Press Conference

Denzel Ward: 'It's about us'

CB Denzel Ward:

On if it is good that this is a short week after yesterday's game:

"If you look at it that way, yeah, I think so. We get a chance to go out, play another game, get this last game out our minds, focus on the Bengals and see what we can do to pull out a win and get our first win of the season." 

On what the Browns defense needs to be clean up most from yesterday's game:

"We still have to come in and watch film. We have not all gotten together as a group yet and analyze everything specifically. Once we do that, I am sure we will figure it out." 

On his relationship with Bengals QB Joe Burrow and if he has watched Burrow's film from yesterday's game:

"Joe, he is a great player. He is a great quarterback, a great person. I enjoyed being around Joe back when he was at Ohio State. I have not had a chance to watch any of the Bengals' film yet. Like I said, we still have to get with the team, watch last game and do the scouting for this next week."  

On if he and Burrow developed a friendship at Ohio State:

"Yeah, Joe is definitely my friend. Definitely. I look forward to going and playing against him. Definitely looking forward to that game." 

On what the Browns defense needs to do to turn it around this week:

"It is about us. We just have to get together, watch the film and see exactly where we went wrong. That could have been mental issues. I do not think it is physical. We are all physically capable and able to get our jobs done. We just have to look at the film and see what we have to do to get better and change things looks for next time."  

On if missing S Grant Delpit and CB Greedy Williams yesterday due to injury was really tough on the Browns defense:

"We are missing those guys, but guys have to step up and we have to be able to do our jobs when guys go down. That is the National Football League. It is the next man up." 

On if he played against Burrow on the scout team at Ohio State and what sticks out from that time:

"Nothing specific. Like I said, Joe is a great player, a great quarterback, makes great throws and great decision making. Looking forward to going against him, but nothing specifically I have in mind back at Ohio State." 

On if Burrow as the scout team quarterback tested the Ohio State defense and if Burrow talked a lot of trash:

"No, he did not talk too much trash. He definitely tested us. He was a starting quarterback even back then. That is just not how it went at the moment where he was the starter at the time, but everyone knew that he was a starting quarterback."  

On Head Coach Kevin Stefanski's message to the team after yesterday's loss:

"Come in and see what we have to fix and get done. That was the first game so we have another game coming up quick and see what we have to do to get this win."  

On if yesterday's loss can set the team back and how the team can stop that from happening:

"No, not me personally. A loss is a loss. It shows up the same way on the stat sheet. We just have to come in, do we have to do to see where things went wrong and change it for next time we play those guys." 

On how S Ronnie Harrison Jr. can contribute on defense:

"I see him being a big contributor, especially as he continues to learn the defense and everything. You saw as soon as he came in, like one of his first days of practice, he got an interception on the one of the first or second days out at practice. He is just out there making plays. I definitely see him having more of a role as the games go along." 

On if the Browns are closing the gap between the Ravens or if it wider than before:

"Like I said, we just have to fix things. It is about us and about what we do. We have to fix things, go in and look at the film and see what we can do to change it for next time." 

On Bengals WR A.J. Green:

"I have to watch some more film on him. I know he is a great player, though. He has been one of those high main guys in the league for a long time. I am looking forward to getting in the playbook, watching film and seeing what he does and what makes him the player that he is." 

On if this season opener felt different than last year and if the team feels better equipped to move forward after a tough opening loss than last season:

"I think so. I think that we have a good staff and we have the right players in. We are going to go in and do what we have to do to get the job done next time." 

On if Burrow was a runner on the scout team at Ohio State, given Burrow's rushing TD yesterday:

"No, not really, but he is definitely capable. He is definitely a capable runner, but he was more of a thrower back then."

LB Sione Takitaki:

On discussions among the Browns defense after yesterday's loss:

"It was real brief after the game, just knowing that we have a quick week coming up with another game. Obviously, we were disappointed in the loss. Nobody wants to come out and lose, especially a conference game. We kind of had the mindset that we are going to rally back up. Sometimes you get hit in the mouth early like this and it can kind of make you. I feel like this week, everybody is kind of refocused – the whole group, not only the defense but I feel like the offense. I feel like we are going to work a little bit harder this week." 

On Bengals QB Joe Burrow:

"Joe Burrow is obviously a good quarterback. Drafted in the first round. He did some good things in the last game. I feel like we have to definitely be aware of his arm. He can throw that ball. I feel like today we are going to get a little bit closer on it as a group, start watching tape and start analyzing, game planning and stuff. We will see exactly what is going on. We will see a little closer later on today." 

On main things the Browns defense needs to improve for Week 2:

"Just on certain plays, being on the same page and getting off the field on third down. We did a great job getting to third down on some of the drives, but we just could not get off the field and tighten up on some of those passes or runs. I feel like third down will be a big key this week."  

On if yesterday felt different physically due to the limited hitting in the preseason and training camp:

"I feel like there was definitely a little sluggish to everybody's game. After the first couple series, I feel like you really got to pick it up and be like let's go. Felt like our training camp went really well with the coaching staff and everybody letting us rough each other up a little bit. I feel like we went into the game ready to feel some contact. Like I said, a little rust for everybody so it should be better going into this week." 

On the most positive takeaways from yesterday's game:

"They got some runs on us, but I feel like we definitely started stopping the run. I think that we did that well. Like I said, we got to third down so we did a great job getting to third down, but now, we just have to get off the field and make those key plays to put our offense back on the field. I would say just makes more plays." 

On if it was startling to lose the season opener by that wide of a margin:

"I feel like any loss, it kind of makes you like, 'Man.' We are going to attack this week like we attacked last week and then go out there do our best. Like I said, be as focused as we can to go out there and win the game. Obviously, no one wants to lose any game, especially a [season] opener. Like coach said, it happened. It happened, and we have a short week this weekend and can't dwell on into too long. We have to refocus. We have the Bengals this week. We have to go." 

On the game environment with no fans at M&T Bank Stadium:

"It is weird to play with zero fans. I would say that was the weirdest thing, just playing with zero fans. I feel like it is still football, even with zero fans. I would say that is the biggest thing that is pretty weird is there were no fans in the stands, but it is what it is." 

On if the lack of fans at the game impacted the Browns' start:

"No." 

On what stood out from the Bengals' first game:

"What stood out is they have a good young quarterback who can throw the rock, and then they have a running back who can run the ball. (Bengals RB) Joe Mixon is a great back. He can hit the hole and run people over. I definitely feel like we have to gameplan for him but also gameplan for the pass, too, because they have a young stud in the backfield that likes to throw the ball. We will get closer to it as the day goes on when we get together as a whole. Those are the things that stand out to me right now just as I turn on the tape for myself." 

On assessing his individual performance:

"I feel like I did OK. I definitely was assignment sound, but I felt like I could definitely have made some bigger play. Everyone wants to make a splash play to help out the team so that is definitely something that I wish I had. It was a good first start for myself. I feel like that does not really matter. You lose the game and it is a team sport so, I do not really hang my hat on what I did. A loss is a loss." 

On LB Jacob Phillips going out with an injury during yesterday's game:

"Never want to see a teammate get hurt. Definitely in his corner rooting for him. I am there for him if he needs me. I am a text or call away. He knows that. I see him every day still. He is in good spirits, and things will get better." 

On DT Larry Ogunjobi's performance and if Ogunjobi was a positive defensive takeaway from the game:

"Most definitely. We have not watched the tape as a whole yet. I do not think we will because it is a short week we have so I do not think we are going to dwell on that loss. Yeah, I watched the tape and I saw Larry do his thing. Obviously, Larry has been making plays like that for the last couple of years he has been here. Tip my hat to him. Definitely a guy I look up to on the team. We have to make more plays on the ball." 

On why the Ravens were able to have success in the middle of the field:

"I feel like they just have a good marriage of their run and pass. They were able to establish the run, and run, run, run and were able to get some on a couple passes. Definitely need to tighten up, but I think that is why." 

On the impact of the Browns defense missing LB Mack Wilson:

"Yeah, Mack is a good player. Definitely miss him, but I think we can hold our own."

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