Included below are select quotes from interviews with the following Browns players during today's media availability:
- OL Shon Coleman
- TE Seth DeValve
- OL Cameron Erving
- DL Myles Garrett
- DB Joe Haden
- WR Ricardo Louis
- DB Jamar Taylor
OL Shon Coleman:
On playing at RT during OTAs:
"It's been going good. Just trying to cooperate with the whole line and getting better, building that chemistry. It has been going great."
On if rehabbing from his surgery last season impacted why he didn't receive significant playing time earlier than Week 16:
"It played a small part in it. It is a long journey coming from a surgery when you are out that long, but obviously, technique-wise and things like that, I definitely had to get back into the rhythm of everything."
On if his performance late last season provides confidence that he can compete in the NFL:
"I feel way more comfortable. Leading up to the practices the weeks before, the coaches and everybody could see that I was getting better and trying to get back up to my potential. That game kind of let me know that I definitely took a step forward."
On if the starting RT position is 'there to be taken':
"I'm not even worried about it. I'm just grinding out there, playing both left and right [tackle] trying to get better at both positions. That is my only worry right now."
On DL Myles Garrett stating earlier in his career that he was the toughest OL he played in college:
"We go way back. Auburn and Texas A&M, it is a big rivalry. For me game-planning for him back in college and things like that, he helped me get better and learning how to study a player. He is definitely a great player, obviously. We are out here just trying to get each other better."
On improvements from last year to now:
"I feel like I have gotten a lot better. This offseason was big for me just getting bigger, stronger and just capitalizing on that last game that I had. The coaches definitely see that I have been working on my game and everything. That has been a big thing for me – just getting better."
On how much he has learned from OL Joe Thomas during his career:
"A lot. He is the ultimate pro. You can learn a lot just by not even saying anything and just watching him, how he goes about his work and everything."
On OL Kevin Zeitler and their chemistry:
"He is a football guy. We talk about everything, just the small things with technique – the combo blocks and things like that. He is a guy who knows a lot about the game, and I get a lot from him, also."
TE Seth DeValve:
On his goals and expectations for 2017:
"My goals and expectations are to contribute, a lot – offensively, special teams and anyway the coaches find fit."
On playing more toward the end of last season as a springboard for 2017:
"I think once you start playing and get a little routine down, you stick with it. I think a lot of your rookie year, you are trying to find that successful routine. The difference this year is being able to carry that over and kind of start that from Day 1. Things go more smoothly that way."
On if it matters to him who starts at QB:
"It is the coaches' decision. They all have been playing really well."
On the importance of creating chemistry with QBs:
"Chemistry is extremely important. You want to try to find the guy that can be the guy so that you can start building that chemistry, whoever that is. I'm building chemistry with all four of them right now, and whoever that is come Week 1, we will build even more."
On what he worked on this offseason to improve his game:
"A lot of things, a lot of little things. Getting in great shape, first of all, just gives you a chance. It gives you a chance to come out and play every day, which gives you the opportunity to take a lot of reps. That is how you get good at football is just by doing it a lot. Being healthy, being stronger – I'm heavier and stronger and a little bit faster, as well. Just having three, four months to work on technique is something you really don't have in college. Getting that for the first time was great."
On the self-discipline needed during offseason training to continue to improve:
"It is what we do. It is what I have done since I was in elementary school. Back then, I was doing it just for fun and doing it to play with my friends. High school, college, it is what we do year round, whether you are getting paid to do it or not. I have known very little else for many years now. It is what I do. I go workout. I train. I identify weaknesses and attack them each day."
OL Cameron Erving:
On the transition to RT and if he is fully transitioned to that position:
"Yes, I am. It is going well. Just being able to play tackle again is something I'm familiar with. It is definitely going well."
On the difference between C and RT and being able to focus on one position:
"You don't really have to direct everyone else. You can focus on what you have to do, but you also have to communicate with the rest of the line to make sure everybody is on the same page."
On if playing at RT late last season helped re-establish that it is the position where he is most comfortable:
On if it felt natural when returning to T:
"It definitely felt more comfortable. I was definitely a little rusty because I hadn't played tackle all year, but it felt good."
On if it feels like a competition between him and OL Shon Coleman for starting RT:
"I am guessing so. All I can do is focus on me. Whatever happens after that, happens." On if he needs to re-prove himself every year:
* *"I wouldn't say so much prove myself. I'm just trying to get better every day as an individual, but I'm also trying to help our team win games. Whatever I can do to put our team in a good position, that is what I want to do."
On his knee:
"My knee is doing well."
On if his knee required surgery after last season:
"No, it did not." On offensive line coach Bob Wylie:
*"I like Coach Wylie. He is very technical. He knows what he is talking about. He is focused on just everybody making sure that you are getting the job done." *On if the ups and downs of the past two years and changing positions has been challenging:
* *"It has definitely been two trying years in my career, but I don't feel like they have gone bad. I feel that I have done what I needed to do, and just moving forward, you have to worry about what is coming and not what is in the past."
DL Myles Garrett:
On practicing with and against veterans and lessons from it:
"It feels good just being able to go against some pros, some vets who have been doing it for a while and do it at a high level. It just makes me a better player."
On attending a Cavs playoff game and if he got to meet LeBron James or other players:
"I got to see them. Did not really get to meet any of the guys. They were focused on the task at hand, but that is probably my second time at an NBA game that didn't involve my brother. It was a really exciting feeling. I got to meet a couple celebrities and just had a good time."
On how he feels and if he will be full-go during minicamp:
"I feel great. I am."
On if it was frustrating not being able to participate every day during OTAs:
"Yes, I don't like sitting on the side. I want to be out there grinding just like they are."
On how he is enjoying Cleveland:
"It is a sports town. It is just like College Station really – everybody embraces sports figures and each other, really. It is just a big ol' family, and I am just enjoying it."
On what he is going to do between minicamp and training camp:
"Go home, work, probably go up to College Station and work with one of my old weight lifting coaches and my D line coaches."
On if he plans on attending any camps or seeking out any coaches that other veteran players do between minicamp and training camp:
"I might go for a week, but I plan on getting back to Texas and taking on the heat and getting some work done."
On the transition from college to everyday life in the NFL:
"It is like work. You come in at six, you leave at six or seven. You have got to be fully in-tune with what you are doing. You have got to make sure you know what you are doing every time you come out here. It is a job application. You are putting your résumé on the line and showing what you want to put out there on film every single day so you have to make sure you put out something good."
On if there is anything that surprised him about the everyday grind of the NFL:
"How long it was and how long the days are, but other than that, it has been what I expected."
DB Joe Haden:
On the impact of defensive coordinator Gregg Williams during the past few weeks of OTAs:
"I think it is just clear how much energy, how much passion he has and how much he really wants to change the way that we go about playing defense here. He gets after everybody, but the thing I love about him is that he is the same person every single day. Every day he comes in there with that same energy, with that same drive just coaching us up, coaching up plays, not letting anything slip through the cracks and making sure that he keeps everyone accountable, himself and the coaches included. He just comes with a different attitude and a passion that he is just ready to get after it."
On what he took away from OTAs and heading into veteran minicamp:
"Just getting back to football – being able to go against the offense, being able to work our new system, work the different techniques that they have been trying to get us going. I feel like OTAs are just a spot where you try new things, try to get back into the groove, get back into covering these receivers and get back into the timing. It has just been a really good time to get everybody back to playing football again."
On how he feels heading into veteran minicamp and if he is back to full form:
"I feel healthy. I'm ready to go. I'm just super excited to be able to be out here for OTAs, being able to just try new stuff – just coming out of my breaks and feeling good, feeling like I can open up, feeling like I can run and just not feeling any restrictions."
On if he is impacted mentally by past injuries, how he wanted to be on the field competing and wanting to play to his potential:
"I am just ready to play. I am feeling good. I really can't let that get in my way. I really can't think about that too much. The best thing I can do is just take care of my body, and when I am out here, just go as hard as I can because when you start holding back and when you start thinking about injuries, that is when stuff starts happening to you. I only know one way to play, and that is as hard as I can and just trying to get my job done. Being able to be out here for OTAs and coming into mandatory camp, I am just working on my craft and trying to get better every day, trying to do everything I can do to help out the squad."
On new additions to the secondary:
"I like (DB Jason) McCourty a lot. He is a true pro. Doesn't really say too much but he knows his stuff. He knows the scheme. He played with Coach Gregg (Williams) before so he understands him. He is just a veteran guy that has talents and wants to bring some competition to our room. That is all we can ask for – pushing me, pushing (DBs) Boddy (Briean Boddy-Calhoun), pushing Jamar (Taylor), just pushing the corners to do better. Having a guy like him is definitely a great addition to our room. The other guys I haven't really seen – like the safeties – my boy, the guy we just got from the Jets (DB Calvin Pryor III), he hasn't been able to be out there with us yet so I'm not able to tell too much about him yet."
WR Ricardo Louis:
On the offseason program:
"It is going really good. I have definitely taken a step forward, commanding the offense a lot more, playing a lot faster, getting a lot more reps and just perfecting my craft.
On an example as to how he has improved:
"This spring I'm coming off the ball a lot faster. I'm able to use my speed to scare the DBs. My route running is a lot more advanced than it was last year as far as changing directions, coming out of breaks and creating separation."
On if the transition from college to NFL was bigger than he initially anticipated:
"Definitely, there are a lot of things that you have to be very specific on when it comes to the NFL. You have to be very detailed with everything you do as far as your preparation and just taking that next step." On how he improved coming off the ball and as a route runner:
* *"I'm just a lot more confident in knowing what I have and command of the offense. I know the offense a lot more now than I did last year so once I hear the play and I know exactly what to do, I can play even faster because the DB doesn't know what I am going to do so they can't stop me."
On response to questions about the Browns WR corps and its ability to contribute this season:
"I would just let them know that we are working. Every single day we are working to get better. That is the big question – who is going to be the No. 1, No. 2? Right now, that isn't even in our mindset. Our mindset is just to get better going into this break after minicamp and just to continue to work on things that we feel like we need to and take that next step." On the disappointment of WR Corey Coleman getting hurt:
* *"It is definitely disappointing because you want to be out there with your teammates and get better. We are a group. We are a family so when we lose one, everyone has to step up. With him, he definitely wants to be out there. It is tough to see someone go down. I'd hate to go down and watch practice and seeing people making plays. That would make me want to get out there even more. He is disappointed, but at the same time, it is time for him to get himself together and get back."
DB Jamar Taylor:
On LBs Jamie Collins Sr. and Christian Kirksey sign long-term deals with the Browns after signing his last season:
"It means that we are loyal to our team, and we know that we are building something special around here. We know it is going to take hard work. It is going to take dedication and all those things, but we want to be a part of something bigger than just us. I think that shows what type of organization, what type of teammates we have in this building."
On if defensive coordinator Gregg Williams' defense and the goal to get after the QB:
"Oh yeah, we do a whole bunch of different things. You guys have got to wait until Sundays to kind of check that out, but Gregg is awesome. Definitely, I have never had a defensive coordinator like this, but I am happy that he is here because I have learned so much in these ladt couple months that I did not know about football."
On if he is excited about the potential and variations for Browns DBs in this defensive system:
"Oh yeah. He is a phenomenal defensive coordinator. If you look at his history of what he has done around the league, for guys like me, I just try to come out here and just work and then we just kind of see how he is going to put us what it is time to play. We know he puts his players in the best positions to make plays so I think it is exciting for everybody on the defensive end because you know he is going to put you in some type of position that has to do with your physical physique where you can make plays."
On if his versatility helps him within the Browns defense:
"Yeah, I think it does. Just for them giving me a chance last year to play inside and kind of do both because I had never done that until then, but like I said, I am still learning. I am looking forward to it and kind of wherever Gregg and Coach D Walk (defensive backs coach DeWayne Walker) put me and (Head) Coach Hue (Jackson), then I am just trying to get to the ball and try and get the ball back for our offense."
On if it is more difficult to play nickel or corner:
"It is two different positions. Inside, you have to kind of slow the game down a lot. It is a lot more thinking kind of knowing where is the receiver at or if he motions or if he does not motion and then corner is kind of like – I guess it's a little bit easier just because usually you are just lined up on your guy out there and really you are just covering the man in front of you depending on the scheme. Two different hats but you have to be able to do it in this game if you want to play."
On where he currently fits in the Browns secondary:
"Wherever. I can play all positions so it is really wherever. Wherever they want me in the best position to make our team win or I can get the ball back for our offense or score the ball, then I think that is the best place for me. I am up to any challenge. I think they know that. If they need me to play center, I will play center. If they need me to play quarterback, wide receiver, D-line just really because it is just about winning. That is all I am just trying to do here."