QBs Josh McCown, Cody Kessler press conference - 11/2


QB Cody Kessler:**

On how he feels:

"Good. A lot better. Going through [concussion] protocol last week, went through the rules and everything that is the process of that and sticking to the gameplan and stayed in it."

On if he previously had a concussion in his career:

"I did in high school, like my freshman year of high school. I remember I had one. I don't really remember all of the symptoms and everything. It was so long ago. I knew something wasn't right, obviously, and they could tell and our trainers could tell. Just being smart about it, precautionary. Me the whole week, obviously I wanted to be out there and it was a little frustrating, but just following the protocol and taking care of us and being smart about it."

On how tough it was to leave the game after having some success and missing a game:

"It was tough. I was obviously very upset. It is tough when you gameplan all week, get ready and prepare and things are rolling and things are going your way a little bit and then something like that happens that you can't prevent and it is a little unfortunate. It is a learning process. It is football. It is a violent game, and there are going to be injuries and different things are going to happen that you can't control that you just have to learn from and build from."

On if he has been told if he will start on Sunday:

"I am just preparing. I just continue to prepare this week and get back into it. (Head) Coach (Hue) Jackson is looking at me saying, 'Hey, just get back into it and get comfortable.' My process right now is just the same thing I have been doing all week. If that is what it is, then I will be ready to go. If not, I will continue to support (QB) Josh (McCown) and staying in tune, even back when it was the first couple weeks of the season, just continuing to prepare for whatever happens Sunday."

On the play when he sustained a concussion, Jackson's comments about throwing the ball away and balancing making a play and protecting himself:

"In the middle of the play, obviously, you are just trying to make something happen. Being very competitive, obviously, I am trying to make something happen on the scramble. Obviously, checking it down to the other side to Crow (RB Isaiah Crowell) instead of trying to get more yards or just throwing it away and moving on, but it was kind of a bang-bang play and it happened really fast. It was just unfortunate. At the same time, Coach Jackson is right. I have to be smart with the football and check it down if it is not there and eliminate some of those hits by getting rid of the football a little bit quicker and throwing it away."

On having the momentum of his development affected by an injury, particularly if McCown is named the starter:

"It is the same for me, the process and everything. Fortunately last week – obviously, I couldn't really do anything physical and different things like that – I took my iPad home, I was watching film and doing everything I could with that and staying in tune with the gameplan. I couldn't go out to practice and get any of the physical reps, but mentally, I tried to do as much as possible within the protocol that I could. I am trying to just pick right back up where I left off, continue to grow, keep my same process and preparation this week and continue to fix things or improve things that maybe didn't go as well the last couple of weeks."

On WR Corey Coleman potentially returning to play:

"Corey is awesome. He is a great player. I know he has been wanting really badly to get back out there. He has gone through his whole injury process. He is excited and he is ready to go. The coolest part about it was at practice, he was staying in tune, and it really helped him to get a big mental jump and everything and take this time to use it wisely to stay in the playbook. He has done that great. He is excited to be back out there and full go. It will be exciting."

On potential for the Browns offense with Coleman and WR Terrelle Pryor:

"He is another deep threat. He is another guy who can stretch the ball vertically but also just very explosive. It is hard to cover both guys, two guys that are that explosive. Corey is the type of guy who can get the ball anywhere on the field and take it the distance. Terrelle is also the same way. When you have two of them as a quarterback, you are very fortunate and very lucky, and even the younger guys and Hawk (WR Andrew Hawkins) is the same way, too. We have some great threats at receiver, and having Corey back is adding another one to it."

On Cowboys QB Dak Prescott:

"Dak is one of my really good friends. I have known Dak for about three or four years now. He has been doing great, obviously. He is having a lot of success, and I am proud of him. He is doing a great job. It is going to be exciting to see him out there Sunday. This whole week, obviously, we won't talk that much. Any rookies, guys that you know and you have trained together and you see them have success, it is obviously something that is exciting for your rookie class."

On how he became close with Prescott:

"The first time was at the Manning Camp in Louisiana. We went out there and got to know each other really well. We went back again the second year and just obviously throughout the whole Combine process and everything. We have talked on the phone throughout our careers. We have just been good friends and always been fans of each other and helping each other out."

On Prescott setting the bar high with his performance this year:

"Absolutely. Dak is playing great. He is playing great football. That is just who he is. He is a great competitor. He is a guy who loves the game, and he is doing a good job for that time. It is cool to see those rookies have success."

On he and Prescott had friendly discussions about who would be drafted first:

"No, I think we were all pretty kind of nervous through that whole process so we just kind of focused on us preparing well and playing well and the Combine and Pro Day, whatever it might be. No, we never really talked about any of that."

On if he will go to the Indians game tonight:

"No, unfortunately not. I will probably be here. I will maybe turn it on here in one of the meeting rooms."

On if he was allowed to be on the field last Sunday:

"No, I was not. I had to watch from the injury suite up top, which is another thing that was tough but it is part of the protocol and everything. It gave me a different view of the game, watching different things that I was trying to pick out. No, unfortunately, I couldn't be on the sideline."

On the Cowboys defense:

"They are a very smart, fast football team. Their motto is kind of line up and get after the ball. They do a great job of that, and they are a very sound football team. They are always in the right spot. They mix coverages well and do different things. It is on us. We have to continue to execute, prepare the right way, do the right things and put a lot of emphasis on technique and everything in practice to prepare for that."


QB Josh McCown**

On if he knows who the Browns will start at QB this weekend:

"Obviously, we have (QB) Cody (Kessler) back healthy and we will go through the week and let (Head) Coach (Hue Jackson) make those decisions. We will both prepare and get ourselves ready to go, and then whatever he deems the best for our team, we will get behind that and go."

On if it is a difficult dynamic since both QBs want to play:

"It is not difficult at all because we both want to play and we both want to do what is best for the team and we both want to help each other play the type of football that is necessary for this team to win games. I have said it before, but especially when you are 0-8, you are all for whatever it takes to get us a win. The difficulty is, I guess it is not difficult, but the challenge for us is everyday getting up when things have not gone our way for eight weeks in a row, to get back up and to reload and to come back to work the same way. Today, it started off great, and I don't think it will be any different. It is a credit to the leadership that we have in the locker room and up top, just Coach Jackson providing an environment where we come and compete and work to get better. Cody and I will just follow that lead and keep going."

On if it would be easier for Jackson to name a starting QB if the Browns had won at the Jets last weekend:

"I don't know. I can't speak for Coach Jackson. The reality is that happened and so whatever he decides is best for our team, we will line up and do that. It is hard for me to say. Obviously, like I said Sunday after the game, I just wish it would not have happened and where we have to win because that is all I care about is for us to get a win. We need to get our first one, and we did not do that Sunday. It is hard for me to speculate on whether that would have happened because it didn't."

On WR Terrelle Pryor Sr. saying that McCown was way too hard on himself after the Jets game and if his thoughts have changed after watching the film:

"I think the old adage is, 'It is never as bad as you think' when you look at it and you see the tape. It certainly helped for me to do that. In that moment after that game, it was tough considering all the circumstances and where we are at. It was heavy, but at the same time, as a quarterback you go, 'Man, what could I have done to make it better?' every time. Sometimes it may be clearly your fault, and then sometimes it may not be, but at the end of the day, you go. 'Man how can I fix it and how can I make it right no matter what?' That is just how I am wired is just, 'What can I do to fix it?' You look at the tape and realize there were a lot of good things that we did. Certainly, starting out fast again, it was a good thing, and those are things to build on because if you can play that kind of football where you can start fast in the first half and get on people and then limit the mistakes in the second half and become a better second half team, then you have a chance to win a lot of ball games because of that because getting an early lead is huge. Looking at the tape, I was probably harder on myself Sunday than maybe I should have been, but at the end of the day, it comes from a place of wanting to win and wanting to try to fix every problem. Sometimes you have to be careful with that kind of weight that you put on yourself because you can only do so much so learn from it and move on."

On the Cowboys defense:

"They play hard. That is the first thing I said about that group is they play with a lot of energy and they play hard. I know (Cowboys defensive coordinator) Coach (Rod) Marinelli, and I know that is what he is about. You look at a group that – I played them a few years ago when they were kind of re-tooling that when he first got there – and to see how that group has taken on his mindset and how they are playing the way that system is supposed to be played, it is impressive. They are certainly playing at a high level from the sense that they are executing within the way he wants them to play their defense. We know we will have our hands full because they fly around. (Cowboys LB) Sean Lee is an excellent player. He kind of drives that thing and gets them going, and the front plays really hard. They are playing complementary football to what their offense is providing for them too so we know we will have our hands full. We like our matchups, too. We will look at where we can find those matchups and try to exploit them like we do every week and trust that Coach Jackson and our guys will put together a good plan for us to go and do that."

On if it a challenge to keep a winless season out of people's minds with an 0-8 start:

"I think it is naïve to say anything else because certainly, every week for us now that is a challenge. I think it is one that you hate to be in that situation, but it is kind of if you look at the challenges that you can face in this league, it is probably the hardest one and the toughest one. To me, when you are building something you want to lay a great foundation so not ideal, but the way that you can lay that foundation to build tough-minded people is to be able to have a group of guys that comes to work every week and works hard and does what they are supposed to do no matter what. If you can build that kind of inner toughness that it does not matter what the record is and you want to keep coming to work, you want to try to work to get better, I believe wholeheartedly that that can sustain success long term, but you have to have a lot of tough guys to learn that and to carry that. It is not the best situation right now. None of us would have asked to be in it, but this is what we are and we are going to keep fighting. Everybody in this locker room is going to keep fighting, and that is the head coach's mentality and we will follow his lead. When you have an unfortunate year like this where things have not gone your way, you have to find value in it. I think the value for us is the ability to keep coming to work, keep detailing out our work regardless of what our record says because that in and of itself is going to build toughness that I think we will benefit from it in the future."

On WR Corey Coleman and what his return can do for the offense:

"Anytime you have a playmaker like Corey, it is obviously a great add to your offense because you know that  we have seen (WR) Terrelle (Pryor Sr.) kind of come along and emerge and then Hawk (WR Andrew Hawkins) was making plays the other day and (TE) Gary (Barnidge) and (RB) Duke (Johnson Jr.). When you add another playmaker, it kind of takes the pressure and some of the strain off the other guys, too, and so that is a helpful balance. We are excited to have Corey back and excited to see him get his hands on the football and do what he does. There is a reason why we picked him in the first round, and it was because of his playmaking ability. You add that guy back to the offense and take some of the things that we have been doing, the positive things that have been happening, and you feel like there is a ton of room for more growth. That is exciting."

On the Browns losing games after holding leads at halftime or in the second half and if that is a group effort or if there is one thing to pinpoint:

"I think it is just all of us, and especially the vets have to really step up in the second half and in those moments and pull it along because when you are a young football team, those are some of the things that happen to young football teams is you can get a lead but you don't necessarily are able to hold onto it. It is on us as veterans to continue to pull those guys along. It really is five or six plays every game, and it is, 'What are we doing to make those plays and to change the outcome of the game?' Some of the things that build into that, like I said earlier, when you come to work and you battle through some of the stuff and it is adversity, that is the kind of toughness that builds in you that eventually is the reason why you win some of those games because you have that toughness that carries you through the whole four quarters."

On if the Browns losses are on the offense as much as the defense:

"Absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. I think everybody has to take that approach. That is what I mean, collectively, every person in every team's group – whether it is offense, defense, or special teams – has to take the approach that 'I have to do my job to affect the outcome of this game and help us win this football game' and take that personal because you just don't know when that play is going to be 'that play' until after the game is over. It is internalizing that for every man to be able to say, 'You know what? This might be the play so I have to step up and do my job right here because this might be the one we point back to and say man that was the turning point or that was the turning point.' All of us, we look back and we have four or five plays that we go, 'Man, if that was different.' I had a couple throws that last week, I go 'Man, if that was different we may win the game.' It is just a group learning to come together and do that. I think we will because I think we are building toward that as we grow with this young group."

On if he has been paying any attention to the World Series:

"Heck yeah (laughter). What are you talking about? I mean it is Game 7. Are you kidding me? Anytime in sports when you get to a Game 7, it is exciting. I pay attention to it. I wish they would move the start time up because I get kind of tired. It is exciting. It is exciting for our city. Starting back in June with the Cavs and now with these guys, for us, it gives a great energy and hope and inspiration that when you build it the right way and you keep working at it, it can turn because we understand looking back at the history of those franchises that they have had ups and downs and things like that. We are trying to get to that place where they are. What better motivation and inspiration that you can have than those two things happening in your city because you get to see it firsthand?"

On if he played a lot of baseball growing up and if he can relate with the Cubs and Indians players:

"Yeah, if by relate you mean when a guy strikes out, I can certainly relate (laughter). I played enough. I pitched a little bit. I like faster-paced kind of things so I kind of gravitate toward basketball a little bit more, but I still enjoy and have so much respect for it. When you watch a guy like (Cubs closer) Aroldis Chapman stand up there and pitch and throw the ball as hard as he does, it is just fascinating to me that somebody can hit it and that anybody can hit those pitches. It is just impressive to me, and the skill that they have to play that sport is special. I have a ton of respect for it because of that. It is exciting, I am ready for tonight. It will be fun." 

On what happened during the Indians error on the fly ball in the first inning:

"I don't know. I don't know. That brings up like Little League nightmares (laughter). It will be fun. It will be fun to watch. For them to be at this point is so cool. Just to see the strategy with the way that the guys are managing the games on both sides, it has been entertaining from the sense that if you love sports just what they are doing, what both clubs are doing. It will be really entertaining for the city of Cleveland when we win tonight."

On LB Jamie Collins and what the Browns receive in adding him to their defense:

"When we turned on that tape and we were watching it, my first thought was 'That dude is a heck of a player.' He is one of the better players in the NFL, in my opinion, on defense because he is just so versatile. It was a heck of a move for us to be able to acquire him. We are looking forward to getting him here and to help our team and what he can bring from being at a place like New England, who obviously is such a gold-standard for our league. To add somebody like that who has that kind of experience is great for us. It is great for our locker room, and getting his ability to play the game at such a high level will hopefully pay dividends down the road. We turned on that tape and I was very impressed with a few weeks ago or whenever it was that we played them. I am glad he is on our side now."

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