Getting Healthy, Part VI

Posted by jamirhowerton on May 31, 2011 – 8:44 pm

Tuesday, May 31, 2011:

Cleveland Browns fans, welcome back to my Getting Healthy with the Browns blog.

Memorial Day weekend was tough for me because you’ve got to have good, All-American brownies and vanilla ice cream. As far as the hot dogs, hamburgers, things of that nature, I was able to kind of plan out my meals, which our chef, Monica Horn, gave strict advice on and that was really good. We made our salads, chicken sausages, chicken breasts, very lean sirloin steaks that were only six ounces, so the portion control was great. What got me were the desserts. I had some, but just had to keep it in moderation.

I was able to at least work out and I ran over the weekend. The heat was great, so I got a chance to sweat some pounds off. I also got a chance to walk nine holes and play some golf.

Shedding six to eight pounds has really put me back on course. Now, it’s just mentally breaking through to see how I would look lighter. I just don’t want to look unhealthy. You feel good; you feel alive and know you needed to get that winter weight off of you. That’s basically been the big thing. For the most part, it was understanding what I was eating, what I was putting into my food and I think that has given me a lot of confidence. I know what 1,500 calories looks like and know what you’re supposed to be eating, the portions of the meat to be the size of the palm of your hand. To have that knowledge, that has given me the strength to know that if I go out, let me box up half this meal and eat half of it now.

When you start working out and you shed a few pounds, you start to see the difference, you realize how much work you put into attaining some goals and you become really competitive at corn hole. I’ve never played it, but you just become competitive at everything, so it was kind of cool.

Check back in with the blog and follow me on Twitter for updates on Getting Healthy with the Browns.

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Getting Healthy, Part V

Posted by jamirhowerton on May 26, 2011 – 5:36 pm

Thursday, May 26, 2011:

Cleveland Browns fans, welcome back to my Getting Healthy with the Browns blog.

The transition from the vacation in New York has been going great. I think, just for me going through this whole new process, it was really good for me to get away and be put through a challenge of having different spots that I love to eat at and finding creative ways to work out. You’ve got the facilities here, right at your fingertips and going back home to deal with the challenges and hoping the weather will hold up so you can at least get a workout in, was really good for me to go through to see how strong I could be. To come back, hit it hard and do double-time two miles in my neighborhood and get here in the gym, it has been going great. I’m definitely happy to be back on my strict diet from Chef Monica Horn and workout from Kent Johnston.

The challenges will be tough because it’s Memorial Day weekend and there are two barbeques that are going on in my neighborhood, but that’s when I just have to make smart, healthy choices. Monica has told me that planning the meals out is basically the key, so I’ll eat as much salad as I can. I don’t eat pork anyway, so I’m not going to miss the barbecued ribs, but I love beef brisket. You can have it in moderation, but I’ll have chicken sausage, turkey burgers, plenty of salad. I am a fan of potato and macaroni salad, but I have to keep those two things in moderation. As far as the flavored waters, I’m good to go. No juice and no soda.

Check back in with the blog and follow me on Twitter for updates on Getting Healthy with the Browns.

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Getting Healthy, Part IV

Posted by jamirhowerton on May 24, 2011 – 1:40 pm

Tuesday, May 24, 2011:

Cleveland Browns fans, welcome back to my Getting Healthy with the Browns blog.

The toughest challenge for me was just going away on vacation to New York and I’ve got to admit, I stuck to my goals Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I worked out twice and got to go back to my old high school, Bayshore High, where we have a beautiful track and a great facility. I got a chance to run, jog and do some sit-ups and push-ups just to maintain. The challenge was going to various restaurants and definitely hitting up a couple of nice spots. With one Italian restaurant in particular that my dad and I go to, we shared our portions. That was the thing, I got a chance to taste the good, rich food, but I shared. Instead of a bowl of soup, I got it broken down into a cup. Where you would get three big, huge chicken cutlets for your chicken parmesan and six huge stuffed shells, I just broke it down and said, ‘Let me just have two stuffed shells and a piece-and-a-half of chicken.’ I was able to cut my portions down and still enjoy myself on my vacation. Not to give up any numbers on my weight, I maintained. I didn’t gain and I didn’t lose.

Now that I’m back, I’m back on it. My dad thinks this is great for me. He wishes he had an opportunity to do something like this, but now that I’m back, he made a joke, ‘Oh, now that you’re back in Ohio, are you going to start recounting your calories?’ I’m like, ‘Yep.’ I started this morning and I’m back to my strict diet that Monica Horn has put me on and back to my working out twice a day because I have four weeks before I have to meet up with my strength and conditioning coach, Kent Johnston. I definitely want to have my body mass down and my weight down.

I definitely needed that break. I left on a Thursday and I definitely worked out the three days before I got to New York. Friday and Saturday mornings, I definitely got a chance to exercise, so I maintained. I didn’t get a chance to lift weights or do some of the exercises Coach Johnston had me do. I’m back home now and I’m going to be good.

Check back in with the blog and follow me on Twitter for updates on Getting Healthy with the Browns.

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Getting Healthy, Part III

Posted by jamirhowerton on May 19, 2011 – 4:27 pm

Thursday, May 19, 2011:

Welcome everybody to Getting Healthy with the Browns.

This week has been a very good week. I’ve been following my program with Coach Kent Johnston, who’s given me a series of endurance exercises to work on my body composition because that was one of the areas I needed to work on, reducing weight as well as my body mass index, which was very high. I’ve been doing a lot of cardio exercises which consists of 20-25 minutes on the treadmill, another 15 on the elliptical and then, I’ll go into the fieldhouse and run five 30-yard wind sprints down and back.

I’ve been working closely with Monica Horn, which you will see on the next Browns Insider to air May 26, where I learn how to make healthy choices at the dinner table, at the breakfast table and the kitchen. I’m learning how to keep my calories under 1,400, which is a lot of food to eat, but it’s also good, healthy food that I’ve been eating. So far, I’ve lost a total of six pounds.

We received a question about core strength and from what I’m learning, the definition of core strength is strengthening your stomach muscles, your upper to lower abdomen muscles, as well as your lower back muscles, your midsection so to speak. When men get older and if you’re sitting at the table taking in a lot of calories and not as active as you should be, everything goes to your core. What you wouldn’t want to do is strengthen your core with a flabby body, so if you need to shed the pounds, I was told to work out, shed the pounds and then start to strengthen your core. You want to kick the fat off and then, you’ll start to strengthen your muscles.

It’s been a week-and-a-half since I drank any type of juice. Friends that know me know I’m a fan of Gatorade, fruit punch, berry punch, lemonade with iced tea mix. I love all of that and I have not had any juices, orange juices, grapefruit juices, apple juices, white grape juices, none of that. I’ve been drinking strictly water, Aquafina Flavor Splash. That Flavor Splash has been my juice. It is delicious and that’s one of my major hurdles.

I have a couple days off and I’m going to go home and visit my dad. I’m from New York and one thing that New Yorkers pride themselves on is pizza. I’m actually going to go to a Yankee game, cheer our (New York) Mets on and when you go to a baseball game, there are hot dogs. If you’re in Rome, you’ve got to do as the Romans do. It’s going to be very challenging for me not to eat a hot dog, not to have a slice of pizza or the huge, big pretzels. Everybody who comes to New York has to get a pretzel.

Plus, with the Italian food, you would think I’m part Sicilian because all of the Italian restaurants that are in New York, I just love pastas. There’s a lot of really rich, ethnic restaurants, anything from Italian, Jamaican, that are very good soul-food restaurants. I’m going to have to stick to my Kosher delis, eat my salads and make sure I hit my old high school, Bayshore High School, and while I’m there, get at least two to three days of running and exercise.

Check back in with the blog and follow me on Twitter at!/jamir2010browns for updates on Getting Healthy with the Browns.

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Getting Healthy, Part II

Posted by Matt Florjancic on May 17, 2011 – 1:36 pm

Monday, May 16, 2011:

Hello Browns fans. I’m Jamir Howerton and thank you for joining me on my blog.

Since the show, everything has been going well. It’s just more or less portion control. Heading into this weekend, I had work. With the weather, it was hard to be active in my yard. I had to cover the USA Football Coaching School and was able to get in a workout here, but I’ve got to be honest, I did cheat a little bit.

For lunch, I went to my favorite wings spot. I’m counting calories and I realized that having a taste of what I thought I was missing really upset my stomach. I felt like I was missing something with all the hard work I’ve been putting in, but on Sunday, I was out running in the neighborhood. All the people thought I was Rocky Balboa because I was jogging through the streets and I was shadowboxing and burning calories. I was able to run for 35 minutes and jump rope for another ten minutes. I got in a good 45-minute workout, which burnt off about 400 calories. That meal I took in on Sunday of 1,300 calories, I burned off a good portion of it. That was the main thing. You’re going to cheat, but you’ve got to be smart about it.

You don’t want your body to go into starvation mode and this is what I’m learning from Coach Kent Johnston. When you check out the next episode of Browns Insider, I’m learning from Monica Horn, who’s our chef, but more so Coach Johnston said, ‘You’ve got to put something in your stomach because you don’t want your body to go into starvation mode because it’ll start storing fat.’ I had to wake up early on Sunday as if I was going to work. I ate a balanced breakfast, but I knew I was going to go out with my family and cheat a little bit. It was tough not to eat something while the basketball game was on. For the last game, I enjoyed a chicken salad. It was a three-ounce chicken breast that I diced up and had a spinach salad with that.

The key is not to eat past eight o’clock and it was tough to follow that this weekend.

Check back in with the blog and follow me on Twitter at!/jamir2010browns for updates on Getting Healthy with the Browns.

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Getting Healthy, Part I

Posted by Matt Florjancic on May 12, 2011 – 8:16 pm

Hello Browns fans. I’m Jamir Howerton and welcome to my Getting Healthy with the Browns blog. Here’s some insight into why I started this routine and what I’ve been doing to get in shape as we head into the summer months.

The idea came from the fact that I was approaching 40 years old and I started to look at my eating habits. I found I was just basically working out to eat whatever I wanted and realized that my metabolism wasn’t as high and the weight continued to start coming on. Just like anything, during the wintertime, you find food for comfort and I found a little too much comfort. I wanted to come into this year and shed a few pounds, not to go crazy, but just learn how to work out the proper way.

I always had a basic workout program. I’ve never been the type of guy to get in the gym and bench press a bunch of weight or lift a bunch of barbells. I wanted to learn how to work out the proper way. Being around this industry for the past 18 years of my life, you would think you would know how to work out properly from all the different strength and conditioning coaches that you’ve come across. I kind of took it for granted. I would get in the gym, do my mile or two and the basic sit-ups and push-ups, three sets of 25 and lifted a little weight here and there. I was always a small-frame guy.

The first couple of days, from a workout standpoint, have gone normal. I’ve been trying to learn the science of muscle confusion because you just don’t want to continue to be in the same routine because your muscles in your body would just get used to it. I’ve substituted running and yard work. When you’re raking up dead grass and cutting the grass, you’re actually using muscles that you wouldn’t normally use in a basic workout. I’m also learning core treatment. Working out the core stabilizes your lower back and stomach. As you become a middle-aged man, these are the things that are apparent.

The biggest thing for me is the eating portion. I downloaded an App on my IPhone and basically, it’s helping me count my calories and I’ve gone in and set up my own plan. It just gives you a guideline to see how much food that you’re actually taking in. For a guy my size and with my activity level, I should be taking in no more than 2,500 calories. With that, I’m trying to tell myself that I should be taking in 2,000 to 2,200. That’s been the hard part.

Check back in with the blog over the next four weeks and follow Jamir on Twitter.

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Browns add eight through Draft

Posted by Matt Florjancic on May 1, 2011 – 12:13 am

With the eight picks the Browns made in the 2011 NFL Draft, they focused on adding depth at several positions on the roster.

After selecting defensive tackle Phil Taylor (No. 21 overall), defensive end Jabaal Sheard (No. 37), wide receiver Greg Little (No. 59), tight end Jordan Cameron (No. 102), fullback Owen Marecic (No. 124), defensive back Buster Skrine (No. 137) offensive lineman Jason Pinkston (No. 150) and defensive back Eric Hagg (No. 248), the front office and coaching staff felt as though the Browns accomplished that objective.

“I think we’ve added good football players,” said General Manager Tom Heckert. “We talked about the toughness factor, but that’s always been our goal. I think we proved that last year with Joe (Haden) and T.J. (Ward). Obviously, we helped our defensive line, which was a concern, but we just think we got good football players to come in and help us and we needed to get some young players in there. We think we did that.”

“As you can see, we placed a priority on filling the roster a little bit without reaching, which is the trick in the draft,” President Mike Holmgren said. “I think these guys (Heckert and Coach Pat Shurmur) did a marvelous job.”

The Browns also felt they added players who like to be physical and do not shy away from contact.

“That’s an underlying component of football in general, you like to have tough guys,” Shurmur said. “Let’s not undersell a guy’s ability to play the game, but if you get tough guys in the building, we feel that’s going to pay dividends.

“I feel extremely good about what we’ve accomplished,” he added. “We picked players that we feel like are going to have a chance to come in here and start and compete right away. We’ve got guys that we really feel good about and they’re players we like. If we came out of this draft with a lot of good players, we were going to get better and I think that’s what we’ve accomplished.”

The Browns made five selections on Saturday afternoon, the first of which was Cameron.

In two years at USC, the 6-foot-5, 235-pound Cameron caught 16 passes with one touchdown and gained 126 yards. Cameron started his collegiate career at Brigham Young University and redshirted as a forward on the basketball team. He later transferred to Ventura (Calif.) Junior College and earned All-Western State Conference Pacific Division honorable mention accolades after catching 22 passes for 348 yards and five touchdowns.

“He hasn’t played a whole lot of tight end or football for that matter, but he’s big; he’s super athletic; he’s got really good hands,” Heckert said. “As you watch him through the year, I know his production was not great, but when he did play, we thought he played very well. He played well at the all-star game; he performed well at the Combine. We’re excited. We thought this kid was a top athlete and we’re excited about him.”

“I think he’s a pup first of all,” said Holmgren. “He has played, as Tom mentioned, but his best years are clearly ahead of him. He was a basketball player, and a very good one, and he adapted to the football game, which isn’t always easy for a basketball player, at a difficult position. The tight end position is a very difficult position. You have to have the skill of a receiver and the toughness of a lineman and are asked to do a lot of things.”

After taking Cameron earlier in the fourth round, the Browns selected Marecic out of Stanford University. Marecic gave the Cardinal some versatility, seeing time as a fullback and linebacker.

In his career, the 6-foot-1, 244-pound Marecic rushed 36 times for 67 yards and nine touchdowns. Last fall, Marecic finished with 46 yards and five touchdowns on 23 rushing attempts.

“He’s going to be a fullback for us,” Heckert said. “He’s a great kid, a super-hard worker. He’s a legit fullback. He can lead block, catch the ball. He can run the football. His strength is blocking and catching. We think he’s going to be a great special teams player. We think Jordan Cameron’s going to be a good special teams player too.”

The Browns went back to the defensive side of the ball with Skrine at the 137th pick.

Skrine was a two-time first team All-Southern Conference selection for the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Mocs. Despite dislocating his elbow on a kick return against Appalachian State University, he finished his senior season with 39 tackles, 29 solo stops and posted a team-leading six tackles against the Auburn Tigers.

Skrine had five interceptions in his career and was elected captain as a senior.

“He’s super athletic and can fly,” said Heckert. “He’s a really fast kid. I think he’s had four different position coaches, so I think he can only get better. We’re excited to have him. I think he can play outside; he can play inside for us. We think he’s a good player that can run.”

With the 150th pick in the draft, the Browns selected Pinkston out of the University of Pittsburgh. The Browns sent both of their sixth round picks, Nos. 168 and 170, to the Minnesota Vikings in exchange for the 150th selection.

During his career, Pinkston spent the majority of his time at left tackle. He earned first team All-Big East honors as selected by the league coaches and second team All-American recognition from both and in 2009.

“If he had to play left tackle, he could, but he can play right tackle, guard,” said Heckert. “Anytime you can draft an offensive lineman that has that type of versatility, you’re in good shape. He’s another guy that we liked, obviously because we traded both of our sixths to move up and get him. Hopefully, he comes in and plays well for us.”


1st Round

No. 21 overall-Phil Taylor (DT/Baylor)

2nd Round

No. 37-Jabaal Sheard (DE/Pittsburgh)

No. 59-Greg Little (WR/North Carolina)

3rd Round

No selections

4th Round

No. 102-Jordan Cameron (TE/Southern California)

No. 124-Owen Marecic (FB/Stanford)

5th Round

No. 137-Buster Skrine (DB/Tennessee-Chattanooga)

No. 150-Jason Pinkston (OL/Pittsburgh)

6th Round

No selections following trade up to No. 150

7th Round

No. 248-Eric Hagg (DB/Nebraska)

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Eric Hagg picked at 248

Posted by Matt Florjancic on May 1, 2011 – 12:09 am

With their final pick, a compensatory selection at No. 248, in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Browns selected defensive back Eric Hagg from the University of Nebraska.

It was the second straight year in which the Browns selected a former Cornhuskers defensive back on day three of the Draft. Last year, they picked Larry Asante in the fifth round at No. 160 overall.

“I had no indication,” Hagg said of the call from the Browns. “I had a couple of other teams call me and tell me they were possibly going to pick me up, but to actually get the call, I was like in awe. I was in shock. I didn’t even know if I was to believe it was true, actually.”

Hagg was a second team All-American selection by and a third teamer by the Association Press. He was a unanimous first team All-Big 12 pick in 2010.

He registered 49 tackles, including 39 solo stops and one sack during the 2010 season, but made his biggest impact in pass coverage. After intercepting just one pass in three previous seasons, Hagg collected five takeaways in 2010. His longest return, a 26-yarder in a 45-17 win over Colorado, set up Rex Burkhead’s four-yard touchdown pass to Kyler Reed.

“The position I played at Nebraska was the nickel position,” Hagg said. “Most teams say it was the drop-down safety.  I would assume that I would be able to play corner and safety, but it really depends on what the coaches want me to do and I will work at what they want me to do.

“My playing style would be close to the line of scrimmage, getting my hands on the receivers, running with them, being a little bit physical at the line and then, being able to go after the ball when it’s in the air,” he added.

Hagg was not an experienced returner on special teams but set a Nebraska record with his 95-yard punt return touchdown in a 20-13 loss to the University of Texas.

“That strictly depends on what the special teams coach or coaches want,” he said of being a returner in the NFL. “I’ll definitely do anything that they want me to do. I’ll be ready to do anything.”

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