Thomas and Whitner Speak from Training Camp

Thomas on n how the offensive line is looking right now: “I think we’re doing some things that are good and we’ve definitely got a long way to go in some other areas. This is a new offense for us.

Donte Whitner:

On how Cleveland Cavaliers LeBron James was doing at camp:

“He’s doing great. He’s tall (laughter) I know that much. Might be a little skinnier but he’s still tall.”

On if the two discussed strategies:

“Nah, we just talked (about) players.”

On how the Browns’ defensive secondary is looking so far:

“Oh I think that it’s looking pretty good right now. Yeah, they had a really good day today. I really didn’t do anything coach (Pettine) gave me a day off. Watching from the sidelines (the) corners really got their hands on a lot of footballs. Guys didn’t have any mental errors they’re out there running around, they know what to do. Instead of thinking they’re just reacting now. That’s always a good thing. So we’re looking forward to Saturday night.”

On how important is the resurgence of Cleveland sports with LeBron James returning and what it means to the city:

“Oh and I think that we signed (Power Forward) Kevin Love today or something, didn’t we? There’s a lot of excitement going around, but like I said before, with the Cleveland Browns this is just preseason excitement. The only way you carry this on is to do your job, do what you’re supposed to do, put a good (product) on the field on Sunday, come away with the wins and then we can continue to keep that excitement. I think the excitement that LeBron and the (Cavaliers) have is a little more warranted because he’s gone out there and he’s won games everywhere he has (gone).We have to continue to keep this going and that’s what we plan on doing.”

On how exciting it’s been to have great sports in Cleveland whereas it doesn’t usually happen:

“Yeah, stuff like this doesn’t happen that’s why it’s time for a change. We’re from here in Northeast Ohio: LeBron is from Northeast Ohio, we get Johnny (Manziel) here. It’s a lot of excitement, man and I think we pretty much deserve it. I think that a lot of people kick us around a lot, talk a lot of trash about us, but we deserve it. Hopefully we can go out there and put some wins on the board, Cavs put some wins on the board,(Cleveland) Indians put some wins on the board and we’ll have a happy time.”

On whether he knew LeBron before growing up in Northeast Ohio:

“We came out of high school (at) the same time; we’re the same age, from the same area: Northeast Ohio. I’ve been living in Miami the past six years in the offseason, he lives in Miami. We’ve been friends for a long time.”

On what he thinks of both LeBron James and Johnny Manziel playing in Cleveland:

“It’s pretty cool. All eyes should be on Cleveland this year and now we’ve got to go out there and make people want to watch us. Cavs go out there and handle their business, we handle ours (and) make people understand that Cleveland is pretty much back.”

On whether Cleveland could be comparable to the city of Boston, Mass. in finally winning championships:

“You hope so, but there’s a lot of hard work that comes with that. I believe that we have all of the pieces. Like every other team in the National Football League, they feel like they have the pieces. It’s just about staying healthy, it’s about not making mental errors, not making mistakes. Going out there playing fundamental football, playing physical and letting the chips fall where they may. But if we do all of those things, that’s what the good football teams around the National Football League are doing, then we’ll come away with plenty of wins.”

Joe Thomas:

On how the offensive line is looking right now:

“I think we’re doing some things that are good and we’ve definitely got a long way to go in some other areas. This is a new offense for us. It’ll be good to have these preseason games to go against a different opponent and get a chance to block some guys that aren’t wearing orange helmets. We’ve got a long way to go, but I think these preseason games will really help us gel and really help us get where we need to be when the first Sunday of the season starts.”

On how OL Joel Bitonio is doing:

“He’s doing good. He’s doing a great job. He’s impressed me so far, but he certainly hasn’t arrived yet. He’s got a lot of work just like the rest of us.”

On if he’s going to take his job:

“My job? Maybe, I don’t know. but I think he’s playing left guard for now.”

On if he thinks that the talents on the offensive line match up with offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan’s zone blocking scheme:

“I think so. I think overall we’ve got a very fast, athletic offensive line. That is what you want. Speed is really the key to run blocking in Coach Shanahan’s offense and I think we’ve got exactly what we need.”

On not looking phased by the appearance of Cleveland Cavalier LeBron James while everyone else went up to take pictures with him:

“I don’t have a Twitter account or a Facebook or all that stuff. I think it’s awesome having him out here. He’s obviously the best player in our generation in the NBA. To have him back in Cleveland is awesome. I’m hoping he’s out here a lot so maybe I’ll get to meet him the next time.”

On if he believes in synergy in a city where teams start to win at the same time:

“You have to have a good team first and foremost. That’s going to be our main goal, but I definitely feel like you get the fans excited. The Indians fans are the same fans as the Browns fans and I think that atmosphere can definitely help when you play at home. I think it can kind of spill over to everything you do with the franchise. You bring a little optimism in and I think that can make a little bit of a difference.”

On what his range is kicking a football through the uprights:

“I think probably just under 60 with the wind in my face, but with a little tail-wind, probably in the 70-yard range [laughter].”

On if he is the emergency kicker now:

“I may be going to number one after that performance today.”

On how much fun doing little things like having linemen kick extra points has been:

“I think one of the best things (Head) Coach (Mike) Pettine has done is bring competition in every single day to training camp whether it be red zone, goal line, first down, whatever we’re doing, linemen kicking. I think it kind of builds a competitive desire that burns inside of the team when we do that kind of stuff. It’s always fun to do things that are a little goofy when you make linemen kick extra points and stuff. It kind of helps the players get through the mental drain of training camp and the grind of coming out every day in pads and sweating it out and banging against the same guys with no end in sight.”


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