Greg Newsome II Spoke to the Media Today 1/6/22

On defensive coordinator Joe Woods’ comment earlier today about the strengths of the team’s three CBs in Greedy Williams, Denzel Ward and him and how the trio has gelled this season:

“I think we have gelled pretty well. Obviously, Greedy being the third guy who had to play a lot of special teams until someone were to go down or something like that, he can go start and be corner No. 1 or 2 on pretty much any other team in the league. To have a trio like us is just great. We all support each other. At the corner position, you are going to get nicked up sometimes with soft-tissue [injuries] and stuff like that. To have three guys who can all go and be corner No. 1 is amazing. I think we have been gelling great this season.”

On fellow rookie LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah:

“He is one of the best football players period who I have played with, honestly. This is my first year playing with him, but he is a guy who can do it all. He can play linebacker. He can go rush the passer. He does not miss too many tackles. He is going to be a beast. He is already had a stellar rookie season, but I definitely can’t wait to grow with him on the field and see his accomplishments, as well.”

On the biggest lessons and takeaways from his rookie season:

“Honestly, just a lot of adversity that we faced this season. Obviously, we did not have the record we wanted and things like that, but we faced a ton of adversity with guys going down and COVID. Just really fighting through adversity and keep going, staying positive and learning that although losing is not OK, you have to be able to flip to next week, learn and be able to play again next week because if you lose five, six or seven games, you can still get into the playoffs, unlike college where if you lose one or two games, your playoff hopes are over. That is also something I learned, as well.”

On his partnership with CB Denzel Ward and what he learned from the Pro Bowl CB:

“I learned a ton from him. Just how to be a pro in general. The biggest thing I learned from him – I have said it before – is just every single day find one thing to focus on at practice and get better at that day. As you do that throughout the season, you will see yourself jumping, becoming more confident and things like that out there on the field. That is probably the biggest takeaway that I learned from him. Just to be a pro all the time, you have to practice how you play; you can’t take a practice off at all.”

On what he wants to continue to improve most in Year 2, in addition to his ball skills:

“I think a lot of it has to do with confidence. Before I got hurt and before I had the concussion, I think I was trending upwards again with just confidence and being comfortable out there. I think last game showed how comfortable I am getting out there on the field. The turnovers and things like that, that will come definitely just from film study and things like that. Just catching footballs all of the time is huge just because at practice, DBs and the defense do not catch the football enough so you have to be able to do it on your own, catch it in positions you normally would not be in and things like that just to prepare for the game. That is something I am definitely looking to improve upon, as well, going into next season.”

On if he likes when an opposing offense targets him more often and competing against bigger WRs like Steelers WR Chase Claypool:

“Do I like it? I could say yes because then I get to play the ball and get a few stats, but also it is a sign of disrespect that they come at you that much, as well. You could take it either way. Going against a guy like that is fun, a bigger guy who I know they will throw a lot of jump balls to. He is not going to run too many comebacks or things like that. He is going to run a lot of fades and slants. Going against a guy like that is fun. That is a guy you just have to be physical right with him and just can’t back down from him.”

On how cross-training at nickel CB will benefit his career moving forward:

“It is going to help me a lot. It is going to teach me. It allows me to see the game with a different lens. Being inside, you are able to see more. You are able to be a part of the game a lot more. I feel like sometimes as corners, you are on the outside, and maybe if you are not getting targeted, you feel like you are not a part of the game too much, but I feel like in the slot, you are able to control a lot more and you are able to play around with the quarterback and get in there and make a few tackles. That was something that I prided myself coming into the draft process was being able to showcase my versatility. (Defensive coordinator) Coach (Joe) Woods has done a tremendous job of putting me in position to show that on the field.”

On the difficulty sustaining a concussion at the end of a Friday practice and missing multiple games, including due to being on the reserve/COVID-19 list:

“That was super tough. Do I regret trying to go make a play on the football? No because that is just how I play, whether it is practice or the game. I play like I practice, and I practice like I play. It was definitely tough, but that is a part of football and that is a part of the game. Obviously, no one was hoping I got hurt or anything like that. I just have to kind of sit back, watch my team play and kind of reflect on my game so when I am able to go again that I was not going to miss a beat. I feel like I did a pretty good job with staying in tune with the gameplan and staying ready so when it is my turn again, I would be ready to go.”

On what impresses him most about Ward as a player:

“Everything. He can do it all, literally. He can play man. He can play zone. You are not going to find pretty much a better corner in the NFL than Denzel Ward. He is a leader by the way he plays and things like that. I honestly feel like he does not have a flaw in his game. He can play press. He can play off. He has tremendous ball skills, as you see him getting picks and pick-sixes. His return skills are good. I feel like he does not have a flaw in his game.”

On what it would mean to him if he is able to record his first NFL interception this week:

“That would be amazing. I have talked to Denzel about it, like ‘Man, I feel like it is just not coming.’ He said, ‘It will come eventually.’ It would be amazing to end the year with an interception or maybe a few interceptions, if I can. That would definitely be a good time if I could get one the last game.”

On if he ever experienced the ‘rookie wall’ this year or if the games he missed potentially countered that possibility:

“I feel like it countered it, and also, we had a bye week at the perfect time. When I started feeling like, ‘Oh man, we still have five or six more games,’ we had a bye Week 13 so we were able to get some time off, which was perfect. Honestly, mentally and physically, I was obviously like, ‘Dang, we have some games left,’ especially when my [college] guys were finishing up in school. I was still locked in and ready to go each and every week.”

On when he was cleared to return from the concussion protocol, given he was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list during that process:

“That was super frustrating obviously, catching it as soon as I was… I was not cleared yet Green Bay week, but I was starting to finally run around so I was in like Phase 2 or Phase 3 of the [concussion protocol] process. I had to kind of finish some tests and things like that so I am not sure if I would have been able to play Green Bay. It was still questionable and up in the air, and I had not really practiced at all so who knows if I would have played or not [if I was not placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list], but it was definitely super frustrating.”

On WR Jarvis Landry:

“He is a pro. He is one of the biggest competitors who I have been around. I remember the first time I got to guard him – this was camp early in the season – I knocked the ball down, he fell and I tried to help him up, and he hit my hand down. I was like, ‘OK, this is the type of teammate and this is the type of guy that I want.’ He is a competitor. He is going to push you to the limits. After practice, he is talking to me on how I can be better, how I can be a better leader and things that you should and things that should not do. Jarvis Landry is the ultimate teammate and the ultimate competitor for sure.”

On his rookie classmate LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah’s season and their potential together with the Browns defense:

“First on just how I think he did, I think he played tremendous. Honestly, if he does not get that injury, I think we are having a debate of who is going to win Defensive Rookie of the Year between him and (Cowboys LB) Micah Parsons. He was playing unbelievable before the injury, and he was playing great after the injury, as well. Just going forward, that is just something that we are going to try to do and just try to insert and be more leaders out there. Obviously, as a rookie, you are trying to find your way through the league and trying to find what to do and what not to do. It is definitely great to know that I will have him with me here for my entire time, and obviously, I will still have guys like Denzel Ward and (DE) Myles Garret and having some guys in the back end with me. It is definitely going to be fun developing and growing with a player like Jeremiah.”

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