INDIANAPOLIS – We had our ears to the ground on Day 1 of the 2020 NFL Combine.
Here were some of the most notable soundbites on a day that saw Browns Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager Andrew Berry and Head Coach Kevin Stefanski take center stage.
On roster building:
"We're going to do anything possible to improve the roster."
"We're going to look at every position to add talent and competition."
"I'm about acquiring the best players possible."
On what he learned from Eagles GM Howie Roseman:
"Being aggressive in every area of player acquisition whether it's trades, UFA market or draft."
"I won't discuss any specific player in terms of trade opportunities, trade calls, anything like that. I did work under probably the strongest wheeler-dealer in the league (Roseman) and it's something that you always pick up the phone and you listen to anything across the table. But a lot of trade talk ends up being hollow across the NFL anyway, but we're going to exploit every opportunity to improve the roster."
On potential free agent Joe Schobert
"Joe is a good player and an even better person. He's obviously earned the right to test the market if he deems that appropriate. It's one of those situations where we like Joe and it obviously has to work from both sides. It has to work from us from a cost perspective with our long-term roster strategy and obviously has to be a fit for Joe and his family as well."
On RFA Kareem Hunt
"We're looking forward to him being a member of our team provided that he and all of our players abide by our expectations."
On David Njoku
"David didn't quite have the year that he anticipated this past fall, but we still view David as a talented pass catcher and a guy that we expect to take a step forward in this upcoming year."
On Odell Beckham Jr.
"Odell's a very talented football player. We view him as part of our future. Kevin and I both have really good conversations about our expectations for him, and we expect him to adapt to those moving forward. We're excited about the future with Odell … excited about what he's going to do this fall."
On other pending free agents such as Rashard Higgins, Juston Burris, Damarious Randall, Eric Murray, etc.
"We have done a really nice job of staying in communication with the representation for all players that have expiring deals, and we're going to touch base with a number of them. I'm not going to get into anymore specifics, but we believe in honest and direct communication, and that's something we're going to continue over the next couple of weeks."
On team philosophy:
"Individual success is a good thing. We want our guys to have individual success, but always, the team comes first. You can have individual success while having team success."
"It's just something that I don't think we need to make a decision on right this moment here in February, but I think in fairness to AVP, I think I need to give him some opportunities to call it in practice, call it in the preseason so that I can get comfortable with him calling it, or I can get comfortable with me calling it. But that's definitely a fluid situation and Alex understands that."
"Calling plays is exciting, it's not fun. When you're done calling plays you sink into the couch. But what's fun is winning. So that's what I'm about and whatever gives the Browns the best chance to have winning, that's what we'll do.''
"I think Joe's a good football player. I have not gotten a chance yet to get in front of him. I think from everybody that I've spoken to in the building about Joe the person, I think it's A++. Really looking forward to seeing how this whole process plays out but this is free agency so it has to be both sides. I'll just wait to see how this thing shakes out."
"I think there's a future for Kareem here, obviously, and we'll work through all that, but he's a player certainly that we're eager to get to work with."
"I'm looking forward to working with him. I think there's an obvious skill set there. There's a reason he was drafted that high. I think you can see it just in his physical ability, and it's a big year for David. I've explained that to him.
Check out photos of players interviewing at the 2020 NFL Combine
CBS NFL Analyst Pete Prisco
"He will come in there and instill discipline in that building."
On Baker Mayfield's fit in the Stefanski offense:
"I think Mayfield is perfect for that system. It will work."
Vikings GM Rick Spielman
"I think Kevin's going to be a phenomenal head coach in this league."
Top QB prospect Joe Burrow
On the narrative that he would refuse to play for the Bengals:
"You guys (in the media) kind of took that narrative and ran with it. There has never been anything like that on my end. "
"Yeah, I'm not gonna not play. I'm a ball player; whoever picks me, I'm going to show up."
"Yeah of course I want to be the first pick. That's everyone's dream."
TE prospect Adam Trautman
"I'd rather control and dominate the line of scrimmage than score touchdowns … no better feeling than moving a man against his will."
Check out behind the scenes photos of Head Coach Kevin Stefanski and General Manager Andrew Berry on the first day of the Combine