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Press Conference

Gregg Williams conference call - 12/24

Opening statement:

"I just thought that our guys did a really good job yesterday of coming out, enjoying the home crowd and enjoying playing a home game in front of a whole stadium. I thought the staff did a really good job on the things that we had to do to try to keep them on their heels as far as substitution patterns, the tempo of the game and the areas of the field that we had certain specific things that we wanted to accomplish in certain areas of the field. As a staff, that was a very good complementary way that we played. Really, I am appreciative of how excited the fans were and their involvement in the game, especially in the crunch time part of the game. It was good to see them get involved and provide distractions for the opponent when you can't hear everything right because the home field is supposed to be that way. It was really good.

"Now, we have to be ready to go this week. We have a couple of things here with the holidays. I gave everybody a victory Monday off today for the players, not the coaches. Gave the players a victory Monday so that they could spend some time with the family. A bunch of them have already been in and corrected the game, met with the coaches and stuff. Tomorrow, they will have their normal day off, but they will also be involved in the preparation for the Ravens. The coaching staff later on tonight, we are giving them the Christmas Eve off with their families and I will give them Christmas morning. I will just hang here, no big deal. My family is in St. Louis so I will be here the whole time getting ready for the Ravens. We have our afternoon meetings, game planning and all of the stuff that we normally do on Tuesday. We will get that ready to go."

On factors leading to the Browns' best turnaround in team history:

"The real thing is that the focus of the players and the understanding of especially a young team. I have had this opportunity come up before with some other young players that where I have been able to help, and we have been able to help them understand that you have to do your job and you have to block out the outside distractions. You have to focus and rally together and play for each other. They have done a very good job of not only just doing their job but supporting each other. I think people see that in team execution over individual execution. They have done a very good job with that."

On the Steelers making the playoffs if the Browns win and Steelers win:

"I would rather the Browns make the playoffs. Anything else that anybody else makes it, we have to focus on the win. Even though that we are out of it from a playoff perspective, we have to go and do our job. I think we started right off the bat in the locker room talking about the importance of finishing up with a winning season and the importance of doing our job and also continuing on with our presence and the way that people feel about us in our own AFC North division. It is about the division. It is about making sure every year that is the No. 1 goal – winning the division. We have to go about doing what we are supposed to do there."

On DB Denzel Ward sustaining two concussions in the past month:

"The big thing is that we will see about the protocol of that. Last night when I was leaving, he was much better this time around, but it is an important part of taking a look at how everything goes. One of the things that is a part of his thing is that change in the style of play at this level. You have to understand who you are playing against. You can't be up that high anymore on those kinds of people. He can't be up there."

On the significance of players being able to celebrate and enjoy success:

"It is always extremely important that you enjoy the celebrations of a win and enjoy the celebrations of a team successful play – offense, defense and special teams. I think it is important that you see that if it is an offensive celebration, the defensive guys are fired up. When it is a defensive celebration, you see the offensive guys fired up. You see a team celebration. We do that within the confines of the rules because you do not want to ever, ever hurt the team or whatever penalty setback that can occur with that. We also talk about the body language of when things do not go our way and how important it is to refocus and then do not show weakness and be able to now withstand, refocus and get back on to the next play. All of that comes into the format of what we believe in on the culture and the philosophy of how we play, but it is obviously very fun to see them get involved with the fun part of big plays and the fun part of winning."

On if he imagined such a significant turnaround from last season was possible:

"I would say this is that I don't ever walk into any game thinking that we can't win, and I thought that last year. I thought we played extremely well enough in many of those games to win games, and that is how close and tough the league is. It comes down to anywhere from three to four to four to five plays a game , and can anyone of us predict those plays of what they will be before the game? No, you can't. Unless you understand that every single play is important in the league and that determines the outcome of the game. Now, we are making more of those plays determining outcomes of the game, and then the more you make the easier it is to make. The more you make, the easier it is to buy in to understanding of this is how we play as a team. A team wins the game, not individuals."

On DB Denzel Ward will be out Sunday following his concussion yesterday:

"Don't know yet, really don't know yet. He was pretty good leaving here last night, but I have not heard anything yet today. It is still early, and those things are going on, but we will do whatever the protocol says to do, and we will follow the orders of that protocol."

On which individual Browns game he would replay this season, if possible:

"I replay them all, but again when I stay too much on those or I talk too much about those, then all of a sudden I disinterest or I take down what is important right now – we are on to the Ravens. We have to get this thing corrected. We have a 24-hour rule around here, and then even though it is a victory Monday, we have all of the coaches reaching out with all of the technology we have today even if the guy is not in here, but many of them have been in here going through the corrections that need to be done with this game. We have to jump on the Ravens as fast as possible, and we can't waste time with that other stuff."

On the emphasis with the team this week on finishing with a winning record:

"We mentioned it in the locker room after game, and it will be in our discussions all week long. None of us do this job to lose. None of us do this job to lose a play, to lose a game or to lose a practice. We do it because we want to win, and we are never going to apologize how important that is."

On the Ravens defense against the Chargers:

"I think they have played well all year long, and there are a couple of players over there that I know really well and I know several of those staff members. I think they have played dominant. I think they have all year long, not only on the defensive side of the ball, but also on the offensive end and special teams. They are playing great team complementary fashion. We have our work cut out for us, I will tell you that. We are going to have to make sure we are all on the same page and play the complementary same kind of fashion. It is going to be a fist fight. It is going to be a tough, hard-nosed battle. It reminds me of a lot of the old school games that have been in this league for a long time. Even though you see the option stuff and even though you see some of the things that (Ravens QB) Lamar Jackson is doing, who is so talented, and how they have adapted and going to the style of play for him, you see the physicality of their defense, you see the physicality of their offense and you see the physicality of their special teams. It reminds me of the old days here in the National Football League. We have to come ready to go."

On Jackson as a passer:

"I have more studying to do, but he has been able to play at an awfully high level. They don't just hand out the Heisman Trophy to anybody that just shows up. He has earned those things, he has earned his time there and he has also earned the respect of the staff of that team to give him a chance to play, and he has done very well."

On if one of the Browns' biggest challenges this week is preparing for a playoff-type atmosphere in Baltimore:

"I think we have been doing that week by week. I don't think it will be anything novel to them. I don't think it will be anything that they haven't felt at whatever level they have played for championships and rising up through. Now in the NFL, people find a way to reach down a little bit more in those types of games. We will treat this like it is our playoff game. We will treat it that way because that is how intense the game is going to be because they are going to be that intense; we are going to be that intense. It will be fun. It will be fun to see."

On how different the atmosphere is in the Browns facility compared to this time last year:

"I can't speak for everybody. I have been in a lot of buildings that have been rocking and rolling at the end of the season. To be quite truthful, it is one of the things that I said when I came here to ownership is I wanted to help them have this feeling and I wanted to help them do that. I feel good about giving the opportunity for people to feel like it has been in other buildings where I have been."

On if he has spoken with offensive line coach Bob Wylie since the win, referencing the Browns OL visiting him last night:

"I have reached out, and we have shared texts. Even all of my kids, my own children have sent pictures and everything to him. Everybody has. It was fun for us to be able to give a game ball to him. We knew that his heart and his mind were in it with us, even though he couldn't be at the game. It will be fun. I haven't had a chance to talk to our guys who went out and showed up last night to go give him the game ball, but that will be one of the things I do later on when I see the linemen later on today and at least by Wednesday when I see them and see how happy Bob had to be when they showed up to give him the game ball."

On who received game balls following yesterday's win, in addition to Wylie:

"We are in the process of going through our staff meeting. As soon as I break here, I am going to have a staff meeting with the entire coaching staff – I am not going to have it with all of the other departments – but we are going to go through the game evaluations now with them. After I listen to every coach talk about their area, even though I have watched the film, too, it is important for us to hear and for me to hear exactly how each position played. We talk about every player that way. Then the coaches – offense, defense and special teams and coordinators – after they meet with their staff, they are going to tell me who they want to nominate for game balls, and I will approve that in the meeting."

On if he addresses any of QB Baker Mayfield's reactions following big plays in yesterday's game with Mayfield:

"I have not seen it. If I had and if I had anything to say about it, that would be behind closed doors. It would not be out there for anybody else to talk about. [Talking about it publicly] is not what we do; that is not who I am."

On if he would like to be named the Browns' permanent head coach now, referring to the Ravens stating Head Coach John Harbaugh would remain with the team in 2019:

"That is a very good question that you know that I can't answer because we are on to the Ravens."

Closing statement:

"I want to wish you a great, Merry Christmas. Make sure you be thankful for a lot of things we have going on around here, especially in your life. Sometimes, I have to take a step back, too, and be thankful for the great things that my family has given me. Enjoy your Christmas, and I will see you on Wednesday."

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