Included below are select quotes from interviews with the following Browns players during today's media availability:
· DL Myles Garrett
· QB Baker Mayfield
· QB Drew Stanton
· QB Tyrod Taylor (full transcript)
QB Tyrod Taylor:
On how he feels near the end of the offseason program:
"As a team, we have made a ton of progress since the first day. First off, every guy is getting to know one another. Of course, being on the field and talking through concepts with guys and actually getting a chance to go out and compete against the defense, I think that guys have taken a big step in the right direction. We have to continue to keep using that momentum and carrying it on into training camp."
On what will be different this season:
"I honestly can't talk about or do not really have knowledge about what has happened before here. Of course, I am aware of it, but at the same time, I was not here. I know as far as (offensive coordinator) Coach (Todd) Haley and what he is preaching to the offense and as far as the offensive mindset, we have been aggressive since Day 1. He has thrown a lot at us. I think that each guy has owned up to it, taken accountability and went out there and practiced at a high level. I am very pleased that our guys have competed and taken in the information that has been thrown at them. We are off to a great start."
On the Browns WRs group and WR Josh Gordon's comments about it being the best in the league:
"A very talented group. He has a right to feel that way. With him and (WR) Jarvis (Landry) on the field, and a number of other guys that are very talented, it could definitely speak for that case, but that does not mean anything. Him saying that does not necessarily win games for us. It is up to us to go out and execute. That is my job to make sure that everyone is focused on executing and doing that day in and day out so that it carries on into game days."
On working with Haley and what the Browns offense may look by Week 1:
"Right now, we are not game planning against our defense. Like I said, we definitely are competing. As far as the offense, I am excited about it. It allows everyone to be free. It allows guys to go out there and make plays and be comfortable in themselves. He does a good job of just the things that we are running and the things that we have practiced and repped throughout OTAs and minicamp, just allowing Josh to go out there and be the player that he is, the physical player that he is and the speedster that he is, as well as using Jarvis inside as well, too, and outside, and letting the run game come as we see fit. I am excited to see how it all plays out. There is a ton of work to be done before Week 1, and we are going to continue to keep putting our head down and keep working with a great attitude and bringing great energy each day."
On Haley not saying much on the practice field and if it is similar in meetings:
"He is not going to hold his tongue. When we are out there on the field, as far as him not saying much, it is probably product of him just allowing the quarterbacks, myself, to go out there and lead and take ownership of the offense, which is something that he said when he first got here. I do not mind doing that. That is a part of my job and something that I love to do. As far as corrections on the field, just making sure that everyone is on the same page and talking through it. If we mess up, then we will coach it up in the film room. While we are out there on the field, he allows me to go out there and correct guys."
On QB Baker Mayfield as a teammate and in the facility:
"He is asking questions. He is trying to learn the playbook, as well as everyone else is. He is competing. He is a rookie. He is trying to gain as much knowledge as possible. Like I said, all of the guys on the team, including Baker, have been great as far as the learning aspect and trying to learn as much as possible from the older guys, as well as the coaches."
On what QB Drew Stanton brings to the Browns and QB room:
"It is good to have Drew here. He brings a lot of knowledge to the game. He has been around the game at this level for a long time now. Me and Drew's relationship goes back to high school. It is good to have a friend here, as well, too but also someone that I can bounce ideas off of, critique my game and just talk football with."
On his connection with Stanton since high school:
"I was in the Elite 11, Nike Elite 11 Football Camp my junior year or right before my senior year. He was a counselor. It was him, (Universiy of Pittsburgh QB) Tyler Palko, (Ohio State QB) Troy Smith, (LSU QB) Jamarcus Russell and (Stanford QB) Trent Edwards, maybe. They were going into their senior years of college. That is when we originally met. I was one of 11 quarterbacks that was invited. He was a counselor, and we have kept in touch throughout the time. We have not had a chance to really play with each other, but it has been good."
On the importance of the other QBs playing well to push him to be successful:
"We chase perfection in our execution day in and day out. Of course, that is not always going to be the case, but as long as we are talking through it and getting on the right page and making sure that everyone thinks the same, every player is going to be different. Be yourself when you are out there on the field, but as long as you are making the right reads and raising the guys around you, that is the main thing."
On the Browns' potential:
"We can be very good, but me standing here saying that does not mean anything. It is about the mindset and attitude day in and day out. It has been good since I have been here. I am looking forward to us carrying that momentum and that attitude over into training camp and allow it to go on into the season and let the outsiders see what we really have. Internally, we know what we have and what we can do. It is up to us to go out there and make sure that it happens."
On if he feels it is now 'his team' as a leader after having time to work with them in the offseason program:
"Yes, I feel that way. I never doubted that. It takes time to learn guys on both sides of the ball. It takes time to learn the building, but as far as me commanding and taking control of the huddle, taking control of groups when we are working out and speaking up when stuff needs to be said, I definitely feel comfortable in doing that. I think guys respect that."
On how he will spend the next few weeks in preparation for training camp:
"Spend some time with my family and my puppy. Getting ready, mentally and physically for the season."
On working out with offensive players before the official offseason program:
"I think me getting down to Miami earlier this offseason and spending some time with guys, first and foremost, it was for me to meet guys. I had not really known anyone else other than Jarvis at the time. Built relationships and friendships over that time. It has carried over to our bond on the field now. We trust one another, and that is going to continue to keep growing. There is definitely room for that once we break here and let guys get back and settle with their families, but at the same time, get back to work before we come back, as well."
On RB Carlos Hyde:
"You could turn on his film and definitely see what type of player he is. Being in just helmets right now does not necessarily prove it because we know that he is a bruiser once the pads come on. Something that I have been impressed with is his catching ability. I did not really know much about Carlos before he came here. I played against him one time in Buffalo. To see him catch the ball out of the backfield and him run routes is definitely something that was shocking to me. He looks very good at it. Looking forward to using him."
On players earning their stripes on their helmets:
"I am assuming that is about leadership and of course, how you carry yourself on the field and off of the field more importantly, being a stand-up guy for the team. It boils down to making plays and winning football games."
On if he will train with QB coach Tom House or another independent QB coach prior to training camp:
"I am going to work out and push my game to be as best as possible. Not really sure who I am going to see just yet. I know Tom House is someone that they have used here in the past, but I have not really worked out with him for a full offseason. I have done some drills with him here. I trained with him for a day two years ago out in California just because I happened to be out there with a couple of other guys. Maybe it is the time for that; maybe it is not."
On how he feels about Gordon's 'best receiving group' comment:
"I love the confidence in those guys. Every receiver [in the NFL] definitely feels that they are the best. I think that is what makes them unique and able to play that position. Like I said, whether you say that or not, it really boils down to what you do. The statement is out there. We have to go out there and prove it."
DL Myles Garrett:
On if he feels differently than this time last year:
"I do. Whether it is just being able to go harder for longer or whether it is going and doing laps after with the coaches, knowing that it takes more and more to put strain on me."
On if anything is easier entering his second season:
"The schedule is a lot easier, I will tell you that. Rushing, the game is a lot slower. It is coming a lot easier. Knowing that and facing the guys, you know the tempo. You know how many steps it takes at this level to get to where you want to go. Things have definitely slowed down for me and us as a defense."
On what surprised him coming into the NFL:
"Just the level of talent. We are going against some pretty good O linemen every day. We just have to get used to what they were giving, and I feel like I was just a little slow with my hands and not as good as I wanted to be last year with dis-engaging with the offensive linemen. I think that I have really improved
On experiencing his first full NFL offseason:
"It was definitely a lot more beneficial. I feel like I could train more for football, compared to the combine and doing events for that. It was a lot of work with my hands, getting around hoops and just working pass rush techniques. It has really been beneficial for me."
On DL Emmanuel Ogbah and playing in a 4-3:
"It has been good for him. I see him coming off of the edge. He is definitely more powerful. He has been impressive this OTAs, being able to slide off of the offensive linemen and able to finish at the quarterback. He has definitely enjoyed the change back to the 4-3."
QB Baker Mayfield:
On if there is a difference between minicamps practices and OTAs:
"The schedule is just a little bit different. It is set up similar to what rookie minicamp was, just obviously with all the vets. I like it. You get to meet a little bit more. You get to do a walkthrough earlier in the day, then practice after that. It is good. A lot of learning and a good opportunity."
On where he has improved:
"The game is starting to slow down a little bit. Starting to recognize a little bit more. Being more tuned in with my protections. That just comes with continuing to learn our offense, learning our guys and in every aspect, just knowing where to go with the ball."
On where he is in his development:
"Human nature, especially for me, I want to have it all figured out all right now, but that is just not how it works. It is about realizing that we are going to have to take baby steps right now to get to where I want to go. You do not build a great castle all at once. You have to build it block by block. For me, that is how I need to handle it."
On if it will be difficult being the backup in training camp:
"Like I said, it is human nature and you want to play. I was not brought here to just start. I was brought here to help turn this thing around. Whatever my role is, that is what I need to do, whether that is playing scout team, being the best backup possible or playing. For me, I am not worried about that. I need to be prepared for when I do get my shot to be ready to play. Other than that, I just have to continue getting better and improving this team, as well."
On if there is anything that has surprised him since rookie minicamp:
"There has definitely been a learning curve. There have been some bumps in the road, which was expected. Right now, I am just trying to find consistency. I would not say that there was a huge surprise. Just trying to get more consistent."
QB Drew Stanton:
On his time since joining the Browns:
"It has been great. You come in here, there are a lot of new faces within this organization and I am one of them. Everybody is trying to find their way right now. We have all been brought here for different reasons and the experience that we have in this league. I have been fortunate enough to have been around for a while and just trying to be an advocate for younger players and show them the way."
On why he thinks he was brought to Cleveland:
"I think first and foremost, I have been fortunate enough to survive in this league for a long time because I won football games. That is what I kind of hung my hat on as a backup. If you do not win games in this league, they are going to find ways to get rid of you. Doing that, I have been around three No. 1 overall picks, and obviously, Baker will be the fourth. All of that ties into it, but it also is just being an advocate for the starter. I think the quarterback room is so important, trying to create a culture in there and stuff that is conducive for an offense and building and going from there. I have been lucky to be a part of a lot of good quarterback rooms."
On if he had choices on where to sign and why he chose the Browns:
"I did have choices, and I felt that this was the best choice. I am getting to the point in my career where I am looking for good situations. I have been fortunate to be around some really good organizations, and I felt like this was a great fit from top to bottom. You start to accumulate some knowledge over a period of time and what it takes to be successful. I think this place checked a lot of boxes for me from that standpoint with great ownership, with a clear cut vision of who we are and what we want to be, and it is also exciting because you look at the playmakers we have on offense and you look at how strong the offensive line is, all of those things that help a quarterback go out there and play at a high level exist here."
On if he would have stayed with the Cardinals if former Head Coach Bruce Arians would not have retired:
"I do not know. He had a huge impact on me, somebody that has helped me grow in this league. It would have been a difficult decision, but at the end of the day, I knew that they were potentially going to go in a different direction. I knew that I had to do what was best for me and my family, as well."
On QB Baker Mayfield:
"I think that he has a great mindset. Just coming in here and wanting to work and get better and just doing all of those things. He is asking questions that are relevant. He is engaged. He is doing it the right way. I think that it is a relationship that will continue to progress over a period of time. It is not just something that you build overnight. He has all of those tools that you are excited about. Obviously, there is a reason why he was drafted No. 1 overall."