G Wyatt Teller (11.30.20)

G Wyatt Teller:

On playing meaningful football in December: 

“It is a great feeling. As a young player, I have not experienced a lot of success, and it is really cool to see 8-3 in the City of Cleveland. We are playing well. See if we can keep on playing well and play up to our competition and win some games down the road.”

On if it teams can sometimes play up or down depending on the record of the opponent: 

“I just think that this is the NFL, and I think to play at this level, you have to be a competitor and regardless of your competition, you are going to play at a certain level and they are going to play at a certain level. Honestly, it is a matchup game. It matters on a lot of the finish and stuff like that that makes the difference in the game. That was a good team, and they played us well.”

On switching from DL to OL in college and if he still has a DL mentality: 

“Obviously, it was at Virginia Tech. As a joke during the recruiting process, I remember Torrian Gray, who was a defensive back coach, was like, ‘Hey look, you could play defensive line or you could get on the field early and play offensive line.’ I thought he was joking. It turned out a bunch of injuries happened, and it really was the fastest way to the field. I went up to Coach Jeff Grimes, who was our offensive line coach at the time, and I was like, ‘Hey, I am willing to move to offensive line to help the team,’ thinking that I was going to move back to defensive line at the end of the year. That did not happen. I was an offensive lineman from there. The first couple of years, I played all out and kind of super aggressive. Sometimes it would bite me in the butt, but it is the mentality. It is the mentality of the way you play. I would say that the big difference is proactive-ness versus reactiveness, and that is one thing that I have had to learn a little bit is the consistency of being the proactive guy instead of the reactor.”

On if there is any added pressure for the Browns OL to perform well, given RBs Nick Chubb’s and Kareem Hunt’s success this year: 

“This is the NFL. You are always going to give your best effort, especially when you have good running backs like that and great offensive linemen – (G) Joel (Bitonio), (C) JC (Tretter), (T) Jack (Conklin) and Jed (T Jedrick Wills Jr.). We have a great group and are gaining chemistry. It says that it takes you years to gain chemistry among the offensive line. You can see that we are playing well off of each other. There are times where you will go against a really good player and he might make a bad matchup, but for the most part, we play well, we can push through that and we can play off of each other. I think that helps the running backs. One thing that makes us look better is having really good running back so it is a good problem to have, and with our group, it helps.”

On not being able to convert on fourth-and-short the past two games and how much getting FB Andy Janovich back will help: 

“I think that Andy is a huge part of our short-yardage and goal line. Obviously, he is our fullback and an absolute stud in the backfield. He is a big part of that. I think that another issue is 10 out of 11 do it, and one guy just misses. They get paid on the other side of the ball, too. They are good players, and I think that sometimes it is a mismatch game. Sometimes when you have a big old defensive end on a tight end, it is a rough block and it is a tough block. It is the same thing if you have a big old 3-tech, he is not going to be easy to move. If you have a big old nose, it is going to be hard to get a lot of push. The biggest thing is perfecting that technique and those fundamental techniques that the tight ends coaches and (offensive line coach) Bill Callahan coaches. Those are the big ones and those are the ones that are going to help you – hands inside, moving your feet and hat placement, those little things that really matter on fourth-and-inches that sometimes you know you are tired or you just do not know if this is the play or sometimes you are going against a really good guy and you can get the best technique and he gets paid, too.”

On the Browns offense finding success running the ball when opponents are expecting running plays: 

“Coach (Head Coach Kevin Stefanski), he explains it the best, and it truly is our offensive identity and we started with it at the beginning of the year back in April was he showed us all of these films and all of these clips of run selling and pass selling it the same. When you make a run look like a pass and the pass look like a run and RPOs, it really can mess with the linebackers. Sometimes, especially recent gameplans, you will see us run fast, and all of the sudden, you will see (QB) Baker (Mayfield) turn around and he has the ball in his hand and the defense is stuck down. It really does open up the run game because sometimes they have to put someone on the back end. Big cuts where we are moving guys and we are getting to displacement. I think that that open up holes, and especially with really good back, it helps. I think the run game has gotten better, and it is going to keep on getting better. That is what it has to do.”

On if the Browns need to beat more teams with winning records to solidify the 8-3 record: 

“Oh, yeah. Obviously, we have a really talented and great team ahead of us. It is the most important game because it is the next one. Coach says that and I am going to steal that because that is important. It is a very important game because it is the next one. It does not matter who is in front of us. If it is a team that is 1-10 or if it is a team that is 10-1, I think that it is important that we take our focus on each week and go 1-0. It does not matter what the record is if we always go 1-0. That is a win.”

On how he is feeling since returning from his calf injury and if it is still impacting him as he plays each week: 

“I do not know. Like getting back, this is the first time I have ever really missed a play, let alone a game, due to injury. It is kind of weird getting back, taking four weeks off, getting conditioning back and all this stuff back. I am never going to make an excuse, but with the schedule, we can only be in the facility so much so getting in when you can and getting in the work that you can, coming out 20 minutes early and staying 20 minutes late, that is the important stuff if we want to be great. I think that since the injury, it has been hard. That is one thing that I really talked to our offensive line assistant Coach Scott Peters was like, ‘I am going to be out 25 minutes early, and we are going to get 200 strikes in,’ just to just to start the day right, even if it is not 200 strikes. We are just getting it out and we are getting it early, and I think that is important to getting better, especially down the stretch.”

On excitement that DE Myles Garrett could potentially return this week: 

“That is awesome. I am excited to have Myles back. Myles is a good guy, and he is my locker-mate so I love seeing him. I think that he is a great player and he is a great addition to our defense. There is a reason Myles is who Myles is. I think that is going to be a great addition. I think that he is going to bring him a boost of morale to the defense, as well. Even though our defense is while missing one of the best players in the NFL and arguably the best, it is hard to fill those shoes. I think that (DE) Olivier (Vernon) has done that. I think that AC (DE Adrian Clayborn) has done that. We have (DT) Sheldon (Richardson) doing that and (DT) Larry (Ogunjobi) doing that. We have guys going up, but I am excited to see him back and see that fire again.”

On if the Browns OL will view Sunday as a personal challenge between their running game and the Titans’ running game:

“I am not trying to give you too much coach talk, but I think that that is important every week. We have an identity on the offensive line, and the identity, one of it is to rush. We want to impose our will so late in the game it does not matter if you know we are running the ball, we are going to try to beat you. You are going to be tired, and we are going to try to run it all day. When you put nine in the box, we are going to block it up Xs and Os and our finish is going to get us there. I think there are a lot of important things of that. I think it is important to, especially with these next games, focus on each one individually so we can win. Obviously, it is always a personal challenge to out-rush the other team, right? Especially with (Titans RB) Derrick Henry, he is a great running back and that offense who is great, it is going to be good to see. Of course, we are going to take that as a personal thing, especially a revenge game for Jack. It is going to be fun.”

On CB Denzel Ward also sustaining a calf strain and if has he given any advice or support to Ward:

“It sucks. Any injury sucks. The way that I look at it, and the same thing I said to him was, ‘No matter what the injury is, God is good, right?’ It can always get worse. It can always have a different thing. The same day that I pulled my calf, another great quarterback for the Cowboys (Dak Prescott), he broke his foot. It would have been really, really, really, really hard to see past that, but he is obviously very strong-willed and he handled it like a man. It can always be different. You have to count your blessings. That is what I said to him was, ‘Dude, you are going to be back in no time. It sucks. It hurts, but it is going to come back as hard as you work. If you really take your rehab serious, it is going to come back just as strong. It is going to be weird when you first get back.’ I am realizing that this past three games, but I feel like we are winning and that is important. Obviously, we can keep on getting better and going through film. Coach is a perfectionist, and he is saying, ‘Oh, we won, but we could have won by 20. We could have won by 25-30.’ Wow, we really could have if your hand is there, your foot is there and you do it consistently. I think that him consistently working on rehab, that is a big part of football in general. I think that he is going to be fine and he is going to come back stronger than ever.”

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