"It is Friday. Getting close to gameday and excited about being back in front of our fans and being in our environment for a change. Our players are looking forward to it."
On Patriots TE Martellus Bennett:
"He is playing well. He has done it all. I made a statement I probably shouldn't saying he is the most 'unknown' tight end in the league. I don't know that he is unknown. He is well known. I think people don't see him as one of the top tight ends in the league, and I think he is by far. As I said, he is a ferocious blocker. He can catch the ball extremely well, run any route. He is a big guy. He gives you the flexibility that you can block defensive ends or outside linebackers. That is how good I think he is. A lot of guys can't do that. He brings a different dynamic to their offensive football team, and he has played well this year."
On challenges facing Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski and Bennett:
"It is tough. They are two of the best players at their position, in my opinion, in the league. Obviously, we have to do things to try to take those guys away. It is a running set. It is a passing set. You can do a lot of different things when you have two guys like that playing tight end because you split them out and they do it all. It will be a good matchup."
On why the Browns running game is important, given the Patriots are known for lining up and running 10-12 pass plays in a row:
"It is just my philosophy and thought process. I think your team has to be tough. I think the only way to do that is by having the dynamic of running the ball. More so than that, that is what Cleveland really and truly is all about. You think about (Pro Football Hall of Fame RB) Jim Brown and what he has meant to the organization and to pro football, you have to be able to run the football. That is part of the tough part of this game, the nuts and bolts of the game, in my opinion, is being able to run the ball when it's grind time. We play in a division that elements do make a difference where you are not going to be able to just throw it up and down the field all the time. You have to have that element to be able to run it and throw it. I'm not going to tell you guys we don't like throwing the ball. I do. I'm no different than any other coach. I like scoring by air, too. At the same time, you have to have that physical presence that you can line up and try to exert your will against teams."
On if younger Browns players are getting more amped up this week given the opponent, compared to past weeks:
"No, I think our coaches have done a good job. I don't know that this game is more important than the others that we have played. It is the next one on our schedule. It is important because we're playing in it. Our guys, we try to keep the same process. We can't waste a bunch of energy that way and then not be ready for the next opportunity because we know there is a lot more coming our way. Our guys are excited to play just because we still have that taste in our mouth we haven't been able to quench yet. We just need to go play and need to go win a game. We know this a big one, and it is here at home."
On being part of the sports excitement in Cleveland with the Cavaliers' championship and Indians' playoff berth:
"It is exciting. Someday, we hope to give our fans something to scream about, too. It was awesome watching the Cavs do what they did. It is exciting watching the Indians doing what they are doing right now. I wish (Indians Manager) Coach (Terry) Francona nothing but the best. He knows that. I have gotten to meet him personally and think the world of him. I'm pulling for him all the way. Hopefully, they will be pulling for us at some point in time, too. That is what this is truly all about."
On having an attitude like a Cleveland native, even though he is a West Coast guy:
"Absolutely (laughter). When you work for an organization and you are one of the leaders, you have to entrench yourself in everything. I have tried to do that. That is really important. I don't want people to think I'm here just for a cup of coffee. I plan on being here a long time, contrary to what everybody thinks. I will be here a long time. It is the starting point. The starting point is really important so people know and understand that I am here. I am interested in more than just what we do. I'm interested in what everybody does. I have a real appreciation for our fans and for the city and what we are trying to accomplish here. I know right now it looks like we are a little ways off, but I promise you, like I said before, we are going to get there. I truly believe that."
On if he uses the 'everyone is against us' approach to motivate the Browns this week:
"No, I don't think everybody is against us. Honestly, it wouldn't matter if they were. What matters is what is in that locker room over there and how we play and how we think. I'm realistic. I believe in reality. It is really about going and playing. We get three hours to decide how this thing is going to unfold, and we have a say in it. It is like we don't. It is how well we play, and if we are able to do what we are capable of doing play in and play out, then we have just as good a chance as anybody. If we don't, then we don't. That is what it is. I want our players to understand that is how you win in the National Football League. It is not because you get amped up or any of those things for one game or another. You play well week in and week out, you become consistent and you play as well as you can play and things take care of themselves."
On the keys to QB Cody Kessler's success on third down conversions:
"It is several things. The receivers are working to get open. The line is blocking. He is making good decisions with the ball. The backs are involved in protections and the tight ends. In order to do that well, everybody has to do their part. I don't think it is just him. He is doing his part by making sure the ball goes in the right areas. Everybody else is doing their part, too, but we need it to continue as we move forward."
On if it is tough for QBs to determine throws or do they go off what the defense gives them, given Kessler threw the ball underneath and players were able to break tackles:
"That is kind of reading what the defense gives you and the design of the scheme. Sometimes, you do throw short and run down the field with the ball. Sometimes, you throw deeper and catch the ball past the sticks. It depends on what the other team is trying to do to you. You have to sometimes kind of play off of it and then what you are really good at doing. It is a combination of a lot of things. There are all kind of ways of attacking what people do, and people are going to attack you based on what you do. You have to be able to play off of that."
On if Kessler can offer a deep-ball element to the game, given QBs Robert Griffin III and Josh McCown were able to do so:
"Oh, yeah. He can throw the ball down the field. We had several called last week and just all of a sudden, the coverage dictates otherwise. That is going to happen from time to time. I think you guys know my history. That is part of what I love to do. I love to throw it down the field and not just throw it short. We will continue to take our shots. I think we have done a good job because at the end of the day, we have been in these games at the end, and maybe because we have done some right things with the ball by not taking some chances. I think we all know that is how you score a little bit more points is by taking those chances. We have to take calculated opportunities down the field, and we will do that."
On if there is an update on Griffin's shoulder:
"No, nothing that I know of right now. As soon as we know more, we will let you know."
On TE Connor Hamlett receiving an opportunity to step up and play:
"Oh yeah, he is going to have a role. Obviously, Connor was a tough release for me earlier. He did some really good things so I'm not surprised by what he is doing right now. He is a big guy. He is long, rangy and tough. He works at it. To get him promoted and him have an opportunity to compete in this game was great. He will go out and compete. He knows our system and what we are trying to accomplish and do. He will do a good job."