Nothing's been ordinary for Austin Davis in his first season with the Browns, but he's shown a keen ability to roll with the punches.
Davis learned Wednesday he'd be the quarterback under center for Cleveland on Sunday against the Steelers. He calmly accepted the news and moved forward with his routine.
ClevelandBrowns.com caught up with Davis after Thursday's practice. The conversation follows.
CB.com: Walk us through the situation you found yourself in Wednesday when you found out the news.
Davis: I came in like a normal Wednesday. I was listening to Johnny (Manziel) and the symptoms he was going through, you kind of assumed he was going to get put in the protocol and I'd have to be ready to roll. I come in every Wednesday prepared to get ready to learn the game plan and be ready to play. No different.
CB.com: What's the first thing you do, though, when you find out you're the starter?
Davis: Let people know I'm going to start so they can come up to the game, family and friends. That's really the only difference. I sent out a few texts that I might be starting and got to work.
CB.com: How much more comfortable are you now than you were for your last start?
Davis: You get more and more comfortable with every week. I've been here all season, so I'm very familiar with what we're doing and I'm excited to play and am excited for this game plan we put together. I think we've got a good one.
CB.com: What did you take away from the Bengals start?
Davis: It was my only start of the season. Just to not go a whole year without playing was good, just to get out there and play and get some chemistry with the guys on this team and this locker room. All that's important. It left a bad taste in my mouth and I'm excited to get another chance to play.
CB.com: What have you gauged from the mindset of this team going into this last game?
Davis: It's a strong team. Where we're at is tough and it's hard to keep fighting and keep playing, but every Sunday's a blessing that you get to go play. I think we've got a group of guys that are ready to compete and effort's never an issue. I'm excited about the opportunity.
CB.com: Since you last started, the ground game has really picked up. What have you noticed from why that's happening and how much does that help you?
Davis: It's huge. The guys up front are doing a really good job. We've tried a lot of different things and we've had some success lately with certain run patterns and backs are doing a great job. If we can run for 300, I'm all for it.
CB.com: You saw what Manziel did as a runner last week. Are there openings for the quarterback to make runs in this offense now, too?
Davis: I think there are always opportunities for quarterback runs depending on the type of coverage you get. Obviously, Johnny has a unique skill set where you can do some of those things. Every once in awhile every quarterback has to pull it down and go depending on what you see. It's a reaction thing. You can't really plan for it, you don't really scheme for it. You react and see green grass and go.
Austin Davis is set to start at quarterback against the Bengals on Sunday. Take a look at his time so far in Cleveland.
CB.com: The red zone offense has been a concern all season. What's been an emphasis with that this week?
Davis: To get touchdowns instead of field goals. We've got to find a way to get seven instead of three. I think we've got a good plan to do that.
CB.com: What do you know about the Browns-Steelers rivalry?
Davis: Not a whole lot, honestly. I know it's obviously a divisional game and it's a big game, but for us, it's just the next game.
CB.com: What do you see in this Pittsburgh defense?
Davis: Honestly, I think they've changed a little bit since the last time we played them. They're playing a little bit more zone coverage. They're trying to keep everything in front of them and let their offense go and do what they've done all year. We're going to attack them in some different ways and try to go make some plays.
CB.com: What does it mean to play spoiler in a game like this?
Davis: I was asked earlier this week what we had to play for. Yeah, we want to knock them out of the playoffs but it's also our next game, and it's a big game. Your next game is a big game and it's another opportunity to play. It's not any bigger than any other game.
CB.com: Can you put into perspective what kind of whirlwind year this has been for you?
Davis: I feel a little bit like everyone's feeling around here. It's been hard, it's been tough. We haven't come out on the right side of things as much as we'd want to. Everyone's feeling that. We're a team. It's not about me individually, it's about all of us. If we can go get a win this week and play well, I think we'll all feel a lot better going into next year.
CB.com: What do you think about the direction of this offense and team as a whole?
Davis: I'm excited. First-year coordinator and I'm a first-year player here. There's a lot of new faces. Everyone's not going 16-0 and going to the playoffs. You've got to build it, it takes time, you've got to be patient and stick to the process and keep moving.
CB.com: What's your offseason routine?
Davis: Just rest and relax and kind of get away from it. You go hard for so many months in a row. You just have to rest, get away and stay and shape and be ready to come back in April ready to go.