Browns transcripts -- Browns-Ravens postgame, Monday, Dec. 15, 2020

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Rob McBurnett

Director, Community & Corporate Communications

Head Coach Kevin Stefanski:

Opening statement: 

“Injury front, (DE) Myles (Garrett) came out there with an elbow injury and was able to return. (T) Jedrick (Wills Jr.) and (G) Wyatt Teller both had ankle injuries, and they were kind of in and out there, as well. (S Andrew) Sendejo is being evaluated for a concussion. I know you saw that, too.

“Obviously, very disappointed. We came here to get a victory, and we did not. Very hard-fought game on both sides. I appreciate how the guys battled, but we just did not do enough to get a win. We made mistakes, really from myself to the coaches to the players to the offense, defense and special teams. We just were not clean enough to beat a good team, and that is disappointing. It is almost going to be midnight here and it is almost going to be Tuesday, and we have a game coming up on Sunday. We will own this, and we will move on and put all of our efforts into next week.”

On how QB Baker Mayfield battled back tonight after the interception:

“He did battle. On that interception, I will tip my cap to them. That was a good defensive call. It was a great play by [Ravens OLB Tyus Bowser] dropping on a Fire Zone. We got fooled there. I got fooled there. Again, you mentioned it, Baker kept battling and was leading the team, and we were moving the ball.”

On if he was most disappointed by the Browns’ tackling tonight:

“I would have to look at the tape to tell you specifics. Obviously, we did not get them on the ground there a few times. We will look at that, and we have to find a way to be better in a bunch of those situations.”

On Ravens QB Lamar Jackson’s performance tonight:

“He is a great player. Again, reigning MVP. We know he is great. We played him before, and he made a bunch of plays. Again, I give them credit.”

On the Ravens fourth-and-4 conversion after the two-minute warning:

“We blitzed. He made a play. Not exactly sure what happened on that play. We will look at it and get to the bottom of it, but he should not be able to escape the pocket like that. Disappointing. Those are the mistakes that we have to clean up.”

On the Ravens’ final series and Ravens K Justin Tucker’s game-winning kick into the Dawg Pound:

“We knew he is obviously a great player so we knew where his range was. We were trying to keep him out of that range, and they made a couple of nice plays there. We just have to do better.”

On if he allows himself to acknowledge that the team played well at times tonight and Jackson just made some incredible plays at key times:

“No doubt. This is a player’s league, and guys are going to make plays. We knew that going into it that you are not going to pitch a shutout versus Lamar Jackson. He is going to get his. Having said, that there are a bunch of plays I know we can do better. We have to really look at those and make sure that we correct those mistakes.”

On if he was torn deciding between the run and pass tonight:

“No, I would not say we were torn. We went into it with a package of plays that we liked, run and pass. We felt comfortable with what we were doing and felt like we had to score a bunch of points.”

On if the team’s performance tonight is a sign of growth from Week 1:

“I do not want to go down the moral victories [path]. We lost. We got beat. Proud of the guys and how they battled – I really am – but I just look at all the mistakes that we made, and we have to correct them. For us to reflect on Week 1 to Week 13, I do not think we are really in that mind frame.”

On Mayfield’s performance tonight, particularly in the fourth quarter and confidence it provides moving forward:

“I want to look at the tape on all of our players. Obviously, we will get a full evaluation. Baker was battling through that interception – again, that I am going to put on me – but he went right back at it. He was doing a nice job of making plays with his feet a bunch of times, extending plays and making plays late in the down. He did a nice job there.”

On Mayfield bouncing back with a strong performance after the interception on primetime TV:

“That is what I expect of him. He knows that. Playing this position, you are going to have a couple of plays like that that you want back, and you have to flush it very quickly because you are onto the next one.”

On the intentional grounding call and the explanation he received from the official:

“I talked to (referee) Bill (Vinovich) about it. He felt his arm was not hit. I disagreed, but that is how it goes.”

On Jackson coming back from the being in the locker room late in the fourth quarter to finish the game-winning drive:

“That was strange. I knew he was in the locker room. Did not know he was coming back. Unfortunately, their player (Ravens QB Trace McSorley) got an injury there and then [Jackson] was back in and made a play. He is a good player – I know that is not breaking news. We just have to put the focus on us and what we can do better.”

On if K Cody Parkey is healthy and if the wind was a factor on the two missed kicks:

“I do not think wind was a factor. Cody is healthy. I think he is fine. He missed a couple, and he has not done that all year so I do not expect that to carry over. He knows he has to make them.”

On if the Browns went for the two-point conversion due to Parkey’s previous missed kicks:

“We take a lot of things into account, honestly, in those moments. We just felt like we had a play that we liked. There will be times that we kick them and times that we go for two. It just depends on the moment.”

# # # 

QB Baker Mayfield:

On the fourth quarter and going back and forth with Ravens QB Lamar Jackson: 

“A back and forth game. We were trying to do whatever it took to win in that second half. I know we left a lot of points on the board in the first half. I played pretty sloppy in the first half. That turnover, that really, really hurt us. I have to be better. When you play a team like that, Lamar is an unbelievable player and he is just going to make a lot of plays. You go into that game knowing that you are going to have to score points. We win as a team and we lose as a team. We just have to be better, and that is that.”

On takeaways from tonight’ game going forward:

“Obviously, the second half, we did what we needed to on offense, but like I said, we just left so much out there. Turning the ball over – we have talked about it – it hurts you. That one hurts me, and it hurt the team. We just have to build on the fact that this team fights. I am really proud of this team for fighting. That is what I would take out of this game, but we just have to be better.”

On the interception:

“They did a good job of dropping out, showing a look with three big guys on the edge on the left side. No. 54 (Ravens OLB Tyus) Bowser made a great play. I just have to be able to see him dropping in underneath that stop route and take care of the ball. Plain and simple, just take care of the ball and give ourselves a better chance to win. They got points off of that so it sucks.”

On his mindset after the interception and responding with a strong fourth quarter:

“I hate turning the ball over. It hurts the team, and I never want to do that. I want to put us in a position to win. I want to win anyway, shape or form. After that, we needed to score points on every drive and that was the mindset – move on and go to the next one.”

On Jackson’s performance tonight, including when returning from the locker room to finish the game-winning drive:

“He is an unbelievable player, an unbelievable guy. His work ethic is unreal. Obviously, he is extremely talented. It was like a scene out of a movie. I hate that for (Ravens QB) Trace McSorley. Praying that he is OK. As soon as he went down, you could see Lamar come trotting back onto the field. It was like gees. He is a great player. You are just going to have to try to contain him. You are never going to be able to stop guys like that. He is just a great player.”

On what the team showed with their fight and rally in the second half:

“That we never lost our belief in the fact that we had a chance to win that game. Even down two scores, just continuing to fight and fighting for each other. Like I said, win as a team and lose as a team, but I can’t turn the ball over and put us in positions where they have easy points from the 1-yard line. That is not our defense’s fault. That is my fault.”

On what tonight’s performance shows about the team after losing to the Ravens 38-6 in Week 1:

“Like I said earlier in the week on the Wednesday/Thursday [press] conference, we are a very different team than we were in the beginning. We have improved in a lot of ways, but we just have to find a way to win. These division games, they mean a lot so we just have to figure out a way to win. They are a good team. We just have to be better.”

On if the Browns will be even more laser-focused heading into the NY Giants game next week following the loss: 

“The message in the locker room after the game was win as a team, lose as a team. We fought. We just have to be better. Here is the thing, we have a short week to where we have to be focused. We have to come out there on Sunday to get that taste out of our mouths and move forward. That is the most important part.”

On if this game could serve the Browns well as the team continues to play in big games down the stretch of the season: 

“That is what you hope for. There can either be good or bad to come from it. You can start pointing fingers, but that is not this team. That is going to be the message that we move forward and we get better. We know that we can fight. We just have to make the critical plays when we need to and just put ourselves, like I keep saying, in a position to win. We are going to use it in a positive way. I know this team. I know the guys in this locker room. I know the staff. We are going to handle it correctly.”

On the intentional grounding penalty: 

“From my perspective and from everyone watching the game that saw it, the guy grabs my hand and then follow through and hit somebody else’s hand or helmet, whatever it was. I do not agree with the call. I will probably get a fine letter for it, but watch the TV copy.”

On his individual confidence right now: 

“I am confident in this team, the guys around me and what we are doing. I just have to consistently make those plays. That is that. Plays are there to be made, and I have to continue to lead these guys and do whatever it takes to win. This is an extremely important final stretch of games that we are going to take it one week at a time and we are going to handle it the right way.”

# # #

RB Kareem Hunt:

On QB Baker Mayfield’s performance and what Mayfield showed the team tonight, particularly after rallying following the interception:

“He is no quitter. He believed we could go score and win this game, and we all did. That is what we have to do to be a good team and win games like that.”

On how this game will help prepare the Browns for tough matchups moving forward:

“Honestly, I think that was a good test. We just have to find a way to win that game. We have been in that situation now, and next time, we have to make it happen and find a way to win that game.”

On whether the Browns proved something tonight given the result in Week 1:

“We believe we can play with anybody. Honestly, this just shows that we can play with anybody. We have to find a way to win those type of ball games like that.”

On Ravens QB Lamar Jackson’s performance and returning to finish the game-winning drive:

“He is a big time player. He is a heck of a player, and we have to find a way to disrupt some of those big plays right there at the end when he came back. Hats off to him.”

On how heartbreaking or emotionally draining it is to come away with a loss in a close battle like tonight:

“Some of these little bumps and bruises are going to hurt a little bit more because we did not bring that win home. It is tough. I go out there and leave it all out on the field every time I touch the field. Not to come away with a win is tough. We have to find a way. I am proud that we fought. I feel like everybody left it out there on the field.”

On the last offensive drive and catching multiple passes, including the TD:

“I was just trying to make the most. I knew we needed the seven. When I get an opportunity to make a play, I am always going to try to be there to do that for the team. Baker just happened to find me, and I was able to make a guy miss. At that point in time, I was not going to be stopped from getting in.”

On what this game show about Mayfield’s leadership:

“He is a winner. He wants to win and is a hard worker. I like a guy like that on my team. Baker is doing a great job of leading us and finding ways to keep us in the ball game.”

On if is growing throughout this season, including the past few weeks:

“Absolutely. He is hitting wide open checks to the RBs now and stuff like that. He is just seeing the whole picture, making the throws and taking what they give us. He is doing a great job of just being a playmaker. Baker is one heck of a quarterback.”

On how Mayfield has proven himself after responding to criticism earlier in the season:

“He is just blocking out the noise. He is coming into work every day and trying to get better. That is all he can do. He is doing a great job of putting us in this position right now. We are still sitting OK, but I would like to win a game like that.”

# # #

RB Nick Chubb:

On QB Baker Mayfield’s performance:

“He fought, just like everybody else. We follow Baker’s lead. We had a little adversity throughout the whole game, but that didn’t steer us away from what we wanted to do. We kept fighting to the end. This team competed today. Props to the Ravens. They played hard and ended up winning.”

On positive takeaways from tonight’s game:

“This team showed fight. That is about it. We never gave up.”

On his reaction when Ravens QB Lamar Jackson came out of the tunnel to finish the game-winning drive:

“He is great. He is definitely a game-changer and a big playmaker. He came out and made a great play on us.”

On whether or not this game made a statement to the rest of the division that the Browns will be competitive moving forward:

“We have certainly improved from the first time we played them, but we still have a way to go before we get where we all want to be. This game did show that we can come out and fight and compete with some of the better teams in this division.”

On the Browns’ first half performance:

“We kind of hurt ourselves at the beginning and throughout the whole game with penalties and things like that. We can clean that up and we can always improve.”

On if it is a heartbreaking loss and if he is concerned about the team’s playoff chances after the loss:

“It is hard. I always say that the close losses are harder than getting blown out. We have to take it one game at a time. I don’t know where we are right now [in the playoff scenarios], but the only thing that matters is the next game. We will focus on the next game and figure everything else out after that.”

On the Browns running game finishing strong after a slower first half:

“I thought (Head) Coach (Kevin) Stefanski did a great job of keeping us balanced and not getting away from the run altogether. He did a great job of calling the plays. We just have to find a way to finish the game.”

On if this game felt different than the first game against the Ravens:

“It felt different. It felt good. We came out and we made it a close one.”

On Jackson’s performance and big plays:

He played good.”

# # # 

DE Myles Garrett:

On the Browns defense’s performance tonight:

“It was not good enough. They won. They put up 40 on the board. We did not get the stops we needed to win the game.”

On his reaction when Ravens QB Lamar Jackson came out of the locker room for the fourth down play:

“We have to stop him. It was the same as when he was in the rest of the game.”

On what made Jackson so difficult to cover tonight:

“Everybody saw. The man is dynamic. That is what he has been doing all year and his whole career.”

On if the Browns felt like the team compromised its chances with sloppier play in the first half:

“We never feel like our chances were compromised. We never feel like we are out of it, and we are going to keep on fighting until there are all zeroes on the board.”

On if tonight felt like it was a classic or dramatic game:

“It felt like it was a playoff-like game – two teams battling for a spot. It was a good game.”

On if he was surprised to see Jackson return to play in the fourth quarter:

“Not at all. The guy is a playmaker, a former MVP. He is going to go out there and be that guy.”

On the overall Browns defensive performance, including DE Olivier Vernon’s production:

“We lost. It is not good enough. I do not care if allowed seven points or 40 points, if they have more points than us, then we did not do good enough.”

On QB Baker Mayfield’s performance:

“He did well. He did as well as he could. The offense did their thing. We have to make more stops.”

# # #

DT Sheldon Richardson:

On understanding there are no moral victories and if the Browns can take anything away from this game moving forward, given the Week 1 result:

“No, we are building onto next week.”

On what the Browns defense was unable to do in order to contain Ravens QB Lamar Jackson:

“Stopping him running. Like I told you Week 1, he is a run quarterback. He had 88 yards passing. Pretty much, he beat us with his feet, like I thought he would.”

On positive takeaways from tonight’s game:

“We competed.”

On his reaction after RB Kareem Hunt’s TD with one minute on the clock:

“Defense’s time to stop them.”

On how much energy the Browns defense had left near the end of the game:

“As long as there is time on the clock, I think we always still have energy.”

On what QB Baker Mayfield showed after rallying with a strong performance following the interception:

“He is resilient. He has grit. He still knows how to put his team ahead in football games.”

On what the Browns have done so far to give the team confidence going forward:

“One thing for sure and two things for certain, we always find ways to win, and we just didn’t pull one out tonight. That is all it is. There is no special remedy for it. We play hard, violent football. We need to calm down on the penalties, even though I think a lot of those were a little fugazzie. Leave it at that.”

On defensive confidence for the next few games following tonight’s game:

“We always find ways to win. We just didn’t find one today.”

On the character of the Browns defense that will help the team going forward:

“We always find ways to win. We just didn’t pull one out today.”

# # #

QB Lamar Jackson

(on why he went to the locker room) “I started cramping on the field. Right before those two passes I threw to Willie [Snead IV] and Mark [Andrews] – the overthrow – I was cramping in my forearm. And I was telling Coach, ‘I need to get some salt in my system really quick.’ We punted the ball, I was on the sideline, Tyus [Bowser] ended up catching the pick – the interception – we go down and score. And right after that, I gave the ball to J.K. [Dobbins], and my legs just started cramping. I’m like, ‘I need something now to help me get better really quick, because this is a crucial game, right here. Both teams are playing their hearts out.’ And we went to the back. Dr. [Andrew] Tucker, he was helping me out a lot, and [assistant certified athletic trainer] Kevin [Domboski] came back and started stretching me. Trace [McSorley] was doing a great job driving the ball down the field, then I saw my guy go down. And as I’m seeing him go down, I was still stretching. I was catching an attitude, because it wasn’t going the way we wanted it to. And then I saw him go down, and I was like, ‘We’ve got to start now. We’ve just got to go out there now.’ And I started running out there – ‘Kev’ [Kevin Domboski] was running with me. It was fourth down, the offensive line blocked their tail off, and our guys just made great catches, and we came out with the victory.”

(on if he thought about the magnitude of the game) “I didn’t put that in my mind at all. It’s crucial games for us right now. All I’m thinking about is winning that game. We had enough time on the clock, and I was like, ‘Man, it’s Go Time.’ It was just ‘Go Time’ for us, and it was our time, I feel. Our team fought hard. The offense played great today. We still have little things to clean up – we didn’t play a perfect game. But we’re where we want to be right now. We’re excelling right now.”

(on what he was doing in the locker room) “I was cramping. I didn’t pull a Paul Pierce. I didn’t pull a Paul Pierce. I was cramping.”

(on what was going on with his cleats in the first half) “I changed them after halftime. We had a long sack, and I tried to make something happen, [and] I ended up slipping. It wasn’t the perfect cleats for the grass. I made a change, put on some better cleats, and I didn’t have that problem anymore. That was it.”

(on his TD pass to WR Marquise Brown) “We had a great play called, I dropped back, it looked like they were in man [coverage], the corner [inaudible] Marquise [Brown], and I was making a scramble to my right, and Marquise just came open. I just had to give him a playable ball, and he just did the rest.”

(on what was going through his mind when he started cramping, if he was nervous it was something more serious and how he’s feeling now) “No, not at all. I knew I was cramping. I just wanted it to go away as soon as possible. Like I said, it was a crucial game. We were playing against a great team. We had to come out with the victory, and I was just cramping at the wrong time. And right now, I’m hungry. I had too much salt [laughter]. I’m hungry, now.”

(on what it’s like to have Justin Tucker) “It makes my job a lot easier and the offense’s job a lot easier; we didn’t have to score a touchdown. Some coaches don’t trust their kicker; we trust ours. We put all our faith in ours. And we just had to get him in great position to kick the field goal. And ‘Automatic Tuck’ – he did the rest.”

(on if he’s ever cramped like that and if he ran out of the locker when he saw QB Trace McSorley got hurt) “As soon as I saw him go down, I started running out of the locker room. And yes, I’ve [cramped] before, but it was my fault that I was cramping that time. But this time, I don’t know what was going on; I thought I did everything right.”

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