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Joe Cullen says he’s well positioned to help troubled players

Joe Cullen

FILE - In this Dec. 9, 2012, file photo, Jacksonville Jaguars defensive line coach Joe Cullen yells from the sidelines during the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Jets in Jacksonville, Fla. Cullen turned down an offer to be Boston College’s defensive coordinator, instead choosing to stay in Jacksonville and help coach Mike Mularkey turn things around. (AP Photo/Stephen Morton, File)


Browns defensive line coach Joe Cullen is best known to NFL fans for a bizarre incident in 2006, when the then-Lions assistant was arrested after going through a Wendy’s drive-through naked. Cullen, who received treatment for alcohol abuse after that incident, says he now thinks he’s well positioned to help players who have had off-field problems related to alcohol.

That’s good because two of the Brown’s defensive linemen, Desmond Bryant and Armonty Bryant, were arrested this offseason for alcohol-related incidents. Cullen told the Akron Beacon Journal that he hopes having learned from his own mistakes helps him work with players who have made their own mistakes.

“I think obviously we all learn from mistakes — everybody — and if there is someone I can help because of a certain situation I’ve been through in my life, I’d obviously definitely do that,” Cullen said. “You have adversity every day. Adversity hits you on the field. You’re going to be down. Are you going to lay down or are you going to get up? Stuff happens. It’s how you react to it.”

The “stuff” that “happens” is rarely as embarrassing as the “stuff” that happened to Cullen, but from all accounts he reacted to it by getting his life, and his coaching career, back on track.