Gregg Williams press conference - 11/19

Head Coach Gregg Williams:

Opening statement:

“It was good to see them all back in the building refreshed. They had a good week. I can tell. We can tell. The practice was energized. The meetings were energized. There was a good focus. It was fun to see them wanting to be back doing their jobs and doing what they are supposed to be doing. It is the healthiest we have been since training camp. It will be a really good competitive week with all of that stuff with the competition going on. Every day is a competition from meetings to practice and getting over there with the best group of guys that we can get when we get ready to go into the ball game.”

On if it will be strange to see former Browns Head Coach and Bengals special assistant to the head coach Hue Jackson on the opposite sideline on Sunday:

“I am happy for him. He is a coach. He has been a coach for life. Same thing with me. I have turned down other things to do in life because I have loved coaching. That is what you are supposed to do.”

On how Jackson may have an impact the game, given his time with the Browns:

“I can’t say. I can’t predict any of that stuff. There is nothing private in our world anymore. Every single clip of film is out there for everybody to watch – I always smile at that – when people are looking at all of the things from red zone to everything that is out there. It is about execution. We have to go and execute. Even in practices, our guys know what the guys on the other side of the ball are going to be doing, but they get out-executed at times. Those are things that we have to do.”

On if part of the bye week was spent changing play calls or audibles:

“No. We have been through all of that with Pittsburgh, with the Pittsburgh stuff back and forth. No. I learned a long time ago that it is more important that we know what we are doing than somebody else. That was pounded down my throat when I worked with (former NFL head coach and defensive coordinator) Buddy Ryan many years ago. I brought up something just like you did, and he ripped me pretty good.”

On if he has ever seen a situation where a former head coach joins an opposing staff in-season:

“Nothing is new. I have been told that a long time ago is do not say that you will never see something again or you have never seen something before because that is the business. I am happy for [Jackson]. I really am. That is we want to do is coach.”

On what he enjoyed most about working with Jackson:

“I think that he is a very smart coach. Love the fact that he gave me an opportunity to come here and wanted me to come here when some other teams did, too. I walked away from some of the other teams because I wanted to come here because I remembered a lot of the great things from when I was in the old AFC Central, back in those days at the Houston Oilers, coming up here and playing home and away games up here. Loved the Cleveland crowd. Loved being around the Cleveland people. For lots and lots of years, it has kind of crossed over in some of the places that I have been and some of the other places that I have been. Some of those players that were up here back in those days morphed down to us at Houston. We had some of those players down there and the stories that they would tell. Wanted to coach some of the young guys here and also wanted to come and help the organization in any way that I could and getting it back to whatever we could get back to those good old days.”

On what QB Baker Mayfield can do to take the next step in his development:

“Keep growing every day. It is not something game by game; it is day by day. He just needs to keep on doing what he is doing. He has each and every week grown. The way that he leads the team and how he goes about executing, it is an execution business. He is doing very well with that. He has the skillset to continue to improve.”

On if Jackson on the opposing sideline will give Browns players extra motivation:

“I do not know that. That will be something to ask the guys. I do not know that. I would not think that any of them will need any extra juice. That is not what we are really about in that respect. It is about each and every day winning the play, winning the series, winning the quarter and winning the game. We do that in here on how we keep track of winning meetings and how well we do in the meeting structure, too. I would probably say no.”

On the competition at LT between OL Greg Robinson and Desmond Harrison:

“They are doing well. It was good to see them bouncing around. There is great competition there.”

On if it is still a competition for starting LT:

“We are going to stay with the competition on that. Both of them deserve that. We will see how it goes come gameday.”

On areas worked on during the bye week:

“The team was out of there. They were gone. For them, we really believe that it was important to get healthy, mentally and physically. They needed some rest just from the wear and tear mind-wise and body-wise. The guys that were here that were mandatory to go through all of the rehab process, we did not have one single solitary late anything. Tremendously hard work. I thought (Vice President, Player Health and Development) Joe Sheehan and his group of guys did a great job with the guys that were required to be around here. They were practicing very well here today with some of those guys that had to stay around. What we did as a staff is we did everything that you could imagine from a self-scout process from positional to offense, defense and special teams to team-oriented from any analytic thing that you could take a look at and then kicked the coaches out of here, too. I stayed here every day because I wanted to get ahead on some stuff and relax in the office for a little bit without somebody knocking on my door every five seconds. It was a good week. It was a well-needed week.”

On sharing any information discovered during the bye week through the extra evaluation:

“No, that is just our information.”

On RB Nick Chubb’s recent success:

“I think it was last week when you guys talked about that – you guys asked me about that, too – and that is that he is a powerful runner. He is a strong runner. He protects the football very well. The things that you have to be able to do if you are going to take a step above everybody else or be looked at as being one of the up-and-comers is his overall vision. You can’t coach that. You either have that or you do not. His vision and his awareness – I can be looking at you, but I can’t tell you how many fingers he has up or how many fingers he has up. People do not know that until you have been in those types of fist fights. He has very good vision. He has very good instincts. Just like Baker, the more that he plays and the more confidence that he gets with each offensive lineman that he plays with and each tight end or receiver cracking or blocking for him, too, that helps his instincts also. He has done very well. With the reps that he has gotten, he has matured very well.”

On General Manager John Dorsey mentioning his intent to interview him for the head coaching position following this season and if he will accept the interview:

“He said that (laughter)? Sure, I will. We will see as it goes on. Yes.”

On being included in the Browns’ head coaching search:

“In all honesty, I can’t even think about anything other than the Bengals right now. That is not fair to anybody. Today we had a good day. We have a ton of meetings going on right now. I have the advanced scout crew waiting for me upstairs right now – all of the people that were onsite at the game. We are going to continue on with the process tonight, then to tomorrow’s process and get to Wednesday and can we win on Wednesday?”

On Dorsey compliment linebackers coach Blake Williams for his efforts and taking on more coaching responsibility with the changes: 

“Without talking about it, he has been doing a ton of stuff for the two years that he has been here. It is earned and his awareness of things. He has continued to take on those same things. Yes, he has.”

On if Mayfield was in a ‘mini-slump’ that he is now coming out of:

“I would not think so.”

On former Browns OL Joe Thomas mentioning Mayfield and his play:

“It looks like that since Joe has lost so much weight that maybe he think that he can come out of retirement and play quarterback and thinks that he knows everything (laughter). That is good (laughter).”

On Thomas’ comments that Mayfield seemed off earlier in the season:

“I am not making any comment about what Joe Thomas said so that is fine. He has been growing. I have been very happy with him each and every day. I love the way that he practiced today. I love the way that he shouted back and forth with different players out there and me today – the competition part of playing the position and leading at that position. He is growing every day.”

On how DL Chad Thomas needs to improve to be active on gameday:

“Has to continue to grow. It is not an easy business. It is a talented group up front. He has to keep on going. They all learn that the hard way. He is maturing. He really has. He has come a long way. He had to battle through injury for quite a while back early on and lost a lot of valuable reps in training camp. Can’t simulate those reps without game experience, but you also have to earn the right to get on the field.”

On Mayfield telling him not to be scared during the game, as seen on a mic’d up:

“Oh gosh. I had no idea he was mic’d up. Did you tell me he was mic’d? That is good. That is great. Those are the great things and those are the fun parts of the business that you miss those type of little things about before you get into the game. If you do not belong, that does not happen. If you do not understand that part of the business and those comments like that, you really do not belong in the business.” 

On looking to end the Browns road losing streak and if that is addressed with the team:

“We talk about those types of things, too, when needed yes, and we talked about already today that the most important game of the final six is this week, but we are on the road and we talked about things that they are important on going on the road and the focus we have on the road. We have four of the last six on the road so all of that. As a staff, we have talked about it, but from the players’ perspective today in the meetings today, I pointed to this is the most important game because that is what is up next.”

On if he would use the road losing streak as motivation:

“We always use – I use everything we can. Everything we can.”

On Saints QB Drew Brees’ performance yesterday and this season:

“Yeah, amazing. Again, the things that you all do not see is that 5 a.m., he is in the office; 10 p.m., 11 p.m., 12 a.m. on Friday nights before Sunday games, he is not going to leave the office before midnight. If you do not think that the plays do not run through that guy right there, and I just shake my head and I see those kinds of practices against him and those kinds of games. He is playing at a very, very high level. Also shows you how well we played when we were down there at the time. We let one get away from us. A lot of the times, I share comments, stories and things with Baker about Drew and the experiences. He is not supposed to be big enough to play the game either, and all he has done is his whole life shown everybody how he goes about doing those things. He had a really good day.”

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