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Press Conference

Gregg Williams conference call - 12/10

Opening statement:

"I was proud of the way that the guys really played and fought through all of the different things about the game. Never, ever flinched. It was a good home win. It was good to get our home crowd involved. They were very loud, and it was fun to see them excited and the crowd in the ball game. Our guys did a really good job on taking the things that we have been doing every day in practice and in the meetings and then putting it out on the field. We have things we have to correct – there is no doubt about that – but I thought they competed really, really hard. I think anybody that gets a chance to look at us right now sees how hard they are competing and sees how hard they are playing. All three phases, as I mentioned yesterday, are playing complementary kind of football on what we have to do to help everybody win a close ball game."

On if this is one of his most enjoyable stretches in his career as a coach:

"I really do love everything that I do in my job. I am happiest during the season when you get a chance to compete. I am a competition-aholic anyway. I have had a lot of good experienced, have had a lot of big winning streaks and had a lot of different things that have gone on – Super Bowl championships and all of that stuff. It is fun for me to be involved with these young guys here getting a chance to believe in themselves. It really kind of sparks me to see the flash in their eyes, the strut in their steps and the confidence in their body language when they get a chance to put everything together. It does help."

On OL JC Tretter playing through an ankle injury:

"Super impressed because that is not an easy injury. Especially when you play that position, it is all about power and first step, second step and all of those things you have to do. I have been super impressed with that. Even yesterday when he got rolled up on again – his ankle got rolled up on again – and had to come out for a short time. I was super impressed with how he fought through it and came back and continued to play. With all of that being said and done, all of us that play and coach in this game know that that is what you are supposed to do. It speaks volumes to his teammates. It speaks volumes to everybody on your team that you are supposed to be given them your all. It establishes trust and respect throughout the team. I have been very impressed with that."

On if he ever reflects about games earlier in the season and their impact on potential playoff scenarios:

"I think it is only natural for somebody to think that a little bit, but you can't waste your time thinking about those things. You can't change that. Those things cannot be changed. The only thing that you do have an impact on it what is up next. You have to focus on what is up next. This game at this level is so hard that you can't be bringing in outside factors on trying to change the old times, but do what you can do right now one day at a time and come out and take the next game at hand."

On if playoffs remaining a possibility helps further motivate players:

"I think everything, from a pride factor – that is definitely a pride factor – I think everything when you are dealing with pride helps in motivation. Remember this when I say this is when you have to work extremely hard on motivation, you do not have the right people. The right people are supposed to be motivated at this level. That is how you keep your job. This job is a tough job at this level in the profession. The pride factor of seeing that possibility is still there does help."

On if he sees similarities between the Browns and a younger Saints team that was beginning to build confidence when he coached there:

"There are a couple of guys here on the staff that were with me [in New Orleans], there were a couple of other guys here on the staff that used to come down and visit and watch practice, watch meetings and watch games. That has come up in a meeting a couple of times with us talking in there because they see those glimpses of the beginning of that. We are not near there yet; it is not even close to being there yet; but we have talked about the similarities, yes."

On the key elements of the Saints team when he coached there:

"The players were so highly competitive in the practices that you just shake your head. One of the things every day was making sure that we got off of the practice field without guys getting hurt because of how hard they fought in practices. (Saints QB) Drew Brees and (former Saints LB) Jonathan Vilma, they were two of the most highly competitive players that I have ever had the chance to be around. Jon Vilma was our middle linebacker and Drew was obviously the quarterback, but those guys getting everybody to practice at such a high level and at such a competitive level, it was one thing to execute, but what they were talking about every single day was winning the play and winning play by play by play. That competition helps you transfer it into the game time on Sunday."

On WR Jarvis Landry's pass attempt to RB Nick Chubb towards the end of the first half as it relates to game management:

"The one thing was on maybe taking a shot at the end zone on that particular play, some people would hold your breath on those types of things, but we were going to be aggressive. We do not want to ever not have an aggressive mindset. When it first got let go and I am watching it, I am thinking that it is going to just be an incompletion. It is amazing on how close it came to be. Chubb almost came down with that. That is the play that you never understand until you give it a chance to happen. They gave it a chance to happen, and we almost made a big play."

On the double pass as it relates to clock management at the end of the half, given the Browns deferred:

"Those are things that we discussed. We always, if you have a chance to manage it the way you want to, you would like to be able to close that half out with a little bit less on the clock. Let me take a look, did we turn the ball back over to them at 1:03 or something? No, that was at the end of the game. I am sorry."

On kicking a field goal with 0:59 remaining in the second quarter following the double pass:

"Right so we would love to condense the half a little bit more, but I am really not going to over analyze the fact that we took a shot at putting points on the board in that situation. In a more conservative approach, we would have forced them to call more timeouts and reduced the clock time, yes."

On how much of the Browns' confidence derives from QB Baker Mayfield:

"I think a lot of it does. I do. There are guys on the defensive side of the ball, too. There are guys on special teams, too. I think an awful lot of it does come from him. That would not happen if it was phony. It only happens when everybody sees it being sincere. One of the things that we have talked about for a long time is that leadership comes by example first and voice second. Your body language speaks so loud that you can't hear anything else that anybody else says that comes out of their mouth. He does a really good job with that. I think it starts to bleed or come down to move the team that way. I think it is good."

On some records are more legitimate than others, given the way the Browns are winning games:

"Yeah, I do. Yes, I do, and I have been involved in a lot of games, and I feel very good about how we have managed the wins. I think of how we put ourselves even in position of some of the other games too that we came up empty. We managed the games very well, and I think the players have bought into it and I give them credit for that."

On if DB Denzel Ward may be able to play against the Broncos:

"We will see about that, and we have a report towards the end of the day on the next step and how he is doing, but yes, I hope from a protocol standpoint that he is advancing pretty well in that. I have not heard today yet though."

On if OL JC Tretter will be able to play against the Broncos:

"Not only did he make it through the game, but there is a guy right there that shows you again how tough he is. His ability to play through that was unbelievable. When he played through it in the ball game, I would be shocked if he did not just assert his will and say I am playing. We will get him his time, and he does a lot of extra extra, extra rehab on his own. We will take him through the process the whole week, and if we can go, then he will go."

On if the Browns have a formula for handling short practice weeks:

"We do, and one of the things we do is we establish a routine that is as close as we can keep I tot the normal routine. The other thing that we do is at the end of the week last week, I presented the routine for the week so it was nothing nobody was caught off guard. They knew the routine we were going into. They knew it. Actually, I presented it last Friday and reviewed it again on Saturday so they understood the routine of day by day by day by day of what we were getting ready to do before we got on the plane and went over there and flew out Thursday."

On if he ever envisioned Mayfield's rookie season would be as successful as it has been, even given a positive first impression:

"You never know. There have been a ton of rookies that have not have this type of play, but everything that we saw in college on him and the things that we did all of the background searches and all of the background studying that we did on him, it does not shock me, no. He has worked extremely hard for his success. It is not something that has just happened by happenstance. The amount of work that he puts in does not shock us that he also takes it to the ball game because he works extremely hard to have an overall understanding of every aspect of the game. That does not come easy. Sometimes young guys, it takes a little bit longer for them to get that, maybe playing in a preparation week and a work week you need to have from going from the college to the pros. I have been around a lot of very successful guys that level, a quarterback at this level, and we all kind of pass on somethings to him that what it would take to do. He bought into it. Don't discount the fact of he had a very good example of somebody that still has and still does have a tremendous preparation process as (QB) Tyrod Taylor. Tyrod learned from a lot of good people, too, and he is still, Tyrod is a great mentor in that way. He has bought into it, he has worked hard and it is not surprising."

On remaining fresh with all of his responsibilities:

"There are no excuses. You just have to keep going, and I have been doing it for a long time and we will bounce back. It is no big deal with that. I love what we do. We love what we do. We have good people here in the building and everything will be fine. It really is a non-issue."

On how difficult it is to defend a QB that can throw it into tight windows such as Mayfield:

"It is very difficult, and as you continue to watch and evolve, the really, really good quarterbacks – I have said this – sometimes it does not make sense to others, but the people at this level it does make sense to. The really good quarterbacks throw their receivers open in tight coverage, and they have to be able to hit the very small window and the very small point of where the leverage that they have where a defender, even in a tight coverage the defender is there, there is still opportunity to catch the ball. The best ones throw their guys open, and I think you are seeing some of that with Baker right now."

On Mayfield's arm strength in comparison to other QBs he has been around:

"His arm strength is outstanding. His accuracy is outstanding. It probably won't be hidden anymore after that first play of the game because that was a rocket and that was a long throw, and it is a long throw on the money. In practices, we have seen longer throws and we have seen even more accurate throws that other people have not seen yet so not surprised at all because we have seen it in practice."

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