Here are some excerpts from post-practice interviews with Browns players:
Kicker Phil Dawson
(On if he felt he was mentally and emotionally moving on at the end of last season)- “I really didn’t know what was going to happen. I am not very good at predicting the future. I felt like that was it. Weather I emotionally said goodbye or not I wanted to make sure people around here knew how I felt. I guess that took me down a road here where in January I thought I may never come back. To get the news this offseason that I will be back and now to be here, it’s a surreal feeling, but it’s one I am embracing and looking forward to. I am ready to get after it. I am kind of frustrated that I can’t be out there practicing right now, hopefully that will all get worked out because I want to get prepared and have a good season.”
(On dealing with all the changes during his career with the Browns)- “The changes probably don’t affect me as quite as much as the other guys. There are two little yellow polls out there and that’s my target. Regardless of what changes are going on, my job really doesn’t change. There’s very little I need to learn in terms of playbook, some things change with kickoffs and schemes and all of that. Obviously, having the experience of having been through this before has prepared me. Here we are. You can see it positively or negatively and I choose to see it positively. I know the guys are excited about it and that’s easy to feel in the locker room so I am all in and I am going to do what I can.”
Running back Peyton Hillis
(On how day one went with the new coaches)- “For the first day and getting back without having OTAs or minicamps, I thought it went really well. As running backs, I don’t think we had one mental mistake or error so that was good. As far as the terminology goes, the coaches are teaching it really well. The guys are enjoying it, but overall I thought it was a real good day of practice.”
(On if success will get to him)- “For me, no. I have always been the same guy and always will continue to be the same guy. When I hit the football field no matter where it is, practice or games, I am going to give it my all. That’s one thing that you don’t have to worry about. I am going to do all that I can to win games for this team and for the fans. As far as success goes, the Lord humbles me, pretty fast if I try to get out of line, especially my parents. That’s not who I am, that’s not who I want to be, other than that I really don’t think it’s an issue.”
(On if Montario Hardesty returning and the addition of Brandon Jackson will help keep him fresh)- “I welcome it with open arms. I think with more talent in the backfield, like you said, it helps me stay fresh and gives us more talent. I am a very unselfish guy, I just want to win ball games. If they get a lot of playing time or if I get a lot of playing time, we’ve got to make sure we go in there and win ball games. We’ll let everything else take care of itself.”
Linebacker Scott Fujita
(On if he expected the lockout process to be that long when it began)- "It was a long process that wore me out at times, especially those last couple weeks. That part of it is behind me now and I'm just focused on the here and the now, and getting this team to be as good as possible moving forward."
(On how much of his career has been spent in a Dick Jauron-style defense)- "Quite a bit actually. I'm coming up on my 10th year now, this is my seventh defensive coordinator, and I've played in every combination or variation of defense there is. I've done a lot of this on both sides, I've played inside and outside in this system. It's a good system, it's fun, it lets guys play fast. I think it's a very safety friendly defense which I like, and I like the guys we have back there. I talk about D'Qwell (Jackson) all the time, and a system like this is built for a player of his talent. He is going to be so good in this defense, you guys just wait."
(On Usama Young)- "Exceptional athlete, he's one of those guys that can do everything on the back end. If you want him to play nickel coverage, he can do that. He can lock you down as a corner, he is big and has range. He has good leaping ability and great ball skills. I think they moved him to safety last season in New Orleans and body type wise and skill set wise, that's probably what he is most suitable doing. Awesome guy too, he was real deep in that community down there, real active and involved with kids. Just a really, really good person. I'm glad he is here."
Quarterback Colt McCoy
(On if things are different for him this year coming in as the number one quarterback)- “It’s a lot different. Last year, I really tried to prepare like I was a starter anyways, but coming in as a rookie that’s really hard to do, especially when you don’t get reps. I’d like to say that my mentality hasn’t changed that much but it has. You come out here and you have to be ready to play. I feel like I’m in good shape. I felt like the guys around me; offensive line, receivers, running backs, I feel like overall everybody was in good shape and ready to work. For me, that’s good. I need all the work I can get, but I felt like day one went pretty good.”
(On his impressions of Greg Little)- “He’s a big, physical guy. He hadn’t played in a year so you don’t really know what to expect. I know he worked really hard with us this summer. I know he has a pretty good idea of what’s going on based off what they ran in North Carolina. I am excited to throw to him, I really am. Today, I thought he looked pretty good, but then again the offense has a little bit of disadvantage because we were in shells. Defensive linemen can push the pocket and put their hands up so we have a few disadvantages, but overall I felt like he did good. We just have to keep getting better.”
(On coach Pat Shurmur’s message to the team last night)- “His message was that he wanted to have a passionate, productive football team. I think everybody took that to heart and really appreciated what he said. That was one of the first things I wrote down in my book, ‘Have a healthy respect for what went on last year but move on and we want to be a passionate, productive football team.’ That’s a good message, especially on day one. Like I said, we’ve got a lot of work to do, but for now we will go back watch some tape and we’ll keep rolling.”
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