T.J. Ward leaves Cleveland for Denver’s “winning culture”


After four years with the Browns, safety T.J. Ward signed as a free agent with the Broncos this offseason. He has already noticed a difference in the attitude.

Ward says that when you go from a team like the Browns (who went either 4-12 or 5-11 in every one of Ward’s four seasons) to a team like the Broncos, you immediately get a different feel for how they go about their business.

“Nothing against Cleveland but this is a winning culture,” Ward said. “They’re used to winning and you treat all things the same way, period: with a preparation to win. That’s how the coaches treat you and that’s how the players treat each other. You expect everybody to know their job, do their job and do it the right way.”

After so much losing in Cleveland, it’s hard to change the expectations. But in Denver, everyone expects to succeed.

“We’re just expecting to win,” Ward said. “That’s it. That’s the only expectation.”

That’s not the expectation in Cleveland.

86 responses to “T.J. Ward leaves Cleveland for Denver’s “winning culture”

  1. Yeah yeah yeah 43-8 people we got it, Seahawks deserved the Super Bowl victory.

    It’s a brand new 2014 season and the Broncos look really really really good compared to what they looked like in the Super Bowl, just saying.

  2. They haven’t won a thing since they circumvented the salary cap twice in the 90’s.

    They are 2-4 in Super Bowls.

  3. And that’s why we got rid of him. Ward is not a leader but a “woe is me”, feel sorry for myself kind of a guy. Have fun playing great during the season and coming up short in the playoffs. LOL

  4. Congratulatios, TJ, for getting out just before the final implosion! I truly do wish the best for those who got out in time, and truly feel bad for those who are left living in the factory of sadness that Johnny redecorated.

  5. And that’s why we got rid of him. Ward is not a leader but a “woe is me”, feel sorry for myself kind of a guy. Have fun playing great during the season and coming up short in the playoffs. LOL


    You’re a Browns fan, you don’t get to talk. Have fun witnessing Manziel being a complete bust…

  6. We’ll see how much of a winning culture Denver has when Manning retires. TJ Ward couldn’t cover my 300 lb. uncle and incidentally that is one of the reasons why the Browns let him walk, and is one of the most important aspects of a safety’s responsibilities. Smart move not to pay a one dimensional player with an injury history big money. The expectation is to win now in Cleveland. Ray Farmer is the man to take us back to our rightful place.

  7. A typical NFL moron. Denver has had a whopping 2 winning seasons in a row. Year before that, they were 8-8. Year before that they were 4-12. Yeah, they have a “winning culture”. Let’s get real, Ward. They have Manning, and that’s why they’ve won the last 2 years.

  8. It’s a brand new 2014 season and the Broncos look really really really good compared to what they looked like in the Super Bowl, just saying.
    Too bad for them the Pats will beat them this year. Peyton’s an old man who only cares about his regular season stats.

  9. Let’s see…Ward said at the end of last season that he wanted to stay in Cleveland as he sees this thing turning around and sees a lot of talent on this team.

    The new coaches didn’t want him so they let him go.

    Now he bad mouths the Browns and coaches.

    Hmmm…smells like rotten tomatoes to me.

  10. I wonder what kind of a “winning culture” it felt like after getting shellacked last February by the dynasty? #gohawks

  11. I thought he said(in Hawaii)that he wanted to stay Cleveland because he knew that they were building something special.
    Singing another tune. Hes not the first one to do that. NFL players are dumb!

  12. Ward should be reminded that play on the field has a lot to do with whether a team wins or loses. It is entirely possible for his play and that of his teammates to change the culture with effective play.

    Taking his “talents” to a team he thinks is already a winner, doesn’t say a lot for his on opinion of his ability to help become a winner.

  13. Cleveland fans have it so bad. The new attack on a player leaving is to say, “Have fun with a great regular season & losing I’m the playoffs.” Lol, at least they’re winning for than 5 games & getting to the playoffs.

    I get that Denver got embarrassed. But winning SBs is hard. Only 1 team can do it each year. Every other team either loses in the playoffs or doesn’t get there at all.

    Doesn’t help when your new owner is directing his new GM which QB to draft either.

  14. Hey cguy7 – when you question the ‘winning culture’ without Manning you know, the Broncos went out and got Manning and will work to put out the best team when Manning retires. The ‘winning culture’ is going out and doing what needs to be done to bring the pieces together to put out a team that can win. Some teams are better at it than others and the Broncos whether you like them or not are one of the teams that goes out that extra mile to put a team together that has a chance to win. Cleveland – not so much. A lot of other teams not so much.

  15. Ray Farmer is the man to take us back to our rightful place.


    There’s already a team in Baltimore. 🙂

  16. gloryfromheaven46 says:
    Jul 2, 2014 6:16 AM
    And that’s why we got rid of him. Ward is not a leader but a “woe is me”, feel sorry for myself kind of a guy. Have fun playing great during the season and coming up short in the playoffs. LOL


    Do you/Cleveland fans even know what the playoffs are?

  17. Could it possibly have anything to do with Ward’s look at the ground, lower your shoulder, and forget to wrap up tackling technique? Does the NFL keep stats on how many tackles were broken against a player? I believe Ward might lead in that category with active players.

  18. gloryfromheaven46 says:

    It’s a brand new 2014 season and the Broncos look really really really good compared to what they looked like in the Super Bowl, just saying.

    Seriously, dude? It’s July 2nd. NO TEAM looks really really really good. Stop drinking the THC laden kool aid and let’s see how the actual season shakes out.

  19. TJ Ward must not have heard the news that Cleveland has changed. They have drafted Johnny Football. Johnny “Craps” Football wins every night with Snoop Dawg and his Pound entourage in Las Vegas.

  20. Look I have nothing against the Browns or their fans, or blind optimism in general, but “back to your rightful place”? Really? From the fan of a team that hasn’t even APPEARED in a Super Bowl for the full 47 seasons of the event’s existence? A team that hasn’t been to the playoffs in 12 years?

    Downvote this all you want, but this is your reality check: it seems that the Browns are already in their rightful place…

  21. First of all I don’t blame TJ Ward for leaving Cleveland to go to a winning team, however, this clown isn’t a good player.

    He takes the worst angles of any safety I’ve ever seen. He had one decent year since he was with the Browns and that was last year.

    Just wait Denver when TJ takes one of his infamous pursuits of the WR only to find the WR is already 10 yards past him by the time he gets to where he was supposed to be.

    Nice classy behavior too TJ bringing outside liquor into a strip club. This guy is a tool. Enjoy Denver but I think they will have buyers remorse soon.

  22. Gotta be able to cover if you are going to be a decent safety in the NFL. I never understood the whole ‘run stopper’ label they give safeties. Dude every safety is a run stopper. They are the last line of defense.

  23. I thought I saw a report where the Browns didn’t even try to re-sign him. But hey, make it look like he left on his own because he didn’t want to be there.

  24. Well, TJ…. The reason you were allowed to walk is because Cleveland got tired of watching you get burned and chase receivers into the end zone. You are a huge part of why the Browns blew so many 4th Qtr leads last year. Good tackler, but LOUSY in coverage. We’ll see how that “winning culture” in Denver holds up when Manning retires……

  25. So much blatant jealousy by Cleveland fans. But hey, on the bright side, Cleveland has Buffalo’s 2015 1st round pick, which basically means they’ll have two top-five picks to squander next year.

  26. Cguy7 hit it on the nose….. gota agree…but even with peyton controlling the hamhock he still gone feel the losing aspect of the game……I dont care how many mvps he get he just gota blueprint on how not to win the big dance and I know everybody flocking to denver is only because of manning… Broncos are irrelevant haaaa….just saying

  27. Cleveland and Denver both suck now shut up ’cause they both play in the AFC. Manning was great now he suck, especially now every team know he cant throw deep at his age. Seattle exposed him. By the way Denver will be playing one of the tuffest schedule in 2014 good luck getting ur ass kick.

  28. Definitely a step up from Cleveland for T.J. I mean the Browns and their loosing culture never even let him assault anyone in their nightclubs. Denver signed him and Elway told him “We’re winners here in Denver, go smack some people around and we’ll handle the police.”

    Yeah, he was let go by Cleveland and replaced by one of those guys whose previous teams defense DIDN’T get smacked around in a Superbowl.

  29. Winning culture? I had to check the calender to make sure it wasnt 1999…

  30. You know I watched the Browns last year and to me it just seemed like they needed a qb the most. I have to disagree with Ward a lot of those guys played hard and wanted to win they just couldnt finish. I expect a few tweaks and they might be a contender.

    Also dont bet on Denver doing big things this season. Manning is getting old and he is burnt out by the post season…. It is not his fault it is just nature I dont see them even making the superbowl again.

  31. Enough talk about “wining culture”. This culture is as fragile as an old man’s surgically repaired neck. It is just a way for tj, who is obviously pissed the browns didnt even give him an offer to stay, to take a shot without really taking a shot at cleveland.

  32. It’s always a great idea to throw your former employer under the bus – it makes you look like you know what’s going on and that you are in the know. Until your next job. Good luck, T.J., you bus driver, you.

  33. Ray Farmer is the man to take us back to our rightful place.


    There’s already a team in Baltimore. 🙂

    YEAH>>>You lost one then stole one. Nice folk there in Baltimore.

  34. I’m a huge broncos fan. Has much as I like the addition of TJ, I believe he needs to keep his mouth shut. We haven’t won anything yet. On another note, I love how Seattle fans are already calling themselves a “dynasty”. If I’m not mistaken, don’t you have to win like three superbowls within like 4 years to be a dynasty? Like the patriots did. I’ll give Seattle credit, they looked amazing in the superbowl but it’s way too hard to be a dynasty and I don’t see them doing it.

  35. For those deriding the Broncos – I can count 30 other teams that didn’t do as well as the Broncos did. Some of them went down with a whimper early in the season. The Broncos prepare to win, the team expects to win, the fans expect to win. What are they expecting in your teams city and locker room? T.J. just said what was self evident – that the Broncos plan on being a winner and work toward it – Browns don’t. When the Broncos aren’t doing well – getting better is the number one priority. I know, I know, it’s easy being a sneering fanboy laughing that the Broncos got beat in the Super Bowl. Ha ha, you are so witty and funny. Which team do you follow? How did they do? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

  36. joetoronto says: Jul 2, 2014 5:51 AM

    They haven’t won a thing since they circumvented the salary cap twice in the 90′s.

    They are 2-4 in Super Bowls.
    As opposed to Cleveland’s 0-0 in Superbowls?

    They’ve been to 6 and won 2. Sure other teams have done better, but compared to most other franchises, most importantly the one from which he came, its a winning culture.

    Another PFT commenter spewing ignorance.

  37. Ward should be concerned with making a winner of himself and staying out of the way of the law. If the Browns wanted him they would’ve kept him. Obviously they saw problems with him and sure enough those problems came to surface when he arrived in Denver. He’s a hard hitter without a doubt, but he was dispensable and was dispensed.

  38. If Manning goes down, we’ll see the winning culture for sure. The Colts were like 1-15 w/o Peyton. I’d say Denver would be right around there as well.

    And seriously, Cleveland really DID NOT want to sign him. They had (and still have) plenty of $$$ and they let him walk w/o reservation. That doesn’t say much for T.J. They like Whitner better for a fraction of the $$$.

    Denver goes 9-7 this year btw.

  39. The Seahawks had a plane waiting to pick up Peyton Manning at the Denver airport, in March of 2012. But, he decided he didn’t even want to talk to Seattle, signing with Denver Then the Seahawks drafted Russel Wilson.

    He had his chance to join a winning culture. Second place is the first loser.

  40. And that’s why we got rid of him. Ward is not a leader but a “woe is me”, feel sorry for myself kind of a guy. Have fun playing great during the season and coming up short in the playoffs. LOL

    LOL He didn’t get to the playoffs in Cleveland. LOL So how would LOL you know he’s going to LOL come up short LOL in the playoffs? LOL

    Oh, and at least he’ll MAKE that playoffs. When’s the last time your loser town made the playoffs in any sport? Oh yeah, LOL. When you got kicked in the teeth by the Rays in the wild card game LOL Remember? LOL You’re only sellout? LOL

  41. And how long have you lived in Seattle Palatypus? And how long has your short term memory been the only memory that you have? And you do know that term ‘winning culture’ refers to more than one year right? Seattle has recently found their mojo. How long will that last who knows. They’ve won the Super Bowl once and lost the other time they were there, they’ve been in the playoffs 13 times. The ‘winning culture’ refers to the history – Broncos have become one of the NFL’s more successful teams, having suffered only six losing seasons in 36 years. They have won seven AFC Championships and two Super Bowls. Great fans, sellouts in their stadiums, the team makes money, popular on TV. I don’t really understand how it makes you or anyone else feel like they are super special by belittling a very successful team when that team falls slightly short of perfection. Really. Sad.

  42. countmahdrof says:
    Jul 2, 2014 6:42 AM
    A typical NFL moron. Denver has had a whopping 2 winning seasons in a row. Year before that, they were 8-8. Year before that they were 4-12. Yeah, they have a “winning culture”. Let’s get real, Ward. They have Manning, and that’s why they’ve won the last 2 years.

    Really?!? Denver has the highest winning percentage in the history of the NFL at .580. Which is tied with the Cowboys but Denver takes the top spot with the greater number of overall wins. “Winning culture,” I think so and the numbers back it! The facts are the facts buddy.

  43. I sincerely believe the Browns would have done better than the Broncos did in the last Super Bowl.

  44. I hope that everyone talking smack about the Broncos is a Seahawks fan, because fans of the other 30 teams (like myself) have literally no leeway to say anything about them.

    So they got stomped in the Super Bowl. So what? They made it to the Super Bowl. YOUR team was at home watching it or sitting in the stands.

    And it would seem that a lot of you don’t understand what the term “winning culture” means. The Broncos have made the playoffs for 3 straight years. They’ve made the playoffs 6 times in the past decade. Their players, coaches and execs have the expectation that they will win games and make the playoffs, and they conduct business as such. You don’t have to win the Super Bowl to have a winning culture in your organization.

    You think the Pats DON’T have a winning culture just because they haven’t won a Super Bowl recently? You think the Ravens don’t because they just had a bad season after winning a ‘ship? You think KC has one because they had double-digit wins for one season? Stop acting like butthurt little kids and give them their dues. You should be more concerned about how your team can gain a winning culture than whether the Broncos have one.

    Besides, we’re coming up on a new season; everything about last season is about to become irrelevant.

  45. Sweet,another Browns story concerning a guy on the Broncos. Those wacky Browns have had a great year for press. Criminal owner,firing the coach after a year,firing the GM that fired the coach after one year,trading their former #4 pick,Brandon Weeden’s comedy show,Manziel,Josh Gordon,a movie,those Browns Backers Worldwide membership cards must be going out like crazy!

  46. Just for accuracy sake, Denver is 2-5 in Super Bowls. Also, regardless of your opinion…7 Super Bowl appearances and a top 5 winning percentage over the period of 1970-current earns the statement “winning culture”

  47. Cap cheaters, and the only culture that’s there is a selfish one, with megahead padding his stats, and choking in the only game that really counts. Nothing about manning is “irrelevant.” He’s a proven choker.

  48. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Cleveland and Denver have an opportunity to duke this one out come January. And no, not with Manziel starting.

  49. This isn’t the first guy to play for Cleveland to sound off on how terrible a place it is for players.

    Joe Jurevicius was a veteran WR that played for a couple of teams before coming to Cleveland for his last couple years in the NFL. Never heard of him? Probably because he was a laid back and quiet kind of guy. Not the kind of person you would expect to make a splash in the news.

    He wound up suing the Browns over an outbreak of staph infections that were happening to a lot of fellow teammates.

    It is a shame because the Cleveland Browns used to be a real force in the NFL. I hated when my Colts left town and also hated the fact that the NFL left us no choice to get a football team other than the lure the Browns here to become the Ravens. We REALLY wanted an expansion franchise, but the NFL decided Carolina was an untapped market and that Florida needed a third team. That worked out well.

    Meanwhile the Baltimore Ravens enjoy sold out crowds for every game with a rabid following of die-hard fans. Baltimore is a football town. We love our Orioles too, but the Colts leaving was like cutting our hearts out….so I know how Browns fans feel.

    Now that they have gotten a new Browns franchise, the team just hasn’t been the same before and since a flash in the pan 10 win season in 2007.

    Every team in a division can’t be a powerhouse. It used to be a two horse race between the Ravens and Steelers, but recently the Bengals have gotten sorted out and have become a force. But if Cleveland got back in the mix…this would be one heck of a division.

  50. Facts are facts and he is 100% correct. The big question is will the Browns win more games over the next two years than the Broncos will win in just September and October of this year?

  51. In the last 33 years the Broncos have averaged 9.6 wins per season. They have gone to the playoffs 17 times and been to the super bowl 6 times in that time span with their 7th being just before that. That is what a winning culture looks like. The Browns on the other hand have won 6.6 games per season, been to the playoffs 9 times and never made it to the super bowl. That is not a winning culture.

  52. I’m a lifelong Browns fan (60+ yrs), have lived and died their roller coaster of success, and agree with TJ. I wish him well in Denver, it’s a beautiful area.

    The new Browns have never gotten off the ground as a NFL team, and losing is very contagious. You cannot have an absent, disinterested owner like Randy Lerner while letting the fans and media force you to change regime after regime after regime.

    In my comments, I often refer to the turnaround in Pittsburgh once Chuck Noll came on board with the Steelers. Yes, he only won 1 game his first season but, the owners understood football and saw Coach Noll had a real plan. Right or wrong they stuck with their guy, took their lumps and reaped the benefits later on. Throwing out the baby along with the bath water, every 2 years does not inspire “winning.”

    I’m unsure about the learning curve for Pettine, Shanahan and company but, with the reputation of the “new Browns” we have to play the hand we’re dealt. I believe that Ray Farmer has us on the right track but, that might involve bringing in “his people” in 2015 (to coach) if Pettine doesn’t learn quickly. If nothing else, the Browns should surprise a few opponents.

    TJ Ward was a good player while with the Browns, just like D. Jackson. Unfortunately, the new regime felt they could getter pieces at a better price…it’s business. Neither the Browns nor the players have said anything negative about the other. Only the media tries to find “stuff” to sell more advertising. I believe they used to call that “Yellow Journalism.”

  53. Cleveland can’t keep trading for more trades. Which has never worked out, and keep play makers. Should of took Jones (W.R.) Atlanta, nothing left of that trade. Should of taken Sammy Watkins, no lets take a trade for next year, another play maker gone. Two number ones next year, but they will trade them for the next year. 4-12….5-11…Still no wide outs. Josh is gone for the year…..4-12….again, why am I buying tickets….

  54. How can you people say Denver doesn’t have a winning culture? They’ve won 3 division titles in a row, have a qb, who is top 5 of all time, coming off the best statistical season ever. They have gotten 5 defensive starters back, got rid of an aging Champ, and now have arguably the best pass rushing tandem in the league. Oh they also got Clady back, signed sanders and drafted another faster verison of decker. The sea chickens are vastly overrated with their crap talking cb, and alex smith verison 2.0 qb. Granted any team is better than the Browns, but any avid NFL fan can realize that denver is a team full of young talent, that even after manning retires are set up to be an AFC contender

  55. Ward was very good when he played here in Cleveland, but despite that, the Browns had losing seasons every year he was here.

    The Browns haven’t had a winning culture, and in an effort to transplant one, they’ve brought in new people, including free agent players, who come from teams with winning cultures.

    This meant some players had to go. T.J. Ward was one of them.

    Ward should be better off for it. Denver should be glad to have him. I don’t think Ward was insulting Cleveland, and as a Browns fan I’m not insulted.

  56. There are a lot of sour grapes here but it’s fair to say Denver is expected to win and make another Super Bowl run. It would be a shock to see Cleveland even finish 8 and 8. Mike Pettite acknowledged part of the reason he wanted Donte Whitner was because he was coming from a team in San Fran that has a winning culture. I think the Browns have a lot of talent on their roster and a bright future if they give their new coach more than a season to turn things around. It’s just not going to happen this year especially without Josh Gordon.

  57. First, I lived in Seattle for 10 years and the greater Puget Sound area from about 1976 until I moved to Pensacola about a year ago, minus a couple years in Corpus Christie.

    Second, my comments were aimed at Peyton Manning and his arrogance. I am completely aware of the Cleveland Browns history. I even started a column with a biopic of Paul Brown in a column for NFL Draft Blitz back in 2005. And as for the Broncos, I grew up watching John Elway being the only thing standing between the Seahawks and the playoffs with Chuck Knox, watching them lose Super Bowl after Super Bowl with the same formula. 2-5 is not a winning culture, and unless your the lead dog, the view never changes. Second place is the first loser. Don’t even bring up XL. Minus the Ken Behring era, the Seahawks just about always been winners.

    Besides, my comments were aimed at Peyton Manning. He snubbed the Seahawks for no reason, and he got what he deserved.

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