Nick Mullens Spoke to the Media 12/18/21

On his experience this week:

“Just take one thing at a time. Whatever happens, just roll with it, and accept that we are all here to do a job. We are here to try and be the best football players we can to help the team. We have a job to do, and that is really what we have been focused on all week.”

On the challenge of preparing for this week’s game while not fully knowing who will be available to the Browns offense on Monday:

“It is important to just find the right things to focus on. For me, that is knowing my assignment, knowing my reads and knowing my assignment of what to do on each play and where to distribute the ball. If I do that – we will work collectively – that is how the Browns are going to be successful. It is really just finding the right things to focus on, and focus on the things that will help us win the game.”

On his reaction to the Browns-Raiders game being postponed to Monday:

“I do not even know if I had a reaction. I was just prepared and ready to play. What was that? Saturday, I guess? I was ready to play, and then it got moved. I said, ‘Alright, we will play on Monday.’ I think it might not rain on Monday so can’t complain about that. I am just ready to play and focused on the job.”

On the team’s focus this week despite the distractions:

“I think we have done a great job. I really do. We are meeting virtually, and we practiced today. The energy is off the charts. I think that is the coolest thing about it. We have one practice to prepare for the Raiders, and the energy was great. We were excited to be out there playing football, doing what we love and doing our jobs. Like I said, the focus, the energy and the camaraderie, it is still there, and we are excited.”

On how his time with the San Francisco 49ers in a similar offense provides additional comfort as he prepares for Monday’s game:

“It has given me a lot of comfort really since I got here. I was in this type of system in San Francisco, and then to back in that system here in Cleveland with the help of (offensive assistant) T.C. (McCartney) – who was with me in San Francisco – it has been great. I was third string just studying the offense as much as I can. I have learned in this league, the more you know, the better; the more you can do, the better. That is why we play football is to be the best version of ourselves. That is what we are all trying to do here. This week is just another continuation of that. For me, it is kind of like, ‘I knew this much last week. How much more can I learn this week? How much more prepared can I be this week?’ I have kind of gone about it that way really, since I got here.”

On what makes him a good fit for the Browns offense:

“Just being able to distribute the ball and operate the offense. I think it is just a matter of how you play the position: know where to go with the football, how to operate the offense and how to stay ahead of the sticks. That is when the Browns offense is at its best is when we are running the ball, distributing the ball and staying ahead of the sticks. That is our plan, and that is what I am excited to execute.”

On his conversations with QBs Baker Mayfield and Case Keenum this week:

“They have been great, even since I have been here just helping me along and any tidbits they see. Case and Baker are very smart quarterbacks, very smart football players and really good leaders for this team. We work together, we share ideas and we share concepts that we see that look good on tape, along with the help of Coach AVP. (offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt). I really like our room. It has been great. Just a lot of good energy. I think that is the biggest thing. Whatever happens, we are going to stay optimistic, do our jobs and prepare to win.”

On if he is prepared to not play after preparing this week if Mayfield and/or Keenum return before Monday:

“This is my fifth year in the NFL, and I have learned to expect anything really so yes.”

On if he has to remind himself Mayfield and/or Keenum could return prior to Monday, given it could be a big moment for him and his career if he starts at QB this week:

“The goal is to win so we do everything we can to be our best, to execute, to have fun playing the game and winning. That is what we are most focused on most.”

On if his family and friends are excited for the opportunity in front of him:

“Well, it is not necessarily my first time. Any time you get a new opportunity, they are excited. I have a great family back home. They are very supportive. I have a great group of friends. I definitely would not be here without them. Even the people up here in Cleveland, they have been very great and very supportive. I have really enjoyed my time since I have been here.”

On the Raiders defense:

“They are good. They are good up front. They are good on the back end. They have experienced corners. Their safeties are good. They are a pretty sound defense in what they do. At the end of the day, the way I have always operated is really it is about us – the things that we do, the things that we focus on, how well can you know our assignment and how well can you execute your assignment. They are a good defense. I am excited to go against them. It will be a good matchup.”

On not fully knowing who will be available for the Browns on Monday, particularly on the OL:

“The thing that sticks out to me is pretty much every day in our team meetings (Head) Coach (Kevin) Stefanski tells us, ‘If you are in this room, we believe in you.’ That could not be more true this week. We are here because our coaches believe in us so it is our job to go prove them right.”

On if today was his first time taking reps with the first team offense:


On the difference between taking reps with the scout team and first team:

“It is not too much different. When you are on scout team, you see the play and you try to relate it to your offense as much as you can, but it felt really good to hear a play call, go execute a play call and just operate. We talked about smooth operation. That is the goal. That is what leads to productive offense. It felt good. I was really excited that we could get those reps.”

On how much taking the first team reps in practice today helps his preparation for Monday’s game:

“It definitely can’t hurt. People kind of laughed at (Seahawks QB) Russell Wilson for walking through out on the field and things like that, but as many ways you can put yourself into those situations, the more successful you are going to be. That is kind of what I have been doing, and that is what I will continue to do until game time.”

On how he views Monday’s game as a career opportunity:

“Yeah, it is. It definitely is. Any time you step on the field, it is a new opportunity. It is a huge opportunity. The goal is to play as long as you can. The only way to do that is to prove it each and every day and each and every opportunity. This is just the next opportunity. I have been blessed in some really different ways to get my opportunities so it is up to me and up to our team to really go and take advantage of them. There is a handful of guys who are getting new opportunities that they might not have gotten. At the end of the day, we have a goal and a job to go win.”

On if he signed with the Browns because it was a similar system that he played in with San Francisco:

“I think that was definitely appealing. To have a system that you are familiar with and that you can operate in, yeah, I was fired up to get back in the system for sure.”

On if there are any takeaways from Keenum starting against the Broncos that can benefit him:

“I thought Case did a really good job that game. We were playing a good defense in the Broncos. He did exactly what the guy who is supposed to step in is supposed to do: operate the offense, get points on the board and lead the team. That is why he has been so valuable in this league for a long time. That is what we all strive to do. That is the goal, and that is the plan for Monday.”

On if a win on Monday could help further galvanize the team, especially under unique circumstances:

“It would be exciting. Any time you win a game, especially an important game, it boosts the team, it boosts the city and it boosts the fans. I heard something the other day that you play the game to inspire people, and I do believe that is a reason why we play this game is to inspire people. You just have to be ready for whatever comes at us. This is the circumstances that we are in. Talking today with the guys, what we do on the football field matters so let’s execute and let’s have fun. We are excited to play.”

On if Browns players conducted COVID-19 testing before practice today:

“The days all run together so let me think for a second (laughter). We just follow whatever the rules are. We test when they tell us to test so that is it. I have no say in this thing so I just do whatever we are told and get ready to play football. We are excited.”

On if he had any apprehension about practicing today, given recent COVID-19 results for the team:

“We just do what we are told. We were fortunate to be able to huddle together and go to practice and practice football so that is what we did. Any time you can get your practice in, I think reps do help. Then you meet virtual and you get the most you can out of those meetings. Like it has been said, it is a fluid situation, adapt on the run and focus football and focus on your job. Ultimately, that is what we are here to do is to do our jobs.”

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