Quote of the Day is a recurring series that will single out something said by a Browns player, coach or executive in a given day and provide context behind its importance.
The quote: "Having less football makes it tough, but at the end of the day, this is something that not just us, but everyone across the League, has to do. So in a crazy messed up way, we are all on the same scale. Ideally, would you like to play football? The only way to get better at football is by playing more football, and without as much or there is going to be, especially with a new system, could there possibly be some growing pains? Who knows. But the way that coach (Kevin) Stefanski and the offensive staff … have done such a great job articulating the new offense and teaching it to us. Being this new guy in this offense, I feel pretty comfortable already. I am just really excited to get on the grass and get after it when you know we are able to do so safely." — TE Austin Hooper
From Day 1 of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Browns have not been in the business of excuse-making. From the top down, it was made clear their circumstances matched the ones each team around the league faced, and the ones who adapted the best would be rewarded when the season arrived.
Check out photos of the team working out Tuesday
Still, there's the reality Hooper acknowledged during a Wednesday video call with reporters. It's hard to see how much better the team has really become without actually playing football.
That's why Hooper was reluctant to make any sort of prediction as he prepared for his third day of conditioning inside the team facility. Nine days remain before the Browns will go through what most would consider to be a traditional practice. When they do, they'll be implementing new systems on both sides of the ball with a roster that is chock full of new faces at most position groups.
Again, it's not a unique challenge, but it's one the Browns will have to overcome that many others won't. That's why it was imperative the players and coaches not take the virtual offseason lightly and why the Browns, led by Stefanski, felt so good about the work they accomplished when it came to an end.
Even though he's a new player in a new system, Hooper said he already feels comfortable despite not having gone through a full practice with his new teammates. That's significant for a team that will need to hit the ground running and make the most of all the time it's allotted.
Maintaining continuity, Hooper said, would be the most important thing as Cleveland hits the field over the next few weeks.
"New system, new players and a lot of new faces around, you have to get used to playing next to people," Hooper said. "You have to get used to seeing how they move, what they like to do, what their best skill set is and how they can be used to the best of their ability and their fullest potential. I think that will be the biggest thing is just that continuity. That can only be done through reps.
"Meetings are great and walkthroughs are great, but you have to play football to really get that feel by playing next to each other."