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Retired Ohio sheriff and tiny K-9 partner die the same day

By MARK GILLISPIE Associated Press
CLEVELAND (AP) — The Ohio county sheriff and his tiny police dog were inseparable, their lives unwaveringly intertwined.
It thus seems fitting that retired Geauga County Sheriff Dan McClelland, 67, and his crime-fighting partner Midge, 16, would both die on Wednesday — McClelland, at a hospital after a lengthy battle with cancer and Midge, a few hours later at home, perhaps of a broken heart.
McClelland retired at the end of 2016 after 13 years as sheriff in this semi-rural county east of Cleveland. He spent 44 years total with the Geauga County Sheriff’s Office and a decade alongside Midge, a drug-sniffing Chihuahua-rat terrier mix certified by Guinness World Records in 2006 as the smallest police dog on the globe.
He and Midge — but especially Midge — were rock stars in Geauga County. Wherever McClelland went, Midge was by his side. At the office, she would nap on a dog bed beside his desk. Schoolchildren were enthralled during their visits.
McClelland’s successor, Sheriff Scott Hildenbrand, recalls driving a golf cart with McClelland and Midge in the passenger seat at the Great Geauga County Fair. He said it was a slow ride as people flocked to them, petting and fussing over Midge.
“He used to joke that people would see him in a parade in a car and would say, ‘Hey, there’s Midge and whatshisname,'” Hildenbrand said. “I think she was more popular than him.”
Retired Lt. John Hiscox, a longtime spokesperson for the sheriff’s office, put it this way: “It was like bringing Elvis Presley to the midway.”
Despite her size, Midge was no slouch when it came to her job. It was McClelland who decided that Midge, the runt of her litter, would make an ideal drug-sniffing dog.
Unlike large and more aggressive police dogs, the mild-mannered Midge would search vehicles without tearing up upholstery or leaving muddy footprints. Searching underneath vehicles was never a problem.
Their partnership led to appearances on daytime television talk shows and mentions in national magazines, including Playboy. She maintained her K-9 certifications until their joint retirement.
Hildenbrand said he was surprised when McClelland decided to retire and begin traveling the country in a recreational vehicle with his wife, Beverly, and, of course, Midge.
“He spent 44 years protecting people in this county and, quite frankly, he loved his job, every minute of it,” Hildenbrand said. “I thought he’d never retire.
McClelland was a good leader who always had the best interest of the county and community in mind, Hiscox said.
“He was fair and was not afraid to make a decision,” Hiscox said. “He was always willing to listen, but when he made a decision it was final.”
The family said McClelland and Midge will be buried together.

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‘Hillbilly’ to Capitol Hill? Author eyes Senate bid in Ohio

By DAN SEWELL Associated Press
MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (AP) — Rodney Muterspaw figures J.D. Vance has already shown he’s got what it takes to be a U.S. senator.
Vance, the “Hillbilly Elegy” author and a fellow Middletown native, broke out of poverty and family chaos and never forgot his Appalachian roots on his way to success.
“I think he can talk in a way that the average person can understand,” said the retired police chief, who, like Vance, has eastern Kentucky roots. “I’m a hillbilly, and I understand him 100%.”
Muterspaw’s view is at the heart of the fiercest political debate in Ohio. With his 2016 book, Vance helped explain to the nation Donald Trump’s popularity among the white Appalachian working class of his upbringing. Now at 36, the bestselling author is considering whether he can win the votes of the people he claims to know so well.
Vance says he’s “thinking seriously” about running for the Senate seat that Republican Rob Portman is vacating in 2022. Now a venture capitalist, he already has a billionaire backer supporting him and, despite previous criticism of Trump, has met with the former president. But other Republicans are hardly clearing the field, and Vance’s success is likely to hinge on whether the state’s white working-class voters embrace him as a home-state hero or an opportunist.
Muterspaw, 52, splashed some almond milk into his dark-roast coffee at Java Johnny’s, among the trendy restaurants and retail shops that have been popping up along Central Avenue — where there still are some of the “We Buy Gold” storefronts that sprang up during the Great Recession. Middletown is about 30 miles (48 kilometers) northeast of Cincinnati.
A Republican with mixed feelings about Trump, Muterspaw thinks Vance has the Trump-like ability to connect with GOP voters and a relatable life story.
Vance rose out of a family beset by chaos from his mother’s addictions; from a mill town that was in steep decline and ravaged by opioids as its major employers faltered amid globalization. He joined the Marines, served in Iraq, worked his way through The Ohio State University and graduated from Yale Law School before heading to Silicon Valley in 2014, then returning to Ohio in 2017.
His bestselling book told not only his own story but also highlighted the people of Appalachia and cities like his hometown that feel left behind, and it was embraced by small-government conservatives for depicting poverty as a cultural problem not easily fixed by government programs and aid.
He became a popular TV political commentator, dubbed “the Trump whisperer” for his ability to explain the Republican’s rise to the presidency, and his book became a Ron Howard-directed movie.
Vance didn’t respond to an interview request from The Associated Press. But in interviews and tweets, he’s signaled his interest in the culture war issues popular in the GOP.
At a forum on “Desegregating Poverty,” hosted by veteran civil rights activist Robert Woodford, he argued that addressing the problem of fatherless families, regardless of race, and focusing on the kind of stable home life he lacked are crucial to socioeconomic progress.
“I just wish that we could actually look at people as people, and if we did that, I think we’d have a much better sense of what their real problems are,” said Vance, who lives in Cincinnati with his wife, Usha, and their two sons.
Just before Easter, Vance posted a lengthy essay on his spiritual journey from Christian evangelical roots into atheism and then to becoming Catholic. Among others, he quoted Saint Augustine and Jules, the “Pulp Fiction” hit man played by Samuel L. Jackson. He expects his Christian faith to help guide his policies for those who are struggling in life.
Vance has been active on Twitter, criticizing “the ruling class,” immigration policy and Big Tech censorship. He stirred up Twitter last week with a defense of Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, accused of using white supremacist rhetoric about immigrants.
“Tucker Carlson is the only powerful figure who consistently challenges elite dogma — on both cultural and economic questions. That is why they try to destroy him,” Vance wrote.
This week he resigned from the board of a Kentucky company, AppHarvest, that uses green technology to produce food in Appalachia, but on Friday he denied it was because of fallout from the controversial tweets. He said his decision predated them.
“The basic thinking was: I’m going to keep speaking my mind, and I’d rather do that unconstrained by the demands of a public board. And I thought the company would be better off too,” Vance said via Twitter.
Part of the Appalachian code warns against getting “too big for your britches.” Some think Vance has, perpetuating backward regional stereotypes while making his millions in Silicon Valley.
In December, Appalachian authors presented a program titled “Don’t Cry For Us, J.D. Vance.”
Meanwhile, political foes are skeptical about his motives.
Vance is “someone that, I feel, has purposely used poor people and the people of Appalachia and even his own family to promote his own image. It’s just shameful,” Ted Strickland, a Democratic native of southern Ohio who served as governor and congressman, said in a recent radio interview.
Strickland supports Democratic U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, who represents the northeastern part of Appalachian Ohio and is readying a Senate run.
Thirty-two of Ohio’s 88 counties are classified as Appalachian, with roughly 2 million residents in a state of 11.7 million. However, hundreds of thousands of more people in cities such as Columbus, Dayton and Middletown have Appalachian roots from parents and grandparents who migrated north for once-plentiful factory jobs available to workers without college degrees.
Trump rode their support in two sweeping victories in Ohio, and you can still find Trump flags, banners and yard signs left in place by diehards around the region. Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964 was the last Democratic presidential candidate to carry Butler County, home of Middletown.
Life in Middletown, with nearly 49,000 people, long revolved around the Armco Steel company that became AK Steel during Vance’s youth. A yearlong lockout of 2,700 workers that began in 2006 underscored that the company’s patriarchal days of having a park, sports teams and a golf course for workers and their families here were long past.
It was once known nationally for Jerry Lucas, a 1950s “Middie” high school standout who went on to college and NBA stardom. Vance has helped “put Middletown back on the map,” Muterspaw said.
Staffers at Middletown High School had trouble finding Vance in the 2003 yearbook, his senior year. They looked under Vance, which was his “Papaw’s” family name he took for himself in adulthood, and also under Bowman, his biological father’s last name. They finally found James Hamel, the last name of a stepfather who adopted J.D. early in his mother’s series of husbands and boyfriends.
A woman answering the door at the two-story home where he spent much of his childhood across from Miami Park had no idea Vance had ever lived there.
At Richie’s Pawn Central — in business since the early 1950s, though Vance mistakenly wrote it had “long since closed” — sales employee Terry Stephens grumbled that the federal stimulus checks have slowed down the pawn business. He said he didn’t expect to vote for Vance to be senator.
“He’s smart and he’s done a lot of things, but I’m a minority in this town,” Stephens said. “I’m a Democrat.”
The GOP field already includes two candidates with statewide networks — former state party chair Jane Timken and former Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel.
But Vance is not expected to have trouble raising money. Billionaire entrepreneur Peter Thiel, an early mentor and employer of Vance, gave $10 million to a super PAC formed to encourage his Senate candidacy.
While Vance is making up his mind, the GOP primary field continues to grow.
Former investment banker Mike Gibbons of Cleveland joined the race April 13, after Cleveland businessman Bernie Moreno announced his candidacy April 6. Several U.S. House members are considering a run. Among them is 10-term Rep. Mike Turner of Dayton, who shares Breathitt County, Kentucky, family roots with Vance.
Looming over the race is Trump — and his coveted, but not yet secured, endorsement. The former president has met with several of the Ohio contenders, including Vance. Thiel arranged and attended the meet-and-greet at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, according to a person familiar with the meeting who spoke on condition of anonymity because it was private.
John Forren, a Miami University political scientist in Vance’s native Butler County, said he thinks Vance has a potentially winning appeal.
“He’s a different kind of conservative who understands the Trump base and identifies with the Trump base, and he’s positioned very uniquely to do that,” Forren said.
In the battle to win Trump’s backing, GOP foes are likely to highlight Vance’s past criticisms of Trump, such as in a 2016 NPR interview in which he said: “I can’t stomach Trump. I think that he’s noxious and is leading the white working class to a very dark place.”
However, Anirudh Ruhil, who teaches government analytics at Ohio University, nestled in Appalachian southeast Ohio, thinks Vance can overcome that.
“Right now, J.D. Vance is going to be the Trump in 2022 for Portman’s seat,” he predicted. “I think he has a good chance if he decides to run. His ‘hillbilly roots,’ as he puts it, will certainly help him out.”
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Associated Press writer Jill Colvin in Washington contributed to this report.

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Ohio Headlines

Attack leaves 2 Columbus cops with concussions, broken jaw

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A suspect’s attack against two Columbus police officers left one officer with a broken jaw and the other with a concussion, authorities announced Friday.
Officers Andrew Mott and Samuel Clanin were recovering from their injuries Friday, according to a tweet by the Columbus Division of Police.
Body camera footage posted by police shows an assault taking place moments after the two officers responded to a call about a man threatening people with a knife outside Faith Mission, a downtown homeless shelter.
The video shows the suspect, Noah Andrews, punch Mott within seconds of him exiting a police van. Andrews then slammed Clanin against a police car, officials said. The video then shows Mott responding by tasering Andrews after he falls on the ground, according to the video.
The attack left Mott with a broken jaw in two places, requiring surgery, and Clanin with a concussion. Police said Andrews, who wasn’t injured, was charged with assault on a police officer.
The attack comes amid heightened tensions between Columbus police and the community.
A number of protesters and police clashed Tuesday night outside the division’s headquarters. The demonstrators were protesting the killing of Miles Jackson, who died after he and police faced a standoff at a Columbus-area hospital Monday.

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Shooting sends woman, 20, and 4-year-old girl to hospitals

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A shooting in Ohio’s capital city sent a 20-year-old woman and a 4-year-old girl to the hospital with gunshot wounds, police said.
Columbus police said there was an altercation with a man at an address in the city shortly before 2 p.m. Friday, and the woman and child got into a vehicle with three other people and drove away.
Police said the man followed and fired multiple shots at the vehicle, striking the victims. The vehicle drove away with the occupants searching for a hospital for the girl until they stopped and called police.
Both victim were taken to local hospitals and listed in stable condition.
Police said a 21-year-old suspect was located shortly afterward and faces two felonious assault charges.

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Ohio man found sitting in subway station, rifle near foot

NEW YORK (AP) — A Ohio man arrested for bringing an unloaded, military-style rifle into a Times Square subway station was found sitting with the three-foot-long weapon lying on the floor, inches from his foot, according to a newly released court document.
A New York City police officer said he recovered an ammunition magazine containing 17 rounds from a paper bag that was also sitting on the floor near Saadiq Teague, along with a loose round. An empty shell casing was found inside the 18-year-old’s backpack, according to the document released Saturday during Teague’s arraignment on three felony weapons possession charges.
“He said to me that he bought the rifle in Ohio, where he said it was legal, and brought it to New York,” Officer Wilson Lopez said in the documents.
Messages were left seeking comment with Teague’s public defender Rebecca Phipps.
Teague, of Canal Winchester, Ohio, was held on $25,000 cash bail at his arraignment in Manhattan Criminal Court Saturday. His next court date is April 22.

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Arkansas, Ohio State headline 2022 Maui Invitational field

LAHAINA, Hawaii (AP) — The 2022 Maui Invitational will be headlined by Arkansas, Ohio State and San Diego State.
The field, announced Thursday, also will include Arizona, Louisville, Texas Tech, Creighton, and Cincinnati for the November tournament at the Lahaina Civic Center.
The tournament was moved to Asheville, North Carolina last year due to the coronavirus pandemic and returns to Hawaii this year.
Arkansas has been revitalized under coach Eric Musselman, reaching the Elite Eight in his second season. Arizona is a two-time Maui Invitational champion, taking the trophy in 2000 and 2014.
Creighton, which reached the Sweet 16 this season, will be making its inaugural Maui appearance, as will Texas Tech.
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Closing time: Indians to use closer-by-committee approach

By TOM WITHERS AP Sports Writer
CLEVELAND (AP) — The Indians’ opener is Thursday in Detroit. Their closer isn’t nearly as definitive.
Cleveland enters the season with uncertainty at several positions, questions about whether their offense can produce enough to back a strong starting staff and manager Terry Francona deciding not to christen a closer from an interesting assortment of bullpen arms.
For now, the closer’s job is shared.
After the Indians parted ways with All-Star Brad Hand this winter, it was assumed that hard-throwing right-hander James Karinchak, who had 53 strikeouts in 27 innings last season, would move into the vital closer spot.
However, partly because of Karinchak’s struggles during camp (6.10 ERA in 12 appearances) and because he has other options, Francona will use a rotation of relievers to close with Karinchak, Emmanuel Clase and Nick Wittgren all getting a turn.
“It’s more how we get to a point in the game,” Francona said Wednesday on a Zoom call from Comerica Park. “I’ve never been real comfortable trying to get to wait for the ninth inning and losing in the seventh. They have a little bit different skill sets in what they offer and I think we have a better chance of winning by allocating them in different ways.
“We’re trying to develop Karinchak at the same time, and have him be a weapon at the same time. So, rather than pigeon-holing him into a certain inning, I think we can help that along, too.”
Because he’s earned Francona’s trust, Wittgren will likely be the first summoned to close. In two seasons with the Indians, the 29-year-old is 7-1 with a 2.99 ERA in 80 games.
“Since the day he has arrived here, he has been nothing but a pro,” Francona said. “He has been reliable, accountable and is a leader. He has been a huge part of our bullpen and will continue to be.”
While Karinchak may be infatuated with Charlie Sheen’s Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn character in the film “Major League” (he wears No. 99, screams into his glove and styled his hair like Vaughn’s last year), the 25-year-old also possesses a wicked curve ball that complements an overpowering fastball.
The right-hander’s issue is that he’s not always sure where it’s going.
And then there’s Clase, who dazzled the Indians in Arizona after missing last season due to an 80-game PED suspension. In Tuesday’s exhibition finale, Clase threw five pitches over 100 mph.
“102,” Francona said, chuckling about Clase’s top speed. “That was fast.”
The Indians weren’t exactly sure what they had in Clase, who came over from Texas in the 2019 trade for two-time Cy Young winner Corey Kluber.
“When a guy doesn’t compete for a whole year, you kind of wonder if he’s going to throw strikes or if he’s going to be spraying balls,” Francona said. “If anything he might throw too many strikes. If that’s the biggest problem we have, we’re OK. But I mean he pounds the strike zone with all his pitches. You rarely see him pitch from behind in the count.”
Along with the three potential closers, the Indians’ bullpen has some interesting pieces. There’s experience in Oliver Pérez and Bryan Shaw, Rule 5 pickup Trevor Stefan and Phil Maton, young right-handers Triston McKenzie and Cal Quantrill will give Francona length and maybe an occasional start.
Beyond that group, converted outfielder Anthony Gose, who throws 100 mph and made major strides this spring, is waiting in the wings with lefty Kyle Nelson.
Following Clase’s performance, starter Aaron Civale said the Indians have a group of relievers that could open eyes.
“It’s not just Clase, he said. “We got some premium arms in the bullpen. Not everyone might know their names, but I think by the end of the year a lot of people will. It’s very comforting to pitch with those guys behind you.”
NOTES: With the Tigers starting LHP Matthew Boyd in the opener, Francona will start Jordan Luplow in center and Yu Chang at first. Chang was one of Cleveland’s best hitters in camp and Francona said the 25-year-old has matured. “He’s stronger. He’s more agile. He’s more sure of himself,” Francona said. “Are there going to be hiccups? I don’t know. There usually are. But he’s situated to handle things better than he has in the past.”
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Cavs hopeful Dellavedova will make long-delayed season debut

By TOM WITHERS AP Sports Writer
CLEVELAND (AP) — Matthew Dellavedova’s long wait to play again may finally be over.
More than a year since his last regular-season NBA game, the Cavaliers’ popular veteran guard could make his season debut Thursday night after being out with a concussion and appendectomy.
Coach J.B. Bickerstaff said Dellavedova practiced Wednesday, and as long as he gets final medical clearance, the 30-year-old will play against the Philadelphia 76ers.
“My expectation is hopeful that there will be a Delly sighting tomorrow,” Bickerstaff said.
Dellavedova, who along with Kevin Love is the only player remaining on the roster from Cleveland’s 2016 NBA title team, hasn’t played in a game since suffering a head injury in the club’s exhibition opener in December.
Dellavedova had suffered previous concussions, so his recovery took longer as he had to pass league protocols. He had made major progress toward a return in February, but was sidelined again after having his appendix removed.
The Cavs have missed Dellavedova’s experience, toughness and leadership.
“Definitely seems like forever to think about how long he’s been out and how many games he missed,” said guard Collin Sexton. “But definitely excited to see him back out there in practice and going through the plays, it’s amazing to see his full recovery. It’s good. I’m definitely glad to have him back.
“I said, ‘Don’t go out there and give out six fouls in the first three minutes.’ He just laughed about it.”
Dellavedova hasn’t played in a regular-season game since March 10, 2020, the final one before the COVID-19 pandemic stalled the league’s season and ended Cleveland’s.
The Cavs have been ravaged by injuries all season, and not having Dellavedova hurt the club’s depth and deprived the team of having a guard on the floor to help mentor Sexton and Darius Garland.
“Delly is a guy that is going to do whatever the team needs,” Sexton said. “If that’s to go lock someone up or play 94 (feet), he’s going to do it. Delly is coming in and being that vocal leader and that vet that we need. … With Delly coming back we know what to expect pretty much.”
Dellavedova has served as something of a player/coach while he’s been out, and Sexton said his input has been invaluable.
“When he’s out there, we’re able to see what he sees as well,” Sexton said. “But it’s different when he’s on the sidelines. He tells you what he sees from the bench. So, when he goes in the game, he will be like, ‘Alright I see this play, so run this.’ Or he will make sure he has the plays in his back pocket.
“Delly is one of the smartest people I know when it comes to basketball, his IQ is really high up there.”
NOTES: Bickerstaff said Love took part in practice and the team will see how he responds before deciding when he’ll return. Love has been slowed by a calf strain since December and played in just four games.
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AP source: Lindor, Mets agree to $341 million, 10-year deal

By JAKE SEINER AP Baseball Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — Francisco Lindor and the New York Mets have agreed to a $341 million, 10-year deal, keeping the All-Star shortstop in Queens for the long haul after acquiring him from Cleveland in the offseason, according to a person familiar with the agreement.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on Wednesday night on condition of anonymity because the deal hadn’t been announced.
Lindor was eligible for free agency after this season and said this spring he wouldn’t negotiate with the Mets on a long-term contract after opening day. Less than 24 hours before New York starts its season Thursday night in Washington, an agreement was reached.
The 27-year-old Lindor has two Gold Gloves and made four All-Star teams in six seasons with the Indians, hitting .285 with an average of 29 homers, 86 RBIs and 21 stolen bases per 162 games.
He was the prized pickup in new owner Steve Cohen’s first offseason, acquired from Cleveland along with right-hander Carlos Carrasco for infielders Amed Rosario, Andrés Giménez and two minor leaguers. New York added Lindor knowing he could walk after the 2021 season, but the team said it would try to negotiate a long-term pact.
MLB Network was first to report on the agreement.
Lindor will retain his $22.3 million salary for 2021 before the contract kicks in for 2022.
The deal will be the largest ever for a shortstop, passing Fernando Tatis Jr.’s $340 million, 14-year contract with San Diego signed in February. Only Mike Trout’s $426.5 million, 12-year deal with the Los Angeles Angels and Mookie Betts’ $365 million, 12-year contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers are worth more. Betts’ deal includes $115 million in deferred payments through 2044.
Lindor’s deal is also by far the largest payout ever from the Mets, surpassing contracts for third baseman David Wright ($138 million), pitchers Jacob deGrom ($137.5 million) and Johan Santana ($137.5 million).
Cohen tweeted Tuesday that Lindor was a “heckuva player and a great guy” and said he hoped to strike a deal. He confirmed the pair had dinner together over the weekend.
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Browns’ Jackson: Clowney could ‘hop on’ Super Bowl contender

By TOM WITHERS AP Sports Writer
CLEVELAND (AP) — When he hit free agency, Malik Jackson had a short list of teams the veteran defensive tackle considered signing with. All of them had to fit one requirement.
They had to be a Super Bowl contender. The Browns were a match.
Jackson, who signed a one-year, $4.5 million deal with Cleveland last week, thinks Jadeveon Clowney might want to follow him to Cleveland.
“It’s one of those things that the team speaks for itself and what we’re trying to build speaks for itself,” Jackson said when asked on a Zoom interview what he would tell Clowney if he could recruit him to the Browns. “So if you want to hop on board, come hop on board.
“I understand the free agency market isn’t what he probably wants, but things are bigger than monetary value and you get a chance to be on a good team and set yourself up for the future.”
Clowney visited the Browns last week, renewing a courtship that began last year when Cleveland offered him a long-term contract before he signed with Tennessee for one season. The Browns are now looking at Clowney again, but it’s a different view after he didn’t have a sack and missed eight games because of a knee injury and surgery in 2020.
Clowney left without signing a contract, and the Browns are still believed to be interested in him.
And while the 31-year-old Jackson may not have Clowney’s resume, he’s excited about joining a team with Super Bowl aspirations after Cleveland ended its postseason drought and won a playoff game last year before losing to Kansas City.
Jackson, who spent the past two seasons in Philadelphia, won a Super Bowl with Denver in 2015. He said if that’s what the Browns want to do, then that has to be their goal from the outset.
“I think the day after the Super Bowl, if you’re not saying my team’s going to the Super Bowl next year, then you’re wrong,” he said. “I think you have to put yourself in the mindset of being great and expecting to be great. And let things fall where they may after now 17 weeks.
“I don’t think it’s bad to ever have expectations, I think it makes you work harder and it puts expectations on you that you want to meet. I think it’s the right thing to do.”
Jackson was one of several defensive free agent signings by the Browns. He’ll give them depth, experience and leadership. He was slowed the past few seasons by a serious foot injury, but has healed physically and mentally.
“I am way more comfortable, a lot stronger and there are no more mental roadblocks of having a foot injury,” he said. “I feel like I am just going to come back and feel a lot more confident.”
Cleveland’s young roster is loaded with talent, but needed an infusion of players who know what it takes to win.
That’s where Jackson, safety John Johnson III and Troy Hill come in — to take the Browns another step further.
“You have to have guys who know what is happening. What is your mindset?” Jackson said. “What do you have to think about? Where not to go. How not to think too far forward. I think knowledge of the unknown is a big key.
“The team went far last year so I am hoping I am just a little bit of a push to help them go even farther and that way my knowledge deep in the playoffs can really shine.”
Jackson’s deep into his career and knows he’s running out of seasons. He wanted to go somewhere and contribute, but more importantly, he wanted to play with a team he felt had a legitimate chance of winning it all.
Cleveland checked his boxes.
“I did not want to go anywhere that was trying to rebuild,” he said. “I wanted to go somewhere with a consistent team, somewhere I could come in and not have to be the guy and I could just be a supporting role and have opportunities to fight for a job starting and third downs.
“That is all I could ask for.”
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