Skip to main content

Burning Questions

Presented by

11 questions for Jedrick Wills Jr., who is relying on sound fundamentals to find success as a rookie 

The 1st-round pick has been rock solid on the Browns offensive line

Jedrick Wills Jr. is locked in.

The first-round rookie has taken a no-nonsense, all-business approach toward the first seven games of his NFL career, and it's paid off in a big way. He's looked the part of a starting left tackle, and the Browns offensive line has been all the better for it. caught up with Wills as he wrapped up his preparations for Sunday's game against the Raiders. What's the mindset of the team as it sits at 5-2 with one more game before the bye?

Wills: It's really just going 1-0 every week and making sure we come in, even after a win, and put in that work for the next game. We're not getting too far ahead of ourselves because we've got one more game and then the bye week. We're really just coming in week in and week out and trying to be 1-0 for that week. A lot of guys have embraced the "1-0 every week" mentality. As a rookie, how does that resonate with you?

Wills: It's about not getting too far ahead of ourselves. If you start looking farther into the season, your mind will pass up the opponent. 1-0 just means you're zeroing in on your opponent for the week and stacking up those days, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and up until the game to go 1-0. How have you gotten better week by week?

Wills: I'm just staying fundamentally sound. It's that time of the season where everybody has an ankle or has a shoulder or something like that and your fundamentals start to get away from you and then you get a little sloppy. To play O-line, you have to be detailed, so I'm just keeping those fundamentals intact and clean. How much of an impact has Joel Bitonio had on you?

Wills: It's nice to be next to someone like that with experience. He knows what things are coming, he's got a feel for the game and it slows it down for them. Having somebody like that in my hip pocket that I can kind of lean on is great. A lot of the offensive linemen have talked about how good of a critic and coach Bill Callahan has been for the group. How has he played a role in your development?

Wills: He's a great coach. He's really big on fundamentals. He makes sure all of the details are right and the little things are good. He's come in here and tried to develop this O-line into being probably one of the best offensive lines in the league, and I believe that. What have you guys done so well in terms of protecting Baker Mayfield?

Wills: Just the mindset. The quarterback is one of the biggest players on the team, and we've got to keep him clean so he can step on the field and be healthy. What are some areas you're looking to clean up with the running game?

Wills: We're really just trying to have a marriage between the run and pass game. We're just trying to make all of those things look the same and not have one certain tendency. Whenever we have a chance to run the ball, I just try to dominate. Then if we get a chance to run a play-action or run a dropback, I just make sure that works, too, so we can keep the defense on its heels. How much pride do you take in being a part of a rookie class that's making some big contributions?

Wills: To be honest, we're all just focused on doing our job. It's nice to win and people let you know how far this program has come, but at the end of the day we're just trying to do our job. The team has dealt with a lot of injuries this season, the most recent being the season-ending one for Odell Beckham Jr. What's kept the team focused and producing through all of it?

Wills: You probably heard Rashard Higgins say the same thing, but whatever it takes is the team motto. If one guy goes down, that's the reason you have backups to make sure you're ready for whatever type of adversity comes when your name gets called. This has been a weird year with COVID-19 keeping the team apart in a lot of different ways. How have you guys come together?

Wills: During camp and the offseason, we had a whole bunch of team events, games and stuff like that during team meetings. We made sure we were still bonding through those team meetings and you learned everyone's background and story and goals. We really took the team aspect we would usually do in person but made it virtual. Looking at the Raiders, what makes them tough on an offense?

Wills: They're just a hard-nosed defense. They run to the ball, they fly around, they've got a really good front seven, which is what we focus on a lot. They're a really good front seven that plays with a lot of effort and toughness. It's going to be a good matchup.

Related Content