Burleson, Tate and Skrine Talk from Camp

Burleson's impression of QB Brian Hoyer: “I like him. He’s fantastic. He knows the playbook. I just said earlier he has a quiet swag about him. He has a lot of qualities. He’s really good. I like him a lot.”

Nate Burleson

On if the receivers can be successful even if WR Josh Gordon is suspended for the year:

“Of course. We have to. We’re professional football players. We’re brought here for a reason. I think everybody is motivated by different things. We have guys who were top five. (WR) Miles (Austin) is the man, and he came out here the last couple of days and shown why he was so good in Dallas. He wants to prove that he can stay healthy and make plays. I’m on the same page as him. I’ve always had a great start, statistically been on track for 1,000 yards and something happens. Whether I get injured on the field or reaching for deep dish pizza, I cut my season short. My job is to play 16 games and give people big time yards and big time games and a consistent receiver. You’ve got (WR Andrew) Hawkins who just got paid and these young guys who are hungry, so trust me, we’re motivated enough. Not only by those things I just said, but this is the best opportunity in the world. You’re playing in the NFL for a city that needs football, that loves football. I’ve been in the Midwest for the last five years. There’s nothing like giving a winning organization to a city that needs it. There’s a lot of reasons why we’re going to be successful.”

On where this receiving corps ranks among the ones he’s played with:

“That’s tough. I’ve got to be realistic. I’ve played with (WR) Randy Moss and (WR) Calvin Johnson, but as a whole I think we’ve got some pieces to the puzzle that can be really powerful. Miles is a beast. He looks like a linebacker. He’s fast. He’s strong. He snatches everything. Hawkins is a guy that is just a fantasy football guru’s dream. He can run any route. He’s so quick—just gets so open. I’ve made a few plays here and there in the league, so we’re good. It’s all about putting guys in a position to win. It’s less about us and more about the play calling. (Offensive coordinator) Kyle (Shanahan) is a monster with his offensive play calling. He wants to take shots. As you guys have been seeing, we’re catching some deep balls. We’re not nickel and diming. We’re getting that ball down the field, so I think we’ll be OK. This is one of the better receiving corps I’ve played with to answer your question.”

On how determined he is to help fill the shoes left behind by Josh Gordon:

“It’s tough. He’s not an easy guy to step in the shadow of. He’s the elite. I’m not going to be able to do it by myself. The goal is to come out here and play at a high level, push the guys and make sure we’re playing at a pace that’s so competitive, so intense that when we get out in a game it seems a bit easier. It’s a collective thing. Even though I’ve played with great receivers before, when we had success in Detroit and Seattle and Minnesota, it was because we had multiple guys making plays. We were able to decoy and get Calvin open. Calvin was able to decoy and get us open. It’s going to be a collective effort. Not just receiver, tight ends, running backs it’s everybody. If we can do that, that’s what we’re here for. That’s what training camp is for. It’s to get this playbook down, play fast and make big plays down the field. As you can see, we’ve been doing that.”

On his impression of QB Brian Hoyer:

“I like him. He’s fantastic. He knows the playbook. I just said earlier he has a quiet swag about him. He has a lot of qualities. He’s really good. I like him a lot.”

On his impressions of QB Johnny Manziel:

“I love Johnny. I do. Johnny is for real. I like confident quarterbacks. I like guys that are borderline cocky. Both of those guys have that. You can see it. Johnny makes a play. He walks back and he’s got a swag to him. His shoulders are bouncing. Same thing with ‘B’ (Brian Hoyer)—Hoyer would throw a ball and throw a little wink at you. That’s what I like. I like getting in the huddle and seeing these quarterbacks basically saying, ‘I’m the captain of the ship. Let’s hit the seas and let’s go pillage and plunder what we want.’ That’s exactly what these two guys got. We’re going to follow their lead. This is an intense sport. We’re not here to play around. We’re here to make the city proud. We’re working for that. We’ve got a long way to go, but we’ve got two guys competing for the same spot and we can’t go wrong either way. It’s exciting.”

On how difficult of a decision he thinks it’s going to be:

“I’m just glad I play football. I’m not upstairs so I don’t make that decision. The good thing is if it’s a difficult decision, either way it’s going to be a good decision.”

On how he thinks Johnny Manziel’s grasp of the playbook seems:

“It looks good. I came in early because I was injured over the summer. Injured guys and rookies got a couple practices in before everybody else. He was looking like he’s looking now. He’s whipping that ball around. He knows what he’s doing. He’s a rookie, so he’s going to make a couple mistakes here and there. You can’t expect the guy to be perfect. I’m in year 12 and make a mistake or two. He looks good and he knows the playbook. He’s just in a position where everything is over-exaggerated, but he’s handling it well.”

On how good the receiver group can get since the position seems wide open and on his position being sealed in Detroit:

“It was sealed, but at the same time, you’ve got to come in and compete every year. When I was in Detroit, they brought in (WR) Titus Young, second round draft pick. As soon as he got in I told him, ‘You’re here to replace me. You’re cheaper. You’re a playmaker. If you do your job, I should be gone.’ That was two years ago. It’s the same thing here. These guys are brought in here to make plays. I’m here to tell them straight up, ‘You should be looking at me like the old guy. I want to go out and outshine the old guy.’ The difference is I’m the old guy that’s going to try to outshine you every day. That’s the competitive nature of this position. It’s just like the quarterback decision. If we do that all camp and play at a high level all camp and if it’s a tough decision for the guy upstairs to make, either way we’re giving the best product on the field for the Cleveland Browns. That’s alright with me. I’ve been in the league long enough to know where my talent level lies and know that it’s OK to be competitive and motivate these young guys who were hungry because I remember when I was that age and I wanted to go out there and be the best I can be. It is wide open, but that’s a good thing.”

On if he’s glad he’s not one of the guys upstairs having to make the position at quarterback:

“Yeah, I’m definitely glad. I’m just glad that I get to catch balls from both of them. My job is to run around, get open and catch the football. If I have to make that decision they’re going to have to pay me a little more.”

On if there’s a wide receiver that stood out to him besides Andrew Hawkins:

“We just have so much talent. I think everyone is making plays. We’ve got a group that’s hungry when the ball is in the air. (WR Willie) Snead is doing well. He’s not necessarily young but (WR Anthony) Armstrong—that’s one fast, talented individual. He hasn’t really had his chance to shine in the league due to different reasons, but he’s making a big case for himself out here. I like the way he’s playing.”

On if people are making a mistake assuming that the receiving corps isn’t going to be great without Josh Gordon:

“Yeah, I’ll let them think that. That’s good. It’s great motivation. It’s the quiet storm. We’ll just keep working, and then when it’s game time we’ll wait for everyone to jump on the bandwagon. For us, we’re motivated enough. We don’t need to be concerned with anyone else.”

Ben Tate

On the second day of practice:

“There really wasn’t any difference. No pads on yet so it’s kind of the same thing. Offensively I think that we kind of took a step back we didn’t have as good of a day as we had yesterday. Every day is going to be a process; we just have to continue to get better.”

On why today’s practice wasn’t as good as the day before:

“Obviously, we had (errors). Guys were not going on the snap count, jumping off sides. Offensively, you just can’t do that. But like I said, it’s a process. We just have to continue to get better every day.

On whether he’s looking forward to putting the pads on:

“Sure, that’s what football is all about. It’s not played in shirts.”

On his impression of rookie RB Terrence West so far:

“I really don’t know, we’re only two days in. (You) can’t tell a lot. Football is played with the pads on so, to me the real evaluation of people really starts.”

On whether missing LT Joe Thomas today possibly hurts the chemistry of the team:

“I’m not worried about Joe (Thomas). We’re going to be fine as long as he’s ready to go week one. I’m not worried about him being out there right now. The other guys that are in there, that’s good because you never know when a guy is going to go down so you need those guys to get it down – to get that cohesiveness. I’m not really worried about that.”

On whether he still feels that he’s a great running back:

“Why would I feel any different? (There’s) no difference.”

On the vibe in the locker room at this time:

“It’s still early, so it’s hard to tell. I mean, of course you know they want everybody to come out anxious and fired up. You’ll see guys (and) the cream will start rising to the top once camp keeps going so that’s the way I look at it. When this thing gets tough and everybody’s dead tired you’ll see (which) guys are going to dig and fight. That’s when the team is made. Guys don’t make the team in the first two days (or) three days of camp, that’s not when it’s made. It’s made later on and when you get into preseason games, that’s when it really matters.”

Buster Skrine

On competing against rookie DB Justin Gilbert:

“I just feel like I’m coming out here and competing with myself. Just trying to get better every play.”

On completing the team’s conditioning test:

“Yeah, I’ve always been able to run, conditioning tests have always been easy for me at every level so It wasn’t that hard to me.”

On concentrating coverage on either slot or wide receivers:

“Honestly, I feel as if they need me to play (the) slot, I’ll play the slot. If they need me to play outside, I’ll play outside. I think that it will be more of a game plan type of thing. Right now it’s really early so I really couldn’t tell you where they’re going to have me most of the time.”

On whether coach Pettine has addressed which position he will focus on:

“No.”

On whether he likes the competition at each position:

“Yes, coach wants to make it a competition and that’s what me and (DB) Justin (Gilbert) are doing right now – competing for the job.”

On his continued improvement:

“Yeah, I feel like I’m going to get better every year. I’m becoming a smarter player. (Corner back) is one of those positions where you need experience to be able to play the position. Some of the best corners right now struggled their first year, or their first year playing, and now they’re in the Pro Bowl every year so that’s just how it is.”

On what he’s improved on most since his rookie year:

“My technique and just being an overall smarter player. I’ve always been athletic, fast, things like that. But if you’re not a smart player you can’t play in this league.”


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