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Transcripts: Browns Postgame Quotes

Posted Sep 17, 2017

­­­CLEVELAND BROWNS

Head Coach Hue Jackson

(opening statement) “Everything I said we couldn’t do, we did. You can’t turn the ball over to this team; that’s how they won their first game. We can’t give them that type of field position or take points off the board when you have a chance to make plays. We didn’t play well. Obviously, at the quarterback position, you can’t give the ball to the other team. There were some plays to be made; we just didn’t make them. We’ll grow from this. I know we will. We’ll go back to the drawing board and get it to where it needs to be. I don’t care what level of football you play, you can’t turn the ball over as many times as we did today. And, that being said, there was still a time we had a chance to rally back, and we turned it over again. We’ll learn from this, and we will, and I hate it for the guys because I think there’s some individual effort and unit effort. The guys are doing some good things. But we have to play as a football team, and that’s what it is going to take as we keep going through this season.”

(on what happened to quarterback DeShone Kizer and whether it developed during the game) “Kizer does have a history of migraines. He had a migraine, and, obviously, when you go through that process, you also check for a concussion. It never was a concussion, but he was checked for one. He had a migraine, and he came back. He was fine, he was totally cleared. Everything with him was totally fine. So, that’s why I put him back in. He deserved to be out there playing, and that’s why he went back out there. I could just tell that something was going on. So, that’s why I had him checked with the trainer. They went through their process. Our guys did an excellent job. They took him in and evaluated him from head to toe. He passed every test, and that’s the only way he could come back in.”

(on whether [DeShone] Kizer seemed normal when he came back) “He was fine. I wouldn’t have put him back in if he wasn’t normal. He was DeShone again. Like I said, he was cleared medically, and he was fine again. Our conversations were still good, but we just didn’t get it done.”

(on the turnover near the end of the first half) “That was a huge point in the game. Like I said, I have to coach better. We have to learn from that. You can’t throw the ball back across the middle in that situation. I don’t care whether you throw the ball out of bounds. In this league, you can’t turn it over. Bad things happen.”

(on getting quarterback Kevin Hogan ready) “It was instant, and that’s why Kevin is the back-up quarterback. I thought there were some good things he did really well until he turned that ball over. Again, the turnovers will always stick out because it stops you from scoring points, or it leads to points for the other team; and it did today.”

(on thoughts of taking a timeout before the final drive of the first half) “No, we needed to take another play, see what we’ve got, then take a timeout. That’s the way I was going to play that.”

(on DeShone [Kizer] interceptions) “Rashard [Higgins] was open, and he’ll be the first to tell you he threw a bad ball. There’s going to be some throws that he wishes he had back. The first one that went off Duke’s [Johnson, Jr.] hands we were rushing so he’s always got to keep his poise. I think the clock was squeezing him. There was emotion that was tied to that. He was trying to get that going and lost the process of the play. The ball gets tipped off Duke’s hands and it’s going the other way. There were some unfortunate things, but there’s things that he will grow from because they need to happen. You’ve got to keep your poise and do everything; and it’s okay. Either we take a sack or we throw the ball out of bounds, we still get to live with the ball. Whether we punt it or kick the field goal, whatever it is, but if you turn it over, the other team has it.”

(on the message to Kizer) “It’s,‘Go back to the fundamentals, back to where we put our eyes, back to playing with urgency. For him, he’s not going to play every game perfectly. So, I do know that. Me and him had a great conversation on the sideline. He gets it. I think he understands more now than ever. If you turn the ball over, your team doesn’t get cracks at it. Your team loses opportunities to score, and the other team now has chances to score. The score was 24 to 10, but we were down there several other times with opportunities and could have converted plays we didn’t make. He will grow from this.”

(on WR [Rashard] Higgins coming off the practice squad and being the leading receiver) “He made some plays. That’s why we elevated him. I needed him. He had a great week and allowed Duke [Johnson, Jr.] to go back and do some things in the back field for us. I think that combination was good – a right thing to do. Rashard showed his worth. He played some good football.”

(on the running game) “I think it was good at times, but we had to get away from it. Obviously, the score dictated otherwise. I think it’s still going to grow. We’ve played two games, and I know our record is 0-2. But our running game is going to be what I need it to be. There’s a couple of good runs we ripped off. We need to rip off some bigger ones, and I think we will.”

(on preventing QB DeShone Kizer from getting rattled) “He’s not that kind of kid. He’s not going to get rattled by this. He’ll go back to work with more resolve and understand that being on top of every little thing is so important – how important every throw is. But you can’t miss them, and the other team gets them. He’ll grow from this.”

(on what WR Rashard Higgins coming off the practice squad and being the leading receiver means) “I know where you guys are going. Let me watch the tape. Until I watch the tape, I cannot tell you. We have plays designed for just about everybody out there today. Why we didn’t make them, I can’t tell you.”

(on the center-QB exchange “I think what happens is our tempo of getting in and out of the huddle to get lined up is not what I want it to be. We’re a little slow in our process. So, we have to push that a little faster. Our tempo has to be much faster. As coaches, we’ll get that fixed.”

(on QB Kevin Hogan) “I think Kevin did some good things, and that’s what we expect – Kevin to go in the game and do. Obviously, if we don’t turn the ball over right before the half, I would have liked to have seen where we would have been. Whether we score or not, just don’t turn the ball over and give them an opportunity to come back and score. And that’s what we did. I thought he handled himself well. He was ready to go. He made some plays with his arm and plays with his legs; and that’s what I expect from that man.”

QB Kevin Hogan

(on being surprised to enter the game) “I hadn’t realized that DeShone [Kizer] had left or what was going on, so I just had to get a couple throws in and then go in. But, I’m always preparing for that. So, I’m making a couple throws in between series and stepping on my toes.”

(on making early completions) “I felt good. I felt like I was seeing everything. I was seeing everything the defense was showing. It was nice to convert a few 3rd downs early, and get some completions, and get the ball down field.”

(on his interception) “I tried to force it. It was a big mistake. I saw the linebacker outside, and I thought he was carrying. It was just inexcusable at that position. I should have thrown the ball away or ran. Get what I can, get out of bounds. It’s definitely something I learned from. Those guys [Ravens defense] move fast, and they can make plays, and sometimes you have to acknowledge that they play their own defense, and new coverage. It’s definitely something I learned from, and it won’t happen again.”

(on being the back-up) “That’s what I’m supposed to do. If I get in there and make plays, move the offense as well as I can [and] be efficient. I would have loved to have a couple plays there. But, I felt good about how I was seeing everything out there as far as what they were showing, blitzes and coverage. There is a lot I can take from it and be better next week.”

(on WR Rashard Higgins play) “‘Higgy’ is someone we have so much confidence in, so we were glad to have him out there with us on game day. He had a great week of practice. Me personally, I got some work with him after practice, and he made a lot of plays throughout the game. It was something that we really counted on.”

(on if he was surprised by not staying in the game) “When DeShone [Kizer] came back and was ready to go, I knew he was going to go in and lead the offense. So, my job is just to stay ready whenever they call on me, and I was making sure I was just doing that.”

TE David Njoku

(on his touchdown catch) “It’s very simple; I ran the route that was called. [Kevin] Hogan threw a great ball, and I executed. That’s all.”

(on his play) “I felt pretty good. Everything is slowing down now. I’m just trying to focus on fundamentals, and listen to the veterans who have been here a lot longer than I have.”

(on the difference from Kizer to Hogan as quarterback) “They’re both great quarterbacks. Once DeShone [Kizer] was out for a little bit we welcomed Kevin [Hogan] in, and he did a great job.”

(on his first touchdown) “It’s a very special moment catching your first professional touchdown, and hopefully by God’s grace there will be many more to come.”

RB Isaiah Crowell

(on the offense) “We have to go watch the film. I don’t really know what happened until I go and watch film tomorrow.”

(on his game) “I felt pretty good about my game. I didn’t have any mental errors, or mistakes, or anything. But I need to go and watch the film. I felt good about my game.”

(on the run game being better than last week) “I don’t know until I go and watch the film.”

(on the quarterbacks) “All of our quarterbacks, I feel, have what it takes to get the job done.”

DB Jamar Taylor

(on the defense) “It wasn’t good enough. We’ve got to do better. We have to stop the explosive plays. We’ve got to get back the ball for our offense. We know we have work to do, so we look forward to getting back in tomorrow and getting to work. We know we didn’t play our best today.”

(on being 0-2 in the division) “It’s very disappointing, but at the same time, it’s a long season. Baltimore plays Pittsburgh, so it’s still early and there is a lot of football to be played. We’re going to battle our butts off and try and get back in the race.”

(on if today was a step backwards) “No. We still had two turnovers. When we got them [Baltimore Ravens] to third down, we got off the field. I think they converted one when they ran the ball. But we’ve got to do better on first and second down. We’re swarming. We made some mistakes today, but we’ll fix it. We’ll come back. We know we have to get the ball for our offense. That’s going to be the focus this week.”

RB Duke Johnson Jr.

(on the offense) “We can’t turn the ball over. It’s basically that simple. If you turn the ball over, you’re not going to win games.”

(on his one-handed catch over the middle) “I’m just trying to make plays for my team. We were down; we needed a play. That’s what I do – try to make plays for the team.”

(on being 0-2 in the division) “It’s always disappointing, especially in the division. But as I said, you can’t turn the ball over. It’s a different game, and that’s our main thing, not turning the ball over.”

(on the quarterback situation) “We have to move forward. Take it day by day. We turned the ball over no matter who was in the game. The ball was turned over, and that caused us to lose the game.”

QB DeShone Kizer

(on his migraine) “My migraines are hereditary. They had nothing to do with what happened in the game. When I came back in the game in the second half I felt fine.”

(on interceptions) “I have to be much more accurate. Baltimore defensive backs are very good and they do a great job at catching the ball but a good quarterback has to be accurate to get his team to win.”

(on growing pains) “Coach Jackson has been real good to me. Everything is a blessing; the good, the bad, and the ugly. I have to do everything I can to learn what I need to do better. We had a good gameplan coming in. It’s up to us to execute.”

(on whether or not he felt in rhythm during the game) “I don’t feel like I was ever in a rhythm today. We tried hard to get things going, but Baltimore has a good defense that made it hard for us.”

DB Jason McCourty

(on his interception) “We had a good coverage called on that play. I was rolling to that side. I think [Joe] Flacco thought we were going to be in zone [coverage]. He just took a shot downfield, and I was there to catch the ball.”

(on the Browns’ defensive play) “We didn’t win. It wasn’t good enough. We didn’t do a good job of adjusting to quick changes on possession and we left too many plays out there. We expect more of ourselves. We came in here knowing the Ravens have a very good defense, and our job was to give the offense a short field; we didn’t do that. We can’t look at this as stepping forward or stepping back; it’s just not good enough, we need to do better.”

(on the Ravens’ touchdown at the end of the first half) “That was very disappointing. We needed to do a better job of keeping them out of the end zone and forcing them to kick field goals; we have to get better.”

LB Christian Kirskey

(on the loss) “We didn’t play well today. Point blank. Period. Offense, defense, special teams. We weren’t the best team out there. We knew they were going to pound the run using a lot of pull schemes and downhill running, which happened through the game. So, there are no excuses. We’ve got to clean up our play and get better.”

(on the run defense) “They outplayed us. They have a good scheme. I don’t like to make excuses saying, ‘We should have done this or that. We just have to play better.”

(on his sack) “Gregg Williams had a great play call. It just fell into my lap. I just executed the play, got past the running back and made the tackle.”

DL Trevon Coley

(on the defense’s play) “We came in looking to stop them. Do what we’re taught to do and shut them down. There were a few miscommunications which we look to clean up and get back to work tomorrow.”

(on the run defense) “I don’t know the numbers, but I feel as a line, we played the run pretty solid.”

(on his fumble recovery) “I was chasing the ball just like Gregg [Williams] tells me every day. I was about to jump on the tackle. I saw the ball squirm out. I picked up the ball and just started running.”

DB Jabrill Peppers

(on his play) “I wanted to contribute some kind of spark on special teams and be sound on the defensive side of the ball. No team has really tried us deep like I thought they would with me being a rookie back there. We had one today that got picked. We had two guys in the area and that was good. I lost my footing a couple times and missed some tackles. That aspect, rookie or not, has to get better. All in all, scoreboard says that today didn’t go our way. We know you can’t give the ball away four or five times. You can’t miss tackles consecutively. You can’t blow assignments and expect to win the ball game. We’ll just have to take this one on the chin, get back to the drawing board and get back to work.”

(on fielding P Sam Koch’s punt) “He is a hell of a punter. In pre-game, I think he was messing with me a little bit. They weren’t going that far in pre-game. They had me line up deep, and I was thinking that I would have to come up for the balls. He’s got a strong leg and got them out there. They have a good unit. Got down the field fast. I only had one returnable ball.”

(on returning kicks) “I had strict orders on kickoff. I disobeyed it one time and brought one out. We missed a couple of blocks on it. You just have to get what you can and protect yourself. Special Teams wasn’t what I hoped it was going to be today. You just have to be patient. One’s going to hit. When you get your opportunity, you just have to make the most of it.”

(on K Justin Tucker) “He’s one of the best in the game. He has great hang-time on his [kickoffs]. He kept trying to put it right in front of the goal line. I had a timer in my head, so when I caught it, I looked to see how close my guys were to me. Watching him on film is one thing but when you actually see it, it’s something else.”

(on the RB Javorius Allen 37-yard run at the end of the second quarter) “I take that one on the chin. I took a bad angle. I saw one of my guys closing in on him on my left. I thought I was going to be able to come from outside in. I guess we both took bad angles. My feet got stuck in the mud. I couldn’t get my feet under me, and it was just awkward. It was just all bad. That’s a play that I have to make.”

WR Rashard Higgins

(on the timing of being signed to the 53-man roster) “Early in the week I was a starting receiver, so I knew there might be a chance that I might get moved up. I signed papers on Saturday morning. That’s when I officially knew.”

(on helping the team in his first game) “I practice like I play. I came out here and tried to put my team in a winning predicament. That’s all I can do.”

(on keeping motivated after being cut during training camp) “To me, when I got cut, I used it as motivation. I told myself, ‘I don’t want to get cut anymore.’ I worked my ass off to get back on the 53-man roster.”

(on having multiple targets in his first game) “My number was called and I have to just make my plays. When the ball came to me I just made plays.”

(on the feeling of getting cut during training camp) “That was the worst feeling ever. I don’t want to go through that again, so I’ll keep working my ass off.”

(on whether to sign back with the Browns’ practice squad after getting cut) “The people upstairs still believed in me. When I was on the [Practice Squad], I worked every day like I was on the 53 [-man roster]. I just kept working and moving forward.”

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