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17 burning questions for Browns LB Karlos Dansby

Twelve seasons into his NFL career, Karlos Dansby isn't slowing down -- whether it's on the field or behind the microphone.

Our weekly question-and-answer session typically affords 10-12 questions. Dansby's lightning-fast way with his words allowed us to sneak in many more during our five minutes with the Browns veteran linebacker. You're two games into your 12th NFL season and still playing at a high level. What's the key to your longevity?

Dansby: Staying prayed up, man. It's all God. It ain't me. He's got a plan for me, so I'm just riding it out. Physically, how are you feeling?

Dansby: Physically, I feel great. Just my role, just trying to get a better understanding of my role in this defense and make sure I can do it at the best of my ability. If I do that, it allows everybody else to play fast and do what they need to do to raise their play up as well. What do you focus most on as you try to improve from last season?

Dansby: Just making sure I do what I need to do. Do it at a high level and try to inspire those guys around me to play at a high level as well. Just try to be the best I can possibly be. If I'm doing that, I know I'm inspiring somebody else and giving us the best chance to win. What kind of growth have you seen from Craig Robertson and Christian Kirksey?

Dansby: Just the ability to soak up information and go out and apply. That's the hardest thing. You can get all the information in the world, but if you can't go out and apply it, what good is it? Those guys have been doing a good job of taking the classroom to the field and going out and executing the defense at the level we need them to. What's your role in their development?

Dansby: Just try to challenge them. You put pressure on them. I put as much pressure I possibly can on them to try to be great. Hopefully they'll latch onto it and excel on the field. What's your assessment of the defense so far?

Dansby: The first two games, man, it's kind of early to say. We're flying around, we had some missed assignments early in the first game and had some in the second game as well. Now we've got to hone in and play a complete game for four quarters. That's our goal. Was getting to Marcus Mariota the way you did the best moment so far for this defense?

Dansby: Getting to the quarterback like that, I think we did a great job. We did a really good job but we can do even better. We left some on the field, opportunities to sack him. I had one, but I couldn't gather myself fast enough to get him down. We just continue to try to be opportunistic on every chance we get. What kind of effect has the improvements along the defensive line had on you?

Dansby: Oh man, it's made it 10 times better. Just having that depth and having guys coming in and not missing a beat and being able to play at a high level with every guy that comes in the game.

We're 9-3 in our last 12 games against the Raiders. Here's a photographic look at those games. What's it been like lining up behind Danny Shelton?

Dansby: Man, it's fun. It's fun. I'm looking forward to playing behind him some more. Just being able to play off him. He plays off me. We just communicate and can really be a dominant force in this league. What's the key to getting the run defense back on track?

Dansby: Just being sound. We've just got to be sound and execute our technique. If we play our technique to the best of our ability, we should be fine in the run game. Mike Pettine and Jim O'Neil have said they see improvements in the run defense but it hasn't correlated into better stats. Is that your take?

Dansby: That's a question for them. I don't know what they say. That's their evaluation. In the box, in the game, it's tough. We're playing well. We're getting off blocks and we're getting to the ball carrier and we're getting the guy on the ground. Live to play the next down. That's the kind of mentality we've got to have. What's different about Raiders QB Derek Carr now compared to last year?

Dansby: His ability to get the ball out of his hands even quicker. He's decisive right now. He knows exactly where he wants to go with it. He understands the coverages better now, especially in the first two ballgames. We've seen him make a lot of completions and getting the ball to his playmakers. What else have you learned about the Oakland offense?

Dansby: They like to try to get guys in space and make you make tackles in space. We've got to be able to tackle well this week. If we're able to tackle well come Sunday, we should have a good outcome. Have your goals for the defense and the team as a whole remained the same?

Dansby: Without a doubt. It's a long season and we're just getting started. We've just got to finish strong. We've got to finish strong the rest of this week, just finish strong. Win this week. That's it. How much does the Dawg Pound positively affect the defense?

Dansby: It's huge. It's a lot. The Dawg Pound is doing a tremendous job of keeping offenses having to over-communicate and it's hard to do that in the atmosphere. It's the perfect atmosphere. I'm glad we've got two games back to back. Is that tough for even the defense?

Dansby: It's tough, man. Coaches wonder why we're missing certain plays and stuff. I'm like, 'man, we can't hear nothing, we can't hear the checks.' That's a great sign. That means we have to over-study, we have to over-prepare to be able to withstand the crowd noise. But it's harder on the offense, right?

Dansby: I don't know. It's kind of even, I think. It's bad on both ends, the offense and the defense.

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