Included below are select quotes from interviews with the following Browns players during today's media availability:
- WR Kenny Britt
- OL Shon Coleman
- LB Jamie Collins Sr.
- LB Christian Kirksey
- LB Joe Schobert
- DB Jamar Taylor
- OL Joe Thomas
WR Kenny Britt:
On if he notices how quickly QB Kevin Hogan releases the ball:
"Yeah, I guess so. That is something that you need from any quarterback and receiver is timing. I believe when he has been out there, he has been making great decisions and his timing has been good."
On if the QB switch is made to be more significant externally in the media than internally in the locker room:
"Our job as receivers is to make the quarterback look good, regardless of who is in there. There is going to be different timing regardless. That is why we spend about half an hour running routes on air to get the feel of when we are getting out of our breaks and when he is going to throw the ball and anticipating when it is coming. It is spinning pretty good this week so I am excited for Sunday."
On if Hogan throws the ball differently than QB DeShone Kizer:
"Every quarterback throws it differently."
On how the ball is different coming out of Hogan's hand compared to Kizer's hand:
"Hogan has a little bit more touch. Kizer is going out there and it is a straight laser (laughter)."
On if learning to put touch on the ball is part of the development process for a QB:
"I am not sure because I don't play quarterback, but there are some throws that you can't always throw as fast as you want. There are some throws that you have to use touch, and that is something that you probably develop over time. I am not too sure because all I do is catch the ball."
On how he is feeling physically, recovering from a knee/groin injury:
"I was feeling good at the beginning of practice, a little fatigued at the end. It kind of bothered me a little bit so they actually calmed me down for the last period or two because I was starting to feel it, but hopefully as the days go by, I start feeling better."
OL Shon Coleman:
On how he is feeling:
"I should be good, ready to go."
On the media not seeing him at practice:
"Yeah, I was just rehabbing a little bit. Other than that, it is cool, though."
On if he believes he will be able to play this week:
On challenges blocking Texans DE Jadeveon Clowney:
"He is very explosive, athletic. He can change the game if you don't gameplan like we are supposed to, but we have a solid gameplan to block whoever they have up front."
On if Clowney moves in their defense and if he could face him:
"Yeah, he is all over the place.."
On if he has played against Clowney:
"In college? No, I did not."
On if he will be able to do more in practice tomorrow:
"We will just take it by ear for now, but tomorrow, I should definitely be able to do a little bit more than I did today."
LB Jamie Collins Sr.:
On what he needs to bring to the defense on Sunday in his first game back:
"I have to bring some energy. Just try to bring some energy and hope I can bring good positive vibes."
On if his concussion was scary:
"Oh yeah, it is scary."
On if he had ever previously sustained a concussion:
"No, this is the first one."
On how tough it was to miss the last three games:
"It is rough. It gets boring."
On if it was tough to miss the last three games because he felt like he could make a difference:
"Yeah, of course. I always want to be a part of the team and out there with my brothers battling, but the concussion held me back."
On challenges facing the Texans offense and QB Deshaun Watson:
"They are just a high-powered offense. We just have to go out there and do what we have to do and that is play our style of football on defense. Hopefully, we can come out with the win."
LB Christian Kirksey:
On if he is excited to have defensive players returning this week:
"Oh, I'm excited to see our guys come back. It is a challenge for us to go on the road. As a competitor, you like that challenge. We have our guys (LB) Jamie (Collins Sr.) back; (DL) Myles (Garrett) came back last week. We have all of our guys out there and ready to get a win. I'm definitely excited for that."
On what Collins adds to the Browns defense that others may not know:
"Jamie is a playmaker. As you can see, just tracking his career and the numbers he has put up, all his accolades and going to the Pro Bowl, just being that playmaker and that ballhawk guy is definitely something that is good for us and definitely a good piece of our defense."
On why the Browns defense has been successful stopping the run this season:
"(Defensive coordinator) Gregg's (Williams) system, the way he coaches, how he sets the tone and how he sets the culture, that is where it starts – a special emphasis on stopping the run."
On why the Browns defense has struggled in the red zone:
"Teams have had some good play-calls on us. Some of it is just we hurt ourselves to be completely honest. Sometimes we are missing our assignment, but we are fixing that. There is a special emphasis on that in practice. We are putting a special emphasis on the red zone for us, and we just have to continue to get better at that."
On if Collins' return will help defend opposing TEs:
"I can't say that. It is just all a matter of what particular call we are in. We just see what we can do with that to eliminate it."
On Texans QB Deshaun Watson:
"Oh man, he is a guy who can make a play out of nothing. He hurts you with his arm, and he is almost like a running back back there. I think he is like third in carries or something like that on their team. He is definitely a dual-threat. He can extend plays. He can extend the drives. That is definitely something that makes him somewhat special."
LB Joe Schobert:
On LB Jamie Collins Sr. returning from injury after DL Myles Garrett returned last week:
"Obviously, it is going to be great to have two playmakers like that on the field. Our defense, we are having a lot of fun. I know in practice everyone is competing and having fun. I'm excited to see it on the field."
On the impact Collins and Garrett have on defense:
"Just individually, I think they are always good for a few freak plays like out of nowhere. Like I said, I know Burg (LB James Burgess Jr.) stepped into his spot and played really well the last couple of weeks. Obviously, having Jamie out there, he is obviously an athletic freak. He is going to make things happen. Having Myles coming around the edge, he is a solid athlete, too, and is going to make things happen, too. It is obviously a great asset for the defense."
On the key to containing Texans QB Deshaun Watson:
"I think just getting population to the ball. He is a slippery athlete. He is a really good athlete out in the open field. You see a lot of plays where sure sacks – he slips out of those and pops out around the corner. I think just getting population to the ball and making sure you bring your feet when you tackle."
On if a QB spy would be effective on Watson:
"If you watch some of the other games, some of the other teams did spies. Sometimes there is success, and sometimes he made them miss. We will have our gameplan ready for him, and we will see how it works. I'm not going to tell you today (laughter)."
On how to bring Watson down, given his elusiveness:
"Population, just getting as many guys to him as possible. When he starts to scramble and you try to tackle him in the open field, you have to bring your feet. Especially in the pocket, bring your feet because that is when he likes to duck and guys will fall off his back and stuff. Not leaving your feet and then just population. Everybody has to be aware, no matter what, if you are not in man-to-man coverage, you have to have your eyes on your zone and him. If there is a scramble, you need to be able to react and hold him up."
On what the Browns defense needs to do to push the team to a win despite being ranked fifth in the NFL in yards allowed:
"I think we need to score on defense to give our offense some points on the board and help turn the momentum in a game. If we can do that, there is obviously a huge momentum swing on both sides of the ball."
DB Jamar Taylor:
On Texans QB Deshaun Watson:
"He has a strong arm. It seems like he has a really good understanding of the offense. Obviously, he can make plays with his legs. You can see it when he scrambles. He is throwing that thing far and he is completing a lot of passes so it shows you that he is in tune with his wide receivers. He is doing really good for those boys."
On if the defense can confuse Watson, given he is a rookie:
"Oh man, I think he has got some good looks [this season]. They played the Patriots. They played a good Chiefs team last week. I don't know. You have to talk to (defensive coordinator) Gregg Williams about that gameplan, but I am not treating him like a rookie. Obviously, he makes plays, and he has that stadium rocking."
On Texans WRs DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller V:
"Hopkins is who he is, a physical player – I think probably one of the most physical receivers in the league besides (Falcons WR) Julio (Jones). He is just really physical with his hands. He runs good routes. He catches a lot of contested throws. That is hats off to him and his quarterback. Then Fuller, the past couple games I think he had like three or four touchdowns in two weeks. The kid can fly. He runs nice routes, but he can definitely take the top off the defense and be a game-changer for them."
On LB Jamie Collins Sr. returning from injury:
"It is good. Any time we get our guys back, it just brings our defense closer to where we want to be. It is going to be good to have him out there, but Burg (LB James Burgess Jr.) is doing a great job. I know Burg will get thrown in there maybe a little bit. He will continue to do a good job, but it is good to have 51 back. The guy knows football. He loves football. He is a playmaker so it is going to be great to have him back."
On what the Browns defense can be with Collins Sr. and DL Myles Garrett healthy:
"Yeah, but we have to go out there and put it on tape. We can't just talk about it. We have to go put it on tape so we are looking forward to Sunday."
OL Joe Thomas:
On what Hogan brings to the Browns offense:
"If you look back to the last time he played significant minutes against Cincinnati, he does a really good job of running the zone read. For being a guy that is not super fast, he has a really good way of running with the football in his hand. He is very savvy. He has some good quickness, and I think he can bring a different dimension with the way he runs than some other quarterbacks that are more pocket passers."
On why the Browns offense seems to be in more of a rhythm when Hogan is in the game:
"I guess I haven't broken down the differences really between when he was in there and when (QB) DeShone (Kizer) was in there so it is hard for me to say, but I think the key to having a rhythm on offense is completing passes and having positive runs. If you have negative plays, whether it is a tackle for a loss or a sack and you don't complete passes, a lot of times that is what stops drives – and penalties. Those are the things that will stop a drive. If you just do something as simple as complete passes, even if they are 5 yards or 7 yards, you are just going to keep moving the sticks down the field. When you get into a situation where like I mentioned, incompletions, tackles for loss, sacks, penalties, that is the biggest drive-killer that is out there."
On completions being underrated:
"Yeah (laughter)! I just watched the Houston versus Kansas City game from last week. Everybody has been wanting to get (Chiefs QB) Alex Smith out of the league for a long time, but all he does is complete the ball and they just keep marching down the field and scoring. There have been a lot of great quarterbacks in this league that have just been really good at completing passes. That is what the west coast was based on. (Pro Football Hall of Fame QBs Joe) Montana and Steve Young, you go back, Brett Favre, all of those guys. Yeah, look at (Jets QB) Josh (McCown). If you just complete passes, it gives you a really good opportunity and it makes it hard on the defense."
On the Texans losing DE J.J. Watt and OLB Whitney Mercilus to injury:
"Certainly, they are two outstanding players. J.J. Watt was a three-time defensive player of the year for a reason because he is very disruptive. Certainly, when you lose a guy like that, he is not going to be replaced, but they have a lot of other really good players on that defense, a lot of guys that you don't know their names yet. They actually went out and signed a couple of really good players in (Texans OLB) Lamarr Houston and (Texans DE) Kendall Langford earlier in the week so even though they did lose two outstanding players, I think they do have a really deep defense and their scheme is outstanding. It puts those guys in good positions to make plays."