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Player Quotes -- August 23

Included below are select quotes from interviews with the following Browns players during today's media availability:

  • DB Ibraheim Campbell
  • DL Xavier Cooper
  • RB Shaun Draughn
  • WR Darius Jennings
  • OL Alex Mack

DB Ibraheim Campbell:

On wearing the same number as former NFL and Browns DB Jim Leonard:

"I heard nothing but good things about him. I unfortunately never got the chance to meet him but heard great things about him and watch him a lot on film."

On if he is more comfortable as camp goes on:

"Slightly more comfortable but really just trying to get better every opportunity I get. If I'm getting too comfortable, that means there's… There's always something to learn. This is my first year here, and if I'm comfortable, honestly, I don't think I should be comfortable at this point so I'm always trying to pick up knowledge somewhere, whatever it may be. That's how I'm approaching it right now."

On if he is more confident in pads:

"Yeah, I think so. I think I'm someone who can make plays and I think that's who I am. I look forward to doing that every opportunity I get, whether it be practice, games or anything."

On how he's done in coverage with the speed of the game and other WRs:

"I think I'm OK. I haven't really gotten challenged on any passing routes yet. I think I've done good so far and looking forward to the opportunity to make plays in the passing game."

On how valuable it is to work with the ones and DB Donte Whitner:

"Extremely valuable. Not only running with Whitner but guys like (LB) Karlos Dansby. Just the amount of knowledge and to see how that run feels, to hear the communication before the plays and things that. That's what you want: to really experience the highest level of competition that the Browns have.

On similarities between his and Whitner's game:

"I think there are some similarities, some differences. I think he's an extremely smart player. I plan on getting there, but obviously, there's a lot of experience behind it so I'm a way away. He's a very physical player and I see myself as a physical player, as well. He's someone who can play all positions, whether it be free or strong safety just because of his knowledge of the game and how well he knows you can't anticipate offenses. A lot different in that respect just because he has so much experience, but the physicality I see as being similar."

On if he has better understanding of the free or strong safety positons:

"They're very interchangeable to me right now. Just the way we're taught, you kind of pick them both up pretty well."

On if he learns a lot from Donte Whitner:

"Absolutely, I always try to key in on what he's doing. It's a great opportunity to really learn from him, but at the same time I want to pick his brain a little bit more just because in camp you don't have as much time as you would like. Definitely just trying to pick up anything I can, from him or anybody, guys like (DB) Tramon (Williams), guys like Gip (DB Tashaun Gipson), anybody like that."

On if Whitner is approachable:

"Absolutely, anytime I've had any questions, he's been more than willing to help."

On if 'tough love' is a good way to describe Whitner's style:

"He's going to keep it real, which is something that honestly I appreciate. He's going to be straightforward with you about everything, whether it's good or bad. That's something that he's been since the time I've known him, the short time I've known him. That's something I can really appreciate about that guy."

DL Xavier Cooper:

On how it feels to be tied for the league lead in sacks during the preseason:

"Yeah it feels good. I am just trying to build my resume day-by-day. It doesn't mean much when the regular season starts because it will go back to zero. For right now I am a rookie and I am just getting into the league. I am trying to put some good things on film. I think that is what I am doing."

On if the coaching staff is putting him on more pass rushing situations on purpose:

"Not necessarily. I think they are giving me quality reps and seeing what I will do with it. I think this scheme fits me well. When I am out there I am just trying to make the most of my plays whether it is a lot of reps or a little."

On Head Coach Mike Pettine saying he had the most explosive first step of all the 2015 draft prospects and where that explosive first step comes from:

"I think I agree with that. That is a (heck) of a compliment. I appreciate Coach for saying that. That means a lot. I worked hard all my career at Washington State. That is a big thing when you are getting to the quarterback or stopping the run. All good defensive linemen have a first step. I know if I was a coach at the NFL level and I am scouting the defensive line from college or college to high school, I would want to see his first step because that determines how quick he is. That is a big thing for me. It wasn't anything I was born with. It was just repetition, repetition every day in college. I am repping it out here too."

On if he was born with a quick first step:

"No, I was born with quickness, and on top of that, timing the snap count is something I am good at. I have been really good at timing the snap count since high school. It is something I always watched, just trying to get that jump. Usually, offensive linemen are bigger than defensive linemen. I want to beat them to the spot."

On if he has been called for his fair share of offside penalties because of trying to jump the snap count:

"Yeah, I have taken my fair share of offsides. My freshman year in college, I had about six offside penalties. I know (Washington State Head Football Coach) Mike Leach got on me a little bit for that. Then I started having more discipline."

On how he trains his mind to anticipate the snap count:

"Part of it comes with film. If you really watch film – you guys can probably see it on Sundays just watching TV – you can feel how a guy is snapping the ball or the centers movement if he is leaning back or if his hand is getting red. Something is triggering him to snap the ball. Any type of movement I feel on the line, I am going off that. I think a lot of defensive linemen work on that."

RB Shaun Draughn:

On an update on his thumb

"Just getting better."

On if he will have to keep the cast on for a while:

"Yeah, I'm sure it'll be a little progress to get back. I'm not sure what the plans are to get it off."

On if it is frustrating being injured:

"Yeah, definitely. Anytime you're sitting out from practice and doing what you love, it's frustrating. Just ready to get back."

On if he will play in the third preseason game:

"Not sure yet. Its day-by-day so we'll see. Something Coach Pett (Head coach Mike Pettine) can answer."

On how much can do in practice:

"As much as they allow me. I haven't really tried a lot. Just getting back into it, not trying to jump headfirst back into it."

On what makes the Browns such a good fit for him:

"Being that the offense, I have actually been in this type of offense before. I'm familiar with the routes, familiar with the types of protection. Just the coaches, they just make it easier so that a player can play. It's a pretty good fit for me."

On if he still has the chance to make the team:

"I'm not sure of what's going through their minds upstairs. All I know is what's going through mine and that's to get back, get healthy and do what I can to help this team in any way."

On if he feels like the veteran with a group of young RBs:

"Yeah, those guys, I think they definitely look up to me. I try to set the bar high, how we practice, how we should practice. (Running backs) Coach (Wilbert) Montgomery, he has given me free reign to really coach the guys up from my perspective. He played the game, too, but somebody that they can relate to that's actually still playing so he gives me free reign to take these guys under my wing and tell them a little bit of what I know."

On if he provides that veteran presence with so many young players:

"It is, but there's a lot of mature guys in the room also. Don't let the age or their years playing fool you because there's a lot of mature guys in the room that can step up at any time."

On RB Duke Johnson Jr.:

"I actually love Duke's style. I told him he reminds me of me a little bit. Another guy that looks up to me, and I respect that. He's coming into his own, he set his self apart and what he did, he set records. We're similar but we're different."

On how it felt to see Johnson back in practice:

"Good. Like I said, I love to see him out there making people miss. He's just so smooth with this routes and so quick. I just like to see him play."

WR Darius Jennings:

On the competition in training camp

"It's going well. At least in the receiver room, we have a great group. We're always working and just trying to encourage each other. We're just going out there trying to produce, trying to perform and just do our job, really."

On how camp is going as a WR and on special teams:

"At least for me, in my position, you know special teams is going to be a big thing as well. Whether I'm a line out wide, a receiver or I'm running down covering kicks or punts I just try to give it my all. Just try to show that I am versatile, that I can do multiple things and that I can be on the field."

On how long he has been returning kicks:

"I started returning kicks since rec ball. It was kind of something natural. I've always been a faster guy so they threw me back there early. I did have some success in high school and college with it. Hopefully, I can keep that and carry it over to this level."

On the 37-yard catch from QB Johnny Manziel:

"It was a naked play. I was on the backside, just had the deep post. It was a great throw by him. He was running towards his left and he was throwing with his right arm. Just for him to even get it out there, I just tried to make a play for him and tried to track it down and we got the conversion."

On what it will take for him to make the team:

"I really don't know. That's not really for me to say. Just wherever they do line me up, I just try to produce. Give it my all, do my 1/11th on the field and just leave the rest in their hands."

On if the play was designed that way:

"It was by design. I was just probably the last progression within it. He just saw me down field, chucked it up and I was fortunate enough to go track it down."

On never giving up as a WR, especially in situations like the 37-yard catch:

"When we get into situations like those, you just kind of have to play ball. Your instincts kick in. It's kind of like being in the backyard a little bit. You have a certain route and you see him scrambling, you just try to find a lane for him, just try to give him a target."

On if he is concerned about Manziel's elbow injury:

"No, we all (get) nicks and bruises but that just comes with the game. I'm really not too sure what his deal is but he's out here working every day. It doesn't seem to affect him."

On what it's like coming into camp as a rookie:

"I was a tryout guy. Just try to stand out, that's the biggest thing. At least when I first came here I think there were 50 try out guys and you're not going to get too many reps. Even still you're not going to get too many reps. The reps that they do you just have to produce, try to perform try to catch the coaches eye out here."

On if WR Taylor Gabriel talks to him about being a tryout player:

"He definitely does. Whenever I have questions, he always helps with the answer. Just asking him how he went through the whole process, how he ended up making the 53(-man roster) and really performing well last year. I'm just always trying to pick his brain along with the rest of the receiver, as well."

OL Alex Mack:

On how he is progressing from his injury last season:

"I am feeling good. I think I am where I need to be at this point in camp."

On if it was a fair assessment when Head Coach Mike Pettine said he believes he was playing himself into shape:

"Yeah, that is accurate. That is what you want in camp. You had some time off in OTAs. OTAs isn't real contact football so you use this opportunity in camp and all the preseason games to get back into where you want to be for the first game. I think I am right on board and right on track to where I want to be for the first game."

On if it is any different than previous seasons because of the injury or is that the case all the time:

"I think there is more of a focus on it. You are paying more attention to it. Making sure everything is where you want it to be. I am pretty happy with where I am at."

On if he thinks about last season's injury:

"At times a little bit but not really. There is so much to think about on each play that I am not all that concerned over the little injuries. That is part of football. You have a banged up finger, thumb, toe, earlobe or whatever it is going to be. You just kind play through all those earlobe injuries."

On if it is frustrating to be held out of some parts of practice or does he understand why the medical staff made those decisions:

"I understand that and I think it is good. We are pretty much on that same page. I think it is good to have it be that way and have (the medical staff) be the cautious ones and me anxious to get in there. I think it is important that you are ready for the first game."

On his impressions of DL Danny Shelton:

"Big body. He is a good player. He is doing a real good job. He has a really good attitude. If you see him he is eager to finish plays and chase after and in a jovial sense of playing football, which is a good thing to have. It is definitely a very good attitude."

On if he has a sense of how good Shelton could be:

"The sky is the limit. I think he is doing well for a rookie and as players play more and get a season under their belt and face different guys and get a better understanding of the defense. (Then) they can become more and more problematic for an offense."

On how good of a test was it to go against Buffalo's DL Marcell Dareus:

"I think the Bills' entire defense was definitely a good challenge. They have a really good, solid front. I think it was good for us to go against a large array of really good players on their (defensive) line."

On where the Bills defensive front ranks among the league:

"They are up there. I would have to actually sit down and study all the defensive fronts to figure out which one I wanted to rank them at. They are up there. They have talented people, but there are talented people on every front. Very rarely, if ever, do you have an easy day. There is always really good guys on every defense."

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