Included below are select quotes from interviews with the following Browns players during today's media availability:
- OL Joel Bitonio
- RB Isaiah Crowell
- DB Joe Haden
OL Joel Bitonio:
On how the transition at QB from Robert Griffin III to Josh McCown has been going:
"Pretty seamless, honestly. Both of them were really on top of the game, like when it came to blitz pickups, checking into plays and protections. Josh is so savvy and RG is a vet himself. To have both of them there, it has been pretty seamless. We had Josh last year for most of the time so I was pretty used to him, and he is doing a really good job so far."
On Ravens NT Brandon Williams and what makes him so talented:
"He has natural leverage. He is a big dude, he plays hard and he is deceptively quick. If you are 340 [pounds] or whatever he is, you have to be kind of quick still to be alright, and he is pretty quick. If you anchor down too hard on the bull rush, he will beat you with a quick hand swipe or something on the edge. I think everything kind of runs through him. They are like, 'You are not going to run to the middle because we have big Brandon in here,' and then the guys on the outside kind of clean things up for him."
On what has to happen for the Browns offensive linemen establish the running game in Week 2:
"We have to block the guys and make sure we are running to the right looks. They have a good front so we are just going to have to be physical with them and really stay committed to the run game, as well. I think that kind of hurt us in the first game. We did not really get into a rhythm, and it was no one's fault. It was just a play here, a penalty here. If we can get into a rhythm on offense, I think we have the guys that can run the ball."
On his confidence in McCown, especially given his record as a starter:
"He has not won as many games as the other quarterbacks, but he has been around everything. They are going to throw blitzes at us and he has seen 99.9 percent of the blitzes and in-game time situations. He has been in games. Personally, I have played the Ravens three times now – I was hurt at the end of last year – but I have played them three times and I start to feel comfortable. He has started against them, and you just get a comfort I think at quarterback. Obviously, you can see new looks and different looks, but he is a guy that you feel confident going out there. That is why it was great to have him here, regardless. You never know what is going to happen with the quarterback, and unfortunately, RG went down early, but that is why you keep him here. He is here for a reason, and that is the reason. He is going to bring us confidence, he is going to do well and I have all the confidence in the world in him."
RB Isaiah Crowell:
On what the Browns offense needs to do to run the ball more effectively:
"Really, just as a team, we have to go out there and just execute, get the play call and just everybody, all 11 men on the field just execute and do their job.
On his relationship with Pro Football Hall of Fame RB Jim Brown and if he has watched Brown's film:
"Yes, I watched his film last year. (Former Browns running backs coach) Coach (Wilbert) Montgomery showed us just a ton of his film and different stuff like that. He was a great player, the G.O.A.T. (greatest of all time), and I respect him a lot. It is good to have him around here, and I am grateful to be a part of it."
On what it means to him that Head Coach Hue Jackson believes he can be a great RB and a 1,000-yard rusher:
"It feels great just to know my coach is confident in me. That is what I have been wanting the whole time I have been here. I feel like I needed a coach that is confident in me because I am confident in myself. I appreciate that. It is important to me to know that he understands that the running game is important, also. I appreciate that also, and we just have to get it done. Go out there and get it done for him because he believes in us."
On how much confidence he has in QB Josh McCown:
"We have some great quarterbacks and, I feel like Josh can get it done. He has been getting it done in the league for a long time, and I am very confident that he has what it takes to win the ball game."
DB Joe Haden:
On the team's excitement to have QB Josh McCown after QB Robert Griffin III's injury:
"I am super excited. Everybody is excited about Josh. They know what kind of leader he is. They know what kind of player he is. They know what he can do for this team. Really, I just felt back for RGIII, honestly. I know how much he wanted to go out there and play and perform and all the work that he put in and how much it really means to him. I am just upset about that. As far as Josh coming in, I am just super excited that he is still on this team. He is here to be our backup. Just knowing he is able to make all the throws, he is controlling the offense. He is a true pro. It is not like he has extra preparation that he has to do. I just feel like he has been studying like he has been the starter the whole time going over everything, going over all the checks. We feel very, very confident in Josh."
On Ravens WRs Mike Wallace, Steve Smith Sr. and QB Joe Flacco:
"Joe Flacco, he is a Super Bowl winning quarterback. He can make all the throws. He is in control of the offense. They have very, very fast capable receivers. Every time, we have to make sure we stay on top, making them catch the ball coming back to the quarterback. Mike Wallace, I don't feel like he has lost a step. He is still the same guy. Steve Smith, very physical, veteran, very crafty. They have very capable guys so we have a big challenge ahead of us."
On the key to disrupting the Ravens passing game:
"Just making sure that we study the film, understand what is going on and we just have to definitely make sure that they keep the ball in front of us. That is the biggest thing. They do a really good job of just taking shots. They line it up and throw the dudes deep. They do a really good job of just making sure they take shot plays every single quarter. We are just making sure that they catch the ball coming back to the quarterback.
On the Browns honoring Pro Football Hall of Fame RB Jim Brown with a statue this weekend:
"It is a humbling experience seeing Jim Brown walking around this facility, seeing him walk around the practice field. Just seeing the GOAT, the greatest of all time to play football, to play the sport that I love. I am working my tail off to just be recognized as one of the best players to just be in the league. You have the guy that is the best player of all time just walking around talking to us. It is super humbling. He deserves many trophies, a trophy in front of the practice facility, a trophy in front of the stadium; wherever, he deserves a statue. It is a humbling experience being able to see him all the time. He is one of the best guys I have met."