Included below are select quotes from interviews with the following Browns players during today's media availability:
· LB Mychal Kendricks
· LB Christian Kirksey
· QB Baker Mayfield
· DL Emmanuel Ogbah
LB Mychal Kendricks:
On why he chose to come to the Cleveland Browns:
"I chose the Browns because it gives me an opportunity to showcase my talent. Their scheme fits me best."
On a report that he will 'start right away' in Cleveland:
"I do not know about that. As long as I have played football, I have always had to compete for everything that I have earned. That is what it is going to be. This is the National Football League. Competition is at an all-time high. I plan on coming in here and working hard for everything that I get."
On early reports of him signing with the Browns and his response to it:
"There is a whole business side to this thing. That was the first time that I heard that guy's name, [it was] a little self-serving there. Even if that is the end result of what happened and where I am at now, at that moment in time, that was just not the case. That being said, I spoke my opinion. I tweeted that I do not have too much respect for self-serving actions like that. He ended up being right. That being said, good for him. It was just that at that moment in time, there is a whole business side of this thing where my agent was working this thing out, and we did not want that to alter anything."
On joining with an established LB group:
"I am excited. We are going to be some dogs. I get to play with some dogs. I get to compete against them. I get to play with them. The more, the better. We want to be a good team. We are going to be a great team. I am glad that I can add to that, and I am glad that I can play beside a bunch of people who are willing to compete and willing to play in this league the same way that I want to."
On what he can bring to the locker room:
"This is a question that I have been asking myself. I am still been doing my assessing. This still is my first day here, but one thing what I will bring here is intensity, passion, a love for the game, a skillset that I hope will showcase itself and leadership. In whatever way I can help, I am going to do that. Whatever I see fit at that moment in time, I will be there. I will be there for that."
LB Christian Kirksey:
On the addition of LB Mychal Kendricks:
"At the end of the day, we are trying to win ball games. Whenever you bring in another talented player, that is definitely something that is good. We are trying to get as many dominant players as we can. That is our focus. We are trying to turn this program around. Especially after last season, going 0-16, we are trying to really make a statement and bring in as many veteran players, as many good players as we can. I think that he will be a great addition for us."
On how adding Kendricks increases the competition at LB:
"As a competitor, we are competing our whole lives. That is something that separates us from everybody else – our competitive attitude. I think that it is going to be fun. Completion is fun. I think that he can play all three linebacker positions. He has obviously proven himself in the league. He has won a Super Bowl. There are a lot of things that he can teach us. We have a lot of young guys in the room so adding a veteran player is a lot of wisdom, a lot of knowledge. I am looking forward to it. I am a competitor. I have been here my whole career. I have been competing my whole life. I think that those guys enjoy it the same way. At the end of the day, our main focus is winning. He has bought into the brotherhood. He is here now. We are just going to have fun."
On if he has spoken with defensive coordinator Gregg Williams or linebackers coach Blake Williams about his role possibly changing:
"We have not talked about anything of that nature. All Gregg is talking about is being the best defense in the NFL. You never want to look at a guy and say, 'He is a great player, but what if you change the rotation of linebackers?' It is not like that for us. We are just trying to win. Plug in guys where they can get in. Keep guys healthy. The more players, the more rotations and different packages we have. We have not talked about who is playing what or what player is switching. We are just trying to compete.
On where he believes he could play:
"I can play all three linebacker positions. We are taught to learn more than one position. Adding another player is just adding more power for us."
On playing every defensive snap for the Browns last season:
"I take pride in that. Whenever you are on the field, obviously, you want to be the best player on the field. You believe that you should be on the field and play every snap. I take pride in that. I am willing to do anything for my team. If they ask me to play every special team snap, every defensive snap, I am willing to do that. I am willing to go the extra mile. That is something that comes with being a leader. Whenever I am healthy and able to play, I am willing to play. I can play every snap every day."
On if the second year is easier in Williams' system:
"Yes, whenever you get comfortable with knowing your coach and knowing your defensive coordinator, you know the playbook inside and out so you can spice things up in different ways. I think that being here in my second year with him is definitely something that is getting better. I think that we made some strides and improvements last year as far as the defense. I think we are headed in the right direction."
QB Baker Mayfield:
On getting the chance to work with the second team offense:
"It is a good opportunity for me to get different reps with different guys. You want to learn your players. You want to learn your receivers, what they are good at and get timing down with them. That is just an opportunity to get a feel for everybody and get comfortable with the team."
On OTAs and differences from rookie minicamp:
"Obviously, the speed has picked up with all of the veterans here. There is no doubt about that. It was inevitable. For me, I am trying to slow it down. Definitely improved under center, knowledge of the game and knowledge of the offense. That is the thing that I am trying to do right now. I am not going to complete the whole puzzle at once. That is not how it works. I am trying to get better at one thing at a time and get better every day. Right now, it is taking care of the ball, learning our offense and taking care of it."
On his improvements under center:
"Being comfortable under center with everything – footwork, getting out from underneath, knowing where the snap is and knowing that I can keep my eyes up and go through my reads without having to worry about getting to a certain depth and stuff like that. Still working at it, but it is definitely way more comfortable than it was the last time I talked to you guys."
On facing defensive coordinator Gregg Williams and his defense:
"It is great. It is great for anybody, especially for me, first year and going against a guy who has been in the league for a long time and been very successful. That is a great opportunity for me to see how he thinks, why he calls certain things and how he wants his guys to execute. You want to listen to how he is coaching them up and what he is telling them to pay attention to because you start thinking like they do and then you can really take advantage of it and know what to do in certain situations. For me, it is a great opportunity, just like I am getting reps with different guys and getting to go up against Coach Williams."
On timing of practicing with the second team offense heading into veteran minicamp:
"For me, it is not looking at it like that. I am just like I said looking to improve every day. With minicamp coming up, you have longer days – more walkthroughs and meetings – just looking forward to that. More knowledge, more time to learn. Like I said, every day is an opportunity."
On working with veteran QBs Tyrod Taylor and Drew Stanton:
"Great guys. Great guys to learn from. Ty(rod) is a little bit quiet, but the things that he says, they mean a lot. How he leads, he leads by example. Just what he says in the meeting room, like I said, it is not a lot, but when he goes through certain things, he knows exactly what he is doing. Also, you have Drew who has been doing it for a while. I can sit back there and ask him questions [on the field], bounce things off of him, because Ty is in there playing a lot more. It is a great group of guys. They keep it light, but we also keep it competitive. We are trying to get better every day, and they are helping me out tremendously."
DL Emmanuel Ogbah:
On how he is progressing from his surgery during last season:
"I feel good. If it was a game right now, I could play."
On the feeling of missing the end of last season:
"Definitely hurt when it happened. They got the X-ray, and they told me how long that I would be out. Definitely hurt seeing my teammates, watching them go through what they went through. I just could not wait to get back out there. I am ready to go."
On his next steps as a player:
"Have to keep being the best Emmanuel Ogbah that I can be. Whatever I can do to help the team."
On how he is better as a player since being drafted:
"More experience. Have had a lot of studying done on my tape. I am a different type of player. I am not really reading like I used to be; I just go in this new defense that we have."
On expectations going into the 2018 season:
"We all were brought in for a reason. We all have to step up to the plate. We all have to give the team a chance to win games. We went 0-16. Nobody is looking at that anymore. It is a new season, new time, new year."
On his connection with DL Myles Garrett:
"Myles, that is my boy. We have a bond going on. We make each other better. We complement each other in the pass and run game. He is a great player. He will be a great player for a very long time in this league. We just complement each other so I feel like we have a bond going on. Why change it now?"