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Browns player quotes - 10/29

DB Joe Haden:

On how it feels to be back:

"It feels good to be back. Just being out there with the guys and interacting and being back on the field feels good."

On his first game back from injury and having to face the Cardinals' wide receiver corps, and having to face talented receivers every week:

"It is the NFL. Our schedule, we have a lot of tough receivers. Just trying to get back in the groove. Getting ready for (Cardinals WR) Larry (Fitzgerald), for (Cardinals WR Michael) Floyd, for (Cardinals RB John) Brown and then the quarterback (Carson) Palmer throws the ball perfectly. Getting ready for that group is going to be a challenge for us but I am happy to be back."

On if he has ever had a concussion before:

"This was really new. It was a new thing for me. The concussion protocol was something I had never been through. They really take care of you with your head now. I can tell that for sure. I have had a lot of injuries, but that is one they definitely look out for a lot. I am glad to be back."

On if it is comforting to know that the team and league goes through a very cautious protocol when dealing with concussions:

"Definitely. At least I know now that the league, the Browns, everyone, doesn't play around when it comes to your head. It is the short-term fix for the long-term. They are looking out and making sure everything is back intact before you get back out there. That is something I really liked – the way they handled it."

On how his concussion happened:

"It was during a screen play, the ball was tipped, and I went to go pick up the screen and he grabbed my left arm and he was bringing my head down to the ground and my finger was messed up so I moved my right hand out of the way so I took it – head against the ground."

On what the time off has done for his finger:

"It has done a lot for my finger, honestly. My whole body – I have been hurt the whole season so it was time to heal up my whole body and give my body some rest. They are saying I have fresh legs."

On if he also hurt his ribs and or their injuries that weren't made public:

"It was football stuff."

On if it has been a strange year for him because he has missed some games:

"I am not usually hurt. With the training camp reps and the minicamp, I haven't been able to get my groove on. I think now I just have to get back in it and focus back in and lock back up and get it back right."

On if he needs to ease back in this week:

"I hope I can go back to being me. I don't want to ease back. If I am out there, I am playing. I got clearance so I am working on doing what I do for the team and helping us be better and helping us win. Whatever the coaches want me to do I am going to be ready for whatever."

A look at Browns uniforms, from the franchise's inception to current-day.

DL Danny Shelton:

On how challenging it has been to play through a few injuries:

"It's the same. I've done it my whole career, high school, college. Just mentally trying to stay there and stay in the game and trying to compete and play for reps. That's what really had me at the beginning. I'm just now learning how to transition and how to play, really just play ball."

On having his best pad level game against the Rams:

"Yeah definitely. Last week was like something I never thought I could do as far as just playing with lower pad level because throughout my whole career I've always played high and been the guy that always tried to make plays at a high pad level. This whole week, whole last week was dedicated to having lower pads, playing lower and just dominating."

On what he means when he says he never thought he could play that way:

"I just never saw it as important. High school player, college player you get away with bullying people around, playing high. In high school I was usually the taller guy so it was easy to just throw guys around. In the league you can't really get away with doing that consistently. Just emphasizing staying low and getting in the backfield, it's been helping me out this last past week."

On if pad level is the number one technique he has been working on:

"Yeah definitely. It's something that I've always had on my sheet since I was in high school, to play lower. I just now realized the difference it makes after last week's game. I'll continue to play with lower pads and just play ball

On if he is closer to playing up to his expectations:

"This past week definitely. Played with lower pad level so that just showed me what I could do, a difference in my game. I'm continuing to do that, continuing to improve and hopefully be where I wanted to be at the start of the season."

On Cardinals RB Chris Johnson:

"Chris Johnson is really fast. Honestly, we're just going to continue to play the way we've been playing as a D-line, getting in the backfield, disrupting the play, causing the running back to just jump outside or just get tackled in the backfield. Just continue to work on that."

On the biggest adjustment he has had to make in his rookie season:

"I think mentally, just knowing that you're not going to play as many snaps as you did in college. Knowing that you're going to have to rotate. That took me a while to understand. I thought being a first rounder I'd just get to play right away. Obviously you have to work and obviously you have other guys in your position in the depth chart that can also produce so you're not going to shy away from putting them in. Ultimately you want the best for the team if it means rotating then that's going to be the way it is."

On if he is excited about defensive coordinator Jim O'Neil's comments that the goal is to get Shelton in the game for 60-70 percent of the snaps:

"Yeah, every time I hear we're playing a team that we'll have to play base in, I'm going to be excited right away. Just knowing that I get another opportunity out there makes me excited to just get out and play in front of a great crowd and play with some great players."

OL Joe Thomas:

On QB Josh McCown practicing after his injury and a few hard hits:

"He's a tough guy. I think we've figured that out in the short year we've been together. Just going back to what he's done since the spring, he's definitely a tough guy. He's old school and he's going to do what he has to do to get out there no matter what the circumstances."

On if he expects McCown to play Sunday:

"I would. Until they tell me he won't be out there, I'd expect him to be out there."

On how McCown looked in practice today:

"He was limited today, and it was pretty windy, but he looked like Josh McCown, Pretty good job out there."

On if he agrees with Head Coach Mike Pettine's comments that the run scheme is more complimentary runs as opposed to wide zone:

"I guess I don't know exactly what the future holds, but certainly in the last few weeks, we've done very few outside zones and specialized more and more on the inside zone, gap scheme type stuff that maybe we'd done before (former Browns offensive coordinator and Falcons offensive coordinator) Kyle (Shanahan) was here last year. The guys that have been here, it's a pretty easy transition. There's some new stuff in it for (OL) Joel (Bitonio) because it's not what he was used to from last year, but pretty much anybody that's played offensive line in college or pro has a pretty good background with inside zone and gap scheme stuff. It's pretty easy to pick up that stuff."

On making that scheme switch five games into the season:

"I wouldn't say it's a permanent thing. I think it's more a matter of trying to pick what the coaches feel fits best with what our offense is doing. They're going to try to pick what they feel is the best matchup verses the team we're playing against. For as much as we're throwing the ball, I think they want to try to limit some of the negative runs that tend to happen more when you're running the wide zone type stuff. I think that might be part of it."

On if allowing 21 sacks in five games is bothersome:

"I guess I don't really pay attention to it because there are so many factors that go into sacks, so many more factors than just how the offensive line is blocking. The biggest factor is the type of offense you run, how quickly your quarterback throws the ball, how much you throw the ball. Then after all of those things, it's how the offensive line is blocking, how the tight ends block, how the running backs block. I guess I don't really pay attention. I think that last week we, as an offensive line, didn't block as well as our expectations are, and we got Josh hit too much. That's the first time I think that that's happened this year. We're disappointed with how we played as a unit, and our expectations are higher than that. We're going to hope to play better this week and protect Josh the way we had been in the previous weeks."

On the offensive line's performance against Rams DE Robert Quinn:

"Hate to talk about last week's game again, but I think we did a good job against him, except for that one holding that I had. Other than that, I felt like we shut him down. I don't think he had any tackles or any sacks. He was the biggest concern going into the game, and from the way we played, he's probably the only guy that we did a good job against."

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