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Browns player, assistant coach quotes - 8/2

Included below are select quotes from interviews with the following Browns players during today's media availability:

  • LB Barkevious Mingo
  • LB Nate Orchard
  • LB Joe Schobert
  • ILB coach Johnny Holland
  • TE coach Greg Seamon
  • OLB coach Ryan Slowik

LB Barkevious Mingo:

On how it feels working for a coaching staff that seems to have full confidence in him:

"It feels great. It feels great to have a coaching staff come in and know that they can get the most out of this team and out of this defense in particular. We have got (defensive coordinator) Coach (Ray) Horton back. He's looking to build on what he did his first go-round here. The guys here are really taking to it and buying in and ready to give their all and produce some good defensive performances."

On lining up in different positions within the Browns defense:

"Yeah, the way this defense is built, guys move around. We have linebackers on some plays that they're playing corner. We have corners on some plays are playing inside linebacker. It's just the way he built this defense and you never know where guys are going to line up and where they're coming from."

On how he feels his NFL career has progressed thus far:

"It's getting better. It's a long journey. It's not a sprint. Just learning and focusing on how to be a pro and how to grow in this league and learning the playbook, learning how to play. That part is going good."

On adding weight this offseason, how he feels physically and if has he noticed a difference:

"I feel good. I feel like everything has helped in the offseason. Like I said, that goal is to get bigger, faster, stronger. Like you said, I definitely feel like that's helped me in these first couple of days."

On if it's hard to maintain weight when he's sweating a lot during practice:

"Whatever you use, you just have to put it back in. That's the main thing. If I'm burning 5,000 calories out here in practice, I have to put it back in somehow someway during the day and I'll be fine."

On his weight:

"I'm at a good weight. I feel great and I'm good."

On how getting bigger is going to affect the way he performs:

"Got to get more physical. Stronger at the point of attack."

On how he felt about the Browns not exercising the one-year option in his contract:

"It was their right, but now it's my job to put it on the field and let them see that they should have done it."

On if he's feels like he's auditioning for a new contract this year:

"Every year you play, you're playing for a new contract. Fortunately, this is mine."

On if he is rejuvenated by the new coaching staff, similar to other players:

"This is a brand new year. We have a brand new staff in here, a staff that I feel is putting everything in the right direction from top to bottom. From the cafeteria workers to our training staff, our equipment staff, coaching staff, all those guys, I feel they have us going in the right direction. This year, we're just looking forward to having a clean start and playing the best we can."

LB Nate Orchard:

On if he's picked up right where he left off last season:

"Yeah, definitely picked up right where I left off, and with this new staff, it's just taken us to a whole other level, another jump. To be back here, especially in pads, you really have to get back to the fundamentals. OTAs, minicamps, it's a lot different from when you're having training camp and you finally put the pads on, but all is well and it's fun to be back."

On what he hopes to accomplish in his second season:

"Like you said, just pick up where I left off. I have high expectations for myself. I've really set my goals high and there is a lot that I want to achieve, but at the same time, you've got to take baby steps out here, have to get to know your teammates, understand the defense. From there, as a unit we can grow to do good things."

On if he can be the complement to LB Paul Kruger:

"I believe I can. With his mentorship and (outside linebackers Coach Ryan) Slowik as a coach and (defensive coordinator) Ray Horton with his defense and the past success he's had, I'm really excited. This defense, the outside linebackers are a crucial position of the defense, and here at training camp, it all starts here. We just need to grow and develop each and every day."

On if he's studied Horton's Browns 2013 defense or the Titans recent defenses:

"Yes, definitely studied the Titans last year to get familiarized with the defense, especially during OTAs. I saw the success they've had on the outside, different opportunity just for different position groups. I feel like every position had a sack and that's what he harps on. That's what we're excited for is for everyone to get these opportunities."

On LB Emmanuel Ogbah playing some DL and if that means other LBs need to step up more:

"If anything, it's a huge relief for him because he gets to go back to what he's done to in college – having his hand down, not having too much on his plate as far as drops and stuff like that. He'll drop down every now and then, but he definitely can just put his head down and go."

On his relationship with DL Xavier Cooper and what they talk about going into this season:

"We both had a lot of great success in college. The next big thing is why they brought us here. We need to continue that here, especially with (DL) Danny (Shelton). We want to do some great things up front and really set the tone and make a statement and be the great defense we know can be."

On if it is a lot of pressure asking second-year players to lead the defense:

"You either sit back and wait or you go up and accept the challenge. We're up for the challenge and we need to come out here and prove ourselves every day why we deserve that starting spot. At the end of the day, it's going to be a battle and that's something we're looking forward to."

LB Joe Schobert:

On the first few days of Browns training camp:

"Well, I'm glad I'm not in Houston or Florida or something with the heat. I can only imagine how it's been down there. It hasn't been too bad with the cloud cover. The heat has been alright. Definitely putting the pads on was fun. It's good to get back to real football after going through the minicamps and stuff with no pads on, kind of learning the schemes but not being able to execute it as well as you can with pads on."

On how his time is divided between ILB and OLB:

"So far, I'm mainly at outside backer. I'm learning things about inside, but I haven't really done any reps in practice. I can watch them. We're in the same meeting room a lot so I watch what they do and know a lot of the things they do, but I've been spending most of my time outside."

On if he thinks about the ability to play early OLB:

"Obviously, you think about it. You want to do your best to push your teammates to do their best. If I ended up playing all the time, that would be great for me. Hopefully, that would mean that I'm the best option for the team. If I'm pushing myself, I'm pushing the other guys. If I don't end up in there, hopefully, that means that the other guy is playing his best. I'm just going to contribute any way I can."

On his biggest strength:

"I think it is versatility. In coverage, I can cover guys pretty well in open space. I can rush the passer. Having (strength and conditioning assistant/skills development) Joe Kim as one of the strength coaches is very helpful with that with his hand fighting that he does, with his karate background and definitely making strides in that area. Just getting more reps at it is what's going to be important for me."

On if there is any guess work with what his role will be:

"No, I don't think so. I think everybody is just doing what the coaches ask at this point in time. You can think to yourself what you might imagine your role being, but nobody really knows until everything shakes out. When the season starts, you just have got to every day come to work and put your best foot forward, do everything and when the coaches put you in situations in practice, do what they're asking to do to the best of your abilities and see what happens."

On where he stands with understanding the intellectual side of the game:

"I think I've gotten a lot better than since when we started in rookie minicamp. We've been over, from start to finish, the playbook about four times now with the defensive staff and all of the defensive guys. I'm definitely getting more towards being able to see and react. I think our offense also does a great job of shifting every play into exotic formations and from exotic formations. It always causes a little stress on you mentally when you have to think about, 'OK, they went from this to this,' so like what's my job now. Kind of think about that. Still, sometimes you get caught up in it when you see something new, but I think I'm definitely improving."

Inside linebackers coach Johnny Holland:

On LB Demario Davis' impact on the defense and inside linebackers:

"Demario has a huge impact with our group and on our defense. Overall, Demario's a natural leader. He leads by his example of his hard work and his dedication to learn what we're trying to do on defense. He's a relentless leader. We're glad to have him."

On LB Christian Kirksey and what he needs to do to reach the next level:

"Chris is blessed with a lot of athletic ability, for sure. Just what I've seen of Chris from last year, he didn't get a lot of playing time, and they say he wasn't as physical as what they like. I'd say Chris is a physical player. He's got a lot of ability to come downhill and thump. He doesn't shy away from contact. He can cover tight ends, running backs, a great athlete. He will be a great asset to our group and our defense."

On Kirksey taking a leadership role as a younger player at ILB:

"Yeah, Chris and Demario make a great tandem of two linebackers. They communicate great together. They feed off of each other, play off of each other. Chris plays with a lot of energy and he brings a lot of energy to the group and to the defense. That's what you need to play great defense. The sky is the limit for him. I'm expecting him to have a lot of accolades as a person, as a player."

On the younger inside linebackers:

"(LBs) Scooby (Wright III) and Dominique Alexander are great pickups for us. Those two are very hard workers for one, and they are learning our defense and are athletic guys, physical guys that can run. Scooby is a guy that's very instinctive. He had a lot of production in college, and it's showing up on the practice field now. He has a natural knack to get to the ball. Dominque, he's a guy that has speed and quickness and can run and change direction and a smart guy. They're going to be great additions to what we're trying to do here."

On ILBs needing to be leaders due to the position, specifically as it relates to Davis:

"The inside linebackers run the defense. He's the guy that makes all the calls and does the talking. Demario, he's a natural leader. One thing that Demario does is he leads by example. He knows how to motivate guys and bring guys along. He's not a leader that beats guys down, but when he stands up and make a point, he can get his point across. Like I said, we're very excited about Demario. I think he has potential to be one of the top linebackers in the NFL."

Tight ends coach Greg Seamon:

On TE Gary Barnidge's progress from sports hernia injury:

"He's on schedule, maybe a little bit ahead. He is such a diligent worker. I don't worry too much about doing the things he should do in rehab. We've got a plan for him that will get him to opening day. We have to accomplish two things: we have to make sure that he's healthy and make sure that he gets enough work that he's ready to go. His work ethic is so good that I don't sweat that much. We feel good about it. He'll be ready to go when the season starts, and he'll get some time here in the preseason."

On Barnidge's playing time prior to the regular season:

"I think you'll probably see it gradually increase a little bit. I don't know what we'll do in the first game yet. He'll get some time certainly."

On TE Connor Hamlett and the TE group as a whole:

"What we have at my position really is Gary and the kids. There are five or six of them and none of them have really played. Some haven't played at all. We are giving everybody an opportunity to play different positions within the tight end group through camp here. It'll play itself out as we go through the preseason. There are jobs available. I'm lucky in this regard, they're all bright kids, they're all hard workers and they all certainly have unique skills to themselves. Connor is a long, tall, spidery guy with excellent hands. He's very smart. We'll see how it plays out. Right now, those jobs are available. What we're attempting to do in practice is give everybody enough repetitions at all the various spots so that when we get to the games, they can go in and show what they can do. So far so good. I'm lucky to have a guy like Gary in the room as a veteran because he's a great resource for those guys on his own experience because He wasn't a star right away. He worked up through the system and then became a Pro Bowl talent. Connor is doing well."

On if he is worried that TE Seth DeValve may fall behind due to injury and when he'll return to the field:

"If he hadn't gone to Princeton, then I'd be worried if he would fall behind the rest of the pack, from an assignment standpoint, but certainly, you have to practice to earn your spot on the field. He wants to get out there as badly as anybody. He's making progress. We're kind of in a day-to-day mode right now. It's a fine line. If we put him out there too soon and he reinjures it, then we lose him for more time. I want him to be well and then I want him to be available. He wants that, too, and he's working hard at it. Hopefully, within the next few days, we get to see him out there more.

On how prominent the second TE's role is in the Browns offense:

"It's very prominent. If you look at (Head Coach) Hue's (Jackson) offenses in the past, multiple tight ends are a big part of what we do. We have some flexibility in that there's flexibility with what Gary does. He can be a point of attack guy. He can be a slot guy. He can be out on the edge. We can put Gary anywhere. That helps because we can then play off of that with how we structure the rest of the depth chart. We've got a good spread of other kids in the room in terms of their abilities. They're all a little bit different. We just have to see how they perform here in the preseason, and then we'll match them up."

Outside linebackers coach Ryan Slowik:

On if LB Emmanuel Ogbah is still working on drills as an OLB:

"Yes, everything he did in the spring is still part of his game and that's kind of the beauty of having someone like that is the versatility they bring to your team. What he can do from a rush perspective, from a drop perspective, that will always be part of his game."

On if Ogbah could get legitimate reps during the season at OLB and during games:

"I could see him continuing to present enough of an issue to where he can do anything like that. Anything a D-lineman is asked to do, anything an outside linebacker is asked to do, he can do."

On LB Barkevious Mingo's role and where he stands:

"His role right now is the same as the other outside linebackers. That is know what the significance of training camp is – compete, play hard and you have to hit, you have to tackle and let it fall where it may."

On if Mingo participated in the live tackling period yesterday because he didn't receive reps during that portion the previous day:

"It's not really so much where he's out there, who he's out there with. We do it a little bit different ways as far as we don't read too much of where you think you're placed or who's out there with you. You have to go out there and your reps might be different. There might be a different reason why you're out there on a certain play and somebody else isn't so you just have to compete on every play."

On defensive coordinator Ray Horton's comment during minicamp to move Mingo around and determining the best position for him to play:

"I think Mingo brings a very unique skill set that not many outside linebackers have. He can run, he is athletic and he has a great get off. We're just trying to help him figure out where he feels the best, most comfortable and get the best out of those skills."

On how Mingo's weight gain is helping him during camp:

"I think it's translated well. When you put weight on, you have to learn to use it and kind of still use the skills that you have. Like for him, obviously, speed, athleticism so he kind of has to learn how to play with that weight. Whether it's five pounds or 25 pounds, he's kind of learning what is most comfortable."

On if LB Nate Orchard's progress has continued since his rookie season:

"Yes, Nate is doing very well with the leap from year one to year two from year two mini-camp to year two training camp, your vision starts increasing. You start learning to how to play with different techniques, different assignments. He's kind of expanding it, seeing those things and kind of trying to take advantage of his vision and things he can see and feel."

On if he reviewed LB Paul Kruger's 2015 season frame by frame to learn about his production and what he'll have to adjust to fit in the new system:

"I can't really speak [to last year]. I wasn't here last year so it's hard to really speak on what he was asked to do. You study, basically if you run a 3-4, you can kind of get a feel for what guys are. Obviously, they ran a 3-4 here last year. Without the specifics of it, you don't know what they were trained and coached to do, but you know what each guy probably does well and things they've done well most of their career. You just try to kind of hone in on those and make sure he's doing those to the best of his ability."

On where Kruger is at this point in his career:

"So far, he's been great for us. He's been doing everything we've asked him to do. He's been doing it well and he's taken to coaching. He's taken to trying to take command of that room and help guys and still kind of be the best he can be."

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