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Former Ohio State Coach Jim Tressel Visits the Browns

His hands clasped behind his back in a familiar pose, Jim Tressel was back on a football sideline.

Just no longer as a coach.

Ousted at scandal-ridden Ohio State and without a team to lead and teach for the first time in 25 years, Tressel visited Cleveland’s training camp, where he intently watched practice, spent time with new Browns coach Pat Shurmur and quarterback Colt McCoy – and even reminisced with former Michigan coach Lloyd Carr.

As he left the Browns’ facility Tuesday, driving a scarlet Mustang convertible with a gray pinstripe that included a few Ohio State block Os, Tressel was asked if he would consider an NFL consulting job.

“Not right now,” he said. “I’m a fan. Always been a Browns fan.”

Tressel’s appearance was a surprise and caused a stir on an otherwise routine morning of camp as the Browns continue installing their new offense and preparing for the upcoming season.

Dressed casually in a golf shirt, shorts and baseball cap, Tressel spent most of the 2-hour-plus workout standing near midfield and watched as the Browns went through their drills.

Tressel and Carr stayed about 25 yards apart during practice.

During a break, McCoy ran over and warmly said hello to Tressel, who had a few motivational words for the second-year quarterback.

“I told him, ‘Hey, Colt. I grew up just a couple blocks down the street,'” said Tressel, whose father, Lee, was a legendary coach at nearby Baldwin-Wallace College. “‘We need ya, buddy.'”

As a kid, Tressel often visited Browns camp with his father. A young Jim Tressel once held the ball for Lou “The Toe” Groza as the Hall of Famer practiced kicking field goals.

At Texas, McCoy twice faced Tressel, losing to the Buckeyes in his second game as a freshman and beating Ohio State as a junior in the Fiesta Bowl. McCoy has a deep respect for Tressel and was excited both he and Carr were on hand.

“It was great,” he said. “To have coaches like that to come out here and watch practice and be around, that’s neat. I played against coach Tressel a couple times in college, so we have a friendly relationship and I was able to go say, ‘Hi, and thanks for coming.’ I know he’s a big Browns fan, so that’s pretty cool.”

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