G Joel Bitonio (10.18.20)

G Joel Bitonio:

On QB Baker Mayfield leaving the game and how tough the day was for the Browns OL:

“It was tough. You never want to see your quarterback leave the game early, unless you are up by a bunch of points. They beat us up front today. They beat us good. They had a couple of good hits on him. We wanted to try and protect him and take them out, but it is a difficult task. They have good guys up front. We just have to look at the tape and improve from it.”

On if he could tell that Mayfield was really hurting, especially after the hit from Steelers DT Cameron Heyward:

“He was a little bit beat up, but when he came in the huddle, he was fine. We have a long season. This counts as one. IT is not the way we wanted to play, but I know he is a tough guy. He wanted to do what he could do. We just did not give him enough time.”

On where the game got away from the Browns:

“We scored right before the half. We were hoping to get the ball, come out and get a drive and get within 10. You can score enough points in this league to come back from being down by that. In the third quarter, we had like eight plays or something. We had two drives, and we didn’t do enough on offense. That is going to hurt. Giving another team points on a pick-six is just something you can’t do in this league. We didn’t do enough on offense. You get down by a bunch to a team like this, they are going to send the guys at the quarterback, and that is not the situation you want to be in.”

On if the game was ‘pretty civilized,’ particularly given last year’s incident:

“It was a normal game. I didn’t think anybody said anything or did anything about that. It was a normal NFL game.”

On what happened today for the Browns OL:

“From play to play, there was a guy that got beat. It wasn’t one guy every play. It was just play to play a guy got beat or someone missed their gap, and that is how you lose to a fundamentally sound team like Pittsburgh. They have a guy in every gap, and if you don’t win, they are going to make a play. I can’t pinpoint exactly what happened, but I think once every play, someone was messing up. We didn’t play well enough today.”

On how challenging it is to play a fundamentally sounds and talented team like the Steelers:

“There is no weakness. Up front, they don’t have a guy that you can kind of spotlight and be like ‘Hey, this is the guy we can go after.’ They have five good rushers and two good linebackers that play well for them. They have good blitz packages. They won their one on ones today when they had an opportunity.”

On whether the Browns can take from the experience of losing to Baltimore in Week 1 and then going on to win four in a row and apply it to now:

“That is the goal. It is one game. We lost. It is a division game. It was tough. We wanted to come out here and put on a good performance, and we did not, but we are going to try and grow from this. Obviously, we are going to look at the film hard, point the finger at ourselves and see what we can do. The great thing about the NFL is that you play next Sunday, and you have a chance to get right. Winning cures all. That is kind of the goal for us is to take it one week at a time. This counts as one loss, we will move forward and we don’t want to make it turn into two.”

On Head Coach Kevin Stefanski taking accountability for Mayfield getting hit and for the loss:

“He is the leader of our team, and that is what good leaders do. That is what he is going to say, but like you said, we have to perform better as players. Whatever play is called, we have to try and perform, as well. It is good that we have a leader of our team where we are all pulling in the same direction and we want to improve from this.

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