RB Kareem Hunt (1.4.21)

RB Kareem Hunt:

On his block to help QB Baker Mayfield’s run that sealed the game and how important blocking is to him:

“That is the thing about me is whatever I can do to help the team win, I am going to do it. I knew we had to get a yard, and I knew Bake was going to be behind me so I was going to make sure my man was taken good care of so he could get the first down. It is just who wants it more at that point. I really wanted to win that game.”

On what makes playing at Heinz Field so challenging and how it will be different with limited or no fans:

“Honestly, I am really not sure. They just come ready to play in their hometown. They are defending their stadium. That is a good football team. Every team who is home, you try to make it tough for anybody to play there.”

On if playing on Sunday Night Football adds any additional excitement to the playoff game:

“Yeah, most definitely. I am very excited. It is a big game. It is Sunday Night Football so you have to come ready to play.”

On what Browns skill players being willing blockers says about the team:

“It is just guys playing for the man next to them. I feel like everybody is playing for one another and playing hard. That is what we have to do to continue winning and success.”

On the feeling of reaching the playoffs with his hometown team and if that is a different feeling than his previous playoff experience:

“It is amazing. It is definitely a different feeling. Being from here and knowing the struggles in the past that we have been through, I can’t even describe how I feel. I have had close family members and friends crying and calling me and a lot of people just sending me pictures of people tearing up and stuff like that because they are just so happy to see us doing well.”

On how fresh he feels at this point after sharing the workload with RB Nick Chubb during a 16-game season:

“Definitely feeling pretty good going into Week 17 after 16 games. My body is feeling good. Nick has been doing a great job of taking the load off of me, and I have been trying to take the load off of him just as much. It is great.”

On the key to having success running the ball against the Steelers’ front seven:

“Just being physical. That is the key. Guys finishing their blocks and extra effort. Everybody has to have those extra effort plays and playing through the whistle.”

On if the Steelers’ defensive scheme causes the offense to adjust:

“They have a lot of different fronts. They line up very different. I would say so. It is a good defense.”

On if he and Chubb splitting drives during yesterday’s game was partly to ‘keep things vanilla’ heading into this week:

“I guess so. Whenever my number is called, I am going to go in the game, try to make plays and go all out.”

On his mindset playing at Pittsburgh and the challenges this week, given the Browns’ recent record against the Steelers: 

“The mindset is really win or go home. I know a lot of guys on this team are trying to keep playing football. That is the goal. We have to go in there, take it play by play, series by series and find a way to win this ball game. A lot of things are up against us. It is a great football team that we are about to play. We have to just continue doing what we do.”

On if he breaks down film of Mayfield’s runs with Mayfield in the Browns RB room: 

“No, but I should (laughter).”

On how Mayfield chooses when to scramble now compared to earlier in the season: 

“He is doing a great job of using his athletic abilities. Baker can run a little bit, get outside the pocket and still make plays. He is very dangerous that way. Now, he is just taking advantage of the open yards or green grass in front of him if he breaks the pocket or something.”

On if the Browns can still surprise the Steelers and have wrinkles for this week’s game: 

“Most definitely, yeah. We definitely still have some things. We are going to go in, work and get better. We will figure some stuff out this week with the gameplan coming up.”

On if there was a phone call with a friend or family member after the game that stood out to him most: 

“My cousins. I got a funny call from them, and they were all crying in the living room around the TV just happy.”

On if he was able to see all of his cousins during the call: 

“Yeah, I could see them all. They were just happy and cheering us on.”

On if he was choked up on the call with his cousins: 

“Definitely. It touched me, especially being born and raised in Cleveland. I experienced a lot here. To be a part of the team and help contribute to taking us to the playoffs is big. It is really a dream come true, especially being from the City of Cleveland.”

On how he has seen Mayfield improve during the second half of the season: 

“I have seen Baker just be a leader and go out there and just always keep his head down and keep working and trying to get better. He has been doing a great job of moving around in the pocket, making and extending plays and not trying to give up on plays. He definitely is a guy who wants to win.”

On his thoughts on Mayfield’s reaction after picking up the first down at the end of the game: 

“Just juice. It is great to see. He is pumping us up. We want to keep winning. It is a great feeling. We want to feel that again this week so we have to keep the momentum.”

On RB Nick Chubb reaching 1,000 rushing yards: 

“I am definitely happy for Nick. Before the game I told him, ‘Go get it. You deserve it for sure.’ He went right ahead and did it. Nick is a heck of a back and talented. I love working with him because he has the drive to win just like I do so it is a lot of fun seeing him run the ball and make big plays and stuff like that.”

On if he is bothered that he was not also able to reach 1,000 rushing yards this season: 

“It does not bother me. At the end of the day, the biggest thing to me is the wins and losses. Now, we have a chance in the second season right now. We have a lot of football left to play, and that is bigger than getting 1,000 yards. As long as I can continue making plays and helping our team win and find a way to win, I am good with it.”

# # #