CB Greg Newsome II (4.30.21)

 

On the pride he takes in being one of two players drafted out of Northwestern in the first round for the first time in school history and what that says about the Northwestern program:

“I take so much pride in that. It says that we are not just an academic institute but we produce players, as well. That is something that we have been trying to tell the world for a while now. People always when they think of Northwestern, they just think of smart athletes who do not have instincts and do not have the ability to play at the next level at a very elite level. I am just so proud that we are able to do this for this university. Now recruits will be able to finally realize that they can get a top-10 academic path but also they can get to the NFL at a very elite level.”

 

On lessons from playing during the pandemic last season:

“It taught me that I can handle a lot. It tells me that there are not going to be too many or really any situation that I am not going to be able to handle, overcome and actually learn and get better from. I feel like all athletes who had to go through this adversity and had to miss games, get games canceled, miss practice or quarantine and do all of those different things, I feel as if we are all stronger as people now just because that adversity is something that the world has really rarely seen in this Earth’s history.”

 

On the reaction he has received from the Browns fanbase:

“Before I got drafted to Cleveland, I always knew that the Dawg Pound was it, but after I got drafted and I see the support from the fans is just amazing honestly. I am honestly ready right now. I wish we could play a game right now and have all the fans there and they can support me and things like that and support this team. I am so ready to give it my all for these fans. I said it before, I knew how much support they gave me, but now I am even more ready to give them all I have. Obviously, with my teammates, just some of the guys reaching out to me, whether that was text message or quoting me on Twitter or something like that, that just shows the brotherhood of this team. I have yet to meet any of them personally, but as soon as I got drafted, they were welcoming me with open arms already so I just can’t wait to be a part of this organization.”

 

On takeaways from meeting the coaching staff and Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager Andrew Berry today:

“I am actually about to meet him a little bit after this. I have talked to a few of them. One thing that I have gotten from all of them in general is just that hard work aspect, and that is just something that I do already. I think we are going to fit very well together.”

 

On which NFL WRs he is looking forward to facing most and now that he is in the Browns facility if it feels more real that he will be playing against elite NFL WRs soon:

“That is the best part about this all honestly. I am a competitor so I am looking forward to going against all of the best receivers in the league. We have two of them right here on this team. Honestly, I am looking forward to going against those guys. Iron sharpens iron, and at practice is where you are going to get better. I am just looking forward to going against (WR) Jarvis (Landry), (WR) Odell (Beckham Jr.), DPJ (WR Donovan Peoples-Jones) and all of those guys every single day at practice.”

 

On if there are specific WRs across the league he has been looking forward to facing:

“Honestly, it is a guy like (Falcons WR) Julio Jones definitely. He is an older guy, a vet and has done it all already so that would be a cool guy. I wanted to see (free agent WR) Larry Fitzgerald too just because he is another icon as well in the game. I am just looking forward to guarding everybody and just proving myself out there in the league.”

 

On how he will connect with teammates in the offseason and where he will be working out during the offseason:

“Obviously, we can build a bond via text, just in meeting rooms and just talking to those guys, but ultimately, it is very hard and that is something that we had to do at Northwestern, as well, just acclimating the freshmen and things like that. When you choose certain guys on the team, here they choose specific guys that they know have certain traits so I do not think it will be hard at all to get used to talking to those guys. Like I alluded to earlier, just those guys reaching out to me like that just shows already that it is not going to be hard to get along with guys like that. I am training right now at school. Until minicamp starts, I am going to be at school at Northwestern just training with the guys that got me to this position today.”

 

On if he has talked to S John Johnson III:

“No, I have not been able to talk to John Johnson. That will be cool. That is the next guy who I am trying to get connected with.”

 

On it seems like he and Johnson have similar outgoing personalities:

“Yeah, just from seeing interviews and watching him talk. That is a guy that I definitely like. I think we are going to gel great and we are going to play well together. That is a guy I am definitely looking forward to talking to.”

 

On describing himself as a football player and taking the next step to the NFL from the Big Ten:

“Myself as a football player first is just I am a competitor at the end of the day ad I am very, very confident. I am not going to take any play off. I am not going to shy away from any type of competition. Whatever receiver lines up in front of me, I am going to be ready to go. I do not care who it is, I am going to be ready and I am going to be ready to prove myself. I do not care if it is to the Julio’s or it does not matter who the receiver is, I am going to be ready to go, and I am going to try to perform to the best of my ability. At the end of the day, I am just one of the biggest competitors. I hate to lose. It is always when people say, ‘Do you like winning? Would you rather with the losing than the winning?’ I literally hate to lose. I am definitely looking forward to getting around a group of guys who also have that same mindset as me.”

 

On his emotions when he received the phone call from the Browns after waiting to be selected last night:

“Honestly, I was a little bit nervous. The draft was starting to come to a close, and I have not been pick yet and I was expected to go a little bit higher. At first, I was just sitting back like this (leans back) chilling, and then I see the phone and my eyes just got wide. I was like, ‘Oh snap, I am about to get picked.’ I was like, ‘Everybody quiet, quiet.’ I just want to make sure I hear it. I was trying to make sure they were actually picking me. I was just trying to make sure everything was clear. It was a great moment. As soon as I saw it was Cleveland, I was like, ‘This is exactly where I was supposed to be.’ This is a team I feel like was in a similar position as Northwestern. They are right at that step to being at the very, very top so I can kind of see the transition from them to us. Also, a guy like (LB) Anthony Walker, that is a guy I talk to all the time. That is like my big brother. He told me before the Draft, he was like, ‘Hey bro, you are going to Cleveland.’ I was like, ‘OK, like you cannot really guarantee that I am going to Cleveland.’ When I got that call from Cleveland, it was just so exciting to be a part of this organization.”

 

On how competing against Beckham and Landry in practice can help make him a better football player:

“It is just testing and compete against me every single day. Those are two guys who are at the top of their game so I would imagine at practice that their practice is just like that. Just going hard at practice just alone is going to get me better. Obviously, they are going to make some plays, and  I am going to make some plays. Just talking about it after and just seeing some things that they notice that I can fix and things that I notice with them. Iron sharpens iron, and I feel like we can learn from each other. I just can’t wait to get those guys in the building and pick their brain a little bit.”

 

On his academic career at Northwestern:

“I was an early enrollee as a freshman. Honestly, I am not going to lie, my first quarter I was like it is football, it is football. I am going to lock in on football. My GPA was not necessarily bad, but I really was not locked in on [academics]. I had to realize that one of my goals was to declare for the draft and be the first three-and-done in coach Fitz’s (Northwestern Head Football Coach Pat Fitzgerald) tenure, and I knew that first of all I was not going to be able to do it if I did not get my degree because my mother was going to kill me. I was like, ‘Let me lock in and make sure that I get my classes done.’ After that first quarter, I finally became to get a little bit more organized and things like that. I was able to boost my GPA up like crazy. Honestly, it just comes down to time management. When I put my mind to something, I want to be the best at it. School is one of those, as well. When I got into the classroom, I wanted to be the best in everything I do. I just put my head down, worked at it and that has put me in this position right now to graduate this quarter.”

 

On only having one interception in college and if he missed some opportunities or was simply unlucky:

“A lot of people say my hands are bricks, which is not true at all. I am going to tell you, I can catch the football. I played receiver my whole career. I had a bunch of picks in high school, but for some reason, I just was not getting them in college. I am going to turn that around. Now on a serious note, I definitely missed some out there. There were sometimes where I just did not trust my eyes necessarily and go out there and make the play. There are some things I am doing right now in this offseason to help me get better at some things and get better at playing the deep ball. I am just trying to perfect my craft just so when I get here to Cleveland, I am not just getting pass breakups. I am trying to be a game-changer and being able to change the momentum of the game entirely.”

 

On how he developed a relationship Walker:

“I just feel like if you are a part of Northwestern, you would see how we developed that relationship. We are just a band [of brothers]. Literally, we are brothers. From offensive linemen to cornerback to punter, we are all so cool and so close. A guy like A-Walk, like you said, I did not actually play with him. I really met him in person probably only two or three times, but we just started talking. He is just a guy like, ‘Man look, if you ever need something, if you need any advice, just hit me up.’ We started our relationship like that. Now, this is like my big brother. Anything I need I text him. If I need any advice, I text him. Going into this process, he was telling me, ‘Bro, just be patient. You will be alright.’ That is just a guy who I feel like at Northwestern, it just shows you the type of brotherhood that we have. I could just tell the same way with the Browns. With them hitting me up, it honestly means so much. It just shows the brotherhood they have here, as well.”

 

On if there is a sense of comfort knowing that he can rely on Walker with the Browns during his transition into the NFL:

“Most definitely. Like I said, I am the first in my family to be a part of it and do something like this, but just to see some older guys at Northwestern do it and be successful at it, it just kind of eases the process a little bit. It gives me a sense of what I should not be doing and a sense of what I should be doing to be the best pro that I can be.”

 

On what makes him so excited to be with the Cleveland Browns:

“It just starts with the first thing they told me, ‘You are our pick.’ That means so much to me. They wanted me to come to this program. That alone just tells me what I needed to hear. Obviously, I would love to go to a team if they just grabbed me earlier off of need, but this is an organization that can pick and really, really wanted me not just from a need. That just first things first makes me so proud to be part of an organization like this. Second is just like I said, the guys here. Playing with a guy like (QB) Baker (Mayfield) and having a confident quarterback is just enlightening. Guys want to be around a winner like that. He has won his whole career, as well. It is definitely going to be cool to be around a guy like that. This organization took its next step up, and I just can’t wait to be a part of it and be a part of that Super Bowl team.”

 

On his outfit last night saying ‘Women Can Ball Too’, ‘Stop Asian Hate’ and ‘Black Lives Matter’:

“I am just big in the community. That is just something that I have been my whole life. Starting with the ‘Women Can Ball Too,’ my girlfriend and my sisters have all played basketball their whole lives. I am one of the biggest superfans you will meet. I will be at all the games. You could probably find an article about me super-fanning at a lacrosse game and at a basketball game. I just feel as if women do not get the same equality as men in the world, and I think that should change. Just because women are not the same athletes and can’t dunk the basketball does not mean their game is not great and does not mean they do not deserve the same recognition. I am just trying to preach that to everybody and trying to start the trend upward for that for women just to get equality around the world. With the [stop] Asian hate and things like that, that is kind of the same with Black Lives Matter in the sense where people are not getting treated [equally] just because of how they look. That is just obviously not OK at all. I am just trying to get the message out and just trying to be somebody that people know – the people that are getting marginalize and things like that – they know that at least Greg Newsome is going to be somebody that is going to push for them and trying to get them equality.”

 

On what about his skillset allows him to play press, off and zone equally well:

“I think it is just I am not necessarily the biggest corner, but I am not a small corner, as well. I think I am the perfect balance to be able to do all those things – my movement ability and things like that. Honestly, it is just being a competitor at the end of the day. Whether you are playing off or whether you are playing press, my goal is to not let you catch the ball, period. I do not care if I am off and you are going to run a hitch. Obviously, if I was pressing, it would be easier to stop the hitch. I do not care what I am playing. At the end of the day, if you are not catching the ball, I am doing my job. That is just me being a competitor. I just think my frame and my body type allow me to be able to do it all.”

 

On if he has a preference of what type of coverage to play:

“I prefer pressing.”

 

On what it meant to him that CB Greedy Williams reached out via Twitter congratulating him when they look to be in position to compete for the second CB position:

“That just tells you who Greedy is as a person. He just wants to win at the end of the day. He is also a competitor. He would not tell you that, ‘Oh, I want him to come and take the job’ or anything like that. We are going to go compete at the end of the day and whoever else is in the corner room is going to compete. That just shows you how he is as a person. I can tell already – I do not know him – he is a guy who just wants the best for the team. He will do whatever he can do for the team to win. That is just definitely somebody I want to connect to. He is also a guy that I actually was watching while he was at LSU. That is a guy who I have been watching. We kind of have similar frames. Me, Greedy and (CB) Denzel Ward all have similar frames. We all probably play around the same, but I can just learn from all of those guys. He is a guy who has dealt with some adversity, and so have I in my career, as well. We can definitely connect on that level, too. I am definitely just waiting to get in that room honestly and talk to a guy like Greedy, just learn from him and just compete. At the end of the day, if we are not competing, we are not going to be good as a team.”

 

On if he is aware of Williams’ shoulder injury and the adversity Williams faced last season:

“Yes ma’am.”

 

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