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Browns player quotes - 9/24

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

  • WR Brian Hartline
  • OL Joe Thomas

 WR Brian Hartline

On if he expects his chemistry with QB Josh McCown to return immediately:

"Yeah, I think so. I think that it is the perks of having some guys like that. I like to be where I am supposed to be and Josh likes to throw on time and all that kind of stuff. Pretty easy chemistry."

On if he hasn't been targeted much because McCown hasn't been the QB:

"I don't know. You would have to ask coaches all that stuff. We are 1-1. When you are not getting opportunities on a loss, that might fire you up, but anytime you win, that is not really part of the equation."

On what WR Travis Benjamin's play opens up for other receivers:

"I think he is not the only one. (WRs) Taylor (Gabriel) and Hawk (Andrew Hawkins), I think all of us can get down field a little bit. Having that versatility that he has and everyone has in the room, it makes hard to put certain people probably in a box as in 'This is what these guys do with this guy' so it probably makes it harder to plan."

On if it just rolls off his back when he does not have a catch in a game:

"Yeah, not the first, not going to be the last. We won so that is really what takes precedent."

On his feelings on McCown being back starting as QB:

"Good. If you have two guys to pick from and you have that question, it is a positive. Both guys showed that they can win in this league, and they think Josh is the guy for Sunday. I am fully supportive of anything that they choose, and that is the reason why I am here."

On what he has seen from the Raiders defense:

"I think just like anything, they gave up some points, but they have also scored a lot of points. From an offensive point of view, it is our responsibility to continue to score points, not keep the pressure on the defense and keep some pressure of the defense and let them do what they do. No difference from last week. It is the same thing. We just need to do it two weeks in a row."

On if the offense is supposed to run like the 17-play, 90-yard drive that the season began with in New York:

"Yeah, but hopefully with a couple less plays. That was long drive. I think that we are going to be efficient, we are going to execute and play at a high level. Over four quarters of a game, I think we will be tough to beat. I am not saying it is any different with a different quarterback. I am just saying that was probably one of the longest drives we have had this season and probably in a long time in the history of the Browns. It is definitely a positive."

On if the offense is supposed to spread the ball around:

"I think that is what every offense is supposed to do, but I think Josh has a good feel for going from read to read and really moving the ball around and making it easy on the guys out there running their routes. I think, again, if we do our job, Josh will do his. Everyone is alive on every play."

On if he admires Raiders DB Charles Woodson's longevity in the NFL:

"It is unbelievable. I know we get some roster evaluations and they put up who is where and what not and how many years in the league. To see an 18 (years experience) beside a guy. Not only 18, but the level at which he still plays is unbelievable. I need whatever he is doing. I need to do some of that. It is pretty impressive."

OL Joe Thomas

On Raiders DE Khalil Mack:

"Yeah, he's a great player. You don't have to watch a lot of film to see he's a tremendous talent. He's already making a huge impact for their defense."

On comparing Mack to Hall of Fame LB Lawrence Taylor:

"I think if you talked to anybody across the league that's watched him play, they wouldn't think that's a big comparison to make. Size, speed, strength, power – you name it, he's got it."

On Mack as the best player he went against last year:

"It's hard to say definitively because I can't remember last year, can't even remember last week (laughter). Certainly, you talk to our tight ends or the tackles or anybody that's tried to go against him, he's tremendous."

* *

On what makes Mack great, getting to the QB or rush defense:

"It's both. That's why I think he's such a great player. Getting to the quarterback, blowing stuff up in the run game, he does it all very well."

On if he was surprised Mack was that good as a rookie:

"The first time I put the film on, I was surprised, but that was even before the game. It took watching 20 plays before you realize he was the real deal."

On Mack playing in a new position:

"It's hard to say it's really new because he's doing the same stuff. He's putting his hand in the ground some of the time, but a lot of the time he's rushing from the 2-point (stance). I wouldn't say it's totally new. It's a lot of the same stuff he did last year."

On QB Josh McCown keeping the starting job:

"I guess I didn't really have too much of a reaction because I expected as soon as Josh was healthy that had be the guy no matter what (QB) Johnny (Manziel) did because Josh didn't do anything to lose the spot that he'd won through the offseason and through training camp."

* *

On what McCown brings that Manziel cannot due to experience:

"I don't know. I wouldn't compare them, but I think Josh does a great job moving the ball down the field. He rarely ever misdiagnoses a defense. He's usually getting the ball out on time to the right person, and he's giving you a chance to win on every play."

On if McCown will pick up right where he left off:

"Yeah, I don't think he's going to miss a beat at all. When you've been in this league as long as he has, you've seen it all and you've done it all so there's not really much that anybody can throw at you that's going to make you miss a beat"

On if McCown will be affected by fans wanting to see Manziel:

"I don't think so. I think the fans' reaction always comes down to whether you win or lose. If we win on Sunday with Josh, they're going to love Josh. If we don't win, they're going to love Johnny. It's just a matter of if you go out and you execute and you play well and you win."

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