Browns player press conferences - 9/21

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

  • WR Kenny Britt
  • OL Joe Thomas
  • LB Christian Kirksey
  • DB Jason McCourty

WR Kenny Britt

On how impressed he is by DB Jason McCourty's play and leadership with a new team:

"That has always been Jason. That has been Jason since I committed to Rutgers, actually. I had him as a host on my recruiting trip. He has been a leader since I met him."

On the challenges McCourty poses for opposing WRs:

"How smart he is. He's a smart player and he's physical. He can defend plays by himself. He is faster than people think. He is one of the best corners in this league, especially when he is sticking with the best receivers out there."

On how important it is for the WR corps to step up given WR Corey Coleman's injury:

"We all need to come together to pick up the slack because we know how important he is to this offense and to this receiver room. We all just have to band together and be operating as one unit."

On how he goes about stepping up as a veteran leader:

"Doing the right things. Just doing all of the small things. And that is what has been killing us the last two weeks - the details, the days, finishing on certain plays and things like that. That is something that we have been doing since OTAs and camp. We took a step back from that, and we need to just get back."

On Head Coach Hue Jackson challenging him to step up, and how he did that:

"Man-to-man. To step up, let me get my energy into practice and the film room, on and off the field, and in the classroom because we are moving down a path that we don't believe we were going to go. 0-2 is not where we wanted to be and it is not where we are going to stay. As long as we do the right things and do the small things that we have been missing the last two games, I believe that we can be contending in this league."

OL Joe Thomas

On his 'C.O.O.L.' shirt:

"Coaches Of Offensive Line. It is the (offensive line coach) Bob Wylie shirt. He gave us these. He does a big clinic every summer down in Cincinnati where it is like 400 offensive line coaches, almost every NFL and college offensive line coach that get together and this is the shirt everyone gets."

On why the mushroom on his shirt:

"The Mushroom Society. As offensive linemen, we consider ourselves mushrooms because we get thrown in the corner of a dark room and people pile poop on us and then expect us to grow. So that is why we are mushrooms. You have to read The View From the O-Line book. It will tell you all about it."

On the coolest tweet or text he received after amassing 10,000 consecutive snaps:

"Well, the coolest one was probably Lebron James, obviously. He is not a guy that tweets all that often and he has a few more followers than me, so when he spent some time to go out of his way and tweet me, I thought that was pretty neat."

On if he played youth basketball against Lebron:

"Never played against him, just in the same tournament. I remember he was a big deal back then even and we went out of our way to watch him play, just like a lot of other people that were there. He was a stud back then even. Everyone knew back when we were even in middle school that he was going to be going pro right out of high school."

On where he and Lebron played in the same basketball tournament as kids:

"Las Vegas."

On if he was eager to play against Lebron in basketball:

"I don't know if I would have been eager to play against him. He would have shown us up pretty good. They were on a really good team. He played on Ohio Shooting Stars team and they were pretty loaded. I mean, they had a really good team. They always made it really far. Obviously, because of him, but they had some other nice players, too and we were just a bunch of try-hard guys. We were not very good."

On if the NBA was not for him:

"No, I don't think so. Six fouls, though. That is what I would have to give. One more than in high school."

On not enjoying the attention, but going on national radio and television shows this week to talk about his consecutive snaps streak:

"All under duress at the direction of (senior manager of communications) Dan Murphy. He said he was going to twist my arm if I didn't do those interviews. But no, it was good to do those interviews and talk about the streak and talk about the Browns. But I am happy to get that all over with on Tuesday and move onto football stuff here and the Colts."

On if he ever got emotional thinking about the streak and the support he received:

"Um, not yet. I think there is just so many other things going on in an NFL game, and even an NFL week, that it is hard to really sit back and take it all in. I think that is something that will probably happen in the offseason."

LB Christian Kirksey

On what it would mean to win on the road at Indianapolis this week:

"A win on the road would be huge for us. We are all focused to head up to Indy, to beat a good team. We are focused this week. We are excited about this week's opportunity. I am just ready to hit the road and finally get a win under our belt."

On what he has seen from LB James Burgess:

"Oh man, he has been great for us. He has been stepping up. He has been making plays. You see every time he gets in the game he is making a big play. He had a pass break up and then he had a sack in the next game, so he is doing a lot for us - a lot well. And I can't wait to see him go out there and play."

On what Burgess did to make the team:

"In the preseason, that last preseason game he balled out. I think the first drive he had like two tackles for loss or something like that. He just played with a lot of energy. He is smart. He knows what is doing. He knows how to play MIKE, WILL and SAM. So he is definitely one of those guys who earned his right to be on this team and earned his right to play on special teams, play on defense and is someone who is going to work for us."

On what the LBs have to do to 'tighten up' the underneath passes that are being completed:

"It is just bad communication on our part. Leaving guys wide open. It was really nothing that they did that was unbelievable. Not making excuses or anything like that, but it is bad communication on our part. We need to make sure we know our assignment. Once we do that we will eliminate some of the big plays."

On the biggest difference between last year's team and this year's team:

"A lot of guys are positive. It is the second game. We have a lot of season left and we are working towards our goals. We have all of our goals in front of us. Just being the team that we are, everybody is positive. We want to focus and everybody is just trying to do their job and do it the best way they possibly can. We have good leaders in the room. It starts off with our coaches. It is just a different feel, as far as mentally. I think everyone has their head on right and is ready to just keep the ball rolling."

DB Jason McCourty

On the defense's performance in the first two games:

"Obviously, I guess I'd say not good enough. We are 0-2, so not what we want. Obviously, we have to continue to improve. There have been some good things. We were able to get some turnovers last week, but we haven't been able to score on defense. There are still some things that we want to do that we haven't accomplished, so I guess I'd just say a work in progress. We are trying to get better. We are working our butt off on the practice field. We have to improve so that the result can show the way we want on Sundays."

On what the defense needs to do to get more pressure on the quarterback:

"I think our guys aren't doing a bad job up front. In the first two games, the quarterbacks have done a good job of getting the ball out quick. Obviously, in the first game, we saw (Steelers QB Ben) Roethlisberger throwing a lot of quick things to the outside and this past week the Ravens did a lot of boot and different things getting the ball out on the edges kind of fast. It hasn't enabled our defensive line and linebackers to get there because they are getting it out quick. I think they are doing a good job, but just continue to try to get your hands up if they are not getting the chance to get there to bat some balls down and just continue to do the things we are doing."

On Pro Football Focus rating him the second-best cornerback in the NFL last week, and if he felt he had one of his best games:

"I'm not a subscriber, so I don't know (laughter). I don't really pay any attention to that, but was able to make a few plays. Obviously, still some plays that you would like to have back in that game so I'm just trying to continue to work and get better."

On the challenges the Colts' offense provide:

"For us on the back end, the thing specifically is their ability to get down the field. Obviously, with a guy that everybody knows in (Colts WR) T.Y. Hilton. He can do everything – intermediate passes, short passes, screens – he has the ability to take the top off the defense and that is something that every receiver has from (Colts WR Donte) Moncrief to (Colts WR Kamar) Aiken. All of those guys can stretch the field. I know from our end, we need to keep those guys in front of us. Then, the guy who doesn't age, (Colts RB) Frank Gore, who is continuing to run the ball and producing for them. Obviously, Brissett is a guy that we are still getting accustomed to. Obviously, he hasn't played a lot of football. He just got there for them, so just trying to get accustomed to the things he likes and what they are trying to run with him at quarterback."

On if a defense can prevent opposing offenses from throwing deep while eliminating underneath routes: "I think some of the things are just technique things. It's not really a scheme thing where we are deep so they are getting intermediate things. Maybe something where you didn't cover well on that play and the guy caught a pass on you. If it's man-to-man, you can't let a guy catch a ball whether that is deep, intermediate, short or whatever. There were times in this past game where we just didn't do a good job with our eyes as an entire defense and we let some plays up. Those are the things I feel like we have to correct, but I think we have done a good job of keeping the ball in front of us because letting the ball over the top of your head is going to get you beat."

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