The wait for Greg Newsome II is finally over.
Newsome, the Browns first-round pick of the 2021 draft, is expected to play Saturday in Cleveland's first preseason game of the season and make his Browns debut. He'll finally have a chance to flash the skills that made him the Browns' choice at No. 26 and go against players not wearing orange helmets and practice jerseys.
Newsome discussed how eager he is for the game and reflected on how training camp has been so far in a conversation with ClevelandBrowns.com.
CB.com: You've gone through a couple weeks of training camp and I imagine guys are getting sick of going against each other. What's it like going into your first NFL preseason game?
Newsome: It's exciting. Definitely some nerves going into that game, but I'm just ready to go against somebody with opposite jersey colors.
CB.com: What's been the biggest difference between an NFL training camp and what you went through at Northwestern?
Newsome: I'd probably say just the speed and strength of everyone. Everyone is great out here, so there's no taking any reps off. You just have to lock in and be ready every play.
CB.com: What's the all-day grind been like with meetings and just living and breathing here?
Newsome: That's not a big deal. Football is what I came to do. I love doing it. The whole-day vibe is not much of a grind when you love doing something. In college, it was the same way during training camp. I was spending hours and hours at the facility, so it was no different.
Check out photos from the thirteenth day of Browns Camp at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus
CB.com: Take us inside the defensive backs room. What's it been like getting to know those guys, and what do you think you have cooking in there this season?
Newsome: I think the sky is the limit for us. Just getting here and seeing how helpful guys were. I think about them a lot as my big brothers, and they're being very helpful to me. I can't wait to get out there with them.
CB.com: What's it been like practicing beside these guys? Some of these guys have been in the NFL for a few years, so what is it like being surrounded by all this NFL talent?
Newsome: It makes you want to play even better. You know they're going to do their job because, as you said, they've been in the NFL for a long time. It makes me have to step my game up right away and not take a rep off because at the end of the day, I know they're going to have to come to me. You've got (Denzel) Ward and Greedy (Williams) and Troy Hill opposite with John (Johnson III) and Ronnie (Harrison Jr.) deep. (The offense) is going to come at the rookies, so I know I've got to be ready every play.
CB.com: What's the biggest thing you've learned from Denzel?
Newsome: He told me one piece of advice that I hold with me to this day. When you're looking to fix something, don't go into a practice trying to fix everything. Find one thing that you want to fix for that day. Fix that, and then the next day, fix something else. Just keep stacking bricks like that and you'll get better every day.
CB.com: What does it say to you when you're there in practice and he's next to coach (Brandon) Lynch no matter what time of the period it is, trying to get better? How does that make you want to get better?
Newsome: Yeah, I'm looking at him to see what he does all the time. He's a beast. He's one of the best corners in the game today. Whatever knowledge I can get from him, I try every single day.
CB.com: What do you think of the make-up of this defense as a whole? How are you coming together, and is there anything off the field you're doing together?
Newsome: On the field, we're coming together. We're just trying to learn about each other and see what we're all good at and what help we're going to get from each other. I think this defense has the making to be great. Obviously, we have to be able to put the practice into the game and perform when it's game time. I definitely think we have the opportunity to be great.
CB.com: In the NFL, the more you can do, the more you can help with your team. You've been working some on the inside as well, so what has that experience been like and how has a guy like Troy Hill been helping you there as well?
Newsome: Playing inside is only going to help me further my knowledge of the entire defense, so that's been going well. I'm just trying to learn as much as I can so I can be of value to the team in many ways. Troy is one of the guys I talk to the most. He's helping me each and every day, and you can tell he's one of the smarter guys out there. I'm definitely learning from him every day.
CB.com: What's the biggest difference playing on the inside?
Newsome: On the inside, you really got to trust your help. I think you have more help on the inside, so it's really just staying to your help and staying to the leverage and just protecting the leverage.
CB.com: When you go into the preseason game, what are you trying to personally accomplish when you're out there?
Newsome: Just to play fast. We've been out here grinding in training camp for the last month or two months, however long we've been out here for. It's just honestly to put it all together. There's gonna be some mistakes obviously, and there's going to be some successes. It's just to stay even-keeled and not get too high or too low, just go out there and cut it loose.
CB.com: Is it less about the opponent and more about you in this situation, and is it any different going into a game where you may not play as much as you normally would be?
Newsome: No, I would say it's always about the opponent. At the end of the day, when you step on the field and it's not your team, you're always trying to win and beat that team, regardless if it's preseason or not. We're taking every day like it's a game day, so we're going to treat this like it's Week 1. It doesn't matter who's out there, we're going to be ready and we're going to try and win.
CB.com: I know it's preseason, but what are the emotions going to be like when you go into the locker room, see your shoulder pads and jersey and everything like that? What are you thinking when you put those on for the first time?
Newsome: I'm just going to be ready to go, man. This is the day I've been waiting for for my entire life. I'm not going to take it for granted, and I'm going to give it everything I got in this first game.
CB.com: What's it like officially being a Cleveland and being around Browns fans?
Newsome: It's been great. Browns fans are amazing. They know me everywhere I go. They always show me love and I appreciate them for that, and I just can't wait to get in the arena and play for them every day.