Browns Players (11.21.21)

G Joel Bitonio and RB Nick Chubb:

On how he felt today after being activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list:

Chubb: “It felt great. I felt great. It was great to get back out there with the team and get things rolling again.”


On hearing the crowd chanting his name:

Chubb: “It definitely feels good, but it is not all me. It starts up front with the guys like Joel blocking for me and opening up holes. It is definitely a team effort.”


On the Browns offense being able to run the clock out at the end of the game:

Bitonio: “It was good. It was not perfect today, but it was a good way to finish the game. We got the ball back. Our defense played really well. Just to run out the clock – we did that against Denver, and we did this here – it is something, the four-minute drive, that we work on. We want to be able to do that to finish the game.”


On the confidence the Browns coaching staff has in Chubb and the offense line when calling those running plays when needing an important gain on the final drive:

Bitonio: “He has trust in Nick. We were getting at least three yards a chunk, and we had been running the ball pretty well on that drive. He had faith, and we converted it.”


On WR Jarvis Landry’s blocking for the run game despite injuries:

Chubb:  “Jarvis is tough. He wants to win at any cost. He was a little banged up – he has been all season – but he goes every week and plays his heart out. It says a lot about the person he is, and he wants to win bad. A lot of guys on our team are like that.”


On what it means to the team to see QB Baker Mayfield battle through injuries:

Chubb: “It does a lot. It motivates us. We are playing for each other. To see him battling, he is banged up pretty bad. He is out there at practice and during the game, it gets us going. We want to win for each other.”


Bitonio: “Same thoughts. The guy is tough and plays hard. He wants to win badly, and he is our leader.  We follow that, and we have to keep protecting him and keep him upright so we can have him down the stretch.”


On how his body is feeling following his recent battle with COVID-19:

Chubb: “I was not as in shape as I wanted to be, but it can go either way – me not doing anything for 10 days or COVID. I felt great, and I was able to finish the game. There was never a situation where I felt I could not go. Overall, I felt pretty good.”


On what the Browns offense needs to do to score more points:

Bitonio: “I think it is execution. Today, we hurt ourselves with penalties. We can watch them and see, but they called them so that is what we have to deal with. Penalties really put us behind the sticks. We want to be a team that gets into third-and-threes and not third-and-10s. I think that is the first thing, the penalties, the focus and to execute on every play. Take every play one play at a time and try to execute. We were up 13-0 at the half. It was kind of a slow game flow anyway with both teams around the ball. We just have to take advantage of our chances. We had a few drives that really got hurt by penalties today.”


On the significance of playing Baltimore in back-to-back games with the bye week in the middle:

Bitonio: “It is huge. They were the division champs last year. They got a good win today for themselves without (Ravens QB) Lamar (Jackson). They are always a challenge. They beat us twice last year. Again, we are taking it 1-0. We are going to go play them and then we have a week off after that. We are going to put everything out there and try and compete and do our best job. It is a huge game. It is a division game, it is the next game and it is the Baltimore Ravens. We have to be ready for that.”


On G Wyatt Teller’s pancake block on a running play:

Chubb: “I did see it. I had the best view in the house for it. It was great. He smacked him. It kind of caught me off guard honestly. It was a great play by him. He plays hard for us. He is fun to be around, and he is a great guy.”


On WR Jarvis Landry’s TD run:

Bitonio: “It was cool. We have been practicing that play for a while. I won’t tell you what it was supposed to do, but he made the most of it and made a great run. Anytime you get your playmakers the ball, him, Nick, Hoop (TE Austin Hooper) or (TE) David (Njoku) the ball in the red zone, good things happen. That was a big play for us and got our momentum going.”


CB Denzel Ward:

On his interception:

“They had two guys out to the left, and they had me out in man coverage singled out over there. He just took a shot, and I was able to go get it.”


On how it feels with two interceptions in the last three games:

“It does feel good every time I get some action or some plays. Being able to make plays on the ball is always a good thing. Those guys did a good job up front getting to the quarterback and putting pressure on him.”


On how the past week was after criticism from the loss to New England:

“That is the National Football League. Everybody is good in the league. Last week, they caught a good game, and they were able to get the W. Cannot think about the past. Have to look forward. We came in and focused on this game and were able to come out with the win.”


On facing a quarterback who had never thrown a pass in the NFL:

“It was really just about us doing our job. That was our focus this week, it was not about who was the quarterback. We feel like if we take care of what we are supposed to do, we can come out with the win.”


On having RB Nick Chubb as a teammate:

“You see the guy Nick Chubb is and the playmaker he is. It is not just Nick Chubb; it is that front line opening it up to get those first downs we needed, and you have to have the defense come back out on the field, Nick Chubb is a great player. We needed him, and he showed up.”


On playing Baltimore the next two games:

“It is big. That is our division. We go back and watch film on these guys, see what they like to do and see how we can attack them. Every game is a big game for us, especially now in the year. Just have to go in and do our job.”


On the interception by LB Malcolm Smith:

“That was huge early in the game. Malcolm got the pick. We told him he has to catch it on the first try next time and get into the end zone. That was big. It got us off the field and our offense in good field position.”


DE Myles Garrett:

On if today’s win helps fix the Browns’ recent struggles:

“Wins always fix everything. You can always learn from either a win or a loss. We have some things to clean up on the run side of the ball, but we held them to 57 passing yards so we did pretty well there. At the end of the day, when you get a win, that is all that matters.”


On what opponents are doing schematically to slow the Browns defense down:

“Mostly the same vibe as last week. They were trying to keep us from getting a head of steam. When we think it is going to be pass, it could be a draw or something inside. They were messing with their stances and getting into formations where they would usually pass but were running it. They were trying to slow us down.”


On DT Malik McDowell’s roughing the passer penalty:

“It is funny that we play one of the toughest games in the world, but if you land on the quarterback too hard, then you get a penalty. You have to find the silver lining with it. You can’t really land on the quarterback, but you have to find some way take him down. I would not try to tell Malik to do anything different. He just needs to move to the side. That is what they tell us.”


On the Browns defense’s performance in the second half:

“We made plays when we needed to. They had an explosive play – the 66 yard run – but other than that, they did not really have any success. They got an interception that they got three points on from good field position, but if they do not have that, then we would have had a good day, both running and passing.”


On the differences in today’s defensive performance compared to last week:

“I guess I will see tomorrow when we look at film. You do not take any opponent for granted. Any given Sunday, anybody could win. It does not matter. We have seen that this Sunday with a couple of teams lost where they were expected to win. They came with a good gameplan. They came in with pretty much the same gameplan as last week with what they did against the Steelers and what worked against us last week with the Patriots. They had some success, but I felt like they have to mix it up a little more between the pass and the run. The rushing offense looked very good.”


On how important the next two games against the Ravens are for the team and its season:

“Moving forward, every game is important. It does not matter who it is.”


On what he saw on the two takeaways:

“I saw some guys celebrating because we got some takeaways that we needed greatly. I think that changed the game. I think one of the guys who got a takeaway is coming in right now (laughter).”


On CB Denzel Ward’s performance in recent weeks:

“He has been lights out the past couple of games. We need that. We need men who can rush and cover, and if people want to keep the front four from making plays, then we have to be able to play coverage every week. We have to do something different, and right now, they are doing the best job they can and looking better every week.”


On the Browns’ offside penalties:

“It is from trying to time the snap. At the end of the day, you are just trying to get an advantage like they are. They are doing the best they can to not get a false start by jumping off of the ball and getting ahead of us, and you are trying to counteract that. With (Lions QB Tim) Boyle behind center, there were different cadences to the snap count, and they were doing their best to not have to throw the ball. They were changing up their sets, hikes, their Y-80’s and all of that. At the end of the day, we have to be a little more disciplined, but I will take a couple of offside or a mulligan for trying to get to the quarterback to get a win.”


On if the Browns defense was surprised by the Lions running on third-and-14 near the end of the game:

“No, we saw that last week against the Steelers. They will run it from third-and-two or third-and-12. Them rushing on third-and-14 did not surprise us at all, but we just have to be able to make the play. We are hoping they pass the ball because we have some guys out there who can make a play on it, but if they are going to run it and we do not stop them on third-and-14, then we deserve whatever is coming next.”


On the chippy play in the second half, including the penalty on the Lions between the quarters:

“It is a physical game. It is trench warfare. We go out there and talk a little, and hit a little. You do your best to try and get in their heads, and we were able to get one on them. It was getting real chippy up until that point. You just try to get your guys composed on the sidelines so that next time you go out there, we are a little more composed than they are.”


On if there is extra motivation heading into future weeks since the AFC North Division is still up for grabs:

“No, I would not be less determined if it was not there for the taking. You are trying to win every game, no matter what the stakes are.”


On the parity across the AFC right now:

“That is sometimes how it goes. Right now, no one is really pulling away so it is up for the taking for everyone. The Titans got beat today. No one is looking impervious to being taken down. Any given Sunday.”


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