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Josh McCown press conference - 11/11

On how he is feeling physically:

"Feeling better. Like I told you guys, you want to make progress everyday so I feel like we've done that. Not necessarily always as fast as you'd like and as much progress as you'd like, but I do feel better. Take it a day at a time and see what happens."

On if he is still in pain on occasion:


On what attitude the Browns need at this point in the season:

"Just the attitude that we had the first day we got here. It doesn't change. You go out and try to win football games and prepare and do everything you can to win football games. I don't know if that means a different attitude. I don't speak for anybody else but myself but maintain the same approach and work ethic that we had since we got here. Obviously, the record and where we're at is not where we want to be. That's frustrating, but at the same time, you have to trust your process and stay committed to it. Especially when stuff doesn't go your way, it's easy to go home a little early or change some of the things you do, but to me, that's not the way I operate, that's not the way I want to go about it and I don't feel like anybody else in this locker room is going to do that. Everybody's going to come with the same mindset they had the first day, which is to work and prepare to win football games."

On if he was able to throw in practice today:

"I threw the ball around a little bit. Just trying to gauge how that feels and how my body responds to that. Obviously, the contact is a thing because we don't simulate that in practice so you never know quite how you're going to feel with that. We'll continue to evaluate it the rest of the day today and move forward tomorrow and see where we'll go."

On being hopeful he will play Sunday:


On if he is aware of the Browns-Steelers history and what a win over the Steelers would mean to Cleveland:

"Yeah, I did an appearance down in Wooster yesterday, and just the fans I was around, it was very clear to me how important this game is. Obviously – we talk about it all the time – the next game for us is the most important one. I've said it from Day 1, just the passion of our fans. I can certainly appreciate the rivalry and appreciate how they feel about Pittsburgh, and that picture was made very clear. You're right, a win for us for our football team is what we need so bad when you're in a situation like this. It's great for us, but the added value is the city and how excited people get when you beat the Steelers. We know how important that is."

On the Browns low scoring offense in the second half:

"I don't know if I have enough time here to break down everything, but I just think we have to finish better. That's stating the obvious, but we just have to finish better. The Arizona game, we just came out at the half and didn't execute as well as we should have that third quarter. We kind of got bogged down. We have to continue to mix things in and balance out the run and the pass and be able to lean on that, too. When you have leads and stuff like that, you have to get your run game going in the second half, too. There are all kinds of things, but for us as players, it's just execute what's called and do that better because we have to be able to finish ball games or we're going to find ourselves in a lot of those situations."

On being more optimistic about playing on Sunday:

"I'd say I'm more optimistic just because it's a normal week. I think that gives us a better chance to evaluate it. But again, like I said, when you're dealing with what I'm dealing with, you need a lot of time. Again, I'm optimistic every day, see how I feel when I wake up as we go throughout the day. Like I said, each day I feel like we gain a little ground, maybe not as much as I would like, but I feel like it's improving and that's a good thing."

On how his ribs responded to throwing in practice today:

"I haven't talked to them yet (laughter). I was able to get some throws in so that's good. To me, it's more of seeing how it goes as we move throughout the evening and stuff like that because that's really to be able to tell. Just because you have to go through it when you're playing a game with the ebbs and flows of the game and halftime. Just seeing how they'll respond that way. I was encouraged by being able to throw. It was good just because I haven't been able to throw in a while so we'll see how it is tomorrow."

On how he knows how much he has healed without simulating game contact in practice:

"That's the hard thing, and I'll work with (head athletic trainer) Joe (Sheehan) and we'll do the best that we can to evaluate that and make a judgement on whether we think that allows me to play or it's to a point where we shouldn't play. Joe, obviously, I trust their experience and my feedback to him. We'll take all that information and try to make the best decision possible."

On if the bye week coming up factors into his decision to play through his injury or not:

"Yeah, it does. These games are so important. I want to be out there and do my part and help our team. Every week, you want to play. It's a fair point, but it's hard to think of things that way as a competitor because you want to be out there on the field."

On if it is an added challenge not being able to practice in the week leading up to a game, even as a veteran:

"It can be there, no doubt about it, because there's a reason why we practice. It can be, but I will draw on my experience. If it's that the case we decide to go, then I'm going to draw on my experience and utilize that. Fortunately, I've played these guys less, I've not played against them, but my teams have played them the last two years so there's a familiarity there. Obviously, I'm in every meeting and practice watching everything so I feel like mentally I can take all the reps and stuff like that. You're right – there is no substitute for it, just manage the best you can and I'll have to draw on experiences and stuff like that."

On if he will wear any extra padding on his ribs if he does play:

"I don't know. We'll have to examine that. I feel good with the stuff that I wear. Like I said, I think some of mine was impact, but I think it was more being twisted and turned. There's not a whole lot you can do for that. I'll certainly talk with the equipment guys and Joe and see if there's something they recommend if we come to that."

On his lengthy conversation with Owner Jimmy Haslam before the Bengals game:

"My daughters talking about colleges so I was asking about Tennessee. I thought he might have few words for me. We were just out there. I enjoy talking to Mr. Haslam. As a relatively young owner, I just appreciate the questions he asks and the way he goes about trying to trying lead this franchise and do it in the manner that he does. I just a have a ton of respect for him so it's good to be able to talk and get to know him. I appreciate that, just from different franchises that I've been with. The guys in the locker room, when your owner comes out to practice and he's around and he's visible and you're able to talk to him, I think that means a lot. I just appreciate that about him."

On if he has firsthand experience playing against the Steelers:

"I don't think so. I don't think so looking back. I'm not sure, but I don't think so."

On Head Coach Mike Pettine saying he is the No. 1 QB given the team's 2-7 record and a first-round pick QB behind him:

"Obviously, I appreciate Coach Pettine's confidence in me. I think there's a plan in place. I admire the ability to stick to the plan and trust what we're going to do moving forward. For me, my job, like I've said from Day 1, is just to serve this team in the role they ask me to be in. Right now, it's the starting quarterback so I prepare myself to do that and play football, play good football to help us win games. If in the future that changes, then I'll adjust accordingly. For him to continue, obviously, I just appreciate the fact that he trusts me. More than anything, I think he has a big vision and plan for how he wants things to go and he's able to trust that. I respect him for that."

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