G Wyatt Teller (11.9.21)


On why Cleveland has been such a good fit for him:

“Obviously, when I got traded from Buffalo… That is where I got my start. When you get drafted somewhere, you want to spend 10 years there and you want to spend your entire career there. Somehow, it always works out. For almost everyone, it does not work out like that. I got traded the year after. I looked at that like a disappointment, like ‘Dang it. I was not good enough for Buffalo.’ Through that adversity, I realized it was way more of ‘I was wanted by a team. I am given an opportunity’ That was Cleveland. They gave me my opportunity to start and to really play. They had no questions if I was going to be the starter. That is exactly what (former Browns Head Coach and NY Giants senior assistant) Coach (Freddie) Kitchens said when I came in. I had a conversation with him and he said, ‘The day I got you to be the starter.’ I got a full offseason with (offensive line) Coach (Bill) Callahan a year ago and took a big stride in technique and fundamentals. This year, getting a little bit more consistent and not having splash plays or bad plays. It truly is amazing. I am thankful that the fans of Cleveland, offensive linemen are loved and they are glorified here. That is just a special city.”


On his block that cleared the way for RB Nick Chubb’s 7-yard TD run last week:

“I think I got more lucky on that play – I almost tackled him (laughter). (Assistant offensive line) Coach (Scott) Petters quickly messaged me an MMA takedown. ‘Look, it is not holding. You are just using force against force.’ He made me feel better about it. I am lucky I did not get the rag (laughter). It was definitely a good block. I am lucky to have great running backs in the backfield. We were a two-headed beast. We found out we are a three-headed beast with D (RB D’Ernest Johnson) now. We have been blessed to be blocking for those guys. You give them an inch, and they take a mile kind of mindset. They are not afraid of running inside. They are not afraid of the boom. I am thankful for that. Nick saw that hole, and he took it. I just made it a little bit bigger.”


On how thankful he is and if he was surprised by the contract extension coming this week:

“I think I am wanted, to be as candid as possible. There is a business and a personal side, and you can’t get too caught up in either one. You have to give and take. That is what any opportunity costs. That is kind of how it works out. When it came to the personal side, I could not love my team more, I could not love my coaches and I could not love this city more, but that is not always how it works out. Sometimes, you have to make hard decisions, and that is letting a certain player [go] to keep another player. I am thankful they viewed me as a special player, a very special player – second-largest guard contract in NFL history, which is an amazing thing. Better that I am staying in a great with great fans, a great team and great players around me. It is just a blessing. It was slow until it was fast. We had an offer here. ‘Hey, we will be patient. We understand you are working with a lot of stuff. You are working with a lot of players,’ and stuff like that to make sure you are getting team-friendly stuff. ‘We will give you your time and space.’ It was slow until it was fast. All of the sudden, it was happening at lightspeed. It kind of had to be, ‘Focus in. Focus in. Lock in.’ It is nine at night making sure you get everything right. It was definitely a blessing.”


On saying how much he loves Cleveland but making the decision not to test free agency to potentially get more money:

“I feel like as a player, there is security to it. It is more time that you are insured from a team aspect. Where if you are playing on your own time for a deal, sometimes you can get injured and bad things can happen. You pray that never happens to anybody, but it does so there is a little bit of stress to that. My mindset coming into the season was that I am going to focus on ball, and I am going to let my agent focus on the contract stuff. That is the personal and the business. The personal side is I owe it to these guys in the room and I owe it to the team to play as hard as I can and to play as well as I can to get better each week, and let my agent, who is paid handsomely – three percent of that contract you see to do it. That is why I trust him with that.”


On how he can continue to develop with the Browns during the next few years and if continuity will play a role in it:

“It is amazing to be around the same guys for a year or two. It is special. When you can lock down some guys for four or five years together, that is special. Each year, you are gaining so much continuity and so much experience together that each year it gets better and better and better. I am lucky to have a great center in (C) JC (Tretter) a great tackle in (T) Jack (Conklin), and right now, (T) Blake (Hance), who is playing out of his mind. I thought he was going to get some money with how well he has been playing. He has been blocking up everybody. Again, great teammates. (QB) Baker (Mayfield) was lights out. Nick was lights out. I have been blessed. (RB) Kareem (Hunt) should be coming back here soon. I know he is fighting hard to get back. We have great teammates and great players. I know that continuity is amazing. Again, it is a special thing. It is life-changing money. It is all of these amazing things, but the work has just begun.”


On when he realized Cleveland was the place he wants to be for a long time after learning about the trade from Buffalo:

“When I got that call, he kind of knew where I was. he gave me the call, and I said I was in the hot tub. He came down, and we went up to talk to coach. I just remember being in not so much disbelief but you kind of know what is going on, but you do not exactly know. You are like, ‘Hey, maybe this is a different conversation that Coach is going to have with me before a game,’ but it ended up being exactly what I thought it was. You get traded, and I did not know what was coming next. It was definitely weird moments, but my parents were in town and my girlfriend, who is now my wife, was in town so it was like, ‘Hey, guys. I know this is weird for you, but this is also really weird for me.’ Luckily, we got everything sorted out. I would not say that there was a single moment. Cleveland has obviously grown on me. As cliché as this sound, I truly do view the weather and the elements that we have to play in as a strength. The blue-collar mentality, we have a fan base that is paycheck to paycheck, yet they have season tickets. That is how important it is to our fan base to be there to support us. Sometimes we do not make them too happy, but hopefully, we can make them happy, keep them pleased and keep this city hungry once we get some success. Again, I have been a fan of Cleveland for two to three years, and there are people who have 30, 40 or 50 years of loving this team. It means the world to us, but I know it means the world to the fans.”


On what Callahan meant to him:

“As a Godly guy, I would like to say that it was all in God’s plan to put me around the people who I need to be to make those decisions of ‘Hey, do I make this decision of working hard, trusting what this guy is teaching or do I not. Being like, ‘Poor me. I got traded’ or being like, ‘Alright, it is time to make this place home and never have that happen again and never give them an opportunity to send me home again.’ That kind of hunger. Again, it was crazy. I have conversations with Bill, like ‘Hey, my agents tell me how much Bill would be an attribute to me.’ Out of the grace of God, he comes to Cleveland. I say out of the grace of God, he is also one of the craziest men I have ever met in my entire life, and he gets us working out there. I am extremely thankful for his guidance and coaching. Again, there is so much to work on. I know that this is an amazing thing, but I have to get better and I have to continue to get better. I know that he is happy with that answer, but it is real.”


On if it is only fitting that he goes from the alligator image from the offseason to the blockbuster contract that makes him the second-highest-paid guard in NFL history:

“Shortly after that alligator [photo] was when I got married. I was actually talking to AB (Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager Andrew Berry), and he asked me, ‘Which one is going to be bigger for your life?’ I was like, ‘Obviously, one is generational wealth – do not get me wrong that is amazing – but the other one is something that you are playing for 50 years and it brings you children and brings you the most joy in your life.’ While money is an amazing thing, I definitely have to say the marriage was bigger than the alligator and all that different stuff. It was kind of funny having that picture and even this block – my wife, she has the social media; I stay off of that stuff – but she showed me a picture of the block on Nick Chubb’s run with the gator. He was actually dressed as the gator and it was me hitting him, but it was funny.”


On if the pancake block and the photo of the alligator will be an image that defines him:

“All of my wife’s friends make a joke, ‘If you do not open up a pancake house after football, you are crazy.’ All jokes aside, it is definitely a blessing. It is definitely crazy. It has been an amazing year. I thank God for that. I continue to say, the work has just begun. I have to continue to play at a high level to earn what this is.”


On conversations with his college coach to go from DL to the OL and if the NFL was in his mind at that time, as well as the potential for this type of contract:

“No, I would say that it was even more short thought than that. I make the joke that I thought I was going to move back to defensive line. I was like, ‘(former Virginia Tech Head Coach) Bud Foster loved me. He did cartwheels to get me here. He definitely will move me back to the defensive line.’ That ended up not happening, and it was for the best. Again, that was another adversity piece that goes down in the history of another piece of something that I had to beat. It was a blessing. There were injuries on the offensive line my freshman year, and I was like, ‘Hey, I am willing to move to offensive line.’ Thinking I would go back, it did not end up like that, and the rest is history.”


On reports that Chubb and RB Demetric Felton would be placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list and the team’s ability to face and overcome adversity:

“It is like for every good news there is something bad that happens. What is this the world (laughter)? No, it is and it sucks. I hope the best for them. I think they were vaccinated. I can’t speak for anybody else, but I really hope that they are back quickly, no symptoms and let’s just hope that it was very minor. I would not wish that on my enemy. It does suck, but that is something for them to handle and them to work on.”


On if the team is equipped to handle whatever adversity is thrown at it:

“Yeah, I remember one game, we had like 15 dudes in a hot tub that you are only supposed to have about five in, and we got in trouble and they all had to sit out a game and we had no wide receivers. I feel like if you follow the rules and you do the right things, it gives you the best opportunity to get back. That is not how it always works. There are times where this happens or that happens, but it is happening to everybody. To say poor me, poor this or poor that is just not the best mindset. It is, ‘Hey, how we are going to handle this situation, and handle it in stride.’ I think that is how (Head) Coach (Kevin) Stefanski is, and I am thankful for that.”


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