Skip to main content

Press Conference

Browns players press conference quotes - 4/6

TE Gary Barnidge:

On his American Football Without Barriers trip to Egypt:

"It was awesome. I had a great trip. We definitely did climb the pyramids. We went in the pyramids. We had a great camp with the kids with AFWB, and we had a great turnout. We had a lot of good publicity from it. CNN was there and did good coverage of it. It was great. We had 11 guys from the NFL go. We are looking forward to our camp next year, as well."

On the new Browns coaching staff:

"Very excited. We are looking forward to everything we are going to do this year. It is going to be a fun season. We are really looking forward to it. We have total confidence in them. They have shown no reason not to."

On what is different than past years:

"I don't think there is anything really different because it is still football. We all know football, we all love it and we are all going to come together as a group. That is what we are building on right now. It is going to be a lot of fun. That is all we can really do."

On his reaction to some of last year's starters leaving in free agency, considering he signed a contract extension prior to the end of the 2015 season:

"It is a business. We know that. Obviously, we would like to keep those players, but it is fine. We have great players in our locker room now as it is. When I signed my deal, I signed it because I said I wanted to be here when we make the change and turn things around. I still believe we are going to do that."

On his experience with Head Coach Hue Jackson and his role in Jackson's offense:

"He's very energetic, which is awesome. It is going to be a fun atmosphere to be around. Everybody is going to get an opportunity in this offense. That's the good thing about it. Everybody is going to get a chance to be showcased. It is going to be a lot of fun. It is going to make it tough on the defenses."

On QB Robert Griffin III:

"He has been great. He has been showing leadership out there, him and (QBs) Josh (McCown) and Austin (Davis) and Connor (Shaw). They have all been doing a good job. He has shown he can play in this league, and we are looking forward to seeing him on the field."

On the difference between a high profile player like Griffin and former Browns QB Johnny Manziel and if it is the same situation, given the amount of attention:

"No, I don't think it is. We don't really worry about the attention and all of that kind of stuff because they are football players. That is all we worry about, what they do on the field. We don't worry about anything else. We are looking forward to [Griffin being on the team]. We can't compare him to one person or another because they are all different people."

On if Griffin is different than he expected:

"I really won't know until we get out on the field. We've only been able to have meetings and classrooms. I just know you can tell he wants to be a leader, he has the leadership part of it and he is doing that out there on the field."

On Jackson's message to the Browns when opening offseason workouts:

"Just people outside of our building are not going to have expectations for us, which we feed on that. We love that. We are not worried about it. We are going to go out there and just show what we can do, and we are looking forward to the future. That's all we can do."

On if Griffin contacted him before offseason workouts:

"Yes, he called me. Just introducing himself and how excited he was and getting ready to get back and get started."

On what Griffin's phone call showed him:

"Just showing that he is excited about getting his opportunity and showing the leadership aspect of it. I think that is huge."

On how the Browns are showing they can be successful this year, given the players who are no longer with the team:

"We also have great players in the locker room as it is. People don't give them credit, but we have a great group of guys. We are just looking forward to showing people that they are wrong."

OL Joel Bitonio:

On changes with the Browns offense, including former Browns OL Alex Mack and Mitchell Schwartz signing with other teams in free agency:

"Alex and Mitch were both good players who were around me for a while. You know in the NFL that you are going to lose people. Just coming in now, it is a fresh start for us. We are going to have a few open positions on the line. I think there is an open competition to see what our best five guys is going to be. We have a lot of anxious guys. The first few days of conditioning and stuff, there have been a lot of guys who have come in, in really good shape, ready to work. It has been fun. We have had a few meetings and our O-line coach (offensive line coach Hal Hunter) kind of sees that, as well. We are working together. Every year, you are going to lose guys in free agency and stuff. It is just part of the process. I am excited with the group we have. I think there are a lot of young guys – we have a pretty young group now and maybe went from vet to more of a younger group – and it's a good group, though. Everyone is really working hard and trying to put their best foot forward."

On reflecting on his performance last season, particularly as he sustained an ankle injury:

"It was different. You go from one scheme to another scheme. We kind of went more passing last year than we did my rookie year. It was a transition for me. I think I had some good games where I played really, really well, and there were a couple of disappointing plays where you want to have back. Obviously, the injury really sucks. You want to be out there with your team, no matter how many games they have won. It was hard watching from my couch a few games. I was like, 'Man, this is not what I want to be doing right now. It really fueled a fire in me, and I am really ready to come out here and improve myself again this year."

On if he will remain at LG:

"I am not sure yet. They haven't told me exactly where I am going to play. That is what I am thinking right now in my mentality, but whatever they need me to do, I will be ready for that."

On if he has experience playing RT:

"I have played tackle. I played right tackle. The last time I played was probably my junior year in college, I played right tackle."

On if it feels like a rebuild, given the signing of a new QB and new starters on offense:

"We have a lot of new players so there are a lot of new faces. I haven't been in the league long enough to know from one offseason to the next of how it goes. I think there are more new faces this year than I saw last year, but I think with the guys that we have in here and the way we are working and the way things are being set up, we are going to work our tails off and have as much chance to win a game as the next team."

On his reaction when the Browns signed QB Robert Griffin III:

"I was excited. All of the interviews I have seen with him, I don't follow it that closely, but from what I have heard and things like that, he seems like a guy who is going to be ready to come and work. I think the coaches and (executive vice president of football operations) Sashi (Brown) and those guys brought him in knowing that he was getting ready to turn a page and ready to come in here and work. That's what I have gotten from the few interactions I have had with him now. He has really come in and I think him and (QB) Josh (McCown) are really doing a good job leading the offense right now and getting everybody on the same page."

On OL Cameron Erving returning following his first NFL offseason:

"He came back in good shape. Me, him and (OL) John (Greco) have been kind of working out together in the weight room and stuff. He seems like he is as strong as ever. I didn't really work out with him too much last year, but he seems like he is strong. He is running well. We were doing a lot of like-competition running today, and me and him were together on that. I was impressed with him. I felt like we were pushing each other, and he has been doing a really good job in that sense. I think that is one thing is that he is a competitive kid and he wants to come in here and prove that he was a first-round draft pick for a reason. I think he set his mind this offseason to come and make those changes and really try and fight and prove himself this year."

On criticism of the Browns offensive line's performance last year, which had two Pro Bowl players:

"That's the hard part about offensive line. It is kind of a production-based business. If you don't have a 1,000-yard runner or you're not running for 100 yards a game, a lot of people or the casual fan might watch and say, 'Gosh, these guys aren't playing very well,' or you give up a few sacks. You never know on the sacks. There were definitely sacks that were on the O-line. We had our fair share. There were sacks that were scheme issues. There were sacks that were other position issues. It was kind of all around, but when you look at a stat, they are like, 'Oh, 30-something sacks given up,' everybody equates that to the O-line. You look at it and they only rushed for X-amount of yards, everybody equates that to the offensive line. It goes around. Everybody has their blame, but I don't think you can argue that Joe Thomas was the best left tackle in football. I don't know if everybody watches the film, but he is a stud. There is no question about it. He might get an offside penalty or something like that, but it is amazing what he does. I just personally think people don't respect it as much as they should. Joe Thomas is one of the best left tackles to ever play the game. It's hard seeing that kind stuff. Alex is one of the best centers. You can ask any D-lineman that they have gone against. These guys are great players, and it didn't come together like we wanted to last year. Three wins? Inexcusable, but we are going to work this year and we are going to try and replicate that."

LB Demario Davis

On being in Cleveland and starting offseason workouts:

"It feels good to be here. I got here, found a place and got the family here. Everything is good in the locker room. Everything is cool, making adjustments. Everything is good so far."

On his ability to help the Browns improve the run defense:

"As an inside backer, you have to be able to run and tackle. You have to be able to come downhill. You have to know how to fit up, where you are supposed to be, being in the right spot. It is kind of on the linebackers to lead by example. You are kind of the quarterback of the defense. You have to be ready to play at a high standard. I just try to bring attitude and effort to wherever I am at, whatever the situation is. I feel like if I can do my job at a high level, that is all I can be accountable for. When you are playing at a high level and doing the right things, other guys see that and they do the same."

On selecting the Cleveland Browns as a free agent, considering the team's record over the years:

"It was more about the opportunity. It was a good opportunity for me. The new staff, new regime, you can kind of feel the optimism. They are trying to go in a different direction. I know what that looks like. I went through it in college. I went from an average team to a team that has now won four conference championships in a row. I have kind of seen that, and I have a similar feeling. When I came here, I could feel it. I just wanted to be a part of the journey."

On if the Browns discussed his leadership role with the team:

"Yeah, we talked about it. I think the coaches understand who I am as a player, on and off the field, and who I am as a person. They knew what they would get when they brought me in. They had a grasp before I even said a word of who I was. That was another reason I wanted to come and be a part of this organization. I am just here to bring attitude and effort. That's all I can bring, a positive attitude every day, great effort. I feel like if you bring maximum effort every day, you can be the best person that you can be, the best player that you can be, and have success. If we can get everybody doing that, then we will be successful."

On his production in 2015 and splitting reps:

"Anytime you set a high standard, you have to live up to it. I set a very high standard for myself. I always try to push the standard on myself. Life is about adversity. If you look at anything in life, nothing is always going to be on a constant up. There is going to be a rock in the road, a bump in the ground. It happens. It was one of those years, you could kind of say that, but it is all about how you respond to adversity. You can say I kind of have a chip on my shoulder about that because I expect higher of myself than anybody. When you talk about [pass] coverage, I got beat on three plays. The reason why it looks bad is because I never got beat on a play. When you set that high standard, you have to live up to it. I am excited about the opportunity that is in front of me, and everything that I have done before, it doesn't matter. It is all about what you do today. People only remember about you what you do last. I'm just excited about this opportunity in front of me. I'm trying to make the most of it."

QB Josh McCown

On his reaction when the Browns signed Robert Griffin III:

"My reaction is the same no matter what kind of player they add to this team. They're trying to make our team better. I'm for that because as a member of this team, you want to do anything you can to help our football team win. You trust the people in charge of making those decisions to put us in the best shape to do that. Obviously, they felt the need to add Robert to help us be able to accomplish those goals. If that gets us there, I'm with that."

On what he has been told about his future with the Browns or if he has asked any questions about that:

"I'll leave those conversations just between me and them. For me, it's come in and compete. They'll make the decisions accordingly on how they build this roster and where guys play. It's just come and compete. That's my mindset."

On how long it took for him after the season to feel good after the injuries he sustained:

"I'm feeling better now. It probably took – total clearance with the collarbone probably another month after the season to where I could start doing things. Because of that, you can't work out. When you can't work out, your body never really gets past starting to feel better. It took a little while, but thankfully, I'm able to do all those things now, and participating in the offseason program is obviously helpful. I feel good."

On if he feels like he is supposed to mentor Griffin or if Griffin is stepping on anybody's toes:

"No, it's not that at all. That's the thing. We want that room to be strong together. I believe iron sharpens iron, and we can help one another. We've made that clear from the get go, and that's the goal just to come alongside one another and make this team better. If there are things that I can draw on my experiences to help Robert and vice versa, we're going to do that. We've discussed that. That's the mindset moving forward. That's the thing you have to avoid in these situations is tip-toeing around things or stepping on toes and all that because at the end of the day when you do that, it doesn't help the team move forward and get better and doesn't help the position grow. At the end of the day, we all know we're sharing information and trying to help one another get better because it's what you do between the stripes that determines how much playing time you're going to get, where you're going to fall on the roster and all that stuff. For me, it's we come together, we help each other and let's make this position as good as we can make it for our team."

On if the Browns talked with him about bringing in Griffin before he was signed and if he was surprised or disappointed:

"No, I play quarterback, and that's the extent of my role. They have their decisions that they make and their process they go through. Obviously, I was able to speak with them after the move. They gave us a call right before it was going to happen and just let us know, which I appreciated. Then, we just moved forward accordingly. It wasn't a situation where it was like, 'This is what we're going to do. We're thinking about doing this,' or whatever. They made their decisions, let us know like right before it was going to happen and then we moved forward. No big deal."

On Head Coach Hue Jackson being a QB whisperer, what he's noticed so far and if Jackson speaks to quarterbacks differently:

"Yeah, he doesn't whisper (laughter). He's done a good job. I could see it last year on the tape with (Bengals QB) Andy (Dalton) just in preparation, some of the crossover tape and watching Cincinnati and just kind of having watched Andy early in his career and his natural progression of improvement is certainly there and what they did on offense. For a quarterback to be in this situation and to be around these guys, it's a good thing for a quarterback no matter what age you are because he's had success with all kinds and just taken whatever guy he's had and helping that guy improve. Just in the three short days we've been together here you see why it's evident. Then, you through a guy like (associate head coach – offense) Pep Hamilton into the mix, as well, and to watch those guys work well together – it's going to be just the training of the quarterback and how you teach a quarterback is going to paramount here. Those are two great guys to do it."

On if he still has a lot left in the tank at the age of 36 because he hasn't had as many starts as a typical 36-year old starter:

"I absolutely want to continue playing. My body feels good, thankfully. You're right. Maybe a little different than some guys that have maybe started every single year that would be the same age. At the same time, whether you've started 10 years in a row or not, if you break a collarbone, you break a collarbone. Those are things that are kind of bad luck but you want to avoid. Staying healthy is critical, but for right now, I feel really good. That being said, on this team, I'll come in and compete and do everything I can to help our position group to be better and let all the rest of those other things sort themselves out. My job is to be ready to go and help this team."

On how much time he's spent with Griffin and how he would describe his attitude to this point:

"For a three-day span, we've spent a pretty good amount of time together. It's been fun just getting to know him. Obviously, he's a Texas guy. There's a connection there. We've spoken briefly after games and stuff like that when we've played them over the years. He's just a good, young guy that's eager to learn and has obviously gone through some ups and downs in his career and is getting a chance to kind of start over. I just want to help him maximize that opportunity. The time spent together has been good because he's just a very sharp guy and pick things up quickly. Bringing that into a room forces everybody in there to pick their game up. It's been great being around him and look forward to continue working with him."

On the best scenario is for him as a player and if that means staying with the Browns, particularly if the team drafting a quarterback at No. 2:

"That's my plan. Obviously, I understand that the situation can change. If there's a quarterback added, there may be some decisions made. I get that, but I'm just trying to stay in this moment and just, 'OK, today what do I have to do to help myself be better?' If the situation changes, then we'll address that when that time comes, but right now, it's just try to help myself get better as a player because you referenced it – the main situation for me is to be with an offensive coordinator. I feel like I did some good things in 2013. We lost our coordinator in Tampa, had one last year, felt like I did some good things last year. I think being able to grow with these guys, to be around Hue, to be around Pep – I think I can continue to get better as a player from being around them. However long that time is, I want to maximize the ability to learn from these guys. That'll be my approach. If it changes, it changes, but right now, I'm a member of this football team so I'll do everything I can to help this football team."

On if he spoke with LB Demario Davis after he joined the Browns regarding his hit on McCown in the season opener and if it is awkward:

"No, we walked in and it was more nonverbal than anything. It was he smiled at me and I smiled at him and it was kind of like I know that you know that I know, then nothing. We didn't really talk about it. His reputation just from people I've talked to about Demario around the league of just the kind of character he has, type of man he is and obviously he's a good player. I'm glad he's on our team because those are the type of people we want in our organization. I'm looking forward to watching him work. I'm certainly glad he's on our team now. At the end of the day, we were both trying to do the best for our team, to help our team. We had just gone 90 yards so he was probably a little angry and took it out on me. But, it's all good now. We're glad he's on our team."

On if he has inquired about the Browns making a move to release or trade him or the timetable of when the move would come:

"I think any veteran player would appreciate that courtesy if you're going down that road, but at the same time, this is what we sign up for. The club has your rights, and every club can treat you different. You don't know what they come to that decision. Sometimes the timetable doesn't marry up with what you would like, but ultimately, the club has your rights. That's how this game goes. I think every player, every veteran player hopes that if that time comes and the club makes a decision to move on from that guy or they don't see that guy in the plan that they would let him know as soon as possible so they could continue to find work somewhere else. But again, as a player, that's part of the things that you give up is that they have your rights and they can do what they like. I understand, as a veteran player, the player's side of wanting to know as soon as possible. It makes complete sense, but you also understand the club's side and where they're at as far as having a player's rights and being able to kind of let that player go whenever that decision comes, that they realize, 'Hey, this player's no longer going to be part of this roster.' I understand both sides of it. That's unfortunate, but it's part of this business. I've kind of been around long enough you've seen it all. Obviously, ideally for a player, you hope that that guy gets let go early if that's the case, but again you just never know. That's why for me, like I said earlier, it's coming in a day at a time. I know it's cliché and all that stuff, but that's all you can control – just, 'I'm here. I'm on this team, and I'm going to work as hard as I can for this team today.' Then, if it changes, it changes."

On his reaction to the number of free agents that left this offseason and if he thinks the team will be able to withstand those losses:

"When you go through a year with teammates and you get to know them and you become friends with them, you want to hang around those guys. You want them to be around, especially when they're good players, starters. Just speaking offensively, when (Chiefs OL) Mitch (Schwartz) and (Falcons OL) Alex (Mack) and (Chargers WR) Travis (Benjamin) and those guys were starters and contributors on offense, as a player, you never want to see those guys go. Both for personal and professional reasons, you want them to be around, but at the same time like I said earlier, you have to trust your leadership at the top, that they're making decisions that they feel are in the best interest of the organization moving forward. They make those decisions, and then you move on and you adapt. They did what they thought was best. We're behind that, and we keep rolling."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content