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Press Conference

Browns player press conferences - Bitonio, Hubbard, Johnson

OL Joel Bitonio:

On this week:

"We have Pittsburgh again. Probably going to be a rainy or cold game like the first one a little bit. We are excited. We want to get back out there. We want to get this bad taste of losing out of our mouth, try to get another division win and try to jumble it up a little bit more in the division."

On if the first game against the Steelers is encouraging, given the team's record at Pittsburgh in recent years:

"It is always tough with Pittsburgh. They always seem to have a good gameplan for us, and we hurt ourselves a little bit. I know our defense gives us a lot of opportunities in the first game to score, and there were some chances there that we had to convert even more plays into scores. There is encouragement there. We saw good things running the ball. We had some good protection things that we want to continue to improve on, but there are definitely things we want to take advantage of that we missed the first game. I know they are going to show us some different looks and try to change some things up, and I know (QB) Baker (Mayfield) did not play in that first game so it will be a good opportunity for him as well."

On facing the Steelers defense after the Browns offense has surrendered multiple sacks in recent weeks:

"[Giving up sacks] is an offensive issue. We want to try and lower those numbers. We are worst in the league in sacks given up right now, and we are trying to improve as a unit. It is not always on one guy, but we just have to be better as a group. I know Pittsburgh had a good game against us last time, especially (Steelers LB) T.J. (Watt). He had a big, big game, and that is one of our goals – one of our first goals is to protect the quarterback. We are trying to work on protection. Honestly, it is man to man, do not get beat. That is the main thing is when you are one on one with a guy, you have to protect and make sure he does not sack the quarterback."

On what makes Steelers T.J. Watt affective:

"He plays hard. He has size. He has the motor. For some reason against us, the first three times we played him, he has gotten – not lucky because he plays hard and makes plays – but he has fallen into a few sacks and had some nice plays. He is a good player. He works hard. He is good with his hands for a younger player, and he is a tough guy to handle. He is definitely on our list of guys we want to try to shut down this week."

On how surprised he was when officials picked up the flag for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Mayfield:

"At first, I did not really see it so I was not sure if they thought he slipped late and they could hit him. When he said the head-to-head thing, it kind of confused me because I am pretty sure runners now can't get hit in the head anyway. It confused us, but in the heat of the moment, you have to go out there and try to finish the drive. Afterwards, you are a little bit downtrodden about it. It is upsetting, especially when they are trying to protect quarterbacks at all costs, but it is what it is. We are going to go out there and we have to kind of overcome that. We have had plenty of penalties this year so we are trying to lower that number, as well."

OL Chris Hubbard:

On facing the Steelers for the second time this year:

"Those guys, they have found a rhythm. From Week 1, they are a different team. You can see that watching them play. They feel comfortable in what they do. They play aggressive. A physical team. I have been over there. I know what they expect. Watching those guys from Week 1 to now, there is a big jump."

On how the Browns are different from Week 1:

"We are starting to find our rhythm. I think that we are starting to adjust to what we know – the coaches, as well. We are starting to pieces together in what works and what does not work. That is starting to evolve."

On the Steelers not necessarily making changes but being more successful:

"No, they are still doing the same thing that they were doing in Week 1 just a little bit better than what they were doing in Week 1."

On Steelers LB T.J. Watt:

"Athletic guy. I have been around him so I know what to expect. He is a guy that is going to come out there and have his craft down as much as possible. He is going to work all game and have a motor the whole game."

On Watt's sacks in Week 1:

"Stands out. It means a lot. We do not want him to touch our quarterback at all. We want to take care of (QB) Baker (Mayfield) and make sure that he is upright."

On if he is helping the OL prepare for Pittsburgh by using his experience with the Steelers:

"Oh yeah, I always tell those guys different nuggets and things that they can work on. Being around those guys for so long, you just know them personally – what works for them and what does not work for them."

RB Duke Johnson Jr.:

On RB Carlos Hyde being traded to Jacksonville:

"I think we all were surprised by the trade. That is kind of part of the business in the aspect of us as players, we grow a relationship with players and one day they are here and one day they are not. Wish he was still here because he was one of the best guys that I have been around in a while, and he was a better football player. We all wish him the best."

On potentially getting more touches following the Hyde trade:

"We will see."

On his conversation with RB Nick Chubb following the news of the trade:

"Surprised. Both were surprised that it happened, especially when it happened. Brief conversation about letting him know that it is his time now and that he has to be ready for every opportunity that he gets in the game, and he was."

On if he sensed any unhappiness from Hyde during his time with the team:

"That he was not happy? Not that I know of. I do not think that he was [unhappy]. Especially outside of football, he had so much to be happy for. I do not think that he was at all to be honest with you."

On his role with a possible increased workload and wanting to do more to help the Browns win:

"I am doing my job, regardless of what it is. I think the one thing that I have said since I have been here is that I am always going to do my job regardless of what it is. Regardless of what they ask me to do, I am going to do it. I am going to do it week in and week out. Regardless of what they ask me to do and regardless of what it is, I am going to do it. I know that my blocking is something that I have been taking pride in that and finding something that I find joy in. I find joy in picking up blitzes, protecting our quarterback and keeping the pocket clean."

On if he was surprised that he did not get more touches in Week 7 at Tampa Bay following the trade:

"Surprised? I am not sure if I can use the word surprised. I was not surprised at all to be honest with you. I can go back and forth and say that I should get the ball and let me get the ball. At the end of the day, I do not call the plays. I don't put myself into that situation to get the play. When my number is called, I have to find a way to make the play, regardless of when it is and what is the score. We all just have to find ways to make plays when the opportunity is given."

On if he campaigns to get more touches:

"No sir. I said that last week. I will say it again, I do not go to coaches and demand the ball. I let my play speak for itself – my leadership, my blocking. I let everything that I do, outside of making plays with the ball, do all of the talking."

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