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Browns player quotes - 12/30

TE Gary Barnidge:

On what a win Sunday would mean for momentum and Browns fans:

"I think it would be great. It is great to finish the season off strong. If we can finish the season off strong and build into next year, it would be huge."

On being awarded the local chapter's PFWA Player of the Year:

"I am very appreciative of it. I am not really worried about individual awards or anything, though. I only worry about wins. That kind of stuff doesn't really bother me or matter to me. I appreciate the honor, though."

On how possibly changing starting QBs affects Sunday's game:

"I don't think it is a big deal because they all practice every week. We practice with all of them so we get familiar with all of the quarterbacks. We have total confidence in all of our quarterbacks. I don't think there are any issues for us no matter who is back there."

On if he caught passes from WR Terrelle Pryor today:

"You will have to wait and see (laughter)."

On if he has seen the movie 'Concussion':

"I did. I saw it on Christmas Day."

On 'Concussion':

"I thought it was a very, very interesting movie. I don't know the whole history behind everything and I don't know how accurate it is, but if it is pretty accurate, it is going to be eye-opening for a lot of people for how things were handled."

On if it will change fans' and players' perceptions:

"I definitely think it will for fans because they will be able a better understanding of what we put ourselves through and the risks that we take. Yes, we are willing to take that risk because we continue to do it, but they will have more of an understanding of it. I think player wise, it will affect more of the guys who have had concussions. I think they will be more willing to think about what could happen and the long-term effects."

On if it is easier to cope with the risks of football with a better understanding of concussions:

"I think as you get a concussion or if you get multiple that it would really start to seep in your head. You start understanding, 'Well, maybe I need to be careful with this stuff.' I don't think you think about it if you have never had one. I don't think guys who have never had a concussion will be thinking about it because they have never experienced it. It is really not going to be on their mind."

On if he has ever suffered a concussion:

"I have never had one (knocks on locker)."

OL Cameron Erving:

On what he did better Sunday:

"I feel like we run blocked a lot better. Myself, personally, I run blocked a lot better. Also, just some pass pro. I feel like I'm starting to get more comfortable in there. It just takes time."

On if he feels more comfortable at RG:

"Yes, I do."

On the difference between the right and left side of the offensive line:

"Nothing that an offensive lineman does is natural so practicing at one position or two positions and then going in at a completely different position is something that's shocking to your body. Like I said, I don't make any excuses for anything that happened to me because I'm an NFL player and I expect a lot from myself. It's night and day to me, to be honest in my opinion, because like I said, I took so many reps at right guard, then came in and had to play left guard. Now, I'm back at right guard, and it feels so much better."

On if he is excited to get another chance to start:

"Of course, of course. I was definitely excited. It's all about opportunities, and you just have to seize each opportunity. I try to go out every week and just play my game to the best of my ability."

On if he would have benefited from playing one position instead of multiple positions on the offensive line:

"That's not really something that you can even really answer because it's merely hypothetical. Everything that's happened to me this year has been with reason. With no struggle, there's no success. That's one thing that I've always lived by and that is something that I firmly believe. Everything that you go through – (OL) Joe Thomas wasn't perfect when he came in. Of course, he's a great player, he has been since he stepped foot in here, but he wasn't perfect when he got here. He's not perfect now, but the goal of being a player, in my opinion, is just to continue to get better every game that you go out and play."

On if this past game was a step forward:

"I definitely feel like it was."

On what Sunday's game did for his confidence:

"It does a lot for my confidence because I was really tough on myself, and I always knew you just have to get back out there and continue to play because this is what you do. I always just have to keep reminding myself how much I love it. Every time you go out there, you just get a feeling when you go on the field. I want to do the best that I can possibly do. I want to be perfect, but we all know that's not going to happen. I just go out and tried to minimize mistakes."

On if it is easy to block outside noise and negative comments:

"Yes. Yes it is. Yes."

On if he cares about spectators' criticism:

"When I was in college, I kind of looked at things. I looked at all of those message boards and all the negativity that was coming towards me. I looked at that and used it as motivation, but I'm not going to do that in the NFL because this is a different game. People who have never touched a football comment and criticize your game as if they could do it any better. I just go out and I listen to my peers and I listen to my coaches and I try to go out and minimize mistakes. It's a learning curve every day, and I just try to go out and get better."

RB Duke Johnson Jr.:

On developing chemistry:

"I think just being able to get a group of guys in all together and make a vow to each other that we are going keep doing it consistently. The last couple of weeks have been great, and we are trying to do the same thing this week."

On if it is disappointing that the running game is just starting to find its chemistry late in the season:

"That is fine. As long as we find out what is wrong and fix it, whether it is the last game of the season or leading up to the last game, that is just something for us moving forward for next year."

On his improvements this year as a runner and a receiver:

"I think the main thing is that I can receive out of the backfield and try to create mismatches. There is a lot more I am trying to do within my game, but I think the main thing that I showed this year is that I can be a great receiving running back out of the backfield."

On his ability to run between the tackles:

"I think it went well. The time I had to go in there and get tough yards and convert for the offense, I think I was able to do it."

On what he is looking forward to most against the Steelers:

"Just going out there and competing, each guy on the team, and supporting our quarterback, whoever that may be."

On his ability to avoid defenders and when to use it:

"You do not need to use it when you only need a couple yards to get a first (down). You put your head down and you go get it. You use it when you have space so first-and-10 when you have space to do it, but with short yardages and you need to get it, you don't do it. You just put your head down and go get it."

QB Josh McCown:

On his reaction to winning the PFWA Dino Lucarelli 'Good Guy Award':

"Thank you. Now, I can reveal my true colors (laughter). I appreciate it. I would trade it for a few more wins, obviously. There is no doubt about that. You guys voted on this? The first thing is you take that into context (laughter). I appreciate you guys. For professional athletes, we interact with you guys as best you can. We all have respect for one another and just try to allow everyone to do their jobs. That is my approach."

On the number of concussions the Browns have sustained this season:

"Like we talked about earlier when I was coming out of the protocol myself, it is part of what is changing in the league. It is a good thing, but for all of us that have been in this for a while, it is different because there is a concern for it. The positives that we can draw from it are that we are really showing people we are trying to make this game safer and that we are going to be aware of the hits and try to make the best decisions possible to protect guys from themselves. That is what I was going through. I was getting ready to get back out there and play. There is a protocol for a reason. I think it is the byproduct of that. For right now, it is going to be hard because the volume of guys going through that is going to be a lot more and it is going to be more than we used to, but I think it is because we are taking a cautious approach to it. I don't think we will see the benefits from that until later on down the road. The hope is that we have healthier people 10-20 years from now when some of these guys are leaving the game."

On if he has been on a team that sustained as many concussions:

"No, but again, I hadn't been on a team where the protocol and everything has changed as much as it has. There is so much more awareness to this situation. I would have to look at it around the league and where that is at, but I would guess that the numbers are up everywhere."

On if the Browns are doing anything differently that would affect the number of concussions:

"Not that I know of. I feel like the approach the last few years that I have been in the league has been similar from the doctors and everyone else as far as the awareness and the protocol and all of that stuff. I can only speak for how it is done here. The protocol is the protocol. Once you get through the steps and go through the system, my understanding is it is like that everywhere else. To me, I guess it is just bad luck."

On if players are now more willing to talk about concussions:

"The protocol and having everyone involved, I think that is what is has done for us. It has allowed guys to really evaluate it. All the studies that have been brought to light and things that have happened the last 5-10 years where guys are going, 'There are some long-term residual effects from this so maybe I don't need to take this lightly.' I think that awareness has enabled guys to speak up, maybe when they are having a headache or something is going on that they go, 'Maybe I need to talk about this' and not just tough it out and not say anything because maybe there could be something down the road."

On if more players are talking about concussions:

"I think so. I think we would all agree. They made a movie about it, for crying out loud. It is definitely a topic of conversation socially as it relates to our game. People are understanding that we play a violent game, and the studies say that there can be a residual effect from those hits. I think everybody's awareness has gone up a lot. I think with that, the number of things that are classified as concussions are going to go up more and more."

On if he spoke with QB Johnny Manziel about visiting the training staff:

"I didn't see him this morning. He had already gone and talked to them (the training staff). I just saw the hit the other day, and I was obviously concerned because it was a pretty tough lick. We follow the steps in how you feel and you know your body better than anyone else."

On if Manziel is back in the building:

"I have not seen him. I haven't seen him yet. They are going through that and figuring out all that right now."

On if Manziel showed concussion-like symptoms during the game Sunday:

"No, I didn't think so. The things we talked about on the sideline, stuff that we always go through, I felt like he was engaged and in the game. There was not anything I could tell."

On if Manziel's scrambling against the Chiefs shows he's still trying to find balance in his game:

"I think so. A few of those were quarterback driven runs where he's got an option to do that, but then there was other times when he got outside the pocket. I think that's the balance that you that you fight as a young player. I know there were some throws he wanted back in the first half. When you have that other tool in your bag, maybe you go 'OK, I'll go do that.' He did a heck of a job because it really allowed us to hang around in that game with some of the plays he made with his feet. I think just continuing to fight through that and develop that part of his game in the pocket is still crucial. Finding that balance will come the more he plays, but again, to be able to make those plays and be able to do that with your feet, it's a huge asset. When you get into weather like that – it wasn't too bad the other day – but if you get into a situation where it's harder to throw the ball or something like that or maybe you're not having as good a day as you'd like, you can go to that. He's certainly, I feel like he's made huge strides from playing from the pocket. When you play from the pocket and they have to defend that, it opens lanes for you to then run from the pocket when nothing is there. That's the idea. That's really the progression that you want to have is play good enough from the pocket that now they have to defend that, and when they do and nothing is there, now you run and those lanes are bigger. That's really how you get your good scrambles from quarterbacks. I think we've seen that happen, definitely in the San Fran game, different games we've seen that happen over the course of this year and certainly opened up Sunday in the second half."

On if he spoke with Manziel this morning:

"We talked yesterday a little bit."

On their conversation:

"We were more or less talking about the Steelers more than anything, just kind of doing some game prep stuff there."

On if Manziel mentioned his concussion symptoms:

"Not really. We really didn't get into that so much."

On if he plans to see Concussion the movie:

"I probably will see it at some point, but I have not seen it, no."

On Manziel's development this season:

"For me just watching him, obviously, he's been gaining ground, for sure. The other day in the first half of that Kansas City game probably wasn't his best half, but as a whole, I feel like he's really gained ground. Like I said, the thing for all of us as players is you want to be able to fight through some adversity and keep battling. I think that's what he did the best the other day. He was able to fight through that and help us still be in the ball game so that was good by him to battle through that. He's continued to grow. I think there are a lot of good things to draw on from this year for him just how he's played and has just got to continue to stay committed to the process and what we're doing and just committed to the growth that he's making as a pro because that's what's going to sustain him in this league is doing those things. It's got to be kind of a lifestyle commitment. It's got to be who you are because this is a tough position to play, but I think he's taking the right steps and done a heck of a job."

On if he has discussed working out with Manziel in the offseason:

"I think we'll discuss those things. Once we're ready to go, we'll be good."

On if it is hard to be injured, knowing the number of injuries at QB in the NFL:

"Yeah, I wish I could be there, obviously, but part of the deal. Anytime there's an opportunity to play, you wish you could be out there playing, for sure."

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