G Joel Bitonio (1.5.23)


On winning the Cleveland PFWA Joe Thomas Award, recognizing the team’s most valuable player as voted by local media members:

“I really do appreciate it. There are a lot of good players on this team – (RB) Nick Chubb, (WR) Amari (Cooper), (DE) Myles (Garrett), guys who have played really at a high level. Just to be in that group and be in the conversation is pretty awesome. I appreciate that. (Director of Football Communications) Dan (Murphy) did tell be the bad news that I wasn’t the (Cleveland PFWA Dino Lucarelli) Good Guy Award winner [recognizing a player’s professionalism and cooperation with media] so I might have to go full tilt and be the bad guy the next couple of years while I’m here (laughter). I do appreciate it. It is a very cool honor, and we have a lot of really good players on this team. Just to be in the conversation is pretty sweet. Just trying to do my best out there and help the team any way I can.”


On how his performance has graded this season and if it has been or has been among his best individual performance:

“I think it has been good. (Offensive line) Coach (Bill) Callahan is a tough grader regardless. He is holding us to a high standard. I have had some really good games. As a lineman, it is such a game of imperfection because you play 70 snaps and think you have 67 great snaps, but those three snaps can be the difference between having a good game and an average game in your mind. There is always room for improvement, but I do feel like I have played at a high level, and I want to continue that. I think the last couple of years it has been good. Coach Callahan and (Head) Coach (Kevin) Stefanski have come in and playing with the guys next to you in Po (C Ethan Pocic), Jed (T Jedrick Wills Jr.), (G) Wyatt (Teller) and (T) Jack (Conklin), and just having that group together has helped, as well.”


On his best game of the 2022 season:

“Maybe Cincinnati the first game we played them. I feel like I played really well that game. We had the run game going, some good protection and stuff like that. It is hard off the top of my head, but that one kind of stands out. We had some really big plays.”


On the significance of the Browns potentially sweeping the Steelers for the first time in decades:

“It would be huge for us. They have been a very, very good franchise. At least my whole career, they have been very good. They have done some good things. For us to get a second win against them in Pittsburgh I think would be a big thing for us. We are treating it like a very important game for us. I know they have playoff implications – they have to win and get a little bit of help. Regardless of that, I think both teams are going to come out firing anyway. We know it is going to be a big challenge, but I think we are up for it. We want to go out this year on a winning note and just prove to ourselves that it stinks we are not in the playoffs,  and we are not playing for what we want, but we do have some wins under our belt in some important games.”


On Browns Legend T Joe Thomas being named one of 15 modern-era finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2023:

“I saw Joe Thomas made the finalists for the Hall of Fame. In my opinion, I think he is a lock, not even biasedly. You just look at the other candidates and all of them are great players, but what he did in his career, what he did for the City of Cleveland, the person he is and all of that combined, I think he is a lock to me to be in the Hall of Fame. It was truly honestly a blessing for me to come into this league and be able to play next to him for the first four years.”


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