Transcripts

Gregg Williams press conference - 12/28

Opening statement:

“Fridays are fast Fridays. We had a final fast Friday, and it was really good. Each Friday has gotten better, better and better since we started doing these philosophies of the day and today as extremely fast. I appreciate their attention to detail. I appreciate what they did and what they came with today and now as we just talked about as we walked off the field was we circled up as a team. This is the players’ only day where the players only meetings are taking place to go back in and go through all of the things that they are going to have to be able to handle, communicate and do inside the white lines on game day. It could be something that comes up in those things that they will come and check with us about, but you always like the fact that they empower themselves and understand it is a players’ game come Sundays. It was a good day, and now we have to get on and get ready to roll.”

On what he does to influence the team during a game week this late in the season:

“On game week? Everything we do is about preparing to win. What we do is we try to focus each day that way. We can’t recreate the contact that happens on a gameday, but we can recreate the focus. That is every single day and how you do that, and then you are not surprised and it is not some type of miscommunication because of the focus that we do every day. Now, we have to make sure we take the final couple of steps to get ready to go for Sunday.”

On how personally he tries to lead:

“Always. It is what we do. It is the job we have and then the people inside by the position areas once you get outside on the field, the players have to take control of that. I have always understood that and I have always mentored that, and players have to rise above coaching come day."

On if DB Denzel Ward is out Sunday:

“Yes, he is out. I got that officially today, and (LB Tanner) Vallejo [is out]. I got that officially today.”

On Ward’s season:

“He has had a really good year, and I am sure that there will be a lot of thing that when he steps into the arena next year that he has a good feel for. That first year is night and day differently from the college game, but we will take care of that come back in the offseason program get started and all of those things. He has to get on and ready to roll, and he will have a game here maybe a few weeks from now. We will see how he goes and see if he is able to play a few weeks from now. We will see.”

On if there is any hesitation about Ward playing in the Pro Bowl, given his concussions:

“Those will be things and those are things we have discussed. We will see and the protocol will determine that, and it will be what they say.”

On which Browns players have emerged as the team leaders this season:

“The guys that you see out there going out there for the coin toss.”

On the Browns making adjustments at LB due to injuries this season:

“We have been adjusting every week. This will be another big test which will be another thing to validate and evaluate, but think about the dominant running backs here at the end of the year we have been playing against. Leading No. 1 rushing attacks in the league and how we have had to go about doing that. This is not something that just all of a sudden arises. It is a different style. There are more attempts so there are more different people doing it instead of just one dominant running back. We have to understand how we go about playing as a defensive team and not just an individual player.”

On if Ward has been receptive to changing his tackling technique:

“Yes, and I think all of a sudden when it is his idea, it will be all of the time.”

On QB Tyrod Taylor serving as a leader of the team despite not playing:

“You want to talk about class? His picture is in the dictionary next to it, and he has been outstanding. What lots of people don’t see him do is the constant leading in every aspect when he comes into the building. He and I, we compete on who is here first in the morning. I tell him all of the time I beat him when I stay here all night. Otherwise, when I go home, I can’t get here in time, but with times I go ahead and stay here all night, I win those competitions. The picture that he presents on offense, think about this now: (Ravens QB) Lamar Jackson is a pretty good football player. We have a pretty good guy showing us in practice right now. He has been doing that style of offensive scheme for a long time. The picture he has presented in practice this week has been outstanding. There has not been a lot of extra coaching that has to go on to get him to understand how he is doing things on the scout squad. A classy individual, and I have known him for a long, long time. Like I said, he and my son played together at Virginia Tech so I have known him for a long, long time. A good young man.”

On if Jackson’s running style is similar to Texans QB Deshaun Watson:

“There are similarities, but each person poses a different thing and poses a different style. He does it his way. Schematically, there are some similarities, but he is not (Panthers QB) Cam Newton either. All of the guys, they have their own persona in that respect and that is what makes them good.”

On if he had to galvanize the coaching staff this season, given uncertainty about the future following the midseason changes:

“That was part of it at the time, too, and all of that had to come on. That is not only from a coaching staff, operations staff, equipment staff, training staff, strength staff and maybe even marketing, maybe even PR but all of that. All those things go hand in hand when you have that chair. You have to respect the chair, and I respected this chair a long time. It goes hand in hand, and some can and some can’t and I am okay with it.”

On the Browns coaching staff handled the uncertainty of the future:

“They have done a really good job. They are very pleased with, that and I think (Offensive Coordinator) Freddie (Kitchens) and his guys a very good job, (linebackers coach) Blake (Williams) has done a very good job, (special teams coordinator) Amos (Jones) has done a very good job, and if I don’t mess things up, we have all done a good job (laughter).”

On multiple Browns players contributing to community efforts this holiday season and what that says about the team and players:

“Thank you for asking that, and there have been a lot of things that comes in play here where the encouragement of maybe somebody that has been pushing them to do a little bit more of that. I would say this, there are a lot of things that have taken place in the building here in the last part of this season that I have never seen before. From that type of thing going out and touching and feeling the communities, especially kids – I have a huge foundation for kids, too and these guys have all been in those same spots – but I could not be prouder and we couldn’t have been prouder of how much they did to do those things and taking time out of some of their own personal families times. It was outstanding. That is how the community and the teams bonds together. There is a really good, young football team in that locker room and just kind of just maybe posing the things out there to them and they grabbed it and ran with it. I am very proud of that, yes.”

On if he knows when he will have his interview for the Browns head coaching job:

“Those are things that after the year we will talk about that after the year. Still on the Ravens and can’t lose any focus on this is going to be a tough game. We have to play it.”

On tests for DLs Myles Garrett and Emmanuel Ogbah to set the edge this week:

“All of that and not only them – (LB Genard) Avery, (LB) Jamie (Collins Sr.) and all of those kinds of guys – because you see how the multiplicity of things like who we have playing the edge of the defense but it is good. We have to do a very good job not only of there, but I think the Ravens are dominant up inside, and people have not really tracked as much of the inside run game that they have going. We have to do a good job as a whole in all honesty.”

On Garrett coming close to multiple potential sacks last week:

“Keep going and don’t flinch. Those are things that rush and coverage have to work hand in hand, but what a lot of people don’t understand is that he causes incompletions, too. He speeds up the pace of the guy who has the ball in his hand and just keep going. He understands that. He can only be as fast as he can be, and then after that, we have to do a couple of things that cause a reset by the quarterback. We have to do a couple of things in coverage to make him hold on it and find somebody else then he finds Myles.”

On if the Browns track missed sack opportunities:

“We track everything. Everything.”

On the Browns having an opportunity to win this week when past season perceptions were the Browns did not have a realistic chance to beat the Ravens:

“This is not one of those teams. That is what I would say. They understand it does not make a difference about what has happened in the past. It is about what happens this Sunday. Does not make any difference. This is a different team.”

On DB T.J. Carrie filling a starting role at CB:

“It is up to you guys to take a look at this, but a comment that I made to him a week, 10 days ago, I think you would have a hard time taking a look in the last six or seven weeks of seeing a corner that has played much better than him in the entire league. You can take a look at some of the things analytically, statistically and that kind of stuff. He has played very well. The longer you are together, there becomes a better feel for me to help him and for us to help each other. As a coach, a lot of people do not understand that until you get a chance to be on the touch field and go with guys the little bitty nuances that you can do to help somebody. Each person is different. He and I and all of us have grown together. I really, really, really feel like he has played very strongly this last half of the season.”

On how much the team prepares for Ravens QB Joe Flacco, given he could enter the game due to injury or performance:

“We do. We have that. That has been a part of our plan all week long. Really what causes us not to understand that it can be a situational thing, not just at the end or whatever. It could be at any part of the game. It could be a third down thing. It could be a two-minute thing. It could be whatever. We have that. One of the things that we even stressed today in our meetings was for players to go back on their own to take a look at we had an overtime game, we have had a lot of time on task that way and played them last year, too, but that is in our thought process and we can’t control that. We just have to be ready to roll.”

Comment following media members sharing their appreciation for his patience and cooperation this year:

“I appreciate you all, too. I really do in all honesty. As you all could understand that my middle name is patience (laughter). We all have jobs to do. The fact that you guys are Cleveland natives and stuff, I can’t tell you how much fun I have had being here. I chose to come here and turned down other opportunities in other parts of the country. I have lived in almost every time zone now. I wanted to get this experience, and I think this is a great place to be. You guys have done an outstanding job, sorted through a lot of different things too for the year, but how about let’s get one more and let’s sort through this win come Sunday, alright? Thanks.”

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