Browns Players Post Game

Johnny Manziel on today's game, "Tough. It was tough. We never really established much early in the game to put ourselves in good position to put some points on the board. When we did, I feel like I made a few mistakes throughout the game."


WR Josh Gordon

On the loss:

“I don’t know what happened. We just couldn’t get the ball rolling.”

On probably missing the playoffs:

“You never know. Teams could lose. There is always a chance. I think right now, we are just worried about us.”

On QB Johnny Manziel being a spark for the offense:

“We just couldn’t get rolling. They played better than we did today. Nobody individually, but they were just getting off the ball a lot quicker than our defensive line. Everything else domino effected.”

On altering the game plan for a rookie quarterback:

“No. Everything was on point in practice. Everything was smooth in practice. Simulating the game is hard to be done. When you are out there thrown into the fire, you have to be ready for anything. It’s not going to look like practice.”

On national media calling him out for lack of effort:

“Yeah, it is surprising. Merril Hodge doesn’t work here or coach here. He has no say. Media is media.”

On being optimistic about the gameplan:

“We had a great gameplan. I wouldn’t have changed anything about it. It looked great. It was something new and something that nobody had seen before. We practiced it and we were ready for it. It just did not progress right during the game.”

On Manziel’s first game:

“It was good, but he also has to understand it’s the NFL. Wins and losses can come from anybody. He just has continue to work on it, don’t get too frustrated and not get down on himself.”

On Manziel having to be more patient:

“Yes, he’s a rookie. It’s his first game starting. You wish the circumstances were better for him, but it’s good for him to learn how rough this league really is. It’s really tough and you really have to earn your wins.”

On the lack of knowledge of who would be quarterback:

“Anytime you make a quarterback change as much as the Browns have, compared to any other teams that have had the same quarterback and same offense for the last four to five years straight, we are behind the 8-ball a little bit. We are dealing with a lot more than any other team in the NFL has to deal with. Despite that, we have to come out here and play ball.”

OL John Greco

On if being uncertain of who was going to be at quarterback affected the offense:

“I don’t think so because we have dealt with that before. All teams deal with it and we just flat out can’t let that affect us. Everyone is out there fighting and it just wasn’t our day.”

On if the offense seemed different with QB Johnny Manziel in the game:

“It is because it is a different guy, but we run the same plays and we tried to do the same stuff. We tried to build on what we have been doing all year, but for some reason, we just didn’t have it today.”

On how Manziel was doing throughout the game:

“That would probably be a better question for him to answer, but obviously, we didn’t do enough to help him. I apologize for that and we just have to play better.”

On where the ‘fire’ went after making halftime adjustments:

“Guys are still playing hard and you can’t take that away from us. It is easy to say that when you are not getting results, but guys are still fighting on every play. Nobody is giving up, and we have to do that these next two weeks.”

On if the Bengals had any idea of which plays were coming:

“I don’t know about that, but I’m sure they prepared for the zone read this week. They watched the tape from last time we played and so did we. They were a different team today and we knew that they were going to come out and try to make a statement. We knew we had to play that much harder, but we fell short.”

On if he saw encouraging signs in how Manziel was playing:

“Yeah, absolutely. The kid can definitely make plays. Like I said, we didn’t do our job as an offensive line to help him. This is not all on his shoulders. There are 11 guys on the field, and we obviously fell short. We have to do more to get him out of those holes.”


On today’s game:

“Tough. It was tough. We never really established much early in the game to put ourselves in good position to put some points on the board. When we did, I feel like I made a few mistakes throughout the game. When you sit back and look at it, just in the brief time that we’ve had, you tip your hat to the other team. When you get beat, you get beat and you take it like a man and you move on and you try to progress and get better. That’s what we have to do, but when you get beat you get beat. Hats off to them. They obviously had a good scheme and they were ready for what we were trying to do and it disrupted some of our stuff. At the same time, looking at my position and how I felt I played, I need to be better. I felt like it was a fail on my part for the position and it’s tough. It’s going to take time. It’s a progress for sure. The thing that you come out of here with, that gives you a little bit of joy is the way those guys in the locker room after the game, obviously everybody is extremely disappointed – we wanted to win the game – nobody wants to win in there more than I do. It’s tough to come out there and lay an egg like that and I put a lot of that on me. I’m not using the rookie excuse - it’s not me. Yeah, I’m a rookie but that’s out the window. I needed to play better. I felt coming in to today that I was absolutely prepared for today. Being out there, I never felt overwhelmed or that it was too much for me, but when it comes down to it, football is football. You need to make more plays than the other team and you need to play better than the other team, and today we didn’t do that.”

On Cincinnati’s defense:

“We weren’t very good on third downs. We have to stay on the field and we weren’t able to stay on the field. We put our defense back on the field quick a couple times and we needed to come out. They started strong and fast and we didn’t. That wasn’t a good start. Carrying over from that, we never got enough momentum to push ourselves into a position to really get a grip on the game I guess.”

On the picks:

“You know. You can’t throw the second one whether you’re playing in a Pop Warner league or if you’re six years old playing in the driveway, you can’t throw that ball. That’s a 100 percent on me. The first one, I saw what I wanted to see and didn’t have enough confidence in myself to let it fly. I saw what I wanted and I ripped that all week through practice and when it came down to it, just a split second hesitation and in the NFL, I learned hard today, they can undercut that and they can get to that ball. I felt like Hawk (WR Andrew Hawkins) ran a great route. The play was there, (offensive coordinator) Kyle (Shanahan) called a great play obviously seeing the scheme. For me I have to be decisive and trust what I see and throw it. I felt like I did that all week throughout practice. For whatever reason, a couple drives there I was a little hesitant on some throws. There was another throw right before that to (WR) Josh (Gordon) over the middle that was a little behind him. I felt like I made that throw all week. I saw the field fine today but when I came down to it, I just needed to throw the ball and let it rip, and I didn’t do a very good job of that.”

On if today was a surprise:

“Absolutely. We wanted to win. I wanted to come out here and put points on the board and win. That didn’t happen.”

On Cincinnati’s taunting:

“I didn’t even notice it.”

On the energy today being carried over from the practice week:

“I feel like we didn’t start quick enough to get the energy we needed. We were very pumped up before the game, and obviously, Cincinnati was, as well. They said after this last game that they felt like they could beat us and they came out and proved that today. Like I said from the very beginning, you have to come out and first things first give them credit for what they came out and did. They established running the ball they got off the field on defense and didn’t allow us to continue any drives and when that happened it was going to be a long day for us. We never could quite get over the hump. You get a good drive going, get something sustained and then you get a turnover in the red zone which is absolutely unacceptable. It’s tough sitting here right now. A lot of emotions. It’s never as bad as you think it is sitting up here right now so we’ll go back and look throughout this week, but I need to be better. I felt like I was prepared, when it comes down to the play you have to play better.”

On missing some throws and other opportunities that were available:

“I think they were there. I think there were times where we went through our progressions and didn’t do near enough as much as I’m accustomed to in the past. Like I said, I’ve gotten better throughout the season and felt like we got a little, but at the same time, still got around and moved around a little bit. I just didn’t hit the throws when they were there. Early on in our second drive, there’s another one that was just a little high to (TE) Jim Dray. Those are plays we needed to continue those drives when we needed a big play. We didn’t get a third down conversion until the third quarter to (WR) Josh (Gordon) down the sideline. You’re not going to win when you do that. We have to stay on the field and do better. It’s an all-around team thing. As much as I sit here right now and put this on me, I need to be better, and I felt like I would come out and play better and that didn’t happen. I’m disappointed and these guys are too. For me, it’s a fresh start and we can move on from here to try and build something to carry us into next year. The last two games coming up, we need to improve as an offense and build something for us to grow on into the offseason and into next season.”

On not succeeding in his first start and building for the future:

“I think this was the tip of the iceberg. Obviously, these guys, from management to everyone in this organization, drafted me and I think going into it that one bad start – I’m not going to be written off forever. As me and (offensive coordinator) Kyle (Shanahan) were sitting there in the late minutes of the game, it was teaching me and helping me learn and understand everything that is going on. It’s going to take time and reps. The best quarterbacks to ever play this game have struggled early. It’s tough for a young guy to come in and get accustomed to this league. Even the guys who play their best every week come out and struggle at times. It’s an ongoing cycle and for us we need to continue to progress and continue to get better. From the reps we get in practice to the reps we get in games, we need to work on those and hone in on those.”

On starting his first game and if the speed of the game overwhelmed him:

“Like I said earlier, I never felt overwhelmed out there. Things happened fast and you see certain things that all flash around really fast, but when it came down to it, we just didn’t make enough plays. I don’t know that it was ever too difficult; it was never too difficult. We just didn’t make plays when they gave them to us to stay on the field and move the ball and score points. That’s the name of this game: put more points on the board than the other team.”

On implementing the game plan this week as a process:

“I think that as well as my own growing process. We put in some new things this week, some things we haven’t done since training camp. Obviously, we put them in at training camp and when you put them in there you feel like anywhere throughout the season you should be able to put those back in and plug those back in and be able to run them efficiently, but it was just a little bit of a struggle for us today. The best thing is we have two games left in the season to go out and try and get better and end on a good note. That’s really what we have to do.”

On the Browns bouncing back from the losses to finish the final two games of the season on a positive note:

“What’s done is done. This game is over. This day is over. Come in tomorrow, watch this, go over this, analyze what we saw from this game and then wipe it. Then it’s over. Then it’s onto Carolina and it’s on to the next week. That’s what we need to be focused on. We can’t be sitting there saying, ‘Man, last week this happened.’ What’s done is done. That’s in the past. Now, it’s move forward and go out and win this game next week. I don’t have any doubt in my mind that we can go out and win next week. We just need to put a solid effort together, go out, play as a unit, play as a team and go out and get a win. The playoffs and all that might be whatever the situation may be, but for us, we need to have pride about ourselves and pride about the games that we have left on our schedule and go out and try to be effective and try to be efficient.”

LB Jabaal Sheard

On if the effort was the same as it was last month:

“No, I don’t think we came out with the same energy that we came out with last time against them. If our offense is going to go three-and-out, we have to make sure we go three-and-out as a defense.”

On if Cleveland knew Cincinnati was going to go to its run game:

“We kind of had the idea that that’s what they were going to try to do. We had a few stops, but we’ve just got to tackle and finish plays. They did a great job, though. Their running back was solid and their offensive line played well. We just have to get off our blocks better and finish tackles.”

On if it’s tougher when the offense doesn’t move the ball:

“No, I don’t think so. There were times when we had them backed up and they found big running plays and there was no answer. We’ve got to make tackles and that’s what the game comes down to. That part is on us.”

On how it felt to give up a big game to a guy who ran his mouth after the last matchup:

“Yeah, that’s definitely frustrating. He did talk a lot but he backed it up with his play today. I don’t want to say he did anything spectactular today; I think it was more on us. It was on us up front. We didn’t get off our blocks and finish our tackles today.”

OL Joe Thomas

On what went wrong today:

“We just didn’t execute. We have to execute the plays that are called and we didn’t do that very well today at all.”

On how much is on QB Johnny Manziel because he is a rookie:

“Well, there’s going to be a learning curve as a rookie quarterback making your first start, but not everything can always be blamed on the quarterback.”

On why Manziel was unable to help spark the offense:

“Lack of execution. I mean, if you don’t execute and don’t run the plays the right way, we’re not going to do much on offense and we won’t be successful.”

On how Manziel handled the huddle:

“I think he did a pretty good job as far as being in the huddle. There’s always going to be some hiccups along the way, but I think overall it was good.”

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