During their final media sessions, Cleveland Browns players lamented the failures of the 2021 season. Coming in with high hopes, the 8-9 finish was not good enough for anyone. Two of the new players, John Johnson III and Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah had specific concerns related to the team’s performance.
Owusu-Koramoah, a rookie, wished the team was bonded more as he saw in college at Notre Dame. The linebacker hopes that changes in 2022.
Johnson, the team’s big free-agent addition during the 2021 offseason, had a more specific critique. He noted the need for a better relationship between the players and the training staff but specifically noted the lack of yoga as a big concern for the players’ health.
During his final media availability of the season, GM Andrew Berry addressed Johnson’s concerns noting the limitations due to COVID-19 protocols:
I think the reality of it is what we have seen the past two years with the tier limits because of COVID-19 protocols in place, you do have to make some – ‘cuts’ is probably the wrong word – decisions, particularly with some certain outside practitioners that you would not necessarily normally have those restrictions in a year when you are not playing in a pandemic. Because of those limits, some of the services that we would bring in out of the building, we have not been able to in probably a year or two, but it is something that is certainly top of mind for us.
Berry reported that he and Johnson had spoken after the safety’s concerns were made public.
It is interesting that Berry specifically notes “outside practitioners” as having restrictions. Based on his answer, it seems that the team does not hire some of their own practitioners which led yoga to not be available.
With Johnson’s comments public, the team could decide to hire someone to their staff to answer his concerns. The team’s training staff is not limited in access to the players under any COVID-19 protocols at this time.