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Browns’ Austin Hooper distances himself from Jason Witten comparisons

Austin Hooper, Jason Witten, Browns

The Cleveland Browns signed Pro Bowl tight end Austin Hooper to a four-year deal this offseason and will hope the 25-year-old continues to ascend as one of the top players at his position.

Just avoid comparing him to Jason Witten.

Hooper said he dislikes Witten’s purported selfish mentality, noting he hopes to help Cleveland’s other tight ends grow and thrive:

“My style, I’ve never really been a rah-rah guy at all,’’ Hooper said, via Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com. “I just kind of like to lead by example, and if people have questions, I will answer them. I am an open book. I don’t try to hoard information. I don’t like doing the whole Jason Witten deal where it is me versus everyone else in the tight end room. I think it is more like we are all in this together. David, Harrison, Stephen [Carlson], Pharaoh [Brown], Nate [Wieting], we are all in this together.

“I look at it as just like a big family in our room. We all have one common goal, and that is to win our reps. However someone does it a certain way, that resonates with someone else’s learning process better. I think just like any other workplace, it’s better when it is collaborative and not combative…”

While Hooper does not want to be perceived in the same light as Witten, the Browns would not mind if he provided “prime Witten” production.

Witten ranks second all-time among tight ends in both receptions and receiving yards, and he has four different seasons with at least 1,000 yards receiving.

Hooper appears to be on the rise. The former Stanford standout had 75 receptions for 787 yards and six touchdowns last season and might benefit from lining up alongside star Browns receivers Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr.

Regardless of individual success, however, it is “we” over “me” for Hooper.