LB Sione Takitaki (1.14.21)

LB Sione Takitaki:

On Head Coach Kevin Stefanski returning today and if he spoke with Stefanski:

“Yeah, I said what’s up to him. It was just real brief. Just ‘Hey, what’s up?’ right before practice. Good to get the head coach back, the leader of the team. It was good.”

On the team’s mood when preparing to face the defending Super Bowl champions following last week’s win:

“We just want to build on that. We want to keep this thing going. It is kind of one of things where you do not want to get comfortable and you are going to continue to work. I feel like we are doing a great job with that. Going back to what we built, we built all of this on hard work. We will continue to work. We have a good opportunity here to play a really great team, and we are excited for it.”

On facing Chiefs WRs Tyreek Hill and Sammy Watkins and Chiefs TE Travis Kelce:

“We have our hands full with this great offense. We know what they bring to the table – Super Bowl champs last year. A really great team, explosive offense with their quarterback and all of those shifty players that they have, and they have Kelce at tight end. We have to definitely lock in and work hard this work. Like I said, we are going to have our hands full with this team, but we are excited for the challenge and for Sunday.”

 

On how to try to slow down Kelce:

“He is a great player, a Pro Bowl guy. I feel like it is going to be really hard to slow someone down like that. We are going to have to be tight in what we do to contain him. I feel comfortable and confident in what we are going to do, but like I said, a guy like that who is explosive and kind of balance out the receivers and him, it is going to be a good matchup. Like I said, we have our hands full.”

On Browns players throughout the roster making significant plays during the season and last week: 

“Everybody has been making plays. It is exciting when you see guys [make plays]. We are all out there making plays to help get a win. Obviously, the ultimate goal is to get the W, but when guys make plays and you get the win, it is an exciting feeling. You can build on those things. I feel like here in Cleveland, we started something and set the standard. We have to continue that. It can’t be just this season. We have to build on it and continue it throughout years.”

On how special it is to see Browns backups having a big impact on games: 

“Exactly, that is the guys being locked in and ready to go. Things happen. 2020 is crazy. Guys go down with COVID. Guys get injured. To see those guys step up, they are in the NFL for a reason so they are more than capable of playing. To see those guys come in and make plays is exciting for me being a player, and for the coaches and everybody else, it is exciting, too.”

On his interception to help seal the win at Pittsburgh: 

“The pick was nice. I was excited to get that to help the team, especially in a situation like that. That is always exciting.”

On his growth in his second season:

“I feel like the jump from last year to this year, I continue to tell everybody it is just a learning curve. I kind of attacked it in the offseason and all of the stuff that I needed to work on. It comes with experience and the reps. I feel like the more reps I get, the better I can get. The reps you get, you kind of learn from all of your mistakes and just kind of trust the process. That is basically it.”

On what was going through his mind on the first play of last week’s game: 

“What was going on my mind, I am hoping one of my guys gets on top of it. I am running down there, I see (DE) Myles (Garrett) jumps to kind of like slaps the ball out and I knew one of our guys were going to end up getting it because their two guys were on the ground, too. I saw (S) Karl (Joseph) get up with it, and I was excited. On the video, you see everybody celebrating. That is the spark that we needed early on. We got ahead and it helped us win. It was good.”

On LeBron James shouting him out in a tweet: 

“Everyone knows LeBron. He is an awesome player. He is going to go down as one of the best to ever play the game. To be here in Cleveland, he is from Akron and get a shout out like that, it was awesome.”

On special teams coordinator Mike Priefer saying the Browns defense started to play harder after the first takeaways of the game:

“We know with that team, guys have gotten up on those guys and they fought back and got the win. On our sideline, we kind of wanted to emphasize that theme of keep playing, this game is not over and play for four quarters. I think that is what Prief just kind of heard and everybody kept saying, ‘Hey, we have to continue to play. We are up 21-0 and 28-0. Continue to fight and continue to finish this game out. We still have three quarters left, two quarters and a half.’ I felt like guys wanted to make plays. We saw that they were down, and we wanted to continue to attack. That was basically the whole situation.”

On the Browns personnel consistently saying the team is ‘not satisfied’ and if that has been a message from Stefanski or a mindset the team has adopted as games get more significant late in the season:

“I think that is both. I feel like as a coach he preaches that and as players we are thinking that, too. Right here, we have a golden opportunity to go out and play a really great team, and we are excited for the opportunity.”

On Steelers WR Chase Claypool’s recent comments about the Browns after last week’s game:

“I do not have anything to say about that. I feel like the game is over. We are not playing those guys. I just want to lock in on Kansas (City). Obviously, he is a great player – a great player, a good kid. We are locked in to Kansas (City). We are way past that.”

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