Included below are full transcripts from interviews with the following Browns players during today's media availability:
- DL Myles Garrett
- QB DeShone Kizer
- TE David Njoku
- DB Jabrill Peppers
DL Myles Garrett:
On his first practice with the Browns:
"It was practice. Just some individual and team periods. Just learn the defense and improve."
On if he talks with QB DeShone Kizer about how 'it could be the start of something big' for the Browns with them on each side of the ball:
"We have to get through this first. We haven't really talked about us being the future. There very well could be, but right now, we have to focus on the task at hand."
On defensive coordinator Gregg Williams' yelling and if he had any key points during or after practice for him:
"He doesn't just yell at you to yell at you. He has a point behind it. He is just trying to make you better. He was talking to us earlier in meetings and today at practice, just giving you little cookies that can help make you a better player."
On his plans after rookie minicamp:
"Stay here and work [until veteran minicamp]."
On if he is anxious to practice with the veterans:
"Oh yeah, I want to see where I stand and start building some chemistry. Hopefully, I can run with these guys and be a benefit."
On how much of a factor in his quickness off the line is instinct compared to athleticism:
"It is all of those things. It is not just athleticism, but it is also high school and college coaches sitting there every single day waiting for you to get-off on the ball. If you get-off early, you are getting punished so you have to make sure you time it right and go right when you see that stitch move. You are looking at the back tip and trying to get your first move on him so you can beat him for that first step and beat him to the midline."
On the difficulty of timing the snap in order to get the first step and not get a penalty:
"It is tough, but it is something you have to work on every single day."
On if he has met LB Jamie Collins Sr. or LB Christian Kirksey:
"Yes, both of them."
On if Collins and Kirksey have taken him in and made him feel like 'part of the family':
"I have to run with them first. They have been very nice. They have made it feel like a family, but I have to prove that I belong first, and then they can really take me under their wing."
On if he has more than one move as a pass rusher, given some college players enter the NFL with only one:
"I hope so (laughter). Yes, more than one move."
On the average number of snaps he played during a college game:
On if it would help to only play 40-50 snaps per game in the NFL:
"A little bit. I will have a little more energy to chase down some balls a couple yards downfield."
On feeling tired in college after playing many snaps:
"Yeah, it tears at you a little bit, but you just have to keep on pushing. Your goal is to win no matter how long it takes or how many snaps you have to play."
On his involvement with former Bills DE Bruce Smith and when he may come to assist the Browns:
"He is going to be there for all the D linemen. I am not sure when he will be here, but I know he will be a presence who will mentor me and all of us to be better players on and off the field. He is going to make us better pass rushers."
On Smith's advice during his film session with him:
"Unlike what [a reporter] said, he said I was slow off the ball, but that is coming from the very best. He is just trying to teach me the tricks that I can get off the ball faster and do it even better. If I learn that and keep on practicing that, then I will perform at a high level."
On his reaction to Smith's comment about being slow off the ball:
"I kind of laughed a little bit. Most people wouldn't say that, but he is one of the greatest if not the greatest pass rusher so if he thinks so and I want to be at his level someday, then I have to take his advice and run with it."
On if he has started to work on new moves to get off the ball faster:
"I might have. I might be saving that for somebody special."
On if anybody else has ever said that he was slow off the ball:
"No. Every now and then a couple players, but they were just like, 'Yeah, you could be faster."
On the college game he could have been faster:
On the Texas A&M-UCLA being a good game for him:
"That's what I saw (laughter)."
On if the comments from Smith has proven that he has a long way to go to become the best:
"Yeah, he played leagues above what I am right now. If I want to get there, I have to soak in all that information and all that greatness."
On comparing college and NFL meetings:
"Pretty normal. Coach Williams is a little more vocal, but other than that, pretty normal."
QB DeShone Kizer:
On what is new following the first day of practice:
"Not much. (Head) Coach (Hue Jackson) kind of reiterated all of the things we talked about in the walkthrough yesterday before practice. I was able to get out there and make some adjustments in the way that I was approaching the huddle and had some success towards the end of practice."
On his first NFL practice:
"It is fast. They don't slow down for anyone. These are professionals. You have got to be able to retain and perform right when coach says to. He was pushing us, and I think it was an awesome first day to go out there and compete with some of these guys from all over the country, obviously, playing some elite college football and now translating that over to the NFL feel. I think we did a pretty good job."
On feedback from Jackson:
"It was a bunch of things. From footwork, to speeding up the process, to simplifying some things, throughout this whole season, I am sure he's going to be coaching me. Yesterday, there was just a big emphasis on speeding things up. Obviously, the game is a lot faster and the ball has to get out quicker so he was just trying to take away some of the unnecessary footwork that I had in my game and simplify as much as we can."
On the difficulty of the transition to the new form:
"Not too hard. I like to consider myself a pretty blank canvas in the sense that I have never really had a true fundamental quarterback coach up until a couple of months ago. To have him come out and give me some insight, I think I have been able to take that and perform the way that he wants me to."
On working with former NFL QB Zac Robinson in preparation for camp and his ties with Jackson:
"He played under Coach Jackson for three, four years when he was in the NFL so he just kind of understands how practices ran and the expectations that Coach Jackson has of a quarterback. He was going to prepare me for that the whole two months up until I got here. With that, it had a lot more to do with the way I conduct myself as a quarterback than just the playbook in itself. Yeah, some of the verbiage was similar, but he wanted to teach me some of the basic things of how to be an NFL quarterback."
On if he practices calling plays in the huddle and on his own time:
"I do now. Maybe I didn't do as much as I should have going into this, but I after seeing what it takes to precisely communicate to the guys, I have been spending a lot of my time in my free time just saying it out loud rather than just reading through the script."
On if Jackson or quarterbacks coach David Lee suggested practicing the play calls vocally:
"Everyone has. Everyone has. The only way you can get at it is by doing repetitions. Today even through this walkthrough before our second practice, I was able to go in and perform a little better than I did in yesterday's walkthrough."
On anticipating the most difficult aspect for improvement moving forward:
"I really don't know. As we move forward, things are going to move quicker. I'm going to be out there with a bunch of veterans, and that is when we will figure out where the big steps need to be taken. Right now, we are just trying to learn as much as we can so everything seems like the biggest thing. Until we get out here and have all of the top older guys running around with us, then I will be able to focus in on the things that it's going to take for me to compete with those guys."
On specific challenges he is trying to overcome after not having a true fundamental QB coach prior to now:
"Just simplifying. The big frame that I have, there is a lot that give can go wrong. You give yourself a lot of opportunity that you are going to get long in your arm motion or long in your legs. To simplify and shrink everything down, there are a bunch of different ways to get to it. Coach Jackson has proven to be one of the best guys to do it. I'm happy to work with him on getting myself to become more consistent."
On his relationship with his Notre Dame Head Coach Brian Kelly and reports that it was volatile:
"It was a situation in which he was my head coach. It was a working relationship. Right now, we are just focused on rookie camp right here. That is something that is in my past. I'm moving forward now and working on developing a relationship with my head coach here and trying to become the best quarterback I can become."
On TE David Njoku:
"He is a freak. To be as big as he is over there with his crazy muscles and being 6'5" and jumping and catching it one-handed, it definitely makes for an easy target to throw."
On if he has always had a big arm and if it has always been easy to throw the ball:
"Yeah, just going back all the way to when I first started playing in second and third grade, I was one of the only guys who could throw the ball down the field so that was the reason I even played the quarterback position. Once again, having the size is a blessing. I am just trying to use it to my advantage."
On if he has changed his throwing mechanics since he was younger:
"Absolutely. Being a baseball player growing up, I was really long. Actually, going into Notre Dame, I was pretty long, as well. Working with (Notre Dame quarterbacks coach) Matt LaFleur and Coach Kelly while I was at Notre Dame my freshman year, I was able to shorten that up and once again be that canvas that can allow a coach to come in and make adjustments on me. That is exactly what I did at Notre Dame, and I'm just trying to continue to tighten things up here now."
On Jackson emphasizing processing speed and if he believes he can learn quickly:
"Absolutely, I think I'm pretty confident in my ability to retain what the coaches are saying. It is going to take a lot for you to pick up that playbook and be able to compete out with the guys and when everyone else gets in and we can be together as rookies and the veterans. Once again, I'm pretty confident in the way that I'm going about it now, but as I go, I will continue to learn how to process as much as I possibly can as fast as I can."
On if he has been studying recent first-year starting QBs in their rookie seasons:
"I have not. The only thing that I have been studying is the playbook. Once again, I can't even worry about playing my first year nor competing in practice in a couple of weeks until I understand how to run this offense."
On the previous coaching he has received and if he has thought about where Jackson falls on that spectrum:
"Absolutely. I thought my standards were high with the way my dad coached me when I was younger and with Coach Kelly. Coach Jackson has taken it to another level. He expects greatness out of all of his players. There is a reason that he and (Executive Vice President of Football Operations) Sashi (Brown) selected the guys to come to the Browns, and that is to hold us to the highest standards and get back to winning. He expects greatness, and he is going to continue to push me as hard as I would want to push myself."
TE David Njoku:
On his first practice:
"It was fun. A relief getting back on the field after so long. Just doing what we love. It was a really fun time."
On QB DeShone Kizer 'keeping him busy' during yesterday's practice:
"Yeah, he is the man with a plan. I just follow whatever he tells me to do. I go 100 percent at it and have fun doing it."
On feedback he received after practice:
"Positive feedback. The first day, positive and a couple negatives. Just have to keep working hard and keep bettering ourselves every day."
On learning the system and how much of his play is currently based on instinct:
"Instinct we have had since we were little playing this game. Obviously, it is a brand new playbook. We are just trying to learn it as soon as possible, as fast as possible and have fun doing it."
On if he knew he would be in the NFL last year at this time:
"Not really 100 percent. I had thoughts about it, but it wasn't as serious as doing it. I am just blessed to be here, like I always say."
On if it was during last season at Miami that he knew he would be in the NFL now:
"Yeah, I'd say I was thinking about it more towards the end of the season.
On what was involved in his decision to go to the NFL:
"Obviously, how I did that year, the confidence to leave school early and have your life completely change. Just the faith of God making sure that I am OK and protecting through this whole phase."
DB Jabrill Peppers:
On why he did not participate in yesterday's practice:
"Just some things with paperwork. In light of my excitement, I forgot there is also a business aspect. Fortunately, we were able to get it handled today, and I get to be out there with the guys."
On what he did during practice yesterday:
"Watched film, ran on the treadmill and things like that."
On if it was frustrating not practicing yesterday:
"Definitely. You always want to me out there with your guys. You never want to feel like you are behind the eight ball with missing a day or missing a day where you would be making some mistakes that you would have cleaned up today. I am just happy that I can be out there today."
On if he received any grief from defensive coordinator Gregg Williams for not participating yesterday:
"Not really, no."
On if he had to speak with his agents to talk about missing a day of practice and wanting to be on the field:
"Absolutely. I definitely think that was part of the reason they got it squared away for me today. You pay them for a reason for things like that. They handle the business aspect of it. I just try to perform my best on the field."
On rumors that missing practice and not signing a practice agreement had to do with not taking a drug test:
"That is your speculation. I don't know why you think of me like that, but everyone is entitled to an opinion. What you think of me is no skin off my teeth. I am not worried about anything but being the best football player and person I can be."
On if the rumors helped lead him to sign and participate today:
"No. No, I am not worried about that. Stop asking questions about that."
On if Head coach Hue Jackson stressed the importance of not missing practice today and tomorrow:
"He stressed that to me yesterday. I stressed my want to be out there, but we both understood it is a business, too. You do hire an agent for a reason for things like that. It sucks, but at the end of the day, this is my profession now so some things come with the job."
On if it is frustrating to be unable to hit during practice and what else keeps him occupied instead:
"A lot of things keep me occupied, just learning the defense and working on my techniques. There will be time to put the pads and hit. It is a long season, too. There will be plenty of time for that."
On if there is concern for injury as that is one reason players wait to sign a participation waiver:
"There are no concerns. Whatever God's plan is for each and every one of us, that is His plan. You just have to go 110 mile per hour every snap, every play. Injuries don't happen when you play 100 miles per hour. That is what I was taught. The only time I have been hurt is when I took plays off or I loafed and things like that. I am definitely not worried about that."
On DL Myles Garrett stating he wanted to prove he was the best player on the field and if now he wants to prove that of himself:
"Myles is Myles. (TE) David (Njoku) is David. I am Jabrill. (QB) DeShone (Kizer) is DeShone. Everything is always a competition, but I think what he meant is he is going to push us to be the best players we can be. That is what I intend to do, as well."
On if part of his focus is to start Week 1:
"You can't really worry about things too far ahead. I have to come out here and prove myself today, prove myself tomorrow and prove myself throughout the weeks to come. I am definitely going to make my case, but I am just going through the due process. I am about the team. I am a competitor. At the end of the day, they want the best 11 guys out on the field. If I am one of them, I am one of them. If not, I am not. I can contribute to the team in other ways."
On his impression of yesterdays' practice after watching film:
"Yeah, I watched the tape with the guys. Watched it on my own a little. It was the first day. There were a lot of hiccups, a lot of mistakes but that is expected. What is expected is to minimize those mistakes and not make the same ones, but if you make new ones, make them 100 miles per hour. I think we are all doing a good job of processing the defense and understanding what (defensive coordinator) Coach (Gregg Williams) wants us to do. That is what I am going to try to do today."
On meetings with Williams:
"It's intense. It is definitely intense, but he sees the potential in every one of us. He is going to try to pull it out of us. It is our job to make him look good. It is kind of a give and take kind of thing."
On if he will practice punts and kick returns right away:
"You will definitely see me catching punts. It is something that I like to do. They think I do it pretty well so I'm definitely going to compete for being a punt and kick returner."
On the public's low expectations for the Browns following a 1-15 season:
"We don't really care what everyone thinks. They are not here. They are not putting in the work with us. They are not out here grinding with us. They are sitting on the couch speculating on what they think we are going to do so continue to do so. We really don't care what anyone thinks besides the people that matter, and that is here."
On the ClevelandBrowns.com video of coaches celebrating after drafting him, and if he saw it and talked to the coaches about it:
"I did. Absolutely, I've talked to (assistant defensive backs) Coach (Jerod) Kruse and (special teams coordinator) Coach (Chris) Tabor. He was the other guy in the video. Those were the two guys who were really vying for me and wanted me to be picked. I guess when I was picked, they were excited. Coach Tabor said he thinks he was more excited when I was, but I was like, I don't think so. It definitely feels good to know you have coaches that believe in you that much and are that excited about what you can bring to the team. I'm definitely excited about getting to work and bringing those thoughts and those ideas into fruition."
On how he became a returner at Michigan:
"When (Michigan Head Coach Jim) Harbaugh got there, he didn't know us from a can of paint. Basically, all of the skill position guys, we had racing events. The fastest guys, he put back there. He then saw who looked natural doing it and things like that. Like I said, I'm a competitor. I didn't really care who was back there before me or anything like that. I'm just going to try to do what I got to do to compete."
On if he returned punts or kicks prior to Michigan:
"I did a little big in high school and Pop Warner."
On if he enjoys returning punts and kicks:
On if he has re-watched the fourth down run last season against Ohio State:
On if he agreed with the first down ruling:
"I let the referees do their job* (laughter). You saw what I saw. I will leave it at that (laughter)*."