Included below are select quotes from interviews with the following Browns players during today's media availability:
- RB Duke Johnson Jr.
- OL Joe Thomas
OL Joe Thomas:
On if yesterday felt like the team's best offensive performance this year:
"This year, it was probably our best offensive performance. Stats aren't always the end-all be-all, but I think in this case they represented what we did during the game pretty well. I thought we moved the ball really efficiently throughout the game. Obviously, getting into the red zone a number of times, giving us a chance to score on a number of occasions, but in this case, the critical errors once we were in the red zone were the difference in the game."
On what is different when QB Kevin Hogan playing:
"That is a hard question. I am not a quarterback guru by any means and I am always wrong so that is why I don't do my analysis anymore, but it seemed like he did a good job of surveying the field and getting the ball to the man that was supposed to have the ball. I thought he did a nice job when he was in there running the zone read stuff. He is very good at running with the football, and he is very good at reading the defense and reading that defensive end or whoever the read is supposed to be on those zone read-type plays. I thought he did a good job just with the general operation. For a guy to have to step in there in the middle of the game, I thought he did a really nice job."
On if Hogan seemed more decisive with his throws:
"Hard for me to say. I don't know what his reads are and what they are telling him based on coverages and stuff, but it seemed like the ball was coming out quickly. That is kind of general, but that is sort of my litmus test as an offensive lineman: Is the ball being thrown or is it being held onto?"
On if he notices the game speeding up for QBs in their second year:
"Yeah, I think second and then even third years to me is the year where quarterbacks especially make a really big jump. For those guys to be able to go through a full year of watching games, watching practice, the review side of things and then going out and either playing in a game or playing in a practice and putting all of those different concepts under their belt I think makes them a much improved player in their second and third year."
On if he has noticed anything in Kizer that could indicate his confidence may be shaken:
"I think as a quarterback, if you get sat down at halftime, there is a chance that your confidence takes a hit, but I wouldn't expect that it would be a long-term hit. He is a guy that can bounce back quickly, and I would expect him to be able to bounce back by tomorrow. Usually, you feel crappy on Monday and you are able to watch the game and make the corrections, and by the time Tuesday comes around, you are focused on the next opponent. He has the type of demeanor and personality. I think he would be able to bounce back quickly from that."
On if he would like to see the team stick with Kizer as the starting QB:
"It is not my call. I think as an offense, we would be comfortable with either one of those guys back there. Offensively, it is nice to have fewer changes the better so whoever they decide to go with it is probably best for the offense to stick with them as long as you can, just because there is a lot of coordination that needs to happen between the different facets of the offense and the more time you can work together the better you are going to be, in general."
RB Duke Johnson Jr.:
On if his mentality was that no one would stop him when he had the ball in his hands on the TD catch:
"Basically. It is kind of my thing is to make plays. Regardless of where it is in the game, it is to make plays."
On if he was surprised he made it through the entire defense on the 41-yard TD screen:
"No, not at all. I had guys down the field blocking to create creases so I mean it wasn't done by myself. I had guys blocking for me. So, I wasn't surprised at all."
On if the offense took a step forward yesterday:
"We kind of took a step forward, but it is the same thing each game is the turnovers. This game is hurting more than the previous games because most of them, if I'm not mistaken, were inside the red zone. Instead of getting points, we got nothing. We are moving the ball better, running the ball better and being more efficient, but we are still turning the ball over."
On the frustration of dominating the first half yet trailing at halftime:
"We understand what it is and what it is not. You can't turn the ball over. It is that simple."
On if the loss is a harsh lesson:
"Yeah, we are kind of teaching it to ourselves over and over even though (Head) Coach (Hue Jackson) reminds us of this every week about turnovers and turnover ratios in the NFL. We have to go out there and learn the hard way, I guess."
On if the Browns practice the option run during the week:
On if the option has always been part of the offense:
"Yeah, it was in the playbook. It was something we had practiced all week. We didn't practice it that way, but it is what it is."
On if he ever gets the pitch on the option:
"Yeah, (RB Isaiah) Crowell also gets it in practice. We all get it, whoever is at running back gets the pitch. We just didn't get it this particular time. It sucks that we left points on the field."
On clarifying that he was referring to the fumble when saying the team didn't 'practice it that way':
"Yeah, of course. The ending of the play."