LB Sione Takitaki (11.22.20)

LB Sione Takitaki:

On his first career interception and INT-return TD:

“It felt really good. It felt awesome. First one in the NFL, and it was for a touchdown. It was great. We went in our blank coverage to the strong side, and I am standing beside to see the running back kind of flaring out so I know that is my coverage. I kind of widen out there with him. Once I go to attack because I see the QB (Eagles QB Carson Wentz) starting to throw it to him, it kind of got tipped in the air. I saw it went in the air and I am like, ‘Alright, have to go up and get it.’ Came down with it, a ton of daylight and ran to the touchdown. It felt great.”

On being the Browns’ game captain today:

“It felt great. You put in time throughout the week…. You go out there and we have a lot of great guys out there and we have a lot of great coaches. It was an honor.”

On the Browns defense stepping up to make plays without DE Myles Garrett on the field:

“You guys know Myles. We all know Myles. Those other guys man, they are great athletes and great football players, too. They knew they had to step up. They have a lot of big names, too, and I feel like what kind of set us up is we were good on first and second down and we are able to get to those third-and-manageable downs and let loose, and let those guys go let loose. I thought we were great when we get to third down, and those obvious pass downs and those got after it.”

On if the breakout performances from RBs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt energized the defense:

“For sure. That one-two punch with those two guys is great. We know what those two guys bring to the table. They kept after with it and the offense kept after it. The defense was energized. Complementary football.”

On if he was tired on the way to the end zone on his INT-return TD:

“I would not say I was tired, but I was kind of like, ‘I am actually going to score.’ I felt like I should have sprinting a little bit, but it was a great feeling – a feeling you want to feel every time you step on that field. I was not tired. It was more exciting for me.”

On if he was able to keep the football from his INT-TD:

“I did, yeah.”

On if the Browns defense has that will to win and wearing opponents down late:

“Yeah, we are there. We are a tough, resilient team. I feel like things are working out, and that is football. That is how things are going to be in some games. I feel like we have a tight unit and a tight team.”

On the Browns currently being second place in the AFC North and if that is meaningful to him:

“We still have to prepare and play the next game. Can’t speak on now and can’t pat our backs now, but enjoy this win for the rest of the day. Tomorrow we have to start over.”

On if he felt today’s performance was a long time coming for him:
“Yeah, I feel like I needed some plays to kind of… I train every day week in and week-out to go out there and make these splash plays and help the team. It felt good to finally get feelings back and continue to work, and grow to help my team in any way possible. Personally, we are building. Now I am going to continue to work and continue to try to make those big plays out there. That is why I play the game.”

On DE Olivier Vernon filling a void with Garrett’s absence at the line of scrimmage:

“It starts up front. Those guys were working so hard. OV, man, OV gets paid a lot of money and we know what he brings to the table. He is a great defensive end. Like I said earlier, we knew that Myles was going to be out and I feel like those guys are like, ‘Let’s get it going. We are going to make sure that we are going to hold our own.’ I feel like they went out today and proved it. To go out there and dominate, OV had three sacks. AC (DE Adrian Clayborn) was balling. The rest of the D line were penetrating. I tip my hat to those guys because we know week in and week-out, it starts up front. O line and D line, they set the tempo for the rest of the game so it is good to see that.”

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