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Press Conference

Baker Mayfield: "This team is resilient, and our guys showed that today"

QB Baker Mayfield:
On his performance after the first quarter:
"I just got back on track. The ball to (WR) Odell (Beckham Jr.), we knew we were going to have a one on one and wanted to give him a chance. I didn't do that and left it short and inside. I am probably going to beat myself up about that one for a long time. He is a guy who fights for this team, and in doing that, he got hurt. Prayers and hopes for the best. That one sucks. Just had to refocus and find completions."

On getting into a rhythm following the slow start to set a Browns record for consecutive completions in a game:
"It is just a necessary mindset of doing whatever it takes to win. Having to watch that first quarter – Stop. Drop. Shut 'em down. Open up shop. Like, oh no. That's how Ruff Ryders roll."

On his mindset going into the game-winning drive:
"(QB) Case (Keenum) and I were talking. We said they left us too much time. We got on the field, and everyone was talking about how we had to get to the 30 for a field goal. I told the guys, 'Screw that. We are going to win. No need to settle for that. Just go do our job.' Those guys made unbelievable plays. Obviously, Higgy (WR Rashard Higgins) on the contested catch going up the high-pointing the ball. (WR) Donovan (Peoples-Jones) going up to the line of scrimmage and have a vertical seam called. Number 23 Bengals CB Darius Phillips) got me earlier in the game and I had to get him back."

On if there was a play that he felt helped really get the Browns offense back on track:
"I think when we came out and scored right away. The mindset of what we were doing, everyone was doing their job and next man up mentality. I don't think there was any one specific play, but if I had to pick, it might be the back-shoulder throw to Higgy on the third down. It was a crucial third down."

On if today's win could be a defining moment for the Browns' season:
"I think this game could have given this offense confidence to realize we can believe and trust in everybody. We always have a chance if we believe in that. It was the most important game to date because it was the next one. Right now, we are going to enjoy it. We are 5-2. We have a great opponent coming into our house before the bye week next week."

On bouncing back following criticism after last week's loss:
"What criticism are you talking about?"

On clarifying national media criticism after last week's loss:
"Sorry, I don't know who they are."

On the QB battle with Bengals QB Joe Burrow:
"I have a tremendous amount of respect for him. From the games that I watched him play in college and seeing him in person, he is an incredible leader, He elevates his team. You can see it now. I think he is going to be very successful for a long time. It is always fun to watch a guy like that take over. It is fun to watch. Joe is a great player and a great leader, and I told him that."

On players like TE Harrison Bryant, Peoples-Jones and Higgins stepping up after Beckham's early injury:
"For starters, also (TE) Austin Hooper having emergency appendicitis surgery, and just the mindset of last-minute having guys step in and do things that they weren't practicing all week. Obviously, Odell going down mid-game is not great, but we had a ton of guys step up. You never want to have to go through that, but this team is resilient, and our guys showed that today."

On WR Jarvis Landry and him also playing through rib injuries:
"Jarvis and I love the game of football. There is never a moment where we do not want to be successful. We are extremely motivated, and we do everything with a purpose. Jarvis today did not have the stats that probably showed, but he had so many crucial plays that he made. [Beckham] is his best friend and his brother that went down so to mentally be able to have success after his best friend goes down like that and not knowing the circumstances, hats off to Jarvis. He is a true leader for this team and will continue to be, no matter what the production is."

On if Landry and he were in the hospital together getting their ribs checked out:
"From a safe distance apart, yes."

On being 5-2 and if the Browns have something special going, following his comments last week about 4-2 never feeling so much like 0-6:
"I think it was the next game is the most important one. I think we will look back at the film and realize that we can do a lot of things better early on and help out our team overall, but there are a lot of things that we did in the second half to build on – critical plays that were made and guys stepping up. That is the most important part. Like I said a few weeks ago, it is always better to learn from a win than a loss."

On how a QB establishes a rhythm when things are not going well and timing is off:
"Just getting back to the basics. Finding completions. Trusting my guys. Not trying to do too much I think is the most important part for me. We did just that. Trusted our offensive linemen to block and went through the progressions."

On Head Coach Kevin Stefanski adjusting the play calling in the second quarter to help him find easy completions and establish a rhythm:
"Yeah, I feel that. Trying to get a little spark going where we can get in a rhythm because it does start with just executing, finding completions and keeping the change moving. Yeah I can feel that, but after that, it was just everybody was in rhythm making plays."

On his reaction after seeing Beckham go down early and if he talked to Beckham after the game:
"First, it sucks. No words. I would be lying to say that I was not beating myself up about it. To go into halftime and see him, and I told him I love him, and he said, 'Go be great.' That was what he left me with to open up the second half. That was something I continued to remember throughout the second half."

On if today's win can help 'bring the fun' back for him and help him realize that this is how he needs to play:
"Throughout this week, I was reminded by some very key people and very important people in my life that I have support from them no matter what. That was extremely vital throughout the day. Knowing that we were going to out the second half of play for O also goes with that. Keeping the faith and keeping the belief is extremely important. I have made it this far because I had people supporting me along the way, no matter the circumstances. Just to believe in that and know that I have their love and support is always play confident."

On if he has ever had 20 consecutive completions in a game:
"I do not know. Maybe. I do not know. Not real sure."

On what consecutive completions do for his confidence:
"That is mentally where I am used to being – I can make any throw, just getting into a rhythm. It starts with protection. Those guys making a ton of plays and protecting the ball so we can make those plays. We have great skill players. It is just all about executing. That is all that matters. This was a good team win. It does not matter how we do it. We are happy about it, but we are on to the Raiders now."

DE Myles Garrett:
On the Hail Mary and his mindset when the ball was in the air:
"Why is nobody rushing? Why am I not out there rushing? I wanted to run, but just like coach says, sometimes when I can be the guy on play action and get a sack when you are supposed to be setting the run – 'No, no! Yes, yes!' and that just turns into a big play. We won so I can't really complain."

On looking at this game as a defensive player:
"We look at it as a win. As a defender, I look at it as we can get better. There were definitely opportunities for us to get off the field. Plays could have been made on the ball. At times, we have to scramble and are out of breath. Whether it was up the middle run games or through the D, we have to keep him from getting away. He is a talented quarterback, and we have seen that. He has been playing well, but we can't let him control the game like that. We did just enough."

On QB Baker Mayfield playing with a cracked rib and leading a game-winning drive:
"He is a competitor, and he wants to win. He is out there and is going to do the job the best he can to 100 percent of his ability. We have all seen it is good enough to win games. I am proud of him."

On if seeing a QB play with a cracked rib crosses over to the defense:
"We know he is hurting. We know that he is going to do the very best he can and that we are going to do the best we can for him."

On producing his second strip-sack against Bengals QB Joe Burrow:
"Just making a play. It is not like I see him being bad protecting the ball. I am just going for the ball, no matter who it is. He just happened to put it up there for me."

On if this is a game he will remember forever:
"Forever? Definitely one I will look back on fondly. I would agree. Those close games and close wins, you have to call back on them. Whether you are up or down, that is how you fall back on your fundamentals, remember how you won those games and know what to do in those situations."

On the back-and-forth nature of the game:
"It does not have to be pretty. That is the game. Gritty and grimy, and you have to be tough. At the end of the day, you have to get the win and have more points than them. If you are doing well on defense, you have a chance."

On winning even though there were issues on defense:
"No matter what happens, as long as we pull it out, I am going to be alright and we are going to be alright."

On WRs Rashard Higgins and Donovan Peoples-Jones performing after WR Odell Beckham, Jr. sustained an injury:
"They can make plays. They have shown that. DPJ has shown that. Higgins has shown that over the years. It is just getting that spotlight on them, and they were ready for it. They have gotten those moments already in practice, and it is just about bringing that to the field. We all were witness to that."

On Mayfield having 21 consecutive completions after having a rough start to the game:
"He loves to call himself a gunslinger. Hell, I agree with him completely. He is going to live or die by his arm. He is going to believe in it. Wherever he puts it, he is going to try to make the best possible play he can on that play. We live and die by that. Whatever happens, we are going to have his back. If we have to go out there and put out the fire, we will. Just like today, he is going to win the game for us and we couldn't be more proud."

On his mindset during the Hail Mary pass at the end:
"Please God don't let him catch it. When I saw it get bobbled in the air, and I was like, 'Oh, if he catches this off this tip, I am going to lose it.' It didn't come to that."

On how he felt after the game:
"Tired, just like the last one. At the end of the day, I have to just have a little bit more juice than the guy I am going against and have a better plan than what he is expecting of me and how he plans to block me. I know it is a joint effort with them, whether it is chipping, sliding my way or whatever they have to do to get me off my game. I just have to be there, be disruptive, strike the quarterback and affect his timing, and if I don't get there, allow others to be freed up one on one or a free runner to get to the quarterback."

TE Harrison Bryant:
On his emotions after having a career game with two touchdowns in today's win:
"Late in the week, (TE Austin) Hooper went down. He had his surgery. Me and (TE) David (Njoku) knew that we had to come in, step up and make plays. Coming into the game, we knew that there would be opportunities. We just wanted to take full advantage of those opportunities. We did that today. Obviously, stuff we can still improve on, but going out and scoring two touchdowns in a game like that and winning at the end, it is huge. A lot of emotions. It was a great feeling."

On QB Baker Mayfield having 21 consecutive completions after a slow start:
"We always talk about keep working, even when things are bad. You know to never get too high and never get too low. To start off like that and end up having a great game, that just speaks to him and how focused he was and ready to go, and he knew the gameplan. To finish the game like that and come out with a big win, it was impressive."

On how surprised he was by the news of Hooper's appendectomy and knowing that he would be the next man up:
"It was very out of the blue. We were in the tight end meeting room, and he didn't come in. Coach was like 'Yeah, he has a stomach ache.' We went out on the practice field and figured the news out so we were like, 'Wow.' First off, just hoping he was alright and that everything was going to be good with him. Then me and David were talking about how we have to go in, step up and make plays."

On if he has spoken with Hooper following the surgery:
"Everybody has checked on him. I haven't personally texted him, just because I knew he just had surgery. I have asked everybody. I know (QB) Baker (Mayfield) has gone by to visit him and stuff, and he is doing good."

On WR Donovan Peoples-Jones having a big catch and how it felt to see Peoples-Jones have that special moment as another rookie:
"It was awesome. Right when we came in the locker room, I went up to him and talked to him. It is a great feeling. I remember how I felt when I scored the first touchdown against Washington. Just to know that feeling and really know the magnitude of that play where he scored the touchdown is incredible. It was a great play."

On the feeling on the Browns sideline before the game-winning drive:
"It was calm. We knew exactly what we needed to do. We needed to go out, and first off, get three to tie the game, but our mindset always going in is to just go down and score to end it. We went out, executed well and made some big plays. Everybody made some big plays on that drive. It was awesome to see it all come together and get the win."

On Njoku's TD catch:
"We had that play in this week and saw it in practice a few times. It was a look we wanted kind of. He went out and made an amazing catch, an amazing play in a big moment of the game. I was happy for him. It was an incredible moment of the game. It is one of the best plays of the game, honestly, was that catch. It was impressive."

On Mayfield playing with a cracked rib:
"It speaks a lot to his toughness and what kind of competitor he is. He is going to come out and play for the team every week. It showed today – his toughness and how he finished the game. The final drive and how he plays, it was impressive."

WR Rashard Higgins:
On his patience during the season to produce in today's game after being a healthy scratch for a few games earlier in the season:
"We do it at practice. It is nothing new to the team and nothing new to me. I do it day in and day out. I work hard, wait for my opportunity and make the most of it."

On keeping his spirits up when he was inactive for games earlier in the season:
"Self-motivated. I always knew my time would come. It eventually came. Like I have been saying, I made the most of it"

On QB Baker Mayfield's 21 consecutive competitions and game-winning drive while playing with a rib injury:
"That is our leader. We look to him to leads us, and he came up big today."

On Mayfield's mentality in the huddle prior to the game-winning drive:
"We do two-minute drives all the time in practice. It was a situational thing, go down and no timeouts. We needed three and got seven."

On his situational awareness to get out of bounds on the catch in the final drive:
"Thinking no timeouts, catch the ball inbounds and try to get out of bounds. I love being a smart player. I have to be going forward for the clock to stop. I just tried my best to get out of bounds and just made a play."

On if his instincts took over in that moment to get out of bounds:
"It is instincts and a football play."

On WR Donovan Peoples-Jones:
"He has been in the same predicament as me. Stay ready so you don't have to get ready. It showed up. We knew once (WR) Odell (Beckham Jr.) went down, he was going to play a big part of this offense. He did his thing today. We have to go back and look at the film. There are some things we can clean up, but we did a good job of showing up today."

On the feeling being 5-2 compared, particularly after his season last year:
"I want to get to the playoffs. I am going to do whatever it takes. Wherever coach needs me, I am going to be there."

On his connection and rapport with Mayfield showing up late in the game:
"Playing football. That is all I can really tell you. We are playing football. He knows me, and I know him. There is nothing to say about that. It is wine poured in a cup – smooth."

On several players' mentality and if they feel like they something to prove:
"Nothing to prove. It is just stepping up. One of our brothers went down today, a sad moment. We hope he can come back soon, but we have to step up. (Pass game coordinator/wide receivers) Coach (Chad) O'Shea does a good job of putting us in a position to not handicap us and make sure we know everything on the field. When (WR) Jarvis (Landy) goes down, when (WR) Odell (Beckham) goes down or one of the tight ends go down, we need to be able to play four receivers. That is what we need to do so we need to know the position."

On if this is a game he will remember forever:
"Absolutely. My boy DPJ got his first touchdown on the game winning drive. That is what it is all about."

On the back-and-forth game adding to it being memorable:
"I just want to win at the end of the day and go to the playoffs. I have been saying 0-16, that hurts my stomach knowing that we actually went through that. It made us tough. It made me tough. It made me resilient. Whatever I can do as I have been saying, I want to do it. I worked hard in the offseason so when the time comes and presents itself, you have to make it. That is what I want to do."

On if he is savoring every second of being 5-2:
"It is unreal sometimes and where we came from. We are not there yet, though."

LB B.J. Goodson:
On the excitement after QB Baker Mayfield led a game-winning drive after the Bengals offense performed well during the game:
"That was the prime example of everybody having everyone's back. There have been games where it has been vice versa or whatever the case may have been. That is just a prime example of our team having each other's back."

On the near interception by CB Terrance Mitchell:
"After that play, I went over to him and I got on him about body language because it is important. We did not get the ball on that play, and it is all about the next play. It was an opportunity for us for sure, but we still have to compete and defend."

On young players like TE Harrison Bryant and WR Donovan Peoples-Jones stepping up in big moments during today's win:
"There are no other words than it was beautiful to see those guys thrive in those moments. Like I told the guys before the game, today is a beautiful day only because it is another day for opportunity. They took full advantage of their opportunity today."

On what is going through his mind on the Hail Mary at the end of the game:
"Do not get it in. Whether it turns it into rugby football or whether it is a Hail Mary, do not let them get them in. That is it."

On WR Odell Beckham Jr. going down early with an injury and how it impacted the team and game:
"As far as in the game, it is a part of the sport. I have dealt with my own injuries in the past, and everyone else deals with it. This is a physical game. As far as afterwards, he was one of the first guys on my mind so I went back and talked to him and just told him that I was with him and I am praying for him. He is not on this journey alone. Especially guys who have been through injuries, we understand. You have other guys who will bash or say whatever about players. As far as football goes, we play a physical game, and it is a part of the game."

On how impressed he is by Bengals QB Joe Burrow:
"The kid is pretty good. I will give him his credit. I will not take anything away from him."

On the significance of DE Myles Garrett and CB Denzel Ward making big plays in today's win:
"It is always big. It is always big when we can get our hands on the ball or get negative plays against the offense. That is big. I always talk to those guys about stepping up in big moments and key moments."

G Joel Bitonio:
On QB Baker Mayfield's performance today:
"He is resilient. He fights. He scratches. That is what he has done his whole life. I did not know what the stats were, but I know we started playing well on offense and it had a lot to do with Baker Mayfield. On that last drive, no quit, no timeouts and to come down and make a play like that to win the game, it is big time stuff. It was very impressive."

On Mayfield's message to the team prior to the last few offensive drives:
"We were communicating. We did not know what the defense was going to do. We were hoping they got the ball back, but they scored on us there. We were just communicating, whether we were going to be in four-minute or a two-minute offense. We were trying to decide that. Once we got the ball, it was him directing us. Making sure before we went out there to tell us that we have no timeouts, to get out of bounds and get the ball back to the ref. All of those little simple things you go over in training camp and you go over weekly but you actually have to put it in action. When we threw that touchdown, they called a timeout right before, and he said, 'Let's go for one'. We went for the touchdown, and it was a heck of a play."

On what winning a tough game says about the Browns as a team:
"We pick each other up. If we were going to have our shot, we were running the ball fine, but we did not have any sustained drives. They held the ball at lot in the first quarter, and we just had not got on track yet. There was a real focus on just getting the next drive going, getting going and moving in the right direction. Once we got those first drives going, at halftime, I think we had 10 points, but we felt like we could score when we got the ball back. We figured out a way to get moving and to get the ball going. It is just resilience. (Head) Coach (Kevin Stefanski) talks about it every day. It is a team win every week. The offense steps up sometimes, and sometimes the defense steps up or special teams steps up. We found a way to get a win."

On C J.C. Tretter getting banged up in the first quarter and if he was concerned their consecutive snap streak may end:
"I went to go check on him, and he was in a lot of pain. I thought it was done for, but he finds a way to make it back onto the field. That is just what he does. He is tough, and he is prideful. He cares about his teammates, and he thinks being on the field is the best thing for his team. It is going to take a lot to get that guy off the field. It is impressive stuff, and it inspires me. I was ready to roll with him once he came back out."

On his reaction when WR Odell Beckham Jr was hurt early in the game:
"It is tough. Him and J.C. went down on the same play, and I was hoping it was not something serious. I really do not know [the severity]. I know he missed the rest of the game. That is a key part of our offense. He takes the tops off defenses. He empties boxes for us. He makes big plays. Anytime you miss a player like that, it is tough. He is kind of an emotional guy too so he brings some energy in that sense and so you lose that. Credit to the guys – (WR Rashard) Higgins, DPJ (WR Donovan Peoples-Jones) – they all stepped up and made some big plays. (TE) Harrison Bryant and these young guys were balling out. It was very cool to see."

On bouncing back from the Steelers loss with an exciting win this week:
"It was a loss last week and we got beat, but we are just trying to take it one week at a time. We were 4-2 on the season, and we were trying to move onto this week. We would have liked winning by more, but winning the way we won, there is no other feeling like it in football. That is why you play the game. Those moments are so special, and it is pretty impressive. It is fun to be a part of and all the pieces came together, and that is why you play the game. You have moments like that, and you will think about those moments your whole life."

On his mindset during the Bengals' Hail Mary pass, considering it was a QB battle all day long:
"Oh man, it was a little nerve-wracking. I was just hoping the ball would hit the ground or fall into one of our guys' hands. I didn't know what the call was or anything like that, but I was just like, 'Get the ball down.' They had been making plays all game in the passing game, and luckily, we stopped that one."

On WR Jarvis Landry's performance while playing injured, especially on the second quarter TD drive, and whether that type of commitment can be contagious for the whole team:
"They are professionals. They play this game. They don't miss games. That is what they do, and he wants to win and you can see that in the way he plays the game. You know he is hurting out there, but you know he is going to be in there. He is a mentor for those young receivers. They see him doing the right thing out there, and they are going to make sure they are taking the right steps and doing the right thing, too. There are so many guys that stepped up today. When you win a game on the last second, every key play is important, and that drive was just as important as the last drive."

On what winning this type of competitive game means and what it says about the Browns as a team this year:
"We are resilient as a team. We talk about consistency and just playing each week one week at a time. There is no quit in these guys. We fought through it. We needed a field goal on the last drive, but we went down and got a touchdown. That is how it is. We talk about it. The offense picks up the defense. The defense picks up the offense. It is a team game. Luckily, we came down, we executed at the end and we got that win. Like you said, it is the next win. We are 5-2 now. We will look at the film, and we will move on to the next week and try and go 1-0 next week."

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