Press Conference

Cody Kessler and Terrelle Pryor press conference: Browns vs. Dolphins

Opening Statement
"First of all, I'd like to praise (Head) Coach (Hue) Jackson and our coaching staff. This is one of the best coaching staffs I've ever been a part of, that's coached me. Our record doesn't show it right now, but our guys play for them. This is the best coaching staff I've played for, especially in my position now. Our special teams coach (Special Teams Coordinator Chris Tabor) does a great job – everybody. We've got a lot of things going on from the standpoint of losing players, losing Corey Coleman, losing our kicker (Patrick Murray), and we're still fighting. I'm just proud of my teammates and proud of the coaching staff. I can't really break it down any more than that."

What did you think about your game today?
"There's a lot of plays I wish I could have back. I'm just proud of the guys that I get to go out there and play with. Cody Kessler, oh my God. Coach Jackson kept saying, 'Trust me.' This guy (Cody Kessler), you should have seen him in the huddle. The guy ran the huddle. (Cody Kessler) reminds me a lot of Josh (McCown) – confident, very confident. (It) wasn't too big for him. Special teams, I want to talk about that, because I thought our special teams played awesome. Coach 'Tabs' (Chris Tabor) was big on that all week. I was sitting there in almost all the meetings and Don Jones, guys flying down there in in positions that aren't really thought of. I think that our team is playing great. I'm so proud of our special teams guys. I know how hard that is, and I'm just proud. There's a lot of plays I wish I could have back. Obviously, I made a couple plays, but there's some drops as well. I'm very dissatisfied with myself, personally, but I'm very proud of my teammates. I'm proud of the offensive line (and) for John Greco to go out there and play center and make all the calls … Joe Thomas – he deserves to win. We battled our butts off. Hats off to Miami; they beat us."

What do you do mentally when you enter a game knowing you're playing multiple positions?
"I can do it. I always thank God, first of all, I should have said that first of all. Thank God. (I) praise God and praise Jesus all the time because he gave me this ability. I'm not the greatest quarterback. I can't go out there and do what Cody (Kessler), Josh (McCown) and Robert (Griffin III) do – and the other quarterbacks in the league – but I can go out there and hold my own. I just pray and thank God every day that he has blessed me and given me the ability to play so many different things and be effective. That goes off to the coaching staff as well. It's just adding another dimension and that just shows you how great of a coach (Head) Coach Hue Jackson is. We love playing for him. I'll battle on the field for him. This guy loves the game. I love people that love this game. It's not about stats and stuff like that for me. It's about winning and competing. That's it. That's really it for me. It's real simple."

Terrelle, did you ever feel over taxed in this game? It did go into overtime. You were on the field every play.
"I was a little tired. I should have put my hand up. There's a lot of plays I wish I could have back and let 'Higgy' (Rashard Higgins) get in there. They've got to pull me out this game from this damn field, because I love the game, man. There's nothing else I'd rather do. Like I said before, there's God, Jesus, my son and then football, and that's it for me. Football – this game means the world to me."

Would you continue to like to do as much?
"Listen, like I said before, I'll do anything for coach Jackson. If he asked me to go play center, tackle, I'm going to work my butt off to go and do it and try to be the best at it – even though I won't be the best at it – whatever it takes, because this team, we have a great team here. A lot of people overlook us and talk bad about us, but I feel like our team is one of the best teams in the NFL. We just got to figure out how to win. We could easily be 2-1 right now and our defense played their butts off today. Demario Davis, I told him before I ran in that score I said, 'We're going to go down here and score.' We were down my nine (points) or something. He said, 'I got you if you do that.' I came on the sideline and said, 'Now it's your turn. You gave me a promise. You got to do it.' They went and did it, and he came back, and he said, 'Now you owe me.' That's how it has got to be. I'm frustrated with myself; I'm frustrated (with) losing. Everyone deserves more. This team deserves more. We've just got to keep battling. Coach Jackson deserves to win. Our owners deserve to win. They're always at practice. They pay a lot of attention to this team. They love this team. They deserve it, and we will get it done for them. We're going to come back next week and have a great practice and go try to beat the Redskins. I think we can battle with anybody. We will practice our butts off, and we'll be coming to compete next Sunday.

Terrelle, you say you're dissatisfied with yourself after the game.
"It's a lot of different things. For me, I felt like I was getting held the whole game. You'll watch the TV copy, (and) I was getting held the whole game. One of the passes I dropped on third-and-2 was a slant – a perfect pass. I was frustrated, because I kept on talking to the refs saying, 'This guy is holding me.' I let my team down, (because) lost that focus for a second, and that's not me. I can't let another man discourage me, and that's what I did. Hats off to (Byron) Maxwell. He was on me the whole game playing man-to-man (coverage) all over, and he's a hell of a corner. My hats off to the Dolphins."

What is the potential of this offense with you, especially, running out of the quarterback spot and with a speedster like WR Josh Gordon coming up?
"This thing could get ugly. It's ugly right now. We have great running backs – Duke Johnson. We got 'Crow' (Isaiah Crowell). We got myself. We got Josh (Gordon) coming back, Corey Coleman. We got Andrew Hopkins. We got young rooks – Ricardo (Louis) and 'Higgy' (Rashard Higgins) and Joe Thomas – best tackle on the left side in the league. We got guys that will fight all day on the offensive line and on defense. We've just got to put it together, and we've just got to play harder. I'm going to make sure to the best of my ability that – if guys will listen to me – I'm just going to keep on trying to be somewhat of a leader in a way. I like to lead by example and try to go out and make plays and practice hard (and) let guys see me doing that, because it starts with myself. I've got to be better every play."

Terrelle, some of this passion that you have – or if you talk about cutting off your finger or dying on the field – is some of that related to the fact that this was almost taken away from you? You almost didn't get to play this game anymore.
"Yes. I was a quarterback and got released 4 times. It was almost taken away from me. Coach Hue Jackson and the staff last year. My hats off to 'Sash' (Sashi) Brown, because he gave me a chance. It almost makes me want to – sometimes when I'm at home – it makes me want to tear up in a way, because like you said, this game was almost taken from me, and that's why it means so much to me. I don't want to ever let me teammates down. The trust that the coaches have in me, I don't want to let them down. I let them down a couple of times today. I switched over from the Z to the X because Corey (Coleman) got hurt, and I made a couple of errors today. I'm very mad at myself, and I let my team down. Period. That's the only way I can put it."

Cody, thoughts on your game and your performance?
"Yes, I started a little slow and I got some of the nerves out of the way and I thought the guys had battled hard and they kept believing in me and I kept believing in them and it was a great effort and the guys kept fighting when we were down 11 and no one second guessed themselves. We just kept going and I was trying to stay positive on the sideline and keep the guys going. We made a great effort to come back and give us a chance there at the end but it's tough and it hurts … it hurts to lose and I hate losing and I know these guys hate losing but (Head) Coach (Hue) Jackson told us after that he loved our fight and he loved that the guys kept going all the way to the end but we just came a little short. I was so proud of the team and how they just kept supporting me and staying with me and like I said the effort was there."

Cody, the in and out with QB Terrelle Pryor, was that as expected or did it get on a good role and keep doing it?
"Yes, we did it during the week a lot. We worked on it and practiced it. I felt that it was good for our offense to mix it up a little bit and kept the defense on their toes. It was different looks we worked on all week and just stayed in rhythm and it helped me when we rotated in and out and I felt that Terrelle did a great job going in there."

Have you ever seen a player single handedly do so many different … Inaudible
"For us offensively, it's stuff that we can control. What we control is how we prepare and how we go out and execute the plays that were called, no matter who is in there. Even with me, the guys believed in me all week and the guys stuck with me and kept working with me. It was great to have that support from your teammates and it makes you have a lot of confidence going into the game and. we obviously came up a little short but the effort was there and the guys really rallied around each other and kept working."

What do you do when you start your first NFL series with a delay of game
"Yes, I wished it went a little bit better but I think it's something to build off of. That first series, we went out there and it didn't go as planned, and we've got to help our defense out. they did a great job getting that turnover and we have to capitalize on that; but I think after that first hit, I took a deep breath and settled in. That first hit kind of knocked the nerves out of me a little bit. Obviously we want to start faster and that's on me to start faster and do better. But like I said, that first series kind of woke me up a little bit and got me going and knocked the nerves out of me. From then on, I felt like we did a good job of putting some long drives together offensively."

You kept receiving pressure from your right side, did that weigh on you as the game wore on?
"No, no. I trust our guys completely – the whole offensive line – whoever is in there blocking, I trust them completely. For me, I have to get the ball out of my hands a little faster and make quicker decisions and I thought as the game went on, I started seeing it better and realizing that. But that's football. They have some great players on their defensive line and they're going to get to the quarterback but, I have to help the offensive line out too of getting the ball out of my hands a little quicker, and I was holding onto the ball sometimes."

Was there much that caught you by surprised that they did?
"No, no. Like I said, I spent countless hours all week getting prepared and getting ready. I wanted to be ready to go and have no hesitation in the game. I have to do a better job of getting in and out of the huddle and speeding up a little so we can have more time on the play clock to change protection. But there were times where I changed protection, there were times that we didn't need to do any of that, and I just felt the flow of the game offensively went really well after the first series. But I wish at the end there that we put a drive together and gave ourselves a chance in overtime. But Miami did a great job and that's a great team and they really battled hard; but our guys gave everything that they had."

Cody, can you talk about that you were checked on the sidelines for a concussion. What happened? How did you feel? Did you think you were going to have to come out?
"No, that was new to me. Obviously I've never had the concussion protocol but I took the shot there and it was in my arm. And I laid there for a second and was just holding my arm. The referee just said 'Hey, by rule you laid down there for a little bit longer and you took a big hit, so you have to come out and get checked real fast.' Obviously, I didn't want to. I wanted to stay in there and keep competing, but it was protocol. I didn't understand that completely at the time but I came out and they asked me a couple of questions and I answered them spot on and I told them it wasn't my head, it was my arm. I took a shot and it started bleeding a little bit but that's just the rules. The referee was doing his job and keeping the players safe and I respect that. Obviously, just being a competitor, I didn't want to come out. But I came out, answered a few questions, and got to go right back in."

So you're fine?
"Yeah, yeah. I'm fine."

You made the 2-point throw to TE Gary Barnidge when you came back in. Was that your best throw of the day you think?
"We had an opportunity to make it a 3-point game and I wanted to give a ball to Gary. We worked on that play all week. We worked on that as our 2-point play all week. We got the look we wanted with man (coverage) on Gary and I just wanted to put it up there and give him a chance to catch it. Obviously, we cut the lead down to three. We did that and things kept rolling after that. We went down and made another field goal and tied the game up. We had a lot of momentum at times but we just have to finish."

Do you leave here thinking, I mean you lost and all that, but the people you left in Bakersfield and USC – do you think you made them proud today?
"I hope so. It meant a lot to me this week the support I got from my hometown people in Bakersfield. Not a whole lot of people know about Bakersfield or have been there or really understand, but it's a great town. It reminds me a lot of Cleveland. There's a lot of blue-collar people who just work hard and everything they get in life, they've earned. And I took that attitude into my football career. Hopefully I made them proud and USC has been behind me since Day 1 also. The support I got from my former teammates and people that I've made relationships with there really gave me a lot of confidence this week knowing that they were supporting me."

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