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Press Conference

Browns player press conferences - Kirksey, Landry and Ward

LB Christian Kirksey:

On entering the game with a boxer's mentality:

"That is the mentality. We are all ready to finally get the season started with Game 1. It is good that we are going against the Steelers. It is a division opponent. It counts as two [games]. We have an identity that we are getting. We are just ready to show it."

On playing a familiar opponent:

"It is a different year. I think that this team will be really prepared. I think that we have the right players in this building. I just think that we are going to get to it."

On Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell missing all of training camp last season before the season opener last year and this year, given Bell did not have his best performance of the season Week 1 last year:

"If you are not around your teammates and are not in the building or on the field, it is always different. It takes time to get that team chemistry. It takes time to go out there and beast. We knew that it was going to be a little different for him. Right now, we just have to look out for (Steelers RB) James (Conner)."

On if Bell was not as productive as usual in Week 1 last season:

"He is a great player so he is always going to be a focal point. I just think that we game planned well. I think that (defensive coordinator) Gregg (Williams) had a good gameplan for us to attack their offense. I just think that if it was him or any other running back, we were going to try to shut them down."

On how different this year's Week 1 feels compared to last year:

"I think that we are carrying ourselves with a different swag. I think that we are more confident. Not saying that we were not confident last year but I just think that we truly believe in that talent that we have in this room. I think that his is a closer team as far as on and off the field team chemistry and things like that. I think that we are closer. I just think that we are excited for the guys that we have on this team. We are just ready."

On how the team chemistry was developed with so many new players:

"We just have guys who bought in. It is a certain type of guy that we want on this team. We do not want any selfish guys. We do not want guys with high egos. There are guys that buy in and are leaders and do whatever it takes to win."

On significance of starting the season with a win and what it would mean to the players who have been here since he joined the team:

"There are only three of us (OL Joel Bitonio and WR Josh Gordon). It is just a lot of momentum. It would be good for the city and good for the fans just getting that first win of the season. It is a lot of momentum to go into Game 2."

WR Jarvis Landry:

On his level of excitement for this week compared to prior season openers:

"I think that I am as excited as all of them have been. Just having the opportunity to play football is what I am excited about. I can't wait."

On if playing the Steelers means something special to him, given the rivalry:

"Every game means something to me. I know how important this is, especially this being in our division. This counts as two games, really. For us, the expectation level is high. Obviously, we want to go in with a good mindset. Hopefully, we will win this one."

On the Steelers defense:

"They have a great defense, a well put together defense. They communicate well with each other, especially on the back end. A lot of veteran guys, especially on the D line. The D line can really wreak havoc if they are a part of the game. They have a great defense put together."

On his relationship with offensive coordinator Todd Haley:

"I am excited to have the opportunity to work with Todd. Just all of the people that he has worked with in the past and with my favorite being (Cardinals WR) Larry Fitzgerald when he was out in Arizona. There are things that I learn from Todd each and every day. I kind of like it when he is on me in the heat of the moment. Our offense can be as good as we want to be. We just have to understand what the gameplan is, go in and execute."

On his handshake with Haley as seen on Hard Knocks:

"We practiced it the whole training camp so we finally have it down (laughter). It took us a while."

On how long he has been preparing for Week 1:

"Any game that is the first game of the season, you always kind of go into training camp with in mind with what you are trying to accomplish and what our gameplan could potentially be. At the same time, I think that the whole focus of training camp was really for us. We want to understand and know what we are doing to the point that it does not matter who we are playing or what the defense is doing that we could still execute at a high level."

On mentoring Antonio WR Callaway as requested by Haley, as seen on Hard Knocks, and if coaches in past years have called on him to be a leader of the room:

"Yeah, it has happened. It is something that I have to continue to understand and grow with. I think that I am still growing as a man and as a player and to be able to understand constructive criticism and to take it for what it is worth. Get better but also be able to be that bravado and that example for the younger guys, as well."

DB Denzel Ward:

On his mindset heading into his first NFL game:

"Really excited. Really excited for my first regular season game. Looking forward to the competition in that game and getting the season started."

On if many family members will attend Sunday's game:

"Yeah definitely. I am from Cleveland so I will probably have like 50+ people at the first game."

On Steelers WR Antonio Brown:

"A great player, a great receiver. He is going to push you, and he is going to work every play. You just have to know where he is at all times on the field."

On what makes Brown an elite receiver:

"Really him at the catch point. By a receiver, cornerbacks could be on him at the catch point, but he comes out with those 50-50 balls."

On memories of the Browns-Steelers rivalry:

"Yeah, it was obviously a big rivalry. I am looking forward to playing my first regular season game against this team."

On if he embraces the challenge facing an elite receiver like Brown in his NFL debut:

"Definitely, I am definitely embracing that challenge. I look forward to going against him."

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