Included below are select quotes from interviews with the following Browns players during today's media availability:
- RB Duke Johnson
- QB Josh McCown (full transcript)
- LB Nate Orchard
- WR Terrelle Pryor
- DL Danny Shelton
RB Duke Johnson:
On if he is ready to go Sunday:
On how many concussions has head before and or was that something new for him:
"Yeah it was new."
On if he ever suffered a concussion before:
On how it first game went:
"It was fun. I enjoyed my first game out. Getting acclimated to the speed. I think I was enjoying it and having fun and then it happened (his concussion occurred)."
On if he feels like he has been a victim of bad luck due to his injuries:
"No. That is the nature of the game. You get hurt. Then you recover and play football."
On if he needs time to catch up or can he step right in and play:
"I think I can step right in. I am preparing myself. My teammates and my coaches also helped me prepare even though I wasn't out there. I am happy to be preparing for the game, mentally and now that I am out there I can take some reps and after practice even get some more conditioning."
On if he will see time as a kick returner:
"As of right now I am still practicing it. We are still working through it. It is on the coaches. It is not my call. Right now I am working on it in practice."
On how close to being 100 percent does he feel because guys will commonly say you never play this game absolutely at 100 percent:
"I think I am. I think I am 100 percent. I haven't practiced a lot during camp, so I can say I am fairly healthy."
On when he was cleared to play:
"I think today or yesterday."
On if it is a relief that he knows he will be able to play Week 1:
"I think that is what is important to this organization – winning games when it matters. Preseason is just to get out there and get a feel for it and show what we have been working on. These 16 games – I think that is more important."
On how good the Jets run defense is:
"They are very good. Especially the three defensive tackles. Those are the ones we have to worry about the most because they play very hard and are very tough and strong in the middle and they also went out and got their guy (DL Leonard Williams) in the first round. He is no slouch at all either. Even though he is a rookie. I think his front seven is something we (have to take serious)."
QB Josh McCown:
On if this opening game feels different from other openers in his career:
"Yes and no. Different in the sense in that it is right now. It is in the moment and it is time. I think the excitement of opening day, at least for me, always feels new. There is something special about it. In that sense, yes, it feels different because it is this one and I am thankful for the next one."
On if there are reasons that he is confident he can play the best football of his career this year and why:
"I don't know if there are reasons. I think every player across the league plans on playing the best ball of his career. That is everybody's focus. Mine would be no different. I don't look for reasons why other than everybody always wants to be better than they were the last time they went out. No matter how good you play, you want to play well. That is my focus. I don't know if I can give your reasons other than I want to play good football for this team and help them win."
On if he is confident in the running game:
"I am. I think we are just fine. I trust our leadership, decision makers and as far as right now the starting five has not changed as far as what we have up front. I do I feel confident in our running game. Like I have said before, running games, especially this week, the good ones – it is a war of attrition. You have to get runs and runs and runs called and wear on people and then you break big ones and that is how you build a good running game. When you are not playing a full game you don't have the full scope. That is our thought process right now."
On where the offense made the most progress since the start of training camp:
"I think the area that we have made the most progress in is – I definitely feel that we have grown in the passing game as far as, we have a lot, but narrowing down the things that we feel that we are going to be good at with our guys. That is just what we said in training camp. You learn the guys you have and what they are good and being able to tailor it. I think we have grown in that area. You could almost say that about the running game too. I think we have figured some things that we feel we will be better at. I think that is the main area of growth. As I look at it, it is the detail of the passing game from where we have come from the start of camp until now."
On if it is second nature for him to throw the ball to the RBs going back to his days in Chicago:
"If you are going to be good at throwing the football in this league the backs have to be a part of it, especially in our system. You are going to get yourself into games and things like that, especially if you are good at throwing the football where there is coverage. You are seeing coverage and drop coverage and you have to play the ball underneath, so absolutely. That is part of it. I had a fantastic back in (Bears RB) Matt Forte who could do that for us. We feel like the guys here, with Crow (RB Isaiah Crowell) and (RB) Shaun (Draughn) and (RB) Duke (Johnson Jr.) and even (FB) Malcom Johnson's skill set. There is s reason why he is here. We feel like those guys can work underneath very well in the passing game."
On if Duke Johnson reminds him of anyone he has played with before:
"Golly, that is tough. It is still early for him so that is tough. I say that because he has a different skill set. Maybe a little bit different than some of the guys I have played with, but his feel in the passing game reminds me a lot of how Matt Forte was in the past. Just his feel and his shake and all that stuff. I am anxious to see him continue to develop. We still haven't seen a lot of him. We will see as we bring him along."
On at this point in his career does he start to savor every snap:
"No doubt. Absolutely. Because of my journey and the things I have gone through I think this back half (of my career) I am appreciative of those things that happened to me because it really focused me on making the most of every day, really. That is a great way to live. I am thankful for that. It makes going out to practice, training camp and practice, all those things – whereas maybe there was a point in my career where that was drudgery and, 'Oh here we go again.' You are excited to walk into the facility and have a place to work and all those things. Absolutely, very thankful for that."
On if he was always an energetic guy to start practice as now he comes out and yells TE Jim Dray's name and throws him a pass to start practice:
"I don't know, not necessarily. I think it is just part of having fun. It is just something, I don't know. I don't know why I did it the first time I did it. Now I do it every day to start practice. I find Jim and throw him a ball to get it going. I just appreciate how Jim comes to work every day. He comes to work and he is a pro's pro. He always knows what to do and always works hard. I think it all puts us in a good mood to see Jim catch a ball to start practice."
On if the team will run the ball more because of the Jets secondary:
"I am not in the business of giving away game plans, but those guys are certainly good players. There is no question about it. You know where they are at on the field, and you adjust accordingly. We have a plan of attack and the way we want to get after it. We know that we still have to be able to throw the football and do those things. Again, we respect their abilities. Both of them. Tremendous ball skills. Reeve (Jets DB Darrelle Revis) may go down as one of the best corners to ever play. (Jets DB) Antonio (Cromartie) is a very, very good player. (DB) Buster (Skrine) too, who you guys know from here last year. They have a good secondary and we understand that. That will be in our mind, whether we are running or passing, we will know what side they are on and how we want to attack them."
On how going against the Browns secondary in practice will help him as he faces the Jets secondary:
"It is good for us because throughout the spring and camp having to go against guys like (DBs) Joe Haden and Tramon Williams and Gip (Tashaun Gipson) and Whit (Donte Whitner). Because we have such a good secondary it raises your level. When you face a secondary like this you know what it feels like to fit balls into tight windows, to train yourself not to force throws and things like that. Definitely helps to have gone against our guys all spring."
On what makes Revis so good:
"What makes Reeve so good is his efficiency in his footwork. He doesn't take a lot of false steps. He is such a smart player. He has always had a great skillset. Like all of us we get older. You could see how smart he is. That is really what comes through. The efficiency in his footwork and how he is, especially, on short to intermediate routes, just the way he breaks on things and I have a ton of respect for his game and the way he approaches it because you can tell by the way he plays that is not just the physical for him. It is the mental part that really separates him and so I have a lot of respect for that."
On if he is used to dealing with the pressure of how well he plays will directly correlate with how the season for the team goes:
"I have not dealt with that pressure from the Browns standpoint, but I have dealt with that pressure ever since you strap the helmet and cleats and play quarterback. When you decide to play quarterback that is part of it. My little guy is a sixth grader and playing some receiver and some quarterback now. It is funny we talk about that and talk about the influence you have on the game and that you have on your team. It is the nature of this position. I understand it and embrace it. The beauty of what we have in our locker room is that we are a team and we know that we are going to go out and win ball games together. It gives me confidence going into games going out – I don't need to overreach or step outside of myself. Just let the game come to me and do my part to help this team win football games."
On how Flip (offensive coordinator John DeFilippo) will do in the first regular season game:
"Flips preparation week in and week out and as detailed as he is, no stones going to go unturned. I figure- I think he's going to do great, that's our expectation. We're going in this thing together and as he's stood in front of the room from day one and communicated clearly and had a plan for everything that we've done. It'll be no different for Sunday. I have all of the confidence in the world in him and I know he does in me and that's what you have to have in this relationship. I trust the plays that are going to come in and he's going to trust me to operate those whether it's in the running game, the pass game to put the football where he wants it. I think we're both at a spot where we're excited about this opportunity. Understanding that the newness of it for him but at the same time everybody had their first time out. Nobody comes in this league as an experienced NFL coordinator, your first time is your first time. We understand that but even the best coordinators have that first time and we believe Flip's going to be that so this first game will be his first step towards that so we're excited about that."
On what the Browns are capable of accomplishing this year:
"You know what, we're capable of being focused on the next game and going out and playing and that's where our mindset is. We're not into predictions or anything like that. I think we're capable of focusing on the Jets right now and then moving forward after that. I think that that message has been sent by Coach Pettine, he's done a great job of just- that's all you can worry about is the things that we can control and that's this week and playing a very good Jets football team so we're looking forward to that."
On how important it is to win game 1:
"It's important. It's just as important as every game. It's just a different perspective that maybe you guys from the outside in. We sit in here and we don't go 'Hey, let's lose these first two and then ride off 14 in a row. Our mindset is to win every single one. Everybody in the NFL understands that that's a tall order. Very few- two teams in history have gone undefeated but everybody's mindset is to do that and we're no different. We want to win every game. It's great to get off to a good start, no question but its- like I just said it's the game in front of us and that's the one we're worried about and we have to go win that one."
On DL Danny Shelton:
"He's quick, man. He's quick and he's wide (laughter). To have those two things said about you is probably a good skill set playing (defensive) tackle in the NFL. You guys saw him he was disruptive in camp and able to do some things. Glad he's on our team and think he's done a heck of a job. I don't know their side of the ball and how he's- but just watching and going against him. The way he operates is he just has a good presence about him, different than a rookie. He has this confidence about him and I appreciate that. It seems like he's going to help our defense but I know from our side, just going against him he's been tough on us."
LB Nate Orchard:
On how it feels to be back:
"It's been a while, I've been gone a week, Coverage going well and it's nice to be back on the field."
On the injury:
"It surprised me. It came out of nowhere and I was able to talk to Joe (Sheehan) and the doc. And we had to figure out the situation so it wouldn't get any worse."
On if he has had back issues before:
Yeah, in college. But like I said I had great trainers in college that helped the situation and I'm fortunate enough to have Joe here and the rest of the staff to take care of me."
On if he is back at 100%:
"Yeah, I felt great. Felt great today running around. Limited in my reps but definitely good to be back out there and hopefully to continue that."
On what his role will be on Sunday:
"I don't know. The main focus is to get back on the field, whatever it may be, scout team, contribute and just earn that trust back from coaches and players and go forward from there."
On how anxious he is to play:
"So anxious. Its first game, week one. Got a great chance to make history and get back on track, start off. 1-0."
On if this week has been different than preseason weeks:
Definitely. Narrowing it down to 53 and having everyone here. Mindset is just go and win and everyone's just happy to be here."
On if it was frustrating sitting out due to injury:
"First time I missed a game in- I mean, I didn't miss one in college and to miss that first one was rough."
On if he feels behind:
"No, a lot of its mental. I stayed in my playbook a lot and was working with Coach Fleur in his office late nights so I think I'm going to do OK."
On why he changed his number:
"I don't know. It just looked better than 48."
On what his number was in college:
WR Terrelle Pryor
On his thoughts on the Ohio State game:
"I felt it was phenomenal. I felt we got out to a fast start. I am sure Coach Urban (Ohio State Head Coach Urban Meyer) is happy with it, but we have to finish better. I am happy with it…as with (Ohio State WR) Braxton (Miller). He is phenomenal. He came in well as a receiver, then he did a little bit more stuff in the backfield and did some quarterback stuff. He looked pretty versatile and electric."
On if Miller's play can be a template for Pryor's success:
"He's a Buckeye. That's what Buckeyes do. They make plays."
On if Miller's plays are the model for what Pryor strives for:
"I just look to make plays and try to get the ball in my hands. Obviously, it's the NFL level, so there is more game planning and people understand that and know who is on the field at all times and stuff like that."
On why he wanted to change his number:
"I didn't want a high number."
On his status health wise:
"It's gotten better. It's phenomenal. I know Coach Pettine (Head Coach Mike Pettine) wants to answer those questions, so I don't want to disrespect him. I will let him finish that."
On after Pettine's comments about him not being a project anymore and going out there and producing and does he feel as if he is caught up enough to produce:
"We'll have to find out when we get on the field."
On his reaction to making the 53 man roster:
"It's a blessing for the coaching staff, Coach Flip (offensive coordinator John DeFilippo), Coach Pett and (wide receivers coach) Joker (Phillips) and (General Manager) Ray Farmer and all up the line to the top of the front office to give me an opportunity. I won't let them down."
DL Danny Shelton:
On his team believing and depending on him
"Honestly I see it as an opportunity for me to play. To open up my first year and have more responsibility on me. At the same time it shows how competitive our defensive lineman room is. (DL) Jamie Meder competed his butt off this offseason and produced for us. He's another guy I look up to. To see his game play impact offenses, he's a guy to watch out for. Honestly I just feel comfortable in our defensive line room. We have great guys in there."
On making an impact in his rookie year:
"Yeah, I don't let the hype get to me. I'm going to come in here with the same mindset that every other player has whether he be a third rounder, a seven rounder or a undrafted signee. It's just something you have to have, a mindset a mentality you have to have because nothing is given to you. I take that to heart and compete with that mindset all the time coming out here practicing."
On making his goals well known:
"I have private goals too but as far as putting goals out there it's mainly just the team goals. Trying to help contribute to the team."
On his excitement for the first game:
"I'm excited. It's been a long time now and I'll finally be able to play through the first quarter. It's interesting to see how this week has gone. Everything seems a lot quieter compared to preseason. Everybody's more focused so it's kind of like the calm before the storm. That's what makes it even more exciting, making me more anxious to get out there."
On how big it is to win game 1:
"It's a big deal. Every season you want to come out with a great start so we're planning on starting fast and finishing strong."
On Jet OL Nick Mangold
"I just thought it was interesting that I'm playing for (a team in) Ohio and I'm playing against an Ohio alum so it's going to be great. "
On what he is most looking forward to in game 1:
Really just getting the jitters out. Getting out pregame and warming up then first play, getting that out of the way and just letting it ride the rest of the game and competing to produce."
On the speed of game 1 being faster than preseason:
"I'm not expecting it to be faster. I felt like preseason was a pretty similar look. Going off of what the vets have been saying as far as just doing your assignment and playing ball, that's what I've been doing. Preseason wasn't too bad and I'm just ready to get out there for regular season opener."
On if he has a sack dance prepared:
"We'll see. I'm always good with just going out and doing something on the spot."