C JC Tretter (10.14.20)

C JC Tretter:

On T Chris Hubbard’s performance at RG on Sunday:

“He did really good. Stepped in really well. That is what you expect out of a pro like Chris, who has gotten a lot of game reps and understands what it takes to be successful in this league. We have a lot of faith in him. We have a lot of faith in him to be able to play multiple positions, and he showed why. I think he has played really well.”


On why the Browns have fully embraced the ‘one game at a time’ mentality so much this year:

“I give credit to (Head Coach) Kevin (Stefanski). I think Kevin has done a really good job of framing each week the right way and keeping everybody laser-focused on the task at hand, not looking in the past, not looking too far ahead and just really being dialed into what that week entails and what we need to do and what we need to accomplish that individual week.”


On how the Tennessee Titans handled their COVID-19 outbreak and Commissioner Roger Goodell’s recent comments about the team following protocols and potential discipline:

“We had both the NFL and the NFLPA do an investigation and look into it, go down for multiple days to interview and see what was going on. We have nothing to do with the discipline or the punishment part. That is solely at the league’s discretion. We just defend the players. I think the whole situation just shows how much this needs to be top of mind and how easily things can snowball. We have known that for a while. We know when the virus gets into the building, it is extremely contagious if you are not doing the right thing and even if you are doing the right thing. It is all links in a chain of needing to do everything possible to mitigate the spread of the virus. That is something I hope everybody learns from and remembers going forward because you just see how quickly things can change and how quickly they can snowball.”

On if he is anticipating the NFL will have to add weeks to the end of the season due to postponed games and if that is something the NFLPA had in mind heading into this season:

“Yeah, we knew going into playing a season in the middle of a global pandemic there has to be room and the ability to move, change and adapt. I think we have done that so far. I think that will continue to happen if these issues – I hope we get back to where we were the first six or so weeks of the season with training camp where we were really moving with no need to change anything – but again, you need to be able to adapt and move. We do not want to miss games. We do not want to cancel games. We want to go out there and play. That has been our goal. We have said it from the start, we knew it would be easy to start and we knew it would take a lot of diligence and a lot of work to finish. Our goal from the start has been to play 16 games for every team, get through the playoffs and crown a Super Bowl champion. We have to leave everything on the table to make sure we do that.”

On the expected intensity for this week’s matchup with the Steelers, given the teams’ records compared to past games:

“I think they are all they are all similar. The Steelers have always been a really talented team. Especially as offensive linemen, their front seven is extremely talented and you know it is always going to be a battle in the trenches. I think it will not be any different in the games in the past. They get after the quarterback, and they cause chaos in the run game. It will be a really big challenge for us.”

On if the mindset changes at all about protecting the QB knowing QB Baker Mayfield is dealing with an injury:

“Like you said, we never want Baker to get touched as is. We never go into a game thinking, ‘Well, maybe we can let him get hit a couple times.’ We always want to make sure he stays clean the entire game and no one hits and no one touches him. It does not really change our mentality going into the game. It the same as it is every week.”

On offensive line coach Bill Callahan:

“Obviously, his résumé and his experience speaks for itself. His ability to scheme up runs and put us in advantageous positions and just being able to talk to him and he has seen everything, he has not just one answer but multiple answers for every question you have. It has been really, really nice to work with him. He is so experienced. He has seen everything. It is an asset for us to have.”

On how the Steelers defense creates chaos in the run game and how the Browns’ wide-zone scheme matches up with the Steelers defense:

“First of all, just the talent they have. You are going to be on one-on-one blocks and you have win your one-on-one blocks against very talented players. They do utilize movement, blitzes and dogs, which you just have to be dialed in at what they are doing and really be clear of where you are going and who you are going to. They are very multiple in their looks where they can present looks a bunch of different ways. That is always a challenge. I think after a full week of practice, we will be ready to go and we will understand their tendencies and things like that, but again, very talented up front and always a battle.”

On how LT Jedrick Wills Jr. has played through the first five games:

“I think he has done a really good job. Obviously being put in the position he was and transitioning with no offseason work, I think you continue to see growth every week. I think you will continue to see that throughout the entire season. He is still young at the position, continuing to get the work in at practice and continuing to get better and more comfortable every week. I think that will just continue.”

On factors for the Browns OL’s improvement from last season:

“It is tough to pinpoint something. Obviously, the additions we have made. (T) Jack (Conklin) is a hell of a player. Jedrick is a young player but playing at a high level already. Everybody is just playing well together. I think we have been really dialed in. I think the scheme that we run fits us very well. and I think Bill has done a really good job of coaching us up.”

On how has Callahan done a good job coaching the Browns OL:

“His experience in the wide zone. What he wants us to do and how he wants to fundamentally block things up. I think everybody is just on the same page. Everybody is doing the right thing. We all understand where we are supposed to be, where we are supposed to be going to and how we are supposed to go there. Especially in the wide zone offense, that is how you have to be in order to make it work and make it run.”

On the team welcoming back DE Myles Garrett back after his suspension to show Garrett how valued he is and if the team needs to be super supportive to Garrett this week, given the game could be one of high emotions for Garrett:

“That was never a question for us. Myles is one of us. He has done a great job of taking a real step this year of being a leader on this team. That has really stood out to me this year is that step he has taken. Whatever he needs, he knows we are there for him, but I think he is just ready to go play football. It is just another game for him. He is going to go out and play the way he has been playing, and that is at extremely high level. He has been producing and making huge plays for us, game-changing plays for us. That is the type of talent he is.”

On if there is a concern some NFL teams may not take COVID-19 protocols as seriously late in the season if they are out of playoff contention and if the NFLPA would want to play or cancel a game late in the year that does not have a significant impact on the playoffs:

“I think we would definitely be in favor of playing it. I do not think we are nervous about [non-playoff teams being lax about protocols]. First of all, we have enforcement mechanisms to make sure guys, whether they want to or not, both players and staff follow the protocols. I think guys also do not want to get sick. They do not want to contract the virus and bring that home to their families. I do not think their record will make the idea change. They do not want to catch COVID, and they do not want to give it to their families, their friends and their teammates. There is a personal responsibility so I am not very concerned with guys kind of throwing the protocols to the wayside because of whatever their record is.”

On his reaction to player complaints and comments about postponed games and limited practice time due to rescheduled games following outbreaks:

“First of all, I know (Patriots CB) Jason (McCourty). A lot of respect for Jason. We played together a year. I called Jason on Saturday, and we talked about it. Just wanted to know what he was feeling, what he was thinking. I think what we have done in terms of player safety just in these last six months and what we have done to ensure the safest workplace possible, we fought hard for daily testing because it is the safest answer. We fought hard for an acclimation period because it is the safest way to do it. We fought hard for opt-outs, making sure guys had choices and did not feel pressured into going back to work and instead protected them from making that decision. I think we have done a lot of great things for player safety, especially living in this word of a pandemic. It is what it is. I am not too concerned with people complaining. Again, we do not set the schedule. We do not chose when games or played or anything like that. That is the league’s discretion. Our job is to try and protect the players as best as possible.”

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