LB Anthony Walker Jr. (6.2.21)


On some members of the team not being present at OTAs:

“The guys that are here, guys are getting in great work. Guys are embracing it, just the offseason, getting together, being in communication and getting some work in. The guys who are not here, I am pretty sure they are doing the same thing, just in different places. I do not think it is a big deal. Obviously, we will be happy to get all of the guys back for minicamp and heading into training camp. For the most part, guys are getting great work wherever they are, and the guys who are here are working, as well.”


On building comradery with the new players on defense during OTAs:

“I think that was the main thing for myself and a lot of the other guys is just get here. Again, first year in a new system, getting some new terminology and some new communication, which is huge as the MIKE linebacker. Getting that communication, getting that comfortability with the team and everybody, I think that is huge for my job description and a huge step in the right direction. Me being here was pretty much a no-brainer.”


On if members of the defense talked about getting together to build familiarity:

“We talk all the time every day, pretty much all of the guys and all of the leaders. We understand what is at stake and what we have to get done and get accomplished this year. Everybody is working toward the same goal, and we are getting it done. We are working through the process of doing it.”


On if the entire team talked about deciding to show up or not for OTAs:

“Again, we will keep everything in house that we talk about here. That is just team code, and we understand that. Yeah, we have had discussions. They have gone very well so we will leave it at that. The guys who are here, they are here. The guys who are not, we do not feel no way about it either way. Everybody is working to get better, whether that is here or wherever they are training. We are all working toward the same goal.”


On takeaways from OTAs and the offseason program:

“The offseason has always been for me just about the fundamentals of football. You talk about technique, footwork, communication and the basics of it. As a young guy, I think about myself when I came in and I was a rookie and how huge that was for me. Even going into Year 5, it has definitely been the same for me. Just getting the details of the defense down, the special teams down, the footwork, the communication and the fundamentals of taking on blocks. You can never say you have mastered that. The more work you get at it, you try to do that as much as you can in the offseason because by the time Week 1 rolls around and then it is Week 10 and you are game planning every week, the fundamentals, you have to rely on what you did in the offseason. Obviously, the offseason is big for anybody in our profession.”


On his learning curve as a veteran playing in a new defense:

“One thing is that a linebacker’s job description is never going to change, which is run, tackle the guy with the ball and intercept the quarterback and sack the quarterback. That is still the name of the game for my position. For me, it is the same thing for the most part. Obviously, some ins and outs and details of the defense and what we are trying to get accomplished with certain coverages, but for the most part, it is still football. I have to get off blocks, I have to cover the guy in my zone or I have man to man and I have to sack the quarterback or get in the throwing window of a quarterback or cover a running back. Whatever it is, that is never going to change. A little bit different as far as communication or the coverage, but everything for the most part is still playing linebacker.”


On if being with a new team as a veteran feels like a fresh start or if it is the same but in a new uniform:

“It is a new start, I would say. You feel like a rookie, I think, as you learn the guys. You are coming into a new situation and the locker room is in a different location or whatever it is, it is just weird. You relish that opportunity to meet some new guys, play with a new group and try to take your game to the next level. You relish at that opportunity as a professional. Little differences, but again, it is still football at the end of the day. You still have that same hunger and that same drive to be the best and to be a part of a special team and a special defense. That is my goal here.”


On the process of Browns players learning defensive coordinator Joe Woods’ defense:

“You try to work hand in hand, trying to fit terminology with terminology I have used in the past. Reverting to this terminology and everything like that, it is all a process. I think that is the biggest part that I have learned being here during this offseason is I need it. I need to be here getting the live look at it with motions and walkthroughs and going against the offense and all of that stuff. It has been huge. I have gotten a lot better from Day 1 to now with all the communication and everything like that, understanding the defense and all of that stuff. Once all of the guys are here and we are going through defenses, gameplan, we will get everything figured out, but right now, it is my job to learn the fundamentals of the defense. That is what I am trying to do now.”


On his initial impression of DE Myles Garrett:

“Freak of nature, honestly. Huge person. Huge human being. Probably the most flexible big guy I have ever seen as far as the stuff that I have seen him do in the weight room. Strong. All of that stuff. He is as advertised is what he is, if I have to say it like that. Just watching him on TV and now being able to be his teammate, I am much happier to be his teammate than him sacking my quarterback in the endzone last year.”


On if he senses that the Browns LBs will be a competitive position room for playing time:

“The best player will play and the best players that help us win will play. I think that is with any system and that is with any team. You want the competitive juices flowing. You want guys to want to be on the field and want to compete and earn a job to be on the field. We are all doing that right now. That is our job to go out and make it hard on the coaches to choose. The best 11 are going to play. I have always believed in that. Especially with my dad being a coach, he used to always tell me the same thing. ‘I am going to play the best players.’ That is our job is to go out there and make it hard for the coaches. I think guys are putting the work in right now, and that is our job. The coaches are going to play the best guys. At the end of the day, that is the way of football. When you have competitive depth on your defense in every room – linebackers, DBs, D line – guys basically fighting, clawing whatever for a position, that is what you want. Again, it is all out of the respect of the game and to want to be a part of a great defense. Great defenses have guys who compete and earn it. That is what we are trying to do here.”


On if helps Browns players who are here at OTAs for when coaches ultimately will decide who will play:

“I could not speak on that from a coach’s perspective. My job is to be wherever I am getting better, whether that is here or whether that is whether I was still training at home. My job is to train, get better and compete. When guys are here for training camp, it is going to be the same thing. I am not just going in like, ‘Oh, I am here now. I am going to win the job.’ No, I have to earn it and I have to keep earning it every day. It is one day at a time. That is my mindset going in.”


On CB Greg Newsome II being drafted by the Browns and saying he was a big brother to Newsome:

“It is funny, when I first signed here, he hit me up and was like congratulations. In my head, I was like he has a pretty good shot of getting drafted by the Browns. I knew where we were picking. I told him, ‘Man, I think you are going to be joining me here.’ Then the day came and I texted him that morning, ‘Cleveland.’ He was like, ‘I think so, too.’ Then time goes and he is here now. Definitely excited for him. He has earned this opportunity to be playing the game at the highest level. He has earned that through his play in college. I saw him dominate and play with a lot of swag and a lot of confidence. I thought he was probably one of the best defensive backs to come through Northwestern, if not the best. Definitely proud of him. I am excited to see him go out and compete and earn it. A lot of swag. A lot of confidence. That is what he plays with, and it is going to be hard to catch a ball on him, I will say that.”


On initial impressions of LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah:

“Elite athlete as far as explosiveness, quickness, speed, instincts and all of that stuff, he has it – all of the tools. Now, it is about transitioning the game to the NFL level as a linebacker. I have struggled with it. We all struggle with it coming in from college and now you are seeing pro-style offense and understanding different route concepts and all of that stuff. Again, just the very beginning. He is a freak of nature and athletically just trying to piece it all together as far as the knowledge of the game and all of that stuff. He is getting better each day. He made a play today that he probably would not have made two weeks ago. Just picking up the pace and learning different tools and different things that he can use and have in his repertoire, he is learning that. He is getting better each day. He kind of reminds me of (Colts OLB) Darius Leonard. Just a guy learning how to really understand the game of linebacker rather than just run and hitting. Everybody loves to run and hit as a linebacker, but the NFL game is a little different. You have to start piecing things together and open up your vision a little bit more. He is getting better. We are all working on the same things. Just happy to see him go through that process. Like I told him, ‘It is one day at a time. You literally take one day and find something to get better at and keep getting better each day.’ He will piece it all together. I have no doubt in my mind that he will be a great player in this league.”


# # #


***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.***