Browns Players (12.20.21)

G Joel Bitonio:

On special teams coordinator Mike Priefer saying the locker room was hurting more than any other time this season following a loss:

“It hurt a lot. What we had to go through during the week and the guys who stepped up and put it all on the line, we were playing away. It did hurt. I have been a part of a few losses that have hurt, but that is definitely up there.”


On switching to LT and if he was only able to player there for one practice:



On how the transition to LT went for him:

“(T) James Hudson (III) tested positive on Saturday morning, I think. They were like, ‘Alright, you are up.’ I was like, ‘Let’s do it.’ We do not have very many other options, right? Thankfully I got a practice in where I could get some reps. Honestly, it is set, the timing and things like that. Watching more film on a different guy than who I have been blocking. It was good to have a couple of days to get it, but you do not get too long to think about it. You just have to go out there and play.”


On if he pitched the idea of playing LT or of offensive line coach Bill Callahan proposed it:

“I was kind of the emergency tackle a few times this year already in case something goes wrong. I kind of knew there was a chance, but then once James went down, it was like, ‘Alright, you are up.’”


On how he performed at LT:

“Pretty solid. I have to watch some film and see exactly. It is a little different when you are at tackle and you are running the guy by the pocket. At guard, if you get edged like that, it is like, ‘Oh, crap (laughter). I am going to hit the quarterback.’ At tackle, you have a pocket for a reason so you can kind of run the guy by him. There was one earlier in the game where my guy kind of slipped through. Overall, it was solid. Obviously, we want to get the win and figure it out.”

RB Nick Chubb:

On the Browns batting today despite missing several players:

“We fought hard. It was not enough in the end, but our guys, we did fight. It was tough compared to the situation that we were in. But it is what it is. I think a lot of guys stepped up that needed to step up. At the end of the day, we have to finish, and we were not able to. Those guys finished so that is what happens.”


On frustration with not getting the first down at the end of the fourth quarter:

“It is very frustrating. In the NFL, you have to finish teams like that. The ball was in my hands, but it was not enough. That is something that we cannot do anything about it now, but in the future, I have to make a play, we have to make a play or something.”


On why the running game took time to develop:

“That s a tough team over there, but we knew who we are. We are going to keep running the ball and keep pounding it. Eventually things are going to open up, and that is what happened at the end of the game – things started to open up for us.”


On special teams coordinator Mike Priefer saying it was the most hurt he had felt in a postgame locker room this season:

“Yeah, I agree. Games like that, you would rather lose by 40 than to lose by one. To lose by three seconds and a field goal, it is tough. End of the day, it is over with now so we have to keep moving forward. We still have a chance. Everything is ahead of us, and we have to learn from this and keep going.”


On QB Nick Mullens’ performance:

“I thought he played well. I thought he played really hard. He did not flinch at all. He came in, he knew his assignment, he knew what to do and he played hard for this team.”


On the Browns OL opening up holes despite missing some players:

“I thought overall, we played well. The defense had turnovers. The defense stopped them. We did good things on offense. We did not turn the ball over. We did not have many penalties. It is tough when you lose a game when you feel like you played a complete game. We have to finish. The ball is in our hands, we have to finish.”

DE Myles Garrett:

On how is feeling after playing through some pain:

“Sore. Everybody has to play through some pain or injury. Everybody is dealing with something so I do not feel sorry for myself and do not want anyone feeling sorry for me. Get back and get ready for Christmas Day. We have another game.”


On if the injury he sustained was a new one:

“Yeah, it was.”


On what the last week was like being unsure about the Browns roster and when the game would occur:

“It was tough, but I can’t lie, I was excited before the game. We attacked it as a challenge. It was something new and something different. The guys who were next men up, they were ready to go and get out there, ready to make some big plays and they did. We just needed a couple more.”


On what Raiders QB Derek Carr did in the last drive:

“Got it off quick. It was a lot of quick throws in the middle of the field. He is good at that. There were not a lot of times we were rushing and put pressure in his face. There was enough time for him to check it down the field. Good for him.”


On if he was close to blocking the game-winning FG:

“I could not really tell. I was just trying to predict the way they were kicking and get my hand in the kicking path.”


On what he said to DE Takkarist McKinley after he sustained an injury:

“I told him to be optimistic, that we loved him and we were here for him. Just keep his head up. I know he was hurting physically and mentally. I just wanted him to know we had his back. Whether it is in the game or off the field, whatever he needs, we are here for him.”


On what needs to happen to put this loss behind the team and focus on the Packers:

“Go back to our core and our center. Go back to what makes us great. It is preparation. It is mentality. It is attitude. We need to look in the mirror. Everybody is doing something, and we are no different. We will be able to attack and bounce back from this.” 

S M.J. Stewart:

On committing a pass interference penalty and then coming back to make a key defensive play:

“Next play. I do not think it was a flag. Clearly, it was not a flag, but you can’t argue with the refs. The refs called what they called so you just have to come back next play and keep fighting.”


On being pressed into a pivotal role this week:

“It was an opportunity, and that is how I took it.”


On the challenge transitioning between S and nickel CB:

“It is what I pride myself on. It is not really difficult for me. I know what I was supposed to do and know my responsibility. I make plays. I just have to make some more.”


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