G Joel Bitonio (7.30.21)

G Joel Bitonio:

On if this year is much different than past years when preparing for the season:

“No, I think we have changed some different acclimation periods so you do not go straight to full pads on Day 3 and stuff like that, but most of it is the same. You re-install what you did in the spring. You get the fundamentals back, get moving and get your body back in football shape. No matter how much you run and lift in the offseason, there is nothing like running 10 plays in a row. We are getting in it. Today, we are upping the tempo a little bit more so it should be good.”


On the vibe of the Browns now and if it has the feeling of ‘this is the start of something big’:

“We are not thinking that big picture right now. Right now, we are just trying to get better every practice and put together good practices. It is such a long journey even to get to the season and get to the ultimate goal. Right now, we are just trying to get good practices and get into a good rhythm with the guys who we have out there.”


On T Jedrick Wills Jr.’s performance during his rookie season and potential for Year 2:

“He did a lot of things well. He was very sharp in pass protection for the most part. You saw that he was a first-round tackle – his athletic ability, the way he moves and how he can move guys. O linemen taking that first to second year leap and having an offseason this year a little bit more than last year is going to be big for him. I think he can make big moves. I think he has a chance to be in the upper echelon of left tackles. I do not know if it is going to happen this year or next, but I think if he just keeps working and improving, he has a chance to be really good.”


On what QB Baker Mayfield has shown in terms of continued maturity and growth:

“I think he has gotten better at taking jokes (laughter). He has connected with pretty much everybody on the team. I think he takes responsibility for the offense now. It is of course not always his fault, but when the offense does not perform to its level, he takes that, puts it on his shoulders and says, ‘Hey, how are we going to do this to get better? What are we going to do? What steps are we going to take to get better?’ That is what you want from a quarterback. Obviously, he gets to shine when he deserves it and gets ridiculed sometimes when he does not. I think he is coming to the forefront, and he is the right guy for that.”


On continuity on offense between players and coaches:

“It is big. We are installing the same offense for the most part. There are some tweaks. We are using the same techniques. We are changing a few little things but nothing crazy. When you can work with the same guys next to you, it is a big plus. You get that chance to really develop. The more you play with somebody, the more you understand their body and how they step. If everybody is trying to do the same steps, some people take bigger steps and some take little steps. Some people don’t talk as much. There are all types of little things that you need to do to get used to a guy. We have all five of those guys coming back, and we are getting coached the same way so it is good for us.”


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