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Browns player quotes - 11/6

OL John Greco

On QB Duke Johnson Jr.'s performance:

"I thought the whole game he managed really well. First half, obviously, we had things rolling as an offense. We were in the game. Thought he mastered an unbelievable drive going into the half that really gave us some momentum and was a huge confidence booster for the offense going into halftime. Coming out, I think things didn't go our way. I think we got away from the run game. We just turned it into a one-dimensional offense for a variety of reasons. When you're doing that, it's tough. It's uphill sledding, especially against a good team. I thought he handled the offense wonderfully in the first half, and in the second half, he did the best he could with the situation."

On if the Browns abandon the run too quickly in the second half:

"I don't know. I play offensive line. I don't make the calls. There have been games, we've won games and had a lot of success with just throwing the ball, and there have been times where we've had to rely heavily on the run. Yesterday for us to stay competitive and try to get a lead in the second half opening up, I guess we had to keep throwing. Like I said, Cincinnati was scoring so we were digging ourselves a hole, and that's the thing you have to just keep passing, try to get out of it and try to get back in the game. I don't want to say we've abandoned it. It's just kind of a thing you get away from it just because of the flow of the game."

On Cincinnati's second half adjustments with more pressure on Manziel:

"Cincinnati's got a really good defense, particularly up front. They can pressure when they need to and they can rush four and play coverage – they're good enough to get there with just four. I didn't see them make earth shattering adjustments. I noticed that they were trying to contain Johnny in the pocket because he showed all year that he's made big throws on the run. His mobility just helps us. You can tell he's getting more and more comfortable doing that, throwing on the run. That's his thing. If he doesn't see his first, second or third read in the pocket, that's what he does. He makes plays on the run. I don't think it was anything that they were doing differently – that's my personal opinion. They were rushing the passer because we were obviously passing the ball more. I think it was just a kind of thing where Johnny didn't see it right away and he was just trying to make a play for us."

On avoiding discouragement with a losing record:

"For me personally, this is my job. I don't have the ability, especially at my position, to say, 'You know what? I'm giving up,' because somebody can get hurt. I play a game within a game. This is me, personally. All the guys that line up next to me, I know that's their mindset. In my opinion, that's everyone on this team. No one's going to give up. Yeah, our record right now isn't what we want. Last year we were 7-4 and won five games straight. What's to say we can't rip off three, four in a row, who knows, five in a row to finish out the season. That's our mindset. It's tough. When things don't go your way and you put so much work and effort into it, it's easy to just hang your head and hang it up for the season, but guys aren't going to do that. It's still our jobs. We're being evaluated every day as with everyone else. You'll see who the competitors are and see who still wants to try to right the ship."

On what impact it may have on the Browns if coaches decide to give younger players more chances to play over veterans in order to evaluate those players:

"If that's what the decision is, we roll with it. The veterans have been around long enough to know how things work, how the business end of things work. We know and the young guys learn quick that it's a long season, and when things aren't going your way, the easy thing to do is just hang it up and just give up on it, but you can't do that. That's when people get hurt. That's when people lose their jobs. You have to keep fighting. We're all going to do that no matter who they plug in. If they want to get looks at different guys, younger guys, we'll see what we have on the shelf. If I'm in there – I expect to be – I'm going to do my best to keep people away from the quarterback and try to open up holes."

OL Mitchell Schwartz

On what happened in the second half with the offense:

"Obviously, we had those two three-and-outs early in the third quarter, and we came out and had the penalty and had a negative run. That puts a lot of pressure on the pass game to get those yards back. I think it was a lack of execution. Obviously, we had success in the first half. The plays were out there to be made. I think we have to do a better job of making sure everyone is executing."

On his assessment of how QB Johnny Manziel played:

"I didn't get to see him throw the ball too much, so I am not really sure. He seemed to do a really good job. There were a lot of run plays that we were able to gain first downs. He had two options and he got us into the right look. Stuff like that he is doing a really good job of like commanding the huddle. One of the early plays they came out in a blitz that we hadn't studied all week, and he got us into the right call. He is doing all that stuff really well. He seems to be in charge."

On if the Browns give up on the run too quickly in the second half:

"Obviously, when you get down, you have to go to the pass. I think that is the circumstance there. We had two quick three-and-outs there. We were pretty effective on first and second down throwing the ball. Sometimes you miss one or two of those and you get into a third-and-10. You have to throw the hard down and then three-and-out. Two of those I think we got the ball back and were down a couple scores, and you kind of have to get away from it a little. I think we have a better feel for it now – how to play the run with play-action pass – so we just have to score more points. Get more on the board so we can dictate more than normally can. Obviously, when you are down, you have to throw the ball."

On Manziel's potential as a long-term QB for the Browns:

"I think he has all the abilities to do it. He does some really good stuff scrambling outside the pocket, but it seemed like he was doing a better job of staying inside of it, going through his progression. I don't remember too well, but it didn't seem like he scrambled too, too much, and if he did, it was later in the play than he did before. Mentally, he did a really good job with checks, getting us into the right play, seeing where the blitz was coming. We put a lot on the quarterbacks in terms of figuring out where the blitz is coming and getting us in the right position. He did a great job with that. He is making a huge progression. He has made such a big jump in his second year. As long as he keeps on top of it, I think he can be very productive."

On OL Cam Erving's play this season:

"Obviously, I wasn't able to watch him during the game so I am not sure how it looked on film. He does a lot of really good stuff, especially I know in my rookie year it is so hard to be consistent against this caliber of guys you're going against. Every week, you go through a college year and you face maybe one or two guys who are NFL starters. Then you come to the NFL and all these guys are so good. Cam shows a lot of really good stuff. Throughout the year, for him to be able to step back and see how guys do things differently – (OL) John (Greco) blocks differently than (OL) Joel (Bitonio); (OL) Alex (Mack) blocks differently than those guys – he can kind of get a feel for how different guys block on the inside. He can get his own feet under him. I do things different from (OL) Joe (Thomas). I think some of the trouble is guys think they have to do it a certain way and you try to emulate too much instead of getting a feel for what you do well. He does a lot of really good stuff. He is really good at recognizing pass rush and reacting to it. He has really good quickness and strength getting off the ball. I think down the road when it is his turn to go, he will be really good."

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