QB Cody Kessler:
On having two concussions in 28 days and if he has concerns as a result:
"No, football is a violent sport and things like that happen. I felt a lot better this time around than last time and felt symptom-free all week. Obviously, I was put in the protocol and that is just part of it so I just followed those rules and got through it as fast as I can. I had no speedbumps or anything in the way so I got through it pretty quick and was fortunate enough being able to practice these last two days."
On wanting to return to live action with the balance of sustaining two concussions:
"Like you said, as a competitor, I want to be out there always. If I am cleared and they say I am OK, then I always want to be out there and be ready to go. There are things you can't prevent sometimes when these things happen, it is a violent sport but that is (Head) Coach's (Hue Jackson) decision, as well. He is a big part of that and obviously (head athletic trainer) Joe (Sheehan) and the training room and them talking to me, but my thought is always just get healthy. If something happens, get back out there and be ready to go. With this situation, obviously, like you said, there is a lot of emphasis on concussions in the NFL, but my thought process is if I am cleared and I feel alright and I am ready to go, then I want to be out there."
On if talked about his return to football with friends and family, given the two concussions:
"Obviously, they were concerned for me and making sure I was OK, but like I said, this one was not as bad as last time. I felt symptom-free all week. They are obviously concerned about me – not just about football but outside of that as me as being healthy – but they trust me, too. I let them know and tell them I am OK and let them know that I am fine. Like I said, just throughout the whole week, I went through the protocol and had no hiccups or anything that slowed me down so I felt fine. Fortunately, I was cleared and then ready to get back out here."
On an observer's perspective being that the hit on the second concussion was more impactful than the first:
"That is what I asked them. I said 'I feel fine. I don't feel the symptoms as I did last time.' Joe (Sheehan) and some of the doctors just said everyone is different. Every concussion every time you get one is different, which I understood, but this time, I think initially it was like I said a little more violent, but after that going through the protocol week and even that night, I felt fine and felt a lot better."
On if he has had enough opportunity to show his abilities in the event QB Robert Griffin III returns as the starter:
"Obviously, that is Coach's decision, but I know that I just went out there and did everything I could and played as hard as I could and put everything I have on the field. As a competitor, you want to be out there every chance you get, but like I said, whatever Coach decides. If it is that way, then I am going to be a great teammate and stay locked in and stay prepared all week and continue to prepare as I have. I felt that I have learned a lot of things this year, as well. Some things have gone well and some things not so much. You learn from them as a player and especially as a rookie. You want to get those reps, and I was fortunate enough to get them, understand the game and understand what to do and what not to do. If anything, though, this year has benefitted me a lot being able to learn and different situations and playing against different teams."
On if Steelers LB Lawrence Timmons hit him on the play he sustained a concussion:
"I am not sure. I think it was so quick, kind of a bang-bang play, when I went down and obviously, I hit the ground a little bit harder than anything, but no, I do not remember exactly. It is football. You are going to get hit, guys are out there and it is a violent game, but obviously, (WR) Corey (Coleman) made a great play on the ball and caught the ball. Unfortunately, I was a little out of it when I got hit and had to come out. No, nothing happened it was just a normal hit and going at it and guys being competitive."
On self-scouting his performance entering the bye:
"There have been some highs and some lows and things to learn from, but like I said, I think the biggest thing for me was just the learning process and being able to learn and get different situations and different things to happen. For me, being able to watch these last games that I have played in, watch film on them and learn from them and continue to prepare if it is this year or next year, whatever it may be, just learn from it. Obviously, the biggest thing I have always told you guys is to win. I wanted to win games. Unfortunately, we came close a couple times but that did not happen. It is just a learning process. You can't get frustrated with it. You have to keep pushing and keep moving on. Like I told you guys when I talked to (Raiders QB) Derek (Carr), just going through it and continue to stay at it and just stay with it."
On the stretch of playing two games in a short time frame leading up to his injury and if that is the toughest competition he's experienced:
"It was obviously some divisional games, and there are some very good teams in this division. Unfortunately, like I said, we didn't get those games. We came up short, but it's the learning process. Obviously, there are things I always want to do better in games. There are things I always want to do well and fix, but there are positives, as well, coming out of it. It may not look like it from the outside looking in, but as a competitor and as a guy that I've always prided myself on working hard and doing everything I can to get better, you learn from it and hopefully get better from it."
On his plans during the bye:
"I'm going to go back to California and train out there in LA for a little bit and get some workouts in and come back ready to go."
On how his internal clock in the pocket has progressed and if he's thinking more back there than he should:
"I think just the thing for me, too, is talking with (associate head coach – offense) Pep (Hamilton) and continuing to grow in this offense is being 100 percent in control of it and understanding it. I feel like I'm really getting there, and obviously there are still more steps that I want to take to be in complete control, but each week I've just learned from different things and what works well and what you can do in certain situations, and within the offense – how you have success in this offense, what you need to do for that. I look at every game, every play, all the film I watch, self-scouting myself is something that…I write it down, 'you want to do this better, this worked well or get the ball out on time on this play or know where this guy's going to be on different situations.' You just put it all together, and it helps you continue to grow."
On how confident he is that the team will fight to the end of the season:
"Absolutely. There's no doubt in my mind. That's how competitive these guys are. The want to and the will and everything is there. You never see anybody get down on this team. We have some great leadership on this team and guys that love the game. Everyone on this team is working towards the common goal, and that's obviously to get a win and continue to build this organization and build this team. I'm just so proud to be a part of it. It's tough. Obviously, the record isn't what we want it to be, but the work ethic, the guys coming in every day and working as hard as they can is awesome. Especially me as a rookie and some of the other rookies, seeing these older guys continue to work. For example, (OL) Joe Thomas, a guy that continues be out there each week, each game and just really has a great leadership character about him. It's awesome to watch him and learn from him."
On how much he attributes that to the character of the group and how is that part of the culture change:
"We've got a lot of guys on this team that, obviously, are great character guys that want to win, guys that want to play hard, want to work hard and work together and continue to work for a common goal. A lot of that is the Haslams and (Head) Coach (Hue) Jackson and (EVP of Football Operations) and everyone that is really involved with this program. Coach Jackson is a great coach. He's an amazing coach. Obviously, we're all frustrated with the record, but everything that he says in every team meeting…He's always a guy that's energetic and ready to go and very positive. As a team, you love that, obviously, from you head coach and continue to trust in him and continue to grow."
On what he's going to say to friends back home when they ask what's going on with the Browns:
"I probably wouldn't talk to them (laughter). It's the guys in this locker room. I'm not worried about what they're going to say or what anyone else is going to say. People can say whatever they want, and that's part of the game. For me, it's what's in this locker room, the trust in these guys and continue to learn with them. We're surrounded with a great team and a great group of guys. You really don't know that unless you're on the inside, you're inside of the locker room, inside those team meetings. We're obviously there every day, and this team is a bunch of guys that are fighters that are going to continue to work hard."
On if he has any family members that play Monday morning quarterback with him:
"No, my family's really good knowing the line between talking football, but also just when I'm back around them just talking to me as a family member or as a friend. I have a lot of great support, obviously coming from Bakersfield. I'm very proud of that. I have a lot of people out there that even after a tough game or something are sending me love and texting me and calling me, just being very supportive. I'm very fortunate with the family I have here with the Browns and also the family I have back at home."