Washington Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan praised Art Modell, the former majority owner of the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens who died Thursday at age 87.

Art Modell (Gary Hershorn/Reuters)

“I had a chance to be around him a little bit with all the times we played Cleveland when I was in Denver,” Shanahan said. “I had a chance to get to know him a little bit. I always liked him—a first-class guy.

“He always treated me well. He always had time to sit down and talk. When you’re an assistant football coach, not a lot of owners do that. So I considered him a friend.”