Josh McCown's been through plenty of disjointed Thanksgiving weeks, so he knows the drill when it comes to preparing amidst the distractions.
The Browns veteran quarterback touched on that subject and more in his conversation with ClevelandBrowns.com.
CB.com: It's a little disjointed week with the holiday. How do you guys get beyond the potential distractions?
McCown: I think sometimes it can be a good distraction because it's good to take a pause and think about the things you're thankful for and reset yourself. Especially when you're going through the tough season we're facing, it's good to take a deep breath and be thankful for the many blessings we do have and then go back to work. That being said, once that happens, you're reinvigorated, have a better focus and stay on the details. Sunday will be here really quick if you're not careful. We'll do a good job of preparing and with the game plans we put together.
CB.com: How do you assess where this team is at health-wise and energy-wise at Week 12 without having a bye yet?
McCown: Guys are fighting and holding up. I think it's impressive and it's a credit to (Head Athletic Trainer) Joe Sheehan and the training staff with their ability to keep guys on the field. The late bye is never good, especially in this situation. Everyone would love to have it in the middle of the year. We can capitalize on it, reload and finish these last four games strong.
CB.com: The last two games you've entered midstream. This week, you'll be the starter. What's the biggest difference?
McCown: With the week of work and preparation and ability to kind of work some of the routes and concepts against the defense you're going to be facing, it really helps to have that. You can't ever devalue that because sometimes you can take it for granted and think you can roll the ball out there and go. There's a reason why we put gameplans together and have a starter take all the reps because there's value in them. I look forward to being able to have the reps this week. I think it will be helpful.
CB.com: The protection issues have been a teamwide issue. What have you seen on film that the quarterbacks can do better?
McCown: As we identify things in protection and how we're going to move in protections and things of that nature, getting the ball out, the depth of which we set up, all of those things factor in. Those are the things as quarterbacks we have to look at. We'll take that detailed approach just like the linemen will, just like the running backs will and just like how the receivers have to make sure they're open on time. All of us together can collectively help it. It takes individual detail to get that done and I believe we'll do that.
CB.com: What's it been like to see Robert Griffin III back on the practice field?
McCown: He's been good. Other than not being able to take the reps, it's like he hasn't been hurt because he's been engaged and involved in every meeting. That's a hard thing to do because sometimes you lose focus. You're not kicked to the side, but the team keeps moving and everyone keeps going. He's done a good job of keeping his mind focused and staying involved.
CB.com: Looking at the Giants, it seems like another vaunted front to face.
McCown: They have a big, physical front. That's the main thing. Coach (Steve) Spagnuolo does a good job with their pressure packages and the things they do. Mainly it's the personnel that gives them the edge. Jason Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon are good players. The guys on the interior, the backers fly around. It's a very, very good football front. More than anything, they're physical. We'll have our work cut out for us but I look forward to watching our guys go against them.
CB.com: Landon Collins is a guy you'll probably have your eye on every play, right?
McCown: Absolutely. He flies around. You've got to know where he's at. He's a heck of a player and an ascending young player who is carving out his name among the elite players in the NFL. We'll know where he's at and he's an impressive guy. He plays with intensity and has great intelligence and ball skills. It's a good combination for an All-Pro type of player. He certainly plays to that ability so we'll know where he's at and just limit his opportunities to make plays and be smart with the football. When we have opportunities to block him, we've got to get our hands on him.
CB.com: What is the team's goals and mindset heading into these final five games?
McCown: Continued improvement. No one wanted to be in this situation but you've got to keep improving. You've got to play one week to the next. The hope for us is to move forward and continue to grow as an organization and as a team and not be in this situation again. I think part of that will be our ability to play things one week at a time. When you're in it, it sucks and it's hard but there's so much you can grab and learn from and one of those things is to play one week at a time, to be able to say, 'You know what, whether we're 0-11 or 11-0 or 9-2, whatever, we would still cut that off and say this is the only game this week and this is the only one that matters.' We've got to be able to continue to master that and do that down the stretch. Moving forward in our future, that will serve us greatly.