Transcripts

Browns player conference calls - Schobert, Tretter

LB Joe Schobert:

On if yesterday’s game was a validating win, given the end of the road losing streak and winning back-to-back games for the first time in multiple seasons:

“I think validating is a good word to say. I just think the team the whole season has believed that we have the talent to win games and that we should have won more games earlier in the year. The last couple of weeks just [more] focused and communication just getting better as a whole. I think we have been able to prove that on the field.”

On playing meaningful games as December approaches with the team still in the playoff hunt:

“Being in the hunt in December is all you can really ask for when you start the season. Just to have meaningful games is big for the morale in the whole building, and as well as the fans and fan base that has been kind of starving for wins the last couple of years and to be able to put ourselves in position for that is just a sign of a step forward as this organization.”

On if the Browns are currently a different team and have turned a corner from past years:

“Yes I definitely think this is a different team than what the last few years have been and have experienced. I think we still have some stuff to do to turn the corner per se, but I think that we kind of started that and we just have to be able to start off this year strong and kind of build on it.”

On how much the Browns are rallying behind still being in the playoff hunt:

“It is a big talking point in the locker room and in meetings. Everything that we kind of set out for at the start of the year is pretty much still on the table in terms of playoffs. Every team we are playing for the rest of the year except for the Panthers is in the AFC and kind of teams that were fighting for and fighting against to make that playoff picture. If we can beat them, it helps our cause.”

On the difference in the Browns during the past three weeks:

“I just think being able to put the complete picture on the field offensively, defensively and special teams. I think after everything happened, there was kind of a refocus that happens like kind of similar to start the season. At the start of the season, we were not able to pull off the close games and close victories, and after we got this refocus the last couple of weeks we have been able to prove to ourselves that we belong in the NFL winning games and we have proven that we can do it by a comfortable margin a couple of times. I think it just added to the confidence and swagger of the whole team.”

On the offense converting takeaways into points and playing complementary football:

“It has just been a huge boost for the team. From a defensive prospective, when the offenses is out there putting long scoring drives down the field, you are on the sideline, you get to catch a break, you get to communicate between position groups and talk through the things you have seen on the field and any adjustments you need to make. Obviously, when the offense is not able to do that and they go three-and-out every time, there is not time to do that. Everybody is just trying to catch their breath. I think when they are able to put together solid drives it helps the whole team in terms of, specifically for the defense, is everyone being able to catch their breath and communicate. Obviously, the morale boosts when you put the ball in the end zone and you start going up by seven, 14 and 21 points is huge.”

On QB Baker Mayfield’s energy pregame as he was air drumming and his energy in game:

“I did not really see that. He gets me fired up when he leads an offensive scoring drive so as long as he is doing that and the offense is clicking, the defense can take advantage of every situation that they have put us in, and we can hopefully create short fields and takeaways and allow them to score more points because it is a big boost and confidence boost for us.” 

On playing every defensive snap and if his hamstring is 100 percent:

“It felt great just out there doing what I have been doing for the past couple of years and not really have to worry about it. The hamstring I think is 100 percent, but there is still the mental block of when you open up to sprint you just hope and I hope it does not grab. I have not felt anything and have been good the last couple of weeks so with the more and more reps in practice and games, it is just going to keep putting it farther and farther behind me. So far, so good.” 

On how much credit Head Coach Gregg Williams deserves and his recent impact on the team:

“I think the biggest thing is just the overall focus and emphasis on a singular focus for the whole team. Whether it is in practice or in games, just kind of keeping everybody enthusiastic about competing in practice and being able to focus on specific situations at specific times in practice and that is the singular focus so everybody can get better at their specific situation. He is a good speaker, he is a good public speaker and he is a good leader from the front so he as good messages in team meetings that I think the team has been rallying behind it after (former Browns Head Coach and Bengals special assistant to the head coach) Hue (Jackson) and (former offensive coordinator) Todd (Haley) that got let go a couple of weeks ago. Everybody kind of needed to refocus, and he has done a good job of keeping everyone refocused.”

On returning home from an away game with a win for the first time in his career:

“It was great, and a 35-minute plane ride is always even better when you get home really fast, but I think there is a lot more talking and laughing. People were walking around and talking on the plane just a lot more light-hearted than normal when it is usually pretty quiet and not a lot is being said. I think just the whole overall attitude and enjoyment factor of the plane ride home was a step above anything we have experienced so far.”

On DB Damarious Randall’s interception and handing the ball to Jackson:

“I have seen that.”

On his reaction to Randall handing the ball to Jackson and if Randall brings an edge to the defense:

“He said he was going to do it, and he went out and did it. If you can back up what you say at this level of competition, that obviously is a huge boon. Damarious is his own guy. For him to be a productive asset for the defense is big for us, and if anything has a chip and helps motivate him to play better, then I am all for it. He is a guy that I think the young guys can look to as a playmaker who gets out there and makes plays on the field, and I think that is a huge asset for our defense.”

OL JC Tretter

On if yesterday’s game was a validating win, given the end of the road losing streak and winning back-to-back games for the first time in multiple seasons:

“I think those streaks are from teams in the past. I think this team is a new team. We have goals that we came into the season with, and we are starting to show what we are capable of. I do not get too caught up in previous streaks of previous years. I know that it has obviously been a rough couple of seasons for the Browns, but I think this team is a totally different team. We have continued to treat the season as one game at a time. We have kind of hit a groove right now. We are going to try to keep that going.”

On Head Coach Gregg Williams’ impact on the team in recent weeks:

“I think the discipline has been great. I think it is something that we desperately needed. I think that he has really reigned everybody in and gotten everybody focused on one single goal. I think his leadership has been very strong. He fires up the team. He has that personality. I think everybody knows that. I think he has just done a great job of really rallying the troops to one cause. I think you see that on Sundays.”

On offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens’ impact the offense:

“Freddie has done an amazing job. Like we have talked about in previous weeks, he has looked for input from other people and lLooked for input from players – what plays do you like to run? I think you see that on the field. You see people more comfortable with what they are doing and with a better understanding because these are the plays that the guys most like running and plays the guys most understand. I think that is always great from an offensive coordinator to get the input from the guys and from the other coaches, and you kind of all feel in it together. Whenever you make a suggestion about what play you like, there is that little bit of extra effort you put in there because you do not want to be the one that screws up the play that you recommended. That is always part of it, but Freddie has done a great job.”

*On the difference in the Browns at this point of the season compared to one year ago, given conversations of being in the hunt for the playoffs when the team finished 0-16 last year: *

“I think you see the job that the front office has done in bringing in older, veteran players from winning programs and teams that have gone to the playoffs. That is the mentality. The mentality is to win. We got off to a rough start, but I think that the veteran leadership in the locker room is much different than in years past. We have brought in rookies and young players who understand what this business is about, have taken the advice and have understood what the leadership on this team is saying. You have seen everybody kind of stick in it together. Everything has just kind of worked its way into a nice rhythm right now. We have things going. We are still going to take it one game at a time. We are not going to get too far ahead of ourselves, but we are doing all of the right things right now.”

On how discipline has improved under Williams:

“I think the rules and what is expected of each person on the team when it comes to penalties, missed assignments and all of these little things, they are spelled out for you. There is no confusion on what is going on. Gregg has in every meeting hit on all of the same points over and over again to where there is really no grey area to what is expected of each player on this team. That is kind of something that I think has really helped us and helped us to really take that next step that everything is kind of spelled out for you and what it is to be a pro. I think that Gregg has done a really good job of bringing everybody along and getting everybody on the same page. Obviously, you always worry about that with a midseason transition, but Gregg has done a great job of rallying the troops and getting everybody on the same page.”

On if Browns players are fined for penalties:

“No. I do not even think that is allowed. I just think that it is an expectation, and when the expectation of what you need to do every Sunday and not even just on Sundays but on Wednesday practices, on Thursday practices and on Friday’s, every day you come out and we get a goal of what you need to accomplish that day and what the message is. It makes it a lot easier to kind of understand what we are trying to get at each day. I think that is something that I think Gregg has done a really good job of.”

On the Browns running game yesterday:

“They had a pretty good gameplan. They get paid, too. They did some things. Obviously, we will watch the film. The Texans play tonight so we will all be able to watch that game live and see what they are going to do. We will focus more on Cincinnati when we play them next. They did some nice things. We have to give credit to that front seven. They played well against the run. We have to do a better job there. This is our second straight game with no sacks so the protection unit as a whole was able to hold up.”

On OL Greg Robinson’s impact:

“Greg has solidified that left tackle position for us. I think that has helped out quite a bit with our progression as a team. One of (QB) Baker’s (Mayfield) strengths is his ability to ad lib and make plays. You combine that with the timing that he has been able to get the ball out early and then also have the ability to extend plays when things are not there. That comes with guys being able to hold up for a long time. Greg has done a great job out there, especially in pass protection and then in the run game, as well. He is a big, strong dude. He can move people in the run game. That has also helped our efforts. We see what (RB Nick) Chubb has been able to do the last couple of weeks. Like we just talked about, we did not do enough in the run game this week. Greg has been a big part of getting that run game going in the weeks prior.”

On continuing to fight through his ankle injury to play every snap:

“It has been a battle every week. Some weeks have been better than others. It is one of those things that you know that when you play on it, it is going to get worse. We have done a good job of kind of limiting the amount of exposure that I have for setbacks. You have to give a lot of credit to the training staff here, getting me as close to 100 percent as I can be every Sunday. It has taken a lot of work. It will probably be an issue here for a few more weeks, but we will just keep working through it. I always go into a season with the goal of playing in all 16 games and playing every snap. That is something that I take a lot of pride in. The interior three here has a run going for the last year and 11 games for us. None of us have missed a snap yet so that is something that we all take pride in having that constant three the same interior, knock on wood. That is just something that we have always focused on. That is the goal that I think we all have so that has been a big part of it.”

On if this has been his best season despite the ankle injury:

“I have been happy with how I have played, especially with the ankle. It sometimes gets a little frustrating because there are things that you can’t do that you are used to doing. Luckily, I have been able to kind of figure out ways around those things. That is a tough question to ask. I think that I have played well this year. I think there is always room for improvement. I think that is something, especially with offensive linemen, we rarely get caught too much on the good parts and we usually always focus on the things that we can get better. I am always thinking about what I can do to improve my play and take my play to another level.”

On Mayfield’s performance during the past few weeks:

“I think Baker has been playing well for the entire time that he has been playing. Everything has kind of just hit that rhythm that we talked about where everybody else has kind of played well and we all have gotten on the same page, and this is just a product of it. Baker came in that Jets game and played great. Now, we are kind of just now all on the same page with wat we are doing. I think he is comfortable in the leadership role that he has as the quarterback of this football team. I think he is making all of the right reads, throws and checks. I think that just all comes with more playing time. As he plays more and as he sees more things during games, it is only going to get better.”

On motivation playing meaningful games in December with the team still in the playoff hunt:

“The goal before every season is to make the playoffs. I know that there is a lot of chatter about that in training camp about what we thought that we were capable of. We started out a little shaky, but I think that you are starting to see a team that everybody in this building knew was here. I think it is definitely a motivation. I think everybody wants to be one of those teams that is playing in January and into February, but if you look too much into that end goal, you kind of miss some things in the present. I think that is something that we can’t do at this point. We need to take it one game at a time. We do understand that if we do take it one game at a time and everything goes our way, there is an opportunity to keep playing football games into January and into February, but that is something that we can’t look too far ahead on right now.”

On TE David Njoku’s TD, bolstered by the OL’s carry and push:

“David had quite the leap. He was ambitious with that attempt. Luckily, there were a few guys following the play. (OL Chris) Hubbard, (RB) Duke (Johnson, Jr.), (OL) Kevin (Zeitler) and myself were able to be there to help get him the rest of the way there. I think that he covered half of the distance and we got him the other half of the way. That is a big thing. We were following the ball carrier and being there in case anything bad happened and then also to get a few yards is a nice thing that we always talk about covering the ball. It set the perfect example of how important that is.”

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