Press Conference

Denzel Ward: 'I still have a lot more that I can do, prove'

CB Denzel Ward:

On how things will be different in defensive coordinator Joe Woods' defensive scheme:

"Just definitely a change of the playbook so far and learning a new system with new coaches. They are going to teach new things. That is one thing. One thing specifically that I like is they are critiquing my technique, actually. Right now, I am kind of trying to learn a new technique that I played in press coverage a little differently than the years past. I have been working on that. That is one thing that I appreciate so far from Coach Woods and the rest of the staff."

On if it is tough to change technique at this point in his career:

"Yeah, a little bit, just because I have not really worked that technique before. It has been a fun process so far and learning the new technique. Just trying new things out and not really being one dimensional."

On areas he focused on most to improve during the offseason:

"Just working my craft. Just staying up on my technique and change of direction, making sure I am staying conditioned, running and everything and prepare [for] when I get back and we start running again getting back to full-speed."

On describing Woods' defensive scheme:

"I think it is kind of similar to where he came from in San Francisco and what those guys run over there – a lot of Cover 3, run some Cover 4 and just a little mixture of things."

On if he has contemplated the potential that Ohio State football may not play this fall:

"It upsets me, but I know it upsets those guys a lot more. They are out there trying to prove themselves, if they have dreams of playing in the NFL and taking it to the next level. They wanted to show themselves this year, play with their guys and be out there on the field and making plays. I know that it is real difficult for those guys. I heard that the season [may come] to an end early. Wish the best for those guys, and hopefully, they can come up with something, but I know it is tough."

On if he is excited to compete against a healthy WR Odell Beckham Jr. in practice:

"I am excited to go against him, (WR) Jarvis (Landry) and all those guys. All those guys can play, but him specifically, you guys know what type of player he is. I do not even know how to explain it. You know what type of player he is. Just looking forward to getting to go against him and working my craft against him because he is going to help get me better, and I am going to help get him better. We are going to compete in practice and go back and forth."

On his confidence that Browns players will closely adhere to health and safety protocols when they are not in the facility:

"I am very confident. I feel like we have some smart guys on the team, guys that are going to take care of their business. Already being here, the organization, they are doing a good job of just going through protocols, keeping us sanitized, making sure we keep our masks on and everything. I feel like guys are going to do good, as well, once they get off the field and go home."

On his biggest concern related to COVID-19 heading into the contact portion of camp:

"No really big concerns right now at the moment."

On evaluating his 2019 season:

"I feel that I had a decent season, not the season that I have in my mind when I set my goals and everything that I want to accomplish throughout the year, but I feel that I definitely produced throughout the season and did my job when I was out there on the field, made plays and helped my team. I feel that I still have a lot more that I could do, prove and still give to this team to help this team win."

On potential for his pairing with CB Greedy Williams in their second year together:

"The sky is the limit for both of us. We go out there and do our job, play within the defense and make plays, and everything else is going to take care of itself."

On challenges building camaraderie with teammates, given limitations and protocols related to COVID-19:

"I feel that actually (Head) Coach (Kevin) Stefanski, he has done a great job, especially on our Zoom meetings. We have team meetings and he kind of has a way for [building] camaraderie. We have what is called the four H's (history, hero, heartbreak and hope) and just kind of getting to know guys, explaining our history and things about ourselves that we may have not known about our teammates before. Just a way to get to know each other and talk to our teammates."

On what Stefanski asks individual players to share from a personal standpoint in the team meetings:

"It is kind of an open table. For me personally, he asked me, 'Would you be willing to speak to the team tonight?' so I talked to the team. He gives us a base of what he wants us to talk about. From there, we just expand on maybe our history, our heroes or whatever it is that we have on our heart at the moment."

On Stefanski not coming across like a first-year head coach and if he is impressed with Stefanski's demeanor and approach:

"Yeah, I am. Definitely organization wise, just how everything is set up, everything is running pretty smoothly and how he approaches the team, I appreciate that and definitely look forward to continuing to work with him."

On S Grant Delpit:

"You guys already saw what he did on the field at LSU. He is definitely a fluid player, and he is definitely tough. You saw that last year at LSU. He had a hurt ankle that I feel a lot of people probably didn't even know about, but he played through it. He is a tough player. He is going to bring that toughness here. He is just a fun guy to be around, too, in the locker room and everywhere else on the field."

On the potential for the Browns secondary:

"I feel like we could be special. We just have to play within the defense, play within ourselves, make plays and do what we are supposed to do, and everything else will take care of itself."

On DE Myles Garrett and Garrett's potential this year after returning from suspension:

"Myles, he has big goals. If I am speaking for him, big goals ahead of him. He is planning to put up big numbers, like a lot of us are. He is going to go out there and I am sure he is going to get that done."

RB Nick Chubb:

On working out with RB Kareem Hunt in the offseason and his expectations for sharing the backfield with Hunt this season:

"We worked out sometime in the offseason. I can't remember when. We were actually here in Ohio. It was in Westlake. We ran on some hill. I can't tell you where it is, but we ran up and down the hill, got a little strength in, running and conditioning and things like that. I am excited to be back with him for a full season. Last year, it was half a season, but now we get to go at it in every game we play so I am excited about that. I look forward to it."

On if he is OK with how carries may be distributed this year with Hunt playing a full season:

"Whatever happens, I trust in the coaching staff and I trust in the team. I know they will put us in the best position to win. However that looks, I am fine with it."

On what he likes about the new offense and how it can help him:

"I think it just starts with the coaches and then it starts with us. No matter what is called, we have to make it work. We all have to buy in. We all have to trust in ourselves and trust in each other and just go out there and play. I am excited about the new offense, about the new coaches, about the new team and the new year. Whatever is called, whatever play he wants to run, we have to go out there, give 100 percent and make it happen."

On his excitement about the opportunity to be on the field at the same time as Hunt for a full year and how that impacts the team's gameplans:

"I am sure we will get to that soon, but we have been here for a week or two. We are not really that far into the gameplan and scheming right now, but we should be able to find a way to get us both on the field and both of us doing different things."

On the wide-zone running scheme:

"We ran that a lot last year, too, so nothing is really different for me. I have been running that since college. I think it will be the same thing we have, just maybe a little bit different scheme and different guys up front touching things up. I have been running outside zone for a long time."

On if barely missing out on the rushing title last year bothered him this past offseason:

"[It did] not really bother me. Just more motivation. Trying to do it this year. Just working out, as I always do, working hard and running hard. I believe everything happens for a reason, and you just keep working and striving and things will fall into place for you. That is my mindset."

On challenges he has faced learning the new offense and what he likes most about it:

"For the most part, the coaching staff did a great job of teaching us during the virtual offseason. We got a head start so we got a jump on things. Now, it is just putting it together in person. They did a great job planning and getting us ready for what is happening right now. For the most part, I like that everybody is on the same page. No confusion, things are all in place and we are ready to get out there and get rolling."

On possibilities when sharing the field with Hunt and Hunt's versatility:

"It is exciting for sure. Definitely because he can do so many different things. It doesn't have to be him running the ball. It can be catching it out of the slot, like you said. I think we have a lot of guys on this team and a lot of playmakers, and you can't go wrong with who has the ball. Pick your poison. The coaches do a great job of dividing it up, even if they don't have to divide it up. If one guy is our guy, then we can go to him – maybe he has a hot hand this game."

On his confidence in Browns players following COVID-19 protocols and safety measures when outside of the facility:

"I think we are going to do a great job. (Head) Coach (Kevin) Stefanski has really told us, 'Do your part. If everybody does their part, we will be OK.' I think our guys on the team, we understand that. You have old veterans who know better and who have been in the game a while, and you have young rookies who want to make the team so they are going to do everything right. If everybody does our part right, just follow the protocols, the guidelines and things like that, I think we will have a season."

On his biggest concern related to playing during the pandemic:

"My biggest concern is just one person messing it up for everybody. If one person gets sick, if somebody somehow gets on the field around a lot more guys, he can spread it through that. If everybody does their job, we have tests every morning so I think that wouldn't happen anyway, but if somehow some guy slipped past the test and all that, then that would worry me."

On the one part of his game that he worked on most during the offseason and hopes to improve this year:

"I don't know. I stick to what I always do. I just go home, I work my tail off, workout, lift, grind and do football drills every day. There is not really one thing I try to get better at. I just try to do what I always do but get faster, bigger and stronger."

On perception that teams with a new staff and scheme this season are at a disadvantage, given changes to the offseason, preseason and training camp:

"I think we do have more veteran coaches, too. Even though they haven't been here, they have been around the league a while. You definitely feel that when they come to the building with Stefanski. His first time being a head coach, I feel like he has been a head coach for many years. We all trust in him. One of the things that stuck out to us when he came here, he said, 'You have to embrace the suck.' That is what we have been doing. Nobody wants to wear a mask all day, nobody wants to take all this time just to go out on the field and play football, but it is where we are. You control what you can control, and that is what we have to do for now. I think him being confident and telling us to embrace it has really led us all to see that this is the new normal for us and we have to get used to it. We want to play football so after this, we will."

On the differences between Stefanski and his other head coaches:

"He has done a great job. He is very good at communicating, very good at expressing himself and how he feels. He is just a great coach and a great guy, and I am excited to get out there and get to know him more and get to play for him."

On if he has talked to T Jack Conklin, who said he wants to block for another NFL rushing leader, and his thoughts on the additions the offensive line:

"I haven't talked to him yet about that or anything, but I know what he has done in the past. He blocked for the rushing title champion last year so hopefully, we can do that again here. I am excited. We added some great additions to the O line, and I look forward to going out there and playing with them."

On his expectations for QB Baker Mayfield this season:

"Baker looks good. He has come back and is saying all the right things and not saying some things. It is great. We are excited about Baker. I have believed in Baker from Day 1, and nothing has changed my opinion of Baker. I know he is excited to get out there and show the world who he is."

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