Browns transcripts -- Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020

Rob McBurnett

Director, Community & Corporate Communications

Head Coach Kevin Stefanski:

Opening statement: 

“I know you guys got the release that will put three guys on the COVID-19 list today so they will not be at practice. Also, (DE) Myles (Garrett) is home sick so he will not be out there at practice. As you can imagine, you have to be careful anytime somebody is dealing with an illness so he will not be out there. Everybody else will be so expect a full group working out there which will be good.

“Looking forward to this week. I think it is a really good football team coming to our building. They are first in the NFC East. We know the challenge they present on offense as they get healthy. They have a bunch of guys coming back off of injuries. I should start with it is a really well-coached group in total. (Eagles Head Coach) Doug Pederson does a great job with that group on offense as with the team, a Super Bowl-winning coach. On defense, I think it is a really good unit. They really come after you with that front four. (Eagles defensive coordinator) Jim Schwartz again, outstanding. Special teams, I think it might be the fastest group we play all year. (Eagles special teams coordinator) coach (Dave) Fipp does a great job with those guys. It is a really sound scheme on all three sides for the Eagles. We have our work cut out for us, and we really need a great week of preparation and that starts today.”

On if the reserve/COVID-19 placements were related to yesterday’s testing and why the Browns facility did not need to be closed today: 

“I will have to kind of stay out of specifics, but I will just tell you we are following all the protocols. We are in constant communication with the league on these type of things. Safety is of utmost importance, and we are doing everything to maintain that safety.”

On the Browns’ plan at LS with LS Charley Hughlett if unavailable after Hughlett was placed on reserve/COVID-19 list: 

“We have backup long snappers. Many guys want to be a long snapper. We have a few guys that already practice it, (LB) Mack Wilson being one of them. We will just make sure that we have a plan if we are without Charley.”

On if the Browns will need to add a player if Hughlett is not available for Sunday: 

“No, we have guys on the roster that can do it.”

On if the team asks players who test positive what potentially happened that may have led to them contracting the virus: 

“I can’t go into specifics, but I would caution you to say adding anybody to the list does not mean they tested positive. We will just make sure that we are again following all of the rules.”

On the NFL-NFLPA COVID-19 protocols stating that a player who tested positive on last Friday or Monday could have potentially returned by now if asymptomatic:

“I do not think that is true. I think if you test positive, it is I believe 10 days [or five days with two consecutive negative tests].”

On the Browns’ plan at FB if FB Andy Janovich is unavailable on Sunday and if RBs Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb could be used together: 

“We talk about all those things. Without Andy, you have to look at the tight end room, you have to look at potentially elevating (FB) Johnny Stanton and you look at using a halfback there. Those are things that we are talking about doing.”

On if T Kendall Lamm will play RT if T Jack Conklin and T Chris Hubbard are both unavailable on Sunday: 


On Lamm: 

“Kendall works extremely hard. He fits the bill of the guys that we are looking for. He does a great job at practice, and I see him a lot because he gets a ton of reps on the scout team so he is blocking Myles Garrett many times and (DE) Olivier Vernon so he gets great work during the week. Very conscientious person and player. He studies real hard. Should he be the guy, he will be ready to go.”

On if the Browns have ruled out any potential COVID-related issues for Garrett: 

“Well, it is 2020. I do not think you rule out anything. Obviously, he is not going on the COVID list. He is sick, and we will make sure that that we again follow all the protocols.”

On if Garrett’s situation is a similar to what happened with WR Odell Beckham Jr. earlier in the season: 

“Yes, similar. You know how it is when guys are sick. It is not like the old days where you say, ‘Alright, come on in later in the day.’ You can’t do that.”

On optimism that the Browns offense can get the pass game going in games without tough weather conditions: 

“I have tremendous confidence in our group. I think you have to be able to play the game that is called for. That is kind of what we have done last week. Certainly, a couple weeks ago it was to a lesser extent. I would take ourselves back to the Cincinnati game. There have been moments where we are going to make sure we do whatever it takes to score points, and I have a tremendous confidence in our run and pass game.”

On Eagles RB Miles Sanders’ performance against AFC North opponents this season: 

“He is a big play running back. Like you mentioned, you watch the tape of those games in our division, he is ripping off long runs. I think he just has that ability. He has that speed. He has the vision to do that. We watch all of the games so our coaches are well aware of what he brings to the table.”

On Eagles QB Carson Wentz: 

“I have a lot of respect for Carson Wentz. I think he is an outstanding football player. They are getting healthy now, which I think plays into the entire offense’s ability to be efficient and score points. I have seen him with my own eyes. That kid can make every play with his feet and with his arm so he definitely has our attention.”

On if people may underestimate what it is like for Wentz to be without top players like Sanders and TE Zach Ertz: 

“Yeah, they might. I think the way we look at it is they are definitely getting healthy on offense. They have skill players really at each position that can hurt you. They have big play ability. They have the ability to run it and pass it, like we were talking about earlier, with some of the big runs that they have had. It is a really good offense coming into our building.”

On Mayfield’s main area of growth this season: 

“I think just overall comfort level in what we are asking him to do. I would not use the offseason as an excuse. I would only tell you that a lot of the reps that you learn and teach off of occur in the spring and in the summer. A lot of the reps that he is learning from are occurring in training camp and then in games without that preseason. That is unique, but that is not unique to the Browns – it is everybody. I think just maximizing all of those reps that he has been getting throughout the season.”

On if he has noticed a difference in how Mayfield is commanding the huddle or locker room: 

“Not that I have noticed. I think the players understand how hard he works. He is a grinder. He spends a lot of time on the tape, albeit be at home now and not in the building. He understands what we are trying to do. He understands the gameplan inside and out. I think the players seeing his hard work certainly respect that.”

On the Eagles pass rush: 

“They are so aggressive. They pin their ears back, and they are flying off the ball, defeating one-on-one blocks. Just across the board obviously with (Eagles DT) Fletcher Cox and (Eagles DE) Brandon Graham, but it is really all. They come in waves. I think they do a great job of getting off the ball and are extremely aggressive in the rush.”

On describing the differences in Chubb’s and Hunt’s running styles: 

“Good question. They are both unique in their own way. They find ways to get it done. Nick has that powerful ability that is coupled with homerun speed, which is very rare. Kareem’s ability to break tackles and his elusiveness, whether in the open or really in a crowd, is quite impressive.”

On how Chubb was able to get around the corner on the 59-yard run against the Texans: 

“Nick made a great individual effort. They had an unblocked player right there, and he did something that not many people on this earth can do.”

On the Browns and NFL using Kinexon devices for social distancing and contact tracing: 

“Obviously, we wear these the minute that we walk in the building. They are on full display so that if someone else is wearing them, they start blinking red so you are aware that you are within six feet. We wear them everywhere. The players wear them out to the practice field. Really anywhere you are in this building, you have a Kinexon device on so that at the end of the day, you can pull all data from these that tell you if you have had any close contacts, and our goal continues to be to have zero close contacts.”

On the Browns winning a game without attempting a pass 70 years ago and if that could happen in today’s NFL, particularly in a game with inclement weather: 

“Anything is possible, but there have been some games I would say recently that have had some bizarre weather out there. Our game, you were still able to throw in at times when the wind maybe died down a little bit, but I can picture some snowy games and some games that seem to be occurring in a hurricane where they still are throwing the ball. I would say it would be unlikely.”

On what makes Eagles DE Brandon Graham so effective: 

“He has a great motor. He just does not give up. Every play, he plays with the same mentality, and that is just to beat his man in that in that one-on-one rush. He has a stouter build than most. He is not one of these big, long, tall guys that use as long levers in his arms, but he has the ability to stay close to the ground and just provide incredible power in his rush.”

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QB Baker Mayfield:

On preparing for the Eagles without T Jack Conklin, C JC Tretter and other Browns players at practice today: 

“Obviously, the Eagles team, a lot of great players up front. I think their play speaks for itself. We are going to keep that same mentality of adapt to whatever happens and next man up mentality. Whatever happens, happens. We can’t control a lot it. We can only hope to improve and move forward.”

On if he is optimistic that Conklin, K Cody Parkey and LS Charley Hughlett will be back on Sunday and his shared experience of missing time due to being on reserve/COVID-19: 

“When you are sitting there at home, you want to be at practice and you want to be with everybody, but to me, it kind of makes you lock in a lot more mentally because you know you are not getting the physical reps. With the guys that are in the protocol right now, I think they will handle it just as that is.”

On playing in inclement weather games recently and the potential for another bad weather day on Sunday: 

“I do not know if the forecast has as much wind as the past two, but I enjoyed seeing how everybody handled it. Everybody has to deal with the same conditions so if you can adapt and handle it the best way possible, then great. That is my mentality going into it week in and week out is just take care of the ball. The teams that make the least amount of mistakes in those types of games and control the ball and just kind of stay as efficient as possible. It is a big field position game. When you have games that weather affects it that much, one first down when you are backed up to maybe change the field position when you punt the ball, just to really kind of control that and play chess not checkers.”

On what stands out about Eagles DE Brandon Graham and the Eagles pass rush: 

“He is a very experienced player. I just think he is extremely smart. His physical talent, he can kind of do it all. He is very quick. He recognizes plays and schemes quickly. I think when you mix that with physical talent, that is a pretty great combo. Obviously, (Eagles DT) Fletcher (Cox)’s play speaks for itself. He kind of gave me my ‘welcome to the NFL moment’ my rookie year in a preseason game and tossed me like a ragdoll. Familiar with Fletcher.”

On the NFL being a passing league and the need to be sharp in the passing game when weather permits: 

“I think you have to be able to do whatever it takes to win. Some games, it just kind of depends on who you are playing. Are they going to load the box? Are they going to try and stop the run? Or are they going to play the split safety, allow you to run the ball and keep the ball in front of them? It is that mentality of whatever it takes. You just have to attack, and whatever they are stopping you, you have to go the opposite way.”

On if he agrees with Eagles Head Coach Doug Pederson’s comments about the Browns running game complementing what he does best with bootlegs and play-action passes: 

“I think that is our offense as a whole. We run the ball to set up the play action, our shots and our movements to keep teams off track and make everything look similar. Yeah, I would say I agree.”

On the Browns not having any turnovers in the Texans game and what he learned about himself during the past two games with inclement weather: 

“Those are the two windiest games I have ever been a part of. You really have to try and get a tight spiral because if you have any sort of wobble on it, the wind will affect it extremely. Just learning that on some of these throws, you really had to put some mustard behind them and try and judge the wind as best as possible. Like the throw before halftime to (WR) Jarvis (Landry), it just kind of carried on me. I tried to put touch on it, but it just got caught in that jet stream and went right over his head. There are some things that you can prepare for, but trying to play in the wind is another ballgame.”

On if he notices the one-two punch of RBs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt wearing down opposing defenses: 

“Yeah, you can definitely tell later in the games. Obviously, those guys breaking more and more tackles. Just the effort on defensive guys, you can tell the way they approached those guys, whether they are coming in with the same intensity or they are diving early and not wrapping up. They wear on those guys, and our O line, they feed off of that. They see those guys breaking tackles and they continue to push the pile. It is not only just our backs but everybody as a whole block for them.”

On if he had a good view of Chubb’s 59-yard run to help seal the win: 

“Yeah, I was getting a little nervous when it got strung out that long. Just being on the other side of the field when he cut it loose, that was something pretty cool to watch. He was moving. Did not think he was going to step out of bounds, but he did.”

On if he draws on his rookie year experience of being in playoff contention and the significance of each game moving forward: 

“I would say it is just very different just to be quite frank. We are very cognizant of the big picture. Rookie year, we knew we had to win every single game just to have a chance. Right now, we are just trying to treat it the same way so I guess that is the only similarity. We have a big picture mindset but a singular-game focus. That is how we are going to handle it.”

On if he is succeeding at blocking out the playoff picture with so many AFC teams having a 6-3 record: 

“Yeah, we know that this is a tough league to play in so we have to handle one game at a time. No team is going to be in the playoffs right now, no matter their record or no matter what is going on. Anything can happen any week at a time so we have to handle it as such.”

On if he is ‘sending chicken soup’ to DE Myles Garrett’s house with the illness and if Garrett missing practice impacts the team’s preparation for the Eagles pass rush this week: 

“No because at this point in the season, we are not necessarily going up against our guys as much during practice. We just have to prepare like we are playing the best week in and week out we like we always do. Yeah, I will send Myles some soup and maybe some poems he can read up on.”

On if he gets fired seeing what Chubb, Hunt and the Browns OL can do in the running game: 

“One hundred percent. It is whatever it takes to win. The stats I could care less about, but the one stat that I care about is wins and losses. Our running game is something special when we get going, and we have to continue to improve that. We got back on track a little bit on Sunday, and we need to continue that and continue to improve as this year goes on because it is such a vital part about our offense but also our team. We talk about controlling the clock, momentum of the game and being able to put teams away when you are up by three points late in the game, having a four-minute drive to take time off the clock so our defense can get rested and then our pass rush can go after these guys and put pressure on them. It is fun to watch offensively just because it opens up things in our pass game, but it is a huge part of our team.”

On College GameDay heading to Oklahoma for Bedlam and any thoughts on the Oklahoma-Oklahoma State game: 

“What are you trying to stir up right now (laughter)? The little brother always needs to be put in his place, you know that.”

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RB Nick Chubb:

On practicing today without T Jack Conklin , C JC Tretter and other Browns players:

“We are all [hopeful] we can get them back. Of course, this year is so crazy. You don’t know what is going to happen. You have to be prepared either way. We have a next up mentality here so whoever is there is going to be great for us, no matter who it is. If we can get JC and Jack back, that would be even greater.”

On T Chris Hubbard also not practicing and that resulting in a ‘next, next man up’ situation:

“Yeah, that is what it is looking like. This team has been through a lot this year. We are very resilient. We will be ready for whatever comes at us.”

On if he thinks about splitting carries with RB Kareem Hunt rather than having the bulk of the rushing attempts:

“No, it is not on my mind at all. Obviously, I understand my position here, and I enjoy it. This is how I have been pretty much since college, sharing the backfield and sharing the ball. That is how I was brought up, that is what I have been doing here and I think it works well for us.”

On if he likes splitting carries and having fresh legs late in a game:

“Yeah, I do. You definitely stay fresh. You definitely get to wear on the defense and get to bring in new fresh legs whenever you need them. I think that helps us out. It is an advantage for us.”

On if the Browns could potentially win a game in 2020 without attempting a pass:

“I have no idea, but probably not. I think you would have to pass the ball sooner or later.”

On if he would like the challenge of trying to win a game without attempting a pass:

“It is whatever we have to do to win. If that is not throwing the ball, let’s do it. Let’s not run the ball and let’s do it. It is just whatever we have to do to win.”

On the confidence boost of having a 100-yard rushing effort in his first game back from IR and how he is feeling physically now after his first game back:

“It felt good to get out there and actually get tackled. I knew coming in last week that I felt good, but I haven’t gotten hit in about five weeks. Going out there and playing a full game and having no troubles with it, it brings a lot of confidence in it.”

On how he notices an opposing defense is getting worn down late in a game when splitting carries with Hunt:

“It is just easier to break tackles. In the first quarter, guys are flying around full speed, coming out of nowhere and tackling and wrapping up hard. Fourth quarter, it is like it is not there anymore. It is like you can see them kind of slowing down. That is pretty much it. You can just feel it.”

On if he wore down some as games progressed last season when having the bulk of the carries and if he feels that much fresher when splitting carries with Hunt:

“Yeah, I feel really good now. I had a little setback, but other than that, I feel great.”

On if he has had an opportunity to reflect on the fact he and Hunt became the first Browns RBs to both rush for 100 yards in a game since 1966 and if that was meaningful to them:

“It felt great just to be able to go out there and ball out with my boy. That is definitely huge for us and for this team and organization. Hopefully, we get plenty more of them.”

On him and Hunt wanting what is best for the team and each other over individual stats:

“It doesn’t matter. All we want to do is win. That is pretty much it. We just want to get a win, and that is all that matters.”

On if the Browns were close to creating other long runs in the first half against the Texans if another block was made:

“Yeah, we were. We were always one guy away. I missed a couple of reads on my own so I think we just have to pull together and make that one play happen, and it will be a big difference for us.”

On if it takes time to get used to contact and timing on offense after missing time due to injury and if that played a factor in not creating other long runs against the Texans:

“Who knows what would have happened? Maybe it was all in my head. I did feel good. The thing about it is I just have not played in a while, and the NFL is full speed and I have to go out there and adapt to it very quick.”

On if he and Hunt have talked about both potentially reaching 1,000 rushing yards this season:

“We have not talked about it yet. I am sure (run game coordinator/running backs) Coach Stump (Mitchell) definitely wants us to get it. He is big on us being the best person we can be, and he is also big on us breaking records and things like that. I definitely think we will hear about that soon enough.”

On if it would be cool for him and Hunt to both reach 1,000 rushing yards this season:

“Yeah, it will. Definitely.”

On the his 59-yard to help seal the win against the Texans and how he was able to turn the corner with a defensive player in his face:

“I have no idea. It just happened so fast. I caught the toss, and somebody was on the ground right in front of me and I had to go around that and then it was a guy in my face. I am just happy I had enough room on the sideline not to step out, be able to turn up the field, go down there and go out of bounds and seal the game.”

On if he knew in the moment that he delayed to get the defender off balance to break free on the 59-yard run:

“No, I did not. It just happened. I had no idea. I did not even remember until I saw the film.”

On the Eagles defensive front:

“It is just a great team, especially up front. Very aggressive, experienced and hard guys. They play super hard, and they play for each other. They will definitely be a challenge for us, and we look forward to it.”

On confidence the Browns can beat the better teams across the NFL:

“Take it week by week. If we can be the best Browns we can be, I am positive we can play with anybody so just take it day by day and see where we are.”

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Eagles Head Coach Doug Pederson conference call

On playing QB for the Browns in 2000: 

“I just remember there is so much history with the Browns organization. Of course, back then, (former Browns QB) Bernie Kosar was around the team and a big influence on me. I played with Bernie in Miami, and then of course, he is the ultimate Brown at the quarterback position. I just remember the rich tradition and the history of the city. A great sports town. It is an exciting place to play any kind of professional sports, whether it is basketball, baseball or football. I loved living there. Really thought Cleveland and the city itself, my wife and I remember our kids were young, taking advantage of the city, dinners and things like that. I know the team was not as good, but at the same time, it was a great experience for me.”

On beating Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick in 2000: 

“That was obviously one of the high points of that season. I believe we ended up 3-13 that year, but that was definitely a high point. I had an opportunity to start a couple of those games that year and learning a new system. It goes back to it is a lot like Philly. When you win in Philly, it is an exciting place, and it is the same way in Cleveland. When the team wins, it is an exciting place, and I can imagine right now… I know there are not a ton of fans in the stands, but it has to be a great place now that they are winning. That was a great moment for us back then.”

On what stands out about the Browns rushing attack: 

“Obviously, it starts up front with the offensive line. That is where any run scheme has to take place. These guys do a great job and displacing D line. You put the ball in these two running backs’ [hands], and these are big powerful guys. It is a stretch run game off-tackle. Just a power run game that is hard to stop. It is tight ends and it is the offensive linemen that get the job done, and these two backs, they are hard to stop. They are hard to put on the ground because of their size.”

On how much more difficult it is when an opponent has two RBs carrying the ball and not just one: 

“It is really hard because it keeps those guys fresh. They do it for four quarters and they can sustain it. When you have one guy doing it, that guy tends to wear down towards the end of the game. With two guys, I just remember back in ’17 when we had (former NFL RB) LeGarrette (Blount) and (free agent RB) Jay Ajayi and we had two guys where it was difficult to stop and keeping guys fresh. That is what you see.”

On Eagles QB Carson Wentz’s season thus far and outlook for the rest of the year, understanding the Eagles offense has been impacted by injuries: 

“He is doing really well. He has obviously battled through some of that. He is such an aggressive style of player that sometimes it kind of can get him in trouble from time to time with some of the aggressiveness. He learns to manage it. He handles it. We have had some injury up front in the offensive line. We have obviously had some young players at the skill positions and receiver spots that are playing. It has not been all perfect and sometimes you can force the issue at times. I thought last week he played a lot better. We did not turn the ball over. We just did not capitalize on third down and in the red zone. I think he has really handled it. He is working through it. He is working through it not only with himself but he is working through it with the offense. That is what is encouraging. We still have seven games left and we will see.”

On the Eagles trading with Cleveland in the draft to select Wentz and if he would make that trade again and still view Wentz as the ‘elite quarterback of the future’: 

“Oh, heck yeah. I would do it all over again. He is the guy we wanted back then. He is still the guy we want today. I love everything about Carson Wentz. He is a great leader for our team and our city, and I would do it all over again.”

On Eagles RB Miles Sanders: 

“Obviously, he played behind (NY Giants RB) Saquon Barkley, who obviously we know with Giants. We see Saquon twice a year. Unfortunately with his injury, he has not played. Coming out of Penn State, this guy was very similar to Saquon in college. He was a downhill, dynamic, one-cut, good out of the backfield hands catcher that really flashed on tape. His college tape caught our eye and caught our attention. We were really high on Miles. His rookie season, coming in and kind of learning from (former Eagles RB) Darren Sproles a little bit on how to practice and how to play and really was a bright spot for our offense a year ago and even this year coming back. He has been hurt a little bit season, but he is a guy you can put the ball in his hands 15- 20 times a game, and he can carry it. He is tough, and he is explosive. We have seen that already this year with some of the long runs that he has made. He is just getting better each time he goes out.”

On his experience with Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager Andrew Berry at the Eagles: 

“Andrew, obviously, here for a short time, but really got to know him. Obviously, a great person and a great family. Just a smart guy. He understands the needs of teams. He understood what we needed. He worked well with (Eagles Executive Vice President/General Manager) Howie (Roseman). Just a likable person. He is smart. He knows ball. He is going to do a great job there in Cleveland for them.”

On QB Baker Mayfield and if the Eagles’ goal will be to pressure Mayfield a lot of Sunday: 

“I think the goal is to… Obviously, the run game is going to be a focal point. The thing is and where Baker excels is he is such a good athlete that you get the run game going – it is really with any team but particularly with the Browns – it just opens up so much stuff. It opens up the bootlegs for the quarterback, the play-action pass. Baker is such a good thrower outside the pocket and then he can extend plays and run with his legs. He is in that dual-threat category quite honestly. I love the way he plays. I love his attitude and his aggressiveness. He is a spirited guy. He is a high-energy guy. He definitely leads that football team. That can be difficult if the run game gets going like it has for them the last couple weeks.”

On what is most impressive about DE Myles Garrett: 

“It should be the other way – what is not so impressive (laughter)? Just a tremendous athlete. Quick off the ball. He is long. He is powerful. He does a great job of swiping at the quarterback’s arm. He knows how to bend. This guy, he is one of those freak athletes that just high motor and relentless effort, and that is what you see on tape. That is why he is leading the league in sacks, quarterback hits, knockdowns and things like that because he is relentless that way. You see him split double teams. You see him beat tackles. Teams chip him and use tight ends and all kinds of stuff to try to slow him down, but he always finds a way to be around the quarterback or make a tackle in the backfield. Again, he is another one of those players that you enjoy watching until you have to play against him, and then it becomes a little more of a problem for us.”

On if Garrett looks like a Defensive Player of the Year-caliber player: 

“I do, I would say that. I would say that he has to definitely be in the conversation with some of the top defensive guys out there. He is surely making a case for that right now.”

On preparing for an opponent with multiple players on the reserve/COVID-19 list: 

“I think it is something that every team is having to deal with and work through. We have had our COVID-related issues with players and coaches and close contacts and everything. Even myself, I had it back in August. Nobody is immune obviously from the virus. It is going to find a way into your building and onto your team. You just have to manage it the best you can. The protocols are in place obviously for players’ safety and coaches’ safety and try to keep everybody protected the best they can, but I think as the season has kind of worn on here, you are seeing more and more teams either go into the intensive protocols or coaches and/or players are contracting the virus. It is just something we have to be prepared for. It is kind of a next man up mentality if it happens. You kind of treat it like an injury and get the next guy ready to play.”

On his coaching approach with Wentz who is a ‘mature young man’ and how much he has had to keep Wentz’s spirits up this season: 

“That is just it, in my career, I have learned how to handle the heat, whether I played here in Philly or even my time in Cleveland actually where we were not very good as a team, and you are the starting quarterback and you are taking all the bullets and you are standing up for your team. One thing I really appreciate about Carson is he does not make excuses. He wants to get better. He takes a lot of it upon himself. That is really what good quarterbacks and leaders do. I can help him that way through some of my experiences as a player and then obviously been on teams where as a coach where we have not had as much success and we have worked our way through it. That is kind of where we are right now. We are working our way through it. He is standing tall, and he is still leading this team.”

On ranking third in the NFL for sacks and if that is a big part of the team’s defensive identity: 

“I think the biggest thing there is our guys have been for the most part healthy. I would say last year, we had some injury there and the last couple years. (Eagles DT) Fletcher Cox is playing really well, (Eagles DE) Brandon Graham, and I think of (Eagles DE) Vinny Curry, (Eagles DE) Josh Sweat, those guys and (Eagles DT) Malik Jackson. Those guys are playing good together, and with all the line games and stunting and things that they do, that takes time and it takes time together. I think that is the biggest thing is just they are playing well together as a group. Again, it is a group that plays extremely hard.”

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