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Press Conference

Rashard Higgins: 'I love everything about Cleveland'

WR Rashard Higgins:

On if he believes this year will be a fresh start for him:

"Yes sir. I do. Coming back, this is where I want to be. I put my best foot forward, continued to grind and continue to work hard like I always do. Let the tables turn how they turn. Here I am, Year 5."

On his excitement to return to Cleveland:

"It means the world. Like I have been saying to a lot of people, I have been through here 0-16 and 1-15. To see everything turn around, us start winning and the things that we are promised, I want to be a part of that. I love everything about Cleveland. This is where I have been, this is where I was drafted and this is where I want to be. There is no place like Cleveland."

On if he feels he can contribute and receive a regular amount of snaps, including as the third WR:

"I believe so. Wherever I can be utilized in the offense, I am here for it. Wherever I can be, even on special teams, just use me. That is what I told the coaches – just use me. I am here so why not?"

On his decision to re-sign with the Browns this past offseason, if he had offers from other teams and if he discussed the decision with QB Baker Mayfield:

"There were other offers on the table. I talked to Baker, of course. I was just like, 'You know what, Bake? I am not going to second-chance this thing. Cleveland is where I want to be. You are my boy. Let's do this thing. We have another year. Nothing is promised. Let's just live it up, do what we can, best foot forward and not look back.'"

On how much his conversation with Mayfield factored into his decision, as well as that he was drafted by the Browns and is entering his fifth year with the team:

"It meant a lot to me. He basically said, 'Why would you try to second guess? This is where you belong.' Like I said, there was no second guessing. Let's do this thing."

On how excited he is that it is Week 1 and the team is preparing for its first opponent:

"It is so exciting, just from last year, how everything turned out, us not winning the games that we wanted to. We lost to the Ravens the last time we played them so we have a little ambition and a chip on our shoulder going towards them. Not only that, it is the opener. We want to put our best foot forward. We want to show the world what we are about. Why not win? Why not the first game be a win? Everybody is thrilled. We are fired up. We are ready to go as we are doing the gameplan, and we are all bought in right now."

On the Browns' past struggles in season openers and if he notices a different emphasis or feeling regarding the team's preparations for Week 1 this year:

"One thing I can tell you is that the coaches make sure we are all about our details right now. That has been a really big sticking point with the new coaching change of doing what you are supposed to do and doing it the exact same way every time so the quarterback doesn't get fooled, not only the quarterback but everybody knowing every position, what to do, when to do it and how to do it every single time. We have been really dialed in on the details. (Head) Coach (Kevin) Stefanski and his crew have been doing a hell of a job so far."

On what changes he has seen in Mayfield on and off the field this year:

"He is more focused. I feel like he knows what he has to do. He has a goal in his mind. I really believe he is set out to do it."

On if he sees a 'renewed' Mayfield similar to 2018 or potentially even an improved version:

"I feel like there is a way better version that he is showing us that you have not seen yet. The time is Sunday. You shall see it."

On making the game-winning TD catch against Buffalo last season and not being targeted much if at all the rest of the year:

"Listen, I am out there for a reason. You guys know I can make the plays. There are people that believe in me, and most importantly, I believe in myself. When the ball comes to me, it is my job to make the play."

On entering his fifth season with the Browns and if it feels like it has been longer than that:

"Year 5. It has been a long five, let's just say that. It has been a long five. I can name on my fingers how many players have been here since I have been here. (G) Joel Bitonio was talking about the 0-16 [season]. He was talking about that a couple of days ago. I was like, 'Dang, I was a part of that.' For us to be with different coaches and different staffs, we want to see change. We got the change, and we want to just win. At the end of the day, we just want to win. If you were a part of that 0-16 team, that is the only thing in mind that you want – you just want to win. I know I speak for the guys that are in the locker room right now, we just want to win. Going forward and moving forward, that is the only goal in mind – just win." 

On how much Mayfield's motivation comes from wanting to prove that last year was not up to his standard:

"It is a feeling like you know you can do more, to not be complacent and to know that I had eras where I was not as good, but I know I can be better. That is all we want to see. Moving forward, we have already seen the improvement. He has already gotten better since last year. Even if the improvement is small, you are going up. That is all that matters." 

On how he has grown through adversity from last season and if is more grateful than ever to be with the Browns:

"Yes, I am very grateful. I am very grateful. Coach Stefanski and (pass game coordinator/wide receivers) Coach (Chad) O'Shea, they believed in me. Not only them, (Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager) Andrew Berry and the whole staff, they believed in me. That just goes to let you know that I am valued. They know what I am capable of and they know I can make the plays, and that is my job at the end of the day. If somebody else believes in you, why not believe in yourself, as well? That only gives me motivation to keep going out and working even harder, just knowing that somebody else believes in you. That is a little motivation for me."

S Ronnie Harrison Jr.:

On his excitement to join the Browns:

"Really just being around a great group of guys. There is a lot of talent on this team. Everybody knows that. From defense to offense, they have the guys that can make the plays. With this new coaching staff, just their energy and how upbeat they are just made me so excited when I first got in here. I am just ready to get to work. I really feel like this is the year we can change things around here." 

On if helping change the culture and create a winning tradition with the Browns is appealing to him:

"Definitely. I come from a winning background – well, not in Jacksonville – but in Alabama, I came from a winning background. I am definitely trying to get back to that. I have not been on a winning team so I feel like we have the players and the coaches to do that this year so I feel like we can get it done." 

On learning the new system after joining the Browns via trade:

"Every day in my playbook, like I have been, taking extra notes during the meetings and whenever coach is talking, I am writing. I am constantly adding stuff to my notes and constantly asking guys questions at practice on the field, just trying to eat everything I can up as quick as possible." 

On if he may be ready to contribute in Week 1 and what his role may be:

"That is on the coaches. I feel like I will be somewhat ready, not 100 percent, of course. There will be some mistakes if I were out there, but it is really based on the coaches. I am just ready to help however I can, whether that be special teams or whatever it is."  

On what he knew about defensive coordinator Joe Woods and how he fits in the Browns' defensive scheme:

"He is constantly preaching one man, one gap. He wants to play one high safety. That is what he likes to stop the run. Being in that box that is kind of what I do. That is what lived on being at Alabama and stuff like that so that is kind of my go-to. That fits me pretty well. Playing quarters, you play a lot of split safety and stuff like that, I have done that stuff in the past and at Alabama, as well. Pretty much everything he had done or is doing I have done before. I grew up doing it. I have been playing in this system for years now so I guess that is pretty much why he said that." 

On reuniting with former Alabama teammates T Jedrick Wills Jr. and LB Mack Wilson and Wills' potential moving to LT:

"Both guys that have been to war with. We are all battle tested coming from Alabama. We know how to win. We know what it takes to win. We know the process. We have been in tough situations and tough games. We have dealt with it. I feel like being back with them, it is just going to push all of us even more. Especially me and Mack being on the same side of the ball, we will constantly be talking, pushing each other to get better and stuff like that. Even Jedrick, just having another teammate in the locker room, a former teammate, one that he can bounce off of, bond with and stuff like that. I am really looking forward to him making his improvements this year. I know he is working really hard. I am sure he is ready to get to work." 

On if Alabama Head Football Coach Nick Saban ever told storied about the Browns with the Crimson Tide:

"No, no Browns stories."

On if he felt like he was ready for the NFL after leaving Alabama and if he is ready to make his mark now:

"Yes, definitely. Definitely coming out of college, I wanted to get into the league and I felt like I was ready, especially mentally as far as the playbook and everyday like and stuff like that. Physically, I feel like I have caught up to speed these last two years. I feel like this is the year I can put both of them together and really make something work this year coming in to Year 3."

On if he felt disappointment when he found out Jacksonville traded him and wondered what he may have done wrong:

"Yeah, every player gets that sense, I am sure. Kind of feel like what happened? Or where did it all go wrong? At the end of the day, it is a business. They have been letting everybody go at the end of the day. Let's just be blunt. They have been letting everybody go so I can't really take it too much to heart. I just have to keep moving on with my situation and just make the best out of it. I am glad to be here."

On if he mainly played SS with Jacksonville:

"No, sir. I played a little bit of nickel. We kind of switched on the strong and free a little, back and forth."

On if he has an indication of his role in the Browns defense:

"It is kind of hard. There is so much being thrown at me. They kind of just want me to just learn everything and try to fit in. There has been some talk about strong safety and some talk possibly about the dime package. I do not know how soon it will be before we see that. Some stuff like that."

On if he believes he can bring versatility to the Browns defense:

"Yeah, definitely. Like I said, this is kind of like college so I feel like I will be able to flash a little bit in the box and a little bit of playing deep, being versatile. Especially with the dime-package, that will allow me to get in the mix a lot, around the line, out in space and stuff like that. I am definitely ready. I feel like I can be that player. Just ready to get to work."

On if he can expand on his tweet yesterday about being on a team where everyone has one common goal:

"Really was just saying just relieved to be out of Jacksonville and just happy to be on a new team. This is a new team. I do not think a lot of people really understand that. With the coaches and stuff all the way down, this is a new team. The players have been here, but this a new team. That is really what I meant with a new common goal that we all want to win. The playoffs is the goal. Coming in and working hard every day is the goal. Just new goals, a new team, that is what I was talking about. I was not throwing shots at the Jaguars or anything like that. Just happy to be out of Jacksonville. Happy to be here. New team. New goal. Ready to rock."

On if he felt that there was a new energy and winning focus when he stepped into the Browns facility:

"Yes, I actually tweeted that yesterday after practice after my first day in the building. After meeting everybody and just being around the team, that is how I felt. That is why I tweeted like that. It is just how I felt. I was not trying to throw any shots or any shade or anything like that, but I am just happy to be here."

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