G Joel Bitonio (6.15.22)


On if he feels like he missed anything by not attending the voluntary portion of the offseason program: 

“I do not think so. I missed nine OTA practices, but besides that, mentally, I had the iPad. I was able to look at the film when I needed to. I got back out to practice yesterday. It felt pretty good to be back out there. I did not feel like I was behind or anything like that. A couple of new drills and things like that, but overall, no, I did not.”


On if he has felt like he has ‘paid his dues’ as it related to not attending the voluntary portion of the offseason program: 

“It is a voluntary program. I think that every player can examine it on their own, if they feel like they want to be here or if they feel like they want to be at home with their family, and that is kind of the choice that I made. It was not a ‘paid your dues thing.’ It was the best opportunity for me physically and mentally to be at home with the family.”


On if not attending the voluntary portion of the offseason program was related to his involvement with the NFLPA and relationship with NFLPA President and former Browns and free agent C JC Tretter:

“I think the NFLPA just wants it to be voluntary. It has been a thing that kind of ‘un-questioned voluntary,’ like you are supposed to be there, but it is just a voluntary opportunity, and if guys want to make that opportunity one way or the other, I think it is that. For me, I just evaluate it on a personal basis. We have two young kids at home, and my mom – our kid’s grandma – sister and brother were all there so I got to be around the family, and that was good for me.”


On if he is now the Browns’ NFLPA player representative:

“I am not.”


On how he has grown to appreciate the history of the Cleveland Browns during his tenure with the team:

“It is pretty awesome. As a kid, I did not know as much. You come here and you have seen from ‘99 until now, and the history is there, but it is not the same. Then you kind look back and it is like before the Super Bowl era, 17 Hall of Famers, multiple championships, some of the best players to ever play the game, innovators and some of the best coaches that ever played the game come through here. You kind of get a respect of why the Browns fans are the Browns fans the way they are. There is such a history, and they want to get back to that point. It is pretty spectacular the history of the team, and (Head) Coach (Kevin) Stefanski has done a good job telling a lot of the younger guys. I think that is the reason why we are here today to see that and be a part of it. It is pretty amazing some of the stuff the organization has done over the years.”


On the further emphasis on team building this offseason and if he can feel a difference: 

“Yeah, I think that every team is different. The NFL is such a turnover league. In good years, you are still losing like 20 percent of your roster. You bring in a new quarterback, you bring in a new receiver and you bring in a bunch of new guys. There are going to be times that you want to get to know those guys so I think that was the main emphasis. Even some of the guys – the Bahamas trip and things like that – there are times outside of the facility where guys are getting together and being a part of the team.”


# # #


***Visit the Browns Media Center for materials provided by the Browns communications department, including media schedules, press releases, quotes, photos, media guides, rosters, depth charts and more.***