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Training Camp

Player Quotes - August 4

DB Donte Whitner:

On if he looking forward to going to Columbus:

"Yeah, I am looking forward to it. I haven't actually been back to the Shoe in about seven years so I am looking forward to it."

On the possibility of training camp being moved to Columbus:

"I pretty much like the idea of having it here and not having to move too far from your home base. I like that idea, but we'll play football anywhere, especially a place like Columbus that they built it up to where it is at now. Columbus or here, it is the same thing."

On how frustrating it was for the defense last year to create turnovers that didn't turn into points:

"It is very frustrating. Whenever you preach turnovers, you preach putting the offense in position to score or scoring ourselves. Last year we pride ourselves on that, there is a direct correlation between turnovers and wins in the National Football League. Usually, when you are up there amongst the top, you pretty much make the playoffs. A few more points and maybe we are there. It was very frustrating, but still we are a team. Maybe we have to get some of those balls into the end zone as a defense. It is a team game and we understand that, but we are going to continue to get those turnovers."

On if that is deflating for a defense when the offense does not score off a turnover:

"It deflates us, but we always preach mental toughness. You have to understand that this is a tough game. It deflates you, but then again, you have to go out there as a defense with a clear mind and say we have to get the ball back again or we have to stop the offense again. That is always our mindset. It can take something out of you, but it can't last for a while."

On seeing signs that the run defense will be better:

"Yeah, just based on the competition we have up front now. We don't have a bunch of guys injured. We have guys that have to truly fight for their job this year. Nothing is going to be handed to them. We drafted guys in the first round. We drafted guys all across the board. We brought guys in like (DL) Randy (Starks). It is a lot of competition. There are some guys who won't be here. That is the true reality of playing in the National Football League, especially when you have a glowing weakness on your defense like stopping the run. They have to do something to bond and they have to create competition. That is why I think we are going to be better. Guys know that if you don't get it done right now, you won't be here so that is the difference."

On if QB Josh McCown has surprised him:

"Yeah, Josh McCown has surprised us. Even when we are in perfect coverage, he is putting the ball in tough spots. He is challenging down field. Sometimes he is checking and catching us off guard. He knows what we are playing before we even get out there. That is just playing so many years in the National Football League and that is having the weapons around him now that he can get the football to. I am looking forward and I am very excited to see what he can do because first hand I have seen him day in and day out, OTAs and minicamp. He is the same guy each and every day. If that continues, I believe he will have a pretty good season."

WR Travis Benjamin:

On steps he needs to take to stand out in a competitive WR room:

"Just continue to compete, continue to separate myself from the others and showcase my skill, showcase my speed and be willing to be that guy for when it's time, the calls, just be able to make that play."

On the difference between QB Josh McCown and QB Johnny Manziel throwing:

"They both can put the zip on the ball. McCown just gives you the best ability where only the receiver can catch the ball. He puts the ball in a spot where if it's not caught, it's incomplete. McCown, he's the best at it."

On if he's ready to turn it up as a punt returner, as well:

"I'm ready to turn it in all phases. Whenever they give me the chance to go in the game and make a play, I'm going to make sure I put my best foot forward to give the Cleveland Browns the best chance they have to win the game."

On making a catch down the sideline toward the end of training camp from McCown:

"Actually, it was (WR) Terrelle (Pryor). Terrelle threw the ball. He had a double pass, and I just told him to put it up and I'll give it my best to catch the ball. [The defender] misjudged the ball, and I caught it and walked into the end zone."

On what Pryor's performance during drills means for his transition to wide receiver:

"He can do it all. As a receiver, he can wind out wide and get those uncatchable balls and he can pass. Sometimes he can go in the slot and be that big body inside."

On Pryor's hamstring injury today:

"Just got to stay on top of it. I told him he has to just get in the training room and make sure he'll be healthy for the next practice to come out here and play."

On how badly he wants to be a returner on special teams:

"Very bad. On a one to 10, I'd say 11 (laughter). I want to be back and help the Browns and get back to the point where I was where I'm the best in the game."

On if he thinks he will be back to returner:

"Yes, I'm very confident I will be. We talked with Tabes (special teams coordinator Chris Tabor) and (Head) Coach Pett (Mike Pettine), and we're all on the same page of me being returner."

On if he will return kicks and punts:

"I'm just focused mainly on punts. We have (RB) Duke Johnson in at kick return sometimes so he'll kind of fill that void and I'll be punt returner."

On if he feels good being back to returning punts:

"Yes, working on it all season like I used to and putting the past is in the past, you don't dwell on the past. Just looking forward to the future and having a great season as a returner."

DB Pierre Desir:

On his goal coming into training camp last year:

"When I came into camp, my goal was just whenever the coaches called on me to be ready. I worked on it every day. When I got that chance against the (Carolina) Panthers, I was just going to make sure I made the best out of that opportunity."

On fundamentals he's improved the past year:

"My school, Lindenwood University, we didn't play a lot of man. Just getting adjusted to playing man coverage and just learning the techniques of man coverage – pressing and learning that I need to have my pad level down and then on receiver's release, where I need to be – so there were a lot of little things that I had to learn. The coaches were just great in helping me along the way, just trying to push me to become better."

On playing well late last season as a rookie:

"They prepared me that week for the game, but it was just a lot of going out there, just having fun but still going out there to execute because you did have a job to do. I was just going out there, listening to what the coaches told me and going out there and trying to make some plays."

On if he is more confident this season:

"Yeah, absolutely. Definitely more confident. The game has slowed down for me so I'm able to pick up on things I wasn't able to pick on last year. Just continue to work on my technique to get better."

On if he is more relaxed this year than a year ago:

"I'm a little bit less nervous (laughter) than when I first got in last year. Like I said, the game has slowed down for me, and I have some film from last year to look on. I was able to look on there, too, just to work on my game and be more successful."

On practicing with the ones the past few days:

"The coaches, they put their faith in me to go out there when the guys needed a rest. I'm just blessed that they were able to believe in me and had enough confidence to throw me in there with the ones and go out there and play."

On if he is receiving good feedback from the coaches when working with the ones:

"Absolutely. A lot of good coaching points. Still some things I need to work on, but that's training camp. That's why we have it. That's what we need to look at. That's what I'm trying to continue work on to become a better DB."

On missing the high pass at the end of practice from WR Terrelle Pryor:

"Oh, the duck pass (laughter)? Yeah, I slipped a little bit, but I should have made that play. That's a part of the game. You win some, you lose some. I went for the ball and he (WR Travis Benjamin) just made a better catch than I did."

On what he did during this past offseason to prepare for training camp:

"This offseason, I think I knew exactly what I needed to work on, rather than the first training camp where I had to come in from the combine and all that stuff; I didn't really know what to expect. I knew what to expect and I knew what to work on, and that's what I focused on the most this offseason coming into training camp."

DB Justin Gilbert:

On training camp:

"It's going good. Good chemistry with the guys and the coaching staff. We've got a lot of hungry guys out here, good competition so far."

On other DBs playing ahead of him when DBs Joe Haden or Tramon Williams are not practicing with the ones:

"I just have to keep going in, working hard daily and proving that I really want to be a part of this team and be out there and be able to make plays for this team. Just come to work every day with that attitude."

On what coaches have told him about his performance:

"Pretty much the same thing – consistency, which is a big thing for me. Just coming and making plays on a consistent basis and just being alert in the meeting room, being involved and really wanting to be here."

On if his body has changed since last season:

"Yeah, I feel like I'm moving a little bit better. Still weighing the same [195], which is what I usually play at, pretty good."

On what happened to the 10 pounds he gained at mini-camp:

"(laughter) Ran it off out here."

On if special team coordinator Chris Tabor's now has confidence in him as a kick returner:

"I would like to think so. Been talking to him and he's been saying that he'd like me back there. Just continue to work at it. Work on catching the balls and protecting the ball when I get ready to run with it."

On if he is getting regular reps as a kick returner:


On why kick return is appealing:

"It's exciting. As a return man, I think it's always exciting to know that you have a possibility of taking a big play back to the house, score a touchdown."

On why he may struggle with consistency on and off the field:

"I haven't struggled with it lately."

On if he is displaying consistency to coaches:

"Yes. Most Definitely."

On getting coaches see him as a consistent player as a matter of proving it over time:

"I would like to think so. It's just a matter of time before it's my time to get out there and really show what I'm worth."

On DB Pierre Desir playing with the ones and if coaches are potentially making him earn that spot based on happenings last season:

"No, not at all. He's definitely earned to be out there getting those reps. He's a guy that comes in every day and works hard, asking questions. He just works his tail off so he's earned it."

WR Terrelle Pryor:

On the ice wrap around his hamstring:

"It is really light actually. I didn't pull anything or anything like that. It was really just a precaution. I felt a little tightness as I was running. Usually, I sprint to the end zone after I catch the ball. It was just taking precaution on it and preventing anything from going on really worse."

On if he will miss practice time:

"I hope not, but if it is going to help me make the team and help the team be better, than I think missing one day rather than a while is probably smarter. We are going to go off of what (Head Athletic Trainer) Joe (Sheehan) says and what (Head) Coach (Mike) Pettine wants and see where we are at. I feel pretty good right now. It is not bad at all. That is what that is."

On if he expects to be in Columbus for the Orange & Brown Scrimmage:

"Yes sir."

On how important it is to him to play in Friday's scrimmage in Columbus:

"I don't look towards Friday. I do want to go to the Shoe obviously and play, but it is practice. I want to be out there for the first preseason game, the second, third, fourth and the first game of the season. That is what I am really preparing myself for and being out there with my teammates and help those guys get Ws. Practice, I do want to go out and practice because I want to keep working on my craft because I am making progress every day, but I do want to be out there Friday, but it is not as big as being in the game."

On how things have been going so far for him:

"I think it has been going well. I have been getting better at different things: blocking, techniques on that and just being in the huddle and listening to spots I need to be in. Different things. It's going well. Continue to make progress on that."

On how realistic it is to go from an NFL QB to WR:

"I think it is very realistic."

On why it is realistic:

"I just believe so, my athleticism. I have made a lot of progress. I am pushing it and we will see, but I believe it is very realistic. I believe I can make it happen with the way I work. My work ethic will tell it all. (Wide receivers) Coach (Joker Phillips) is out there at the end of practice, we go before practice and at the end of practice and get work done, me and Coach Phillips. All we do is work. I love being here and I am going to continue to do that."

On if he is studying film on other WRs:

"Right now, I am just trying to find my game. I do watch clips. Today this morning, I watched clips on (Steelers WR) Antonio Brown, (Ravens WR) Steve Smith – I watched a big guy today, (Cowboys WR) Dez Bryant. I watch Dez, too. Just on my iPhone, watching how they make different moves and stuff. It is constantly working on my craft and trying to find diffident moves and ways to beat the press and stuff like that. I am always doing that and I am always interested in looking at different things."

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