CB Denzel Ward (10.26.20)

CB Denzel Ward:

On how difficult it is to lose WR Odell Beckham Jr. for the season: 

“That is a big, big loss for the team. I am hoping and praying for a speedy recovery for him. It is bigger than football. I just want him health-wise to get right. I hope he is good mentally. Whenever he gets healthy, I know he is going to get right back to it and get to work.”

On how impressive it was to see Browns players like TE Harrison Bryant and WRs Rashard Higgins and Donovan Peoples-Jones step up on offense after losing Beckham: 

“Those guys are playmakers. We see those guys every day in practice so we know those guys can play. Guys like Hollywood (WR Rashard Higgins), those guys make plays every day in practice so we know what they are capable of. I am happy for those guys that they got to go out and showcase what they could do on the biggest stage.”

On how the loss of a player of Beckham’s caliber affects an offense: 

“I am sure (Head) Coach (Kevin) Stefanski is going to do a great job of getting the office together. Like you saw yesterday, we still have playmakers and guys that can make plays and go out there and play the game –Donovan Peoples-Jones, (WR) Jarvis (Landry) and all those guys. All those guys can still play. I am sure the offense is still going to be good.”


On what the Browns defense needs to improve to decrease points allowed: 

“There have just been a lot of self-inflicted wounds for us. We just have to nail down on the details in practice and then carry it over into the game.”


On main positives for the Browns defense, including leading the league in takeaways: 

“Yeah, that is it right there – takeaways. We put an emphasis on takeaways. Takeaways lead to winning ballgames. It helps our offense and helps our team win. Even though we may struggle in some other categories, like points in the game, if we are able to get some takeaways, that is going to increase our chances of winning.”


On if he would agree that yesterday was one of his best games without an interception: 

“There were some good plays. I am just trying to do whatever I can to help this team win. Yeah, I feel like there were some pretty good plays and our guys made a lot of big plays out there to help lead us to victory.”


On his message to CB Terrance Mitchell after the dropped interception opportunity: 

“We have not talked specifically about it. I know he wishes he had that back, but we have his back. Guys went out there finished the game and helped us out.”


On if he can build off of his individual success on Sunday moving forward to finish the season strong: 

“I feel I have been playing pretty well all season so I do not think it was just last game. I do feel like I had a pretty good game last game. Definitely plan to build on top of that, take it one game at a time and do what I can to help his team win.”


On his mindset and role during the Hail Mary: 

“Get the ball down. Do not let them catch it. That was pretty much it. Just trying to take away their playmakers, get a body on a body and do what we can to knock the ball down. Just a big pile in the middle of the end zone. You have to go get it.”


On if his heart fluttered when seeing the ball get deflected up during the Hail Mary: 

“Definitely. Once you see it hit the ground, all of it eases away.”


On the energy Beckham brings to practices and games: 

“He is a fun guy to be around, a guy who likes to have fun in practice and is talking to everybody. We are definitely going to miss that from him. Just hoping and praying for a speedy recovery for him.”

On if there is a correlation between the Browns’ takeaways and points allowed, including if the defense is gambling at times and it resulting in points: 

“No, I do not think gambling. Like I said, it is a lot of self-inflicted wounds and just things technique-wise and some mental errors out there on the field. Guys are doing their assignments. They are attacking the ball, and that is what the coaches are emphasizing is just attack the ball and do what we can get to the ball for our offense.”


On why the Browns defense has struggled defending the pass and surrendered a high number of passing yards: 

“We are 5-2 so whether they threw for 1,000 yards, we are winning some games. We have to tighten down on some things on the defensive side and offensive side of all team aspects. We just have to go out there and do our job, and everything else to take care of itself.”

On Peoples-Jones and Peoples-Jones’ speed: 

“He can definitely run. He is definitely one of the faster guys on the team. Like you said, he is a physical receiver. He is big. He is good at getting in and out of his routes. He made a great play yesterday to help us win the game and won the game for us.”


On if he thinks about the playoffs with the team’s 5-2 record: 

“No, I think personally just trying to take it a game at a time and see where we are at the end of the year.”


On how impressed he was with QB Baker Mayfield’s performance yesterday following a tough game against the Steelers: 

“Very impressive. He showed out yesterday. Made all the throws. Got the balls to the receivers. He played confident with poise, and I expect to see that the whole season.”

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