LB Malcolm Smith (8.22.21)

On the team’s defensive identity:

“I think we have a good mentality, and I think we have a good plan. We have a lot of good players. Obviously, we just have to put it together as a unit. I think we have an idea, and hopefully for next week, we will have an even better idea.”


On the LB injuries from this week:

“It is tough. Especially during a joint practice, there are not a lot of bodies to go around. It is good reps for everybody. We get to see things from different spots and everybody is learning and trying to grasp things in their role. It is tough to see those guys go down, especially (LB) Jacob (Phillips). He has such a bright, bright future in this league and I think he is going to be a good player. Hopefully, he comes back even better.”


On the joint practice with the NY Giants:

“It is practice. It got a little chippy at times. Obviously, it is a competitive league and we are all fighting for jobs so you can imagine how things can get when it is heated and going back and forth. There is a lot of pride and ego involved unfortunately, but that is part of the game. You have to be willing to push it to the edge a little bit, and I think we took it there. It was good to compete against them today, but we have to focus on us.”


On developing team chemistry in joint practices:

“You battle with your guys and you can appreciate seeing them go through that. We had a chance to rally around each other instead of hitting each other during the week.”


On how the Browns defense will look this season:

“We have a lot of new guys and a lot of really good talent in the room. Our plan is to be simple and effective while attacking at all times. That is what I expect.”


On the reaction after LB Elijah Lee’s hit:

“It was great. Everybody loves (LB) Elijah (Lee) because of the way he plays the game and the way he comes to work every day. I have a ton of respect for him since I saw him as a rookie in San Francisco. I just love to see it.”


On how Lee has developed since he was a rookie:

“He has just grown up. He was thrown in the fire along the way. He has had his ups and downs going to different places and having to battle. He has always stepped up in games, always. He is a worker and he comes to work every day, trying to grasp everything. He asks questions and is a great competitor. Hopefully, I rub a little bit off onto him.”