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Browns player quotes - 1/4


TE Gary Barnidge:**

On if Owner Jimmy Haslam spoke to the team this morning:

"He did. He just told us that we're going to get things going, we're going to get the right guy in place and we're going to improve."

On if his conversation with Haslam was different from their conversation before his contract extension:

"The conversation me and him have will stay between me and him. I have confidence in what he decides, and I'm looking forward to helping here."

On if he has uncertainty about the new offensive system:

"Not really. I don't really contribute just to the offense. I think it's the way we played as a team. It wasn't really just one person or the way the plays were designed. We didn't design it for one person to succeed. We designed it for the team to succeed."

On if he has second thoughts about his contract extension:

"None at all. I'm glad to be here in Cleveland. I want to be here when we turn this thing around, and I still believe we can."

On if more changes will postpone the team's success:

"It's not necessarily true. It's happened to other teams. You can win the next year. That happens. You just never know what's going to happen. You just have to come and be ready to go each year."

On if OL Joe Thomas' comments about constant turnover make him reconsider staying in Cleveland:

"No, I'm still excited about being here, and I'm looking forward to turning things around. I have confidence that we can do that here."

On if he knows executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown well:

"I do not. I met him a couple times but other than that."

On if Brown spoke to the team today:

"Yes, he did."

On Brown's message to the team:

"Just that we're going to get things turned around and we're going to get things on the right track."

On if any coaches addressed the team:

"It was just them (Haslam and Brown), and then we met with our own tight end coach between ourselves with our tight ends."

On if he wishes he had one more TD this season to break Ozzie Newsome's record:

"Would have been nice, but it didn't happen. It's fine. I have no problem with it. Again, I would trade all of those to win."

On his 1,000-yard receiving season as a special accomplishment:

"I think everybody else will look back at it. I'm very appreciative of that and just looking forward to trying to hopefully duplicate it next year."

OL Joel Bitonio:

On coaching and front office changes:

"It is tough. Ray (Farmer) and Pett (Mike Pettine) and all the coaches are the guys that brought me into play football in the NFL. They trusted me, and I think I am always going to have a connection with them in that sense. It is also part of the business. I hate to use what Coach Pett says, but it is pass or fail. We didn't win enough games for him. It is not just on the coaches. It is on the players. We didn't perform well enough. I think the whole thing wasn't quite good enough, and that is what happens in the NFL. You have to win quickly. I felt bad. I empathize with people, if you just lost your job like that, it is something to talk about, but it is also their families. They are kind of hurting from it. We will see how it goes. It is part of the business and I trust (Owner) Mr. (Jimmy) Haslam to get us in the right direction and hopefully put the people in place that we need to win some more ball games."

On OL Joe Thomas' comments yesterday about another coaching change and his future:

"Joe Thomas has been around a lot more than me. This is my first experience. I don't know how many he has had, but I am sure he has had a lot of coaches and different general managers and stuff like that. It is a lot on you, especially for a guy that has played nine years now. He has been through so many different offenses and so many different things. I understand where his mind is at, but I respect his decision. He has been to nine Pro Bowls. He is going to do what is right for him and his family. I have no idea what that is. We will see how that goes. I think it is just something you get frustrated with over time."

On if coaching and front office changes were needed:

"It is hard for me to say. I don't have to make those decisions, which is a good thing for me. I agree that we didn't win enough games. I do agree with that. I do think 3-13 is not good enough. If you need to move a coach in that sense and that is the decision they made, then I kind of understand that, but like I said, I have a connection with Coach Pett and Ray. Those are the guys that brought me in here. I see both sides of the spectrum."

On if Pettine or Farmer have addressed the team:


On if Haslam and executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown have addressed the team:


On Haslam's and Brown's message to the team:

"Not really anything crazy. Just what the structure of the organization is going to be, how Sashi is the executive vice president and how they are looking for a head coach right now. They are going to try to get him in place as quick as possible, but it takes time. We have some good young talent and we have a bunch of draft picks this year, and they are hopefully going to move it in the right direction."

RB Isaiah Crowell:

On what Owner Jimmy Haslam said to the team:

"Basically, just they'll be looking for coaches and it's a sad day for everybody. They're just looking for coaches and have to just come back strong, get our bodies healthy and come back strong ready for next season."

On if he is disappointed to start over with a new coach:

"I'm kind of disappointed just at the way tings played out. You know obviously we didn't have a good season this year. I feel like maybe some changes needed to be made, and hopefully, next year it will be better."

On why changes needed to be made:

"Obviously, just because of the season, just because of how things went, I feel like we just needed better leadership."

On if continuity and leadership are what the team needs:

"Really, we just need people to make better football decisions. I just feel like a lot of things could have went different in the season if some decisions were made differently. I just go by what the coaches tell me to do. That's my job, and hopefully, next year, it will be better."

On if he is frustrated with how he was used on the field this year:

"Kind of frustrated just because I don't feel like I helped my team as much as I could have. I'm just going to keep working hard, and hopefully, everything will play out."

DB Justin Gilbert:

On if expectations are higher for him as a top-10 draft pick:

"From time to time. At first, it didn't, but now it does. I can pretty much guarantee that they can get out of me as long, as I continue to take care of my body the way I've been doing, they're going to get what they drafted me to do."

On what changed for him personally since last year:

"Taking care of my body, eating well and sleeping well."

On if he can still live up to high-draft pick expectations:

"Most definitely. That's not going away."

On if a new coaching staff will be good for him:

"I don't think that'll really make any difference. It's really up to me to just go out and play on the field and use my strong points in the game, really just use my strong points and not try to do too much or focus too much on my technique and just go out there and play ball."

On if it offends him to hear comments that Ray Farmer's draft picks did not work for the team:

"They didn't work out this season, and one was because of injuries. I can tell you that because when I was healthy, I was about to start or starting so that's pretty much all I have to say about that."

On reports that he refused to play in Sunday's game:

"That was false because I was in the game, and I was playing special teams. I just wasn't up on defense. Bade (DB Johnson Bademosi) and (DB) Pierre (Desir) were ahead of me at the time."

DB Tashaun Gipson:

On if he knows executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown:

"I have dealt with him a little bit during my contract negotiations so that will tell you a little bit about what things are. I know him a little bit. I respect him. I know him a little bit. I can't tell you too much about him. I know I have dealt with him when I was trying to get a deal done for the season. That is pretty much the extent of the relationship I have with him. I know he is a good dude and I know he is thought highly of in the business world and things like that. Hopefully, he has the reins and the key to whatever you want to call it, and hopefully, he can get this job done."

On how much changes affect his decision to remain with the Browns or not:

"I think that is what it comes to. It is a two-way street. These new coaches, if they want me to be here, if they feel like I fit their scheme and does this play a part in free agency. Absolutely, you look at it and say, 'Is this the type of defense that you want to be in?' I have expressed how much I want to be in the city of Cleveland. I definitely still am very profound with that. I do want to be here. At the end of the day, I do have to do what is best for me and my career. Ultimately, if the coach wants me around here, I think things will get done. If not, then we will see how it will work out. I am just excited to get through the season healthy. The season didn't go the way we wanted. I know everyone is tired of hearing it, but we have next year. That is one of the things that as cliché as it may sound, I will be excited to be here if I am here. If not, I still will always wish and hope that the Browns have success because they deserve it."

On if his decision to return boils down to if he wants to go through another coaching change:

"For me and my career, if I am here by the grace of God, this would be four coaches in five years. I would say that is nothing that I have ever scripted to think that it would ever happen. That sounds crazy to say I have been a five-year professional athlete yet four different coaching staffs and four different schemes. That is tough, but in this business, you definitely have to have thick skin because you have to understand that these are the types of things that happen. A lot of these things are out of my control. If they want me here, whatever coach is here, if he wants me here, then I would be more than happy to do what is asked of me in the defense. I would say the continuity is something that has gotten lost in the shuffle. You would like to definitely have the same coaches, go over the same defensive gameplan, get your feet wet again with the same defensive coaching staff; no one wants to show up April 1 every year, those three weeks are – it was big. I trust Jimmy that he is going to get the job done."

On if he agrees with RB Isaiah Crowell's comments that the team needs better leadership and football decision makers:

"When you are 3-13, it is hard not to agree with that. It is hard not to agree with someone saying that because we are 3-13 and we have not only taken a step back, but we have taken a few steps back from the progression last year. You could say we lost guys to suspension and injuries throughout the season, but good football teams find a way. We just didn't find a way. Something definitely has to be done and something drastic has to be done."

WR Andrew Hawkins:

On what Owner Jimmy Haslam said in the team meeting today:

"The fans deserve a winner. We have the best fan base in the National Football League, which is the truth, and they deserve to have a team that reflects the reason why they are so loyal. I think that is his goal and that is everything he laid out for us in the meeting."

On the team 'restarting':

"It is frustrating. I am not going to say it was the wrong move, but like I said, it is well documented that the more continuity you have in a place, the more successful you will be."

On if coaching and front office changes were required:

"We are 3-13. When you are 3-13, anything is on the table. That is how this league works. That is how this business works. As a player, if I go 16 games and I don't perform in 13 of them, then I am out of there. No one is going to argue it. No one is going to say anything about it. It is not going to be 'Should we give him more time?' It is a bottom line business, and it happens quick."

On why he is confident that coaching and front office changes will work this time:

"I am not confident about anything. I am not, not confident. We are less than 24 hours out. I am confident that Jimmy Haslam wants to win football games. That is where it starts. He is not doing it just for the sake of doing it. He is doing it because he wants someone to be successful here like everyone in this locker room wants to be successful and like the fans want this team to be successful. I get that people are frustrated and say you shouldn't blow things up. The owner and the fans are more on the same page than they probably realize."

On Brown moving into his new position:

"I have had a few conversations with Sashi. He is very impressive. I am a fan of Sashi Brown and the way he approaches things. I think he has the knowledge. If he has been in it long enough to understand everything, then I am all for it. I am on the side of putting Sashi Brown in charge."

On if the Browns can turn things around quickly, given Haslam's comments that it will take time:

"Every year that we make speculations or we talk about this isn't going to do that or that is going to do this, then the season comes around and it is completely different. The years go by and it is completely different. These same stations that have probably asked the same question how many different times. For me to give an answer to that, we could very well be having the same conversation a couple years from now."

On if he expects to see QB Johnny Manziel next year:

"I am going to let the guys upstairs do their job. This is a frustrating year for me. Even before the injury, it was a little more frustrating than usual. I am just ready to get into the offseason, work out and look forward to playing 2016 at a higher level."

DL Danny Shelton:

On if he expected a coaching change at the end of his rookie season:

"Not at all. It's rough, but at the same time, you have to know it's a business. I'm just going to continue to work with my teammates and try our best to buy into the next system that comes in. We'll see what happens."

On if he is confident a new coaching staff will see his potential:

"It's not really up to us. We just have to go with what the head guy chooses. I'm going to try my best to work with the new coaching staff and see where we can go."

On why the team wasn't as successful as hoped this season:

"Honestly, my opinion, I feel like we didn't have enough time. A lot of games we had close games and ended with not enough time for us. We had the talent, we had guys who wanted to win, but it's just a tough situation really."

On if the Browns are as talented as other teams in the division:

"Most definitely."

On if veterans gave him advice on how to handle coaching changes:

"Yeah, (DL) John Hughes (III). He's been here four, five years and in four years he's had at least three coaching changes. It's just a part of the business. He told me and (DL) Xavier Cooper not too long ago, he was just like, 'You're going to get coaches that you like, and you never know what will happen. They might leave.' You just have to be ready for the next guy, be able to produce."

On if it is tough to see Mike Pettine and Ray Farmer go after they showed faith in him:

"I didn't want this to happen. I didn't want to have a 3-13 season, but that's what happened for us. No taking it back. I'm forever grateful for these guys to give me this opportunity. I'm still excited to be here and be a part of the Cleveland Browns organization. I'm still faithful that we're going to get this culture changed."

On his offseason plans:

"Be a normal person, I guess. I'm planning on going back home, visiting family for a couple of weeks and then coming back here. Trying to make this my home."

On takeaways from the team meeting with Owner Jimmy Haslam and executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown:

"Really just to keep your head up, be aware that there's going to be some new coaches coming in anytime."

On if Pettine addressed the team:

"Not yet. I have just seen him, talked to him a little bit. He's a great guy, but it's a part of the business."

OL Joe Thomas:

On if he was surprised by Browns front office changes:

"I wouldn't say it was a surprise based on the reports that were out there going into the game. Just based on the record we had this season, 3-13 certainly isn't good enough to keep your job almost anywhere."

On if Owner Jimmy Haslam said anything to the team this morning that gives him reassurance, given this will be his sixth head coach:

"Nothing yet. I think a lot of times this day after is kind of a boilerplate day. You get everybody involved."

On why he is confident in the coaching search, given the number of head coaches he's had:

"I think it remains to be seen who we bring in here and how they go about the process, who we get for a head coach and for a GM, who we get in free agency. There are a lot of things that are going to go into this process coming up here that hopefully will put us in the right direction."

On if he is angered about going through another round of hiring processes:

"It doesn't make you happy when you have to go through another coaching change. It is tough on everybody. Coaching changes and organizational changes always set you back. It is a tough process to go through. Nobody is happy about it, and it is never easy."

On Haslam stating yesterday that he made some mistakes and has learned and comparisons to two years ago:

"I don't know if they will reveal any great wisdoms the day after the last game, kind of during a 'Black Monday.' Like I said, it is most of the same type of stuff that you usually get. It is not like they are revealing any great strategy. I do think that the more Mr. Haslam is around as an owner, the more he will learn. He is obviously an extremely bright person who wants to get it right and who has been doing a lot of studying of other organizations that have had success and trying to figure out what is going to work for the Cleveland Browns. I think the more experience he gets as an owner, the better we will be."

On if his mind has changed about his comments on his future with the Cleveland Browns, given the front office changes:

"I don't think any of that changes until you really put a head coach in place and you put a GM here and you get the direction of the franchise from those guys."

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