C Nick Harris (8.17.20)

C Nick Harris:

On competing with the first team during the first few days of training camp, due to C JC Tretter’s injury:

“Obviously, it is a great opportunity to get thrown in the fire. That is how you learn the best. That is how you get the best reps is going against ones on ones. I am definitely fortunate to have the opportunity to get my feet wet and get out there with the guys. As for me, this whole process is not new. Going into college, I kind of was thrown into the fire too as a true freshman so I know how to handle these situations. You are going to make mistakes. Just minimize those mistakes being made, learn from the guys around you that have played a little bit and at the end of the day, just play fast. If you mess up playing fast, at least you are showing that you care about what you are doing. That is kind of the mindset I have going about training camp so far.”

On his confidence level that he will be ready to go Week 1:

“Honestly, I am just taking it day by day. That is my mindset going into training camp this year because everything is so different. I am just taking it sunrise to sunset. Don’t get too high or don’t get too low. Just trying to learn. Like you said, just be ready whatever the situation may be and making sure I optimize the opportunity I get when it does happen and making sure I stay ready so I don’t have to get ready when that situation comes.”

On if it was surprising or a jolt to him when hearing JC Tretter had a medical procedure and he would be out to start training camp:

“It is what it is. It is part of this game. Sometimes things happen where you have to play, and injuries are obviously a part of this game. When I heard it, I was just, ‘OK. Well, here we go. I have to go now.’ I get the plays, I get the scheme and everything so I just have to go out there and execute. It is what it is. It is a part of the game. It is just the next man up. If he is down for a little bit or whatever it is, I will be ready to step in when need be.”

On evaluating his first two days of training camp:

“I think I have done well. I am still getting acclimated to it, but I think have done some really good things. I am still learning from those guys and those vet guys in the group. I am honestly just excited to be able to go out there and play every day with those guys. I am definitely excited. I think I am making progress every day.”


On how playing C during camp may impact his chance to play RG:

“I am just trying to optimize whatever role I have and whatever that may be. Just trying to make sure I am ready for whatever comes at me and go out there and execute in whatever spot that is. Just trying to be a role player for this team and whenever my opportunity comes, I am ready for it. Just trying to prepare every day for that.”

On his first impressions of offensive line coach Bill Callahan:

“He is a great coach. He is really technical, which you need when you are in this league. Everybody is good so you have to pay attention to all those small details and small things about this position, which I really appreciate because I do love this position. I take a lot of pride in the different techniques and stuff you can use at this position. He has been great. I have learned a lot from him in just a short span. He is very knowledgeable of O line play and the game in general. I don’t think he talks about anything other than football so he loves this game more than anybody I have ever met. He is definitely a good guy to have on your side teaching you and showing you the ropes as a rookie.”

On if he knew much about Callahan before coming to Cleveland:

“I knew a little bit about him just from people I have been coached by and hearing about his name and what he has done in this league and the guys he has coached. I definitely had a little tidbit of information before I came in here.”

On which Browns teammates have been helping and encouraging him the most:

“All the guys up front are definitely helping me. (Gs) Wyatt (Teller) and Joel (Bitonio), (T) Jack (Conklin) and all those guys are helping me get ready every day, and if I have questions, they answer it. To be honest, probably Coach Callahan is in my ear the most. I talk to him directly if I question because I want to get it from the source. That is who is helping me the most in training camp so far.”


On if he has had any trouble with ‘too many voices in his ear’ trying to help him and making a quick transition to playing with the first team offense:

“Like I said, it is a part of this game and I have been in this situation before previously in college when I came in expecting to redshirt and I played immediately. I have been in this situation. I know how to handle it. I am trying to maximize the time that we have on the field every day to get better, and when the opportunity presents itself, I am ready to do whatever I need to do as a role player on this team.”

On if he is also handling any of Tretter’s NFLPA duties:

“No, not that (laughter). I am just out there making sure everything is good before he comes back. Just that. None of that stuff. I am not ready for that. I am still trying to figure out my life first (laughter).”

On if playing C in the NFL is a big jump from in college, particularly given the pre-snap reads and responsibilities of the position:

“Yeah, there is a jump for sure. I think it all depends on where you came from in college. A lot of college teams are run like NFL schemes to where the transition is kind of seamless, especially at the center position. I came from a pro-style offense, but the demands of the center were a little different so I have to learn the intricacies of being an NFL center, ID-ing everything and telling people what to do, which I had to do in college but it is just a different degree of difficulty at this level because everything happens kind of fast. I think that is the main thing, but at the end of the day, like I like to think about it, it is football. I have been playing football for 15 years. At the end of the day, it is the same game I have been playing this whole time and I have been having fun with it every year. That is kind of my thought process going about it.”

 On being only 6-1 at C or if it can be an advantage for leverage:

“I have gotten this question a lot throughout my career. Yes, I think it helps me to be honest. It helps me with leverage. It helps with my hands and hat placement. I have natural knee bend to where guys have to be coached to bend their knees when I can just already do it. It helps my lateral quickness. I think it helps me. On paper, if I was 6-4, it would sound better, but I think functionally, if you really know the intricacies of playing this position, I have the ideal build, I think, and I think other people also would think that. It is what it is. I have been asked about that numerous times, and I kind of get excited a little bit when people ask me that because I know in the back of their mind they are doubting me. It gives me a little chip on my shoulder. I have always held that close.”


On his relationships with T Jedrick Wills Jr. and QB Baker Mayfield:

“Me and Jed were in the same [draft] class so I have gotten to know him pretty well from all of the rookie stuff we have to do. A good dude, good personality, a good dude to be around. Obviously, as everyone knows, he is a good football player. We have a good relationship, and it is still climbing just from us being on the field together now. With Baker, now I am being thrown in so our relationship is building, and hopefully, it gets to the point where we are super close but it is still growing. He is a super good dude. He is helpful. If I have questions about anything, he answers it. He is a good leader. Just from being in the fire for a week, I have learned that he is a good leader. He says what needs to be said to anybody. He is definitely somebody that if I have a question, I wouldn’t be afraid to ask and he wouldn’t be afraid to answer.”

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