Included below are select quotes from interviews with the following Browns players during today's media availability:
- RB Isaiah Crowell
- OL John Greco
- QB Robert Griffin III (full transcript)
- DB Joe Haden
- DB Jordan Poyer
- LB Joe Schobert
- OL Joe Thomas
RB Isaiah Crowell:
On the Browns offense's confidence in in QB Robert Griffin III:
"I have a lot of confidence in him. I know he is a great quarterback. He has been a great quarterback. I have my trust in him. I feel like he is going to go out there and make stuff happen."
On expectations for Philadelphia's defense:
"I expect them to run to the ball, eight-man box, try to stop the run, but we can't let anybody make us one-dimensional. We are going to go out there, run the ball and do what we do."
On executing the Browns offense in the run game:
"Really, I just feel like it is on us as players to go out there and execute. That is basically it. The reason we didn't run last year was because there was no execution for whatever reason. That is what it is, and I feel like we have to go out there and establish a good running game."
On if the Browns can establish a good running game this season:
"Yeah, I feel like we as an offense have to make that happen, and I feel like we will."
On criteria besides wins and losses to evaluate growth of the team this year:
"That is really where everybody bases everything off of, wins and losses, because that is very important and we want to win. We want to go out there and win, but there are other things we can get better at on the field with just growing and learning the offense and everybody playing with each other."
OL John Greco:
On double teaming Eagles DT Fletcher Cox and if the Wide 9 makes it tougher to do that:
"No, I don't think it's so much the Wide 9 because you try to create double teams. Every team is going to try and create double teams to get movement on those big guys and move them to the linebackers. They do a really good job of trying to take you off of those double teams because their linebackers play so quick downhill and they are really aggressive. We have to look at our gameplan and try to take advantage of those opportunities when we do have double teams and try to get some movement, and if not, we are singled up and going to do the best we can."
On if facing Buccaneers DT Gerald McCoy during the preseason helps prepare for Cox:
"Yeah, it is definitely not the start a guard looks forward to – two of the best at their position – but it is a good challenge. I look forward to it."
On competing against top DTs across the NFL:
"I'll play him [Cox] this week and played Gerald (McCoy) in the preseason. They are up there, and (DT) Aaron Donald from the (Los Angeles) Rams is up there. There are a lot, and I know we play a bunch of them this year. We will be ready."
DB Joe Haden:
On his excitement to return and open the regular season:
"I'm super excited. All the waiting, all the time last season, I just had a lot of time to think about how I wanted to do it, how I wanted to get back this season. Rehabbing to get ready for the season, it has been a long journey and I'm just excited to play."
On his expectations for the Browns defense, especially with young players:
"I just expect us to go out there and go hard. We have been doing a lot of film study, a lot of practice. We have been practicing extremely hard, just doing a lot attention to detail preparing just basically getting myself ready to go out there and perform at a high level. I'm super excited about everybody's preparation. The way that they came in today, already watched the film, already knowing what is going on so when coaches were going up there, everybody already saw what was happening. Just good to be with a young group that is excited to go out there and prove a lot of people wrong."
On the timing of the Eagles trading QB Sam Bradford to the Vikings and going up against Eagles rookie QB Carson Wentz:
"He is a very, very, very high draft pick. They obviously saw something in him. He is a big dude. He can run the ball. I saw he did well in college. He didn't play at a D-I school, but they obviously see a lot in him. We are definitely excited to go out there and try to mix it up. Young quarterback, he is not really experienced and hasn't seen too many different defenses so just going to try and disguise and go after it."
On expecting a drastic difference schematically for the Browns defense compared to the preseason:
"We want to have a solid defense. During the preseason, it was a shaky, but now we just understand that the starters are going to be the ones out there playing the entire game. We have to be able to go out there, make plays and execute. We are just going in there grinding. We don't feel like we in no way, shape or form have arrived. We feel like we have a lot of growing to do as a defense, as a secondary together so it is just everybody going in there with that hungry mentality knowing we have a lot to prove. It just goes into the meeting rooms. It is all about executing so you have to know your job, know your assignment, alignment, technique. Everybody is just ready to go out there and show that we can do a lot better than we did in the preseason."
DB Jordan Poyer:
On the mentality toward against a rookie QB like Eagles QB Carson Wentz:
"It is a new year. It is a new team, new season. We have to treat every team, every game with respect, every opponent with respect. Carson Wentz does have the most respect in our defensive room, and that is how we are preparing."
On if disguising defensive plays and coverages pre-snap is an even bigger advantage when facing a rookie QB:
"We are always going to disguise pre-snap just to give the quarterback something else to think of post-snap. We are just going to come in and do what we know and what we have been training. We have the most respect for that offensive group. They have some great players over there, and we have to go do our job."
On what the season opener means to him:
"I just want to play well for this football team, for myself. I just want to play well. I think we all do Week 1. I think anybody that steps out there on that football field, whether you are a starter or not, you just want to play well. That is what we are preparing for and working hard on doing. I can't wait till Sunday."
On if playing against the team that drafted him gives him extra motivation:
"A little bit. It is the first time really that I will be playing against a team that I used to play with. I'm excited to be here, excited for Sunday, excited to go to work with my teammates."
LB Joe Schobert:
On how he feels about being listed as the starter for Sunday's game:
"Good. Obviously, you want to play in the NFL. It was a dream growing up, and Sunday is the first opportunity of the regular season. I'm excited."
On how ready he is to play Sunday:
"I think I'm ready. This week has been amped up in film, watching just kind of getting to know all the ins and outs of what the Eagles are going to try to do us. Obviously, right now, I'm not ready, but we are going to be ready by Sunday."
On there was a specific point during the preseason when he assured the coaching staff he could be a starter:
"I think it was a progressive thing over the preseason. Just knowing my job, coming in as a rookie, you have to know the schematics first. That is the biggest thing. I think I was able to get that down and impress them. They knew that I knew what I was doing on the field. I think that is the biggest thing."
On if he ended the preseason playing his best football:
"Yeah I think so. I was much more comfortable and it was the best game I played."
On Eagles QB Carson Wentz's play at the college level:
"He is obviously a big guy* *and a very good athlete. He won a lot of games there. He was very competitive. From what I can see, I expect him to carry it over to the NFL."
OL Joe Thomas:
On the Eagles Wide 9 defensive scheme:
"It is a scheme that has been in the NFL since before I got in it. It is something that makes life a little difficult at times on tackles because of how wide and how aggressively up the field the defensive ends rush. Just like anything, it exposes the defense to potential weaknesses because of how wide the defensive ends do play, but it gives them a definite advantage in pass rush and getting up the field. (Eagles defensive coordinator) Jim Schwartz has had a lot of success over his career as a defensive coordinator so he definitely knows how to get after the quarterback."
On Eagles DT Fletcher Cox:
"He is a great player. It is the NFL. Every week on almost any D-line in the NFL, you are going to find one guy that is exceptional – sometimes two or three. Fletcher is a tremendous player. I probably won't see him, thankfully, but the guards and center will have their hands full."
On how different the Browns offense will look in the regular season compared to the preseason:
"You are going to see some differences. In the preseason, you saw a lot of stuff so I think really when you start getting ready for game planning, you are kind of honing what you have been doing. Maybe you'll throw a couple wrinkles out that you haven't shown yet, but for the most part, you are just kind of honing what you have been doing and what you think is going to be the most successful against the defense."