Browns transcript -- Player availability, Sept. 12, 2019

(Photo by: 2019 Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images)

Rob McBurnett

Senior Manager, Communications

Included below are select quotes from interviews with the following Browns players during today’s media availability:

·WR Odell Beckham Jr.

·G Joel Bitonio

·S Morgan Burnett

·RB Nick Chubb

·QB Baker Mayfield (full transcript)

·S Damarious Randall

WR Odell Beckham Jr.:

On returning to MetLife Stadium:

“It is just another game. It really is. Monday Night Football in the lights. Just trying to get wins.”

On what will be different Monday night from the Titans game:

“First, we have to eliminate the mistakes, the self-mistakes and the penalties. We get a big play and it is just calls back. Offensive pass interference, holding, false start or whatever it is, we have to eliminate those penalties. It makes it very hard for you to win. On top of that, you just have to make plays. That is what it is going to come down to is the team that makes the most plays, the team that the most stops and usually the team that has fewer penalties wins.”

On the passing of DE Chris Smith’s girlfriend, Petara Cordero:

“It is tough. I was thinking about it last night, and I can only imagine where he is at right now. We are all praying for him, his family and her family. Right now, we just have to pull together for him. Chris, I know if you are out there, it is nothing but love and I am here for you. I am always going to be here for him, along with any other teammate. We just have to pull together for him, as well as ourselves. Just be there for him any way that we can.”

On if he ever expected his watch to become a NFL story:

“I am done talking about the watch. If I wear pink laces and it is not breast cancer [awareness] month, it would probably be talked about. With me, I know what it is. People just need something to talk about. I have a completely different mentality, a different take on where I am in my life. I came here to play football. I do not talk about anything else but football. If anybody wants to talk about how I did, how I produced individually on the field or how I did not produce or how the team lost or whatever it is, we can talk about that. I would love for people to talk about me as a football player. I would love for them to say that I am not a good football player or things like that. You show me those facts. Other than that, I am not talking about necessary stuff that people are mad about. It does not bother me. I am not going to lose any sleep over it. If I want to wear it, I will wear it. I am done talking about it. I am done talking about the watch.”

On how well he knows QB Baker Mayfield and confidence in his resiliency following three interceptions last week:

“He is not going to quit ever. Just from what I know from him, he is not going to quit. We were saying to each other, lead even when it hurt. (WR) Jarvis Landry will come walk over and say, ‘Lead when it hurts.’ We are down, whatever the score was, we did not give up. Not saying he needs a pat on the back for not giving up, but that just shows you what kind of person he is. He is the leader of this team. Interceptions are not always on the quarterback, it goes under his stats, but it is not always on him. We just need to be where we need to be and make the plays that need to be made.”

G Joel Bitonio:

On if it is difficult to process the news of DE Chris Smith and the passing of his girlfriend, Petara Cordero:

“Yeah, that was a punch in the gut. I think the whole team is thinking about him every chance we get. That is one of our brothers, and for him to be in that situation, I could not put myself in that situation. Me and my wife sat down last night and really just talked about things that were just like, ‘Man, that is tough. What are we going to do to help this guy?’ We know words cannot really help him so we are trying to build him up as much as possible, and I know the D line is really trying to take care of him over there. It is a tough situation. I think you forget about things when you are in this building and sometimes the outside world, you forget that we love this game and this game does a lot of things for us but football comes second to a lot of things sometimes. That is one of those things. We are trying to pick Chris up and his family and his little baby and all of those things. It is something we are thinking about him every chance we get.”

On as a new dad how unfathomable it must be for Smith, given they had a child last month:

“Yes, I can’t put it into words. It is hard for me to truly accept or understand what is going on for him. I just know how tough it would be for me to be in that situation right now. I am really, really praying for him.”

On playing in his first game on Monday Night Football:

“For me, it is a night game so it is kind of like preseason and stuff, but besides that, you can’t really tell with all of the cameras and stuff. You do not know how many people are watching when you are playing out there. You just go out there and play, but it is cool. You get the theme song and all of that stuff. It will be fun. Your friends and teammates across the league that you have played with can watch and stuff, but it is just another game for us.”

On if he feels the mistakes from last week have been corrected:

“We definitely need to execute. We talk a lot about unforced mistakes. We had a lot of penalties. We were in 1st-and-15 or 1st-and-20 and more a bunch of times. You talk about cleaning those things up and you work on them in practice, but until you can really play a game, it is hard to see that execution pay off. There are other little things you can work on, but when you are behind the chains that much – honestly, our two touchdown drives, we were behind the chains both of those times, too. We had a 15-yard penalty with (T) Greg (Robinson) and I think there was another hold on the other one. To score on those drives is impressive, too. It is one of those things, though. We have to really be disciplined this week. We can’t put ourselves behind. It is hard enough in this league to get 10 yards, let alone 20 yards. That is the main thing on offense we are really focusing on is executing and being disciplined.”

S Morgan Burnett:

On the NY Jets offense:

“You see they have playmakers on that side of the ball. The running backs are explosive, the receivers are explosive and they added another explosive receiver in (NY Jets WR) Demaryius Thomas. You see those guys making big plays on film. We have to be technically sound, make sure we are communicating and playing as one on the backend.”

On how the team has rallied around DE Chris Smith following the passing of his girlfriend, Petara Cordero:

“That is a brother in our locker room. Some things are deeper than football. This is a brotherhood in this locker room, and we want to be there to support our brother by any means. It is deeper than football.”

On if the team was called in for a meeting to learn about the situation involving Smith and his girlfriend:

“I want to keep that in house. That is something deep, that is something personal. I just right now, out of respect for Chris and his family, I will just keep that personal for what we did and just talk about the Jets.”

On how rough the day was after hearing the news involving Smith:

“Yeah, it is rough. That is hard. You cannot put that into words.”

RB Nick Chubb:

On how he and the Browns offense could have done better against the Titans in Week 1:

“I know for me, I could have been more patient, trust my eyes more and see what I see and not get distracted or anything like that. As a team, you have to eliminate the penalties. We have to play smarter and play together, I think that is the biggest part. We killed ourselves last week. This week coming in, we have to be smarter.”

On how long it took to move past the loss:

“Games like that, you do not get over it until you find a way to win next week or whenever. It does have to come out at practice, get that bad taste out of your mouth and kind of fix the mistakes we made in practice. We are not going to feel better until we get a win.”

On if it was tougher to be patient running the ball since it was the season opener:

“The nerves were there. I was excited – the whole team was – but just coming back today to start over, clean slate and try to get better any way we can.”

On playing against former Browns and NY Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams and the NY Jets defense:

“I am excited. I got the opportunity to play for Gregg last year. He is a tremendous coach. I have a lot of respect for him and what he does and I see all of the things he does in practice, but now it is a real game so I am excited about that. He does a lot of great things. I am looking forward to going up against him.”

QB Baker Mayfield:

On NY Jets QB Sam Darnold being ruled out and potentially missing multiple weeks:

“I just saw that right before we headed out to practice. Unfortunate news for Sam. I hope he gets healthy. I have never had [mono] – knock on wood – but I know it is not a fun process just laying around and not able to do anything.”

On rallying around DE Chris Smith following the passing of his girlfriend:

“Devastating news to hear about Chris going through an accident and losing his girlfriend. That is one of our brothers. Very unfortunate. All we can do is support him and be there for him.”

On the closeness of the team and if that is what the team can lean on during difficult times:

“Absolutely. Especially what happened last week and then the events that we have had happen, it is just coming together. Realizing it is just, us and that is what we need to focus on.”

On if he was looking forward to a rematch against NY Jets QB Sam Darnold, particularly since they were drafted in the same round:

“I look forward to any competition. Obviously, it is unfortunate that Sam is not able to play. It is about us right now and going out there and competing.”

On facing former Browns and NY Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams:

“Obviously, Gregg was here so we are all familiar with him. It presents challenges. We are sure that he has some stuff waiting for us and surprises here and there. We will be ready for anything.”

On Williams enjoying blitzes and if he relishes opportunities to face those challenges:

“Yeah, if we can get on the same page and be able to get the ball out, protect and push the ball the ball down the field. Whenever you are playing a team that blitzes, different things and exotic stuff, you have to be on the same page. That is important for us this week.”

On if there is more motivation this week facing Williams:

“No, we are playing the Jets.”

On what his relationship was with Williams last year when named interim head coach:

“He was our head coach for the back half of the season. A few meeting with Gregg just about defensively what they were thinking, and what we needed to do on offensive. Gregg is the same mindset guy every week so we knew what to expect out of him. We know this one means a lot to him.”

On what he has he seen in practice to know the Browns will not repeat the penalties from last week:

“The fact that we can go back to work and fix the corrections.”

On playing with WR Odell Beckham Jr. last Sunday:

“It was good to have him out there full speed. Obviously, we did not win so we have to make some changes and get the ball down field and in the end zone.”

On if the Browns embrace the chance to bounce back on the national stage of Monday Night Football:

“It would not matter the stage, but that does make it a little bit more exciting for our guys knowing that we have a lot of people counting us out and we are going to take it one game at a time. On Monday night, no better way to do it.”

On the resiliency to bounce back, specifically referencing last year’s Texans game:

“Something important for a QB is a short-term memory. Just putting that behind you and making corrections. We have fully made changes and now I am going to have my eyes in the right place and do the right thing.”

On memories from last year’s win over the NY Jets:

“The energy in our stadium. For us, it will be different on the road. It presents some tough challenges, and playing on the road one – it is the first road game we have this year and then also playing against a familiar face who has been around Freddie and been around some of the guys in this locker room.”

On if he was holding onto the ball too long last week:

“Definitely holding on to it. Get rid of the ball. We can be better overall as an offense. It ultimately comes back on me. I need to get everybody on the same page.”

On if he was worried about his wrist Sunday night:

“It looks good.”

On if NY Jets C.J. Mosley appears to have an even bigger role in the defense than with the Ravens last year:

“It is a different role. Knowing what Gregg does with his defense, the MIKE has a lot of control of what they do communication wise and getting people lined up. The Ravens last year, they were just completely different. They had a bunch of different veterans that lined up. They did so many different things whereas Gregg, they rely on that linebacker in the middle to get everybody lined up.”

On if the NY Jets defense is similar to the Browns defense last year:

“It is always a little different just because the personnel is different. I think whenever you have a different team, you try and call plays to their strengths.”

On the play early in the fourth quarter where the Browns could have potentially had a big gain but missed the opportunity, given a holding penalty:

“We just have to eliminate negative plays. If I am able to set up and throw that ball, I am not going to take a chance rolling completely right in front of the ball that would be probably a 50-yard throw in the air. Trying to eliminate negative play. That is when you get behind the chains and you are not helping yourself out.”

On if the Titans taking away some of his first reads leading to sacks:

“I would not necessarily say that. I would say just getting the ball out and knowing that we have to have answers for what they are doing. When we ave all of our guys out there, teams are going to play differently so have an answer for whatever coverage they are going to bring.”

On if there is a temptation at times to wait for Beckham to get open:

“Yeah, there are definitely certain plays where we want to get the ball in his hands and we draw enough to do so, but I think it is very important for me to do my Day 1 reads and trust that the guys we have out there.”

On NY Jets S Jamal Adams:

“Jamal is obviously a very versatile player, a great leader for that team not just the defense. He is able to do a lot. A big, physical safety that that can move around, too. He is a guy that changes the game so you have to konw where he is.”

On if not having WR Rashard Higgins deterred the Browns in the second half:

“No, obviously, we would love to have him in there. He had a lot of reps of what we were doing, but that is why we say next man up. We expect (WR Damion) Ratley to be able to do the same things. He is just comes right in there with no hesitation.”

On his messages to T Greg Robinson this week after the ejection and hurting the team:

“He knows that. He knows what happened that. He can feel that. He is going to be hard on himself, and he knows we are counting on him. That is kind of one of those things better left unsaid. He knows we are counting on him. He knows that we need him out there and we want him out there.”

On favorite part of playing night games:

“The lights give a different energy. It will be my first Monday night game so it will be fun.”

S Damarious Randall:

On NY Jets defensive coordinator Greg Williams and what he brings to the NY Jets:

“Next question.”

On playing against NY Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams:

“I am playing against the Jets offense, not the defense.”

On his reaction to NY Jets QB Dam Darnold being ruled out and NY QB Trevor Siemian stepping in:

“A very unfortunate situation. You never want to have any type of sickness and have to [miss the game]. I wish the best for him, but we are definitely getting prepared for the next man up and just looking forward to it.”

On if he faced Siemian while playing for the Green Bay Packers:


On his familiarity with Siemian:

“Actually, we just got the news right before practice. I know he went to Northwestern. Pretty smart quarterback. He can make all of the throws. I am sure he started before – Denver. Two years so he definitely has the experience so I am looking forward to maybe pulling up some of his Denver film and seeing what he did well and seeing what he did not.”

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