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Browns player quotes - 12/23


OL Alex Mack:**

On being named to his third Pro Bowl:
"Very honored to have a Pro Bowl nomination. I was very happy. I owe a lot of thanks to my coaches and teammates for helping to be successful."

On if this Pro Bowl nomination means more, given he is coming off of last year's injury:
"I definitely had a big emphasis this year in terms of coming back and playing well. Getting nominated for the Pro Bowl definitely is a good sign that I have done a good job this season."

On how he accounts for his selection:
"Good question. You try to play hard. You try to do everything you can every play. I think I owe a lot to my teammates. Both of my guards are blocking people with me. I owe a lot of thanks to them."

On if he is playing at the level he was before his leg injury:
"I would say yes. I think it has been a long road. A lot of work has gone into it. I put in a lot of work and I feel like I have done some good things on the field."

On how long it took him to return to a satisfying level of play:
"I am still working hard every day. I think it is hard to say you are always satisfied with what you are doing. Every day I am out there on the field, I am trying to get better at what I do."

On what he has improved since the beginning of the year:
"Generally, over the course of a season, I try to work on things constantly. You take pass sets and you have more and more reps at something. You should try to refine and get your technique better and better. I know this offseason and early in camp, it was a lot longer time from when I had last taken some snaps. A lot of work had to be done all offseason and all preseason."

On looking back and critiquing his early NFL years:
"I am sure I could pick myself apart on any season, if you wanted to be picky. There are mistakes you make on film. You try to watch them and get better. Every day I have notes that I write down. I am trying to work on all those little things, be it a real big play that you screwed up on or a touchdown pass that, 'Hey, I was a little edgy here.' You just always try to work on your craft."

On seeing differences in his play from year to year:
"I haven't really gone back and looked at that. That would be an interesting exercise."

On details on his broken leg:
"I don't really want to get into specifics of my last year's injury."

On if there was more to his injury last year than just a clean break of the leg:

On if his third Pro Bowl selection affects his bargaining position with his contract:
"I am going to wait until after the season to deal with any of that kind of stuff. I am really honored to have the Pro Bowl selection and I have big thanks to the people I play against and the people I play with."


OL Joe Thomas:**

On if making the Pro Bowl is getting old:
"Pro Bowl never gets old. It is always a really big blessing. It is really humbling when you do get invited to a Pro Bowl."

On the names he is associated with by earning his ninth consecutive Pro Bowl:
"It is a weird feeling reading the other names that are up there making the Pro Bowl their first nine seasons. You are talking about all-time, all-time NFL greats. It is really special, and it is also very humbling."

On considering his Pro Bowl streak in contest of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, given all the others have been enshrined:
"Well, I saw that the other [seven] members of the group of guys that have made the first nine Pro Bowls are in the Hall of Fame so I certainly don't want to set a record of being the only one that is not."

On his most enjoyable activity done in Hawaii during the Pro Bowl:
"The first time we visited the Marine Corps base, which is on the northeast side of the island. I want to say it is called Kaneohe Bay. That was really cool because you drive from Honolulu across the island through a tunnel across the mountain. It kind of looks like Jurassic Park when you first come out of the tunnel and see this rain forest almost and looked down onto the military base. It was gorgeous. We got to spend time with the Marines there and went through some of their training, different things that they have done and they had a shooting simulator from Iraq and Afghanistan. It was really cool spending time with the Marines over there. We got to do PLAY 60 over there. Those were some big highlights for me when we were over there. One other thing was a couple years ago they had a big surf on the North Shore, and it was 40-foot waves and they had all the pro surfers out there. We went over there and watched them, which was pretty cool. All things that you wouldn't ever be able to do in Cleveland."

On if considered trying to surf that day:
"No, they were yanking people out of the water that were not professionals. It was pretty cool but pretty serious. We weren't going to be swimming."

On if prefers having the Pro Bowl in Hawaii as opposed to the Super Bowl city:
"I am. I think it belongs in Hawaii. It is a much better experience for all of the players and you can tell that the people over there just love football so much. They are so thankful that NFL players do get to go over there and have the Pro Bowl in Hawaii. The locals really get excited. I know people back on the mainland don't get too excited about the Pro Bowl, but the locals in Hawaii love it."

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