S Juan Thornhill (3.17.23)


On how much communication he has had with defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz since signing with the Browns:

“We were up there talking, I would say maybe 30-45 minutes or something like that. He got me pumped up, that is all I can say, already just talking a little bit about football, the scheme and how he sees me in the defense. He got me ready to go for sure.”


On how comfortable he is playing deep S:

“I am very comfortable. I think I am that guy who can cover from sideline to sideline. No matter where the ball is going to go, I can see myself going to get it. I can tell that he likes those guys that can do multiple jobs – being able to cover man to man, being down in the box and playing in a deep-half and in a third. He definitely sees me as that guy who can do all of the different roles.”


On winning two Super Bowls with the Chiefs and how that can help him be a leader with the Browns:

“When you are a part of a team that has been able to go to multiple Super Bowls and win multiple Super Bowls, you are willing to take that wherever you go. I have the experience winning two of them and being in three so I know what it feels like to be in that big game and I know what it takes to win. That is what I am going to bring with me. I am going to bring that energy, and I am going to bring it to my teammates, as well. If I see someone slacking, I am going to let them know that is not the way to go about it. Let’s pick it up so we can get to where we want to be.”


On growing into a leadership role with the Chiefs:

“I started off kind of quiet. I was a rookie not really knowing too much and just listened to the older guys, but as time went on, I became one of the older guys in the room, and I had a bunch of rookies that I had to depend on this season. We had four or five rookies this year that had to play. I was looked at as that guy that had to be that leader so I had to be that teacher in the room and be the guy that they can lean on if something was to go wrong and to lift them up.”


On his reception from Browns fans when interacting with them on social media since joining the team:

“The Browns fans have been amazing. They have been messaging me. They have been showing all of their support since the day that the announcement came out. I am super excited about it because I have heard many good things about the Dawg Pound. The fans out here are crazy, and that is what I love to be a part of. When I come out of that tunnel, I want the fans to jack me up and make me ready to run through a wall. That is what I hear about Cleveland, and I am excited.”


On his impressions of the Browns in his two games against the team and if he can help Cleveland get over the top, similar to what happened in Kansas City:

“With Cleveland, I remember playing them, and I just remember them being a team that was willing to run down your throat and punch you in the mouth early. That just shows that they have the ability to get to the big game. I feel like I am the type of player that can add to the defense and help them get to where they want to go. I am excited to play and play next to (DE) Myles Garrett, (S) Grant Delpit and those guys because I have been watching a little bit of their film. I just feel like they are really good players and can help us win.”


On describing himself as a player:

“I have always been taught to be that guy to never allow your coach to take you off the field. I would see me as being that guy who can do everything – he can cover, be down in the box, make plays, he can blitz and sack the quarterback. I want to be that guy who can take control of a game and go get the ball when it is in the air and cause fumbles when it is that time to make that big play.”


On the most difficult part about getting to the Super Bowl:

“It is very hard honestly. You have to stay disciplined for the whole season. As you see in the NFL, some teams start fast and finish slow and some teams start slow and finish fast. It is all about just staying disciplined. To get to multiple Super Bowls, it is even harder. Once you win one, you have a target on your back each and every week because everybody is trying to knock down the top dog. It is definitely hard to get there.”


On bringing a Super Bowl to Kansas City for the first time in many years and if he can imagine helping bring a championship to Cleveland:

“Oh yeah, definitely. Like I said before, all of the pieces are here. They have a really good quarterback and receivers, and the defense is super strong. I feel like all of the pieces are here and we have that capability of getting there and making a splash in the playoffs and making it to the Super Bowl. I have all confidence in that.”


On if he has heard from Browns teammates since his arrival:
“I have talked to some of my teammates. There are a couple of guys who have reached out. They seem pretty pumped that I am here. That is pretty much it. I am excited to get to OTAs and get to know the guys a lot more and to start working together so we can work towards our dream of getting back to the Super Bowl.”


On if there is a specific aspect of his game that can really shine in the Browns defensive scheme with the players on the roster:

“I do. I definitely do. Like I said with Coach Schwartz, he just drew up a couple of plays on the board, and I just liked what he was drawing up. I can see me stepping in and playing a big role of helping this team tremendously and making a lot of plays for this team, as well.”


On his leadership style:

“You always have to walk in and try to figure out what it is going to be like. I am not going to be that guy who is going to step in and just try to take over everything. I am going to figure out how things are going to go. I am not that type of guy that is going to just be on the field yelling at everywhere telling them, ‘Let’s go. Push yourself.’ I am not that type of guy. I am the one who is going to lead by example, but if you are not working hard, I will step up and say something, but I am not going to be the guy that is going to put you on blast in front of the whole team; I will come up to you personally and let you know.”


On his first impression of the Browns and Cleveland:

“It is amazing. I came here not knowing what to expect, and I try to do the everywhere I go. Definitely, it has impressed me. The facilities are truly amazing here. I got here last night, and the first thing I looked at was downtown, and it shocked me. It was really beautiful, and I wasn’t expecting it. I am excited to get here, be able to work my way around and see what everything is like.”


On how hard it was leaving the Chiefs after winning multiple Super Bowls, including last season:

“It is really hard. It is hard because you built those relationships with guys in the locker room, and when you built, those relationships, you don’t want to leave, but sometimes it is part of business. Some teams can’t bring you back. At the same time, you can see yourself fitting in a different organization and helping them become way better or making it to the Super Bowl and add your skillset to that defense to make us so much better. I am excited for that.”


On the Browns adding several new defensive players during free agency and if a defense can change its culture overnight and what it takes to impact culture:

“It definitely can. It can change in better way, and it also can go downhill, as well. If you add bad pieces to a defense and bad people to a defense, you can bring cancer into the locker room, and that is not something you want. If you bring in good people to the organization and bring them into the defense, you can have those guys who can motivate each other, to push each other and to get better each and every week.”


On if he has the vibe that the Browns are infusing the defense with strong people, energy and talent:

“I definitely do. I think the guys who were here, as well, they can feel it. They have reached out and were welcoming to be here. That just shows that the guys are excited for this season and they care about who actually comes into this locker room.”


On AFC North rivals’ QBs:

“It is going to be hard each and every week. I have had the chance to play against (Ravens QB) Lamar (Jackson) a couple of times so I kind of know what his game is like. I played against (Bengals QB) Joe Burrow a couple of times so I know what he likes to do, as well. The only one I haven’t had a chance to play against is (Steelers QB) Kenny Pickett, but the thing is I have heard a lot of good things about him, as well. It is going to take hard work and dedication each and every week because these guys have the capability to wreck games. They have great arms. With Lamar Jackson if you look at him, the guy can throw the ball and run, as well, so he can beat you by himself. It is going to be hard each and every week, and you have to prepare as if each week is the Super Bowl.”


On his leadership style and the Browns having in-game communication issues at times last season:

“In the NFL, this game is all about who makes the least amount of mistakes. If you are on the field making mistakes, that is going to cause you to lose football games. One thing that I know that I know I am going to do is I am going to try to bring everybody together to make sure we all are on the same page, and that is simply by just like hanging out in the locker room or going out to dinner together – doing things like that build that just bond and you will know what your teammates are capable of and you know their strengths and weaknesses. When you come together like that, it just allows you to play so much better.”


On what it looks like now to start building initial chemistry with Browns teammates:

“I am just going to take it slow. I am not going to get in and just put my foot down and try to make it my way. What I am going to do is just trying to get to know my teammates a little bit more – know things that they like to do outside of football so we can get together outside of football, just come together and build that brotherhood. That is going to allow us to play better, like I said before. That is going to make us more elite than any Xs and Os. You can study football all day, but if you don’t know what your teammates’ strengths and weaknesses are, you are not going to be good. That is my main goal is just to get to know my teammates.”


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