BEREA - Browns linebacker D'Qwell Jackson took a trip during the offseason that he won't forget anytime soon.
Jackson was part of a small group of NFL players who traveled to Afghanistan to visit U.S. military troops. The trip was arranged by the NFL and the USO.
Jackson gained a newfound respect for the military. He said he felt safe during the visit, but there was an occasion when the situation got uneasy.
"We actually had a missile attack at one of the camps we were staying at," Jackson said. "It was a false alarm. That day we had a full day and I slept through it. It was reality in your face. It was no joke."
What caught Jackson's attention were the looks on the faces of soldiers who were arriving back to the base from a combat zone compared to those who were preparing to move to the zone.
"The guys that were coming back were smiling," Jackson said. "On the other hand there were guys with their headsets on. That's when I started getting nervous. You look around for a kid that's going to freak out. Not at all. Those kids were as calm as day."
The intent of the trip was to cheer up the troops. If anything, it worked in reverse.
"They said we did everything for them, but just to be around those guys and to hear their personal stories was definitely amazing," he said.
That will change today when Lombardi and Banner address the media in a pre-draft press conference. Don't expect any revealing details. Pre-draft press conferences are designed to do nothing more than confuse the opposition with misinformation.
"I don't know too much of what's going on with that situation," Chudzinski said. "I have enough on my plate here. Nothing has changed in terms of us and what we're doing."
"It puts a ton of pressure on you," Kruger said. "That's a good thing. That's what sports are all about. There's a lot of pressure around it. It's good, too. It gets you excited to come out here and work hard."