QB Nick Mullens (12.20.21)

On his emotions after the game:

“It hurts. Everybody is going to look at that one [play for each] player and just not being able to finish it. With the NFL, games are a chain-links of events. I think we had a lot of three-and-outs and just missed opportunities. You can’t really pinpoint one reason why we lost. I think it just happened the way it happened. It really hurts. It was so cool and the stadium was rocking. I really believed in the fourth quarter that this night was destined for Cleveland, but sometimes it does not work out like that.”


On if it took time for him to get comfortable in the Browns offense and to get going:

“Not really. I tried to stay in the same lane the entire game and tried to just make consistent decisions. I think on a couple third downs, I think on three third downs in the first half were short by one or two yards. That one or two yards makes all of the difference on staying on the field and keeping drives alive. No, I felt good. For me, the mental game is just as important as the physical game. I felt comfortable out there all night. A great group of guys to play with. It just happens.”


On the TD to TE Harrison Bryant in the fourth quarter:

“We had a concept to the right, stepped up and scrambled left. You have me and the receiver, Harrison, and then a defender in the middle. It is kind of a monkey-in-the-middle type of game. You force him to come up, and that is when you spin it to him and he opens up. I think a lot of touchdowns in the red zone are not on rhythm so that is just a good example of how to get seven points inside the red zone.”


On when he was officially told he would start today’s game:

“In my mind, you kind of compare it to a rain delay in a baseball game. You are like, ‘Are we playing? Are we not playing?’ In your mind, you have to tell you, ‘You are playing. You are starting. You are starting.’ That is kind of how I approached the entire week once things happened. Today, Coach AVP (offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt) told me I was officially starting. Just ready to go. You prepare, work as hard as you can and leave it all on the field. Unfortunately, it was not enough tonight.”


On the final drive when looking for the first down:

“(RB) Nick (Chubb) is a tough runner, one of the best in the game obviously. We just came up short. I handed the ball off and keep out of my fake so I did not see the Xs and Os of it. It really stinks. I really felt like we were good enough and strong enough. Really wish we could have finished it and not even put the defense in that position, but it is just how it happens sometimes.”


On his comment that in the fourth quarter he felt the game was ‘destined for Cleveland’:

“Sometimes, you just kind of feel like it is your night. We went up in the fourth quarter. The stadium was rocking. The fans were freaking awesome here. We had the cool lights and all. You are like, ‘We are going to finish this out. This is our thing. This is what we are going to do.’ I really believed that, but unfortunately it just did not happen. They made good plays on their end and executed well.”


On the adjustments the Browns offense made in the second half:

“We just stayed patient and just keep going. That is kind of what I just kept telling myself and the team. Just keep going. We just did not convert. We did not extend drives in the first half, and that is really what you have to do. You have to be able to stay on the field. Obviously in the second half, we put the one drive together to stay on the field. That is what it takes. Third downs are so crucial. We converted them in the second half. We did not do as good of a job in the first half of converting those third downs.”


On G Joel Bitonio playing LT:

“Joel is a stud. You guys know that more than anybody. You talk about what it means to be a Cleveland Brown, obviously, Joel is the ultimate Cleveland Brown. Whatever is asked for him, he does. Obviously, he has done it for a long time here. Being able to share the huddle with those guys, it means a lot. They are a really good group. You can tell their chemistry. They work hard. They work together. They did a really good job up front.”


On if there was anything said in the huddle about ‘we got this or keep going’ when Chubb’s TD was called back in the fourth quarter:

“Yeah, definitely. We were just positive vibes the entire time. Just focused on the next play. Just focused on what we had to do to get the job done. We were going to be determined to do that. Obviously, we came up short, but we had great persistence. Whatever happens, put it past us. Keep going. I really felt like there was more out there for us every time something happened. We are just a resilient group. I am proud of our guys.”


On when he felt comfortable out on the field and if felt like ‘old times’:

“Really after the first play. After the first drive. It is like, ‘Alright here we go.’ You trust your preparation. Have your confidence that you are a really good football player, and it was fun. Anytime you get an opportunity in the NFL, very thankful for that. It is your job to take the most advantage of it so you just work as hard as you can, have fun with the guys and work for victory.”


On how it felt when he stepped on the field to start:

“It was awesome. Like I said, you just prepare so hard, and you just want to give your team a chance. Going in, I told myself to protect the ball, make good decisions, make good reads and be accurate. That is when I am at my best as a quarterback. You just try to stick to that recipe as much as you can. I was just really proud of our team. We fought so hard, and sometimes it happens like that.”


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