In an interview on the Jim Rome Show, Cleveland Browns tight end Austin Hooper talked the early impressions on minicamp. With minicamp having started, Hooper said the vibe in Cleveland is excitement and they are embracing the expectations people have for them.
When asked about what it means to have the Browns bring in so much talent in the offseason and the message that sends, Hooper did not shy away.
"You want to be in an organization, right, where the expectation is to be aggressive and you know, we want it now. There's no complacency and there's no like - alright, we're building for four or five years down the road. It's like no, we've got the guys here where we feel like we can compete with any other football team in the league. It's just up to us to put the product out there on the field and compete our tails off." - Austin Hooper
Jarvis Landry had similar feelings when he was asked about being a Super Bowl contender by Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal at his celebrity softball game.
"Why not? It’s something that people always say you should not talk about, but nobody trains or nobody does what they do to not be a champion. So that’s the standard. So why not talk about it? It’s real. It’s sick to be humble about what everybody is actually chasing.”
For some, this will come off as cocky, but it's more a recognition of the obvious. The Browns were a team that went to the Divisional Round of the playoffs and loaded up a significant amount of talent in the offseason. Expectations come with that, so why pretend they aren't there.
Hooper understands what the Browns can be this year, but he also appreciates what it takes to get there, having gone to the Super Bowl with the Atlanta Falcons.
"If you woulda asked me going into it was that ever our goal? No. We just worked and it sounds super corny and super Bull Durham answer, but it's for real. You've just gotta keep building the blocks. On the Super Bowl team I was on, we didn't think we were there until about week 12 or 13 that we really started finding our stride, but being able to be around this group of guys that are this hungry is definite exciting. I can tell you that much."
Hooper talked about his offseason, which included a trip to Egypt and the Pyramids. He wanted to visit the cradle of culture. Coming into minicamp, he also was just with teammates in Austin, Texas, spending a week with quarterback Baker Mayfield and is excited for the season.
He touched on how important continuity is and how coming off a year where they were limited in practice to now getting to work together more freely will help the team.
Hooper also talked about the first TEU, an event where tight ends in the NFL share secrets and talk about getting better at their respective craft. He went into the reason behind it and why it's important.