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Player Quotes - 9/25

Posted Sep 25, 2011

Player quotes from post game locker room interviews following the Browns' 17-16 win over the Miami Dolphins.

CLEVELAND BROWNS PLAYERS

QB Colt McCoy

(On the team gaining confidence from scoring go-ahead touchdown on last drive)- “The offense struggled for the better part of the day but I kept walking down the sideline to the lineman, to the receivers, to the tight ends saying ‘hey, it’s come down this, we need one drive, one drive we can go win this thing.’  The defense battled their butts off all game.  They kept us in the game, they’re the reason we won.  I told them, I said ‘one drive and let’s give it back to the defense because they kept us in this game.’  We put one together.  We got in the two minute offense and guys got open, guys made plays.  I think we hit several different receivers.  Mo (WR Mohamed Massaquoi) ended up making a great play in the end zone.  It’s a great feeling, it’s a great win and certainly we’ll enjoy it.  I have a smile on my face, it’s fun. We played like garbage for the most part of the day.  We’ve got to figure out what the deal is.  A win’s a win and we’re extremely thankful, we’ll never take that for granted.  No Monday’s off for us, we’ve got to get back to work.”

(On how the offense was able to get the touchdown on the last drive)- “When the defense gave us (the offense) the ball back, we had about three minutes, we had a long ways to go.  You just step in the huddle and you have confidence in all of the guys that are in there, and they have confidence in me, and then we just go play.  You forget about all the other balls I missed.  I missed (WR Josh) Cribbs for a touchdown.  I missed a couple of throws early.  We just weren’t in sync.  Also, one of our best players was out of the game, Peyton (Hillis) didn’t make it.  So we had to overcome a lot.  I said ‘hats off’ to the defense but also ‘hats off’ to Cribbs and Mo (WR Mohamed Massaquoi).  Those two guys didn’t practice all week.  They came out, they were injured, they were banged up and they found a way to win.  Mo made two catches on that last drive and Cribbs had one.  We’re getting better and it means a lot to this team, it means a lot to the guys in this locker room.  As ugly as it was, it’s a huge win for us.  We’ll definitely gain some confidence from this and keep pressing on.”

(On missing WR Josh Cribbs on a deep throw early in the game)- “That was a play we had worked on all week, it had worked.  They usually bite on the cross.  I pumped here, my feet were right, I looked back at the guards, everything was right, I just overthrew him.  That happens.”

(On finding his rhythm during the game)- “Thankfully we did.  We were in and out.  We had a drive coming out of halftime that was a great drive.  You go down and get points, kind of set the tone.  Then we kind of fell back into whatever you want to call it, our funk.  I misfired a couple of throws but some throws were there.  We’ve got to make some plays, we’ve got to catch the ball.  But at the end of the day when it’s time to go, it’s time to go get one drive, thankfully we put it together.”

(On how big the defensive offside penalty was on the final drive)- “It was just about as big as the fourth down conversion.  As I was throwing to (WR Josh) Cribbs, I got my knee cut out from under me and it made the ball sail high.  I stepped up, I felt good and it’s just one of those bang-bang things.  He (Cribbs) might have split the defense and scored.  We were able to get a penalty and keep going.”

(On whether the play was set up for RB Montario Hardesty on the fourth down play)- “He was the number one read in that.  We ran that play earlier in the game and they had covered it.  They pressured a lot, they came after us.  When they brought their pressure in the middle, the defensive end peels off with the running back.  I told Montario ‘just go, just get out’.  The defensive end was behind him and it was a big play.”

(On whether he felt mechanically sharp early in the game)- “I wouldn’t say mechanically.  It’s on me to play consistent and to help our team play consistent.  They (Miami) switched up some coverages from the first play to the very last drive.  One of their things is that they don’t play the same coverage on third downs, they don’t play the same on third and short or third and long.  For me, that’s my job to keep us on the field and I thought I did a pretty poor job of that today.  That happens.  I saw a lot of different looks that I hadn’t seen.  We found a way to put it all together at the end.  The offensive line played well.  They (Miami) do a lot of things to try and confuse you.  I thought that the receivers came up big.  Like I said, I will go back and watch the tape tomorrow and there will be a lot of it that will be pretty depressing to watch.  We missed some things -- I misfired a couple of times and we dropped some balls.  Things that can make us a better football team, we’ve got to do.  We won and will move on.”

(On the game-winning touchdown)- “That might have been my best of the day.  It had to be.  I pumped and they were in a two-deep look, so I had to be real careful.  I had to get the ball up and down.  Mo (Massaquoi) did a nice job, he got that guy to bite just a little bit.  I saw him backing up and he really wasn’t that open, but in the NFL, when it is like that, you’ve just got to make a good throw.  Mo did a great job of getting his feet inbounds and it was a good feeling.”

(On filling the role of a hero as quarterback)- “It is way too early to say that I am a hero by all means.  I certainly would be the first to tell you that I’ve got a ton of work to do to lead this football team and we as a team have a lot of work to do.  We earned some confidence today in each other.  When things don’t go right,  you’ve got bad plays and you throw an interception early, and then you rebound, and you come back to find a way to win, that really helps your football team.  For me, trust me, I’ve got a long ways to go, but I am thrilled to be where I am at.  I thank God for the opportunity that I get each and every day to play quarterback here.  I’ve just got to keep getting better.”

(On the play of Montario Hardesty)- “Montario played great.  We thought Peyton (Hillis) was going early, and then when Peyton couldn’t make it, that is hard on a guy.  I’ve been in that situation too in a preseason game.  To have Montario step up and play like he did -- he hadn’t gotten all of the reps this week – it shows a lot about him and I’ll be honest with you, I fed off him today.  He was fired up in the huddle, saying ‘give me the ball’.  He made some real nice cuts in the hole.  He was huge for us.”

(On winning an ugly game)- “I’ll probably be kicking myself about this time tomorrow when I am just finishing up the film and thinking to myself, good night, we don’t have to make it this close.  Hats off to the defense.  Montario (Hardesty) and a lot of guys stepped up (including) Mo (Massaquoi) and Cribbs, who were banged up.  We got a win.”

(On the first quarter offensive struggles)- “I can’t explain it.  We worked on it all week, tempo, tempo, tempo.  We want to get in and out of the huddle.  We’ll continue to evaluate and we’ll see.  I know that we can play well in the first quarter, we’ve just got to do it.”

WR Joshua Cribbs

(On winning a close game)- “We lost a lot of close games like that last year but that is a thing of the past.  We’re starting to be a consistent football team where we are starting to win those games.  The games that we should win.  Whatever way we can, we got it done.  It wasn’t pretty, but at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is (getting) a ‘W’.  I am proud as a champ because I think we played as a team on offense, defense and special teams.  I feel like we really came together out there.”

(On the game-winning drive)- “Even being questionable (to play) today and not being healthy for the game, I am just so excited and proud of the guys.  I am ecstatic.  I’ve got so much energy pumping through me because those are the type of games that we have to start winning.  Every time we get into the huddle, that is what we say, let’s drive it down field, whether we are on the 10, backed up or not.  We went out there and got it done.”

(On overcoming the injury to make a touchdown catch)- “I believe that it (jumping high with an injured leg) just happened.  The ball was in the air and I made a play on it.  I feel like I am an athlete and I should have made that play.  Big athletes make those plays when everyone is counting on them.  You saw how Mohamed (Massaquoi) made that play.  He is one of our big athletes.”

(On having his role diminished because of injury)- “It was hard, but I knew that the guys would do a great job without me, and they did.  I am proud of the whole team and the way we played.  It was remarkable the way the guys bonded together and at the end, the defense totally stopped them.  We put up our last stand and it was enough to get us the win.”

WR Mohamed Massaquoi

(On the game-winning drive)- “The whole team responded (to the challenge) and made big plays to get down the field.  The line did a great job protecting and Colt (McCoy) threw a great ball.”

“We were relaxed.  The mind-set was to go down there (the field) and get a touchdown.  In that situation, you just respond.  Nothing needs to be said because everybody knows what the situation is so you just go out and respond.”

(On the urgency of the drive)- “That is the part of the game that we practice all the time.  There was no added pressure and the guys just responded just like in practice.  We went through and executed when we had to.”

(On the early offensive struggles this year)- “We are going to have to figure that out because for whatever reason, we make these games a little tougher than they need to be so we have to figure out how we can start a little bit earlier.  Coach Jauron and the defense are doing a great job so we just have to make sure that whenever we don’t score as quickly as we need to, or whenever we are a little bit flat, that we are still in the game.”

(On the celebration penalty)- “I don’t even know what it was or why it was called.  I didn’t think that there was anything excessive about it.  It happened and the defense did a great job of responding and making sure that they (Miami) didn’t score or get a field goal.”

CB Joe Haden

(On the victory today)- “Definitely, anytime you win a game it’s amazing, especially the way we won it.  Our offense had to go down there and prove they can score with two minutes left. Then the defense had to come back out and not let them get any yards because if we gave up any more yards it would have been a field goal.”

(On the last defensive series)- “We knew that we had to play to our best ability.  We could not give up an inch so basically everybody just gutted up and did their job.  The d-line was putting pressure on him (QB Chad Henne) sacking him and hitting him the whole game and the DB’s, we just weren’t giving them any room.”

(On defending WR Brandon Marshall)- “It was a really good challenge. He is a great receiver.  He is so strong and big and he uses his weight and his hands really well and I think that was just another step.  I thought I did a good job and Coach (Shurmer) said we did well so it was a good day.”

RB Montario Hardesty

(On having to start at running back today with RB Peyton Hillis out) “In our running back room we always say that when a guy goes down another one has to step up.  One of our guys was down today so I knew I had to step up.  This is a game I have been playing my whole life and I have been waiting for the opportunity and I just wanted to go out there and help the team win.  It was a good win for us and I just wanted to go out there and do my part.”

(On how it felt to play coming off of his injuries) “It was great.  That is how I have been playing football my whole life and that is how I like to play.  When I am out there, sometimes it’s not the things I think about doing, it’s things that happen.  It’s great to know that all of the hard work I have put in (has paid off).  Just this time last year I was at Dr. Andrews getting surgery, so from a full year removed it’s just great to get out there playing with the guys and to play the game I love to play.”

(On being a key part of the victory today) “It was a great opportunity for me.  An opportunity presented itself and I wanted to go out there and play well and play hard, so it was fun.  I haven’t played much football in a long time and it was fun.  To do it on this stage, plus to get a win like that, it was great for our team and we have to take that momentum and keep moving forward.”