Press Conference

Cody Kessler press conference: Browns vs. Titans

On how hard it is to come so close to winning but not getting the result:"Yeah, it is tough, especially going into overtime. Our guys fought so hard. I have to be able to finish it for them. Our defense gave us a good chance when they held them there. They kept giving us opportunities. Offense was playing great. Unfortunately, it was really, really hard to see (OL) Joe (Thomas) go out. It was tough on our team, but those guys came together and kept working hard. It was on me there at the end. I have to be able to put a drive together to win." 

On if the pass was catchable to WR Kenny Britt in overtime:"I don't know. I got hit after I threw it. It felt like it came out short because I as I was letting it go, he hit me. I did not see the catch or where it ended up. I don't know. I have to probably put the ball better there. I will be able to watch it on film to see what happened. Our guys competed. It was fun to get back out there and play with these guys again and get a chance to be on the field. Unfortunately, it did not end the way we wanted it to, but I was just so honored and proud of our guys. They really fought for me and helped me out when I came out there. Being in a tough spot coming in right in the middle of the game, those guys really rallied around me and helped me out all across the board – offense, defense, special teams. Like I said, you just have to be able to pull those out at the end."

On why quick passes were difficult against the Titans defense:"Hats off to them. They have a lot of great players on defense. They do a lot of things up front and move around to try to confuse you. It is tough, when you are playing such a great defense for everything to click all the time. You saw there at the end in overtime, we kind of slowed down a little bit, and it was tough to get a drive going. Like I said, hats off to them. They played great. At the same time, that is on me. I have to be able to lead our team down and finish the game." 

On initial reaction to Thomas' injury:"I didn't believe it at first. I saw him down, and he was grabbing his elbow. I thought he was going to hop up. It is Joe. You think he is going to hop up and he is going to be alright. What this man has done in this league is someone that I look up to and is someone pretty much everyone in the NFL looks up to and has a great amount of respect for him. That was tough. I got choked up a little bit on the field when I saw him in pain on the ground and walking off. Just the reaction he got from the fans and everything was tough. I am going to be praying for him, and hopefully, we can get him back this year. If not, then hoping for a speedy recovery." 

On carrying extra responsibility after Thomas' injury:"Yeah, I walked in the huddle, obviously, guys were excited and emotional in the sense of, 'Hey, let's do it for him. Let's get up. Let's do it for Joe.' I walked in and said, 'I love you guys. Take a deep breath. We lost our brother, but he is going to be alright. We are going to win this for him.' At the end, unfortunately, we were not able to do that. When you have a guy like that who is someone you want to play for and whether he is on the field or not, a guy you want to play for and a guy that you have the most respect for. Like I said, we are praying for him, and we hope he comes back really fast." 

On lessons from playing today:"My thought process was, having not had a whole lot of reps all year, you are going into a close game – be smart. Go in there and do everything you can to give yourself a chance to win. That interception was obviously completely on me. (TE) David (Njoku) ran a great route. I have got to get timing down with him and get that ball down. For me, after that happened, I was like, 'OK, we still have a chance. Let's bounce back. Let's at least get us a field goal to get us into overtime.' (RB) Duke (Johnson Jr.) made a great play on that fourth down catch. We ended up getting a field goal there. (K) Zane (Gonzalez) made a great kick. Just reiterating on it, I have to be able to at the end put a drive together and give us a chance to win. Our defense, special teams, offense, all around played great, but it just came down to not being able to put a drive together at the end." 

On Head Coach Hue Jackson placing him in the game and the uncertainty of who will play next week:"Obviously, I have been inactive the past couple of weeks. This was kind of my first week getting back – I have been preparing the whole time – but really getting prepared to suit up and get ready to go. Obviously, not as the starter, but getting your mind ready to go if something did happen. I told (QB) Kevin (Hogan) after the game, I have a lot of respect for him. That is tough what he was able to do also coming off of the bench a couple of times in games. It is something that as a backup, you never know what is going to happen. You are one play away, one situation away from going in. Being a competitor, I want an opportunity to go out there any play with my guys. If not, and whatever Coach Jackson decides to do, I am going to be ready to go and continue to compete, and hopefully, get a few more reps running our offense this week and get ready to go on Monday." 

On if he knew that he might play if Kizer had turnovers:"That is not the mindset that you think with or anything like that going into a game. After that first drive, coach said, 'Hey, start warming up.' Next thing I knew, he said, 'Get ready. You are going in.' I prepared all week as much as I could, being the backup and trying to get stay after it and get reps. Came out there and had a little bit of success in the beginning. Missed a couple of throws. At the same time, it was nice to get back out there and compete with my guys and kind of get back into that rhythm that I had last year, playing consecutive games in a row. Whether it was coming off of the bench or starting, it was still nice to get out there and compete with your guys. Ultimately, it is your goal to win the game. That was on me there at the end to win for our guys who fought so hard throughout the whole game."

On if the game has slowed down for him since last season:"Yeah, absolutely. Last year, I came into the San Diego game, and it was kind of a whirlwind and a little bit crazy. I have not played all year, but this time I felt a lot calmer, a lot more relaxed, confident, obviously, being out there with our guys. It is tough. It is a tough situation as a quarterback to come in not playing the whole game and go out there and play hard. I had a great group of guys around me that really helped me out. I told them after the game that I just appreciate them fighting for me and giving me everything that they had. I apologized for not being able to pull it out there at the end, but that is the best part about this team is obviously, our team is not where we want to be, but when you go in there, you know that every guy on that field is going to give you everything that they have." 

On how multiple QBs playing and rotating impacts the position room:"I think what it really comes down to is opportunity. In the NFL, you never know when you are going to get your opportunity. Coach is going to make a decision here or there, whether it is me, DeShone, Kevin or whoever is going in, those are opportunities that you are going to get. You have got to make the most of them. Whether it is starting a game, coming off of the bench, one week being inactive, whatever it may be, you still have to prepare. You still have to be ready to go. We really have a good quarterback room. Mentally, these guys stick together. Even when I went out there, DeShone was coming off of the sideline, helping me out and talking to me about stuff. We have got a really good group of guys. It is tough coming off of the bench and kind of getting into a rhythm of a game, but you have to always be ready."

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