LeBron James took the spotlight away from Johnny Manziel for a day at the Cleveland Browns training camp on Thursday.

James, his two sons -- LeBron Jr. and Bryce -- and some friends attended the closed practice in Berea, Ohio.

James spent an hour on the sideline as the Browns went through a morning workout in preparation for Saturday's exhibition opener in Detroit. It was James' first public appearance since re-signing with the Cavaliers last month.

After practice, the four-time MVP took time for the usual greetings and photos.

James met players inside, then spent time chatting with Manziel on the field.

Head coach Mike Pettine said James had reached out about visiting the Browns and that "it was something we had been looking forward to."

"I do know that I'm going to be father of the year now," Pettine said. 'My daughter got a picture with LeBron. She could care less about a picture with me."

Pettine now has met Browns Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown and James in the same week.

"That's two things off the bucket list," Pettine said.

James, who was an all-state wide receiver in high school, is a fan of the game.

"He just asked how camp was going," Pettine said. "You could tell he's into it and loves football. He said he'll be at the games when it's warm and when it's cold he'll be watching from his basement."

James walked off the field holding hands with his two boys and declined comment saying, "I'll see you tomorrow."

James' homecoming to Northeast Ohio is being celebrated with an event in Akron on Friday night.

James' arrival has given Cleveland fans hope they can celebrate another championship one day. It's been 50 years since the Browns won the NFL title, the last Cleveland team to win it all.

Offensive tackle Joe Thomas believes the synergy in a city where teams start to win at the same time can make a difference.

"You have to have a good team first and foremost," Thomas said. "That's going to be our main goal, but I definitely feel like you get the fans excited. The Indians fans are the same fans as the Browns fans and I think that atmosphere can definitely help when you play at home. I think it can kind of spill over to everything you do with the franchise. You bring a little optimism in and I think that can make a little bit of a difference."