Browns Players (12.24.22)


G Joel Bitonio:

On getting the early lead but not finishing the game:

“Yeah, we have had too many games that we have not been able to close out this year – Jets, Falcons, Chargers and this game – four or five games. It is the NFL. Games are close. Good teams find a way to win those close ones and find a way to close the door, and we have not done that enough this year, which you see in our record.”


On the Browns running game, particularly in the fourth quarter:

“I think in the fourth quarter we had to try to grab a score so we had to pass the ball a little more. We want to be a great running team. We have investments up front and in the running back room. In a day like today, it is cold out, windy and hard to throw the ball so I think we are trying to run the ball, and they are trying to stop the run. It didn’t always work out. We had a few big ones that popped and tried to make some plays, but it is just finding ways for each guy to finish their block for one more second to try to spring one free.”


On the Saints eliminating a 10-0 deficit:

“They fought hard. They are in the playoff hunt. They are one game out of their division, and they are trying to go to the playoffs. We have a lot of respect for their defense and what they can do. They fought hard. We did not get it done in the second half, and they came out and kept fighting and got it done.”


T Jack Conklin:

On agreeing to a contract extension with the Browns yesterday:

“It is really exciting. I am happy to be a part of this organization for longer.”


On when he learned a contract extension with the Browns was in the works:

“Really just in the last couple of weeks that it started to feel like something is going to happen.”


On if it was gratifying to receive a contract extension after returning from a season-ending knee injury:

“Definitely. Definitely a lot different feeling this time of year than it was last year with a lot of uncertainties. After the restructuring, I will be able to come back here feeling healthy and getting healthy and get back to playing. Getting this contract was huge.”


On the weather conditions today from the Browns OL’s perspective:

“One of those games we want to play in. It is cold. It is something that we have to deal with during the game. We pride ourselves in playing well. Just didn’t finish.”


On getting the lead early but not coming away with a win:

“Especially in the red zone, you have to be able to score touchdowns and sustain drives. When we get the lead, we need to build on that and figure out how to do that. We need to do a better job of sticking together and not getting those three-and-outs. Sustain drives, keeping the ball and helping our defense staying on the field and just finishing out drives.”


WR Amari Cooper:

On the weather conditions today:

“It was cold. It was not as bad as it looked. I was still about to cut and stuff like that. Injury affected me more than weather. It was good football weather to me.”


On reaching 1,000 receiving yards this season:

“It is a great milestone. Obviously, the win would have been a lot better. It is a great milestone for a receiver to accomplish. That is the number that people kind of look at.”


On the impact of the wind on today’s game:

“It is the old you throw some grass in the air to see which way it is going. The wind definitely carried the ball.”


On if being eliminated from playoff contention is a missed opportunity:

“Yeah. Obviously, you look back at the games we played, you start to pick hairs. Could have done this better. Could have done that better. There is nothing we can do about it now.”


On if today was an example of his and QB Deshaun Watson’s potential together:

“We could be a lot better, and we will be a lot better. Trust me, it is not even close. We will be a lot better.”


S Grant Delpit:

On what his interception does for his confidence going forward:

“It is good. It is always good to make plays. Everybody knows everyone’s potential, and we can all be great. It is good to see that emotion, but we have to finish games.”


On if this was one of his better individual games:

“I don’t know. I have to go back and watch the tape. Two good plays, stand-up plays, but we have to finish games and we have to win.”


On if it is hard to take individual satisfaction in his performance following a loss:

“Of course. This is a team sport. It is not an individual sport. It is not golf or tennis. We have to finish as a team.”


On looking to finish the season strong:

“Every time I step on the field, it is to win and to beat the man in front of me. We are here for a reason. It is the NFL so you better show up. If you don’t show up, you don’t need to be on the field. That is my mindset.”


On why the Saints were able to come back in today’s game:

“We gave up a field goal before halftime. That is three points. In the second half, we gave up that touchdown. That was killer. We go three-and-out, the interception happened in our field position and we have a stand there. Other than that, that was pretty much it.”


On trying to not let teams score on their last drive of the first half and first drive of the second half:

“After the half, we have to get our offense back out there. We have to take advantage of that and give it back to our offense, no matter how they are doing. Just always make sure they are on the field as much as possible.”


DE Myles Garrett:

On the Browns being eliminated from playoff contention:

“Very disappointing. It is not where we want to be. It is not where we expected to be at the beginning of the season. At the end of the day, you have to keep on fighting. You have to have pride about your job and what you do. A lot of guys in this locker room love this game and want to give their all to it. You have to keep on fighting regardless of what the specifics are or what the circumstances are. Just have to keep on going.”


On what worked in the Saints rushing attack with Saints RB Alvin Kamara and Saints TE Taysom Hill:

“Not really sure. They are both just talented runners. Both are good at breaking tackles and making guys miss. From what I could see, there were some circumstances where it was just that they were just making plays that they make because they are top-level talent. They are good at what they do.”


On how bad the weather conditions were today:

“You kind of get adjusted after like the first series. After that, I think it was pretty good honestly. Like you would think that the wind and everything would affect you a little bit more, but as long as you know how to handle yourself and how to layer up properly as far as your hands and your feet and all of that, you would be just fine. I think that wasn’t really the main culprit of today. Really, the weather did a lot to our traction and our footing. That is really the toughest thing to do with the weather.”


On if he was surprised there was some snow on the field despite the tarp not being removed until a few hours before the game:

“With the wind blowing 60 miles per hour at times, it is going to find ways to get underneath that tarp, I believe, and they are not going to be able to protect it all day. We have to warm up, they have got to warm up and there is stuff they have to do for the field. Did the best they could, and it was the best surface we could play.”


On the Saints scoring 17 unanswered points after the Browns defense started strong:

“We just have to maintain that intensity and that level of play. I don’t think the intensity dropped, but I think that really attention to detail of being where you are supposed to be and making those plays when they come to you, that really came back to bite us. Again, we had our opportunities where we were sometimes where we were supposed to be and sometimes we weren’t. We had guys wrapped up with a tackle, and they were able to break free. We just have to be able to make those plays.”


On if playing in bad weather like today is part of QB Deshaun Watson’s growth in learning the Browns offense and playing in Cleveland:

“Not many people who are playing right now have played in weather like this. It is not just him. He is still learning the system and still coming back out there [from the] extended break. There are a lot of things that he has been working against and working through. We are going to keep on sticking with him for the ride. He is very talented. We have seen that. Something like this, you really can’t put it on the quarterback or either quarterback. Especially going long, the wind can take it wherever it wants to and even short throws. He was still making plays with his feet and still making big plays and first downs. I think he did a pretty good job with it all things considered.”


CB Greg Newsome II:

On making adjustments in today’s game:

“It was just more trying to stop the run. As you could see the conditions out there, we knew that was going to be the main focal point.”


On today’s weather conditions:

“Honestly, when you are out there for a long drive then you might feel a little cold, but it was not that bad. Equipment [staff] did a great job with heaters and everything on the sidelines for us.”


On the footing on the field:

“I just had to wear detachable [cleats]. They are like bigger studs. Other than that, the footing was fine.”


On why the Browns came up short of accomplishing their expectations for the season:

“It is a lot of stuff. Everyone has to go back and reflect upon things. I felt earlier in the season as a defense and secondary we didn’t come to play right away. It is a lot of stuff. It is not going to just be one thing.”


TE David Njoku:

On being eliminated from playoff contention:

“It is tough, but we have a job to do week in and week out. We are going to finish the season strong.”


On his dropped pass on the final drive:

“There is no excuse. Quicker or not, I dropped it. I am owning up to it right now.”


On if QB Deshaun Watson said anything to him after the dropped pass:

“I went to apologize to him. I felt like I let him down and the team down. He said, ‘It is alright, bro. Just try to dust it off.’”


On if he believes Watson has faith to come back to him:

“Absolutely. It hurts that I feel like I let the team down, like I said earlier. I know he has complete confidence in me, and I have confidence in him. We roll on.”


On the Saints:

“They are a great football team. They won today. We have to get back to work.”


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