Skip to main content


Josh McCown press conference - 9/12

On how badly he feels for QB Robert Griffin:

"Heartbroken. You see the time that somebody puts into the job and prepares themselves so anytime that happens, but especially Week 1 in the opener, it is heartbreaking. I know how much he wants to be out there with his guys fighting for his team. Even the play itself just showed the fight that he had even late in the game, which is tough. I am just heartbroken for him."

On knowing what Griffin is going through having sustaining injuries:

"Yeah, obviously last year, we dealt with it on that opening drive. Just to keep his mind in it and stay around it, I know he will be right there every step of the way with us, prepare and just know this is another part of his story. It is unfortunate but I have all the confidence in the world that he will do everything it takes to heal and get healthy and get back."

On having an emotional training camp after a QB competition, trade rumors and now returning as the Browns starting QB:

"Right. Everything just kind of works out and you never know. That is why clichés are clichés. It is a day at a time type of business and life really. You know that you have this day and you go do everything you can to conquer that day and whatever tasks you have and then wake up and get ready to do it again tomorrow. That is my mindset. Here we are today with an unfortunate injury to Robert, but it is now time for me to step up and serve my team as the backup quarterback and step in for an injured player and do the best I can to help us. I will try to have a good day today and I will conquer the off-day tomorrow pretty good, I think, and then we will get going. Our focus is on Baltimore and what we need to do to clean up some of the things from the game yesterday."

On if he was starting to mentally prepare himself on the flight home that he might be starting if Griffin was injured:

"Yeah, we sit next to each other on the flight, and he had a bag of ice on his shoulder. We were talking a little bit so I kind of understand how he is feeling and what not. In your mind, I am saying a prayer for him hoping he is OK, but also mentally going, 'Okay, if it is your time, you have to be ready to go' and start going through that process. It is one in the same. Like I said, especially in the quarterback room and in every room, you are so tight and you grow in relationships with guys. It is not just a teammate. It is a friend that is getting injured. You are bummed and heartbroken for that guy because you know the dreams and the aspirations that he talks about when you talk in the quarterback room, the things he wants to accomplish and the goals he has for this season. It is heartbreaking, but at the same time, you have to shift mindsets and go to this is a job that I have to do for my team. It is a little bit of a juggling act but as we always said, it is next man up and you move on and you focus on the next week."

On if he knew Griffin before he came to Cleveland:

"We had met a few times postgame playing the Redskins. That was really it."

On the play when Griffin was injured, given some people saying he should have slid:

"I have faced those 'why didn't he slide' questions before (laughter). I am very familiar with those. What I can best is the same answer I had for you guys last year is just as a competitor in your mind and in the moment of the game, you are fighting to win the game. You are fighting to get every extra yard that you can. Looking at the tape, I think his mindset was actually to get out of bounds. When you look at it, it is kind of bang-bang. It seemed like his mindset was get out of bounds. Talking to him, he thought he was going to be out of bounds. Sometimes, those things are unfortunate, and in that type of ball game, maybe giving up a yard and getting out sooner rather than later is better. It is in the heat of the moment, and in a competitive environment, it is hard to dial back that sometimes. I understand that."

On how drastic of a change it is from backup QB to starting QB for multiple weeks:

"It is a change because for me, it is just different hats. You enjoy the role of the backup and being able to help not only the quarterback but different position groups and be another set of eyes for everybody to now having to be in the day-to-day, having to be ready to take every rep and be really focused on each and every play and in practice and all that. A lot of times, when you are not having to take the rep in practice, you step back and look at the big picture. You make sure this receiver is doing this and be able to help a coach here or there or whatever if need be. It narrows your focus a little bit more obviously because you are having to take the reps and focus on what you have to do as a quarterback. That is really the biggest change with the day-to-day and the practice and stuff."

On his success against Baltimore last season:

"Watching the tape, that was last year. This year what we see on tape – watched some last night and watched some this morning – is they are getting back to their form of how Baltimore plays defense. You see that they got some guys back. (Ravens LB) Terrell Suggs is back. They are a hard-nosed group. There is no doubt about it, especially the front seven. You add a veteran in the back like (Ravens S) Eric Weddle, he is a fantastic player, too. They held Buffalo to 50 plays or so. That is a short amount. That is a lot of three-and-outs and what not. We will have our hands full. We know that, but all the faith in the world in the coaches. They are going to put a great plan together for us. We are going to come out and the thing is from Week 1 to Week 2, similar to preseason, is that everybody can kind of get their regular season jitters out of the way and we can look at the tape of our game, make our corrections and focus on what they are doing, internalize this gameplan and be ready to go play good ball Sunday."

On what areas he thinks the Browns struggled offensively in the game against the Eagles:

"I think everybody kind of took a turn with some – you hope and think it is just kind of opening day jitters. We had some young guys out there certainly playing for the first time and then just in a new offense in general. You do get work in preseason, there is no doubt about it, but there is no substitute for regular season work. I think we can turn on the tape and learn a lot from what we saw. Just little things technique wise that you hear each coach talking about with his group and the things that we can do better if it is making a block, making a catch, making a throw. Whatever it is, it is just one thing that each guy can do better and take the two or three plays that we made and turn those into seven or eight bigger plays that we make that can affect the ball game."

On how excited he is to lead the Browns offense:

"Very excited. Even before he was hired, I remember telling (Head Coach) Hue (Jackson) last year when we played Cincinnati on Thursday night how much I respected what they were doing. I just liked the tape, liked what they were doing on tape. Now to be at this point is really cool to have an opportunity to play in this offense and see how Coach Jackson and (associate head coach-offense) Pep (Hamilton) how they worked through the offseason putting it together and building it. I'm looking forward to the gameplan we put together and studying it. I'm impressed even last week at how Coach Jackson put together a plan that he felt like he could attack the defense. From an execution standpoint, we have to execute at a higher level because the plays were there to be made. We just have to go do it. Hopefully, that will be the case this weekend and we will get that done."

On being excited to return to play after having a good passer rating in 2015:

"Absolutely, as long as that is going to help us and move us toward victories and wins because that is what was missing last year. We were good in some statistical columns, but the one that matters we didn't get it done and we had to find a way to do that. For me, it is just functioning within the system, not doing any more than that but just functioning in the system and knowing that when we go out there and we do win games, it is going to be as a team. I'm excited about playing, absolutely. Especially, as we've talked about before, at my tender age (laughter), these opportunities you do not take lightly. I'm looking forward to competing with these guys. I loved watching them play yesterday and watching them fight so I want to do whatever I can to help us."

On similarities between the Browns offense and his past offenses:

"There are always different things. It is just how different coaches apply things. Everybody runs the same plays. There is some similarity and some carry over from some of the stuff we did with Flip (Eagles quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo) last year, there is some stuff similar to what I did with (Ravens offensive coordinator and former Bears head coach) Marc (Trestman) in Chicago in 2013, and then there is stuff that I did 12 years ago. Different plays because everybody has been around, but it is how it is coached, it is how it is taught, it is when it is called. All those things, that is what makes it different, and that is what makes Hue unique I think because of his ability to, not only he and Pep's ability to teach it, but then his ability as a play caller to call them at the right time. There is not a whole lot that people do different, it is just the way they coach and teach it and the details that they describe to their players and the standard that they hold them to. We are held to a high standard here so we expect that Sunday we will go out and execute at a high level."

On if he can imagine the possibilities of how good the offense can be, given the number of talented skill players:

"Absolutely, and I think that is why the standards that we are going to hold ourselves to we are not going to back off of because we know the talent that is here. Unfortunately, we won't have (WR) Josh (Gordon) for a few more weeks so our focus is the group of guys that we are going to carry to the game Sunday and that are going to help us play against the Ravens. There is certainly a good nucleus of young talent, but it is the ability to execute. When talent is realized is when you are executing and you see it. We have to do that and we have to do everything that we can to continue to bring (WR) Corey (Coleman) along and help him learn. I think it was a great experience for him to play the other day and to have some success in catching that long one. Hopefully, we can get the ball in his hands even more and let him get comfortable and just realize that he can make plays in this league. He has a special skillset. We have seen it throughout the spring and nothing has changed. We expect good things from him. It was fun watching (WR) Terrelle (Pryor Sr.) play. He did a fantastic job of making some great catches. He's been obviously developing into a real asset for us. Those things are exciting and because of that, we are going to hold ourselves to a high standard and demand that out of each other that we play at a high level because I think we all see what might be if we can stay at that standard and get there."

On if the Browns' instability at QB is simply bad luck as much as anything else:

"I wasn't here in previous years so I can't say. Just from the casual observer, it is pretty bad luck (laughter). This hasn't gone well. For whatever reason, it just has not gotten right. I think every guy that sits in that room – I don't want to speak for everybody else but I just know when I sat in that room – for me, I come to work every day going, 'Man, I want to be the guy that helps stabilize that a little bit and helps bring some good play to that position.' You are right. It has been so tenuous at that position for so long here in this city. I couple that with the way that people love this team and you just go, 'Man, you want to bring stable play to this group of fans because of the support they continue to show.' We understand what that position means to a football team and how important it is in the league. When you take that importance and you take the fans love for this team, it is an honor to go out there and have an opportunity to do that. I look forward to it."

On how much time he has worked with the first team offense and if he wants back some of the reps he told Jackson to give Griffin in the preseason:

"No, it is we are here right now, and I spent enough time with them and played with those guys last year. Enough in the OTAs with the timing of Corey and Terrelle that I feel good and we will get a lot of good work in this week. We will be just fine. No regrets and can't go back anyway. We are looking forward to it moving forward and getting ready to play Baltimore."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content