CB Greg Newsome II (4.29.21)

 

On if he sensed the Browns were interested in him throughout the draft process:

“I talked to all 32 teams, and a lot of told me the same thing – that I was a versatile player who they would love to coach. I kind of got that sense from everybody so I would not say that Cleveland was like, ‘Oh, that was the most interested team in me.’”

 

On his experience tonight waiting to be selected and ultimately being picked by Cleveland:

“The night, like you said, you become impatient and just a little bit. I was expecting to go a little bit higher. I was sitting there a little nervous, but I had my family there. I just put God first and put my family second. Everybody who was there, this is a reward for all of us for all of the hard work that they instilled in me and everything that I have done for them. It was a great night, and I am looking to getting to Cleveland.”

 

On if teams made a mistake by not making him the first CB selected in the draft and if that will motivate him:

“Yeah, most definitely. I still hold myself at a high standard. I still believe that I am the best corner in the draft. Obviously, Cleveland picked me for a reason, and everything happens for a reason. God put me in this place to go to Cleveland. I am just ready to give my all to Cleveland every single day and that fan base. I can’t wait to get to Cleveland and get ready to work.”

 

On how excited he is to go against the competition in the AFC North, including after multiple AFC North teams selected WRs tonight:

“That is something that I live for. All of my life, I put myself in positions to be competitive and to compete every single day. That is something that I am definitely looking forward to and something that I am ready to work. It is definitely a great division to play in, and I am excited.”

 

On joining a team with high expectations and is looking to take the next step after last year:

“It is a blessing, honestly. With the pass rushers, the corners and the safeties in that defense, plus that offense that they have in Cleveland, it is a blessing to join a team like that. I am just honestly looking forward to whatever coach needs me to do, I am willing to do it, whether that is play special teams every single snap or whether that is to start and guard the best receiver. Whatever coach needs me to do, I am going to try and help Cleveland get to that next hump. Whatever coach needs me to do, I will be willing to do.”

 

On when he started playing with chip on his shoulder:

“That goes back to probably high school days. I still think I was a very underrecruited player coming out of high school. Going to a school like IMG Academy that I transferred to my senior year, it is crazy; I was the lowest recruit at IMG, and I was a starter on the team. That already showed me that I could play at that level, and it showed me that I am better than a lot of these guys that maybe they rank above me. I am always going to play with that chip on my shoulder regardless. The way I feel is if I am not the first pick of the draft, then everyone made a mistake. That is the type of confidence that I have. I could have been picked second overall, and I still would have had a chip on my shoulder. I am just ready to work, and I will always keep that chip on my shoulder definitely.”

 

On if he can feed off QB Baker Mayfield, who has a similar attitude and confidence:

“Most definitely.  I love that confidence in quarterbacks. A lot of people knock them sometimes for stuff like that, but I think that is perfect. When you are a quarterback with that confidence and that is the leader of your team, that is only going to make everybody else confident around you. That is something I kind of instilled in my teammates this season, too. Being confident and always knowing you are the best, you should always think that. Playing with a guy like Baker, we will definitely feed off each other, and I can see that we will have a great connection out there.”

 

On where he watched the draft tonight and how many people were there:

“I was at a Lifetime Fitness in out in Oak Brook (Illinois). I had to make sure everybody was either vaccinated or had two double negatives. I have no time to be getting COVID-19 right now. It was around 50 people. I had some of my coaches, I had some of my friends and obviously, I had my family members. It was a great time. Everybody was a bit nervous, but we are definitely glad that I am in Cleveland and not too far from home so that is amazing.”

 

On his familiarity with new teammates in the Browns secondary:

“I do not really have a feel, but I know I am heading into a very competitive room. I can tell you that. All of those guys are studs, starting off with (CB) Denzel Ward. That is somebody I honestly mirror my game after a little bit. That is a guy who I love watching, and it will definitely be great to learn from a guy like him and a guy like (CB) Greedy (Williams). He was a top pick, as well. He has a lot to prove this season and things like that. I love going into rooms that are just competitive. That is something I live for. If I am not being challenged every day by the guy who is to the right or left of me, I do not think that is the marking of a very good team. Obviously, a guy like (S) John Johnson (III), he is a stud, as well. I am definitely going into a secondary that has a lot of swagger. I just can’t wait to play with those guys.”

 

On where he thought he should have been picked:

“Where I think I should have gone? I think I should have went to Cleveland. That is where I got picked, and that is where God has put me in that position on purpose. Like I said once again, where do I think I should have gone? With my confidence, I think I should have gone to Jacksonville at No.1. That is just how confident I am as a player. There are a lot of great players out here, but that is kind of what I have always held myself to. I do not think there is any player better than me, but I do not think I am better than any player, as well. I try to keep that same confidence everywhere I go. Where I should have went is Cleveland. This is the place that God has put me in, and this is exactly where I was supposed to fall. Where do I think I should have went is Jacksonville at No. 1.”

 

On missing games due to injury during college and if that was due to being unlucky:

“I think a lot of it is unlucky. A bunch of horrible breaks honestly in my career. The thing that a lot of people fail to realize my freshman year is a lot of people think I missed those eight games [due to injury]. That is not true at all. I had an ankle injury and I missed around three games, but at that point in time, that was the four-game rule so my coach had actually told me I was going to redshirt so I sat the rest of that season. I was on the practice squad and doing things like that. We had a couple of guys nicked up in the Big Ten Championship Game so that is why I returned to that game. Yeah, I definitely missed some time with injury. I honestly think I was just unlucky, but that is what a lot of people [say] about freshman year, and I really did not miss that many games [due to injury] that year. I am also going 100 percent every play, and I do not take a play off. I will definitely be able to fix those things going into the league, hopefully. I think I should get lucky at this point.”

 

On if it is a goal of his to become a starter at the beginning of his career:

“As a goal, that is definitely a goal of mine. A goal of mine is definitely to start in the National Football League. Do I think that Coach is just giving me the job? No way. I am going to have to come in there and definitely work. Like I said, it is a talented, talented room. I have to go in there and prove myself every day. Like I said, if I have to do and run out on every special teams to do that, that is what I will have to do. Being a starter is definitely something that I want to do, but at the end of the day, I have to go in there and work, and I have to earn my stripes just like I did in college.”

 

On how much pride he takes in allowing the lowest opponent passer rating in FBS last season:

“I take pride in that a lot. In our secondary, we do not like guys catching the football. That is something that we do not like at all. I feel disrespected when a quarterback comes at me multiple times in a game. That is how I feel – I feel disrespected. I feel like teams should not try me. That is something that I definitely take pride in. I do not like guys catching the football. I feel like if I am doing my job stopping guys on the edge, then our team will have a great chance of winning.”

 

On being from Chicago, attending Northwestern and now playing in Cleveland, which is close to home:

“That is amazing honestly. If I can stay close to home, that is the dream. I am a huge family guy. Even at Northwestern, I had 10-15 people come to every single game. Now that I am playing in a city like Cleveland that is a three-hour drive from Chicago, I will have tons of family there. That is something that I am definitely looking forward to. Like I said, I am a homebody. My teammates are going to be able to make the drive after a Saturday game. My girlfriend is still out here so that is going to help a lot with that. I am a big homebody, and I can’t wait to be a part of a team like Cleveland, and it is so close to my home so that is also amazing.”

 

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