representing the team and their philanthropic efforts. From groundbreakings of new high school football fields to the organization's Adapted Football League, Winovich keeps showing up.
"I think that anytime I have an opportunity to give back, I always try to take full advantage of that. I'm always looking for ways to help use as my light or position or anything I have in life and pay it forward," Winovich said. "Kind of comes with the territory, the way I look at it. And fortunately Cleveland seems to have a very similar demeanor and mindset towards the whole thing and they really love, embrace, the whole aspect of using the position that they have towards making this world a better place. And I'm happy to play a part in that."
The defensive lineman is more than happy to be a part of the Dawg Pound, but it seems the barking from the bleachers wasn't quite enough for him.
"There's a lot of things that I think keep you busy in the off time, but hanging out with my dog is pretty fun, too," Winovich said. But this offseason, Winovich and Zeus welcomed in a "Dawg Pound" of their own.
"Big news, big announcement for the people out there. My dog is on Instagram—@ZeusWino, that's a shameless plug—but he's also having babies," Winovich said. "He's a guy, so he was hanging out at the dog sitter's house, I guess one thing led to another and seven puppies with a husky."
The little pups have given Winovich a little furry fan base of his own—and have become a story he enjoys sharing from his offseason.
"A miniature Dawg Pound there in Columbia Station," Winovich said.
Camryn Justice is a reporter at News 5 Cleveland. Follow her on Twitter @camijustice.
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