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Cleveland Browns Free Agent Signings: Ex-Pitt players and coaches likely behind Aaron Berry joining the team

Kevin Casey

On Monday, I wrote about former Pitt cornerback Aaron Berry joining the Cleveland Browns. Berry missed last year with the Jets after an ACL injury and was a free agent. If you read into comments made by Browns' general manager Ray Farmer, it sounds as if some former Pitt players and coaches may have had a little to do with his signing:

We recognize that he's had missteps, as does he. Before and after that adverse period in his life, members of our coaching staff and players in our locker room worked with Aaron. From a communication standpoint, there's a degree of comfort we have with him, and a degree of comfort he'll have with the Browns.

The Browns have several Pitt players currently on their roster, including Dion Lewis, Jason Pinkston, and Jabaal Sheard. The coaching staff also includes some former Pitt coaches, including tight ends coach Brian Angelichio and Jeff Hafley, who was his secondary coach at Pitt. They are obviously some of the players and coaches referenced above.

In addition, head coach Mike Pettine also coached Berry in New York in 2012. Pettine surely had some input in bringing him in, but what the Pitt players and former coaches also said would have played into it a great deal, too.

Berry came to the Browns with some baggage, so finding a team interested in giving him another shot wasn't a done deal. But this sounds like a case of a few ex-teammates vouching for him.

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