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Browns player press conferences - Schobert, Randall, Bitonio

LB Joe Schobert

On if he is glad to be back and how the first practice back was:

“Yeah, always glad to be back. It was a little chilly, but it was good.”

On how they fix some of the holes in the defense caused by injuries:

“I think in anything, communication has to be at the forefront. If you are all wrong, you are all right. That is what you always say. And if you can just get the ball down and make them play another play, you have a chance to turn things in your favor. Just eliminate the big plays, communicate all across the defense at every level and run to the ball.”

On how tough it is losing LB Christian Kirksey as a leader and a player:

“I think Kirksey is kind of the heart and soul of the defense, heart and soul of the locker room. On the field, just how he goes about his business and the energy he brings. Obviously, like we say, it is the next-man-up mentality. Bbut there are things you are going to miss. You have guys like (DL) Chris Smith dancing around with Kirksey before practice, so continue being his own way and bringing the juice. Kirksey will be around and doing his thing. I am sure he is not going to let us get down too bad.”

On how the past three games have been not playing:

“It is just different. It is weird. Especially with a hamstring, you feel like you can walk around and do everything perfectly fine – but then, the running and the explosion. You just walk around on the sideline feeling good and watching people on the field thinking you can be out there – wishing you could be out there. You just have to kind of suck it up and take it into your own role however you can help a team in that aspect. That is what I was doing. Just kind of jumped right into more of a coaching aspect – trying to keep myself involved that way. I think it helped.”

On if he is 100-percent now:

“I do not think I will set any records with sprinting, but we are working our way back up there. And as long as everything goes well – no setbacks, no re-injuries – I should be good.”

DB Damarious Randall

On if he is ‘ready to go’ this week:

“Yeah. I felt ready to go last week.”

On if anything happened in warmups Week 9 that led to being listed inactive for the game:

“Nothing happened. I was told before the game – way, way before the game. I was just doing my own little staying-in-shape type of deal.”

On if he was trying to ‘test out’ his groin in the chance of trying to play:

“No.”

On if he plead to Head Coach Gregg Williams to try to let him play:

“No. He made his decision. I respected it. Just on to the next week.”

On building off of sitting out Week 9:

“Just kind of taking it day by day and looking forward to the Atlanta Falcons this week.”

On if not playing last week helped him out physically to play this week:

“No (laughter).”

On what Williams’ message was to him being held out:

“There was not a message. I was not here throughout the week. It was not that I was not out at practice, I was not even here. I was not even available to be in meetings. It was more of that.”

On if the reason why he was not with the team was due to being further evaluated for his groin:

“I was going to see a doctor, yes.”

OL Joel Bitonio

On the next step for Greg Robinson’s development within the unit:

“I think just making sure that he knows the playbook, making sure that he knows every play. Making sure that we have good communication if we make a check from a run to a pass or a pass to a run, just things like that. Little things where if you do not practice together, you do not have as much communication time. If he can continue to work on that, I think that those are things that he can continue to shore up and be ready for next week.”

On if he is worried about the season ‘getting away’ from the team:

“No. I know the guys in this locker room. Coach Williams has done a good job of pressing that it is the next game. We have had some unfortunate breaks and have not played our best. We know that we have the players in this locker room that we have to build around and keep building to grow for the future. It is unfortunate that we are not in a battle right now – like battling for first place in the (AFC) North or anything like that – but we have our own battles that we are trying to get. We are trying to improve every week and we are trying to get some wins to finish this year out. We have a long way to go. We have seven games to go and there are games that we want to win on our schedule. I do not think that there is anyone in here that is packing it in or worrying about us tanking this year in any way.”

On if he has stayed in touch with Falcons OL Alex Mack from their time together in Cleveland:

“Yeah. We talk a good amount. We have a little group message with the guys from that era; (Chiefs OL) Mitch (Schwartz), Alex, (former Browns OL) Joe (Thomas) and (Giants OL John) Greco – some of those guys. It is good to hear from them. I know that he is excited to come back to Cleveland and play in front of the fans. He was close. He almost won a Super Bowl there, I think it was his first year there. They have had some battles. They have been in the playoffs every year. He has enjoyed himself, I know that he has. I know that he misses the guys around here and the people in Cleveland, but he has enjoyed himself down there.”

On the Browns OL featuring the aforementioned players:

“It was a good group of guys. It was a perfect situation for me to come in to. Joe, Alex, Mitch and John, those are all guys that have played a long time in this league and are great players.”

On if not being in the starting role could be beneficial for OL Desmond Harrison:

“Oh, yeah. Any time that you have a chance to step back, re-evaluate where you are at and really hone some stuff on the practice field. Every week you are practicing to try and get out and get ready to play. When you are playing the games, your body is beat up. If you are not necessarily playing in the games, you have time during the week to really hone on your craft, really work on your technique and things. When you are playing, you are trying to learn the playbook. Whoever plays, there are still going to have to know the playbook – whether you are playing or not. It gives them a chance to really work on individual tactics, individual things that he can be or things that he wants to improve on. I think it is big for him. He needs to take a breath, see where he is at the halfway point and understand what he needs to do to improve in the NFL. After a few weeks, people have a game plan. If he is not handling the bull rush well, people are going to be like, ‘Hey, bull rush him.’ If he is not being able to handle a twist, twist him. It is the NFL. They have tape on everything. To take a chance to regroup and really improve the game will help him.”

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