G Joel Bitonio (10.25.20)

G Joel Bitonio:

On QB Baker Mayfield’s performance today:

“He is resilient. He fights. He scratches. That is what he has done his whole life. I did not know what the stats were, but I know we started playing well on offense and it had a lot to do with Baker Mayfield. On that last drive, no quit, no timeouts and to come down and make a play like that to win the game, it is big time stuff. It was very impressive.”

On Mayfield’s message to the team prior to the last few offensive drives:

“We were communicating. We did not know what the defense was going to do. We were hoping they got the ball back, but they scored on us there. We were just communicating, whether we were going to be in four-minute or a two-minute offense. We were trying to decide that. Once we got the ball, it was him directing us. Making sure before we went out there to tell us that we have no timeouts, to get out of bounds and get the ball back to the ref. All of those little simple things you go over in training camp and you go over weekly but you actually have to put it in action. When we threw that touchdown, they called a timeout right before, and he said, ‘Let’s go for one’. We went for the touchdown, and it was a heck of a play.”

On what winning a tough game says about the Browns as a team:

“We pick each other up. If we were going to have our shot, we were running the ball fine, but we did not have any sustained drives. They held the ball at lot in the first quarter, and we just had not got on track yet. There was a real focus on just getting the next drive going, getting going and moving in the right direction. Once we got those first drives going, at halftime, I think we had 10 points, but we felt like we could score when we got the ball back. We figured out a way to get moving and to get the ball going. It is just resilience. (Head) Coach (Kevin Stefanski) talks about it every day. It is a team win every week. The offense steps up sometimes, and sometimes the defense steps up or special teams steps up. We found a way to get a win.”

On C J.C. Tretter getting banged up in the first quarter and if he was concerned their consecutive snap streak may end:

“I went to go check on him, and he was in a lot of pain. I thought it was done for, but he finds a way to make it back onto the field. That is just what he does. He is tough, and he is prideful. He cares about his teammates, and he thinks being on the field is the best thing for his team. It is going to take a lot to get that guy off the field. It is impressive stuff, and it inspires me. I was ready to roll with him once he came back out.”

On his reaction when WR Odell Beckham Jr was hurt early in the game:

“It is tough. Him and J.C. went down on the same play, and I was hoping it was not something serious. I really do not know [the severity]. I know he missed the rest of the game. That is a key part of our offense. He takes the tops off defenses. He empties boxes for us. He makes big plays. Anytime you miss a player like that, it is tough. He is kind of an emotional guy too so he brings some energy in that sense and so you lose that. Credit to the guys – (WR Rashard) Higgins, DPJ (WR Donovan Peoples-Jones) – they all stepped up and made some big plays. (TE) Harrison Bryant and these young guys were balling out. It was very cool to see.”

On bouncing back from the Steelers loss with an exciting win this week:

“It was a loss last week and we got beat, but we are just trying to take it one week at a time. We were 4-2 on the season, and we were trying to move onto this week. We would have liked winning by more, but winning the way we won, there is no other feeling like it in football. That is why you play the game. Those moments are so special, and it is pretty impressive. It is fun to be a part of and all the pieces came together, and that is why you play the game. You have moments like that, and you will think about those moments your whole life.”

On his mindset during the Bengals’ Hail Mary pass, considering it was a QB battle all day long:

“Oh man, it was a little nerve-wracking. I was just hoping the ball would hit the ground or fall into one of our guys’ hands. I didn’t know what the call was or anything like that, but I was just like, ‘Get the ball down.’ They had been making plays all game in the passing game, and luckily, we stopped that one.”

On WR Jarvis Landry’s performance while playing injured, especially on the second quarter TD drive, and whether that type of commitment can be contagious for the whole team:

“They are professionals. They play this game. They don’t miss games. That is what they do, and he wants to win and you can see that in the way he plays the game. You know he is hurting out there, but you know he is going to be in there. He is a mentor for those young receivers. They see him doing the right thing out there, and they are going to make sure they are taking the right steps and doing the right thing, too. There are so many guys that stepped up today. When you win a game on the last second, every key play is important, and that drive was just as important as the last drive.”

On what winning this type of competitive game means and what it says about the Browns as a team this year:

“We are resilient as a team. We talk about consistency and just playing each week one week at a time. There is no quit in these guys. We fought through it. We needed a field goal on the last drive, but we went down and got a touchdown. That is how it is. We talk about it. The offense picks up the defense. The defense picks up the offense. It is a team game. Luckily, we came down, we executed at the end and we got that win. Like you said, it is the next win. We are 5-2 now. We will look at the film, and we will move on to the next week and try and go 1-0 next week.”

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