Included below are select quotes from interviews with the following Browns players during today's media availability:
- WR Kenny Britt
- QB DeShone Kizer (full transcript)
WR Kenny Britt:
On QB DeShone Kizer being named the starting QB this week:
"Feel confident. Feel confident that he is going to go in and get the job done. Like I said before, the mistakes that he is making are mostly rookie mistakes and probably not seeing defenses as well as a veteran quarterback could but that will pass."
On if Kizer's time off and taking a step back will help him this week:
"I wouldn't say taking a step back. That could be a confidence, overall, motivation for him to go out there and prove himself – 'Hey, I was the starter. Things happen, and I come back and I'm still in a position that I was before.' All he has to do is go out there because I know these guys have the utmost confidence in him."
On if he is feeling back to normal after missing the past two weeks due to injury:
"I'm getting closer, making strides day by day to tell you the truth. Hopefully, I am able to go on Sunday because this will be the first time I will ever get to play against the team that drafted me."
On if facing his former team will give him any extra motivation:
"Yeah, a little bit more focus, a little more preparation and a little pep in my step this week. Probably going to get into the training room a lot earlier than I used to for the last couple of weeks to tell you the truth. Just to get out there and be able to play, especially with that guy on the other side of me, (DB) Jason McCourty. I know he is fired up and ready to go, too."
On the Titans defense:
"These guys are playing with confidence this year. The defense is handling the line well to tell you the truth so we have to go out there and attack them in the air. What is it? Like 13 touchdowns they have on them through the air this year and only three on the ground? This week is more focused on the wide receiver group, going out there and attacking them."
On if he has had a chance to work on timing with Kizer despite his injury:
"Hopefully, that starts today. Last week, I ran a little bit, not too much. They held me back, but this week we are going to go out there today and work on a couple of routes before and after practice. We want to go out there. We both have something to prove, and this is the team that I was drafted by so I am excited to play."
QB DeShone Kizer:
On takeaways from watching last week's game on the sideline:
"It definitely sparked my competitive juices. It definitely motivated me throughout the week to make sure that I am doing extra. I think the most important thing that I got to seefrom my perspective last week is what my process is and what our process is as a unit and how in this league you have to talk less and do more. We come in every Monday after a tough loss, and we have this discussion about all of the things we need to do. We need to start doing those. You can say all you want and you can be motivated the day after, but by the time Friday comes along, if you still don't have that same mindset, it is all for nothing. We have to make sure that we are out there grinding the way we should be."
On if the team's mindset changes as the week goes on:
"When you put in a gameplan, your focus gets back into the gameplan and you go back to the process that you always have. What I am saying is that as a team, we have to make sure the process that we do have is ramped up and that we have a better attitude, more energy and are doing a little more when we are out there."
On if standing on the sideline could help 'light a fire' under him:
"Absolutely, I stayed on my same path, though, and stuck to the process. I knew that there was going to be another opportunity for me to potentially play this year. Obviously, it came sooner than most expected."
On if he can change anything about his approach to each game, given the hard work he has put into each week thus far:
"Absolutely, you have to have a better attitude. You have to do more. That is what this game is. It is doing more. For me, my personal process I think has been good, I am going to stick to it and I am going to stay on the path that I am on. Now, it is just attacking it with a new energy, a new mindset and allowing myself to get out there and perform better."
On if not turning the ball over was a focal point of his discussions with Head Coach Hue Jackson last week:
"Absolutely, when you are on the sideline, you get to feel the momentum of the game a little more than when you are out there. You get to see the reactions of everyone. From the fans to the coaching staff, to the defense, you get to see all the different parts that move along throughout a game. For me, it really showed last week the importance of making sure that the ball is just simply out of harm's way and what positive plays can do for the team."
On if there is common factor in red zone turnovers and if attempting to force the situation is a component:
"It is definitely tighter. Coverage becomes a little different. Teams become new teams in the red zone. It is a whole new game down there. At the same time, from the quarterback perspective, it is understanding that there are points on the board. Once you get the ball inside of 40, 35 yards, you have to accept that there is a field goal there waiting to happen. If the play doesn't look exactly how you like it, it is not a bad play to make sure that you are still kicking the ball. It is all about keeping the ball out of harm's way. That is something that we have been preaching consistently since the first game when the first pick happened. I have been working to improve on that, but it is now making that not a part of the game anymore and making sure that we are going out there and not beating ourselves and allowing the opponent to do whatever they can to try to stop us because we are coming at you."
On his perspective from the sideline last week and limited throws over the middle against Houston:
"I think that is coincidence. There wasn't much of a gameplan that took us out away from the middle, but my perspective was just trying to learn as much as I can and making sure that I can figure out what can be used on the sideline to help the quarterback out there. I am trying to think how (QB) Kevin (Hogan) is thinking. What can I do on the sideline to make sure that I am helping him? Now that I have a couple things that I was able to do for him that I was thinking about, we will be able to incorporate that into our quarterback room's process."
On difficulty translating practice improvements into the games:
"It is very difficult, and that is why we have the turnovers that we have, but it is on us to make sure that we attack even harder and that we continue to think about it and we don't allow it to slip our minds. You get out there and you try to pretend as if each week is a brand new week, but quite frankly, we are heading down with the trend that is not good for us so you have to be able to recognize it and realize it every time you are out there. Now, it is about going out there and once again, just trying to keep the ball out of harm's way. Allowing our technique and our work to be shown out on the field, rather than a couple lapses every game."
On how to accelerate building chemistry with teammates:
"We continue each week to get better. As much as our record is not showing it, I truly believe that the team we are now and the team we were Week 1, Week 2, is completely different. There is chemistry. I know my guys. I know my receivers all the way across the board. There are no new faces in this locker room today, and I look forward to continuing to work with these guys this week and having some success with them out on the field."
On if the decision for him to start this week is week to week or if it will be for the remainder of the season:
"That is not anything that I can control. I think it is understood now that if you are not performing there is definitely going to be a guy who can perform, but it is on me to make sure that that question never comes back up, go out there, do my job to the best of my ability and make sure that No. 7 is out there leading this team for years to come."
On if he can still accomplish his goals from the beginning of the season:
"Absolutely, we have lost three games by three points, and we know that if we cannot turn the ball over in the red zone, those would be three wins and we would be right on the path that we want to be heading. With that, I think all goals are still there. We still have another half of division play that we have to go out and try to execute. We have quite a few games in front of us that we can go out and win. For us right now, it is about stringing together 1-0s, treating each week as one of its own and making sure that we are grinding as hard as we can to make sure that we are successful that week."
On if he can still accomplish his individual goals from the beginning of the season:
On if any of his QB mentors have been benched and then returned as the starting QB in the same season and if they provided advice:
"Absolutely. Last week, I was able to reach out to all of the people who are close to me and kind of adjust my mindset and what I'm doing to figure out what I can do to get back out on the field and be successful. In that, I have learned that you don't always have to revamp. You don't always have to change up everything. I believe truly and trust in that the process that I was on and the path that I was on was in the right direction. Now, it is just about doing it more, doing it harder and creating some success through it. That was the biggest message that I received. You don't have to – every time some big or a roadblock happens – go back and change everything you are doing. You just have to realize your flaws are and attack those, and once again, do that all harder and better."
On if he would be more comfortable running a college-style offense like Texans QB Deshaun Watson:
"I'm pretty confident in the gameplans that we have been putting together. I think that my playing style is one that fits quite a few different styles of offenses. When I first got drafted here, I understood exactly how Coach Jackson goes about game planning. I'm still very confident in what we are doing. I don't think there is much that needs to be changed. It is just about executing the gameplan that is put in front of us."
On if he has ever been 0-6:
"Yeah, in seventh grade playing for St. Pius. We had a not-so-good baseball team that we were on. We actually started 0-11. We finished out the season 11-11 and went to the championship game. I have been here and have overcome some losses and a tough start. Obviously, it was in CYO baseball, but at the time, it was pretty cool."
On who the first win of his St. Pius baseball winning streak was against:
"Couldn't tell you. Wish I could (laughter)."
On how St. Pius fared in the championship game:
"Championship, we got destroyed. Absolutely destroyed (laughter). The only reason we made it that far was because half the teams took off most of their good players because they were already sitting in a good standing. Then they all came back, obviously, for the championship and murdered us."
On if he is aware that Raiders QB Derek Carr began his career 0-10:
"Yeah, I'm aware of it, but I think the message is already put across of how hard it is to win. For me, when you have the small separation between a successful season and a not-so-successful start to a season, you get to realize that there is always something that you can be doing. For me, 0-10 and 5-5 in this league are very close to each other. I am trying to make sure that we can do whatever we can to make sure we are realizing those things that are stopping us from being 3-3 rather than 0-6 and focusing on it. Obviously, it is turnovers in the red zone; it is lulls at the beginning of games; it is a bunch of small things that we have been able to recognize and that we are going to continue to attack each week and make sure that when we come out, we come out on the other side of this. Maybe we can win by three points instead of losing by three points."
On if the Browns offense has considered bringing a goal line offense and running the ball more in the red zone:
"It is about taking what the defense gives you. If you go back and you look at the turnovers that we have had, every one of them is on a really good play. It is on me as the quarterback or on someone else when not executing their job within that play. I don't think we need to necessarily go away from what we are doing. I think we are running the right plays. It is about executing that play. It is about putting the ball in the right spot. It is about making sure the ball is out of harm's way. It is not about necessarily the scheme that we are running. Do we have a great running back and a great offensive line? Yeah, I think we do. If the opportunity presents itself to run the ball more, I'm sure Coach Jackson will do just that, but until then, we are game planning perfectly down in the red zone against everyone we are playing against. It is about the players executing what Coach's gameplan is."
On Jackson's message to him during the Houston game:
"He was just making sure that I was locked in on learning something. Every time in the second half when we came together, he was like 'What did you see? What did you see? What did you see?' That allowed for me to stay engaged and made sure that he understood that I was out there and getting something from sitting out that game. From there, those conversations are what are going to lead us in practice and make sure that we can continue to head in the right direction."
On if it is difficult to lead the team, given the additional responsibilities as a rookie QB and learning in the NFL:
"That is why this in my opinion is the greatest job on Earth and also the most difficult job on Earth. All of those things come into this. For me, I am learning every day different things that I can do as a quarterback to help this team. That is why it is a process, and that is why it typically takes some time for guys to become the Tom Bradys and the Peyton Mannings of the world, but I'm enjoying it. There is no other place I would rather be than right here going through the things that we are going through because I am learning who I am personally, I am learning about everyone around me and it is just going to make it that much sweeter when we do figure this thing out and I figure this thing out and become the quarterback that I want to be."
On if he is enjoying the experience, regardless of the lack of team success thus far:
"Absolutely, it is the best job in the world. You can look at this from a bunch of different perspectives. If you are me, this opportunity right now in front of me is the best opportunity you could possibly have. To walk into a team that had just won a Super Bowl and was undefeated would be a completely different situation and you would be able to learn in a different way, but for me, this is the best opportunity for me to learn about myself, learn about my teammates and what it takes to win in this game.
On if he feels pressure to prove he is the QB of the future, given the Browns' future draft picks:
"No, I'm not too worried about years to come. Right now, we are 0-6. Right now, we are doing whatever we can to go out and get our first win. I'm sure that if I become the guy that I can become, those draft picks will be nothing but take this from a good organization to a great organization."