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Browns player quotes - 12/21


TE Gary Barnidge**

On how the Seahawks adjusted after he scored on the first drive of the game:
"They just changed their defense up a little bit from what they've usually been doing. They're a big cover-three team, they mixed around their coverages a little differently than what they've shown on tape, and that's all they really did."

On how it feels to be mentioned along with Browns legend Ozzie Newsome:
"It's a true honor to be in the same breath as him and everything. Again, I'm not a big stat guy so none of that stuff matters unless we get wins. I'm not really worried about any of that, I'd rather get the win."

On QB Johnny Manziel's performance yesterday compared to the 49ers game:
"I think he still played well, still managed the game well. They brought a couple more blitzes than what we thought they were going to do. Getting flushed out of the pocket makes things a little difficult. I don't think he did a bad job at all though."

On being the underdog going into the last two games of the season:
"We have no problem being the underdog. Nobody thinks anything of us. Nobody thought we were going to drive down the field the first drive against Seattle either and we did it. We relish that opportunity and we're looking forward to the games."

On how much players talk about potential coaching staff and front office changes and if it's a distraction:
"No distraction at all. We don't even mention it. We don't bring it up. We don't talk about it because there's nothing we can do about it. All we can do is go out there and play as a team and work together and get better. We really can't effect anything else, all of that is above us."

On if he would like to see the current coaching staff stay together:
"I would, I would. I think we've shown what we can do on offense. We know what we can do. We've shown we can put up points against people. We can put up numbers and all of that kind of stuff. We just have to get rid of the missed cues we have, and I think everything will be alright."

On why the running game wasn't as effective yesterday compared to the 49ers' game:
"They loaded the box. They had their safety down, they had eight men in the box all the time. That's just the way they played their defense, and it just makes it difficult because there's always somebody unblocked but we're alright. We can get it fixed and we'll get it going."

On if he thought Manziel was going to run the ball in on the first touchdown of the game:
"When I saw him roll out I was actually stopping to run back towards him to give him a throw. He just lined up and saw me and threw the ball, made a good throw. We know Johnny's very dangerous with his feet too so you never know what's going to happen so you always have to be alert."

On if receivers have to adjust to Manziel's throwing pace:
"I don't really know if it's adjusting I think its stuff that happens in-game. Nobody catches every ball every time, it doesn't happen. Its part of the game, there are going to be drops. There's nothing you can do about it. I think it's just getting over time, getting to build that chemistry throughout practice and getting used to the ball. I don't really think that makes that big of a difference. I think it's just things that happen."

On how well Manziel stays in the game mentally:
"I think he's doing a good job showing that leadership part and taking command in the huddle. You can see that each game he's out there, you can see he's continuing to grow."

On if Manziel is changing teammate's opinions of him by playing well:
"I don't think anybody has any really negative opinions of his play or anything. I think all the guys they have confidence in him. We back him and we're looking forward to these last two games with him."

On if he learned anything new about Manziel from yesterday's game:
"I think he just continues to show the leadership. He was never down about anything even though things weren't going right, he wasn't down. That's really it."

On his feelings heading into the last two games of the season:
"We want to finish the season off strong. We don't want to finish it on the wrong note, we want to finish on the right note. We're going to take that approach. We're going to go out and keep playing each week, keep working hard. That's all we can do."

On OL John Greco's injury and what he means to the offense:
"He's a great lineman, he's a great guy. It's just always a blow when you lose somebody on the line because somebody might not have gotten the reps that he's gotten all the weeks that they always work together. You make the calls and somebody else comes in and just mixes things up. It makes it difficult, but I think we did alright with the injury. That's a part of the NFL, things are going to happen and you have to be able to adjust to them."

On OL Mitchell Schwartz and OL Joe Thomas:
"I think they're doing a good job. I think everything's going good. I think it's coming along and just have to keep growing."

OL Joe Thomas

On what he saw from QB Johnny Manziel:
"I saw a lot of poise and composure. I think he did a really good job of the operations side of things from an offensive standpoint. I don't think we had any pre-snap penalties. He did a good job of getting us in and out of the huddle. He gave us a chance to win on offense. That is what you need to ask out of your quarterback in a tough road environment."

On the potential loss of OL John Greco and the impact of losing him:
"He has obviously been an important piece for us. He is in there as a starter for a reason because he is a darn good right guard. Losing him is tough. I thought (OL) Cam Erving did a nice job stepping in and moving over to right guard and tried to pick up where John left off in a tough environment. Obviously whenever you lose your starter and you lose a guy as good as John it is going to hurt you."

On how he views OL Cameron Erving, given everything he has went through this season:
"I think he is making improvements. That is the number one thing we are asking of him right now. Just keep getting better. I think we are seeing that improvement. All guys mature at different times. It takes a little bit of time to get used to the NFL. It is a different game, schematically the players are different, they are bigger, they are stronger and they are faster. I see a guy that is willing and eager to learn and a guy that is getting better."

On what the team can take away from the game against Seattle that will help them going forward:
"I think for a guy like Johnny who is an inexperienced, young quarterback it is great to get any game reps, especially in the environment like Seattle's where it is loud and hostile and they have the number two rated defense in the NFL that doesn't give up a lot of points or yards. I think for a guy like Johnny and the other younger players it is a really good learning and growing experience."

On if it is on Manziel to pick up the spirits of the huddle after dropped passes and overcome adversity:
"That is a good question. I guess I don't get involved in the drop discussions, so maybe direct those at Johnny."

On if he remembers having a lengthy conversation with Manziel on the sideline and is it a good sign that the two of them are able to have those conversations:
"I don't remember exactly what happened or when I was talking to Johnny, so I guess I can't specifically talk about that play, but Johnny has shown a very, very good understanding of our protection. He is a really smart guy and he has really put in the time this year and having (QB) Josh McCown there to help tutor him on protections has been very helpful. It is great having the confidence and trust in him knowing that we can go to him and tell him what we were looking at or thought should happen or if he does make a mistake, try to coach him up and help him understand where the mistakes was and how we should go forward if we get those types of looks again."

On if his opinion of Manziel has changed over the last few weeks:
"I wouldn't say it has changed in the last few weeks. I think it changed kind of at the beginning of the season when he showed that dedication and commitment that he didn't have last year. I think what we are seeing out on the field is the fruits of the hard work he has been putting in, the dedication that we have seen with him in the film room and meetings. I think it is natural when you spend that extra effort you are going to see those results on the field and that is what we are seeing from Johnny."

On if another coaching change sets the team back:
"I don't really want to think about or talk about it much, but I will say that anytime you make a change in an organization on the coaching staff or you make a change in the organization there is a one step back that you have to take and that is just a part of making a change. You are going to get a lot of new players. You are going to get new coaches, new people in the building. It does take time to teach people the new philosophy, the new procedures, the new schemes and certainly this NFL game is something that takes more than one or two years to be really good in a scheme. There is a level of proficiency that you can get in a year to be okay, but it really takes a few years in a scheme before you can get really good at something."

On if he has noticed a meshing between what offensive coordinator John DeFilippo wants to do and assistant offensive line coach George DeLeone and assistant offensive line coach Paul Dunn:
"I think if you look at the last three, four maybe games you see the steady progress in the run game and the protections schemes. Like I mentioned last week, we are starting to figure out what we do well and how personnel wise we fit in with Coach Flip's scheme. I think you are seeing that good, steady progress. We easily could have had over 100 yards rushing yesterday had the game been a little bit closer in the fourth quarter to just get one more carry. I think you are seeing very good run game improvements because we are starting to figure out what plays we do well in Flip's scheme and what our running backs like to do and what the (offensive) line can do well. You are starting to see improvement in protection, schematically where we need to go and how Johnny understands the fit. It is a long process. It is something that takes time, but I am optimistic about the improvement that we have been making and I am hoping that these last two games here we are able to show even more improvement."

On if Owner Jimmy Haslam has ever talked to him about what he thinks should be done with the coaching staff and front office:

On if he would like Haslam to ask him his opinion on coaching and front office matters:
"I am happy to talk to anyone in the building if they are interested in hearing my input, but I am happy to give a lot of input or just be the left tackle. It is not in my job description to discuss changes or anything like that. If somebody asked me my opinion on things I would be happy to give it to them."

On if Head Coach Mike Pettine's comments about Seahawks QB Russell Wilson had any effect on the game yesterday:
"I don't know if it really has an effect on the game, personally. It is hard to say that Russell Wilson was more motivated to play well because of comments that the other coach made. I just think that is something that gets overblown amongst fans and in the media because you have to focus on something during the week and when somebody says something that can be perceived as a slight. It is easy to say that they are going to be more motivated, but I think the majority of the guys in the NFL are so self-motivated to be perfect that it really doesn't matter what anybody else says about them. I know Russell a little bit, being a Wisconsin guy, and he is about as motivated of a quarterback as they come as it is. I don't really think any comments that were made during the week had any outcome on the how he played or any input on how he played."

On if Manziel has a greater sense of urgency the last couple of games:
"I haven't noticed that in the last two games, but I have noticed his sense of urgency this entire season. I think he understood that his rookie year was so abysmal and the level of commitment he showed in his rookie year was insufficient for an NFL quarterback. You don't get many opportunities in the NFL. They will give you a couple second chances if you are really talented like he is, but after a certain point people will just give up on you and then your career is over. I think he understood how important it was to show his commitment and his desire to make the sacrifice to be an NFL quarterback. I think the reason he is playing well right now is because of that sacrifice and that commitment that he has made the whole year."

On the subject of second chances, did he notice Houston Texans QB Brandon Weeden yesterday:
"Unfortunately I didn't really get to watch much football yesterday because we were on the airplane until about one o'clock. I think it is well-known in the NFL that guys that have perspective that this league is not for a long and there is plenty of talented people that don't make it if they don't have that commitment and they are not willing to make that sacrifice. If you have talent people are going to give you more opportunities. That is the way it is. At some point even guys with talent people will give up on them because there is a level of desire and commitment that you need to be successful at any position in this league, no more important than the position of quarterback."

On one thing Erving needs to work on in the offseason:
"I think the footwork and technique with your footwork. I think he will be helped when he settles in at one positon whether it is right guard or left guard or tackle or center or whatever it may be because then you are going to get a whole season to really focus in on that technique and the nuance of that positon. A lot of times you will see guys getting beat in the NFL in general on the offensive line because their feet are out of place. Your strength and power comes from where your feet are. I am probably one of the weakest offensive lineman in the NFL, but it doesn't matter if you have good feet and you are constantly in good position. You are using leverages. You are using angles. You are winning the science of your position. The young players it is something that takes time to learn. It really isn't about weight room strength. It is more about the positions you get your body in to be strong. Low man wins, leverage, angles. Really it is those techniques and nuances of the position that I think will be the most important for Cam to work on this offseason. That is the great part of OTAs for young guys. They have opportunities to work on that technique during a no pad session where you don't have the fear of being physically beaten or getting your quarterback hurt like you would if you were in full pads or if it was in the middle of a game."

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