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Press Conference

Gregg Williams postgame press conference vs. Panthers

Opening statement:
"Never easy, always fun. The guys fought and stayed together. Lots of different distractions that you have to go through. One of the things that we have talked about here for the last several weeks – today was a very good example of it – it is about us when we understand and focus on us, our job and our responsibility. Now, let's make them have to do something about us. Our guys fought through that. Our guys made a couple of mistakes early in the game and made a couple of mistakes in the second half, but we fought through those things. Never doubted each other. It was good to see the spirit how they were picking each other up. Even if it is a drop, even if it is a missed block or even if it is a missed tackle, you have to go pick each other up. That is part of being a team, not just being a bunch of individuals. I thought they did that very well. To the credit, a good overall understanding of how in order to win close games, you have to play well, or understand how you are playing in all three phases. All three phases have to complement each other in order to win close games."

On the Browns defense's halftime adjustments that led to a productive second half:
"That is a great question. Tackle. It comes down to that. From all of the things they did schematically that (Panthers offensive coordinator) Norv Turner and those guys did, which was really good, you see the plan and you see the formations that are being built. Our guys were on top of all of that. All of a sudden, the space play would come up and you would miss the tackle and there would be yards after a catch and yards after a slide and stuff. That was a big emphasis from the first quarter on, but really at halftime, I can't repeat all of the words I said but just about tackling. Our guys did a good job with that."

On the Browns learning how to win close games and secure wins late:
"From our point of view here, people have asked me that for 30-plus years. How you learn how to win is are you sitting in the chair right? Then you will win. You will get me off your back. Are you going to win an argument? Are you going to win a play? Are you going to win a discussion? Are you going to win a day? Winning comes from doing your job every single second of every day, understating the discipline of being accountable and being focused and doing those things every day. As you get to gameday because you have had all of these other accumulated wins throughout the week through preparation, it is not a shock when you win games. It is not a shock when you do those types of things. Now, win these close games and then some confidence comes in. Confidence always helps get the decided edge in winning close games. This was good."

On his mindset during the final two defensive possessions:
"The mindset does not change much. The execution does. It is fun to see our guys expect the call that is coming in and then execute the call that is coming in. They knew down there in a couple of those situations what we were going to do and how we go about playing those situations. Our guys did a good job with those things. They really did."

On the defense's performance:
"The big thing that they did was that they bounced back from the first quarter and in some of the first half missed tackles fundamentally. As you see when we came out in the second half, those guys then defended the field dimensions and defended the field spacing. Every blade of grass was important to them and that is one of the things that we talked about is that every blade of grass at halftime. We have to understand whose blade of grass is it? It is ours or it is theirs. Leadership wise, outstanding. Schobes (LB Joe Schobert) and all of those guys did some really good things leadership wise. We had some opportunities for some more takeaways and we had a couple of reversals. We had a penalty or two or otherwise, we could have had given our offense even better field position to maybe separate the score. When you can't, you have to do your job. We did."

On questions regarding Panthers QB Cam Newton's shoulder and if there was a thought he might take a long attempt, given the Panthers were 'dinking and dunking' for most of the game:
"We were. Dinking and dunking. You saw even at the end of the game, when we squatted on a route. You can blame me after that. We did squat on the route, and they ran by us on a double move. We did a great job of separating the ball after a catch. It was an incomplete pass, but we were playing the tendencies that we saw. He did zing a couple of them in there in the second half because we were squatting and playing what we had seen on film."

On Mayfield continuing his strong play from the second half against the Texans:
"I would see that as every single day is about him. I do not know if you guys caught the first drive of the game when he came over to me on the sideline, I had to ignore him because he was pretty wound up at that time. Those are good things. That is what is seen and demonstrated by him, but it is seen by his teammates. That is what really good leaders and really good ball players do. Each time that these type of things come up in his short career right now, it just helps more and more with confidence and there are not very many things anymore as it goes on that you will be able to confuse him or surprise him with. He does a really good job of only having one mistake and not a repeat mistake. He does a good job with that."

On containing Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey:
"With the exception of one run but I will never be pleased until it is all gone. That is what we have to do, and you can't accept saying everything was good except for that. We lost leverage a couple times on that one particular run. We lost a gap control and we lost leverage, and we have to do a better job with that. Improved but never good enough yet."

On if Mayfield is throwing the ball the best he has all year:
"The ball has come out up his hands pretty good. It is pretty accurate. One of the things if you are close enough, if you are ever down there close enough, and you can hear the ball come out of the quarterbacks hand with a 'ssst' and you can hear how tight the ball was coming out of his hand. It was bringing a smile to my face when I was saw him warm up and really the entire game he was zipping it."

On the number of penalties:
"Those are things again that we have to continue to clean up. We are really, really hard on that aspect of it, and those negative yardage plays can't be acceptable. A couple of the plays defensively took us away from takeaways and took us away from field position so we are never happy on the penalty parts of it. Is a big high focus of what we do. It is in every single meeting of what we talk about and we have to improve."

On WR Jarvis Landry running, catching and throwing the football today:
"I am sure he will be begging to kick it now (laughter). That is the kind of guy and the kind of athlete he is, too. You can't have too many of those guys around. I think it is great what you see (offensive coordinator) Freddie (Kitchens) and the offensive guys doing of scripting up and planning up things to give our good guys a chance to make plays that way, and they are."

On taking a shot on the first play of the game:
"Those are things that each and every week we take a look at who we are tendency wise and what they are expecting us to do, but we also take some calculated risk right there. We ran by them, but we had good alternative thoughts or reads that if we did not like what we were getting and we did not have the guy running by him, we could have checked the ball down and come down to maybe a little bit of a lesser play. I was very happy that Freddie called it, and we repped it all week."

On the confidence for the team after going 3-1 in the last four games:
"I think it helps confidence wise every day. Anything you have ever done athletically in your life – you stand over a putt with no confidence, you stand over a snap with no confidence or you stand over a receiver, and offensive lineman or defensive lineman… The more confident you are, the better you play and the faster you respond, and your muscle memory and everything responds faster so it is always good to build off of that."

On the final interception to seal the win:
"There was good pressure there. We brought everybody. Because that pressure caused a quicker throw, we had to have better leverage in the coverage, and we were all out Cover 0 on that play, which we brought everybody we could."

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