The Cleveland Browns recognized USA Football Month during Thursday’s preseason game against the Detroit Lions at FirstEnergy Stadium.
Throughout the year, the Browns are committed to promoting youth football, one of the team’s four pillars of community outreach. In doing so, the Browns host football camps for children, as well as clinics for parents, coaches and officials. They also field a 7-on-7 team for the NFL’s annual National Tournament, and organize High School Player Development camps around the state every summer.
“Over the years, the Browns have developed quality programming for all levels of youth and high-school football throughout the year,” said Jenner Tekancic, director of community relations for the Browns. “It is our mission to ensure the game of football continues to thrive for years to come.
“The NFL High School Player Development program is much more than becoming a better player on the field. In many cases, football players are looked up to as leaders and mentors in their local communities, so it is important that the athletes know what comes with being a complete football player. The High School Player Development camps do a great job of ensuring these athletes receive the training they need, both on and off the field, to be better leaders in their schools and better citizens in their local communities.”
In addition to hosting this year’s National 7-on-7 Tournament, the second time the team has done so in the last three years, the Browns welcomed NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to Berea to announce a partnership between USA Football and Pop Warner Football to teach the game of football in a safe, and enjoyable, way.
The Heads Up Program teaches players to keep their heads up and out of the line of contact when making tackles with other players. The program also emphasizes coaches learn and teach the game’s fundamentals after completing USA Football’s nationally accredited Level 1 Coaching Certification Course.
Through the program, coaches also learn to effectively recognize and respond to player concussions, and the proper protocols that go with treating head injuries, as well as the importance of getting equipment to fit properly.
“Our No. 1 priority is the game,” Goodell told ClevelandBrowns.com. “We know what we do at the NFL level to affect every other level of football. There’s a greater level of awareness, of the safety of playing the game the right way. We believe the game is safer than ever. We believe it is better than ever for those who play and those who watch. That’s a good place. We’re optimistic about the future. This program has helped us bring fundamentals back into the game.
“We think this is going to be a great program. It emphasizes the proper techniques, how to play the game correctly, and how to hit properly. The youngsters (are) learning the proper techniques on how to tackle, the fundamentals, and this is what our Heads Up Program is all about.”