T.J. Ward talks about Denver’s winning culture vs. Cleveland experience

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TJ Ward interception training camp

Whether or not the Browns will miss T.J. Ward as they welcomed Donte Whitner as his replacement this off-season is up for debate, but I tend to think the Browns will be just fine. That says more about Whitner than it does Ward, but there’s little doubt that you’d have to assume T.J. Ward and the Broncos will likely win more games this season than the Cleveland Browns and Whitner. Sure, this is the NFL, anything’s possible, parity, etc, but everyone in their right mind assumes the Broncos will win more games. That being the case, T.J. Ward’s recent comments about the culture differences shouldn’t be much of a surprise.

“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.”

That’s a culture of expectation that can only be built with consistency in approach, standards and a little bit of success. That exists in the Broncos organization currently for a lot of reasons, but it wasn’t so long ago that they seemed lost with Josh McDaniels drafting Tim Tebow. But the Broncos recognized the error in their ways, hired John Fox and welcomed back John Elway to guide the team as an exec. Those two made the Broncos lull disappear in a hurry.

Obviously Peyton Manning has something to do with this story as well, but I just can’t discount Elway and Fox as leaders. Maybe the Browns finally have that with Scheiner, Farmer, and Pettine. We’ll know in a couple years if the Browns sign Donte Whitner’s replacement and he talks about joining a Browns team and calls it a “winning culture.”

  • FearTheRoo

    The Broncos are in win now mode. They know Manning has only a few seasons left. Trying to stack a team with FA’s rarely works out and will come back to bite them. Don’t really care what TJ has to say. He’s not a Brown anymore…

  • RGB

    It’s a fair cop…

  • maxfnmloans

    let’s see how that winning culture reacts to TJ when he takes a ghastly pursuit angle and gives up a TD, or tries (unsuccessfully) to tackle someone with his shoulder and gives up a TD.

    I was happy when he left. Hey TJ- it’s like Marcellus Wallace said: “One you’re gone, you stay gone. Or, you’ll be gone”

  • Craig Miller

    A slightly above average safety running his mouth. Surprise, surprise. It seems he had his hand personally in many late game defensive collapses.

  • Natedawg86

    So that is the formula for a winning culture. Win games. Didn’t know it was that simple. Too funny TJ. Guess CLE was not trying hard enough

  • mgbode

    TJ: They have this guy Peyton Manning while we were playing this guy Brandon Weeden. Sort of a big difference there.

  • Bob

    Unfortunately, not the only difference. Bronco’s would still be a playoff team with an average QB.

  • RGB

    They also had John Fox and John Elway.
    We had Chud and Lombanner.

  • eldaveablo

    I personally don’t have a problem with what TJ said. I have no doubt it’s true.
    In a strange way, this is exactly why I like that Ward and Jackson are gone. They were both vocal leaders (moreso Jackson), who only knew losing. Swapping out the player/veteran leadership is a major step in a much needed culture shift.
    I loved what those guys gave when they were here – they did the best the could as leaders. We needed to do better than strong leaders that only knew losing.

  • architrance

    Lol. So the Browns should ship out players who only know losing? That would be anyone who’s been on the Browns for any sustained period!

  • architrance

    SERIOUSLY. The Broncos “mistake” was drafting Tebow – who led them to a playoff victory vs. the Steelers. So if that’s a bad year in Denver…

  • mgbode

    honestly, the Browns would be a playoff team with an average QB. when was the last time we had a top16 NFL QB for a full season? Vinnie?

  • BenRM

    I think this is a good point. They hit the refresh button at the top of their browser with some of these moves.

  • RGB

    Vinnie. Giggle…

  • mgbode

    Could you imagine any of the previous Brown’s FO handling the Tebow situation as deftly as they handled it? They were able to rightly see that the Tebow run was not sustainable and move on from him, while landing a HOF QB who set them up for multiple SB runs.

    Tebow happens here and he’s signed to the Flacco contract and we’re stuck for several seasons before we can even attempt to recover.

  • RGB

    We have the Anti-Tebow…

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Funny how things change because last year there were more people around here proclaiming Ward as one of the best safeties yadda yadda yadda in the league. The only things that have changed is his uniform and him not speaking well of his former team. Funny how that all works huh? I’m with you Craig though I always thought Ward was overrated.

  • Harv 21

    Fine. He had three HCs and systems and influxes of players in his 4 seasons. No problem with him feeling relief at stability.

    On the other hand – his own fingerprints were on a number of long TD passes and late-game defensive collapses that otherwise would have put the season records at least close to mediocre. Sometimes I wish these guys had more maturity than they have: when the reporter comes up to you looking for a quote for the cliche “so glad I’m here and not there” story angle, just say “I liked it there fine, and I love Denver and my new teammates.” Crash Davis knew his stuff.

  • mgbode

    I stick by my assessment on TJ. He is a fantastic S. He is great in the box and under-rated by most Browns fans in coverage.

    TJ always was a polarizing player for the team though. Not much reason for those of us that liked him to bring him up.

  • CBI

    Well, he was named to the all pro second team last year (for
    whatever that is worth). In TJ’s four years in Cleveland he had 3 head coaches (would have had his fourth this year) and never saw more than 5 wins in a single season. Gotta think that kind of turnover and constant philosophy change has a negative effect. Personally, I appreciate his professionalism. He could have easily used this opportunity to really rip the Browns.

  • BenRM

    Normally, when someone starts a sentence, “No offense,” you know they mean to offend. Perhaps it’s just because I like Ward, but I feel like he actually doesn’t mean to offend here. It’s just factual.

  • Craig Miller
  • Craig Miller

    Here he tries to maim fellow teammate who at the time was considered a valuable player on the team. Buh bye.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5SyzZY8d3A

  • crobarred

    I don’t have an issue with what Ward said. At least he didn’t go Greg Little and tweet about circling a date on a calendar and getting his revenge.

  • CBI

    I see your link and raise you a charitable event link: http://www.cleveland.com/browns/index.ssf/2013/08/cleveland_browns_tj_ward_will.html

    I did like how the author of the article refereed to Ward as “One of the NFL’s premier “box” safeties” though.

    Hey, I never said the guy was perfect. He’s probably had plenty of chances to rip the Browns and if this is the best you got, you really need to read Channing Crowder comments about Cleveland.

  • CBI

    Maim? Really?

  • mgbode

    He was supposed to patty-cake him down. Of course, CM would have just used that clip to show how he missed tackles. Sometimes, you cannot win.

  • Craig Miller

    Whatever, Ward is gone who cares what he says. We have been ripped by better than him.

  • Craig Miller

    First, they should not play team mates against one another that was stupid. And if Gordon wasn’t doing his Bob Marley imitation that could have cost the franchise huge if he was injured, third, who really cares what T.J. Ward says?

  • mgbode

    on third, apparently you do.

    and, on the probowl, they really should make it a flag football game. tackle doesn’t work when people aren’t completely invested in the outcome.

  • woofersus

    Nothing to see here. About as gentle a truth bomb as one can drop.