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Josh McCown conference call - 10/12

Josh McCown

On offensive coordinator John DeFilippo in his first year as offensive coordinator and their communication during games:

"Obviously, I think the strides that we've taken offensively the last few weeks from training camp until now speaks a great deal about his ability to coordinate a group and bring people together. He's done a great job. Like I said last week, I feel him getting better every week and doing a good job of adapting really to what the game needs as far as where we're at offensively but does a good job of staying calm and working through the call sheet and trusting his preparation. That's been huge for us, obviously."

On his ankle and if he had an MRI:

"No. Ankle feels pretty good. I'll keep treating it, and we'll move forward accordingly, but it feels good."

On reaction from friends after yesterday's win:

"It's been a lot of 'Congratulations' and things like that. It's one of those deals where people are just being so supportive and a cool time you can sit and reflect to see how many people care about you and are rooting for you, praying for you all those things. Just appreciate everybody that's reached out. It's pretty cool."

On if TE Gary Barnidge is targeted often because defenders aren't paying much attention to him:

"No, I think defenses pay him attention, but he just has the ability to get open, and I trust his ability to do that. I don't think it will be the case moving forward either. Obviously, it's not necessarily that they aren't paying attention. It's just the way we're constructing plays and then his ability just to win versus man coverage is really the biggest thing that's allowing him to have success. He's benefitting from good game planning, but then he's benefitting just from his own personal skillset and his ability to run good clean routes and then catch the ball."

On how difficult it was during his time in the UFL and fighting through potential self-doubt:

"Oh, absolutely, I think it wouldn't be fair to say that I was super positive back then and I just knew that it was all going to work out this way. I went to that league just wanting to play and continue to grow as a player and there were very tough moments being in that league and away from my family and just feeling 'Hey, is this what I'm supposed to be doing? Is this really how I want to end this thing?' At the same time, I just felt like for me as a person of faith that's where the journey had led me and that's where I was supposed to be. It was just trusting that process and feeling thankful for it because it allowed not only for me to grow as a football player but also to grow as a man and stretch my faith, certainly, but I'm better for it."

On if he ever envisioned passing for 457 yards in a game when signing with Cleveland:

"I never say never. As a player if you want to have success and as a quarterback, I don't know if you want to necessarily want to find yourself in games like that, but at the same time you envision going out and playing at a high level and executing at a high level and the guys around you playing at a high level, and the game dictates being able to do stuff like that. I don't know what the right response is. Am I surprised that it happened? Especially this early in the season, maybe so and on the road in Baltimore, but did I think we were capable of it? Yes, absolutely."

On why a QB wouldn't want to be in game when he passes for 457 yards:

"I just mean from the sense that as a quarterback – you love throwing so don't get me wrong – it's fine, not all the time but a lot of times if you're in a game when you're throwing it that much, it's probably because you're behind or not being able to run the ball or something like that. That's the only thing about that is just you find yourself in a game like that, typically, it can come with some negative circumstances. It's not always the case. It wasn't yesterday. Obviously, saw last night with (Giants QB) Eli (Manning) throwing for over 400 yards, as well, and they were right there back and forth in that game. Sometimes, a game just dictates that the ball has to be thrown around. We want to be able to do both effectively, and we were able to do that yesterday."

On if yesterday's win feels similar to the successful string of games with the Bears:

"Every situation is different. Just from a system-wise, I feel just as good about the system that we have in place and what we're doing as I did then. I think that's the biggest thing I can say about it is I feel like when I go out on the field on Sunday, I feel like prepared, I feel like I have answers and that's the way I felt in 2013 with the Bears."

On if he expects to miss any practice time this week due to his ankle and if there is any doubt about his availability for Sunday's game:

"We'll just keep getting treatment and see how it goes. Like I said, the ankle feels good. I'm hopeful and planning on being able to play and all that stuff. We'll see as we move forward, and I'll let (Head) Coach (Mike Pettine) comment on injuries as we move forward."

On if he was aware of the Browns passing records he set yesterday:

"For me, yesterday, I wasn't aware of it until probably halfway through the locker room celebration and somebody grabbed me and said it, which I am glad because the main thing was wanting to celebrate with those guys. Without those guys, none of the individual things matter or can happen. It was fun to be a part of that group. Again, I don't know if 'surprised' is the right word because I felt that – we have said it since the spring – we are capable of doing some good things on offense. We felt really good in the spring with this group and continue to feel that way. Obviously, games have dictated that we throw the ball a lot, but we are able to do that effectively, and on Sunday, it helped our team win. That is all I care about. The record stuff and all that may be fun to talk about one day, but right now, it is just doing what it takes to help our team win a game."

On if the Browns can sustain winning by passing 40-50 times per game:

"I sure hope so if that is the case. Whatever we have to do win, that is what I want to do. If that is who we are, so be it. Also, we want to see that running game continue to take off. There were some good moments yesterday, especially that last drive. We were able to rip off some 3- to 4-yard runs pretty consistently. That is what it takes. It is just to be efficient in that part of your offense. I believe that keeps growing and getting better every week. We keep seeing, uncovering new wrinkles and things we want to do in that run game that are helping us, and we can expand on those things. If it takes 40-50 passes a game to keep us in the ballgame, that is what we will do."

On if Ravens offensive coordinator Marc Trestman contacted him after the game:

"We were able to hug and talked to him briefly. It is always hard for not to be around Marc and not to thank him for the effect he has had on my life and my career. Albeit it one year together, it was a special time. I just appreciate all the football I've learned from him. He was very gracious and congratulated me and told me he was proud of me. We move on. I have a great deal of respect for Marc and who he is as a person and as a coach. I just think he is a special, special coach. Anytime I get to see him, it is always good, especially after a game like that where you both fought hard and battle it out and got the victory. It was good."

On noticing uniqueness about the Browns and Ravens rivalry, given he's played with multiple teams:

"I have been able to be a part of some good rivalries, and you can certainly feel that energy, especially from the crowd and around the stadium. It definitely had all the feelings of a divisional game and obviously a divisional game with some history and things like that, for sure. I draw on different experiences, whether it is the Bears-Packers and different moments like that where you feel like you have been in it that kind of environment, where you know it is going to be hostile and intense and there is a lot of history there and all those things. Good place to play yesterday."

On comments that he focuses on negatives after a record-setting performance and what negatives has he identified:

"I do. I think sometimes it is human nature for us or at least for me to always focus on the negative and not realize how many good things are happening. I also feel like as a player, when you are pushing to play at a high level, that is what gives you that edge because you don't accept those misses. You want to be able to move past them in the game, but you also have to let them fuel you to want to be better and to want to not allow that to happen. For me, there is a ton of stuff I am not pleased with, to be quite honest with you. Looking over the last few weeks, starting from the way we finished against Oakland and then different spots throughout the San Diego game and then yesterday where you feel like the execution could be better. That is what we will keep striving for. I don't know if it is ever possible to throw a perfect game, but you want to get as close as you can. I felt really good about yesterday, but I still feel like we left some things out there. I know I left some things out there that could have been a lot better and need to be tightened up, for sure. Looking forward to getting back this week and working on those things."

On how important it is for the Browns to stay even-keeled after emotional wins and losses:

"It is very important. Coach Pett does a great job of laying it out for us throughout the week and really hammering that message home, and it is crucial for us, especially as young of a team as we are. We have to enjoy this one for another hour or so. Some of us have moved on. I know the guys are enjoying it, but we have to get going on Denver and get our mind right. We have a lot of games left. There is a great deal of satisfaction. There is a lot that goes in every week. We always say it, it is hard to win a game in the National Football League. There is a lot that goes into every week of preparation. When you do it, you have to sit back and enjoy it – there is no doubt about it. Especially in that kind of fashion, there is going to be a huge sense of accomplishment and all those things, but at the same time, we have to put that one on the shelf, move forward and get focused on Denver and have that one-game season mentality where that is all we think about and focus on. I know the veterans and Coach Pett will be hammering that home this week so that we come out with that mindset."

John Hughes III

On the Browns defense playing well late in the game when they needed the stop after the Ravens move the ball freely at times:

"We were determined to win. We were that close to getting the 'W,' and we all stuck together throughout the bad parts of the game, the good parts of the game, and we just came together and got the win."

On if the Browns defense did anything differently toward the end of the game:

"No, nothing was different. It was everybody getting to the ball and everybody getting their job done. It really isn't rocket science with what we do. Just going out there and playing ball."

On the satisfaction in applying such good pressure in the overtime period:

"It was a good play. I actually was working together with (DL) Randy Starks on the inside and we had a little game going. We were able to get a good pressure on him (Ravens QB Joe Flacco)."

On putting into perspective the impact an emotional victory can have compared to an emotional loss:

"For one, this is a big win for us because it is our first division game and to start the division 1-0 is big. To know that everybody came in and played all four quarters together, that was big for us. We are always preaching about finishing games and being able to get it down to the last minute, and that is what we did."

On how important is it to avoid a 'hangover' from an emotional win:

"We talk about it all the time, not letting big losses carry on into the next week. That is the hangover part. The same thing, you don't want to get a win and be on your high horse and not be ready to play the next week. It is one of those things where you have to put it in a box. Take the 24-hour or 48-hour rule or however you do it, and enjoy the win or breakdown the loss and then you move forward."

On if the defensive stop at the end of the game could be a turning point for the defense:

"Yeah, most definitely. We know we have the defense to get the job done at the end. It is really hard to explain how satisfying to finish a game like that, especially getting the stops and they had to kick a field goal and then come into overtime and get it done. It was just one of those things that, like I said earlier, sticking together as a defense, everybody coming together and trusting the guy next to you, that is what it is all about."

On being glad Ravens RB Justin Forsett wasn't in the game at the end of regulation or overtime:

"No, I don't think about it like that. I don't think it matters who the back was. We were just trying to get the job done on defense. I think we had it in our minds that they weren't going to get in the end zone and everybody was playing together and playing good ball."

On why the Browns' run defense is still struggling:

"I guess you could say different things, but really, it's just guys getting the jobs done. We have all the confidence and belief in our coaches and players inside the room. It's just everybody being a man and getting your job done."

On the Browns' defensive huddle prior to overtime:

"I wasn't out there the whole two-minute drive, but I was out there at the end with the field goal block. I know guys were just saying we couldn't get down on ourselves for letting them all the way down there. 'Control what we can control now that they're down here, but they're not getting in the end zone. The most they can get is a field goal, field goal try at least.' That's what we did. We just put our feet in the ground, stood our ground and had them kick a field goal."

On if he said anything to DL Danny Shelton about his unnecessary roughness penalties:

"Yeah, I was standing out there when he got the one towards the goal line and we got to the sideline. I just tried to talk to him because it's a mind game sometimes with players and you have to win that one-on-one battle in your mind. I tried to tell him, 'You have to keep playing. You have to snap and clear it and just keep going to the next play.'"

On learning something from the San Diego game the week after winning against Tennessee:

"I don't think it's one thing in particular. It is more of just coming out with the same mindset every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday practice, coming out with the mindset of getting better to get ready for Sunday. We've got a good team coming in here with Denver, and we know we have a big task ahead of us so coming in with the right mindset."

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