LB Malcolm Smith (9.28.20)

LB Malcolm Smith:

On his interception on Sunday and if he knew it was coming: 

“I have seen a lot of plays very similar to that situation. I do not often get to be in that spot, particularly, but it is just the release, the receiver is there and the quarterback was kind of showing me his back, which is hard for him to kind of look you off when he shows you his back. Just kind of locked on that spot and just trusting my experience versus his.”


On what the Browns defense learned after forcing several turnovers yesterday:

“Obviously, it just gives you a chance and your team a much higher chance of victory. You look at the statistics, I think if you have three turnovers, your win percentage goes up around 80 percent, I believe. That is always the goal as a defense more than anything else, especially when you are trying to get your offense the ball as many chances as possible. It is a battle of opportunities.”

On defensive coordinator Joe’s Woods’ scheme and if it is similar to Seattle’s defense:

“This defense is obviously a combination of a lot of places Joe has been. Most recently, he was in San Francisco so I would say that if you are looking for similarities, that would be the best place to look.”

On if he enjoys using different defensive personnel or if it makes it more difficult for there to be a rotation:

“At the linebacker position, it is kind of a rhythmic position, much like running back. Just those inside positions, you want to get a feel. Obviously as a player, you want to be out there every single play, but I think it is good for keeping guys fresh. Obviously, we have had some injuries throughout our defense so it is good to keep guys fresh and have the ability to build that versatility and that depth throughout the game and throughout the season because you know there are going to come situations where guys can’t come off the field and they don’t have the opportunity to. Us not having a preseason and us having the opportunities to have fresh bodies where we do, it is good to get everybody that experience and go with the hot hand or however it may shake out.”

On the significance for the Browns being 2-1 after losing the season opener:

“One, it is good for confidence to know that we are moving in the right direction. I know a lot of times people think, ‘Hey, you slap these players together and this coaching staff and you want instant success,’ but it is not Madden. People have to come together and you have to gel as a group and figure out kind of the intricacies of everything we are doing. We are here 8, 10 or 12 hours a day trying to try to master these things and then we have to go out and against an opponent who is going to change up the looks that we have seen. We have to stay confident, moving in the right direction and continue to build off each practice and each game.”

On LB B.J. Goodson:

“B.J. has a lunch-pail mentality. He is coming to work. He is coming to lead as a MIKE linebacker. He is coming to do his job to his best ability. Obviously, he is still learning this defense, as well, and trying to figure out places that he can make plays. I feel like every game he has gotten much better each time we have gone out there, and I respect his work ethic. I know he is going to continue to do that.”

On if the Browns LBs are coming together and taking the needed steps to reach a new level in upcoming games, including with the return of LB Mack Wilson:

“That is the plan. Obviously, we have to go out there and we have some tough opponents. Every mistake we have made is going allow us to grow as a group. Some of the stuff is stuff we have seen as a group for the first time. Just having that ability to build every single game and get better so we can maximize our physical talents, we have to a gifted room physically so we just have to make sure that mental matches up.”

On if Wilson seems fired up to be back on the field:

“Oh yeah, Mack is a linebacker’s linebacker. He loves the game. He wants to be out there all the time. We all appreciate and respect his love for the game in the room. He has even been a light and a leader for us, even when he has not been on the field. I have a lot of respect for him as a young player.”

On the Cowboys offense and QB Dak Prescott this year:

“I think I need to watch a little bit more [film]. I have been able to watch the games on TV that they played. I was there for a few weeks last year. Obviously, they have a lot of talent on the offense. Adding (Cowboys WR) CeeDee Lamb, and (Cowboys WR Michael) Gallop is playing great, Zeke (Cowboys RBs Ezekiel Elliott) and (Tony) Pollard so every skill position they have is awesome. Then you think about their offensive line, if they come back healthy, that is their plan. That is their strength is that offense. It is definitely going to be a challenge for us, but it is definitely one that we are excited about. It is a really good opportunity to see where we are as a unit obviously going against a team that has really high expectations already, and we get to match it.”

On if Prescott has taken his game to a new level this season:

“Dak has been a good player in my opinion. I think him throwing the ball deep yesterday was pretty impressive. He has always been a good player. I think he is in a system now where he can make some more plays and he has even more weapons. We will see what happens.”

On if the significance of Sunday’s game being the first in NFL history with at least one female coach on each sideline and a female official struck him in a certain way:

“Absolutely, I know I feel like it is what should be happening in the game – right person for the job, the right person who has the passion for the job. I feel (Chief of Staff) Callie (Brownson)’s passion every day on the practice field and in the game. I think I was there for Sarah (Thomas)’s first game as a professional [official] – she threw a flag on me in Jacksonville (laughter). This is how things should be.”


On Brownson’s passion for the game:

“She is directing us. Just talking about the game, she is engaged in the game. She is letting me know, ‘Hey, you have to stay on that next. This is not a time to relax.’ In every part of the game and practice, she is in it and she is involved. A lot of respect for her, as well.”

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