QB Cody Kessler
On if his upcoming opportunity as a starting QB happened sooner than he expected:
"You can't really expect something like this to happen. There was no plan for it, but the only plan you can have is your process. Like I said after the game on Sunday, I just stick to my process. I have been preparing as a starter since I got here – since rookie minicamp, really – and you never know when an opportunity will come and when a chance will come your way, but the last thing you want to do is not be ready. For me, I have been preparing this way the whole time and just staying focused. I have been so fortunate to learn from (QB) Josh (McCown) and (QB) Robert (Griffin III), and (Head) Coach (Hue) Jackson has been helping me out a ton. For me, it's just, like I said, just sticking to my process and continuing to prepare."
On if he thinks he will have the full playbook at his disposal on Sunday or if he anticipates the coaches giving him a simplified plan:
"I have no idea. Obviously the game plan is going to be put in by Coach Jackson and they are going to put in what is best for us to have an opportunity to win. I am going to go ahead and whatever that is just learn it throughout the week and continue to stick to it. I have already been watching – starting last night – watching Miami film and early this morning coming in to watch a couple games and some cut-ups and stuff. For me, it is just to continue to prepare, and whatever the game plan happens to be and whatever happens on Sunday or whatever we are going in there with the thought process of I am going to do everything I can to be ready throughout the week so nothing gets thrown at me that I am not ready for."
On how close he was to getting in the game Week 2 versus the Baltimore Ravens:
"Yeah, there were a couple times that I started warming up and thought 'Hey, get ready to go in. This might happen depending on how he feels.' I started throwing a couple times, going through the script again talking to (associate head coach – offense) Pep (Hamilton), but that just goes off to show how good and how great of a competitor Josh is. There were a couple times I could see on his face how much pain he was in, and he really was hurting. He is a tough guy and he really does not complain about anything. For him to fight through that and continue to go in – obviously for me I was going back and forth, did not know if I was going to go in, did not know if he was going to stay in, but like I said just from previous weeks and just last week's preparation just staying ready so if that time did come last week or yesterday I did not want to blink an eye. I did not want to be nervous, go in there and question myself."
On when he got the official word that he would be playing QB on Sunday:
"Coach Jackson just came into the meeting and told us about Robert and about Josh, and the only thing he really said to me was just 'Stay ready. Be prepared and stay ready,' and that is all I can do is continue to work on that and continue to go with that, prepare this week and continue with my process and just compete. That is what I got brought here to do is be able to compete and be a competitor. That is something since I first got here in rookie minicamp that I have wanted to do and continue to prepare as a starter and just be ready to go."
On what will be different for him this week:
"Nothing. Nothing for me. It is the same process. The reps obviously might be different, but other than that I have kept the same process the whole time. I really have, and a lot of that is due to Josh. Josh has kind of walked me through his process and how he did things and how he wished he would have did things different at the beginning of his career. For me to have that experience to learn from has been awesome and it has helped me kind of shape my process. I am still tweaking things here and there as we go out through the week – what works for me and what does not, but this week is going to be the same. Continue to prepare, already get a jump start on Miami, continue to – once we get our game plan – go over that and kind of implicate things that they do and what is going to work in certain different situations."
On the opportunity he now has:
"Yeah, that is kind of I guess what the NFL is. You get opportunities and do not know when they are going to come. That is kind of everything, every aspect in life. For me, I said I do not want to change. I do not want to put anything extra, different into my thought process, kind of overload anything. I just want to stay consistent, keep working hard and kind of keep my mouth shut and just continue to work within this building, within this team, and just get ready to go."
On what he wants to prove to the people that believe the Browns made a mistake by drafting him in the third round:
"Nothing. I have nothing to prove. I just have been like that my whole life. I went to USC, and I was the second guy to commit there. I never thought I would get a chance there and I just, like I said, kept my mouth shut and put my head down and just kept working. I come from Bakersfield – not a lot of people have been there – but it is a blue-collar town. It reminds me a lot of Cleveland in the sense that the people that are there, so it is very cool for me to respect that. Like I said before, I respect the position. I respect that the game takes a lot and you have to work hard, but for me it is nothing to prove. It is just continue to do what I have been doing and just keep working hard. Just get prepared and ready to go."
On how much different he believes the regular season will be compared to the preseason:
"I obviously have not played in a regular season game yet. I have got to watch now two from the sideline, but I think, like I said, it just goes back to process. I know I keep repeating myself but that just is how I have always worked. That is how I have always felt comfortable going into a game, whether it was in high school or college or whatever it may be. Just continue to work on what you can control. You can't control what they are going to be, you can't control how the other team is going to play, but you can control how you study all week, how you prepare, how you really pay attention to details on each rep in each film segment. For me, that is just something I want to continue to keep building."
On if there are mixed emotions toward getting his first start considering it comes at the expense of injuries to Griffin and McCown:
"Yeah, it is difficult because I have gotten so close to Josh and Robert since I have gotten here. Those are guys that work so hard. Josh, just last week was unfortunate but I told him after the game – I walked up to him immediately and I could see he was hurting, and his first thought was not 'Oh I'm in pain.' He was more in pain that we lost. That is just the type of guy and type of competitor he is. I went up to him and I said 'I don't know how much it means coming from me but that performance you just had is something I will always look up to, and the way you fought through that and the way you battled.' It was tough to watch him work so hard and really do things the right way and then have that unfortunate situation happen, but his first thing back to me was 'You just have to be ready.' This is a league that is a violent game and guys can never control if they are going to get hurt or not, so you just have to stay ready. He has been helping me out, even today, just talking to me and kind of staying in my head and trying to keep me focused."
On how tough it is to slow everything down and really comprehend what is going on with the offensive game plan:
"Yeah, it can be frustrating at times. I think I have said it before, coming from an offense at USC when I had everything down – obviously had been in the system for a while – to get into a brand new system, you want to get right back to that. But it takes time and there is a process and you have to continue to learn things and continue to master your craft on really what works for you and what does not. I think the more reps I have gotten – especially last week, getting some more reps with the offense instead of just doing scout team the whole time – have helped me a lot. That is just something I have been working on too is just staying after practice, getting the script. Whether it was during fall camp or now going into preparation for the preseason was I would stay after and get reps for an hour. Take the script and go through plays I did not get in practice. It helps me, I think it has helped me out so far to where I am right now."
On if there is any downside to 'throwing him into the fire' this early into his career:
"No. Like I said, it is all about opportunity. Some guys do not even get that opportunity. Some guys get it early, some guys get it late. You never know when it is going to come, but you just want to be ready. For me, that is something that I have always continued to do – just stay ready. I am excited for a chance to go out and compete, whether it is this week in practice or if it is in the game or whenever it may be, but I am very excited to get an opportunity to show what I can do and show the hard work that I have been putting in."
On Hue Jackson saying 'trust me' to the critics after the Browns drafted Kessler:
"Yeah, I think it has been awesome too because of Hue's trust in me through this whole process. He really has and he knows that I am excited to play for him. He can tell that since I have been here from day one that I really am excited. When you get a coach like that that really loves the game and also really loves his players and really just wants you to succeed, it makes you want to play better. Coach Jackson has been really tough on me and really hard on me, but at the same time it is because he wants the most out of his players and the most out of me. It has been great to learn from him and to play for a guy that is just as competitive as you are as a player. I am going to continue to work for him and keep working for this team and this organization."
OL John Greco
On playing center:
"I'm ready mentally. This week in practice, preparation with (QB) Cody (Kessler), get the snap timing and everything down. We will get our calls straight with meetings all week. We will be ready to go."
On the challenges presented playing center for a full game:
"When you are thrown in there, you really don't have time to think about it. You just have to do. But I think it is to my advantage because I will have a week of preparation. It won't be like they just tossed me in there. I will get the reps mentally and physically. Sometimes, that is the thing when you are the backup, you have to take all of the reps mentally and you think about what you are doing. Like I said, it is in the back of your mind, but now I will be able to do it all week and should be put in the best situation."
On the changes in his responsibilities:
"Just a little bit of technique and footwork changes. Playing next to the center my whole career and playing center, I'm dialed in mentally. I know what we have to do assignments wise and everything. With the communication, it is just about getting everybody lined up. Instead of communicating with the center or right tackle, it's communicating with both guards and both tackles. I'll be ready to do that. Like I said, this week we'll be ready to get in there, work with Cody, work the rest of the O-line to get this ironed out and get us ready to go down to Miami."