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Browns player quotes - 9/30

LB Christian Kirksey:

On his confidence:

"My level of confidence is sky rocketing. You're a football player, you have to have confidence. If you don't have confidence in yourself, then you're not going to succeed so you have to have confidence."

On if his confidence level has grown lately:

"Yeah, for sure. It's grown and I'm steady learning from (LB) Craig (Robertson), (LB) Karlos (Dansby) all the other guys. They taught me you have to have confidence to succeed in this game so I have to have confidence."

On facing Chargers RB Danny Woodhead:

"You just have to make sure you know where he's at and just know the type of things he can do coming out of the backfield. I wouldn't say its 'Aww man, we're going against Woodhead. We have to do this. We have to do that.' We have to play football."

On the diversity of the Chargers offense:

"It's just like when you're going against anybody else. We'll have a specific gameplan. We just have to know that we're playing a good offense and just trust the coaching and trust our ability."

LB Paul Kruger:

On if this will be a game where the defensive front seizes control:

"I think so, absolutely. This is a huge game for us I think. The (defensive) line as a front seven we want to play better. This is a good opportunity for us to go out and show something."

On if he agrees with Head Coach Mike Pettine's comments about him not finding his groove as a pass rusher yet this season:

"A little bit, yeah. It is kind of a split between finding a groove and the number of opportunities have been a little low. I am really hoping to pick it up this week and have a better personal game plan for that and have some more success in that way."

On why the opportunities have been low:

"One, I am playing a different position this year, which is going to put me into coverage more often. Two, we played some teams that have done a good job of getting the ball out quick. I think we can do a better job against the run like we have talked about. That will set us up in better situations, predictable passing situations, so that is going to help us out a lot."

On if the strong side is agreeing with him:

"I don't know. It is not a lot of difference besides the fact that one is rushing and one is dropping into coverage. It is a big difference, but as far as run-technique not any different. Just that and the passing situation that is where the change is."

On why the position change:

"I think it stemmed from injuries, but as far as a conclusive answer, to this point I don't know. It is just going to be something that I have to figure out and just continue to get better at it. I don't know."

On how you fix tackling in season:

"It is just a mindset for us. We just have to do better at it. Tackling is a simple thing. There are only so many ways you can explain how to do it. We need to be better as a group. We need to get low. We need to do it as a group. Gang tackle. It is a simple thing, we just have to get it done."

On if he has played Charges QB Phillip Rivers before in his career:

"I have played him a few times."

On what his impressions of Rivers are:

"I think he is a really competitive guy. He has a strong arm. He is a leader of the group. Definitely clear leader of the group. He is a guy that has a lot of control out there for his unit. He is a guy I respect and is a well-known player in the league that has been an effective guy. Looking forward to playing against him."

On if he agrees with Pettine's comments that missed tackles have been the most disappointing part about the defense this season:

"I think so. I would definitely agree. It is hard to watch on tape some times. When you are seeing yourself out there, your teammates, guys that you know want to make those plays and we are just not getting it done like we know we can. It is hard to watch. We just need to better. That is the bottom line. We can. We have proven that before. It is just going to take us all to change in the mindset to get it done."

QB Josh McCown:

On how his hand is feeling:

"It is doing good. Feeling better. Thanks for asking."

On if his hand injury limited his number of reps in practice:

"No, I felt good. It was a good day of work."

On his approach to road games:

"Don't forget your toothbrush (laughter). It has been pretty much the same since Day 1. You have to understand that there is a little more, sometimes on road games, especially in my situation there is a little more free time or down time because you might not have family or distractions as opposed to a home game. Utilizing that time and making the most of it. The preparation is not a whole lot different, other than obviously getting on the airplane."

On if he was aware of the TMZ report and if he believes it:

"I don't know. I am not worried. I don't think it was anything that I need to waste my time on. That stuff is outside of here. The guys in here, we know what we have going and the direction we are headed. We are all on the same page with that. I don't really worry about stuff like that."

On if he feels he has the locker room's support:

"Yeah, I think we all put the same jersey on and go out there and play. We are all in each other's corner. I think that is the way it is going to be. It has been as long as I have been here so I don't see that changing for any reason."

On the Browns' mood heading to San Diego:

"I think everybody sitting here at 1-2 is wanting to get back right and get rolling. We want to go out there and get this game. I think there is a high focus. We had a really good practice today – intense, guys were flying around. Coming off of a loss like that, that is the type of Wednesday practice you want to have."

On if any teammates voiced their support for him today:

"I am going to leave those conversations inside here. That is the cool part of what we do. You go through ups and downs throughout a season, and I think when you talk to guys about what they miss – you miss the guys in the locker room and that special bond and all those things that come with that. It is special because it is y'all. It is tight and it is inside and it you guys. That is where I like to leave that stuff. I like to leave that for us. A lot of that is outside noise that. A lot of guys don't pay attention to it. There are guys that are into that and will read that and stuff like that. For the most part, it is not an issue. It is not something to talk about."

On if he ever thought he would see his name on a TMZ report:

"No, I had to ask someone what TMZ was (laughter). I don't follow that stuff very much. I have been doing this for a while. This really doesn't matter. It has no bearing on how you go out and practice and prepare. I feel like the thing with it, if you let those things bother you, you generally don't hang around very long. That has been my observations over the years. For me, that is stuff that is outside. That stuff doesn't help you throw the ball better or make you throw the ball worse. It is just outside noise."

On San Diego's defense:

"(Chargers FS) Eric Weddle is a really good player. He gets those guys going. That guy is on the field, they are always going to be in the right place and capable of making plays. It is the NFL and everybody goes through injuries. There is next man up. Everyone has that same mentality. There will be guys lined up, and we will have to go out and execute. That will be our mindset. This is a good defense. It is a good front again. We have faced some good fronts the last few weeks. This is another good one. (Chargers OLB) Melvin Ingram and those guys are solid, solid players. We'll have our hands full with that. We, like every week, will look at the best matchups that we can get on outside and try to work those. This is a good defense."

On if his timing is coming back after missing some time:

"Yeah, it is. It is coming back. We are getting in sync. The other day earlier on in the game, we just started slow and we were a little out of sync. As we got going, we caught up a little bit and that was better. I think that will continue to get better."

On if he knew QB Austin Davis before he came to Cleveland:

"Yeah, he started against (Tampa Bay) last year the second week down in Tampa and played some good ball. I just knew him from that, just talking to him after the game and was impressed with him then. Glad that we could get a guy like that on our team. I think he's a good young player that should have a bright future for sure."

On if WR Dwayne Bowe will be able to help the offense this week:

"Absolutely, we go into every week looking for guys to help us any way we can. Obviously, Dwayne's on that list and in the mix to do that. He had a good day of practice today, caught some balls. It was good work for him and good work for he and I getting on the same page. Absolutely, we would love to have him out there helping us."

On if he just ignores the TMZ report or if there was any need to speak with the team today about coming forward if they have something they want to say:

"Take a poll…? It was all me. I didn't know what TMZ was, but I reached out to them (laughter). Look, whether it is or it isn't, doesn't matter. It is not something that is going to help me throw a football better or drop back and make a read better so I don't really take it into account. I told you guys this the other day: I have been on both sides of this thing. This is a diverse group of guys in here. There are definitely people that will follow any issue that you talk about and there will be people who have different opinions on anything. Position things and stuff like that are probably no different. There are people that have different opinions on that. That is OK. That is fine. At the end of the day, do I question whether or not we are going to be on the same page when we step out there Sunday? Absolutely not. That is the thing. Whether you are for one guy or the other, you think one guy gives you a better chance to win or not, it doesn't matter because when we get out there on Sunday, everyone is giving their best. That was evident this Sunday, and I expect that moving forward. That is why it doesn't matter to me. Whether it was three guys or 10 guys or whether we knew or not, it doesn't matter. It is just about us being on the same page when we get out there Sunday."

On his communication with the offensive line and confidence that they will gel:

"Like I said the other day, we had 55 pass attempts. That is a lot of pass attempts. I thought they fought their tails off and did an excellent job against some really good pass rushers. I feel like we are clicking and gelling in the pass game with the protections pretty well. I will leave here in a little bit and (OL) Alex (Mack) and I will watch some pressure tape. We will get together. There are little things that we do together, the quarterbacks – (QB) Johnny (Manziel) and myself and Austin (Davis) – will be in there with the centers and talk about different kinds of how we see protections and how we see things getting picked up. Those are the little things that we do to keep us in sync. It has been beneficial. There are things that have come up every game, and we look back on those things and have been able to take care of it because of our preparation."

On if he has seen improvement from RB Duke Johnson Jr.:

"I think we see it. I do. I think every week he is gaining a little ground and that is all you can ask for from a young guy. You just want to see some improvement. He is going to get better the more he touches the ball and the more he plays."

On if Johnson Jr.'s 18-yard catch of the end of the game was his envisioned role:

"I think so. I think so. Just the suddenness and the explosiveness when he catches the ball to go get yards. I think was the idea when you take a guy like Duke to see that is certainly encouraging. I have seen this and felt like this. I can remember feeling like this myself as a young guy. Just with other young guys, they have that one moment where they do something like what they did in college and it gives them confidence, and then you start seeing it more and more. I think that is the hope with Duke, that we will see that more and more because he certainly got has the explosiveness that will help us."

On how having Bowe's body type will help the passing game:

"When you can put different body types out there it is a different cover for that guy. It makes it tough and you change up speeds on them, change up body types and it certainly makes that game different for the corner that has to cover it. I think it is definitely a help to mix it up and have those guys guessing."

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