G Joel Bitonio, CB T.J. Carrie, RB Nick Chubb, RB Kareem Hunt, DT Larry Ogunjobi, LB Joe Schobert and C JC Tretter (11.12.19)

Included below are select quotes from interviews with the following Browns players during today’s media availability:


  • G Joel Bitonio
  • CB T.J. Carrie
  • RB Nick Chubb
  • RB Kareem Hunt
  • DT Larry Ogunjobi
  • LB Joe Schobert
  • C JC Tretter


G Joel Bitonio:

On if it is more physical or mental to get over the hurdle of a short week:

“A little bit of both. Mentally, you have to learn it quicker so I think that is one of the big issues is trying to get the gameplan compressed into two and a half days instead of four or five usually in a regular week. Then, physically too, usually you are not really starting to feel better from the game until Wednesday or Thursday and that is when you are starting to play. It is a fight for both. I would say for me personally, just mentally, getting ready because once the game comes, I am going to play regardless of how I feel but you have to know how the gameplan is going to go for you.”


On if the Browns combination of RBs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt’s could dramatically shift the offense:

“I hope so. They are both willing blockers. They both can catch out of the backfield. They can line up in different spots. They both run with great energy. It was cool to see them both out there, and I think Hunt ran the ball hard the few times he got it. The cool thing was he was lead blocking a few times and some of those were big spring plays. We do not have a fullback and he kind of acted like it a couple of times. That was really cool to see his willingness to be that guy.”


On what was missing on the Browns’ eight plays at the goal line that did not result in a score:

“It was not one guy all eight plays, but someone was getting beat at the point of attack pretty much every play. I think (WR) Odell (Beckham Jr.) probably would have had a couple of catches if they would not have had a PI, but it was smart by them to put it back on the 1 yard line. We just have to find a way to get the ball in the end zone. You have that many chances, it is one-on-one block and you have to win, giving them enough room. You have to give Chubb enough space to get in the end zone, no matter what play is called, no matter what happens in the end.”


On if he remembers a team that was so willing to take a defensive pass interference in those situations:

“No, I have heard about it in like an end of game situations or something where you want to like – I do not know the exact situation – but I have heard of it before. Give up a touchdown or have another chance. It was a good play for them. Hopefully, next time, we can capitalize.”


CB T.J. Carrie:

On Steelers RB James Conner returning from injury and what makes him so effective:

“I think he runs very aggressively. He is a guy that you can throw the ball to out of the backfield, and you are seeing that more and more commonly in this league where running backs are being asked to do a lot more out of the backfield. He is one of those guys that they feed it to him out of the backfield, as well, and they do not put him out there just to be a decoy. He is out there to make things happen. I think that is something you have to take into account.”


On the expected atmosphere at FirstEnergy Stadium on Thursday night:
“Everything is at stake. Everything is at stake. When you are playing on this stage, every game is critical. This is definitely a big divisional game for us. First time for us playing them this year so we do not know technically what all they are doing. It has been a minute. From that standpoint, it is going to be huge for us to continue to put another one and lay another brick in the foundation. We can’t be a team at this point now to win one, lose one, win one, lose one. We have to try to put a stretch together, and I think that is the main focus is continuing to stay 1-0 this week.”


On stacking wins but it being more of a ‘do or die’ mentality now:

“Yes, we have no more time to waste. This is a critical game and every game after this is going to be critical after this. Right now, we are facing the Steelers and this is the opponent in front of us. We have to dive into it on a short week, get our bodies back, get into the film, see what they like doing, see what they are comfortable doing and try to take something away.”


On how to make changes to force more turnovers:

“Effort to the ball. Everybody running to the ball, strip attempts and then when you are flying around the ball, good things happen when you around the ball. You are flying, making that extra effort, you get a tip, someone else is running instead of loafing and jogging and they come back and catch that tip. The quarterback – strip the ball out. You saw it last week, strip the ball out. Effort is the location of getting there to that spot. I think those things are really the determining factor is us coming out with a lot of effort. Things will take care of themselves. When you play with a lot of energy and effort, even the mistakes that you make are unseen because there are more guys coming to the party to clean things up.”


RB Nick Chubb:

On the Steelers defensive front:

“They are very good. They do a lot of great things. They are very physical. Guys play hard. It is going to be a challenge for us to get some movement and get these guys blocked, but we are up for it.”


On if he liked the dynamic in the backfield with RB Kareem Hunt:

“Yeah, I did. I was excited to go out there and play with him. He brings a lot of energy, a lot of fire and he is very intense. It was great going out there and playing with him, having fun. I felt like we were kids in the backyard playing ball with each other. It was great.”


On what does it say about Hunt being unselfish and willing to block:

“That shows the type of person he is. He knew the gameplan the whole week. The whole gameplan was mostly him lead blocking for me, and he did not complain and he did not say anything. He understood what it was. He went out there and he just did everything he was asked, and he had fun doing it. It shows the character of him and just the great person he is. He is still the same guy. He just wants to go out there and get on the field anyway he can and looking to impact his team in a positive way.”


On if he knew Hunt would be an effective blocker:

“Yeah, I trusted him. I had the idea he would be pretty good. He is very physical.”


RB Kareem Hunt:

On how much more the Browns can do with both him and RB Nick Chubb in the backfield together:

“I feel like there is a lot more to go. We have to build off that, get our bodies together and get ready to go back out there and compete hard again on Thursday night.”


On if he has to get used to playing with another strong RB on the field at the same time:

“Not really. We both love the game of football. Football is football out there, and whatever we can do to help each other out on each play, that is what we are going to do.”


On if he would like to see DT Sheldon Richardson line up at FB:

“Oh yeah, he could come get in the T-bone, we will get him in that three-point [stance] and he could give us about five (laughter)”


On how he feels physically after playing in his first game in nearly a year:
“I am feeling pretty good physically. Not bad. Kept out healthy, and that is a positive. Ready to get ready for this next one.”


DT Larry Ogunjobi:

On the Steelers starting off 0-3, losing Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger and bouncing back with a winning streak as a reflection of Pittsburgh’s culture:

“Just resiliency. That is always what they always been known for is hard nose football and that stuff. When you have a defense like that which can score – like (Steelers S Minkah) Fitzpatrick, he has really came out and he is a really big spark for them – five picks, two touchdowns in seven games. He is just really impressive.”


On Steelers RB James Conner:

“He is a premier back. He knows how to run, downhill runner. You just have to find ways to stop him before he gets going.”


On if facing Conner last year is helpful in preparation:

“This is my [fifth] time playing these guys. I kind of have an idea of like what they are trying to do and how they operate. I feel like the gameplan is good. Really short week, but this all mental. Just being ready. Both teams are going to be hurting because we both played [Sunday].”


On Steelers QB Mason Rudolph staying in the pocket:

“Yeah, he wants to stay in. A pocket passer. I think he has the ability to run if he needs to so we have to be smart with our rushes. At the same time, we still have to find ways to get back there and affect him.”


LB Joe Schobert:

On if the Steelers offense is different with Steelers RB James Conner on the field:

“They are the same schematically. He obviously brings a little bit of a different element, but their other running backs have done a good job this year in their scheme. I expect be more of the same.”


On Steelers QB Mason Rudolph:
“He does a good job. Very smart throws. When their deep shots are out there, the last couple of weeks especially, he has been getting it out there and letting his receivers make plays. He has an 11-4 touchdown-to-interception ratio so you know he is doing the right things in that aspect and playing the game the right way.”


On how tough it is to play on a short week, especially given he typically plays nearly every defensive snap:

“Yeah, it is obviously a quick turnaround. I think a lot depends on how your body comes out the week before. Mentally, everybody has to get a quick jumpstart on the next week and it is a huge crunch, kind of like studying and planning finals in college. You just have to get after it and make sure you are taking care of your body – cold tub and getting every recovery aspect that you can, both here and when you are at home.”


On if winning helps the recovery and preparation on a quick turnaround:

“Oh yeah, you always feel a little bit better after a win.”


C JC Tretter:

On the Steelers defensive line:

“They have a lot of talent. Obviously, (Steelers DT) Cam (Heyward), you have (Steelers LBs T.J.) Watt, (Bud) Dupree, and they just have a lot of talent in that front seven. Now with some additions, they have a lot of talent in their back four, as well. Really talented group. The core has been together for a while, a lot of experience so it will be a challenge for us.”


On what makes the Steelers defense so opportunistic:

“I think they are kind of an attack-oriented defense where they just keep coming after you and are trying to make a play. They do a good job of it. Obviously, (Steelers S Minkah) Fitzpatrick with a late addition there has made some big plays in the weeks since arriving. It is going to be a challenge in all aspects for the offensive line, for the skill positions and for (QB) Baker (Mayfield). We are going to have to play a complete game.”


On the Browns not committing a turnover the past two weeks:

“I think it is just focus and attention to detail. Same thing with the penalties – that has also improved for us. I think just being more attention to detail, focused on what we are supposed to be doing and where you are supposed to be, it helps all of that stuff.”


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