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Browns player quotes - 8/1

Included below are select quotes from interviews with the following Browns players during today's media availability:

  • TE Connor Hamlett
  • DL John Hughes III
  • LB Christian Kirksey
  • WR Jordan Payton
  • WR Terrelle Pryor

TE Connor Hamlett:

On the benefits of gaining experience with the first team:

"It's been great. Just been getting reps any time. Everyone wants to get reps, and I've been getting them quite a bit. Just taking advantage of that. (TE) Gary (Barnidge) has been great helping all of us out. When he's out there, he's on the field helping us with all the little things that he's experienced. He's been a great help. I think everyone's been stepping up and doing a great job so far."

On if he Browns offense is TE friendly:

"Yeah, I think it's friendly to all the skill positions in our offense. We can have any guy run any route and do anything. Everyone's got to be versatile, and that's the plan."

On trying to 'stick around' in Cleveland last season:

"Yeah, I mean I was just going out every day trying to do my job, just trying to stick around. I feel like I did well, practiced well at the end of last year and had a good spring. I'm just trying to do my job and do anything I can to help the team."

On what he can bring to an offense:

"I think the ability to stretch the field. With how big I am, just a big catch radius, mismatch potential and things like that."

On if Barnidge helps him:

"All the time. Like I said, he helps all of us out. You think you might know something, but he'll add the little detail that you need to know, the adjustment you need to make on the run. I'm not going to ever say I've got it because he has all the experience and he's willing to help all of us out."

On having to convince NFL teams that he wasn't done playing football after college:

"I was coming off of a couple of injuries. I took some time off and just had to recover my body a little bit. It took a little convincing, but my agent knew I was going to get a shot. I've always loved the game. I'm going to give it my all if I get a shot. I think that's what I've done with every team I've went to. I'm just going to keep doing that. Tams have given me shots, and I feel like I haven't let them down yet."

On how much time he took off to recover after college:

"Probably about a month. I was still working out, wasn't doing any really specific training but still staying in shape and doing rehab stuff for my body. Probably about a month, then started to do more specific training towards football."

On injuries sustained during college, leading to taking time off for rehabilitation:

"Just minor knee scopes."

DL John Hughes III:

On the loss of DL Desmond Bryant and if that changes his role in the defense:

"That was a tough loss. That's one of my good friends on and off the field, but it doesn't really change my role necessarily. Everybody really has to step up anyway, just taking a different role and being able to contribute more."

On if the loss of a veteran leader like Desmond Bryant makes him feel the need to fill the leadership void:

"Yeah, sometimes, but just because you're older doesn't mean you have to necessarily be a leader. Everybody can be a leader in their own certain way, if it's physically while you go out there and play or verbally."

On the opportunity to earn a spot at DE and if he feels it is his moment to shine:

"Yeah, but at the same time, I take every training camp the same way. I come in with the mentality to compete. We're all competitors. That's why we're all out here. That's why we all made it to this level so just come out here and compete and have fun."

On if he sees a difference in DL Danny Shelton's play or mentality compared to his rookie year:

"Yeah, most definitely. Just having that year under your belt, that year of experience, it means a lot. He's come a long way and I know he worked hard this offseason. You can already tell."

On what it means to him when the siren goes off and live tackling periods begin:

"It means it's game time. It means it's time to go. Whenever the siren goes off, it means we have a live period so we get to actually hit and tackle and everything."

On if he likes the live tackling practice periods:

"Yeah, most definitely. Just being on the line, we do everything else but tackle so that just makes it basically like a game then."

On what the loss of Desmond Bryant means for DL Xavier Cooper and his confidence in Cooper:

"I have all the confidence in Coop. I actually talked to him a little bit after Des got hurt, knowing he had to have a bigger part, but everybody knows that everybody has to raise their game up just because there's a lot more at stake right now and this team kind of counts on the D line to push forward."

On defensive coordinator Ray Horton's scheme and what he does with defensive linemen:

"He just lets us be ourselves really, lets us get after the quarterback, lets us do our own thing. He doesn't really try to turn us into different players. It's really letting us do what we're good at. We get on the field, he sees what everybody is good at and lets us go."

On if he's ready to take a step forward and be a full-time starter:

"Yeah, most definitely. I waited my turn for a long time, played behind a lot of great D linemen and learned a lot so I think it's my time."

On his biggest point of emphasis this offseason:

"Honestly, just take care of my body and knowing when I come in what's at stake. All the physical stuff that comes along with the training, the running, conditioning and everything. That's given. It's more mental. You just have to learn over the years becoming a vet that it's more mental than anything."

LB Christian Kirksey:

On the Browns' first padded practice yesterday:

"First day, guys just moving around. We got the chance to see what guys are made of. Once you run around with just shirts and pants, you really can't tell how hard a guy is, how tough a guy is, how physical a guy is. It's good to see our defense move around, hit people, show the physicality. It was just an overall good practice. We have got things to work on, but it's the first day.

On his reaction to the siren and the first live tackling period:

"As a defensive player, when you hear the sirens, you get an extra pump because it's a live period, you finally get to tackle. That's what we need to work on as a whole, just tackling guys to the ground. Like I said, seeing who's physical and just getting out there. When you hear those sirens, it's ready to step it up a notch."

On how long it took for LB Demario Davis to step into a leadership role:

"It didn't take him long at all because that's his personality. Everybody is not called to be a leader. Everybody can't be a leader, but he's one of those guys where he's just born with it. It's just how he moves. It's just how he acts. That's on and off of the field. It was very easy for him to make that transition coming from New York (Jets) to here. Just getting around a bunch of guys that he didn't know, we just drew to him real quick. Like I said, it's his personality. He's doing a good job."

On defensive coordinator Ray Horton playing him at different positions:

"Ray, you know like (Head coach) Hue (Jackson) said, he's a mad scientist. He's smart. He knows what he is doing. As you can look down the history of him being a defensive coordinator with his defenses, they've been a top-10 defense with him being in charge. I could see him using me in whatever way he needs me to do. Right now, I'm grasping the playbook to a T, just running around in camp trying to figure out where my strongpoint is going to be. We'll see where it takes me."

On if he must adjust his game within Horton's defense:

"Once you've been playing in a defense for so long, since college ball, defenses are kind of similar. It's just little tweaks here and there. People coach a little different so they have their different terminologies or things like that, but it's all pretty much the same. You add your two cents into it. It's nothing that's too drastic or too difficult to switch from last year to this year."

WR Jordan Payton:

On if he feels caught up after not being able to attend portions of offseason workouts:

"I think it's a process. I definitely just jumped in and started to pick up things with everybody else. Credit to the coaches and to the vet guys and to the other rookies really helping me out and getting along. It's coming along. It's a process for sure. That's what training camp is for, but I'm getting there for sure."

On how he's tried to catch up for the time he missed while at UCLA during portions of offseason workouts:

"I spoke about it a couple weeks ago. Luckily enough, they gave me a (Microsoft) Surface (tablet) with the playbook, and you kind of just every day watch what they're doing and stay up to date. Obviously, it's not the real thing, but it's better than nothing for sure. I kept in contact with (senior offensive assistant) Coach (Al) Saunders and we talked. I looked at the Surface and plays so it was good."

On the WRs room being 'crowded' and what he needs to do to separate himself from the rest of the group:

"Right. I think that's been like the biggest question, but for me, it's just playing your game, doing what you do. You don't want to do anything that's not what you do because you're here for a reason. They drafted you for a reason so catch the ball, run good routes and make plays for the team is what I'm going to do."

On in what areas he excels:

"I think that it's just being consistent. That's what I try to do. One of the biggest things I really work on is always catching, always running good routes, knowing where you're supposed to be and when you're supposed to be there. Just being that complete receiver and just continuing to do that every day."

On if anything has surprised him about his first NFL training camp:

"I think everything is really a surprise at this point to be honest with you, but it's been so far unbelievable. Obviously, you play against some of the best guys in the world. It's fast, intense so everything out there is just brand new. I'm just taking it all in. Credit to this great facility, too. It's been an unbelievable surprise. When I was here in rookie minicamp, it was getting built so it's been unbelievable. Like I was saying, the practices are just definitely a surprise and definitely something I'm getting used to."

On if gets advice from WR Andrew Hawkins:

"Yeah, for sure. That's huge. He's played for what? Almost nine years now – three in Canada so six in the league. He's unbelievable. He's an unbelievable person, unbelievable player. I try to really watch how he does things, watch how he practices, how he plays, how he takes notes. He's definitely a role model for sure."

WR Terrelle Pryor:

On if the move to the other side of the formation is a big transition for him:

"Certain routes. Different routes. Every day it's been getting better and better, getting more comfortable with it, getting a lot more reps, walkthrough and stuff like that so it's really starting to come."

On the excitement he showed after making a diving catch during yesterday's practice:

"Yeah, that was my first. There were a bunch of good balls thrown to me in camp so far but we haven't connected. I caught a couple, but it was out of bounds or something happened. I like to run deep, run past guys so it is what it is. It's football. I'm an aggressive guy. I like to get the juices flowing. I like to get the team up so big play let's make it a big deal."

On what working out with Randy Moss has meant to him throughout his transition:

"He's been spectacular. He's played the position I play now. He just talked to me a lot about the stuff and how I have to have a great relationship with the tight end because a lot of times I'm towards the tight end side or slot receiver side so I have to have a great relationship with those two guys and communicate well together. It's been going great."

On how his relationship with WR Josh Gordon developed and how it is seeing him back in the facility:

"It's phenomenal. He broke the rules, alright. He dealt with the consequences, but this guy, he sits by me in every meeting and asks me questions. (Head) Coach (Hue) Jackson will be up there teaching, and it's kind of frowned upon to talk while the coach is, but he's OK with it. I know the offense pretty well. I'm sitting between (WR) Corey (Coleman) and Josh, and we have conversation the whole time. He talks what about this and what about this and we talk. We pay attention, as well, but constant communication. You can tell the guy is really hungry and can't wait for him to get back out there. I'm excited. I know we're excited as a group because obviously, he's going to be a big deal for us as well. Looking forward to it."

On if he imagines what the offense would look like with him on one side and Gordon on the other:

"We have so many – Josh was talking to (senior offensive assistant) Coach (Al) Saunders today. No, yesterday. I'm sorry. He said, 'This is one of the best receiving corps since I've been here. It's the best receiving corps.' The guys on this field, all 13 receivers we have, these guys, we can play. Guys can play. It's exciting. For myself, just the progress I've made and to actually just to be out there battling with corners and being able to beat corners man-to-man and getting off presses pretty easy now, it's the ultimate competitive sport and I love it to death. It's the most fun sport."

On his relationship with Jackson:

"He drafted me in Oakland. I was with him for a year and then Cincinnati for a little bit. Just the relationship, I've spent a year with him all the time. He's a head coach. He's always with the quarterbacks so I spent an awful lot of time with him and (QBs) Carson (Palmer) and Matt Leinart – those are the guys that were in the room. The guy is just awesome. He's a football mind. I probably drive him crazy in the meeting room when he's installing because I ask a lot of questions all day. He knows and sometimes he'll just tell me, 'Terrelle, shut up (laughter). Don't answer this.' I know this stuff pretty good, and I'm just excited to get the guys sped up or if the guys have any questions, I'm here to help in any way."

On the difference of having another year of transitioning from QB to WR:

"It's a lot different. It's a lot different. I'll give grace to God. Definitely couldn't do it without him. Couldn't do it without the support of the fans, absolutely. People tweeting me and messaging me and direct messages. Some of you guys help me out. I read some of the clips, and I appreciate you guys being nice. Sometimes it's good and sometimes you get feisty a little bit and it turns you on and you want to do better because of some of the critics. At the same time, nobody is a harder critic than me. I critique myself and I take this very serious. I'm very excited. This game is the love of my life. It goes God, my son, football in that order so I'm looking forward to playing."

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