Browns transcripts -- Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Rob McBurnett

Director, Community & Corporate Communications

Head Coach Kevin Stefanski:

On if he agrees with QB Baker Mayfield’s comment that defenses can feel an ‘oh, crap’ moment when WR Odell Beckham Jr. has the ball and the pressure Beckham puts on a defense that makes the offense unpredictable:

“I do not know if I would use the phrase Baker used, but I would say he is dynamic with the ball in his hands. He is hard to get to the ground. When he is in space and has the ball in his hands, defenses have a hard time getting him on the ground because he is just uniquely gifted in that way. That is where it is our job to make sure we are getting him the ball in space.”

On if can feel the team’s growth, given WR Jarvis Landry’s comment that he could feel that during the drive at the end of the first half against Dallas:

“That was our first two-minute drive of the season. It took three games to get into a two-minute. We have worked hard at it. We have spent a lot of time here at practice. The guys were on point. I do hope, though, that there is growth from us each week.”

On how WR Donovan Peoples-Jones played in his WR role in his NFL debut at Dallas following WR KhaDarel Hodge sustaining a hamstring injury in pregame warmups:

“He did a good job. It sometimes happens in a football game where you are called into action immediately, and you have to be ready to go. You have to study and you have to make sure your nose is in the playbook. Obviously, his was because he got lined up and did the job exactly how we were coaching.”

On Peoples-Jones physical blocking:

“He got somebody on the ground on that very first play. He is plenty big and plenty strong so that has to be a part of his game.”

On Beckham’s unique skillset and athleticism:

“You and I can’t do that (laughter). He is a bouncy athlete, and he finds a way to go get footballs. It is very impressive.”

On how important it is to keep the momentum going with Beckham:

“Honestly, week in and week out, we are trying to make sure we are difficult to defend getting the ball to our playmakers. We go into every game wanting to get him involved, Jarvis, Hoop (TE Austin Hooper), the backs and everybody. We will see what this game calls for.”

On what stands out about Colts QB Philip Rivers at this point in his career:

“Consistency. He can make every single throw. He has been doing it for a long time. The concepts that they are running – some or a lot of new stuff, obviously – he has been running those concepts for a very long time. He knows where the bones are buried on those plays, and he gets the ball to the right guy almost every single time.”

On if Rivers still throws it with the same velocity as past seasons:


On if he has asked Mayfield if he will play until 2034, given that would match how long Rivers has played in the NFL:

“That has not come up yet, no.”

On game planning against opponents with multiple injuries at the same position, referencing the Colts’ injuries at LB:

“I do not think their scheme will change one bit, whether they have those guys or not. We expect them to have those guys. They run a very, very sound scheme. They let their guys run. I do not think it is going to change what they do it. They just go plug-and-play the next guy, and I promise you, he will be playing like his hair is on fire.”

On if he is hopeful CB Greedy Williams will be able to return to play this week and DTs Sheldon Richardson’s and Larry Ogunjobi’s status:

“Yeah, I would say I am hoping for Greedy. We just have to make sure we are being smart and listen to the medical professionals, but I can promise you, he wants to be back out there very, very badly, and he is working very hard to do that. As it pertains to defensive tackles, we will see what everybody can do today. Take in information today and then really tomorrow will be a real big day to see where everybody is.”

On if Richardson and Ogunjobi will practice today:

“We will see. I think limited, but I will get more information from (Senior Vice President of Player Health & Development) Joe (Sheehan) here in a second.”

On if the Browns considered placing Williams on IR or if the recovery process has taken longer than first expected:

“I think Greedy would think that, too. It is just one of those injuries you can’t predict it. He is disappointed. He wants to get out there. We are just trying to make sure that we are following the medical here. He is into it. He is engaged. Great to see him finally back on the practice field and around his teammates and all that, but I am hopeful that he is getting closer.”

On CB Denzel Ward playing through a groin injury and Ward’s performance on Sunday:

“He has done great. I do not know how many guys feel 100 percent right now, but he is pushing through it and he is playing well. We are counting on him, and he knows that.”

On LB Mack Wilson being eased back into the defense and if Wilson is closer this week to being fully available:

“Yeah, I think he is getting close. I think all the guys that come back, the game sometimes dictates the reps, but the way I look at it, we are going to need everybody. We are playing a lot of guys at linebacker. We are playing a lot of guys on the defensive line. We play a lot of guys in the backend. At some point in this year, we are going to need everybody to step up and play maybe a bigger role than they have right now. As it pertains to Mack, we expect his role to continue to grow.”

On how DE Adrian Clayborn and TE David Njoku came out of yesterday’s practice and their status for Sunday:

“Kind of two different injuries there, but I would say with David, he is looking 100 percent to me.”

On CB Tavierre Thomas:

“He does a great job. Out on the practice field, he is locked in at practice. Every rep looks like a game rep for him. He is a tremendous leader by example. I could not say enough good things about Tav.”

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WR Odell Beckham Jr.:

On being used in various ways in the Browns offense by catching passes, running the ball and blocking when contributing to a win on Sunday:

“Obviously, that is something that I would love to continue to do. That is something that for me was always in the gameplan. It is just the way that I played football. Freshman year in college, run blocking, catching passes, and punt and kick return. I just love football. Anyway that I can help this team win, that is what I am here to do.”

On if Sunday’s game felt like a ‘please allow me to reintroduce myself’ moment:

“No, for me, I have just been waiting. I have just been waiting. I know what I am capable of doing any given time I am on the field, but I think I did a jump on one of the coaches using that exact line just in case for the ones that are out there that love to hate so. Again, that is something I never really worry about. I know what I can do. I know what I am capable of. Like I said, just trying to find ways to keep this train rolling.”

On if he would agree with WR Jarvis Landry’s comment the last time he was this content and healthy and focused was in college:

“I probably agree with that. Coming from college into the league, it is just a completely different life. I feel like college was an intro, and this is like right before the social media era and all that stuff. It is just a different day and age now, and I think that this is probably one of the best spots I have been in.”

On if he feels significantly different from last year both health-wise and speed-wise:

“Way different. I had to really strain heavy last year. Even on that last touchdown, I had not really ran much in the fourth quarter. We were up by so many, I was really just chilling. It felt like because of the way my hamstrings was feeling tight and all this, I did not want to run any faster than I needed to. I am definitely stronger, faster this year than I was last year. I am just all around healthier.”

On the relationship he has developed with Head Coach Kevin Stefanski and Stefanski understanding him and his goals:

“I think it has just been since Day 1, coming in and even in the virtual offseason or whatever it was, developing that relationship. Speaking last week, speaking each and every day or every other day or whenever we have those conversations just to be able to understand what someone else wants, alongside with me and what he wants for players or what he wants as a head coach. Just being able to understand the people that you are here giving your day to, it goes a long way. There is a great line of communication there. I feel like it is always an open door. We can say things and there are never any hard feelings because we know where each other’s heart is at, and we just want to work and we want to be great. I would definitely that is a great relationship and just look forward to keeping that going.”

On if he feels heard and appreciated by Stefanski:

“I am not saying I have not felt heard or appreciated in my past. I am just talking about this situation specifically. Yeah, I feel like we can see eye to eye, and especially when it comes to football, we have the same common goal.”

On how close he was to being tackled on the reverse:

“Yeah, I just remember I caught the reverse, and (Cowboys DE) Aldon (Smith) was just right there. Just knowing if I get around him that I would have space, and I was running up the field and I see people just flying to the sideline because it seemed like I kind of faked like I was going to go out of bounds or slide or do whatever and they just flooded to the sideline, and I made that one cut and I just knew that it was over. It was definitely a play that could have went backwards. It might not have been a bad thing and we would have kept the clock rolling, but I was just happy I was able to get around.”

On the feeling when he gets into open space and if that is one of his favorite parts of football:

“Yeah, that to me is part of the reason why I fell in love with the game. I remember where I grew up, we called it ‘throw ‘em up bust ‘em up.’ It was like every man for himself. You are trying to score. It would be like 20 of us, and if you get tackled, you have to throw the ball up. It just was a game that I learned how to feel good with the ball in my hand and a bunch of people chasing you. On that play I had, it was like a kick return. I had a bunch of lead blockers. Just happy we were able to put the game way right there.”

On if he feels like he may have to take on a bigger role with RB Nick Chubb out due to injury:

“Whatever it is, I have to do. I doubt I am getting in that backfield and running between the center and the guard, though, I can tell you that. I am about down for everything else but that. I will save that for Chubb, (RB) Kareem (Hunt) and all those other guys. I do not think I am built for that.”

On Landry joking about being sore after throwing the TD pass and if he has a TD throw to Landry in him and if also would be sore after it:

“Only time will tell, but it is just funny because he comes in the meeting room and I think he actually is a little sore and his lat was a little tight. Seeing the comments and when that word gets spread around… First of all, he threw a dime, but he threw it hard. Make sure that we have to get that worked out and get that shoulder and that lat massaged.”

On if he hopes to return the favor to Landry with a TD pass:

“Of course, that is always the dream, but it is really whatever is in the play calls and whatever we have in the gameplan. I joked with him that day I said, ‘I still have one more touchdown pass than you.’ We will see later down the line what happens.”

On his reaction to Patriots QB Cam Newton testing positive for COVID-19 and if he has reached out to him, given their relationship:

“Yeah, I definitely tried to reach out to him, and I am putting him on blast – he did not answer the phone. I can understand in this time and situation. I am sure everybody else is hitting him so I kind of tried to wait until it chilled out. You just want to check on him. That is my guy. We trained real hard this offseason. We were in L.A. Just getting the opportunity to kick it with him for the first time really. I feel like I have always been a fan of him and watched him and his game so just getting to see him, see how he works and see how he is as a person and not what he has been made to be or anything like that, it was pretty cool. That definitely hit close to home. Praying for him. Praying for him and his family. I know he has a few kids. Just wish him a speedy recovery and hoping that he stays safe and returns to football as soon as possible.”

On why the 3-1 start feels so ‘legitimate’:

“I think because it is. You look at the games that we won, and it was not like it was a fluke. You look at the game we lost and you think about the situation and, like I said, toss it up to a first game mulligan. Also, that is an incredible team that we got beat by and we were not as prepared, and I think that was an awakening for us. Ever since then, the mistakes that we made during that game, we have been able to correct them and eliminate those in the games following that and just learned from it and keep continuing to grow. Again, it is still always a day at a time approach. The 3-1 record, I still look at it as we are 0-0 and the goal is to be 1-0 each and every day. If by the end of the week, you can be 1-0, then it just resets and starts over. It is always going to keep continuing to be the day-to-day process and just continuing to win the day. I think that is the goal for us right now, Keep the blinders on and keep running our race.”

On if he was hoping to win AFC Offensive Player of the Week and what else he may need to do in order to receive the accolade:

“To me, it does not really matter. I do not think when you look back in 20 years, you will be like, ‘Oh, yeah, Week 4 of 2020, you won Offensive Player of the Week.’ Not to say these accomplishments mean nothing, but I am here for the long-term goal and the long-term picture. I want to win championships. I want to be able to look back on my career and leave the legacy that I wanted to leave. Maybe score two more times, and I might have won it. Other than that, I do not really know.”

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G Joel Bitonio:

On why the Browns’ 3-1 start feels ‘legitimate’ and if the team’s NFL rankings in takeaways and rushing help validate it:

“I think it is a good start. Turnover margin is one of the big key team stats in the league. The teams that have a high plus-turnover margin usually make the playoffs and do pretty well for themselves. We have been stressing that. We are just trying to find our identity. As a team, that quarter of the season is over, and (Head) Coach (Kevin Stefanski) does a good job of really trying to take it one week at a time. We are playing one week, and this week, we have the Colts, who are a 3-1 team themselves and who has been a really steady team so far, as well. We are really trying to grow each week. Obviously, we want to win games, we want to keep winning and 3-1 is a great start, but we just want to improve each week. This week, it is take on the Colts, try to establish our gameplan as an offense and keep taking the ball away as a defense.”

On the Browns running game continuing to succeed at Dallas despite the loss of RB Nick Chubb and the confidence that provides the team:

“No one replaces Nick Chubb. The guy is a stud. That one hurts seeing him go down for a little bit, but it is the NFL and that kind of stuff happens unfortunately. The guys picked up. (RB) Kareem Hunt has proven that he is a No. 1 back in this league. (RBs) D’Ernest (Johnson) and Dontrell (Hilliard) both came in and had some good runs. I think there were even more yards out there if we would have blocked a few things a little bit better. It was nice to see. It is always good to see guys get touches and see when they perform. You see them in practice and you see them make plays in camp, but once you get on the field, you are like, ‘OK, these guys can do some things in a real NFL game.”

On the next step for the Browns as a team to accomplish their goals:

“I think it is consistency and consistently winning. We have not had a winning season yet since I have been here. It takes one week at a time like I was talking about. Us taking the next step is we have won some of the games that we are supposed to win and we have lost some of the games that we are supposed to lose, and that is where we have to start turning some of those [into wins], where it is like, ‘Hey, this team might not be supposed to win this game, but they are going to come in and get a win in those situations.’ Obviously, the end goal is making the playoffs. I think that is a huge step for our team, but that is so far in the future that we try not to think about it. We try to take it one step at a time, and right now, it is against the Colts and try and stack another win.”

On the Colts defense and their high NFL ranking across many categories:

“They are a good front, a good defense all and all. They have a D line that they just brought (Colts DT) DeForest Buckner in from San Fran, and he is having a heck of a year. He was pressuring the quarterback and penetrating on the defense, and he makes plays. Everybody just plays hard. The linebackers know where they are supposed to be and they run to their gaps fast. Everybody kind of just rallies. Like we talked about with our defense, they are creating turnovers. They have had a few pick-sixes. They have stopped teams in the red zone with interceptions. They lead the league in interceptions with seven. That has been impressive to watch. I think the No. 1 key, besides having good players, is they just get to the ball. No matter where it is, they are running, they are playing hard and they have guys who are kind of on a mission right now.”

On if his past experience with the Browns as a rookie helps his focus on the one week at a time mentality:

“The NFL is such a week-to-week business. I think you see it every week where you see a team get blown out by someone they shouldn’t, and then the next week, they win a game they shouldn’t. It is such a week-to-week business and a season-long business that you really have to stay the course. You can’t get too high and you can’t get too low. Honestly, Coach Stefanski has done a great job of that. He is so the same guy every day. No matter what the situation is and all of these COVID protocols and things of that nature, he is just the same guy every day. I think that leads the team to being the same team every day. We are all about the work right now. Things can change in a heartbeat. My rookie year, I was like, ‘It is easy to win in this league.’ Like you said, we were in first place, we beat the Bengals on Thursday night and I was like, ‘Man, we are doing some fun things here.’ We did not win another game the rest of the way [except for the Falcons game], and it has kind of been a tough stretch since then. It is a week-to-week business. You see that all the time. You have a great game, and then someone comes and punches in the mouth and you have to rebound from that. The most consistent team is going to have a lot of success, and that is what we have been preaching as a group is just keep improving on little things every week because every game we find something that we want to work on and we want to fix.”

On if he shares that lesson from his rookie season with other Browns players about keeping the focus on one week at a time:

“I think we are in a good spot. I think most guys, no one is really reading the outside noise right now. We are happy with the start we have had and we won some games that we wanted to win, but we know we have to keep working and keep improving. It is kind of just a known thing in the locker room. I don’t think anybody really needs to go around preaching those things. Coach Stefanski has done a good job of keeping everybody as that consistent, same person every day.”

On Buckner’s ability and if all three of the Browns interior OL will be matched up against Buckner:

“He lines up everywhere. He is mainly the 3-technique in their base defense so he will switch from the right to the left side, depending on the strength of the formation and things like that, and then pass-rush downs, he will line up on both sides. It is definitely me and (G) Wyatt (Teller) for the majority of the time and then (C) JC (Tretter) will get his chances to get in there, as well. It is his length. He has long arms and he is tall, but he plays with great leverage and strength, as well. Some of the tall guys will sit up a little bit, but he has great knee bend. Some of the best rushers in the league have this hot and cold streak where they go hot for a few plays and take a few plays off. This guy, he plays hard every play. We noticed that in San Fran when we watched the film last and played against him that he just plays hard. That is something that when you are that talented, it really stands out on film.”

On the Browns OL’s success and top rankings across the NFL, particularly given some of the unit’s struggles last season:

“Yeah, it has been good. Coach Callahan, (assistant offensive line) Coach (Scott) Peters and (coaching assistant) Coach Ryan (Cordell), they have done a good job putting us in position in this shortened offseason to try and be successful. The guys came out and worked during training camp and stuff. It has been fun. Jed (T Jedrick Wills Jr.) has come in and he is so quiet. Sometimes I wonder and I’m like, ‘Does this guy know what he’s doing?’ Then we get out to the game, and he is perfect on his assignments and things of that nature. It has been fun. (T) Jack (Conklin) has been to the playoffs before. He has played a lot of big games. JC has been here forever, and (G) Wyatt (Teller) is having a heck of year, as well, so far. It has just been fun. You see a good block on film and you are like, ‘Alright, I want to get my good block in now or my knockdown or something of that nature.’ I think we feed off each other in that sense where it is we are competitive as a group but we just want to keep improving. Honestly, the scheme, the play script and all those things, we have not been in those situations, besides Baltimore a little bit where we had to drop back and pass 40-50 times, and that is when the O line becomes at a disadvantage because the team can just start to tee off on them and run their games and their blitzes. When you only drop back passing 10-15 times a game and everything else is off boots and play actions, it gives the offensive line a chance to really fire off and get on the guys, and it slows their pass rushers down a little bit, as well.”

On seeing WR Odell Beckham Jr. showing all of his ability and versatility in the Dallas game:

“Like you said, you see it every day in practice how special of an athlete he is. He does things. He can throw the ball. He can run. He can play soccer. He can do everything that you want. When those big plays happened, it was just impressive. I know it was really special for him and (WR) Jarvis (Landry) to connect on that touchdown, and we have been running that play since the start of training camp. We have done that a bunch of time so we were waiting to get that one called. It was pretty cool. Those reverses, it was really surreal. The second one, I was running to try and block the safety, and I felt like the crowd got really loud so I was like, ‘That is probably not a good sign.’ I thought he was going to get tackled in the backfield. Him making that guy miss was super impressive and then going down to score. It is just things that you have seen him do before in practice, but when it comes out in the game, it must be something about playing the Cowboys or something like that. He shines on the biggest stage.”

On Beckham Jr. playing soccer:

“He just is always out there kicking the ball and talking about it and stuff. He does things with the football like soccer players do and stuff like that. It is pretty impressive.”

On what Stefanski has done to impress him most:

“From Day 1 of the offseason program that it was not a normal offseason program, he has taken account whoever handles the COVID situation the best is going to have a leg up. It is not going to guarantee you win games or anything, but who is going to hit these curve balls? We are wearing masks and the tracking devices and we are not allowed to do as much outside the facility and things like that, but it is all about ball right now. He has really stressed that. We could not be together as much in the offseason, but he had us sharing our personal stories with each other so us players can get to know each other, new free agents and stuff, too. Just team building things in that aspect. As a coach, I talked about it a little earlier, he is just as consistent as they come. There are no ups and there are no downs. If we have a bad practice, he is going to let us know, and if there is a bad play, he is going to let us know, but coming out to work, it is the same guy every day and he is like this is what you are going to expect from me and this is how we are going to roll. As a play caller, he is taking his risks. That is a heck of a play to call on first down when you need a first down to win the game towards the end of the game against Dallas. As an O lineman, our first 15 so far has been very O line friendly where we can get after guys, there are the keepers and there are boots and things of that nature where it gets us in a rhythm on offense. I think he keeps everyone involved in the sense where it is all about the turnover margin. If we can take care of the ball and if the defense can keep taking it away, that is how teams make the playoffs in this league and you are not giving teams free points and more of we are trying to take advantage when (DE) Myles (Garrett) and the guys can get us the ball back.”

On if it is exciting that the root of the Browns offense is the run game and OL typically loving to run block:

“Yeah, it has been fun to establish the run a little bit. Three hundred yards in the NFL, that does not happen very often. Running for a couple hundred yards two weeks before was impressive, too. It is one of those things where as long as we can run the ball, we are not going to be in those third-and-8, third-and-9 and third-and-12 situations when they can tee off and turn into a one-on-one pass rush. Just as an O-line, you just build confidence, and you say, ‘Hey we are going to take our shots on play-action’ and you start wearing down guys. I know they get tired when they pass rush, but leaning on guys, double-teaming guys and getting guys on the ground, all that stuff just cumulatively wears on the guy throughout the game. Towards the end when you need to make a big play, you have a chance to really open things up. It is definitely something that we want to lean on and continue to do and then take our shots when we get the chance and get over the top of our weapons.”

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LB B.J. Goodson:

On Colts QB Philip Rivers’ career success and what he has seen from Rivers this season:

“Philip is a smart guy, and it shows in his tape. His ability to get the ball out of his hands and not to get hit is remarkable. We have to come up with things to get him off the field and take advantage.”

On the Colts OL:

“They are definitely a good line. Looking forward to going against those guys. Definitely going to be a challenge and a challenge that we are looking forward to.”

On the Colts run offense:

“They do not get enough credit to be honest. They have a solid run game. They have quite a few backs that they rotate in. They definitely do not get the credit that they do just from me watching tape and watching the tape on them.”

On DE Myles Garrett’s impressive start to the season:

“He has been big time for us making great plays in big moments. There is not much more that you can ask from a guy.”

On DT Sheldon Richardson:

“That is my guy. That is my guy. Running hard to the ball, getting out of his stance and fighting his tail off. That is my guy. If there is anybody I want to go to war with, Sheldon is my guy. I definitely appreciate my guys up front, all of them.”

On if he knew Richardson before coming to Cleveland:

“No, sir.”

On if he was impressed by how Richardson carries himself and if he bonded with Richardson:

“Yeah, I would say that with all of the guys.”

On if Richardson is a fun person to play with:

“Yeah, he is. He has his own personality and is a great guy to be around.”

On what has been working well to allow the Browns defense to get so many takeaways, including communication and instincts:

“A little bit of all of it. Things complement each other, whether it is the coverage and the rush or vice versa. Just things complement each other.”

On LB Mack Wilson since returning from injury and if Wilson is still shaking off some rust after missing time:

“You would have to talk with him about how he feels, but he has been preparing and moving around great. He looks great at practice and on game tape. It is great to be out there with him on the field.”

On how the Browns are handling the 3-1 start:

“Great. Everybody has their head down and is working. Nobody is content with where we are. We understand the history here, but as long as there is time, there is opportunity. We are looking forward to being prepared for the opportunity that is ahead.”

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WR Jarvis Landry:

On how his arm is feeling, given he said he was a little sore after throwing the TD pass to WR Odell Beckham Jr.:

“It is actually feeling better today. I am not lying to you guys, I literally had like two of the worst days of my life with my lat. It was sore as hell.”

On putting a lot of energy into the TD pass to Beckham:

“Yeah, he would have been mad at me if I did not throw that ball so I had to make sure I got it up and down as quickly as possible.”

On why the 3-1 start feels so ‘legitimate’:

“We have done a lot of great things. Where we are in the turnover margin speaks for itself. Where we are in the run games speaks for itself. Points per game speaks for itself. All of these things are not by mistake. We go out here and we work hard each and every day, and we are understanding the pieces that we are trying to put together to make the run and win every week. It is tough, but we are doing the necessary things that we can do out here on the practice field.”

On how special it was to play in his 100th consecutive career game and throw Beckham’s 50th career TD reception:

“Yeah, the 100th game was an emotional thing for me, and then to cap it off throwing a touchdown rather than scoring a touchdown was almost perfect. We practiced this play over and over and over, and I just knew in my head no matter what, I am just throwing him the ball. Trusting and knowing that he is going to get open and make the catch and make the play. He talked about it after the game – I am sure a lot of you were on the call – when he talked about how we used to throw the football outside of WCA (West Campus Apartments) at LSU. Those are like the little moments that you think back even like right now and you think back to. It is very special and different just going back from all the times that our friendship and brotherhood has been together with each other and having history made on that play together is something that is crazy. You can’t even put it into words. It is crazy.”

On Beckham getting involved in the game early and getting stronger as the game progressed:

“Yeah, that is part of the plan. It is about flow. I think what you are speaking about is flow. When you have a guy that wants to be involved, a guy that comes into work and works as hard as anybody and does his job day in and day out and having opportunities on a Sunday to make plays – obviously he does make plays – getting him going early as often as you can is going to be an advantage for us.”

On if he is concerned about the recent COVID-19 cases around the league:

“Yeah. First of all, everybody’s health is at risk and that is not something to play with. That is something that we all take very seriously. There are a lot of people involved, and we are praying for everybody. Outside of this building, it is kind of hard to know if everybody is doing the necessary things, but I know inside of this building, we are doing the necessary things to make sure we can play football because ultimately that is what we want to do. We are watching from afar. We are learning about other people’s mistakes or whatever it is that is going on in other places and trying not to let that happen here because we want to play football and we want to continue to go out there and come to work each and every day.”

On Beckham’s 50-yard TD run at Dallas:

“Greatness. Another play that you can’t even put into words at a moment like that at a time like that. It is always tough when you have a lead like we had and then a team comes back and you are still trying to protect the lead and call safe plays, and you find a way to get the ball in Odell’s hand, which should have been a 12-yard loss turns into a 50-yard touchdown in the opposite way in a blink of an eye. Listen, I have not seen plays like that in the NFL in a long time. Only special guys make those type of plays. He is very special. That is something that we are going to continue to need out of him for the rest of the season.”

On the Colts defense:

“They are a really good football team. They are a great organization. Obviously, a lot of history inside their organization. They do a lot of things well. They do not beat themselves. They have been better these past three weeks in the turnover margin, which I think that has helped them have a little bit of success. We are going to have our hands full. We are going to our have our hands full in every phase, and we just have to try to find a way to score one more point than they do.”

On if Beckham now owes him a TD pass and if Beckham could throw as good of a pass as he did:

“(Laughter) Listen, we are just making plays. I think when the opportunity comes, if it comes, he is going make the smart decision. On that play, I had a couple of different options, but I really knew the one that I wanted to go to. When his turn is up, he will have the opportunity to make the same type of decision and he better make the right decision – that is all I am saying (laughter).”

On his relationship with Head Coach Kevin Stefanski and Stefanski valuing his and Beckham’s input, contributions and feelings:

“Yeah, I believe, especially in this game and with the amount of experience Coach Kevin has from his long history of coaching and obviously our seven years of apiece, me and Odell, I think the biggest thing has been the communication and always will be communication. I think the more that we can have these open and honest conversations just about our emotions or our feelings or whatever it is or everything that goes into winning the game because ultimately at the end of the day, it is about winning the game. I think Coach Stefanski knows that about myself and about Odell. It is never a selfish communication when we are having our talks or whatever it is. It is just understanding each other, understanding the things that we are trying to do and how can we do those things. That is something that Coach Stefanski has been very open about and that we all have been working on.”

On if there is a sense that the Browns offense will continue to evolve and improve, despite RB Nick Chubb’s injury:

“Yeah, no question. There is definitely more to come. A guy like Nick who does not talk much, just shows up does his job, does it as a high level and one of the best running backs in the NFL right now, to lose him it is going to be tough to replace that, but I think like you said, we do have a roster that will allow us to do a couple other different things and still be in successful plays. I am excited to see how this is going to work out and will be praying for Nick to hurry up and get back as fast as he can safely and enjoy this ride with us.”

On if there was a moment at Dallas when he thought ‘this is what the offense can look like’:

“Absolutely. I think it was maybe the drive right before halftime. I remember (TE) Austin Hooper catching a pass, and I caught a pass on third down right before we clocked it. Just the operation of how that whole sequence happened and then (K) Cody Parkey comes on and makes the field go, and I am on the sideline and I immediately look you know to (pass game coordinator/wide receivers) Coach (Chad) O’Shea and to (QB) Baker (Mayfield) and I say, ‘We just took a step in the right direction.’ I can remember being here for the last two years, and we would do all of these things and then we would miss the kick or something would happen right before we get into field goal range or a penalty would happen or something happened that kind of stops us. We had the sequence of plays and then we kick the field goal, and I felt the step being taken as a football team – I am getting chills right now – to be able to be where we want to be because that is what we have to do. We have be able to score those points right before half and then come out at half and score. That is a 10-point swing right there. That is a beautiful thing in this game.”

On what has he learned about Stefanski’s as a play caller:

“He has some balls. He is a guy that nobody would think that a reverse is coming at the time that it came. Nobody would think that the first series of the game we would run a toss-reverse-pass. We still had a lot of sequences of football where we just ran great plays, mixing the run in with the pass very well and a screen here and there. That is something that he was in a flow. You can tell that the rhythm was there, and guys were going out there executing and playing as hard as they could.”

On what allows Stefanski to be an effective play caller and head coach:

“I would say his preparation. I talk to him multiple times, either after the game or Monday or Tuesday, just texting and talking. He is in the building late night, and hearing Coach O’Shea as we are talking through first, second and third down in the meeting rooms talk about how all coaches are doing is looking at film, drawing up plays and thinking of guys to put in these positions and go out and make plays. To me, it all comes down to his preparation, and I think he is definitely a confident guy once he gets to calling plays and in a rhythm, and that is what makes us good.”

On when was the last time he saw Beckham this content, healthy and focused:

“Probably college. Probably college. Last year, he was dealing with a major that obviously he had to have surgery and coming into a new system, a new team and all of these things, I think that that weighs on you and weighs on anybody. He has handled it well. This year, I think his body has kind of calmed his mind down from all the things that he had going on that he can go out here and perform at a high level each and every time he takes the field.”

On if Beckham’s performance last week was reintroducing himself to the NFL as an elite player:

“You guys know as well as I do, it should have never been a conversation that he was not an elite player anymore. I do not think I can answer that question. He has always been an elite player.”

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Offensive Coordinator Alex Van Pelt:

On how effective the Browns OL has played and if the group can still continue to improve with more reps:

“Yeah, I think they will only get better. I agree, they are playing extremely well up front. I know (offensive line) Coach (Bill) Callahan and (assistant offensive line) Coach (Scott) Peters do an exceptional job of getting those guys ready each week. With all the drill work they do on the side, those guys are constantly working as soon as they step on the field from pre-practice to post-practice. I know that is paying off now. Really impressed with the way they have played up front, both in the run game and in the protections.”

On if WR Jarvis Landry was in the QB room this week after his TD pass at Dallas:

“I do not know, but I would take him in at a draft if I had a chance because man, that was one heck of a pass and. I have seen him do it. He did it against the Bengals when I was on the other sideline a few years ago and he threw a dime down the right sideline. Obviously, he is a weapon. He does a great job, makes great decisions and is extremely accurate down the field throwing the ball.”

On he has grown to appreciate the value WR Odell Beckham Jr. brings to the team:

“Absolutely, he is an extremely dynamic player. He can do a lot of different things, and he does it at an extremely high level. It is our job to find ways to get him the ball. As you can see there, going back to him again with the second time of the game on the reverse play, just putting the trust in the players like (Head) Coach Kevin (Stefanski) said. He really came through for us, and we expect that moving forward. We have to get the ball to him early and get him going because he really is a talented guy that can do a lot of things with the ball in his hands, whether he is catching it or running it.”

On if it was important for Beckham to remind everyone of his abilities with last week’s breakout game:

“I think so. He is a very prideful player. Obviously, he wants to be great. Guys like that, when they do not have a chance to show their greatness, kind of get frustrated at times. What a better stage than in Dallas to do it in a big game and then really pulled us through to a victory there at the end. That was special for him, I am sure, and does remind everybody of the talent that he does have.”

On if he knew RB D’Ernest Johnson could perform at the level Johnson did at Dallas:

“You saw flashes of that. I have not been around him a long time, but I did see flashes in the training camp. He is a very instinctive runner. Also, very impressed with that whole group in that room really with (RB) Nick (Chubb) going down and (RB) Kareem (Hunt) kind of limited, D’Ernest thrust into that role, (RB) Dontrell (Hilliard) having a big run and I thought (FB) Andy (Janovich) played extremely well at the fullback position and covered up a lot of things and made some key critical blocks. Great job by (run game coordinator/running backs coach) Stump Mitchell with the running back room last week. We expect that from D’Ernest. I know Stump did. Next man up mentality. I know he has those guys ready to go no matter what happens. That was an impressive performance.”

On what Callahan has meant to the run game:

“It is huge. The different scheme variation that we have each week and the things that he brings to the table, he has a vast library of knowledge of different types of runs. Really faced almost every defense in the league at some point and understands how those runs affect those defenses. Just the knowledge that he brings in and the scheme he brings every week to the run game, it has helped us tremendously. Very happy to have coach on staff. Lean on him a lot.”

On how encouraging it is to get TE David Njoku back and if Njoku can build upon his success in the season opener:

“Absolutely, David is another guy that is a very talented guy. He brings a great depth to that tight end position. We have had good play out the tight end room this year, very solid performances in each of the games. Now he just adds another element to that. Another guy that it is a good problem to have having to find ways to get guys the ball. When he gets the ball in his hands, he is explosive so we have to be conscious of that moving forward, as well.”

On if drawing up red zone plays is 100 percent or if someone deserves special credit for being the ‘red zone wizard’ this season:

“No, it is definitely collaborative. Everybody has ideas. We all go through the ideas together. The thing that stands out in the red zone is that most teams that are successful in the red zone runs the ball very well in the red zone. As you see, we have, as well. We have a lot of great passes schemed up, but if we can just run it in every time we get down there, we all would be extremely happy. It is definitely as collaborative effort.”

On the Browns third WR role with WR KhaDarel Hodge out:

“It is going to be a little bit by committee, and maybe we will have another guy up this week ready to go. (WR) Rashard (Higgins) should be possibly up. We will see how things go towards the end of the week. Between him and (WR) Donovan (Peoples-Jones), those guys will come in and split time and try to fill that void right now until Hodge comes back.”

On losing Chubb and the impact on the Browns offense:

“It is tough. It is obviously going to be tough, and there are some big shoes to fill there. Kareem is a guy that has done it in the past. He has had great success, and we expect nothing less from him. We do not expect a drop off at all in the run game with Kareem there, and then D’Ernest obviously showed that he belongs and can play in this league at a high level, as well.”

On Colts DT DeForest Buckner and the Colts defense:

“It is going to be a challenge for us offensively. This will be the biggest challenge of the year, we feel. A very talented group of guys. They do not do a lot schematically, but they play extremely hard and they are very sound – fundamentally sound and scheme sound. They do a very little, but they do it a lot very well. The effort is there. You see those guys on film they finish. They run hard to the ball so we are going to have to be able to play at a level that we can match or exceed their finish and their fundamentals. We have addressed that this week. A big challenge ahead for us offensively.”

On how pleased has he been with QB Baker Mayfield’s decision making and how important it is for Mayfield to continue the streak of not throwing an interception:

“Obviously, that defense is talented. Seven interceptions is a ton. Going in, we have to make great decisions. Been very impressed with him the last two weeks with Baker. In the game against Dallas, he had four balls that he threw out of bounds. Those are plays that we are OK with. We are fine with incompletions. We just cannot afford the interceptions. Now we start a streak moving in the other direction, and we will see how long we keep this streak going.”

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Defensive coordinator Joe Woods:

On what was going through his heart and mind when the Cowboys were making a fourth quarter comeback:

“It was racing. I promise you, the heartbeat was fast. Really, I played in a very similar game against those guys when I was in Denver. We went into the fourth quarter 35-10, and we made a couple of plays and got off the field so I had that same feeling going in and it was 41-14. Really, the whole plan was really just try to be good with our coverage, rush the quarterback and maybe force him into some bad decisions and get a turnover. Unfortunately, that did not happen. We found a way to hang on at the end, but that is definitely not the way we want to play defense and finish games.”

On CB Denzel Ward performing at a high level and Ward’s interception to close the game while dealing with a groin injury:

“Very, very proud of the way he has fought through injuries. Proud of the way he played. When you watch the end of the game, you get in a situation when you are up that much that you kind of play cautious. When I went back – obviously, I watched it several times – he was one of the guys that stuck out that was really just playing his technique and really trying to finish, and it paid off for us in the end. Really proud of where he is, and hopefully, he continues to play this way for us.”

On what it means for DE Myles Garrett to have such a strong start to the season and make big plays in key moments of games:

“Everything. You have one of those flamethrowers out there, that is what allows you to do certain things in coverage. I always try to put Myles in good situations because I feel like if we can get him one on one, I feel like he has a chance to win every time. Just what he has done over the last few games, it speaks to the level that he is playing at right now.”

On if he finds himself at times on the sideline saying to himself ‘come on No. 95, make a play’:

“No question. That was the plan the whole way. I was a little conservative. The first thing I do when I go back is I always look at the how could I have been better as a play caller because I think that you have to look at yourself first, and then now you are evaluating the scheme and the players. A big part of me calling things a certain way is based on how we are rushing up front. When you have Myles, you feel like if you can make him hold it for a second, then he will get it.”

On if it is a difficult time being a NFL defensive coordinator, given points per game is up this season around the league:

“I embrace it. It is a challenge. I think we are all going through the same things. I think maybe some offenses where as a system has been intact, especially when a quarterback has been there, they are probably playing more to their level because of that. I think for us, and not making excuses, we are really week in and week out trying to find out who we have as our playmakers and what are some of the better things to call in situations. We will continue to do that throughout the season. I embrace it and I just know that we have to do a better job defensively, but I will take the win.”

On if he sees DT Sheldon Richardson still getting better at his stage in his career:

“You know what? I do. I mess with Sheldon all the time because I remember when he came out in the draft, and I came from the Tampa tree and it was always about (Pro Football Hall of Fame DT) Warren Sapp as 3-technique, and I remember when he came out in the draft, it was like, ‘Man, this is the next guy.’ I make sure I remind him of that and say this is the guy that we need to see all the time. If there is a big play he makes or you see him running to the ball, I always try that out to him because if we can get him playing at that level, that just helps us when it comes to defending the run and the pass.”

On what does Richardson brings to the team on and off the field, referencing a video of Richardson talking with Garrett:

“Yeah, he is a character. He is really a good guy to have on the team because he is a veteran so there is a lot of wise things and a lot of advice that he gives to other players. I think when it is time when it is crunch time, he is the guy that you can look at and say, ‘Hey man, let’s get this thing going.’ He has definitely been a positive attribute to our team, especially defensively.”

On if has noticed a change in the way Colts QB Philip Rivers plays and what Rivers brings to the Colts offense:

“He brings confidence to that offense. I know the head coach that was with him prior, and when you have a veteran quarterback that commands the offense, he is putting them in the right plays, whether it is run or pass, at the line of scrimmage. You can’t fool the guy. He is really a good rhythm thrower. He can still make the throws. I think this is the 14th time I have coached against him since I have been in the NFL so I see the same thing from Game 1 when I first coached against him to Game 14. We definitely are going to have our hands full with this guy.”

On the challenge Colts DT DeForest Buckner presents to the Browns offense:

“I do not know if (Head) Coach (Kevin) Stefanski has had conversations with (defensive line) Coach (Chris) Kiffin about it, but DeForest is a great player, based on all the things he has done so far in his career. That is the challenge you have, whether you are on offense or defense, is every week you are going to face a great player. I am sure they are going to try to find ways to neutralize him with what they are doing offensively, but I have enough problems to deal with (laughter). Kevin understands what he is dealing with. He does.”

On his conversations with S Andrew Sendejo and occasions where Sendejo appears to have given up big plays, including one last week:

“Yeah, the long play, Sendejo, that was that was not his play. His play was on No. 2 on the out cut. He actually covered up. We busted that coverage extremely bad. The pressure did not work for us. He was not responsible for that first long touchdown whatsoever. He is an aggressive player. I was actually there when we signed him. I worked him out as a free agent. The thing he is going to give you is he is going to play 100 miles an hour all of the time. My conversation with him is always just play within yourself. He has really been an asset for us because he gets everybody lined up in the back end, he communicates, his work ethic around the building and his film study. His biggest thing is just continuing to work on being consistent and not trying to do too much.”

On if LB Mack Wilson is still easing into or if he will be ready to go fully this week:

“He is feeling a lot better. He is truly not 100 percent, I would say. He is still coming back from the injury, but he is getting strong and stronger every week. Again, we put him in a position where he is getting the majority of his reps in base, and we are just going to continue to evaluate how many nickel reps he gets. He is getting better, and he will continue to be more involved in our defense on base and sub.”

On if he is most comfortable with S Ronnie Harrison Jr. at SS or if Harrison could also play FS:

“I think his natural fit is probably as a strong safety, but there are positions based on what we are calling where he will have to play in the post at times. It is just something we are evaluating week to week. He is getting better. He is understanding defenses more and more each week, and we are going to really try to get him some more reps in this game and continue to do that throughout the season.”

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Special teams coordinator Mike Priefer:

On CB Tavierre Thomas’ performance against Dallas:

“He was all over the field. He was tough to block. He did everything we asked him to do. He actually had five solos and to assists so out of the eight tackles that we had in that game, he was involved in seven of them. Obviously, he did a great job for us, along with playing 39 plays on defense. We played 21 core special teams plays, besides field goal block, and he had 39 defensive plays so it was an amazing effort by him. He really did a great job for us.”

On how WR Donovan Peoples-Jones played in his NFL debut and what happened on the kickoff that bounced into the end zone:

“The kickoff, we talked about it before hand that if they kicked the squib and it was too hard and it was going to go in the end zone, we would rather have a touchback in that situation because we were in our hands team so we were not going to get much blocking obviously. We had 10 guys in that setup zone. I thought he handled the situation correctly. He did not touch the ball. I would like him to follow the ball a little bit closer down towards the end zone to make sure it goes in the end zone because obviously, if the ball is untouched – he knows the rules, obviously – in the end zone, it is an automatic touchback. It worked out for us. I would just like him to follow the ball a little bit longer.”

On the touchback rule on kickoffs recently changing:

“Yeah, it used to be a live ball until they either downed it in the end zone or returned it and they were tackled. The only time it was an automatic touchback was if it went out in the end zone. Yeah, it changed. I think this is the third year of the rule.”

On if Peoples-Jones will continue as the returner or if WR Ryan Switzer could be used:

“We worked with Ryan extra yesterday before practice. We are going to continue to work with Ryan. He obviously has that pedigree, he has done it before and he has a lot of experience. For right now, Donovan is going to be the guy today on punt return and kickoff return. We always have (RB) Dontrell (Hilliard) and we have (RB) D’Ernest (Johnson), who is now taking on more of an offensive role. We have several guys who can do it and help us when we need them to.”

On the Colts special teams unit:

“They are good. They are playing hard. They are probably the fastest team that we have played thus far. Baltimore is big, strong and fast and some of the other teams we played are very, very good, but these guys really can run. If you look at their kickoff team across the board and their punt team across the board, they have a bunch of guys who can run. That is going to be our biggest challenge is slowing these guys down a little bit to try to get some seams and create some seams in our return game. Their young kicker has done a nice job, the rookie from Georgia (Colt K Rodrigo) Blankenship. (Colts P Rigoberto) Sanchez is netting over 43 yards a punt, and they have three returners – they have (Colts CB Isaiah) Rodgers, the rookie from UMass has done a nice job for and him he is a threat; they have (Colts WR Ashton) Dulin, a big strong receiver that is a threat No. 16; and then of course No. 21 (Colts RB Nyheim) Hines is an outstanding punt returner. They have had a lot of success, and I think they are very, very good at what they do.”

On if the Colts special teams unit recorded a block last week:

“They partially blocked a punt on the inside twist and man protection against Chicago. Nobody blocked what we call the No. 3. The guard should have blocked him I thought. I do not know which Chicago does scheme wise, but our guard would have blocked him. We would have that blocked up, I would hope. That was a big play for those guys. They play hard. You never know when they are going to show up. They are very well-coached. (Colts special teams coordinator) Coach (Bubba) Ventrone has done a nice job. He is a fine young coach who has paid his dues playing in the league and also as an assistant special teams coach. I have a lot of respect for him and what he has done there.”

On how RB D’Ernest Johnson stepped up when RB Nick Chubb sustained an injury at Dallas:

“I thought he did a great job. I was really proud of him. We talk to our special teams guys all the time that, and we have a lot of veterans in our meetings and I appreciate the veteran leadership that we have that they might be starters on offense and defense but they play one phase or maybe two, if it is field goal block or whatever, but it is kind of cool when a core special teams guys who has meant so much to our special teams units the past two years steps up and does a great job on offense or defense. I am really proud of D’Ernest and what he did the other day.”

On Johnson’s growth over the past year:

“I think so. I really mean this that the more reps you take on special teams, that is NFL football, NFL speed and big strong guys running around, and the more you do that, the more it helps you prepare to play on offense or defense to get that experience. I think it is hard to show up as a young player, not have any football experience at this level and be successful on offense or defense. I think that is where special teams for these young players until they develop and grow into that type of role on offense or defense really helps them to play at a high level on special teams, and D’Ernest did that for us.”

On Johnson showing up ready to play during training camp and not necessarily being surprised by his strong performance at Dallas, despite limited reps at RB and the modifications to the schedule prior to the season:

“Yes, and that is a great point. He showed up ready. For D’Ernest, it is little things that he does well. He is not the biggest, he is not the strongest and he is not the fastest, but he has enough of each one of those qualities that make him a quality teamer and a quality running back. Like I said, I am real proud of the way he showed up. He does the little things well. He studies the game. He watches extra tape. He makes sure that he does everything in individual on offense and whatever (run game coordinator/running backs) Coach (Stump) Mitchell is telling him to do and help him grow his running back. He does whatever I ask him to do helping him improve on special teams. For a guy like that, as a former college free agent to have that kind of success he had on Sunday and hopefully beyond, is a tribute to him, his hard work and what he has done.”

On WR KhaDarel Hodge sustaining a hamstring injury during pregame, which led to WR Donovan Peoples-Jones having an increased role on offense during his NFL debut:

“Because he was not in the coverage phases, Donovan, we knew he was not going to be gassed for the return phases. He handled it like a pro. I thought he did a nice job for us. He gave the ball back to the offense every time. He handled different situations well. Any time a guy goes down, especially the caliber of player that KhaDarel is, right before the game is hard, but the way we approach on special teams is it was like he got hurt on the first play or the very first kickoff, kickoff return or first offensive play and you just have to go on. You always have a plan. That is next man up. Guys responded and did well. We still need to cover punts better. Without him out there, it hurts a little bit, but we have our work cut out for us. Guys stepped up and did a good job.”

On Head Coach Kevin Stefanski’s performance as head coach and offensive play caller:

“He has a great demeanor to do that as a head coach and as offensive [play caller]. He does not get too high or too low and very even keel, which really helps him do both jobs well. The thing from my point of view, I have rarely worked for a head coach that has given me this much time. We have good meeting time. We have walkthrough, jog-through and practice time. We go over all the situations. You go back to the Dallas game in the fourth quarter and the different kickoff returns that we had to put out there, we had a kickoff return unit where we moved guys up and we got the ball out to the 25; we have the hands team where we got the ball as a touchback; and the biggest play of the game, at least the biggest play of the fourth quarter to me, was getting the ball at the 50-yard line when (RB) Dontrell (Hilliard) did a great job, we showed the hands and we are moving guys around to confuse their kicker a little bit, he punches one to us and we got the ball at the 50.The reason we were successful at that stuff is because our guys were paying attention. They are understanding the importance of special. It is emphasized from the top down to the players. What has really helped us is the time, the effort and the emphasis that the head coach puts on special teams that allows me to do my job at a higher level.”`

On Thomas’ success in special teams coverage:

“He is fast. He is aggressive. He is smart. He learns from not only watching tape but he learns how they are trying to block him during the game. We will talk about stuff on the sideline. We will move him around, which we will need to do to keep him out of double team situations because obviously they are going to double him. He has an extreme amount of confidence in his ability without being arrogant or cocky because he knows that they can knock him out of the game or with a double team they can keep him away from the returner at any play. He is always active with his hands and his feet, and he is strong enough and fast enough to be successful no matter what he does.”

On Ventrone has shared any stories from playing with the Browns:

“No, but I do like talking to him. When we scrimmaged at Indy last year before the preseason game, I got a chance to spend more time with him than I usually do at a combine or whatever. Actually, I am old enough that I coached against him so I remember when he was a player. He is a fine young coach, and he brings that energy and he brings that knowledge to the game because he was a great special teams player, and that was his primary role in New England and other teams that he played for. He has done a nice job. They have good players, and those guys are playing hard for them. You can tell by the effort that they play how they respond to his coaching. We have to match that intensity and surpass it. We have to take advantage of any opportunities that we have in the return game. We have to get after these guys.”

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