WR Rashard Higgins (9.7.20)

WR Rashard Higgins:

On if he believes this year will be a fresh start for him:

“Yes sir. I do. Coming back, this is where I want to be. I put my best foot forward, continued to grind and continue to work hard like I always do. Let the tables turn how they turn. Here I am, Year 5.”

On his excitement to return to Cleveland:

“It means the world. Like I have been saying to a lot of people, I have been through here 0-16 and 1-15. To see everything turn around, us start winning and the things that we are promised, I want to be a part of that. I love everything about Cleveland. This is where I have been, this is where I was drafted and this is where I want to be. There is no place like Cleveland.”

On if he feels he can contribute and receive a regular amount of snaps, including as the third WR:

“I believe so. Wherever I can be utilized in the offense, I am here for it. Wherever I can be, even on special teams, just use me. That is what I told the coaches – just use me. I am here so why not?”

On his decision to re-sign with the Browns this past offseason, if he had offers from other teams and if he discussed the decision with QB Baker Mayfield:

“There were other offers on the table. I talked to Baker, of course. I was just like, ‘You know what, Bake? I am not going to second-chance this thing. Cleveland is where I want to be. You are my boy. Let’s do this thing. We have another year. Nothing is promised. Let’s just live it up, do what we can, best foot forward and not look back.’”

On how much his conversation with Mayfield factored into his decision, as well as that he was drafted by the Browns and is entering his fifth year with the team:

“It meant a lot to me. He basically said, ‘Why would you try to second guess? This is where you belong.’ Like I said, there was no second guessing. Let’s do this thing.”

On how excited he is that it is Week 1 and the team is preparing for its first opponent:

“It is so exciting, just from last year, how everything turned out, us not winning the games that we wanted to. We lost to the Ravens the last time we played them so we have a little ambition and a chip on our shoulder going towards them. Not only that, it is the opener. We want to put our best foot forward. We want to show the world what we are about. Why not win? Why not the first game be a win? Everybody is thrilled. We are fired up. We are ready to go as we are doing the gameplan, and we are all bought in right now.”

On the Browns’ past struggles in season openers and if he notices a different emphasis or feeling regarding the team’s preparations for Week 1 this year:

“One thing I can tell you is that the coaches make sure we are all about our details right now. That has been a really big sticking point with the new coaching change of doing what you are supposed to do and doing it the exact same way every time so the quarterback doesn’t get fooled, not only the quarterback but everybody knowing every position, what to do, when to do it and how to do it every single time. We have been really dialed in on the details. (Head) Coach (Kevin) Stefanski and his crew have been doing a hell of a job so far.”

On what changes he has seen in Mayfield on and off the field this year:

“He is more focused. I feel like he knows what he has to do. He has a goal in his mind. I really believe he is set out to do it.”

On if he sees a ‘renewed’ Mayfield similar to 2018 or potentially even an improved version:

“I feel like there is a way better version that he is showing us that you have not seen yet. The time is Sunday. You shall see it.”

On making the game-winning TD catch against Buffalo last season and not being targeted much if at all the rest of the year:

“Listen, I am out there for a reason. You guys know I can make the plays. There are people that believe in me, and most importantly, I believe in myself. When the ball comes to me, it is my job to make the play.”

On entering his fifth season with the Browns and if it feels like it has been longer than that:

“Year 5. It has been a long five, let’s just say that. It has been a long five. I can name on my fingers how many players have been here since I have been here. (G) Joel Bitonio was talking about the 0-16 [season]. He was talking about that a couple of days ago. I was like, ‘Dang, I was a part of that.’ For us to be with different coaches and different staffs, we want to see change. We got the change, and we want to just win. At the end of the day, we just want to win. If you were a part of that 0-16 team, that is the only thing in mind that you want – you just want to win. I know I speak for the guys that are in the locker room right now, we just want to win. Going forward and moving forward, that is the only goal in mind – just win.”

 

On how much Mayfield’s motivation comes from wanting to prove that last year was not up to his standard: 

“It is a feeling like you know you can do more, to not be complacent and to know that I had eras where I was not as good, but I know I can be better. That is all we want to see. Moving forward, we have already seen the improvement. He has already gotten better since last year. Even if the improvement is small, you are going up. That is all that matters.”

 

On how he has grown through adversity from last season and if is more grateful than ever to be with the Browns: 

“Yes, I am very grateful. I am very grateful. Coach Stefanski and (pass game coordinator/wide receivers) Coach (Chad) O’Shea, they believed in me. Not only them, (Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager) Andrew Berry and the whole staff, they believed in me. That just goes to let you know that I am valued. They know what I am capable of and they know I can make the plays, and that is my job at the end of the day. If somebody else believes in you, why not believe in yourself, as well? That only gives me motivation to keep going out and working even harder, just knowing that somebody else believes in you. That is a little motivation for me.” 

# # #