DE Jadeveon Clowney (4.14.21)

On what it means to him to join a team with Super Bowl aspirations:

“It is great. It is a great feeling and knowing you can come to a team that is already on the up and I can just come fit in and try to help them get over that hump and get to the Super Bowl.”


On how much playing with DE Myles Garrett will help him:

“A lot. I have been getting double-teamed an awful lot in this league and in my career. I am looking forward to playing with somebody who is dominant on the opposite side like a Myles Garrett, who can draw a double team. Maybe I can go one on one more (laughter).”


On why he chose to sign with the Browns this year when the team also pursued him last year:

“Circumstances changed, and I have a new agent. He was more open about coming here and wanted me to take a visit. My last one did not tell me to take a visit, but this one made me visit and I came to visit. I got to sit down with the staff and got to know some of the guys, and it made it much more easier for me to come here and play.”


On what he liked about the Browns during his visit:

“I think they were pretty laid back and straightforward. The coaching staff was pretty laid back, and I felt like they knew what they were doing and know where they were going and where the organization is headed, and they knew how to get where they were trying to go. I want to be a part of something like that. That is how I ended up here.”


On how he is feeling coming off of the knee injury:

“For one, I stopped playing last season because of a meniscus. I am glad I did [stop] when I did stop and it did not get worse, and then I went to get surgery. I feel great now. I am looking forward to this season and prove to guys that I am back healthy and I still can dominate in this league. That is all I am here to prove this year.”


On what it means to him that the Browns came after him hard again this offseason after he did not sign with the team last year:

“It means a lot. If you are wanted by somebody, you can tell that somebody really wants you and they are going to use you the right way. That was another big part in me making my decision. They wanted me, and when you are wanted by somebody, you can’t just turn it down like a relationship – a woman keeps trying – so I am ready (laughter).”


On the Browns defense and its potential:

“It is a bunch of talent on that defense, even in the secondary and all of the way to the front. I just feel like we have to play as one unit and get to know each other. Since we have a lot of new pieces, we are going to have to get to know each other and have a feel for each other so we know how each other plays. It is going to come during training camp when we are all out there together. I think we are going to find out how special of a group we are when it comes down to it and training camp gets here.”


On how his perception about the trajectory of the Browns changed when visiting the team and meeting with the staff in-person this year:

“I talked to most of the coaching staff, and just listening to them and how they are going about the schedule, and not just that [but] the approach to the team and what they have in their mindset for the team, the defense and the guys around us. I was buying into all of that because they showed me how they schemed and how they were thinking for their scheme, and I was like, ‘Oh, I can see myself doing that in the scheme.’ That kind of helped me make my decision, too – what they had me doing in the scheme and what they were showing me.”


On if he feels like he has to prove that he is still an elite player after having limited sacks in the past two seasons:

“Yeah, for sure, especially coming off of this injury. I did not get to finish this past season. I just want to show that I am still an elite player, more by proving to myself than anything and prove to other people that I am still out here and can dominate. We are going to see this season.”


On if he knows Garrett personally:

“I have talked to him maybe twice.”


On how frustrating it can be when constantly double-teamed as a pass rusher:

“Yeah, it is definitely frustrating. You gameplan all week to go against one person, watch him all week to get pass rush reps and then you go into the game and all of a sudden, it is two people in front of you or somebody there to chip you the whole game. You know it is a good thing for you if they are doing that to you or they still notice you out there making plays and you can expect the game. I take it as a plus and a minus – they respect me on one end, but it is not good for me with all of these guys in front of you and you are trying to get to the quarterback (laughter).”


On if his knee injury impacted his sack total in 2020 or if it was related to the scheme in Tennessee:

“I think it was a little bit of both. Early on, I would probably say it was the scheme, and then later on, I feel like it was my knee as far as me continuing the season as far as me playing the season. I just had to pull myself because I felt like I was going to hurt myself even more. If I kept playing on my knee, I was going to be in a worse situation than I would be. That is how I felt so that is how I ended up stopping myself last year.”


On if there was anyone on the Browns that lobbied for him to join the team and if there was anything different than what he felt a year ago:

“Yeah, they are winning. They have a great team. They are definitely a winning team. They won 12 games last year, right? More than what the team I played for won last year (laughter). I like this division for one. I think it is great competition. I get to play with great players beside me. That was one of my other decisions. I have decided the guys beside me are always going to be help, whoever I play with. Me and those two decisions were who I was going to play with. That was basically it – who I can play with and who is going to help me get further in my career.”


On how he is a different player now than he was a couple of years ago:

“I think I am a much smarter player now, more technique than I was back then. I think I learned a lot more about myself as a player now than I did back then.”


On the difference playing for a team with high expectations:

“It is very different. When guys are trying to win and everybody is looking for the win, it brings out the best in everybody on the team. That is what we try to do here is bring out the best in every player. I think the staff is trying to do that. Winning is definitely going to do that. When you start winning, everybody is happy and everybody wants to go out there and make plays and ball. I am looking forward to that. Hopefully, we can get on that winning train and everybody just wants to go out there, dominate and make plays.”


On his impressions of Garrett and if he sees the two of them as the leaders of the Browns defense:

“I am not really trying to walk in and step on anybody’s toes and be a ‘hoorah guy’. If they ask for my opinion or ask anything from me, of course I will give it to them. I am not here to be that ‘hoorah guy.’ I am just here to help out, do my job and play hard. I am definitely going to play hard. Everybody knows that.”


On if he is OK if the focus remains on Garrett:

“I do not care about that focus stuff. I would like them to focus on him. It might take some pressure off of myself. Yeah, let them focus on him.”


On if he saw DT Malik Jackson’s comments about him potentially signing the Browns, joining a good team and setting himself up for the future:

“I caught some of the words he said and some of the words the safety (S John Johnson III) said about, ‘He has not played with anybody in his career’ and ‘come and join a good defense.’ That kind of caught my attention. They are hungry, I can tell you that. They are hungry and they feel like they are on a winning team, too. That is why I jumped on board and try to get on that winning team. I do not think Cleveland is like the way people think they used to be. I am looking forward to this season, playing with a great group of guys and getting after guys.”


On if any Browns tried to recruit him to the team:

“A couple of them said a couple of things to me, but I already had my mind kind of made up, regardless of what anybody said. I think my team and I sat down, and we made our mind up, a group decision. This is where I am supposed to be this year.”


On Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager Andrew Berry saying he was a ‘relentless player’ and Berry’s ‘relentless pursuit’ of him continuing this year:

“I got that same feeling [of relentlessness] he has for me for him. That is why I said, ‘This dude is very relentless.’ He was relentless getting after me and trying to get me up here, and I am going to be relentless on that field for him. He knows I can play. He told me he likes my style of play. I said I am going to bring that here.”


On if he passed his physical and will be ready to go when the team goes back to work:

“Yes, sir.”


On when he made up his mind to sign with the Browns:

“Probably a week after my visit here. I said I am probably going to be signing with Cleveland. I told my girl and family that I would probably end up going to Cleveland. They said, ‘Cleveland?’ I said, ‘Yeah, I enjoyed my visits up there with those guys, a great staff and I can get along with them and have a good time.’ I said, ‘I am going to Cleveland,’ and they said they could not believe it.”


On if his family is on board with his decision to sign with the Browns:

“They are definitely on board. They have no choice (laughter). They have no choice but to be on board with me.”


On how he would describe his NFL career thus far and where he currently is as a player:

“The funny part, I tell people my career started off slow because I got hurt the first game of my career with a microfracture, probably the worst thing you could have in this game. I do not think everybody got to see the person they drafted yet. I think I am working back towards that, but I am well on my way now. I made three Pro Bowls, and it is funny because I have not ever really been all the way healthy to the point where I felt like nothing was bothering me. I still can dominate this league – I know that – but if I ever reach my max potential or get back there like I feel now, they say the sky is the limit, but it is probably higher than that. They have footprints on the moon, though. That is where we are trying to reach. I just want to stay healthy. If I play 16 games, I think we will be ready to see. Just let me work on that.”


On if he has NFL Defensive Player of the Year in his sights as a goal:

“For sure, I think so. With my potential and the way I play the game, if I can stay healthy, yeah, I should not be far away from being Defensive Player of the Year. I think I have that potential, and I can do it.”


On if he and Garrett can compete with one another for NFL Defensive Player of the Year:

“Yeah, at least for All-Pro, I know that – one and two, something like that.”


On joining a team with offensive talent like QB Baker Mayfield and WR Odell Beckham Jr.:

“To be honest, I did not even think about the offensive side. I was just thinking about the defense. If I was thinking about offense, I would probably start with that running game – the two-headed monster (of RBs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt) is really what gets me. Those guys in the backfield are hard to tackle. I guess because I played against them, too. I do not really worry about receivers because I do not have to guard them so I worry about the running game.”


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