During a kinder, gentler Mike Holmgren press conference Thursday, the Cleveland president extended an olive branch to Hall of Famer Jim Brown.
And Brown sounds like he’s ready to receive it.
The relationship between the Browns boss and one of the game’s all-time greatest players has been chilly since Holmgren reduced Brown’s role in 2010. And the former running back hasn’t held back, questioning Holmgren’s commitment to the franchise and saying he thought first-round pick Trent Richardson was ordinary.
“I would like Jim Brown to come and be a part of this and feel comfortable doing that and I would welcome him with open arms,” Holmgren said Thursday.
“If that’s what Holmgren said, it just shows a lot of class on his part,” Brown told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “I’ve always been attracted to anyone who has the class to reach out. I have nothing to hold me back from being a positive person in any type of circumstances.
“I am a Cleveland Brown, but it’s always up to those in control to decide what they want to do.”
While it’s understandable for Holmgren to want to put his own stamp on the franchise, picking a fight with a legend wasn’t the smartest way to go about it. Much like former coach Eric Mangini painting over a mural of the running back when he was in charge, the idea of banishing a player of Brown’s stature is simply foolish.
Hopefully, Thursday’s comments will be the first step toward giving Browns fans something to remember fondly, since the recent product has been such a mess.