Included below are select quotes from interviews with the following Browns players during today's media availability:
- OL Shon Coleman
- LB Demario Davis
- RB Duke Johnson Jr.
- LB Emmanuel Ogbah
- OL Joe Thomas
OL Shon Coleman:
On opening training camp:
"It feels great being back here with the guys. We have a great team, a lot of good character guys, a lot of good veterans to bring me along. I'm excited to be back out here."
On the opportunity to become a starter:
"It's not up to me. My big thing is coming out here and just getting better, just being out here grinding any way to make the team better. That's what I am focused on right now."
On Sunday being the first padded practice:
"I'm pretty excited. My big thing is not to go out there and just get too wild – work my technique, have an awareness and understanding of the offense and do what I got to do. It's very exciting. It's been since late December or January since I put some pads on so I'm pretty excited to be out there with the guys."
On what he has learned from veteran OL Joe Thomas:
"I think the No. 1 thing is taking care of your body. He's a guy, 10 years in the league, you can learn a lot of information from him working on things like flexibility, mobility and things like that. That's something that's had a positive effect on me and something that I worry about every day."
On his level of confidence and feeling with his body, given he missed some time due to injury during offseason workouts:
"Oh man, the medical staff here, they did a phenomenal job of laying out a plan for me over the whole summer. I was here the whole summer rehabbing and things like that. Just them doing that and them having a plan for me to be out here again, that's kudos to them. They did very well in helping me out with that."
LB Demario Davis:
On the Browns' first day of camp:
"It was good. Good to be back out, moving around, guys flying around. Just trying to stack days on top of days."
On the Browns LB group:
"I'm curious about the entire linebacker group. We've got a wonderful staff – (outside linebackers) Coach (Ryan) Slowick, (inside linebackers) Coach (Johnny) Holland. They push us. They challenge us. We have intense meetings and just try to carry it over to the field. We've got a great group of guys on the outside and the inside. I'm trying to get better every day."
On the Browns defense as a whole:
"It's 11 guys. That's what it takes – 11 guys. You have got to have great coverage on the back end. You have got have great pressure up front from all seven guys – inside backers, outside backers, D line. You have to have it all. It take's 11. It starts really with getting good pass rushing. You have got to be able to stop the run because that's what makes them pass. It takes 11 guys and it is collective."
On LB Emmanuel Ogbah playing some with the defensive line:
"I think it may be a little more natural for him because he played in college with his hand in the dirt. From what I've seen, he's tremendous with his hands. He's a big guy. He'll do good up there, I think."
On Head Coach Hue Jackson:
"Just his intensity, his intensity and his drive for success, it's contagious. You can just see it around the building and in the community. There's a great feeling around here. That's what you have got to have. He's raising our expectations, raising the standard. When you have that, you have a chance."
On being a leader on the defense:
"I think the leadership role as a middle linebacker is always natural. It's by position, but you just talk about leaders in the locker room, leaders on defense – you have got three Pro Bowl guys: (LB) Paul Kruger, (DB) Joe Haden, (DB) Tramon Williams, guys who have won Super Bowls. I am always trying to defer to their experience, their guidance. As far as structure, keeping everything together, it's always going to be on the middle linebacker. It's just like getting everybody lined up. It's his job, his responsibility. I have to embrace that role, but we have got a lot of guys, and it's going to take 11 guys with like minds, alpha-male mentality to put together a piece of the defense. That's our goal."
RB Duke Johnson Jr.:
On the difference entering camp in his second year compared to his rookie year:
"A lot more confident like I know what I'm doing. I have a year under my belt. We have a new coaching staff and everything – I'm just still learning – but I feel a lot more comfortable than I did last year."
On if he envisions he'll be used more in the passing game or anticipates being used more in the running game:
"As of now, I'm really not sure. First day of camp, we still have a lot to put in and still a lot to improve on. I'm really not sure at this point, still have to see how camp goes."
On if he's looking forward to the physicality of camp and the promises of more live hitting:
"I'm used to it. I'm ready for it because I know at the same time, we're going to go out and put our all into it and he's (Head Coach Hue Jackson) going to take care of us with the pads and things of that sort. Tomorrow is the first day, and we know we have to go out there and be physical because that's what he wants."
On if he's studied Jackson's offense in Cincinnati to compare it to how things will run in Cleveland with two RBs:
"I did. He did some great things with them, some different things kind of than what we were used to last year and some things that me and Crow (RB Isaiah Crowell) both have to adjust to this year to help our game and take our game to another level."
On if he expects to have a productive season:
"We're looking forward to game-in, game-out just being physical. That's something that Coach wants from everyone, starting up front with pads on everybody just being physical. I believe if we're all physical and we all do our job, we have the potential to. It's just about all doing it at the same time."
On if there is more talent among the Browns skill positions than people are giving them credit:
"I don't really pay some people no mind. At the end of the day, I'm out here with my team and we're out here with each other and the coaches and everyone in the building. We're kind of going towards a goal. We don't let anyone dictate what our goal may be and what we can and can't accomplish."
On if Jackson has made it clear that the run game is core of his offense:
"Yes. He made it very clear with the whole physical mentality."
On if the Browns have the ability for an exciting offense this season:
"We have the potential to have a great dynamic offense. Like I said, it's about everyone doing their job and putting it all together at the same time. Just because if we have one guy that's coming back that's a dynamic player but if we don't block up front to get the guy the ball, then none of it matters. All 11 guys have to do their job."
LB Emmanuel Ogbah:
On how it feels to move from LB back to defensive line:
"It feels good – back to putting my hand in the dirt and just getting after the quarterback."
On whether or not he would rather play one position as opposed to playing at LB and DE:
"I don't mind doing both because I'm going to be dropping [into coverage] and I'm going to be rushing, too, so it's good to have that flexibility. Again, now that (DL) Des (Bryant) went down, they're going to need me to step up and play some."
On how comfortable he is dropping into coverage as a LB:
"The whole summer, I was working on dropping into coverage because I was playing outside linebacker so now that makes me more flexible since I know how to drop now. I'm just ready to play whatever position they put me at."
On when he found out he would be playing some DE as well as LB:
"I found out after Des got hurt – because we had a key starter going down, they just need some help (on the defensive line). Coach Hue (Head Coach Hue Jackson) said he wants the best players to play in games, so I'm just ready to do whatever they want me to do."
On if he has any concern that the Browns are asking him to learn too much at once:
"No, (defensive coordinator) Coach (Ray) Horton said if it gets to be too much, I'll just talk to him and say 'Hey, Coach, this is kind of a lot.' This is my job now. That's all I have to just focus on that play and learn that play inside and out. The more flexible I am, the more I can help this team out."
On the plan for repetitions at both DE and LB:
"Like I said, it's whatever Coach wants me to do. Right now, I'm working with the D line and also I still work on pass drops and stuff outside so I can be well prepared for it."
On how big of a loss Bryant's injury is to the browns defense:
"It's definitely a big loss because he's one of the best players on our team. He was the sack leader for us so that was a big loss for us but guys just have to step up."
On if there is a change in his mentality because of the transition from 3-4 OLB to 3-4 DE:
"I came here with a mindset that I'm just ready to do whatever they ask me to do so that's the mindset coming in. Whether it's outside linebacker or it's D end, D tackle, nose, I'm going to be ready."
OL Joe Thomas:
On if he sees the makings of a dynamic offense this season:
"I do. I think that we've got some of the core pieces that really did a lot better than our expectations were probably on offense last year and those guys are coming back. That's what's really exciting. (TE) Gary (Barnidge) kind of had a breakout season and (RB) Duke (Johnson Jr.) played really well. He's only going to get better. (RB) Isaiah (Crowell) had a good season. It's really exciting from an offensive standpoint to kind of pair (Head Coach) Hue Jackson's offensive mind and his creativity with some of the weapons that we have coming back on offense. I think we have an opportunity to be pretty good on offense."
On the difference between Jackson and his past head coaches:
"It's always difficult to compare and contrast the coaches because I can't even remember all of them in 10 years (laughter), but one thing I think that all the players have really been drawn to Hue with has been kind of his passion and his attention to detail. He's not the type of head coach that wants to sit back and let his assistants do the coaching. He's a guy that demands so much of his coaches that he actually wants to be in there doing the coaching himself. He can't help himself. It was kind of funny this spring, (associate head coach-offense) Pep (Hamilton) was up there kind of installing after the first day, and you could see Hue in the back of the room during the offensive install meeting kind of fidgeting in his seat. He had a hard time not being in front of the room, and by the next day, he was the guy that wanted to be up there doing the installing. That's just the way he is on offense. He's going to directly be coaching the quarterbacks, the offensive line, the receivers on every single play. If it's not up to his standard, we're going to do it again. I think that's a great thing to have because the 'defense wins championships' thing is like something from the 1980s so you've got to have a great offense and a great quarterback if you want to win in the NFL consistently."
On how QB Robert Griffin III is progressing and waiting to name a starting QB:
"Robert has been doing really good. I'm no quarterback guru, but you've seen the growth that he's already experienced just from the beginning of OTAs to where we are right now and he's a natural leader. I think that's what you need as a quarterback from a tangible standpoint. Everyone knows how talented he is as an athlete and throwing the ball and I think the one thing that maybe guys didn't know about that have been really impressed with him so far is his work ethic, his intelligence, the way he prepares and he studies just like the great quarterbacks in the game right now. You put all those things together and you put a guy like Hue Jackson in his corner, and I think he can have an excellent season."
On the challenges presented with a new coaching staff:
"The big challenge is you're going to be running a new offense. There are new concepts. There are new things that are happening on the field that guys have to learn, but the core characteristics are still going to be there. Their ability to get open, their ability to make people miss, their desire, the way they want to work and how important it is to them, so I think you carry those things over with a creative offensive mind like Hue. I'm excited and I think we can do some really good things, especially at the skill position."
On how he feels about going full speed in practice:
"I'm against it (laughter). No, actually it's funny because offensive linemen sit in those team meetings, and when we come out in just shoulder pads or we're just thudding up, which is not tackling, you hear the skinny guys like fist pumping in the back. We really don't care at all because practice is the same for us. If we have shoulder pads on, it's exactly the same no matter if we're tackling or just thudding up or we just have shorts and shoulder pads on. We're pretty oblivious to the tackling anyway."