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Press Conference

Gregg Williams press conference - 12/20

Opening statement:

"Got over on the other field today. Like I said, our grounds crew does an unbelievable job. We got a lot done out there today. We still have several things here in the meeting structure on what we do from installation and corrections from the practice and then also the installation that we take to the next phase leading up to the Friday practice."

On DB Jabrill Peppers not practicing today:

"Just stiffness in his neck, but he will be OK. Basically, when you play as well as he did, we will give him the day off."

On Peppers' performance in Week 15:

"He really, really played well. I am really happy for (Steelers CB) Joe Haden for getting the (AFC Defensive) Player of the Week, but Jabrill had those type of numbers. You are talking about impact numbers. Leading on defense with some adjustments and some checks that he was able to do. I think I mentioned the other day, he brought a big smile to my face because of how much he has grown. He is a sharp young man."

On Peppers' development this season:

"It has been really good when you see all of the things that he is doing not just on defense but in the special teams and all of the things that we have to do to get reps there. He is a playmaker from tackling to stripping the ball to touching the ball to intercepting the ball to sacking the quarterback to returning a punt to returning a kickoff to running the punt protection. He does everything. He comes to work every day with a demeanor and an attitude to get better. He never takes a day off, and that is fun to be around those kinds of people."

On Peppers' growth from a mental standpoint:

"Last year was really good for him, too, because of all of the things of understanding the coverage concepts from a free safety position that he never played before. That position, like the middle linebacker, is kind of a governor or a quarterback on that side of the ball. That has led to even a better understanding of some of the spatial things that we do and why we do from the checks and the understanding of where help is. He has grown a lot with that and has been able to even give some ideas to some things, meaning that he sees thigs a certain way that maybe a coach does not see. I like those type of discussions with him. That is really cool."

On if it is common for players to significantly increase their film study from college after entering the NFL, given Peppers' previous comments on film:

"Yes, I do believe that all of a sudden that it becomes a shock to their system that there is no 20-hour rule in the National Football League. In the NCAA, back a long time ago when I was at that level, you did not have the 20-hour rule either. Now, it is amazing how little time that they are really even in the complex at that level. Now, it is a full-time job. It is not just the time you spend with us and with the coaches; it is the things that you do on your own. He has grabbed that and he is running with it, and is getting better and better."

On if OL Austin Corbett will play in the final two regular season games:

"He will get an opportunity to play, yeah, but the big thing is that you have to be able to practice. When you practice right, then you get a chance to play right. We just do not anoint the position. You have to earn a position."

On Bengals RB Joe Mixon and if preparations for Broncos RB Phillip Lindsay can carry over into this week:

"A really good running back. Each and every week, you would like to say that, but then they see the film, too. How do they counter it? It is a countering game going on at all times. We need to play in that same format. He poses different strengths than some of the backs here recently have. He is a powerful, run over your face kind of runner, too. You can have everything sound and you can have everything gap sound, force sound, and then all of a sudden he runs over your face or he is able to cut and run through two people. I think they do a good job with those type of backs. You try to get everybody blocked and leave one guy unblocked, and that is his guy. They determine that. They have a couple of schemes where they do it that way where they say, 'OK, Mix. You have to make this guy miss or you have to run over the guy.' He does a good job with that."

On if sweeping a division opponent would be beneficial for the Browns:

"Yesterday when we talked about that not only just the sweeping part of it but every time that you play a division game, it is important. You see how you measure up. You want to win your division. When you win your division, that is what always put you in the hunt at the end of the year. We state the fact that it counts for two. You play a division game, it counts two. We are trying to emphasize the double emphasis of that."

On if the Browns have 'planted their flag' with their performance in AFC North games this year:

"We have improved in that area. That is the message that we wanted to do, but we have to continue to do it. You can't rest on our laurels. Every single time you have to get ready to go because it is going to be a hard fought game. We may know more about them; they may know more about us, too. It becomes a battle of wills that way."

On sensing Browns players are changing the culture in the locker room:

"I think the core of guys is very good in there. I really do. I believe in that. We talked a couple of days ago also about the word belief. I believe with all of my heart that culture beats strategy any day of the week. When you have that they way it is supposed to be, then we can start to do things in a way schematically that fits the athletic ability of the guys you have around, but you have to have the right culture. That starts from internal leadership, and then the internal leadership taking it to the field, and inside the white lines on gameday, that same type of mentality has to be there. There is less coaching going on those gamedays. What people do not realize is that it is a day for the players to make sure – Monday through Saturday, I'm trying to do everything we can to have that impact – but now you have to do it. We will assist and help in every way that we can, but Sundays become easier when Mondays through Saturdays are right."

On QB Baker Mayfield saying anyone who doesn't really want to win the final two games can get out:

"I love it. I love it. I will back that up. Every single week. You do not want to be around guys that want to be in a club or want to be a part of something unless it is winning. That is why he has the locker room. In practice, there could be a bad play or two and then all of a sudden bam, he circles the wagons. (LB) Joe Schobert does the same thing, too. (DL) Myles (Garrett) did it a couple of times today. That is what you need inside of the white lines. Yes."

On if there was an inkling of that mentality that sparked Mayfield's comment:

"No, that is just how he is. One of you guys probably pissed him off (laughter). I do not know."

On if he had any issues with DB Damarious Randall handing the ball to Bengals special assistant to the head coach and former Browns Head Coach Hue Jackson after his interception in Week 12:

"That was a long time ago. I am past that."

On Randall's impact on the team's culture, attitude and leadership:

"Those are things that he has picked up on. I am probably a culture shock to him. That was something different. He has done a very good job. It is fun to see him make the plays, rally and join into what we have to do. That is how it has to be. Do not care about how it has been in other places or whatever. This is the place it is right now. You have to be a part of what we are doing here right now."

On Randall being a spokesperson for the locker room:

"He has started doing it. He is starting to do a little bit more of that. Like I said before, unless you produce and unless you set the example, then why are you listening? When he starts to be more productive as he has, then people will start to listen to those things. It is always leadership by example first. You have to be that way because they tone you out and they look down on it to be honest. It is good that we are producing in the right way. He is, too, but all of those guys, they have to produce first, talk second."

On the Browns scoring on 15 of its past 16 red zone appearances:

"Which red zone did not make it? I know. I know. How about that? If we would have gotten the first down [against Denver], we wouldn't have [scored] either because it was a down-down situation. We just repped the whole thing today in practice. From a down-down, it is a down-down first down and it is over with."

On offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens and Mayfield being successful together in the red zone:

"They have done excellent execution of the plan, and you have to understand we have been playing some really good teams down there that were ranked high against us too. It is an understanding the spatial awareness of what is going on down there, how they are using their personnel, how well we are using our personnel, keeping track of the tendencies that we do show and staying one step ahead. You have to take a look at all of those stuff on how you make them believe you are really not getting ready to do what you think we are getting ready to do. All of that goes into it, but then after that it is execution. Baker has been very and not only Baker but they have all been very sharp. Particularly him, he has put balls in tight windows, which has been impressive."

On wanting RB Nick Chubb to give himself up before scoring if he would have converted the fourth-down attempt last week:

"Down-down. Did I tell you all the story about when I was with the Redskins the other day? When I was at the Redskins when (Chiefs Head Coach) Andy Reid was at the Eagles, and we let (former Eagles RB) Brian Westbrook score. We had a chance now and we are going back down the field to get ready to roll. We are back in the game. They learned something like that. Two years later, we are playing Andy again over there, and Westbrook busted one for maybe 30 yards and goes down on the half-yard line, takes a knee and the game is over. That is the only time you have total say. You do not have to worry about going for two, you do not have to worry about going for three or you do not have to worry about going for whatever – calling a stupid timeout – you do not have to do anything. OK, it is over. Game over. That is a situation we work on."

On NFL players not always down in those situations:

"I just smile on my face and say, 'Heck, wish I could play them more' (laughter)."

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