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Browns players press conference - 5/23

**<span style="text-decoration: underline;">

RB Duke Johnson Jr.</span>:**

On the team having a lot of new players and how the 2018 Browns look:

“It’s our second day. For the second day, not bad. Better than the first day. New faces or not, we are just trying get on one page on offense, defense and special teams. Just going into the season and show what we can do.”

On the Browns acquiring RBs Carlos Hyde and Nick Chubb and making a new RB room:

“They made a whole [new] team for the most part. A lot of guys, a lot of new faces, like we just said. At the end of the day, I’m a player, but I also help teach and kind of mentor the younger guys, kind of teach them dos and don’ts and get caught up and just be that person for them to lean on. Regardless of who is in the room, I’m the same person every day.”

On offensive coordinator Todd Haley’s offense: 

“It should be fun. Especially with Coach Haley coming and the guys that we have brought in on offense to help this team, I believe it will be fun to watch. We are still in the early stages so we are still trying to get everything together and get on one page. Once we get this thing rolling, I think it will be fun.”

On his contract status:

“We are still in contract talks and taking it day by day. It’s going well. It’s not going bad. This is kind of my first contract negotiation. Rookie deals, it’s set so this is kind of my first time. I’m not really sure about the timetable of when it’s supposed to be done, when it should be done so we are taking it one day at a time.”

On if he is optimistic about his contract talks:

“I’m very optimistic. Yes, I believe that not only the staff but the front office wants me here. It’s just about both sides coming to an agreement.”

**<span style="text-decoration: underline;">

WR Jarvis Landry:**

On the start of OTAs:

“It is good. It is good having more bodies out here. I think it was just five of us receivers for a time here. It is good to have more bodies out there.”

On if the process during this portion of the offseason is what he has experienced in the past:

“Pretty similar. It is a new offense for everybody so stepping up to the learning curve has probably been the biggest part of the transition for everybody. (Offensive coordinator) Coach (Todd) Haley and all of the offensive coaches do a good job of explaining it and breaking it down into ways that we can understand to be able to go out there and play fast.”

On if he agrees in his ranking on the NFL’s Top 100 players list:

“Of course not. My goal is to eventually be No. 1. Honestly, it is an honor to be recognized among all of the top players in this league and to be recognized in the top 100, but I think for any competitor… Well, I can’t speak for every competitor, but I know me – I want to be first.”

On where he believes he ranks amongst receivers in the league:

“I consider myself the best. I consider myself the most complete receiver. If you turn on the film, I do everything – I block, I play inside, I play outside and I come out of the backfield. My value is that much more to the team and to the offense. I consider myself the best receiver in the NFL.”

On what he will bring to the team:

“Just my playmaking ability on the field. Off of the field, my leadership and my energy. Being able to help the younger guys, being able to help anybody that needs it. I have been through a lot of things. I have grown. To be able to be there and be that leader for those guys is really important to me, as well.”

On the Browns being selected for Hard Knocks:

“I am excited. Aren’t you? You aren’t excited? I am excited. It should be fun. Again, we will not get too involved in paying attention to that. Obviously, we have a goal in mind and we have to focus, but it is also an opportunity to show the culture and the type of football and the style of football that we want to be portrayed in Cleveland.”

**

DB Jabrill Peppers:**

On his understanding of the defense this year:

“I understand it way better. Year 2 is definitely when you go through the biggest learning curve. Now, I have the scheme down like that. It allows you to play faster. You know what other guys are supposed to do, as well. It allows you to help other guys play to your level, disguise certain things and make it look like a different scheme, things like that. It definitely helps having a year under my belt going through the offseason process with the guys and the whole offseason process. Just relearning certain things, learning new techniques and how to play different schemes. It’s definitely going to be a tremendous help.”

On the new rule regarding his with the helmet:

“It’s never easy on defensive guys. It’s a violent sport. I guess they are trying to protect the players, but at the end of the day, you know what you signed up for when you play this game. We have been playing this game since we were young. I don’t think anyone is intentionally trying to hurt anybody out here. When you are moving so fast and it is like that, it is kind of hard to make adjustments like that. You go to hit a guy and he makes a move last minute, it is kind of hard to avoid some accidental contact. As defensive guys, we just adjust. That is what we get paid to do. We have to adjust and still get our job done.”

On his role in 2018:

“We are going to see. We are exploring different things and we have a lot of guys who can play a lot of different things on defense. We are going to give everyone their best advantage, what they do best in their skillset and put 11 guys on the field who are going to be tenacious and go get it.”

On DB Denzel Ward:

“He is a hell of a player. You know he went to ‘that school.’ We are all here for a common goal, and that is to help the Browns win ball games. He is tenacious, great feet, great hips, plays man-to-man, come up and lay the boom and he is a ball hawk, as well. Whether that is punching the ball out or grabbing interceptions, we can use guys like that, for sure. He fits this scheme extremely well. Those guys are the guys (defensive coordinator) Gregg Williams likes so I’m going to do whatever I can do to help him play fast. Just teach him things that I had to learn the hard way. He has a lot of veterans around him, too. They can kind of show him and mold him into the player we all know he can be.”

**

QB Tyrod Taylor:**

On how long it takes a QB to make a team ‘his’:

“I have been here for about six weeks now with the full team – two weeks with the rookies being here – and it is definitely an ongoing process. At the same time, the more that you show leadership on the field, in the locker room, even in the weight room and just in the building, I think the easier it is that you grab everyone and let them know that you are the leader. It is an ongoing process. Understand, it is a new team with new teammates and new relationships that I am building with the coaching staff. I am working hard at it each and every day.”

On the talent of his teammates:

 “A very talented team. I knew that before coming here. Excited to play with a bunch of guys once I found out that I had been traded here, a group that is very talented, to make a bunch of big plays and win a bunch of big games if the mindset is right. That is what we are doing now. Changing the mindset and working hard each and every day.”

On offensive coordinator Todd Haley’s playbook:

“I love it. It is a player-driven offense. I believe that we have the weapons and the talent on the offensive side of the ball to go out there and make explosive plays. If you look at the depth chart, there is talent at every position. It is our job to fine tune the execution part of it each and every day and go out and play winning football on Sundays.”

On what makes it a ‘player-driven offense’:

“It allows everyone to be free. It allows (WR) Jarvis (Landry) to do what he does best. It allows (WR) Josh (Gordon) to do what he does best. It allows (TEs) Seth (DeValve) and David (Njoku) to do what they do best. Even (TE) Darren Fells, it allows him to go out there and be a player in the red zone posting up. Of course, the running backs, putting them into situations where they can go out there and be themselves.”

On reports that the Browns offered to trade for Eagles QB Nick Foles prior to 2018 free agency:

“I am assuming that at that time I was still with the Buffalo Bills so that really does not affect me. Things happen in this league that you can’t change. I have always been one to focus on what I can change, and that is my attitude daily, the effort that I bring and the energy that I bring around my teammates. That has been my focus. I really can’t speak on or let that affect me.”

On the timeframe for developing timing with the receivers:

“It is something that you continue to build chemistry with. Not to speak about the Steelers but just because we watch a lot of their offense on tape since Coach Haley has been with them, we watch A.B. (Steelers WR Antonio Brown) and (Steelers QB)  Ben (Roethlisberger), and it is something that over time they have built. That has been six years’ worth of work that they have put in together. I am not saying we are going to take six years to have good chemistry, but it is something that you push towards each and every day. That is individual reps. That is talking through things in the film room and trying to speed that process up because we are going to need all of us, as well as other guys, to go out there and win games on Sundays.”

On his reaction to the NFL’s new National Anthem policy:

“Obviously, this is the first time that I have heard it since it came out while we were at practice. To make a decision that strong, you would hope that the players input on it, but obviously not. It is what we have to deal with as players. Not a good or a bad thing, but at the end of the day, they call the shots and make the rules. That is what we have to abide by. I think that the main thing out of all of it is that each ball club has had open communication with all of the players and ownership about the issues that are going on in the community and trying to change it. I know that Mr. Jimmy and Mrs. Dee Haslam and even the team that I came from in Buffalo, they have been proactive about the situation and trying to do things in the community. That should be the focus now, and hopefully, it is moving forward.”

On if it is disappointing that the players ‘did not seem to be consulted’ on the decision:

“Whether it is or not, at this point, it is a rule. Like I said, we a have to abide by it. Instead, let’s try to shift the conversation to what players and owners can do in the community. Like I said, we have great support from our owners here, and they are willing to back us in the community in whatever we want to do.”

On HBO’s Hard Knocks:

“It should be fun to be around and compete. I guess the fans and other people that watch football, fans that watch football, get an inside taste of our team. I think the guys here are not worried about losing focus or anything. I am excited about it. At the end of the day, I am here to do a job and to get better each and every day. That is the main focus. The cameras, they are going to be there.”

On how much the team watches the Steelers’ offense and if it is ongoing or specific for install:

“Just to install things. At the end of the day, we are different from them. Of course, the install, until we have live reps – this is Day 2 of reps being on film – some of it is that.”

On if he sees opportunities from the film:

“Absolutely, we have to do our own job of creating our own highlight tape.”

On Landry’s one-handed catch capabilities:

“As long as he catches it (laughter). He is definitely talented in that aspect. He has the confidence, tremendous confidence in his catching ability. He is comfortable with both hands, catching left and right. Like I said, as long as he catches the ball. It is my job to get it to him and let him make plays.”

On Landry’s catch range:

“Absolutely, his catch radius is the widest I have seen from a receiver.”

On what he needs to do to have the best season of his career:

“Just continue improving in my game. Over the years in Buffalo, I definitely took steps ahead. I do not think I took steps backwards. This is a talented receiver group. I’m excited to play with these guys. It is my job to go out there and get them the ball for them to go out there and make plays. As far as me just being dynamic, using my legs and things like that, that will come. It will open up. That is something that I am not trying to force. I am just trying to improve my overall game, and me getting the ball out to these guys to make plays definitely helps that.”

On WR Josh Gordon’s talent:

“A tremendous talent, of course. He is one of the bigger receivers in this league, but he is also one of the fastest receivers in this league. His explosiveness is definitely something that you do not come across at his size. We intend to keep learning each other and building a chemistry each and every day and continue to keep growing as teammates and going out there and doing whatever it takes to make plays on the field.”

On if one Browns player has surprised him most:

“I am surprised by just about all of the guys. This is my first time really being on the field with them. This is the second day. We have seen some stuff on air. I am surprised and excited about all of the guys. Everyone is unique in their own way. They are doing a great job of competing each and every day, going out and taking to install and producing multiple times all over the field.”

On his ‘comfort level’ of playing with Landry, who produces many first downs:

“Great comfort. My job is to find him, and it is our job to get him on the same page so that we can read defenses the same way, see the same pictures and go out there and execute.”

On if there is a major adjustment going to a pro-style offense playing under center after playing a lot in shotgun in college, specifically in reference to QB Baker Mayfield:

“It can be. I am not sure how much under center he had done prior to now. This is definitely an offense where it is balanced. As a quarterback, it is definitely good to have a foundation of both, being able to go from the gun, as well as under center. In this league, the ends are definitely faster. Sometimes the pocket protections are different. It is definitely important to get the fundamentals of it down.”

On how much he was under center last season:

“Last year was probably the most that I have been (under center) in my career. That year and of course the preseason and in training camp of my fourth year in Baltimore because it was a similar offense under (former Ravens offensive coordinator Gary) Kubiak, but last year was (former Bills offensive coordinator) Rick Dennison. I have had a balance of both. In college, as well, we were predominantly under center.”

On the amount of snaps he took under center last season:

“Probably around fifty percent I would say. Sometimes on third downs, teams have a habit of going into the gun.”

On if he ‘has a sense’ that the protection will be good this upcoming season:

“Yes, those guys are working hard each and every day in individual drills and in the team periods, doing whatever it takes to protect and to help the running backs find lanes, too. I have tremendous confidence in those guys. I am excited to play with them.”

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