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30 August 2015

Cleveland Browns Postgame Quotes - Saturday, August 29, 2015

HEAD COACH MIKE PETTINE
 
(Opening Statement)
“Injury-front – Duke [Johnson] diagnosed with a concussion, as well as [Pierre] Desir, [Charles] Gaines [has] a soft tissue groin injury. It’s a groin. The only other thing that came up was [Nate] Orchard’s back was bothering him so but we held him out and he’s going to get that evaluated in the morning.
 
“Overall I thought we did some good things, there is nothing like winning and winning on the road. We wanted to make sure we finished it. I thought we got off to a good start. The first quarter, I don’t think could have gone better. Defensively we were solid, but just that two-play drive. Two poor plays on our part and they executed. Offensively, we did some good things, I thought coming out of the half that was an important drive for those guys. We debated as to weather or not we were going to have them come out there. Looking back on it now, it was the right thing, a good confidence builder. The still had a lot of their ones in there. We drove the length of the field and scored so I think that really set the tone for the second half. I was proud the way our guys finished the game and that it didn’t get ragged out there. We ran the ball well the second half, but overall lots of good take to teach from. We’re pleased with the effort.”
 
(On not having Terrelle Pryor play)
“We just didn’t feel he could open up and go 100 percent. The choice was to risk it here and not see him again or do you give him another week, essentially, for it to heal up so we can get a good evaluation against Chicago. “
 
(On how confident he was in the team coming out to the third preseason game)
“We felt good about our plans and getting back some of the guys healthy. It was nice to see the secondary out there with the four starters early on. We had [Tashuan Gipson] and Joe [Haden] on a pitch count, but they got their 10 plays and got out. I think that coincided right with the end of the first quarter. We are looking forward to getting K’Wuan [Williams] back so we will have all of those guys out there. We felt good about the plan and this was a team that had played well a week ago against the Bengals. It’s always tough going on the road. That’s why we feel good about our performance. We know there is still a lot of things to get cleaned up. It is still a preseason game but it was good for us to have the momentum after losing the first two at home.
 
(On how he felt seeing Josh McCown running and getting hit)
“He is a competitive guy and the fact that it was Tampa, [I] had to grab him a couple times and just let him know, ‘hey, use your head.’”
 
(On how he thought McCown played overall besides all of the injury scares)
“[He] did some good things, forced a couple balls, but I think there were couple issues – I want to see it on tape – with some leakage on pass [protection]. I didn’t think we did a great job protecting him. He was taking some hits and a couple throws got hurried. I felt we had some things breaking open, but we didn’t hold up upfront. It will be good tape to watch and we have to get cleaned up upfront.”
 
(On the four sacks on the night)
“We felt good about the matchup. I know they are a little banged up in their offensive line, but we wanted our guys to go out there and go hunting – that’s what they do. You get teams in adverse down and distance situations and then you turn those guys loose. I thought Jimmy [O’Neil] did a good job of mixing coverage and pressure and letting those guys rush. I thought he blitzed at opportune times as well. I thought he had a good feel for what they were going to do. Like I said, this was the really first one that we truly game planned for. Both sides of the ball, we felt good about our plan.”
 
(On it being frustrating to lose Duke Johnson with a concussion)
“It is, it is. Hopefully – he’ll be in the protocol – and we can get him back as soon as possible. If you were to say the biggest downer of the night, that would be it.”
 
(On Travis Benjamin’s punt return)
“It’s great to see it. We wanted to make sure we got him some live touches in the preseason and for him to pop the first one. I’m not sure if he really got out of third gear. We blocked it well. I don’t know how many guys he had to make miss, but that’s much like the Travis of old. We talked about the knee and how it is going to take that extra time to get back but I think we are seeing the results with it being two years out.”
 
(On if the weather affected the decision to not play Terrelle Pryor)
“We had the sense coming down here that it was less than likely. We were going to let the trainer decide, but boarding the flight, I thought it would have been less than 50-50”
 
(On if Josh McCown will dress against Chicago)
“Josh [McCown] will not play against Chicago. We will make the decision on who is going to be down, but Josh is going to be one of them.”
 
(On how important that it was for Josh McCown to end his preseason with those two long drives)
“It’s important, there is no substitute. You can always look at it and say, ‘well this will be different and this will be different, but to actually execute and go out and have success, that is what the NFL is. It was a win-win, we got results and at the same time, there is some great tape to teach off of for the things we know we will have to get cleaned up on.”
 
(On how Taylor Gabriel)
“[Gabriel]has been one of our most consistent players. He shows up everyday with a great attitude, perfects his craft, does extra, rarely has a mental mistake and knows all of the positions. I can’t say enough about his professionalism and his production as well.”
 
(On what Josh McCown showed him by taking big hits)
“That’s he’s foolish for one. No, he is a competitive guy and we have to do a better job keeping the pocket clean. There aren’t many competitive quarterbacks that can get through a season like that. It was here, his competiveness and that is why he is definitely not playing against Chicago because that is another former team of his.”
 
(On why they made so many short passing plays)
“I think a lot of their system forces you move the ball underneath, especially when they get in cover-two, they sink and it’s hard to get the ball over the top of it. Your shots really come when they go single safety. So there were times when they played a cover-two look that Josh has played against this system well enough to know that you are not going to get so many shots down the field, don’t force it, and check the ball down.”
 
(On how Charles Gaines has grown)
“I think he got a taste of some success and I think that fed him. It is a confidence thing. When you’re confident, that elevates your play. He got a taste of success and I think it validated, ‘hey, I think I can do this.’ We knew he was a gifted kid, but we needed to get him in and get him coached up and to his credit he has responded to it and it has showed.”
 
QUARTERBACK JOSH MCCOWN
 
(On if he thought it was fun to be back at Raymond James Stadium)
“It was fun to be back out there and win. [That’s] something we didn’t do last year in that stadium. I’m glad to come out here and finally get that done. So yes, in that regard, yes it was fun to get out there and win.”
 
(On him taking a couple of big hits)
“Yeah. You know, it was part of playing the game. I kind of got caught in between on the last one because I had Brian [Hartline] for a second and didn’t want to force the ball, and then situationally, I didn’t really want to throw the ball away because I didn’t want to stop the clock. You want to keep the clock running and get out of the half [first half]. So I kind of leaned back with it. Everyone asked if I was okay, but it didn’t feel as bad as it looked, I think. Other than that, the other ones – I tried to get down the best I can, and like I told you guys before, when they take the field and turn the lights on, lets go compete, and that’s my mindset. I tried to be as judicious as I can be, but relative to us winning, you definitely want to get that done.”
 
(On what memories came to mind when he entered Raymond James Stadium today for the first time since being the Buccaneers starting quarterback last season)
“Well, not really – not a whole lot of memories. Like I said, we didn’t win here, [so] more than anything, just frustrations. You know, things I wish I would’ve done better. And just things that at a point now that I’m going, into a new situation that I want to make the most of, I think that’s the biggest thing. For me, seeing the guys and seeing the relationships that I built through the course of last year. [Over] the  course of this career, [whether] you play on one team or you play on different teams, the main thing is the relationships that you have with the guys. For me that’s what’s most important. [There are] a lot of great guys in that locker room that I have a ton of respect and love for. That’s probably the only thing as far as relative to here that I was thinking about.”
 
(On how he feels about the team’s performance during the preseason and playing against Chicago, his former team, this upcoming Thursday night)
“You know, [we want to] close it out the way we would have liked to, with a drive and I had a touchdown. And so, for a person about to throw another one – there were good things, when you look over the course of the first three games, it’s kind of preseason football. Some ups and downs, some things that you would like to see happen that we got done. We put drives together, we finished drives with touchdowns, we had some good runs, things like that. So I think, for the most part, the preseason has served us well as far as getting the work in. We need it.”
 
(On if today’s start was as good as the team can hope for)
“Yeah, I mean, if we can bottle that up, we could make a lot of money. That’s the key. That’s what we want to do. No question about that. You have moments where you capture that and then you say, ‘Okay that’s where the bar is. Let’s set it there and stay there.’ We’ll do everything we can to make that a norm for us. The defense was lights out. They were awesome. And then Trav [Travis Benjamin] really set the tone with the big punt return and then the special teams played great. It was kind of like, once we finally got out there, we said, ‘We better do our part because everyone is pulling their weight.’ That’s what you want. That’s what makes team football fun.”
 
(On if he expected to go out there in the third quarter)
“I didn’t know how it was going to go. We [he and Head Mike Pettine] had talked about possibly going and possibly not going and so I think, just with the way the half ended and not really getting to finish off that drive, we talked about it and I said, ‘Hey, lets go put another one together.’ Because we felt like we could. It was just a great way to finish the preseason for us as starters. You know, just punching that last one in.”
 
(On if wide receiver Dwayne Bowe and running Duke Johnson were getting acclimated after seeing their first playing time this preseason)
“Yeah, I think so. I mean they are two games behind us. So, yeah, I think in time, we’ll be fine. I’m not worried about that at all. We’ll get those guys rolling and it was good to have them out there.”
 
(Thoughts on Duke Johnson’s injury)
“Yeah. That’s a bummer. It is. It’s disappointing, but those things happen. Hopefully it won’t be too serious and you know, we can get him back soon and get back healthy. But you know, it’s part of the game. It is just a bummer that he waited so long, finally gets out there and then has another setback.”
 
(On the importance of getting some momentum getting built back up after his off performance against Buffalo)
“I think so. Like I said, you go out there [against] Buffalo, and we didn’t finish drives. And of course, you’ve only played that half. Both those interceptions, they were third-and-long. So you know, you throw the ball away, you’re probably not converting those anyway, and like I said, you don’t want to put that on tape. You don’t want to turn the ball over. You can’t do that. For us to go out there and not get accomplished what we wanted to against Buffalo but to come out and respond the way we did, I’m proud of that, the guys, and Flip [Offensive Coordinator John DeFilippo] called a great game. We really, you know, on all parts – the coolest thing to me was, I wish we could have gotten Dwayne [Bowe] a ball, tried to get him that one early, but everybody got a ball. You know, you look across the board and every guy gets the catch and three running backs get a catch, and so, I think that’s a real good way to sum up our preseason, is that we spread the ball around and got everybody a little bit of work.”
 
(On trying to avoid taking big hits)
“You know, I’ve been talked to about taking those hits, so, like I said, I’ll try to be more judicious with that. But, I’ve said this before, I want to win and you know, I want to do what it takes to keep our team, the offense moving and for us to win football games. And you know we talked about that when I came here, the passion of those fans and the way they support us. We’ve got to put it back out there on the field and try to play that way. If that calls for me to lower my head to make sure that we get a first down, then I’ll do that. But at the same time, you know, obviously trying to be smart with that so that we don’t risk injury.”
 
(On what he thought of receiver Brian Hartline’s touchdown catch that was originally deemed incomplete)
“Oh, it was outstanding. And it was cool because we knew it [was a touchdown] when he caught it. You know, you obviously have to further review that they overturned it, but I think the ref realized, you know, Brian Hartline’s reputation as far as catching the ball and making those kind of plays in the league and realized who it was, he was probably like, ‘Yeah, it probably was a catch.’ And sure enough, it showed up. It was an outstanding catch. And when you can do that, when you can put balls in spots where only your guys can get it and then make those plays – Gabe [Taylor Gabriel] made one along the sideline. Same thing, where it’s him or nobody and they make those grabs, that adds to it, and that’s going to be the difference in two or three first downs every game, and so that’s huge for us.”
 
WIDE RECEIVER TRAVIS BENJAMIN
 
(On what he saw during his punt return)
“We had a punt return called to that side. I can’t remember who got that block, but it was a key block on that play, and once he got him and I split, I knew it was me and the punter and I knew I could outrun him.”
 
(On what message Head Coach Mike Pettine gave the team before they took the field)
“Play fast, play Browns football, and just to get a win because we haven’t got a win yet this preseason, and coming to someone’s house and getting a win is great for us.”
 
(On quarterback Josh McCown)
“McCown played well. He played well on his feet. He converted on third downs and every time we needed big plays, he put the ball in the exact place.”
 
(On his return after being injured last year)
“I am 100 percent ready to go out there and play ball.”
 
DEFENSIVE LINEMAN DESMOND BRYANT
 
(On the Cleveland defense)
“We have a great rotation, get in there early, make a couple plays, and let the other guys go in there and eat. This is our last chance before the regular season to make a statement”
 
(On his impressions of defensive lineman Danny Shelton)
“I think he is going to be a real sparkplug for us out there. He is always having fun out there playing the game. He is always running to the ball. He makes plays, he knows exactly what we need, we can rally around him and he can rally around us, he is a good fit.”
 
(On whether he would call the defensive performance ‘perfect’)
“I wouldn’t say perfect, definitely have to look at the tape, see some things to be corrected. It’s definitely a good set. Once again, last dress rehearsal and we want to go out there and make a statement. The Browns are for real this year.”
 
(On his thoughts regarding last season’s defensive line)
“Just like you said, we never had our complete unit together, we had a bunch of different guys starting, it [was] difficult. Us as professionals, we are going out there to get the job done. At times we didn’t get it done like we wanted to, so coaching staff and people in the front office saw that and made adjustments.”
 
WIDE RECIEVER BRIAN HARTLINE
 
(On offensive production)
“I thought it went good. Offense came out and did their job everybody made plays when the ball came their way. We blocked the defense, o-line did their thing, Josh [McCown] did his thing, and receivers did their things. Just overall good.”
 
(On his first year in Cleveland)
“Good, you know kind of bounced around a little bit so it’s no different anywhere else just get used to the team and doing your thing.”
 
(On his confidence in McCown)
“Good, real high. I mean, he is the guy right now. He’s been leading the team, he did a great job tonight you know. He is the guy.”
 
DEFENSIVE END JOHN HUGHES
 
(On overall defensive showing)
“Oh, I thought it was great, Danny [Shelton] and the other guys. Dan with two sacks, Randy (Starks), everybody. We got depth on the d-line. You know anybody that goes down or leaves the game or just needs a [break], everybody that is in there we won’t miss a beat.”
 
(On the importance of tonight’s win )
“It was good because you know everybody looks at the third preseason game. It’s a dress rehearsal of what we can do during the season. So go out there and play the way we did was the way we wanted to play. It was just great it shows what we can do.”
 
(On defensive line depth)
“It’s night and day. You know with adding bodies you know it with [Randy] Starks and adding Danny [Shelton] in the draft. It’s just great to have depth; it’s hard to have depth.”

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