Included below are select quotes from interviews with the following Browns players during today's media availability:
- OL Jonathan Cooper
- QB Robert Griffin III
OL Jonathan Cooper:
On having an opportunity to play on the Browns OL and show what he can do:
"I am definitely excited. It is a great opportunity. It has been awhile coming, and this whole season has just been an interesting road entirely and one I will never forget, but to be presented with this opportunity is definitely something that I do not take for granted, and I am confident that I will make the most of it."
On NFL career:
"I try not to dwell on the past, but really, it has just been a few injuries that have held me back and that has been what has hurt me at times are injuries. Now, I am looking forward, feeling good, healthy and aiming to kind of rewrite the story or let it play out how I end up, let it go."
On how he is different today compared to when he was a high draft pick entering the league:
"I won't say I am different. I definitely didn't take it for granted back then, but I just know that being here with this opportunity is very different from coming in as a rookie where I was drafted at. I know that this season, as long as it has taken to get to this point, I had no idea how it would work out so that is mainly why I said I won't take it for granted because I didn't foresee it and I am grateful for the opportunity."
On if RG is his preferred position:
"(Laughter) Wherever they let me get out there on the field and compete, I will take it."
On his playstyle as an OL:
"I would say athletic. I am aiming to be more technical, but I like to get out there and get physical and kind of run around. I have to remind myself sometimes, stay under control, don't go out there and try to go crazy, but I would say that is how I would describe myself."
QB Robert Griffin III:
On if the rust is coming off now that he has returned to practice:
"Yeah, it is just about getting back out there and slinging the ball around, making some calls and having some fun. It is good to be back out there with the guys."
On being fully cleared for contact:
"I feel great. It is a blessing to have the opportunity to play this game. I was told I was not really going to have this chance to come back and play this year. It is a blessing and you just try to take care of the little things day by day so you can get back out there. It is all falling the right way for me. I am thankful for my teammates for helping get through this time of not playing, but now, I get the chance to go back out there and have fun with them."
On if he was able to take advantage of the bye for more preparation:
"Yeah, for me, it is just time and healing. I am not going to bother guys on their bye week and try to organize 7-on-7s (*Laugher). *I would have loved to, but it is important for guys to get away from football for a little bit of time, a couple days so they can recharge. We have four games left, and we are trying to go 4-0. That is all we have."
On what he has to prove to Head Coach Hue Jackson to earn the starting position again:
"That work has been put in. You just come in every day and try to prove yourself and try and show coach and your team that you are the guy and that you are ready to go. I do not really focus on that. I just try to come in every day and do what I tell the rookies to do, and that seize every one of them."
On his reaction when hearing from doctors earlier this season that he would not play again this year:
"They did not clear cut say that. It was just highly unlikely. It is not that they were wrong. It is just the best case scenario happened. My shoulder is continually healing, and I am excited and happy about that."
On his reaction when learning he was fully cleared for contact:
"The reaction was just excitement. I have hung around the team and I continue to stay involved in game planning and meetings just the opportunity to be there for them and incase I was called later in the season to play. Obviously, the way our season went, no one wanted that, but when you have an opportunity to go out there and play along with the team, if they give me the nod, then I am ready to do that."
On how he can help the Browns if he plays again:
"If I told you, it would not help us. We know what we can get better at. We came in today and had our meetings with (Head) Coach (Hue Jackson) and the coaches, and we know what we need to focus on to help us execute better and put points on the board and win games."
On if it is daunting to play, given the Browns' total number of sacks allowed:
"No, it is not because I know those guys up front are fighting their tail off. It is not just on them. It is on all of us. We have to just execute better, get guys in the right spots and make the right calls. It is a team effort. It is not about just one guy or two guys or a unit. It is all of us together, and we have to make sure that we do a better job. If I get a chance to go out there, it will be an honor to be out there with those guys."
On how important this month is for him after only playing one game this season:
"It is just an opportunity to get to play in the NFL with a group of guys that do not deserve to be 0-12. I just want to come in, give the team as much of a spark as I possibly can, have fun and hopefully, we can go 4-0 because that is what we have been working for in this last quarter of the season. I think it is real important."
On if he is looking in the bigger picture:
"No. I can't look in the bigger picture. I have to make sure I focus on the here and now and present. The rest of it will take care of itself. Right now, I am going to go out there, and my bone is continually healing, but nobody breaks a bone in season and it completely heals 100 percent. I just have to go out there and know that are other guys on this team that are putting it on the line that aren't 100 percent and I am going to go out there and put it on the line."
On if his style of play will change, given his injury in Week 1, if he is able to play this week:
"This is a very talented defense we are going to be against, very physical. I just have to play smart, protect myself just like I was trying to do in Week 1 and just make sure that does not happen again. It was a freak accident so there is nothing I can really do about that. All I can do moving forward is just making sure I can protect myself when I have the opportunities to and giving my team the best chance to win."
On building chemistry with WRs and understanding timing and accelerating that process, given the time he missed:
"There is no substitute for work. We just keep working. We came in today, worked out, ran around and ran some plays. All of that is building chemistry. I can't look at it that way since I have been out for so long. I just have to make sure I can trust those guys and know that they are going to be where they are supposed to be. They are working their tails off to make sure that happens because we all are trying to get better every single day, every single week. They go back and watch the tape from the rest of the season and say, 'Hey, this is what I can work on to get better and go out there.' Your job is to trust them, and their job is to be where they are supposed to be. I trust that is going to happen."
On when he would expect to be told that who will start at QB on Sunday:
"Gosh, I don't know. (Head) Coach (Hue Jackson) could wait until Sunday. I don't know. That is why he has the 'HC' on his hat, and we all trust him in this locker room. I trust him. It is just a matter of do they feel I am ready to play or do they feel like I need to take some more time. Whatever their decision is, I will be OK with it because I am here to be a Cleveland Brown, I am here to help this team not just these last four weeks but into the future, at least that is my hope and my wish, so I just want to have an opportunity to go out there and put it on the line for my team."
On if developing chemistry with WRs is based more on system or QB style:
"I think every quarterback has a different skillset, and some excel in areas that others don't, but I do not think it is that. I just think we all as a unit have to be on the same page. That is the beauty of football. It is really hard to get 11 guys to be on the same page on one play so try 65-70 of them. Then it is just about players making plays. If Coach calls a play into my helmet, I am not then thinking, 'Ah man, we are not in chemistry. We are not in rhythm.' I am thinking, 'This play is going to work, and he is going to be where he is supposed to be, and they are going to block the right guys.' That is the way you have to go about it. That is why we practice. That is why we have the entire offseason. That is why we have the tape so you can learn from it. I don't not think guys are coming in the building thinking like that. They just know, 'Hey, I have to get better today,' and that is the way you want it to be."
On what the Browns have said about his chances to start this weekend:
"We just go out to practice and get it done. We don't really talk in those terms. It is more about just doing the work. Do the work, do the work, and then we will see what they decide."
On what would excite him most, if he were given the opportunity to start:
"Just the opportunity to suit it up with these guys. I know how much this game means to a lot of these guys – (DB) Joe Haden, (OL) Joe Thomas, the guys that have been here for a long time and have experienced these times being here in Cleveland. This may very well be their worst of that experience. The way I look at it is I am going out there for those guys to try to help us get a win and not just one, but it starts with one. You have to get one win before you can get two. I just look at it that way and to have an opportunity to play for them really is the reason that I am trying to play."
On if the situation regarding stolen money has been resolved:
"I hope. We talked about it with the team, and everything has been taken care of so I trust that it will never happen again."
On if outside hired security personnel was responsible for it:
"I don't know. I just know that it has been said that it will be taken care of and everybody's valuables will be… (gives OK sign)."
On if he ever wonders what this year could have been had he remained healthy:
"No doubt. I think I have gotten that from a lot of guys in the locker room, and coaches, too, just the possibility of what could have been. Right now, we have four weeks ahead of us with an opportunity to do something about it. Cincinnati is the first team up to bat, and they could be the only team – I don't know. We will work it in tomorrow. You just have to take it one day at a time and try to make sure you do all the things that you can to put your best foot forward. Other than that, it has been a tough time, been a tough year for this team, but these guys are tough. This is a really tough group and they have stuck together so I am proud to be a part of that."
On if the Browns have talked as a team about the next four weeks and potentially starting to change the Browns future:
"Yeah, we have. The leadership group, we talk almost every week and just try to put our heads together and figure out, 'Hey, what does the team need this week? What do we need to do moving forward to help us be in the best situation to win?' In times like this and a year like this when you do not have any wins and it is late in the season and playoffs are out of the picture, that is when teams usually tank it or start breaking apart. We try to make sure that we keep our team together. I think the guys have done a great job doing that, coming into work every single day and just all working toward a common goal. On the outside, it might look like the worst thing ever, and on the inside, we definitely do not want our record to be what it is, but to have these guys come in here every single day and continue to work, continue to work hard and try to find ways to get that win or those wins, it is truly something special to see."
On if it is an advantage that opponents don't have much film to watch on him:
"I don't know (laughter). I definitely would want it to be that way, but like I said, I get an opportunity to go out and put my skills to the test and with this team to try to open up some new things, some new holes and figure out what our gameplan will be this upcoming week. I have played Cincinnati before. I know they know a little bit about me. It is not like there is no tape on me. Whatever surprises that we have, hopefully, we execute them to the best of our ability. This team is extremely physical, a really good defense and it will be a challenge, but we are up for it."