Joel Bitonio Spoke to the Media

On starting his 100th game with the Browns on Sunday:

“It is a pretty cool honor. (Director of Football Communications) Dan Murphy was telling me all of the guys who have had 100 career starts since 1999, and there are going to be four of us now. Anytime you get to put on the helmet, it is an honor and it is a privilege to play this game. To be here for the 100th time and hopefully a bunch more is pretty dang cool. You think back to your first game and all of the games in between, and there are a lot of memories there. It kind of goes quick. I heard about the 100 a couple of games ago, and I was like, ‘Man, it feels like yesterday I was getting back out here and getting things started.”

On the bonus of starting his 100th game with the Browns in California, his native state:

“I think it is pretty cool how it worked out. We are out in California, and we are going to have a lot of people there – friends, family, old coaches and things like that. I do not really know if anybody knows it, per se, but it is pretty special for me at least to be in front of them and play in front of them.”

On how many people from his life will be attending Sunday’s Browns-Chargers game:

“I do not know exactly. I have a lot of people who have hit me up and said they had tickets already. I would probably say in like the 30-40 range.”

On his 30th birthday approaching and what the means from a football longevity standpoint:

“I feel good. I am turning 30 on Monday so I am getting up there in age, I guess, in football standards. I feel good. I feel like I am in a good place. Again, it really is a privilege and honor to play for as long as I have played and hope that I can continue to do that into the future. I feel really good. Like I said, I still feel young. It is weird to be like, ‘Oh, he is an old guy. He is 30.’ I am just ready to go out there and play.”

On if he feels like he is at the top of his game now:

“I do feel good. I do feel good. I think any O lineman, if you ask them, there is always something that they want to improve every week and there is a play here or there. O line is tough because it is a consistency thing. Every game and every week, you want to try and be at your best. I do feel like I am playing well, and I do feel like it has been a good start to the season.”

On being one of the most durable OL in the NFL after sustaining tough injuries earlier in his career:

“When you go through it back to back, that was tough. You are thinking in your head, ‘Man, am I ever going to stay healthy?’ To me, it was not something that I was training wrong. It was something that was very unfortunate and unlucky situations. A lot of times, injuries are like that – it is just unlucky plays. For me, it was tough for those two years to be like, ‘Man, am I ever going to put it together.’ Before that in my football career, I had never really missed any games for injuries. Going through that was a little bit tough. Being here and playing, you get banged up, but hopefully, it is nothing too serious and you can keep going out there.”

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