C JC Tretter (11.23.20)

C JC Tretter:

On how difficult it is to get footing and block in rainy conditions: 

“You have to choose the right cleats. I think probably most guys went with the seven studs yesterday just to give them a little more grip to be able to sink in the field a little bit. It is never easy. As the grass and the dirt get more and more soaked with moisture, it starts getting harder and harder to make sure you have good footing. Both sides are dealing with the same thing. They have to slow down as well in their rush so it is a benefit to us, as well. That is just what you are dealing with.”


On not scoring first-and-goal from the 1-yard line in the first quarter: 

“First play, did not get enough push. We ran a pass down there, as well. They stood up well. They got more penetration than we got movement. We were not able to punch it in. That is something we have to improve on.”


On the team’s confidence now after winning a game without DE Myles Garrett and if he allows himself to start thinking about the playoffs: 

“No, I think there is still a lot more time to go before you need to start worrying about that far ahead. I think it was a great job by our defense. I think everybody stepped up again, like you said. There was a really important piece and really great player in (DE) Myles (Garrett), and everybody had to do more yesterday in order to cover for that and everybody did. The defense played really well. An impressive game all around by them. That is great, but there is still a lot of work to be done before you start worrying about what is going to happen after January.”


On Garrett being ruled out for this week and if he has confidence that the Browns defense can step up again: 

“Yeah, I think we will have to do the same thing. The guys will go into with the same mindset as they did last time. We have a lot of talented players on that side of the ball. Everybody will continue to step up and continue to play well. Every game is different, but I think we all have all of the confidence in the world on that side of the ball.”


On the adjustments made in the run game to get things going at the end of the third quarter: 

“I do not really think we made many adjustments. I think we just kept working, kept pushing and just kept waiting to bust one. We got a good look on that long run by (RB) Nick (Chubb). They ran a cross-dog that we passed off well and open up a big lane for Nick, and that is really all Nick needs is just a little crease and he can make a good play into a big play. You just keep kind of banging and keep trying to get something going. I do not think we changed anything. We did not put in any new plays that we were not calling the first half. We just kept at it.”


On if the Browns coaching staff has been good at making in-game adjustments: 

“Yeah, we talk about a lot on the sidelines of just kind of what we are seeing and what they are seeing, what we are having success with and what we are not, what the defense is presenting and then what we can do to try to beat that defensive that they are putting out there. We go in with plenty of personnel groups and plenty of plays so we have kind of a long list of things you can get to, and then it is just about trying to get to the right things based off what they are showing us. Yeah, I have always been impressed with our coaching staff this year and being able to find those runs that look good after we start getting a feel for what they are trying to do to us.”


On the advantage of having Chubb and RB Kareem Hunt to wear down defenses late in a game: 

“First off, you look at having two top-tier backs in this league. That is a benefit in itself. Again, keeping guys fresh, having that continual fresh legs coming into the game and not being worn down by the end, I think that helps. A lot of it, they can do so many great things with a ball in their hands. We just have to open up a little bit of crease for both of them to go and make a huge play, and even sometimes when we do not, they are going make us look good.”


On how fun it is for the Browns OL to impose its will late in the game: 

“In the end, we have to run the clock out and we have to do certain things. You just keep going. I would not even say it is ‘imposing your will.’ A lot of it is just trying to stick with what we have been working on all week in practice, keep going and understanding we come in with a good plan and the other team is going to come up with a good plan, too. You just have to keep battling and keep trying to find those little plays and little difference makers that we can do to keep the chains moving.”


On if he feels that the Browns’ culture is changing, given LB Mack Wilson’s tweet about sensing a winning culture with the team: 

“I think probably the quickest way to have a winning culture is by winning so I think that probably helps it (laughter). From the moment (Head Coach) Kevin (Stefanski) got here, I think he has done a really great job of shifting this team into the way he wants us to play, the way he wants us to think and the way he wants us to prepare. That has been evident since the first meeting that we had. We have had the same ideals preached to us day after day of what we need to do to be a successful football team. We continue to embody those ideals. That is something credit to Kevin. That is what he has wanted from us. I think we are doing a good job of doing that. That has to continue. The work is not done. At our current record, we have to keep doing the right things, preparing the right way and playing the right way in order to continue to have that culture shift.”


On if Browns players take on Stefanski’s even-keeled demeanor: 

“Probably a little bit, but I think one of the big things I have talked about a few times with what Kevin has done here is I think he has created a family atmosphere. I think the really good teams go from being coworkers to being family, and I think that makes a big difference on how you play, how you prepare and how you battle on Sundays. That is something that Kevin made a point from the get-go of having us get to know each other as more than just coworkers. That is not easy, especially with the year we have had and the offseason we had with no really in-person work. Kevin really worked hard on creating that environment for us. I just think that is really important in the culture of the team, as well, of having guys look at each other as extensions of their family that they really care about more than just in the building and about who they are as people and what makes them tick. I think that really helps, as well.”


On how the team handled the intensive protocols and if the NFL-NFLPA COVID-19 protocols are working across the league:

“I think the protocols are working. We are moving to the enhanced protocols league wide, and we have done a good job of limiting the spread within the walls of the building. That was one of the big things about keeping this season going is having really strict contact tracing and making sure we keep high-risk close contacts out of the building as they have a higher likelihood of turning positive. That way, the spiral of positive cases gets cut off and not allowed to continue. I think that side of the protocols is working well. It is tough for guys to have to miss five days. I think that just preaches to the importance of staying away from each other and staying a part from six feet, wearing masks and doing all the right things to avoid being placed in that high-risk close contact field. As you see, we said it from the beginning, we are kind of susceptible to what the country and what our local communities are going through. We are seeing huge spikes in cases around the country, which just increases the likelihood of cases coming from the outside into the building. That is what you are seeing is as the cases around the country have spiked so have our cases. Our cases having gone up league wide, and that is why the protocols are so important about keeping the season going and keeping guys healthy and not allowing that virus to spread once it gets into the building.”


On the COVID-19 protocols determining when players can return to the building and pathways to return to play in a game:

“The way this is working, I believe the best way to put it is this is not like having an injury where Sunday is the goal and you try to fit the pathway to get back by Sunday. There are certain limitations on days and how long you have to be out because a sprained ankle does not impact the rest of the team; a contagious virus does. There are limitations on how many days you have to be out, what are your symptoms and how you have to come back into the building. It is not the same things of how can we try to get him back by Sunday. There are really set timelines once you start monitoring each person’s individual scenario of the first positive test and whether they are still symptomatic, and all that stuff goes into it.”


On how the NFLPA has discussed Thanksgiving and COVID-19 with players:
“It is definitely a concern. Like I talked about earlier, the place the country is in right now with spiking cases around the country, it is tough to… You try to look at your family and people you would be bringing in for Thanksgiving, and it is tough to look at it not like you would expect them to have the virus, but how widespread it is at this point, the more people you bring in to your bubble and into your household, the higher risk you take of one of them being sick and passing it on to you. That is a risk. We are continuing to put out information to teams and to individual players about what the best way to do, what type of quarantines are best to ask of your guests to decrease the likelihood that they can spread the virus to you, the best way to set up your house and the best way to have this meal. It is a tough year. It is a tough year for relationships and for families. It is really tough to go a long time without seeing your loved ones. We get it. We get that this is the time of the year – Thanksgiving and Christmas – that you have always expected to bring your family together and have those holidays, really special holidays. It is tough, but this is a crazy year and a lot going on. We just try to provide the best guidance of the best way to keep you safe and keep your family safe, if you choose to do that.”


On if he has been surprised by the Browns’ resiliency this season:

“I would not say surprised. I think every team goes through the loss of players, whether for the year or for short-term pockets of the season, that you have to overcome. You can’t allow injuries to impact what you provide on Sundays, and everybody has to provide more when a guy who is really important to how the team runs goes down. That is just how every team works. I think that is something that the good teams are able to continue to play well, even when different people are not able to play, and they have to put somebody else in there and everybody in that position group needs to step up. That is what good teams do. I would not say that I am surprised by that. That is our expectation is that we have to play up to our standard. Whether certain players can’t play, that does not change our standard, and we have to play up to it.”


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