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Browns player quotes - 9/23

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

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  • WR Travis Benjamin
  • OL John Greco
  • DL John Hughes III
  • LB Paul Kruger
  • QB Johnny Manziel (full transcript)
  • QB Josh McCown (full transcript)

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WR Travis Benjamin:

On QB Josh McCown return as starting QB:

"I can say the ball is the ball and the play is the play. It doesn't matter who is at quarterback. As long as the ball is getting distributed to the receivers and going downfield like it has been, I don't find a problem in it."

On if McCown can make big plays like QB Johnny Manziel did last week:

"Josh has an arm, also. It was kind of sad to see him go hurt and Johnny come in and playing so well to get replaced, but that's how the game goes. Coach Pett (Head Coach Mike Pettine)  and Coach Flip (offensive coordinator John DeFilippo) felt like it was best to go with Josh going into Week 3 to face Oakland, and that's what we have to roll with."

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On the team reaction to the QB decision:

"I'd say there wasn't a reaction at all. Josh coming back and the pro and the vet he is and the way he runs things, it's not no slack on Johnny. Johnny comes here ready to ball each and every day. It's just Josh we have to go with going into Week 3."

On if he ever lost confidence in his ability as a punt returner last year:

"I wouldn't say confidence. A couple of little things I didn't get to practice well because of being hurt and being out, missing those reps, missing those practices that I was out. This year, I'm ready to go."

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OL John Greco:

On if it makes sense to stick with the team's plan with QB Josh McCown as the starting QB, rather than going with the hot hand in QB Johnny Manziel:

"I can't say either way. I think we have to support whatever decision was made. We feel comfortable either way, whatever quarterback is in there. Both quarterbacks are able to lead us to a win. We are happy that Josh is healthy and we are happy that Johnny showed a lot of confidence out there leadership wise last week and it helped our side get a win."

On what McCown does better than Manziel:

"I don't want to say he does anything specifically better. I think he just has the experience. Johnny got us our first win, and that was his first one as an NFL starting quarterback. I think it is encouraging. We are excited about that and the direction we went last week. I think it helped build our confidence as a group with Johnny in there. I think Josh just has the experience. Right now, that's what the final decision, why they made that decision. No matter who is back there. we have to block for them. We are excited Josh is healthy. That first drive against the Jets was great. I think it was like 19 plays. We're excited about that. We just hated to see him get hurt trying to dive in to score a touchdown. We are happy he is back healthy, and hopefully, try to get our second win this week."

On if he expected McCown to be cleared for the Tennessee game:

"Those concussion things are tricky. Talking with him, we are just concerned for him. 'Hey, are you ready? Are you good?' We just want him to be healthy. He kept saying, 'Yeah I am good.' Of course, he is not going to say, 'No I am not good.' I think they were smart about it. It is early in the season. Let No. 2 get some work, and we came out on top. I think that was good to see, but just as long as Josh is healthy. I think knowing now that we got the 'W' with Johnny running the show. I think that is a big confidence builder for the entire offense."

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DL John Hughes III:

On how long he gets to keep the belt for most defensive 'Play Like a Brown' plays:

"For the whole week. I have to give it back on Monday."

On how its felt winning the defensive belt:

"It could have went to a number of guys. We all played great on defense."

On if the defense did anything different to prepare for the Titans:

"Nothing really different schematically. I think we were just all focused on our individual jobs and getting that done, and it opened up big plays for everybody."

On if it will be more challenging to defend against Raiders QB Derek Carr:

"We definitely have a job in front of us. Carr is a good quarterback. I remember playing him last year. We definitely have a good job ahead of us."

On Carr:

"He's a good quarterback, he sits in the pocket and he does what he has to do. We have to put pressure on him, though. We have to make sure he has to make choices really quick."

On if offensive coordinator John DeFilippo has given the defense any tips on Carr:

"Not yet. I'm sure he'll come in throughout the week and give us some tips. Maybe in practice he'll give us some things we can work on, but yeah, for sure."


LB Paul Kruger:

On his impressions of Raiders QB Derek Carr:

"I think he is extremely talented. He has a really nice arm. He can make all the throws, throw side-arm, over the top. He has a lot of speed. I just think he is a talented guy and athletic. He is somebody that jumps out on tape that can hurt you in a lot of different ways."

On if Carr or his offensive line is to credit that he hasn't been sacked often this season:

"I am sure it is a combination of things. From what I have seen, he helps himself out a lot. Their line is big. They have a lot of weight up front and protect him pretty well. As well, their offense is doing some things to get the ball out quick and create a hurry-up type situation. They show a lot of good things on tape."

On if seeing progress from Carr since playing Oakland last season:

"It seems like he has made some strides as a player and as a leader on the team, making sure he is leading the team with how he plays and managing himself, not taking those hits that are unnecessary. Things like that, you are starting to notice on tape. Overall, I think a guy with that much talent, with an arm like that, he is going to progress naturally as his career goes anyways."

On Raiders DB Charles Woodson's career:

"It really is amazing. I am going into my seventh year and so a guy like that is really impressive. I didn't realize earlier in my career how hard it is to stay in the league and play at a high level the whole time. Guys like that, I was able to play with a few of them, who are really impressive in that way. It is just a rare thing so to see a guy who is still grinding, it is an impressive deal."

On how important veteran players are to a team's success:

"It is a big deal. I noticed early on when I was playing with the Ravens, people would look up to guys to set the tone in certain ways. How do they handle success? How they handle losses? Just a whole lot of different things you can take away from that."

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