Old habits apparently die hard for Mike Holmgren.
When the former Cleveland Browns president found himself driving by the team’s training facility Friday, he couldn’t help but stop in.
Unfortunately for Holmgren, he arrived at the start of an afternoon training camp practice — and immediately became the center of attention.
“I thought practice would be over and I was going to sneak in,” he said, chuckling. “Just sneak in and sneak out. I’m not reflecting on anything right now.”
Holmgren’s tenure running the Browns officially ended last Nov. 30 when he was replaced by new owner Jimmy Haslam III. He left the franchise under good terms — shortly after Haslam hired Joe Banner as CEO — and was paid the remainder of his five-year, $40 million contract.
Haslam embraced Holmgren during his on-field appearance, which also included visits with Banner and general manager Michael Lombardi.
“I still miss it tremendously, but that’s what it is right now,” said Holmgren, who is in northeastern Ohio to attend the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony. “I’m doing a little radio thing in Seattle, so that’s fun, and just traveling a little bit and doing some things that I haven’t been able to do for a long time.”
Holmgren served as Cleveland’s president from 2010-12 after being hired by former owner Randy Lerner. Prior to joining the Browns, he spent 17 seasons coaching the Packers and Seahawks, winning the Super Bowl with Green Bay in 1996.
Running back Trent Richardson spent several minutes chatting with Holmgren, giving a warm hug to the man who selected him with the third overall pick in the 2012 draft.
“It means a lot when I see old Holmgren, man, because he gave me a shot by picking me,” Richardson said.
Richardson sat out practice after being kicked in the right shin Thursday at practice, and is listed as day-to-day. Cleveland coach Rob Chudzinski said he was held out for precautionary reasons, but would have played if the team had a game scheduled. ... Safety T.J. Ward (hamstring), running back Montario Hardesty (hamstring), wide receiver David Nelson (knee), tight end Brad Smelley (hamstring), cornerback Trevin Wade (tightness), guard Oniel Cousins (ankle), tackle Ryan Miller (concussion), and fullback Brock Bolen (calf) also sat out the 21/2 hour session.