LB Sione Takitaki (11.19.20)

LB Sione Takitaki:

On Eagles QB Carson Wentz’s game film this season:

“I think he can do everything being the Eagles quarterback, an NFL quarterback. I feel like what I have seen on film is that he can throw the ball in his sleep, and he is a tough guy. He is a guy who kind of plays the quarterback spot like a linebacker. He will run and try to run guys over, and he is always trying to make that play for his guys and kind of extend drives so he is willing to put it out there.”

On Eagles RB Miles Sanders:

“Those guys are really good backs. Miles Sanders, he is one of those shifty little guys that can make you miss in open field and in the box. I feel like we are going to definitely have to swarm to the ball. Also, he is a guy that they kind of put out there on flare routes and kind of toss him the ball and let him get good yardage. We are definitely going to have to swarm the ball and make tackles and make sure he is not getting yards after contact. Feel like he has great vision. He is a patient runner when he gets the ball. He is not a downhill guy where he is going to get the ball and just hit big holes. He is going to make sure that he is patient, and once he sees a hole, he is going to hit it. We definitely have to play gap sound.”

On what was the Browns defense able to fix from a running game standpoint during the bye week and apply it to the Texans game:

“I feel like just trusting our keys and everybody doing there job. I feel like the coaches have been emphasizing all year, but I feel like coming back from the bye, it is something that we kind of wanted to fix as a defense and as a unit. It is seeing your job and doing your job, and once you know it is run, hitting your gaps and trusting all 11 guys on the field that they will do their job. I feel like we started off right coming off the bye, and I feel like we will carry that on through the season.”

On his progress since his rookie year:

“I would say definitely have to improve. I feel like it is not a finished touch at all. I feel like even if it is my 10th year, you always have stuff to improve. From my rookie year to now, I feel like understanding the playbooks, confidence and stuff like that and being able to go out there on the field and perform, I feel like I want to say comfortable, but when I get out there on the field, I feel like I am out there trying to make a play and not worrying about what is my assignment. It is a work in progress. I feel like I have to work on everything – run, pass, eyes, discipline in my gap, coverage and all of it.”

On S Ronnie Harrison Jr.:

“Ronnie is a great player. He is a great person off the field, too, if you get to talk to him and get to know him. I feel like what he has brought to the team is his playmaking ability. He is going to go out there and make those splash plays that the team needs. The one play, he got that pick-six. You know he is out there ready. He is a ball hawk. He wants to go out there and make that splash play. I feel like getting Ronnie was a steal. When he is on the field, he is always trying to make that big play.”

On how it helps the Browns defense and LBs to have a versatile player like Harrison who can play in the box, rush the passer and play S:

“It is great to have him on the field. Everybody is comfortable. When he is in the box and I am a linebacker and I see him next to me, I have confidence that he is going to hold the edge or go down there and try to smack a dude. When he is out there playing the post or when he is out there playing the half, I know he is going to be out there covering his tail off and making plays on the ball. Definitely a guy that I feel like coaches and players have a ton of confidence in. I feel like as the season goes because we have a lot of football left, he will continue to fly around and make plays.”

On DE Myles Garrett’s season and if Garrett has taken his play to another level this year:

“Myles, he is going to be an all-time great. You guys can see his play. When Sunday comes and he is out there flying around getting sacks and strip-sacks, he is having phenomenal year. This year, I feel like a Defensive MVP-type season. Even last year coming in seeing how dominant he is, he is definitely a guy that kind of goes out there and wrecks games. Offensive coordinators definitely have to double him up, and it kind of frees up a lot of people. What I see is just a guy who works hard, goes out there on Sundays and executes. He loves his teammates. I feel like on defense, we are a tight unit. Everybody, we get along well. Myles brings that leadership and that playmaking ability.”

On if Browns players ever talk about helping Garrett win NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award as extra motivation, in addition to winning:

“No, I feel like it is kind of one of things that everybody already knows. It does not have to be discussed. We are kind of just out there working as a unit, worrying about winning games and stuff. That just kind of comes natural. Not of those things where in the locker room, ‘Hey, Myles, We are going to help you [win NFL Defensive Player of the Year]. On Sundays, his game speaks for itself. He is out there making plays left and right.”

On LB Jacob Phillips and helping Phillips deal with frustration from not playing due to injury: 

“I see Jacob a lot. That is my dude. Obviously, as a linebacker unit we are pretty tight knit. Him coming off of that injury, it is kind of frustrating dealing with injuries. Guys want to be out there playing, especially Jacob. Even last year when I hurt my hamstring, I kind of just told him, ‘Hey, man, it is one of those things where you have to just put your head down, work and get healthy.’ Talking about it kind of puts you in a bad mood. He is coming a long way. He is a great player. I feel like when he gets out there on the field, you guys will see how great of an impact he can be when he touches that field. He is grinding and trying to get back ready. I feel like he has been practicing this week and looking healthy and looking right, and everything should be smooth once he gets on the field.”

On how good of a team the Eagles are despite their record: 

“Just watching tape, they are a good team. Obviously, they have had some games that did not go their way, but it is the NFL and it happens. Going into this week, we are going to be ready for it all. They are going to come out flying and ready to go. They are trying to win this game. Obviously, their [division] is not going as planned, but they are leading their [division] so they are trying to come out here and get a W. We definitely have to be ready. We do not take these guys as slouches looking at their record. We know these guys can play some ball. They have a good quarterback, a good running back and like you said, they have a good tight end (Eagles TE) Zach Ertz, if he is back and will be ready. They have some guys on the outside that can make some plays. We are looking at their record, but we watch the tape so we know we have to be on our Ps and Qs when we get out there.”

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