Press Conference

Browns player press conferences - Bitonio, Chubb, Hunt, Njoku

G Joel Bitonio:

On the challenge replacing DE Myles Garrett:

“He was in the running for Defensive Player of the Year. He is someone that offenses have to focal point. I would assume they have some sort of plan whether that is to chip him or slide his way, do something to slow him down and get the ball out quicker. When you are missing a guy like that, it is going to be multiple guys stepping up. I know (DE) Chad (Thomas) has been playing a little bit more already, (DE) Chris (Smith) is going to have to come in and do his thing and then I think we are going to have to bring – we have a couple new guys already – but we are going to have to bring guys up or something to get some more rotation out there and really be focused on just doing their job. You do not want them to do too much when you get put in that position but just do your job on each play and see what happens.”

On if losing players on the defensive side of the ball puts more pressure on the offense:

“You lose a couple defensive players – OV (DE Olivier Vernon) has been hurt, Myles is out and you lose (S) Morgan (Burnett) – all of those things, those are starters, big players on defense, and they are going to do their best. I know they are going to fight. They have been playing really well. They helped us get that win last week for sure, but now we are focused. We have to score as many points as we need to win the game. That is something we are focused on each week but a little bit more heightened this week.”

On if he senses the team is galvanizing after the adversity from last week:

“It takes time. We are still early in the process, but I think the last couple of practices we have had a good energy, a good focus. It is the NFL and stuff happens all the time be it an injury, be it a trade. There are a ton of things that happen on a week-to-week basis that you have to play the next play and it is the next man up. We just need to stay focused on ourselves. What is the best version of Cleveland that we can put out there? That is what we are working on this week, and we are trying to go 1-0. The Dolphins have improved a lot. Early in the year, they struggled a little bit, but they have won two out of three now, they are taking care of the ball a lot better and they are doing some good things on defense. They play real hard over there so it will be a tough test.”

On how QB Baker Mayfield has performed in recent weeks and it matching more of his performance and style from the second half of last season:

“It has been good. It has been fun. I think we have had a huge emphasis the last few weeks of taking care of the ball and penalties, and I think as an offense we have done a pretty good job of that. Baker, I think, is coming into his own again. He had some unlucky turnovers, I would say, early in the season and that kind of carried over a little bit, but he is kind of looking like himself. He made a few plays with his feet that he made some throws, he even ran the ball in that one time on the QB sneak so it is some life, some good things we have seen from him and I know he is extremely focused right now and he has continued to take that next step each week.”

RB Nick Chubb:

On reaching 1,000 rushing yards for the first time in his NFL career:

“Yeah, it means something to me. Hard work finally paying off. I have to credit my linemen for opening holes and doing everything right blocking-wise. Everybody plays a part in that – the receivers, the quarterback, the line, the tight ends – so it is not just me. It is a reflection of the team and our ability to run the ball.”

On being the Browns’ nominee for the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award and always staying even keel during games, including not really celebrating his long runs:

“That is just my mindset. That is just my mental state. That is just who I am. I just care about my teammates, and I want to do whatever I can to put them in better positions to help them out any way I can and just win games at the end of the day. Nothing else really matters to me but my team and winning.”

On if he has a sense that RB Kareem Hunt and he are just getting started in their work as a tandem backfield:
“Yeah, I think so. We are just getting started like you said. The sky is the limit with what we can do with us in the backfield and us on the field at the same time. I just look forward to each week going out there and playing with another great player.”

On if he sees differences in the ways defenses approach the Browns offense since the integration of Hunt:

“We have only played two games with it so I am not sure. I know Pittsburgh definitely schemed for it and did some good things against it, but as far as we know, we want to keep playing.”

RB Kareem Hunt:

On the type of support he can offer DE Myles Garrett, understanding the position following his own suspension:

“Like you said, I have been there and I have been in his position. It is tough, but you just have to take it day by day and be positive, even when you feel like it is never going to end. I am here now and finally got through the storm.”

On if he has talked to Garrett:

“I had a little talk with him a day or two ago.”

On how Garrett is handling the situation:

“I feel like he is handling it. He is ready to take responsibility of his consequences and that is all he can do. Now just show to everybody that Myles is a good guy. He is one of the best people, I would say. He is a good person.”

On if he was surprised to Garrett react that way:

“Yeah, I was surprised. Emotions get high. It still does not change the way that I think about Myles. Absolutely a great person, a great teammate. Made a mistake. Hopefully, we get him back sooner than later. That is all we can hope for.”

TE David Njoku:

On being back on the football field today:

“It was great. Definitely missed my teammates. Really exciting catching the ball again, finally running routes. Really excited.”

On how close is he to being ready to play:

“I think I am game ready right now.”

On if Head Coach Freddie Kitchens knows that he is ready to play:

“Does he know that? I hope so.”

On what he has to prove to make sure he is able to play on Sunday:

“Really, for me, I just have to control what I can control. I have to show the coaches that I know what I am doing, first off and foremost, and I can do it to a high speed and to my greatest ability. Just keep working on what I can improve.”

On what did for conditioning while he was injured:

“A lot. A lot of running. It was good.”

On how motivated he is to get back on the field:

“Very. Very. Very motivated. Yes, sir.”

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