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Press Conference

Week 16 Browns coordinator press conferences - Priefer, Monken, Wilks

Special teams coordinator Mike Priefer:

Opening statement:

"Since I won't see you guys before Christmas, Merry Christmas. You guys usually ignore special teams when you guys watch individual so I thought I would throw that out there. I hope everybody has a great holiday."

On the grounds crew plowing the field for special teams:
"They have done that three or four times this year. Our field guys are awesome. They are out there shagging balls for us, holding down the nets so it does not smash into the GM's window. They take good care of us around here. It was good work yesterday getting outside. It was pretty windy. I do not know how windy it will be on Sunday, but it was nice to get out in the cold letting (P) Jamie (Gillan) see the flight of the ball because obviously, we can't do that indoors. It was a good day, a good day yesterday."

On what are the Ravens are doing well on special teams during their 10-game winning streak:

"They have the best kicker at least in the AFC. I think (Ravens K) Justin (Tucker) is a phenomenal kicker. He does not miss – 51 of 53 on PATs, and I know he has only missed one field goal. Very consistent. These guys play hard. They have good players. They signed (Ravens LB) L.J. Fort. He was with the Steelers for such a long time that you guys know him better than I do. They have signed him since we played them last. He is a really good player. No. 41 (Ravens DB/LB Anthony Levine Sr.) is a good player. No. 31 (Ravens DB/LB Brynden Trawick) is a good player. No. 28 (Ravens DB Jordan Richards) is a good player. No. 58 is a good player and on down the line. They have good personnel. They have veteran guys that play hard. They are well-coached. I know they had a rough game Thursday, and that is what I have been telling our guys. I said they are a little bit of embarrassed Thursday night against the Jets, who play hard on special teams, as well. A coach (Ravens Head Coach John) Harbaugh coached team being a former special teams coordinator and the pride he takes in it, we are going to get their best shot on Sunday afternoon. We know that. We have to be prepared for it physically, schematically and everything. Like usual, we have our work cut out for us. They also signed that returner (Ravens RS/WR) De'Anthony Thomas, who I thought was phenomenal when he first broke in the league back in Kansas City and then (Chiefs WR) Tyreek Hill came along and then they had some other great returners there which is why they let him go in Kansas City and Baltimore snatched him up. He has not really gotten going, but he is terrifyingly quick. He can 'make you miss in a phone booth' type guy and he also has great explosiveness. For a smaller athlete, he can break a lot of tackles. They are doing a lot of things well. They had a rough game last week, and I know we are going to get their best shot like I have been telling our guys all week."

On how to improve kickoff return late in the season:

"Late in the season, early in the season and middle of the season, we have not done a whole lot kickoff return wise. We had a great game against Seattle and other than that, it has been a little bit hit or miss. I think we need to block better to be quite honest. I think we do not play as fast as we need to play. Like our kickoff team has been very good all year and to block a good kickoff team like Baltimore has, you have to play fast. You have to see the ball kick, turn and run, adjust your angle based on the returner, plant, turn and be ready to block before he breaks your 5-ard cushion. If you do not, it is very, very difficult to block good players and we have not done enough of that consistently this year. We have to keep working on it, work on it again today and tomorrow and get ready for Sunday."

On if it would benefit K Austin Seibert to study Ravens K Justin Tucker or if the position is more individualized:

"Justin has a different technique. He has a little bit longer approach. He is a different body type. Justin is a taller, leaner athlete. Austin is a shorter, squattier athlete. They are both very good at what they do. Obviously, Justin has been doing it a long time. Anytime you ask a young kicker to start studying too much – that is what he did. You remember when he had the struggles early in camp? He went home over the summer, had a great spring and went home over the summer and starts talking to different kickers, 'Hey, we should check this out?' 'Hey, why do you not try this or try that?' Next thing you know, he is not Austin Seibert anymore. He is somebody else. The reason he won the job is at some point in training camp we had talked to him enough and pounded to his head and say, 'Hey, there is reason why we drafted you. You are a really, really good kicker." Now, what he has to do is be more consistent doing what he does best. Plant foot, follow through, head down, all the little things we talk to him about that he has improved a lot this year. I am really pleased with what the year he has had. I know he had the miss on Sunday. We can't miss that, especially indoors. He is too good of a kicker to miss that kick. Both he and Jamie as young players have developed and gotten a lot better throughout the season."

On how big of learning experience last offseason was for Seibert:

"He thought he was doing the right thing. It was not like he was trying to change who he is. I think he was trying to get better by that experience, but if you do not remember what got you there and then improve from that from that point of your career, then you are going to be in trouble. He got himself in a little bit of trouble, and we recognized right away and we changed it right away. He has progressively gotten better throughout the year. He has a lot of confidence. He is amazing the way his elevation into his kicks are unbelievable. We talk about it all the time. Timing so you do not get blocked off the edge; elevation so you do not get blocked up the middle; and then of course, accuracy. Those are the three key combos for a place kicker and he has all three. He just has to continue to be more consistent."

On what makes a special teams coordinator qualified for head coaching positions:

"I have answered this question a lot. The great thing about special teams coordinators is that we get to work with the whole team. Even our backup quarterback is our backup holder. We work with every position – offensive linemen in field goal, defensive linemen in field goal block and some of the field goal, as well and then everywhere in between. (WR) Jarvis Landry could be our punt returner if we need him to be in a pinch. At the end of the day, I get to know everybody on the team and I think you develop your own leadership style with every different type of athlete, every different type of position group and every different type of special teams unit. When you do that, you have enough experience and you have that leadership ability, I think there are a lot of good special teams in this league that could become great head coaches if given the opportunity. Why we are not given more opportunities? I have no idea. Maybe that is a stigma that it is only special teams, which I completely disagree with obviously. What John has done there in Baltimore has proven that a very good special teams coordinator who also happens to be a really good leader can be a good head coach."

On P Jamie Gillan, his development this season and his potential:

"I said it last week and I was asked if he was a Pro Bowl punter, like I said, I didn't think he was at this time, but he has Pro Bowl talent. He has developed in a very positive manner. Every week, he has gotten better. He is a really good holder. He is a really good athlete. He can make adjustments to his punting that a lot of guys who aren't quite the athlete can't make, even at his young age, and he is still learning. He doesn't understand the game of football like anybody in this room really does. He has come a long way in that regard. It is important to him. He has kind of a happy-go-lucky, goofy type of personality, which you like, but when it is time to work, he works. That is what I really like about him. He has gotten better every week."

On Gillan working to improve his consistency:

"The coaching points would be a shorter approach. We have taken his jab step from almost a yard to almost a couple of inches or almost no jab step. We have tried to shorten his approach to make him more consistent. He has worked very, very hard on his drop. With his leg swing – a lot of times for a young punter the leg swing is not always there – but the timing of his drop and his leg swing is a little bit inconsistent, and the more he works on that, the better he is going to be."

On if a win over the Ravens could provide a boost to the Browns moving forward after inconsistency in games throughout the season:

"What I like about this team is that we have done things that no other Cleveland team has done at least since the divisional realignment – we have beaten every team in the division in one year. We have the opportunity now to beat Baltimore twice and Cincinnati twice. As hard as that may be and as hard as that is going to be because Baltimore is such a great football team, we have accomplished a lot of things this year. The fact that two years ago this franchise was 0-16 and we are sitting here at 6-8 and we are complaining about it… I am more of the glass half-full guy so I am a really positive person and I am a really positive person so I look at the good things. You want to learn and correct the things that we haven't done and you want to build on the things we have done well. If you look back, there are a lot of good things this football team has done offensively, defensively, special teams and everybody. The more we are consistent, the more we take care of some of the errors that we have made in all three phases, the quicker we are going to become a really good football team. I like where we are right now in terms of our attitude. I think yesterday's practice was outstanding. It was high energy. Our guys come to play. The fact that we get to play a team that is going to the playoffs and that is going to win our division and play them at home in front of our crowd, it is going to be a really good afternoon. We just have to go play our game and see what happens."

On stating he was a special teams coach lifer in his introductory press conference and why he never aspired to be a head coach:

"I aspire to be a head coach. I would love to be a head coach. The way it was phrased when you guys spoke to me back when I was first introduced is I want to be the best special teams coordinator Cleveland has ever had. That is my goal. Now, would I like to be a head coach? Absolutely. Who wouldn't? I would love to be up in front of the team and be the leader of that team, but right now, my job is to be the best special teams coordinator that I can be for this football team and for this franchise. I relish that job. I tell our guys every day, I thank the good Lord every single day for the opportunity to coach these young men because I firmly believe that this is a privilege. It is not a right. It is privilege to coach for the Cleveland Browns. It is privilege to coach in the National Football League. It is a privilege to coach these young men and try to help them become the best players that they can be and be the best people they can be. That is my job as a football coach in the National Football League, and I relish that opportunity. It is not like I don't want to be a head coach. That is just not my main focus. My main focus is to be a great special teams coordinator."

On if he has ever interviewed for an NFL head coaching job:

"I did. I think January of 2013 I interviewed for the Chicago Bears when Phil Emery was the general manager."

On how the interview went:

"The interview was great because I knew I wasn't going to get it. I wasn't nervous at all. I looked good. My wife dressed me, and I looked the part. I even wore a red tie, a power tie. Phil is a great guy. I thought I knocked the interview out of the park. I was relaxed and confident, and if it happens, it happens. I am only 53 and I am still a young buck, but I know I have a lot of gray [hair] – a lot of wisdom."

On if that was when the Bears hired Marc Trestman to be the team's head coach:


On serving as interim coach in Minnesota when Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer was unable to be on the sideline:

"Yeah, I found out the night before. I went to mass the night before, and (Vikings General Manager) Rick Spielman grabs me after mass and says, 'By the way, Coach Zimmer had emergency surgery on his eye.' I am like, 'OK, I think I know where this is going.' He said, 'We want you to be the head coach.' I said, 'You got it.' I got zero sleep. It was a Thursday night game. It was a great experience. I learned from it. We lost a tough, two-point loss. As my children continue to call me, they call me 0-1. 'What's up, 0-1?' (laughter). That is my career head coaching record – 0-1."

On being informed he would serve as interim head coach the night before the game:

"He had eye problems that year, and he was supposed to have surgery on Friday since it was a Thursday night game – a nationally televised game, of course. Unfortunately, he had surgery on Wednesday."

On losing by two points and if there was a moment when he had to make a big decision in the game:

"There were a couple decisions in the game that were kind of cool. One, I threw a challenge flag when (Cowboys QB) Dak Prescott slid early. They gave him the first down. I threw the challenge flag, and they said he was down. We won the challenge. We stopped them on third down and they had to punt, and we went down to score with a minute or under a minute left. We went for two and didn't get it."

On being 1-0 on coaching challenges:

"1-0 on challenges but 0-1 in games, which is all that matters and why my children call me 0-1. My wonderful children – sarcasm. Can you believe my children are sarcastic?"

Offensive coordinator Todd Monken:

On how the Baltimore defense has changed since their first meeting in Week4:

"Just personnel wise, (Ravens Brandon DT) Williams did not play up front. He tried to warm up before the game and then could not go. Two corners, (Ravens CB Jimmy) Smith, who comes in their nickel package who has been a starter for them. Trading for (Ravens CB Marcus) Peters. They lost (Ravens S Tony) Jefferson so (Ravens S Chuck) Clark plays now all of the time at safety. He carries the green dot so that is who they communicate with. Linebacker wise, (Ravens ILB Josh) Bynes and (Ravens LB L.J. Fort). Personnel wise it has changed. I have not watched a lot of what they do on offense, but obviously, they must be playing with a lot of confidence so you look at scores that are up in games fast, early so they are playing with certainly a swagger ahead, which again makes it a lot easier to call plays on either side of the ball when you are moving it or you are stopping people is to let it rip. Obviously, they are playing with a lot of confidence. They pressure you a lot. They have not changed a lot in that matter. We controlled the first game really from start to finish in terms of being able to run the football and did not get behind so we did not see a lot of their pressure packages per se that they have in these other games when they have been up. Now it turns into when you are in two-minute, no-huddle a lot and then you get into a lot of their pressure packages."

On if the offense has improved since the first game against the Ravens:

"That game was, we had over 500 yards and played awfully well. Every game, like I always say, you can't carry over points or statistics so what we did then or what we did last week has some bearing to this week, but not nearly as much as how we practice and how we prepare for this game."

On if the Browns offense has improved since the early portion of the season:

"In some ways, I think we have improved. It may not be to the naked eye, but there are certain things I do believe we are doing better but probably hard to see because it is hard to say that based… Like I said, we had such an explosive day [at Baltimore] is the best way to put it because we had so many explosive plats. They turned (TE) Ricky (Seals-Jones) loose on a seam, (WR) Jarvis (Landry) broke about five tackles for a big play before half and then (RB) Nick (Chubb) had that backbreaking long run after they had cut it to one score. I think there are some things we have done well and we have done better."

On what the Browns offense has done well this season and has improved upon:

"I think we have been more consistent in terms of throwing the football. It may not show that. For the most part we have cut down on the turnovers and the penalties since then. Like I said for the most part, we went that first half of the year turning it over more than we would like for a number of reasons and then penalty-wise, we have cut down on that."

On sharing what has been most impressive about RB Nick Chubb this season, given Chubb is not one to talk about his own accomplishments:

"First off, he does not talk so it is not just about himself. He is a pretty quiet young man and just a really good football player. I do not think, if you went around the building and asked people about Nick Chubb, I think it would be pretty difficult to find someone to say a negative thing about him. He is a really good football player, works awfully hard. One of our leaders by example is the best way to put it."

On what Chubb could work on to improve his game:

"I think the biggest thing – he does work at it – is just his ball skills and route-running. I think he is going to continue to develop. He is a natural downhill running back and that is probably the easiest thing for him, and that is obvious to see. That is nothing that you have not seen. Just the consistency in his route-running and ball skills."

On how the Browns determine whether to receive or defer to begin the game, specifically last week against one of the league's worst defenses statistically:

"You would have to ask (Head Coach) Freddie (Kitchens). We really do not have a discussion on it. If you are asking our discussions, we do not really have a discussion on it, at least I do not with Freddie. I have had those discussions in the past, and you do go through some of the things and I am sure in his mind he does. You would have to ask Freddie, though."

On Browns players breaking a huddle and someone running to the wrong side of the formation at first and if that is normal or frustrating:

"It is frustrating. Obviously, it falls on us coaches, it falls on the players and falls on all of us to obviously get the play in and hear it clearly in the huddle. It all starts with the alignment and assignment because that gets you beat. Before any mismatches whoever you play, if you are not getting lined up and you do not know what you are doing, it does not matter who you play – you will not be consistency, you will be choppy with what you do. It is frustrating because then you put (QB) Baker (Mayfield) up against it in terms of the clock and trying to get us in the right protection and those kind of things. It has been frustrating and it lends yourself to be choppy, lends yourself into burning timeouts when you do not need them and taking penalties when you do not have to. It is something that has been an issue and something we have tried to correct."

On the difference Ravens DT Brandon Williams can make for Baltimore's defense:

"Just gives them another big body inside and makes it hard to run. It does not mean they do not have other good players with (Ravens DT Michael) Pierce in there and (Ravens DE Chris) Wormley. You get them in their base personnel and it is just very hard to move those guys, hard to create space. He has been a good football player for a while now so I think that is probably the biggest thing is just consistency. Hard to move so it will be a real challenge for us."

On if he has had much of a chance to evaluate Ravens QB Lamar Jackson and his play this season:

"I really have not. We do not watch a lot of them because when you decide what games to break down for an opponent, you try to pick out games recently or like your offense. For us, a lot of times it does not fit other than if you are looking for explosive plays or things that they happen to do. We do not use their offense very often in our cut ups so it is unfair because usually what I see is the highlights so it all looks good. They are showing all the highlights of all their big plays. Hard for me to say exactly. Obviously, they must be playing well."

On what QB Baker Mayfield can add to his game to improve and be an elite QB:

"I think that every player we have is a work in progress. I think you are always trying to improve in certain areas of your game. That is at all positions. I think the first thing – I have talked about it a bunch that I think will help us and then I will get to Baker here – is just our consistency in terms of how we do things and how we route run and get in the right spaces. That 100 percent leads to consistency on offense. It is 11 players playing consistently and doing the right things over and over and over. Part of that is breaking the huddle and getting lined up. That is a big part of it. It is all of those things that lead to a player playing with confidence, and then with him, it is OK, take it from there. Obviously, at this point, we have had the ability to run the football, which is usually a very good thing. It allows you to stay in front of the chains, which we have the last few weeks which has helped us on third downs, and then from there, you are not always throwing it because you are behind so your protection is better and that allows the quarterback to stand in the pocket without feeling like he is under duress, which I think has been better the last few weeks. I think that is one thing that he has tried to work on, which is hanging in the pocket, working through his progressions and there is a lot that goes into that. I always say that with confidence, timing, protection that leads a quarterback to… If you are getting hit, if guys are off their mark, the timing is thrown off, then it is very difficult for a quarterback to gain those confidence and to improve."

On if the Browns could have or should have gotten WR Odell Beckham Jr. the ball more in the end zone and if there are opportunities for him in the future:

"Sure. Sure. I do not have in front of e, what statistics is to how much we have thrown it to him. I know there was a time where we had not targeted him, but we have more as it has gone along. I really do not look at it that way, but I do think sometimes there are opportunities that present themselves that we have not taken advantage of it an sometimes it just has not come up. Twice, we hit a post against the Steelers in the first drive. He was in then he was not in. To me, that lead to a touchdown that did not count. Last week, the last drive of the game, he gets stopped on the 1-yard line and it is right there. There is a lot of times of just him being in the red zone, he attracts a lot of attention that helps for other players. It is the same on the one end of Nick Chubb or some running back has a lot of touchdowns rushing. That has to come from somewhere. Sometimes it is a running back. Sometimes it is a quarterback sneak. Sometimes it is the receiver. Sometimes it is a player that is fighting through. I think all of the above, but whether or not, how often he scores, I do not think of it that way. Would we like him to score more? Sure, for all of our skill guys. We want to score more. I have never thought about how many times an individual player scores. I have thought about what the matchups are to that give us the best chance to score when we get down there, if that makes sense. Now if that happens to be him in a certain matchup, then great, if not, then it just works out that way. We are not purposely in my mind trying to make sure that he scores. Otherwise, I think we are doing a disservice to trying to score every time we have it down there."

On using a TE to block edge pass rushers:

"There is no doubt that you try to shrink your margin for error and not put tight ends or running backs on special pass rushers. You are exactly right. You are not trying to have that occur. At times in your play action game, it is very difficult to always do that if you really want to sell the run so that comes into play at times, and I am not speaking specifically to (Cardinals OLB) Chandler (Jones). Sometimes you are expecting receivers to be in a certain spot so it is more of a rhythm throw. You are not asking him to protect or a running back to protect for an extended period of time and it just happens to work out that way. Without a doubt, if you do that too often, you are going to get sacked, you are going to get hit and your quarterback is going to get hurt. We certainly, at least we have in terms of talking protection beats coverage, every week we are talking about trying to not put ourselves in that position. Like what happened last week the first sack we had – I think it was (TE) Demetrius Harris – we were running a little bit of a roll, we were expecting the ball to get out and Jarvis got held up and he did not hold up as long as we were hoping. It led to sack, which is not good because it then puts you behind the sticks. We ended up punting and went three-and-out."

On how TE David Njoku has responded this week:

"We have been out there one day. He has been fine. It is like all of our players and all of us coaches, we have a job to do. The bottom line is we are paid to do a job, no matter what our record is or what our status is. I am sure it is frustrating for him to have been hurt and come back with where we are. Every player wants to play and every player wants to showcase his skillset, but ultimately, we are also in charge of in our minds putting the best players on the field to give us the best chance to win. If we do not do that, we are not being true to ourselves and we are being true to something that does not exist. The bottom line is who we put on the field we think gives us the best chance to win. He has responded well and I thought he had a good practice yesterday."

Defensive coordinator Steve Wilks:

Opening statement:

"Good morning. A very disappointing loss last week. When you look at the opportunities that we have had the latter part of this season to try and stay in this hunt, it is disappointing how we came out and responded. Just looked flat. I really put a lot of that back on me from the standpoint of getting these guys prepared and ready to play. I have to do a much better job No. 1 of putting these guys in position to be successful. When we are in position, we have to make sure that we finish and execute. We did not make enough plays the previous week. We found ourselves being able to get off the field on third down and in the red zone hold our opponent to field goals. That was the exact difference this past week. A lot of credit to them. They did a tremendous job and just really outplaying us. We talked about a few things. We evaluated the tape, made some corrections and pinpointed some things that we needed to correct and moving forward. We have to make sure that we are ready this week. We are going to see pretty much schematically the same offense with what we had last week in some of the things they do with the zone read."

On how to uplift the Browns defense after a tough loss:

"It is short-term memory in this league. You have to get ready for the next one. Win or lose, you have to prepare yourself as professions. That starts with us as coaches to be able to get these guys back. That has been our approach and really trying to have a solid gameplan in trying to detail the things that we need to once again to put these guys in position to be successful."

On if there is a clear explanation for why the defense came out flat last week:

"Not really. You go back and you try to evaluate your process throughout the week leading up to your preparation, going out there two days ahead of time. You try to look and question certain things. The bottom line is we have to go out and perform. As I said before, I have to put these guys in position to be successful. I know right now the Ravens are coming in, they are going to have the same up-tempo offense and we have to make sure that we are prepared and ready."

On if the Browns have enough fiery players on defense to help motivate the team:

"You are always looking for those guys to be able to extent the message once the coaches are not around. Particularly amongst the players in the locker room and throughout the game when typical situations arise, you want those guys to be able to step up and be leaders. You are looking for those guys. (CB) T.J. Carrie was a guy that stepped up last week when things were going on in practice. We are missing (LB) Christian Kirksey, we are missing (DE) Myles Garrett and those kind of things. We can't sit here and complain and worry about that. They are not coming back this year. We have to find ways as coaches and players to try and weather through this storm and find a way out of it."

On how different it will be to try to contain Ravens QB Lamar Jackson without Garrett:

"It is a going to be a complete team effort, particularly up front. Just trying to contain him, cage him, eliminate the A and B gaps where really much he likes to try and escape. We have to make sure that we try to flush him lateral when going east and west and then try to get population to the ball. That is going to be the key."

On not being able to get to Cardinals QB Kyler Murray as much as other teams have this season:

"I do not really have the pinpoint answer for you. I would say that several times as you can see – I think it was (S) Juston Burris on pressure – we missed him. I think (LB) Mack Wilson came off the edge one time, and we missed him. We had certain guys in his face. We just have to make sure that we gather at the sack with these fast guys at the quarterback position who really are like running backs. You can't be out of control when you are approaching him when you are ready to finish the tackle. I think it is more or less right there is really just trying to get ourselves in position to finish."

On if the Browns are having trouble simulating the speed of fast QBs in practice:

"We talked about this last week. I really do not think you can really simulate that based off anybody that you have. You try to, but again, once you get in the game it is a totally different look. You just want to make sure that your guys are playing at a top end speed so they can be able to adjust quickly."

On how the Browns DL can get off of blocks better in the run game:

"No. 1, it is getting off blocks. We have to do a much better job of really playing with our hands, shedding blocks, staying in our gaps and trusting in the man beside us that he is going stay in his gap. A lot of it is discipline, and then of course, it comes down just to complete execution."

On if the Cardinals run the same style as the Ravens offense:

"I think it is going to be pretty much a lot of the same stuff that we saw this past week. If any benefit from it, I think that may be the only one based off how we perform. We have to make sure, as have we already started, pinpointing those corrections."

On if getting off blocks to defend the run better is more about execution or if there is a need to tweak the scheme:

"I do not think it is really trying to tweak it at all. I think it is just more on our end just really trying to understand these offenses this week, as well as last week, are about trying to get to the perimeter. We have to do a great job of really trying to leverage the formation. They try to make you be undisciplined with your eyes by sending motion and different things, different ways to try to get you out leveraged. It is just being smart, having great eye discipline and setting edges on the defense."

On if the Browns defense gave the desired effort:

"I have no doubt. There were speculation of questions that the guys quit. I did not see that. Did we execute? No. We did not quit. We have to do a much better job of executing and doing the little things right as I have seen us doing before."

On his message to S Damarious Randall about the DPI play:

"I don't really look at the ruling on the field. There is nothing we can do about that. My focus is really to take that play and try to dissect it to the point of what we need to do. I thought Randall was in great position. We just need to try to find and locate the ball, and then as the receiver puts his hands up, it is what we call trying to rake through his arms, compete and go down to the ground. I still feel like we had a chance to get the ball out if we would have gone down to the ground with him in that situation if catching the ball. I don't think in my opinion that the call itself was somewhat maybe questionable in some eyes but there is nothing we can really do about that call. It is the exact same thing with (S Sheldrick) Redwine in the end zone – just really trying to compete and rake the arms there, as well. We just have to execute our technique when we are in position."

On the Browns missing CBs Denzel Ward and Greedy Williams for a significant portion of the season, followed by stretches without DEs Myles Garrett and Olivier Vernon, and if he believes the future is still bright despite the defensive unit not performing as well recently:

"I do. I really feel like we have lost a lot. We have been missing a couple of guys throughout the year. I felt like the guys have stepped up and tried to make the best of it. You talked about our corners being out early, and (CBs) T.J. (Carrie) as well as Terrance Mitchell stepping up and performing well. Right now, it is our defensive line. There is nothing we can do about that. We have to get guys to fill the void. As you talked about the future being bright, you look at the quality of reps and the playing time that some of these young guys are getting in Greedy, Redwine, (LB) Mack Wilson, as well as Taki (LB Sione Takitaki). I think it is only going to help those guys going forward. If there is any good thing coming from that, it is that these guys are getting quality looks and reps."

On how LB Christian Kirksey has been able to help the team, despite being placed on IR early in the year:

"You can, and he is trying to fill that void as much as possible for still being that leader and that vocal guy that we talked about and that inspirational guy. We definitely miss him out there. He was playing well before he went out. Just that emotional guy that you need out there on the field and in the locker room, that is the one that we are missing, yes."

On the potential challenges motivating players and keeping a team together late in the season when playoff chances are slim, particularly given his experience as a head coach:

"I think we are together without a doubt. I think the guys are still playing hard. I think that nucleus is still trying to push forward. I think (Head Coach) Freddie (Kitchens) is doing a tremendous job in really trying to continue to echo the message that he is been sending out here – 1-0 – and it is all about the game that is in front of us, and I agree. As men, players and coaches, it is about trying to compete and regardless of the situation, playoffs or not, it is about going out there and performing well. It is the name on the front of the jersey as Cleveland Browns and most importantly it is the name on the back. That is what we represent, and we are going to try to do everything we can to win this football game and try to finish strong. That is our mindset."

On if he speaks to Browns players about needing to perform no matter the situation:

"You have to. Regardless of the situation, it is about going out there and trying to put your best foot forward. I think you are going to see that this week. These guys are going to respond in the right way."

On if the Browns have to decide whether to sell out to stop the run and potentially leave the team vulnerable to deep passes when facing an offense like Baltimore:

"No. 1, your priority has to be stopping the run whatever you have to do with regards to that from a standpoint of stacking the box, playing coverage or man or zone, whatever your philosophy may be. I feel very confident in our ability to cover on the outside. If we have to do that with Greedy, as well as Denzel, I am very confident those guys can get the job done."

On how Ravens QB Lamar Jackson has improved this season, given his now strong consideration for MVP:

"No. 1, I think they continue to gel and they are all on the same page. You can see that a lot hasn't changed in the scheme that they are doing. They are just executing and they are putting themselves in position to be successful. They are making plays when they have to."

On returning to Arizona last week and if the loss was harder for him in retrospect:

"No, as I stated going into it, I wanted to win that game as much as I wanted to win the previous one, as well as the first one. Is it disappointing? Yes, it is disappointing because as I stated before in the press conference here is that we have an opportunity to still be in the hunt, and to lose that one it hurt a little bit because now, we are looking for outside help. We just have to continue to take care of what is in front of us right now, which is the Ravens."

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