Led by coach Mike Pettine and GM Ray Farmer, the Cleveland Browns took the Ice Bucket Challenge Friday.
BEREA, Ohio -- The Cleveland Browns were challenged by both the Baltimore Ravens and New York Jets to take the Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness and funds for ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.
Following practice, nearly two dozen Browns -- including coach Mike Pettine, general manager Ray Farmer and rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel -- were drenched with ice buckets in order to raise awareness for the neurodegenerative condition that eventually causes those afflicted with the illness to lose all motor functions.
THE CHALLENGE: NY Jets challenge Cleveland Browns to #IceBucketChallenge
"It was good. It's for a great cause, and I do want to go ahead and put the challenge out there to the Monday Night (Football) crew, especially Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden," Pettine said. "I know they'll appreciate it. I was around O. J. Brigance, who's afflicted with ALS, in Baltimore and he's just an amazing person. I just think it's for a great cause.
"I got lucky. I'm sure when you review the tape, I was braced for it. I think the buckets, because they were filled with ice, they were a little bit heavy for the guys to lift, so I got some down the back, which was refreshing."
Answering the challenge was personal for Pettine.
Pettine broke into the NFL as a coaching and video assistant with the Ravens in 2002, and quickly rose to coaching assistant/quality control coach in 2003, defensive assistant in 2004, and later, the outside linebackers coach from 2005-2008. During his final five years in Baltimore, Pettine worked alongside Brigance.
Brigance is a former Ravens linebacker, and current senior advisor to player development, who was diagnosed with ALS in May of 2007.
Despite his debilitating condition, Brigance -- both a Super Bowl and Grey Cup championship player -- remains an inspiration to the Ravens, and was presented with the Lamar Hunt Trophy after Baltimore defeated the New England Patriots in the 2012 AFC Championship Game.
He was also honored in 2008 by the Ed Block Courage Award Foundation with the Johnny Unitas Tops in Courage Award for "his strength in the battle against ALS."
"On behalf of the Cleveland Browns and the Haslam 3 Foundation, we accept the challenge that we received from the Ravens and especially, the Jets," Pettine said before taking the challenge. "We'll be making a sizeable donation in the name of O. J. Brigance, who's one of the most amazing human beings I've ever come across on this planet."
Friday's practice was the final one of training camp that was open to the fans, who packed the sidelines along the practice fields at the Berea training facility at an average of more than 3,000 for each on-field session.
And the support the fans gave the team did not go unnoticed by the Browns.
"It's been tremendous," Pettine said. "I came here and the fans had a certain reputation. You kind of sense it from the outside -- the passion, the loyalty. They just proved it over the course of training camp. I think we averaged the most fans the Browns have ever had for training camp.
"You can just sense the enthusiasm. It's something I think is going to be huge for our guys. We want the Dawg Pound to bring back the days of old when home-field advantage will truly be a home-field advantage. You look at what Seattle has been able to do with the 12th man. If we go out there, and are playing good football, and give our fans something to cheer about, they'll be among the loudest in the league."