Browns players press conference - 8/29

LB Christian Kirksey:

On how well the Browns starting defense has played and how that impacts the unit for Week 1 against Pittsburgh:

"It is definitely something that is positive. We know that we are out there, we are running towards a goal and I think that we are taking a great step forward to get to that goal. We will just see how everything unfolds going against Pittsburgh, but I think this whole preseason has been going well, especially just seeing our younger guys playing hard and making plays. (Defensive coordinator) Gregg (Williams) is definitely putting us in the best position that we can possibly be to go out there and compete. I am really anxious to just see everything out on the field Week 1 going against the Pittsburgh Steelers. I just feel like it is a great opportunity and a great challenge for us to really go and showcase our ability to win games."

On DB Joe Haden rumored to potentially be traded and what his absence would mean to the defense:

"First off, Joe is a tremendous player. He has been to multiple Pro Bowls, but most of all, he is a great person, a great friend. I would love for him to be a teammate of mine, but those are things that are way above my head. I don't really know what to say about all of that, but Joe has definitely been a great person for us and a great player for us. He is still out here making plays. I think this is one of his best camps, this year. He has been hurt in past years, but he has definitely came out here and competed. He is a leader on this defense, and he has been a leader to these young guys so Joe has done everything great for us and I just hope that he is still with us."

On if he and Haden have talked about the trade rumors:

"No, we don't talk about that. We only can control what we can control. I don't know too much about all of the inside scoop. I am just as fresh on it as you all so I am just trying to make sure that he is in great care, make sure his team is in great care and do everything we can in this last preseason game, win that and then get ready for the season."

On if Haden has confided in him about whether or not the trade rumors have been stressful:

"One thing about Joe, he is going to come out here every day. He is going to work hard, he is going to lead us and he is going to control what he can control. He is not the type of person that is going to talk too much about his business and things like that that are going on – come out here during this last little practice before we do the dress rehearsal for Chicago and you can come out here just being the best teammate you can possibly be."

On DL Myles Garrett and his impact on the team's ability to create pressure on the QB this preseason:

"Myles has been great. Myles, we have all seen it this whole camp. He is an explosive player and I think that he brings a little bit of extra juice to that defensive line, but I can say that those guys on the front seven have just been out there working hard. Gregg Williams has chosen the right people to be in the right position that he has them out there and they are just doing their job, just doing what their coaches do and I think that it is just an energy that is brought to this defense that everybody wants to make a play. Everybody wants to be accountable for their job. Definitely, Myles is a great player so he is definitely helpful for that, but at the same time, guys are just working their butts off and they deserve to be out there and they are just trying to make plays."

DL Emmanuel Ogbah:

On if his family in Houston is OK amidst Hurricane Harvey and its impact on the city:

"Yeah, everyone is good. I had some friends call me and tell me their house is flooded. Definitely sad. I am definitely doing whatever I can to help, but yeah, my family is doing OK right now."

On if there is anything he is going to do to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey:

"We are in discussion now. Guys around that area, we are talking with each other to see whatever we can do to help."

On how devastating Hurricane Harvey has been as a Houston native:

"Definitely sucks and it hurts because I grew up in that part. I am seeing on the news places that I drove past like every day are under water. It is definitely crazy. I am definitely praying for those people down there, their families and the victims."

On if he has seen images of people getting rescued in Houston:

"Yeah, that is what I love about Houston. Us Houstonians, we stand together. We help out each other. We do whatever we can to help each other out."

On if the support for people impacted by Hurricane Harvey is uplifting:

"Yeah, definitely. We all come together as one. We have to strive, we have to do whatever we can to help the less fortunate and get them out of those situations."

On if he has spoken to Browns teammates who have also been affected by Hurricane Harvey:

"Oh yeah, like (K) Zane Gonzalez is close to my area. Even they don't have to be from Houston, like (WR) Corey Coleman is from (Dallas) Texas, too."

OL Kevin Zeitler:

On how he feels entering the final preseason game:

"Feeling good. It has been a long camp, a lot of games. I think we have built a lot of things. I think everyone is really excited for the regular season, and it is finally right around the corner, but first we have to take care of business in Chicago. It is going to be fun to watch everyone play and give their all one last time."

On his impression of the Browns OL, despite not having the entire starting group together much:

"I think we got better every week. It was really exciting to see (OL) Joe Thomas out there in Tampa Bay. It reminds you real quick of just how good he is and he doesn't need to do much to get going. It was good to get out there, and we will see what happens with Pittsburgh."

On how long it takes for an OL unit to gel:

"It takes some time. I couldn't tell you. It just clicks one day, and from there, it will all get going, but with the experience levels that everyone has, it will be really quick."

On if an OL can gel off the field as well:

"Yeah, that is partly built in the meeting room and hanging out off the field."

On if he was pleased with the Browns running game against Tampa Bay:

"It felt good. We got some rhythm going. It felt like we were running the offense and things were going our way. It was a good addictive feeling, and you obviously want to repeat that during the season."

On how exciting it is to be able to run the ball at will:

"It feels really good. It just makes you feel that everything you practice, you know that you can do it. You just want to keep going and going and going. You don't feel tired anymore, either (laughter)."

On if the Browns backfield can match the production of Cincinnati's backfield did last season:

"Oh absolutely. Crow (RB Isaiah Crowell), (RB) Duke (Johnson Jr.), everyone in our backfield – they are doing great. They are running hard. They are working their butts off. I think we are going to have a really deep backfield, and I think we are going to get some things going."

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