Included below are select quotes from interviews with the following Browns players during today's media availability:
- DL Myles Garrett
- QB Kevin Hogan
- QB Cody Kessler
- LB Christian Kirksey
- DB Jabrill Peppers
- OL Joe Thomas
DL Myles Garrett:
On if he is 100 percent healthy:
On if Sunday was a glimpse of what to expect:
"I feel like you can expect better. Just going to keep on progressing throughout the season so hopefully, my snaps improve, as well."
On his performance Sunday:
"I missed out on a couple of big plays, but that is what happens when you don't get there. Either you get your hand on him and you take him down or you get there a little bit quicker, just how quick you can go through those fractions at a time."
On how to stay ahead of his film to keep opposing offenses guessing:
"You really don't try to show your hand completely throughout the first games, at least for me. I still have some stuff that I haven't pulled out or used. I'm going against a really good tackle, (Titans T) Taylor Lewan. Hopefully, I can throw a curveball at him and make some plays."
On Titans T Taylor Lewan:
"He is talented, he is athletic and that side has been known as guys who finish the play. They play all throughout the whistle, and I like that."
On if he is getting chipped or receiving extra attention from opposing offenses:
"This week, it doesn't matter who it is, they chip a lot. We will be getting chipped most downs. We just have to make sure to chip the chipper and go into our rush."
QB Kevin Hogan:
On Head Coach Hue Jackson giving him this week to recover from bruised ribs:
"Yeah, at first, being a competitor, I wanted to get right back out there and then just been trying to throw and get through individual period just to stay moving. Nothing is broken so they said that you can't do – you know, whatever I do out there that is non-contact won't do anything bad, but I just wanted to make sure I stay moving and getting a couple throws in. As practice goes on, I kind of let it heal and shut it down so that I can rest it for these next couple weeks or so."
On if it will take a couple weeks to recover from bruised ribs:
"I don't know. This is the first time I have ever felt anything like it, and they say it is kind of a week-by-week basis so we will see."
On if his ribs are broken:
"No, luckily nothing is broken. They said just a rib contusion. Never had anything like it before so just trying to be smart about it."
On if his bruised ribs are uncomfortable:
"Yeah, especially as a quarterback with the amount of kind of twisting you do and the core movement, it is definitely uncomfortable, but if I had to go play a game right now, I definitely could."
On if he took a hit to his ribs in Wednesday's practice:
"Yeah, I was getting my (Titans QB) Marcus Mariota on and I pulled the ball, and the defense just doing what they do just took a little extra bump there and I just decided to shut it down."
On why the defense was allowed to hit him:
"They always wrap us up and try and strip the ball. Little things like that. They are not really hitting us."
QB Cody Kessler:
On if it has been tough watching the team struggle and wanting to help:
"Yeah, that is the whole team. Obviously, you want to contribute every way that you can and I have recognized my role over the last six weeks and doing everything I can. Obviously, I am not a vet. Me and (QB) Kevin (Hogan) have been here two years, but we are trying to do everything we can to give (QB) DeShone (Kizer) pointers here and there and help them out, just from experience from what we have seen. Like I said, I want this team to win. Obviously, you want to be out there and be the guy competing, but I love this team, this organization and we are all competing. We are pushing each other and whether it is DeShone up, Kevin or if I get an opportunity, no matter which one of us is up we continue to help each other out. We really do have a good quarterback room."
On how tough it has been to be inactive every game after coming into training camp as the starter:
"Everyone is a competitor. As a competitor, you want to be out there doing everything you can to help your team win, and for me, my role doing that has been in practice. Whether it is the look team, helping the defense out, getting extra reps with some of the other receivers and doing everything I can Monday through Saturday pretty much to help out has really been my role right now. Obviously, I am a competitor and you always want to be out there, but I am going to cheer my guys on no matter what. Whether I am active, inactive, starting, third string, backing up or wherever I am, I am going to continue to support the guy that is in there and the rest of the team and keep working."
On if Head Coach Hue Jackson has told him his opportunity will present itself this year:
"Yeah, he has treated me the same way as last year when I was a starter as a rookie and now as a backup. He has done everything he can to help me out and help me improve as a quarterback. Like I said, different role being inactive or backing up instead of being the starter, but at the same time, you have to get those reps. You have to get mental reps. You have to go out there and after practice is over, I will stay and go through the script and the plays that we worked on that day and just try to continue to prepare like a starter, whether you are or not. He has been great. Coach Jackson has been great. He has been helping me out as well and helping me develop."
On if he had enough opportunities to be the starter this year:
"That is Coach Jackson's decision. As a competitor, you want to be out there, but yeah, I have recognized my role and I have talked to Coach Jackson a couple times throughout the season. Just supporting those guys. Like I said, I really want this organization, this team, as we all do, to win games and to really get over that hump and continue to grow and be a competitive team. My role has been that of helping out at practice and doing different things in the film room with DeShone and staying late with him and kind of just giving him pointers that I saw from last year. As a competitor, you want to be out there, but at the same time, you have to do everything you can within your role or where you are, whether it is on the depth chart or active, inactive, one of those things. I have continued to prepare like a starter, but at the same time, help those guys out around me."
LB Christian Kirksey:
On Titans QB Marcus Mariota:
"He is a great quarterback. He knows how to throw into tight situations, tight coverage. He can also hurt you with his legs, but he is coming back from a little nick, an injury. I don't know exactly how he is going to play or what they are going to do with him as far as him being his old Mariota self, but on film, they have a great offense. (Titans TE) Delanie Walker, a great tight end. Their backfield is set. They have a dual backfield set that can rotate. They have a good offense, and Marcus Mariota is that guy that drives the offense and gets them to where they need to be. He is a good quarterback. He can hurt you with his arm and his feet so we have to make sure that we don't allow him to be the same Marcus Mariota that he usually is."
On if he has noticed differences in Mariota after playing against him the past two seasons:
"You grow every year. Experience-wise for him, he is making the correct reads. He is throwing the ball down the field. He is getting the ball into his playmakers' hands. I just see a maturity in his game. For us on defense, we have to make sure that we make it as hard as possible for him on Sunday."
On Titans TE Delanie Walker:
"He knows how to get open. He is fast out of his break. He is good with his routes. He has been in this league for a while and knows how to get open and makes plays."
On the frustration level of the team after starting 0-6:
"We are just controlling what we can control. We are keeping positive energy each and every day. We are blessed to go out on the field and do what we do. For us, we just have to come together and eliminate some of those big plays and make sure that we gel as one and just go out there and compete. Sprits are still up. Six games, can't get them back and have to move forward. There is no time to be sitting there moping around. We still have a lot of games in front of us and a lot of games in front of us that we can win. Our goal is just to look towards our next opponent, which is the Titans. Just control what we can control, go out there and play well."
On if he has to find a balance between staying positive and feeling angry over losing:
"You have to stay positive. You don't want to necessarily deal with too much anger because anger goes different ways. It is all about just putting in more work. That is what we are about. We are just trying to make sure that we are putting ourselves in the best position to win. That is preparing ourselves correctly throughout the week in practice, more film study, guys getting more and more reps and just making sure that we play dominant football – special teams, offense and defense. If we do that, I think we will be fine."
DB Jabrill Peppers:
On if his toe injury occurred in a game:
"I'm fine. I'm just getting better. That is all that really matters."
On Titans QB Marcus Mariota's ability as a passer:
"I think he is a bit underrated as a passer actually. He makes good throws, can throw it on a dime through tight coverages right in certain windows and those guys do a great job of going up and making a play for him. We are still approaching it the same way as if he didn't have that injury. That is our mindset that he can beat you both ways so you have to have that mindset."
On why WR Bryce Treggs held kick return duties at the end of the game Sunday:
"Just mixing things up a bit. Just mixing things up a bit."
On if he will share kick return duties going forward:
"Coach gives us that leeway. If I just had a long defensive drive, he will ask me, 'Do you need a blow? Can you go?' That is pretty much how we go about that."
On if it is nice getting more opportunities on punt returns:
On if more opportunities have helped him get into a rhythm on punt returns:
"Yeah, definitely getting my rhythm back. You don't know that you are off rhythm until you get one, and you are like 'Oh, I should have done that', but as you keep getting more repetitions on it, everything just falls back into place. It is only a matter of time. I just have to keep making smart decisions, protecting the ball and putting the offense in the best field position."
On clarifying if 'matter of time' refers to breaking a big return:
"Yeah, at least I feel like it. Always one block away or a guy took the wrong leverage."
OL Joe Thomas:
On if the Browns' youth is noticeable:
"Deep thoughts, wow. I don't know. I guess I haven't thought about it in that respect, but certainly I agree with the concept that the 'middle class' has kind of shrunk in the NFL so you have your guys in their second contract that are kind of your superstars and you don't get those veterans that are role players anymore. Teams would rather fill their roster with role players who are rookies because they are cheaper in the hopes that those rookies will turn into superstars with you – just give them experience."
On if he sees intangibles in QB DeShone Kizer that he would like to see in a young QB:
"No doubt. I think he has the mentality to handle the pressure and the stress of being the quarterback. Clearly, he is a really smart player. I think he has probably picked up on things way faster than most rookie quarterbacks. He obviously has the physical skills as far as arm strength and the ability to throw the ball where he needs to. For him, I think it just a matter of getting that experience."
On Titans DT Jurrell Casey's success this season:
"For a big man, he is extraordinarily quick. He has a great ability to move laterally quickly and sort of teleport from one spot to the next right when you think you are about to block him. He is almost a little bit like (Texans DE) J.J. Watt. We have seen J.J. Watt use that swim move – sort of that 'olé' technique – and that is what you get a lot from Jurrell. As a big guy, you really have to try to get low and put a lot of force into your block if you want to move him, but then right when you do that he is quick enough to avoid you and sort of knock you off balance. Then he has the burst and speed to get back to the quarterback in his rushing lanes. He is in my opinion one of the best three-technique defensive tackles in the NFL."
On if he is frustrated with the inconsistency of the running game:
"I think as offensive linemen, you are always going to hear us say we want to run the ball more. We are like running backs in a lot of respects where you can never run the ball enough in our minds. Sure, in the perfect world, we would love to run the ball consistently, but I think realistically in the NFL, you have to be able to throw to score points and then you can run in the fourth quarter and second half to basically expire the clock and maintain your lead. Especially if it is efficient, it is great. You can wear the defense down, you can take pressure off of your own defense, but I think (Head Coach) Hue (Jackson) understands that you are not going to win a Super Bowl just by running the football. You have to develop your passing game if you want to be a legitimate team that can win week in and week out. Just because you are efficient running the ball or you think you have a good running team doesn't even necessarily make you a really good offense. What we are trying to build is a good offense so you can't always just lay your hat on what you are doing well or what your strengths are. You have to build and work on your weaknesses, even though sometimes growing pains are tough."