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Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Cleveland Browns QB Deshaun Watson case: 'We need to keep an open mind'

Rice, a lifelong Browns fan, went one-on-one with 3News' Russ Mitchell on Thursday at Firestone Country Club in Akron.

AKRON, Ohio — One of the nation's top Cleveland Browns fans is in Northeast Ohio this week and had plenty to say about her favorite team. 

Former U.S. Secretary of State and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice sat down for a one-on-one interview with 3News' Russ Mitchell in Akron, where she is serving as Ambassador for the 2022 Bridgestone Senior Players Championship.

Rice told Mitchell that she has been a fan of the Browns since around the age of 4.

"Growing up in Alabama, we didn't have any (NFL) teams, so you chose the team that was on the television all the time. In those days, it was the Cleveland Browns," she recalled. "My dad was a big Browns fan. From Jim Brown, to Paul Brown, Otto Graham, Lou Groza, every Sunday was Browns Sunday."

Nowadays she still keeps a close eye on the Browns, including the ongoing investigation into sexual misconduct claims made against quarterback Deshaun Watson. While four civil cases are still pending, former federal judge Sue L. Robinson will decide if Watson violated the NFL's personal conduct policy.

"We all need to keep an open mind and let Judge Robinson do her work," Rice said. "It was collectively bargained as the process that would be used. It's a serious matter. I'm going to keep an open mind and see where this comes out. I hope it will be resolved soon. I have a lot of confidence in the arbitrator (Robinson)."

How closely associated is Rice to the Browns? In 2018, reports circulated that Rice was on the wish list to become the team's head coach.

"I think there were much better qualified candidates, including Kevin Stefanski, whom I have a lot of regard," Rice said smiling.

While her NFL coaching career never quite transpired, Rice still has one play she won't call if given the chance.

"I would never, ever call a prevent defense under any circumstances. I think that maybe resonated with Browns fans."

The 67-year-old Rice served first as National Security Advisor in the George W. Bush administration before becoming Secretary of State in 2005. She is currently director of the Hoover Institute at Stanford University. 

During their interview, Rice also spoke about the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, rising gas prices, the Jan. 6 committee, and more.

RELATED: Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice believes COVID-19 pandemic may have influenced Russian President Vladimir Putin to invade Ukraine

 You can watch the entire conversation between former Secretary of State Rice and Russ Mitchell in the player below:

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