Associate head coach - offense Pep Hamilton:
On preparing QB Cody Kessler for a possibly hectic atmosphere with Patriots QB Tom Brady returning:
"Yeah, well, I guess the actual environment, the gameday atmosphere, should I say, it won't change for Cody. It would not change our preparation anyway. We are at a point now where, like I always say, we feel like we have a comprehensive routine of preparing ourselves, preparing our guys for the next opponent. We will just stay on schedule and stick with our process."
On positives from Kessler's play on third down situations:
"The fact that we have been fairly efficient on third down. You can attribute that to the offensive line doing a good job of protecting the quarterback and receivers making plays, as well as of course Cody standing in there and delivering accurate passes. It is a collective effort, and it is something that we have to continue to do well if we are going to have success moving forward."
On perception that the Browns are not throwing the ball down the field as much now that Kessler is starting at QB:
"No, I think a lot of times our play call, as well as what the defense is taking away, would dictate where he throws the football. We do whatever we have to do to get first downs and to try and score touchdowns."
On Kessler's progress this season:
"It was important for us first and foremost to win the games that he started, and we were not able to do that so we all still have a lot of work to do. To see that he can function and play fairly efficient situational football is something that is important to us and is something that of course we are going to have to continue to do as we move forward. Then, we have to find ways to finish games, finish games running the football and score as many points as we have to to win games."
On WR Ricardo Louis' performance the past few weeks:
"He has made progress. Each week, you will look at the stat sheet after the game and he will have a couple few catches. We feel like he is a big play threat. We just have to give him an opportunity to make those big plays, but he is making progress and you can't teach experience. As he continues to play, we will hope that he will continue to grow and make more plays."
On WR Terrelle Pryor Sr.'s performance last week, especially considering he 'disappeared a little bit in the second half:'
"Well, you said a lot. You said that he disappeared in the second half, and I don't think that was the case. I think that Terrelle is our go-to guy, and we have to keep going to him and getting him the football, and he will make plays for us. He is another guy that is learning on the job. With that being said, he is continuing to make progress and he has made a ton of plays. I'm sure that we have left a few plays out there that we would have liked to have made, not just Terrelle but our entire offensive unit, but he is competing. He is very competitive, and he is a versatile player. He is a tough, smart guy that can make plays for us. We just have to make sure that for four quarters he has opportunities to make those plays that we know he can make."
On Pryor's comments that he should have made the catch on the interception last week:
"Like I said, not only is he competitive but he is very conscientious. He loves football. He is a true slash in the sense that he prepares himself the same way that our quarterbacks prepare themselves for each game. He is ready at any given moment to go out and play any skill position on the entire football field, but he is hard on himself. We have seen him make some great plays, and we expect that when there is an opportunity for him to make a play, like the one he had an opportunity to make – we would like for Cody to make a better throw, and we would like for Terrelle to find a way to make that catch. We would have liked to convert in that situation and execute that play a lot better, but he is competitive, and he is conscientious.'"
On Pryor's celebration penalty:
"(Head) Coach (Hue Jackson) addressed that. We don't want penalties. We have moved on."
On Pryor's emotions and being caught up in the moment after he scored a TD:
"I don't know. You would have to ask Terrelle what his emotions were at that time."
On keys to success for RBs Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson Jr., who continue to make defenders miss after finding running lanes made by blockers:
"It's exactly what you just said. It is the combination of the line doing a great job straining to block the guy across from him and opening holes for our backs, but we do ask our backs to create their own yards. They have done a good job of creating their own yards, making guys miss, getting into the secondary and just making big plays. They have been very impressive that way. It is our goal to allow them to do that for four quarters, not just the first three quarters. We have to finish the game running the football. That will be a tremendous challenge for us on Sunday, but it is always our goal to let those guys go and make plays."
On Crowell's production this season and if it was expected:
"It's been a pleasant surprise. He showed flashes in the past. To see him go out and dominate football games and break long runs like he has been able to do up to this point is really impressive. It is something for us to build on not just our offensive unit but our entire organization."
Defensive coordinator Ray Horton:
On the Browns defense's focus as Patriots QB Tom Brady returns:
"I'm excited. I love playing against him. He presents a unique challenge, and I think I have stated many times I believe he is the best quarterback ever, the greatest draft pick ever. I just like going against him. He is a competitor, and you want to be measured against the best. It gives you a good indication of where you are. We talked about it. For our players, obviously, we have gone back and looked at the preseason game where he has played, last year's regular season games and playoff games where he has played. I'm excited because you do, I think you love seeing great athletes at any level of any sport play, and he is one of them."
On the exciting challenge in playing against the Patriots, despite the end result not necessarily going the right way due to Brady's NFL success:
"No, for anybody. When you look at New England in the (Head) Coach (Bill) Belichick era up there, probably the most amazing thing is their sustained excellence. Everybody strives for that. You want to win. Sometimes, you get up there and you get to the Super Bowl and you never get back. I believe he has had 10-plus years of 10-plus wins, which is remarkable in this era of free agency and players coming and going and injuries. That is the most remarkable thing, and we want to get where they are. Most obviously, you strive to get there, but what they have accomplished is amazing. So whether it is us or them, meaning anybody that plays against them, usually you come out on the short end because they have a high winning percentage. For us, I like the challenge. Let's face it, you have to beat those guys to be considered one of the elite teams, and they are. For us, I welcome the challenge. He is showing up Saturday night, Sunday morning and I'm sure he will come running out the tunnel as they always do, and we will be there waiting for them."
On the Patriots comeback victory over the Browns in 2013 and if he has talked about that game with the team:
"No, I don't know how many guys were here for that. As you go, it doesn't matter who it is; it doesn't matter the past. Whether you won 10 in a row or lost 10 in a row to an opponent, no matter what the sport or competition, statistically, it has no bearing on the next one other than it probably gives somebody a level of confidence as you go, but each event is its own separate thing. For me, I have won some against him. I have lost some as always. I am excited, and no, we didn't go back and talk about this and talk about that. Most of our guys never played New England so what do they care what happened in the past. They are just worried about now. I know what happened. No, we just are preparing for New England. Part of the unknown is you don't know what they are going to do because Tom has not played so you don't have video evidence to go back and go, 'Wow, they like to do this,' other than I have used my knowledge of them over the years of playing them and just knowing that you have to expect the unexpected because you don't know how they see you. We have prepared our guys to just play our football. Really, your rules take care of everything no matter what they do, whether they come out and want to go empty the whole game or whether they want to go heavy personnel the whole game. They will tell us when they line up, and we will just use our rules and play fast."
On his favorite of Brady's attributes:
"From this side, probably what I see because I have never been on the field with him other than one Pro Bowl is just his competitive nature and how it shows on the field. Statistically, you can look and see what he does to the eye, but I think probably his will to win. You look at his combine picture from way back when and what he has matured into now. He didn't start at Michigan, he split time and just an amazing story, o probably just his competitive fire, his competitive nature on the field."
On Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski's his playmaking ability, despite not having the best stats through four games:
"I think that is probably the most interesting statistic from their year. Some people will say it is 3-1, but for him to have one catch four games into the season is remarkable. He usually has one catch in one series. Not knowing the severity of his injury, it is amazing to watch, but at some point, you know it is not going to stay there. Now is it a combination of getting Tom Brady back? Is it a combination of him feeling better? That only they know. I don't know that. Our players are very excited. When you talk about New England, when I talk about New England, our players this week are very excited, and I think they realize what they are going against – the championships, the names, the legacy, and all that stuff. You don't have to motivate this week because they know who they are playing. They are excited about the challenge and the opportunity to play these guys."
On the challenge facing Gronkowski and Patriots TE Martellus Bennett:
"I have stated that (former NBA head coach and current President of Basketball Operations for the New York Knicks) Phil Jackson had this triangle offense back in Chicago and the Lakers and all that stuff, and I kind of liken them to that. When you look at it, they are really built inside out if you look at their triangle of, whether it is two tight ends and the running back or if they only have one tight end in the game and whether it is (Patriots WR Julian) Edelman or (Patriots WR Danny) Amendola in the slot and the tight end so that is kind of the triangle I have been talking about. That and how they are built from kind of inside out. They pose a unique challenge. You go back to when Gronkowski and (former Patriots TE) Aaron Hernandez were there, it is the same thing. Bennett is playing outstanding football. Right now, he is playing at a very high level. I have not seen every team play, obviously, but I would say he is playing at the best of the tight ends that I have seen in the league because he is doing a little bit of everything. He is running the ball. He is catching the ball on screens. He is catching the ball up the field. They are splitting him out. He is blocking extremely well. He has been an excellent addition to their team for them."
On the gameday atmosphere and attention on Sunday surrounding Brady's return and if he has talked to the team about it:
"I don't think we have to. Everybody knows what happened with the suspension and him coming back. I think it helps that we are here versus up in Foxborough. I don't know of the media coverage, if there is extra requests coming in. He is just going to show up and he is going to come running out of the tunnel, and like I said, most of our guys have not faced him so it is just a matter of going and playing football. I have stressed the importance of where I think his place in history is. They are aware of who he is, and obviously, they have seen him play on TV. I don't think there is going to be a shock and awe factor because I think they know and they respect how good he has been in his past."
On DB Jamar Taylor not being satisfied with his play the past few games, personally stating he has been over-aggressive at times and has also missed tackles:
"Obviously, we like the turnover factor. He played well against Miami. He did give up a move and he came back out last week and had another beautiful interception. As the year progresses, if he continues to produce at turnovers in this league to beat you – we always try to tell our guys when you come up with a pick, be careful because they are going to try and come back and work on you. I like that he is not satisfied. That he wants to play better for us. I think from Week 1 against Philadelphia to now, he is improving. He is an indication of our team. I hope they keep improving and helping not satisfy them. That is one of the great traits of a great athlete is that you are not satisfied with where you are in your life or your play."
On how much DL Carl Nassib will be able to contribute on defense, given he would play with a cast on:
"Many players have played with a cast on. He is going to come out and give us great [effort]. We know that. For now, how much will that affect him? He will have to get used to playing with how they prepare him medically to play, but it won't affect his ability to make plays for us. Now, will it affect his ability to grab a jersey? I'm sure it will to some extent, but he can still create havoc out there, we hope."
On if Nassib has gained anything as a result of being more behind the scenes the past few weeks:
"My first answer would be no because he is not on the field, but maybe psychologically he gets a new appreciation for the love of the game and how precious it is to miss games. That would be the only positive out of it. To me, there is nothing good about not being on the field, not practicing and not playing in the actual game time. Other than, I hope, 'Man, when I come back, I'm going to treat the game with more respect and appreciate the rare opportunity I do have to play NFL football.'"
On LB Cam Johnson's and DB Briean Boddy-Calhoun's ability to make plays as young players:
"I contribute that to our front office doing a great job of scouting and trying to improve the roster and getting guys that can make plays, and we want them to continue to make plays. They are going to get opportunities to. Cam is a great example of that. Sometimes in an athlete's life, when you are not some place and you are regulated to a practice squad or not getting snaps and you get the opportunity, I mentioned earlier that our motto has been 2016 season of opportunity. Guys are getting an opportunity to make a name for themselves and to get extra playing time. Our front office has done a great job of bringing guys in that are contributing, and we want them to continue to contribute. Cam Johnson is a perfect example of that last week of showing up on Saturday and coming right in. It did help that he knew our system. If he didn't know our system, we put him in a position where he could at least play football and not have to think."
Special teams coordinator Chris Tabor:
"New England Patriots, probably one of the top units that we will play all year. They have a lot of good players, well coached. You start with returners and the punt game. (Patriots WR Danny) Amendola has obviously been in the league a long time and has always played at an extremely high level. They drafted (Patriots CB) Cyrus Jones. They still have (Patriots WR Julian) Edelman back there that they can put back there. They have a lot of dangerous weapons. They use (Patriots WR) Matthew Slater and Cyrus Jones back there as kick returners. Those guys are obviously really good. Their cover players, a lot of speed, probably one of the faster teams that we'll face, led by Slater and (Patriots DB Nate) Ebner and (Patriots DB) Jonathan Jones. The list goes on and on. Obviously, their kickers and punters are real good. It is a great opportunity for us, and I'm excited to watch our guys compete against this unit. We need to get better in our own areas. We are still trying to farm our own land, so to speak, and get better. That is what we plan on doing."
On K Cody Parkey rebounding last week in Washington:
"He rebounded really like I thought he would, to be honest with you. I'm really happy for the kid. To go out there, his first one was the 51-yarder to tie it up at halftime. As we are getting to know him, he is a pro's pro and works at it. After the previous week, he came back and worked at his craft and worked out a lot of things. For him to go out and hit a 51-yarder right there and then watch the guys respond to him after he made it, that says a lot about him and our guys. Really pleased with him and want him to play at another high level again this weekend."
On Parkey overcoming the team's penalties that lengthened FG and kickoff attempts:
"Did a great job. The false start there, we were just a little off but right down the middle. Credit to him, he didn't even blink. Then yeah, on the kickoff, giving us a really high hang-time kick for us to get down there and cover that. He is doing an excellent job for us."
On the Patriots using former Browns LB Barkevious Mingo on special teams:
"Mingo is playing at a high level for them on special teams. Ming, he is blocking well, he is covering well and he is running well. He is doing a nice job for them."
On if the Patriots mostly use a high and short kickoff:
"They mix it up. They are leading the league in opponent drive start against them. I think teams are getting it out to like the 21.5 yard line right now on them. By far, they are first in the league. (Patriots K Stephen) Gostkowski is a guy that can bang touchbacks. He can move the ball right and left and hang it up there with extremely high hang. You are talking about maybe 4.3 (second) hang. They have some speed on the unit to get down there. We have our hands full. If they elect to do that, we need to respond to the challenge and set our offense up with good field position."
On P Britton Colquitt's performance:
"He is really good. He is the strength of our punt team. He can move the football. He works very efficiently. When you watch him, I say that he is very quiet. What I mean by that is when he catches the ball, there is not a lot of wasted movement. He is probably one of the smoothest punters I have ever been around. Personality wise, he is a pro's pro, also, takes a lot of ownership in his craft and is doing a really nice job for us being able to move the ball and give our guys an opportunity to get down there and cover guys. You saw him last week, he is putting the ball right next to the sidelines or out of bounds. We need to have him play at a high level this week, and I think he will."
On if it is significant if a P is left footed:
"No, obviously, the spin will be different as it comes off. That can be tougher for returners because you are not used to it a lot. With the (P Michael) Palardy kid being here on the practice squad a few weeks ago for a couple weeks, we got a lot of left-footed spins, so to speak, catches. Also, our jugs machine is able to simulate that, also, so I feel pretty good in that department."
On if the Browns view Parkey as a long-term solution at K:
"Oh sure. I will be honest with you, any players that is here, I always look at them as a long-term solution, whether that be the kicker, punter, long snapper or a cover player. If you are here, you are a Cleveland Brown, and it is our job as coaches to make them better and improve them as players and increase their value. That is what we're trying to do."