WR Jarvis Landry (1.7.21)

WR Jarvis Landry:

On his emotions heading into the game with the adversity the team is facing as players have been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list and Head Coach Kevin Stefanski out: 

“Coach Stefanski talks about it all the time, we have to hit the curveball, and we have been thrown another one. The last couple of weeks have just been tough for us, but at the end of the day, we have to answer the call each and every time. We are ready to hit the curveball and guys are going to have to step up. It is what it is.”

On the obstacle of not practicing yet this week: 

“At the end of the day, practice is a big part of everything that we do and understanding that, but at the same time, it is 2021 and it feels like 2020 still and everything is still so unexpected. We have to make the most of these Zoom meetings, out of the walkthroughs that we are doing and out of the time that we have to be able to go over all the details, to be able to go outside, stretch and do anything that can and do it at your home with what you have to be able to try to get ready for this game because this game is happening obviously, despite what we are going through as a team. I do not think the league looks at is as a disadvantage or anything like that so I think for us, we have to just continue to prepare and get ready to play the game.”

On what he expects to see out of QB Baker Mayfield on Sunday night in the first playoff game: 

“Everything and more than we have been seeing. He is our leader. I always say and I have continued to say, our team is going to go as he does. I think that he has a great sense of the importance of each and every game and each and every play, and that is something that we need at that position. We have the right guy for the job. We just have to go out there and play as a team.”

On the impact it will have if he does not get reps or limited reps with Mayfield in practice this week: 

“Again, it feels like 2020 still. It is part of it. Whether we have to do things tomorrow if we get in the building or Saturday on the travel day or before the game, whatever it is. It is an 8 p.m. game so we will have some time to do some things early on in the day. We will see. We are playing everything by ear and making the most of what we can do being away from the building with the circumstances that are going on.”

On S Ronnie Harrison Jr. being placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list and Harrison’s performance this season: 

“I will start with the type of season he has had. Since he has gotten here, he has been a guy who I have been excited about to be able to take the field with knowing his versatility and his ability to make plays. He has done that for us in a countless amount of games. I can remember even, I want to say the Colts game, I think he had had a pick-six in that game and that helped turn the tide in that game for us, which is huge if you look back at how all of this Wild Card stuff played out. He is definitely vital to our defense and to our team, and it sucks that he is going through this and missing more games due to COVID. All you can do as a team is hope that he does not have any symptoms, that he feels well and gets through this process. Then you look at the next guy and you see who is the next guy up and try to get that guy ready to play in a playoff game.”

On how the team is handling the daily COVID-related news: 

“That is the curveball. It is the curveball that Coach Stefanski has been talking about all year. It calls on guys to step up and play in roles that they may have not anticipated playing in. It calls on other guys to make more plays. Obviously in these situations, it is always a team game and it is a team sport so it is going to take everybody to win these types of games and you need everybody. Unfortunately, we have a couple of guys out and we got a couple of guys back, but you do need everybody. It is part of the game of this year, and other guys have to step up.”

On the impact of not getting normal practice reps during the week will have on him as a WR, given the significance of chemistry and timing between a QB and the WRs: 

“That is something that we have been building throughout the year. That is something that we have been building with a countless amount of reps from offseason training until now. We are going to have to bank on that. We are going to have to bank on the timing and the things that we have worked on to this point with having limited reps this week. We can’t use this as an excuse. We can’t use this as something that is going to hinder us. I can’t even say that to you. We just have to find a way. Like you said in the beginning when you first asked this question, continue to roll with the punches, hit the curveball and go out there and compete to win a game. Regardless of the circumstances, you have to go out there and win the game.”

On if this week’s experience with the COVID-19 cases dampers the excitement of reaching the playoffs:

“No. Again, we are all still a part of this thing. The guys that have not been with us and the guys that are on the COVID list, we are all a part of this thing and the mission is still the same. For us, we are still excited about the opportunity to play football in January. We are still excited about making the playoffs. At the end of the day, the most important thing in our thought process and the urgency of what we are trying to do here is win the game, regardless of the circumstances that we are faced with. That is just how the cards are and that is how we have to play it.”

On if it will be dramatically different with offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt calling offensive plays on Sunday:

“I really do not have a great sense of that. Him and Kevin have a great relationship and a great rapport obviously. They see a lot of things the same. They see a few things different or a lot of things different, but either way, their relationship and their chemistry has been good for our team. I think that the game planning of everything, understanding how everything folds throughout the week and how things will probably get called, I do anticipate for it to be a mix of both of their coaching styles and play calling styles.”

On if there is a sense that team can rally even closer with multiple people out, including Stefanski and Bitonio:

“Absolutely. Absolutely. Again, like I just said, the biggest thing is that we always keep in mind that the guys who started with us and who are not here with us and are injured or on the COVID list right now, they are all a part of this, too. They are all a part of the reasons why we take the field and all a part of the energy that we bring to be able to get those guys back the following week or for the injured guys, to be able to play football in January and on to February to be able to have something at the end to show for what we have accomplished as a team. Those guys being out is definitely extra motivation to make it another week and win this game for sure.”

On no one but the team expecting the Browns to win this week’s game, given the number of players who will be out:

“I think in a sense, it has kind of always been like that. That is nothing new to us. We are going to show up with what we have and we are going to compete.”

On if missing several players and most people outside of the building not expecting the Browns to win this week lessens the burden or pressure on the team:

“Nobody expected us to make the playoffs. Nobody expected us to win 11 games. Nobody expected for things to be turned around here in Cleveland – no one. I say that to say, yeah I guess in a sense it is some added motivation, but I think that is something that we have all internalized and kind of always kind of felt. At the same time, we have to go out there and play and perform and win these football games. We are not paying attention to too much outside noise. Just understanding that we have a great opportunity to pay football in January in a playoff game. Regardless of the situation, we still have to show up and go to play. They are going to show up and play, and we have to do the same.”

On what he has learned about the best ways to attack the Steelers defense after two previous matchups:

“It is tough. I feel like they do a lot of the similar stuff but different ways. You never really know what you are going to get until after the first quarter or first couple of series of a game. With that being said, it is hard to pinpoint. Obviously, they are a great defensive team. They have always been that way since as long as I can remember. We are going to have to be as sound as we can on the offensive side of the ball for sure.”

On how much of a rallying cry it can be for the Browns with Bitonio missing Sunday’s playoff game:

“He is important to our team. He is important to the Cleveland Browns and the history that we have accomplished this year. It sucks what he is going through to be able to be here for the time that he has been here and now be in this position and he can’t even play the game because of the circumstances. For us a team, obviously, we know how much this game means to Joel and what he would give to be out there. That is definitely something that we all have in mind. That is definitely something my man (G Michael) Dunn is going to have in mind playing guard and giving it his best shot out there. For us, we have to continue to be able to just continue to play our style of football, continue to protect the football, no self-inflicted things and see how it comes out in the end. This is definitely one for Joel, absolutely.”

On the intensity and physical he is anticipating from the Steelers defense in a playoff game, given his past experience in a postseason game:

“For the way that I have always approached any game, not just a playoff game – I only played in one – the way that I have always approached the game was you always take the game to the opponent. You never try to match somebody else’s intensity. You always start with the knockout punch. That is something that I have always tried to do and how I approach the game mindset-wise, and that is something that I will definitely be transparent with my team about. If not, then it is more just tell them just watch how I play, just watch how I play today and match what I am doing today. We will see if that is enough.”

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