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Browns Postgame Quotes - 12/8/2013

Posted Dec 8, 2013

Cleveland Browns players and coaches address the media following their regular season game against the New England Patriots on Sunday, December 8, 2013.

Browns Head Coach Rob Chudzinski

RC: Good afternoon. Obviously, very disappointed in the outcome of the game. Not disappointed in the effort of our team and how they played today. I’m proud of the way they played. It was difficult. We can grow from this, however, and learn to play better. There was so many good things in that game. And obviously those are overshadowed by the end result. And obviously, the last couple minutes and how it came out. Again, I think the guys played extremely hard and I’m sick about the outcome of the game. I’ll take questions.

Q: Did you think it was pass interference in the end zone?

RC: I did not. I felt like those two were both jostling for the ball and obviously, the penalty was called. So, at the end of the day it doesn’t really matter what I think.

Q: Did you see what happened on the onside kick?

RC: The only thing I could see what basically on the replay. Wasn’t sure. My initial thought was that it might have glanced one of the Patriot’s legs. I’m not sure we had an opportunity to get it. I’m not sure who it was in there. We had a chance to get in there and get it, but they ended up with the ball.

Q: Did it surprise you that the kick went up the middle?

RC: Nah, we had seen that. We had seen their kicks, to either side, and down the middle. We were prepared for it. and it was a good kick. It was well executed by them and they had guys there. We had a chance at the ball. Just couldn’t come up with it.

Q: What did you think about the penalty on [Jordan] Poyer on the first touchdown of the two?

RC: Yeah, all I saw was him hitting the guy and I thought he hit him with his shoulder. I didn’t see any penalty there. Again, I didn’t have a great look at it. we will take a look at it when we see film.

Q: Chud, was Billy Cundiff affected injury on the final kick? Looked like he was banged up?

RC: His calf cramped up. He actually didn’t kick off after we scored the touchdown. Spencer Lanning kicked off. He was able to give that last one a shot, obviously, though.

Q: Did you consider [Spencer] Lanning?

RC: For that distance of a kick? No.

Q: What was Billy’s [Cundiff] range, before the game, going that way?

RC: About in the 52 to 53 [yard] range. We felt like, another 5 yards, and we would have had a shot at it in that type of situation.

Q: So Rob, this was just an incredible ending, what do you say to the guys afterwards, what did you say?

RC: I told them I was proud of them, the way they played. I told them, you know, that they competed, they did the things that we outlined, that we needed to against that team. Obviously the Patriots are a great team. I give them a lot of credit for what they have been able to do. And certainly Tom Brady has done that a lot of times in his career. You know, I told them that we can grow from this and that we can get better. And we can learn from this. We need to complete the same way and we need continue to fight in the same way that they are fighting. And we got to keep focusing on the process. There is a lot of good things going on. There is a lot of growth internally. And you know, it gets sometimes overshadowed by the outcome. But we have to focus on those two things.

Q: Those good things show up when you have good quarterback play. How do you access the way [Jason] Campbell played today?

RC: I thought Jason played very well today. He managed the game, managed the offense, made plays, stood in there, took some hits and delivered some big throws. He was very much into the game. And really, really, on top of his game. I thought he played very well. And again, I’ll go back and look at it and we will correct and access all the details of it.

Q: Did it surprise you at all, his success, with the short week and everything he was dealing with?

RC: it would normally, but when he practiced Thursday and Friday, it looked like he hadn’t missed a beat and I think I mentioned that to you guys the other day. He practiced like he hadn’t missed any time.

Q: what about [Josh] Gordon? What did you think of his game?

RC: he obviously made some big plays for us. Had some great run after catch underneath, he was able to get deep. You know, I think he is showing the things he has been showing and continues to be consistent on.

Q: The hit on [Rob] Gronkowski, what was your view on that?

RC: Yeah, I think again, he [TJ Ward] was tackling him low and just trying to get him on the ground. I don’t think there was anything to that. Clearly it looked like Gronkowski was able to take a few steps on it after he caught it and was running. And TJ just went low to try to get him on the ground. Of course, you hate to see any player ever injured. Gronkowski is a great player and I don’t know the severity of the injury, but I hope he is back. You know, you hate to see that happen.

Q: How do you describe the defenses day when they blank Tom Brady for a good chunk of the day and then in the end give up the late scores?

RC: well, we just have to look at it and figure it out. Where are the issues and get those things corrected. You know, again, Brady has done that many times. How many times has he done that in his career? He’s a great player and they are a great team. We had our opportunity and we weren’t able to close the game out the way we wanted to. But again, I feel strongly that this and these types of experiences. And these types of challenges says a lot about our team and we will grow from these and we will get better.

Q: Chud, when you guys scored the first touchdown, about 10 minutes left in the 3rd quarter, what’s the thought process when you go for two?

RC: You know, all the studies and analytics, and all those types of things, you come up with the two point chart. And in the second half, with that particular lead at that point, you go for the two points. Knowing New England and their ability to score and score quickly, to try to get it to a two touchdown game, is critical. And at the end of the day, it didn’t matter. We end up winning by one point. New England went for two on the very last play, they would have kicked the extra point if it would have been a one point game. Or you know, the difference would have been one point.

Q: Chud, the first quarter, I don’t know if [Josh] Gordon was thrown to at all. Maybe he was, but he didn’t have a catch. Was Norv [Turner] saying from above that he was open on every play? It did look like it.

RC: That Norv was saying that?

Q: No, that Gordon was open on every play and then you guys started going to him in the second quarter.

RC: I don’t know, I would have to look at it. We weren’t purposely not going to him. So, you know, I think that it was the play, or you know, the read, or whatever would have taken Jason elsewhere. Or maybe we missed him. We will just have to look at the tape.

Q: How about the injuries to [John] Greco and [Willis] McGahee?

RC: Yeah, Greco has a sprained knee and obviously he did not return, so we will take a look at it when we get back. And Willis has a concussion, so we will access him as we go forward.

Browns QB Jason Campbell

Q: You've seen a lot of crazy things happen in your short amount of time here. Where does this rank?

JC: This is right up there. Our guys, we talked all week about us being doubted as a football team and the growth that we’re trying to improve on. We just wanted to come out here and compete at a high level and finish our four games out of the season coming together and seeing where we can really be if we can put everything behind us and just focus on these games. I’m so proud of our guys: offense, defense and special teams, coaching staff, everyone came here to get a win. All week we talked about coming here to get a win and we feel like it was a great opportunity against a team like New England and for progress for our football team. To lose a game like that there at the end, it definitely stings.

Q: How did you feel?

JC: Just hurt. Just really hurt. I feel like everyone put everything out there on the field and like I said, for it to end that way, you know, it just hurts.

Q: You had a chance to look at the giant replay boards on Leon McFadden’s pass interference play. Do you have any comment on that?

JC: I can’t really comment on it. From where I was sitting I thought he made a good play. Things happen and I just wish that we maybe could have made a few more players earlier in the game so we wouldn't be in that situation. We’ve just got to continue to keep working as a team and keep progressing – that’s all you can do. It was definitely a tough loss, though.

Q: Some teams have tremendous home records and you wonder why sometimes. Do you think the home field influenced the officials?

JC: It’s just hard to say. It’s tough to win here. They have a great coach, great quarterback and like I said, they’re reigning champs in a lot of different years, so it’s a tough place to come in and win. We feel like with two minutes to go in the game we can close this thing out – maybe that would have been a big giant step for us. Like I said, some things happened at the end and there are going to be different opinions about what happened, but like I said, we've just got to go back and watch the tape to see what we need to improve on. Me looking at myself I just need to hit some of those easier throws early in the game and maybe we’re not in position.

Q: The 21-yard scramble that you had earlier was evidence to some of us that your ribs were feeling good. Is that safe to…

JC: Yeah, that’s the healthiest I’ve felt since the Kansas City game. After I played the Cincinnati game it was just tough trying to fight through it. Coming back in the Pittsburgh game I felt better, but I still wasn’t healed yet. Like I said, missing the game last week I think it healed my mind and it got a chance to heal my body, so I was out there to play and wasn't worried about trying to protect myself.

Q: It didn’t look like they could handle Josh Gordon. Is that accurate?

JC: Gordon is an outstanding receiver – he welcomes the competition. He knew that he was going to get double-teamed sometimes and like I said, he’s a guy that has so much confidence right now that he can win regardless. Like I said, we want to put out selves in a position where we aren't forcing it to him, but at the same time you still want to give him opportunities to make plays because he’s making a big name for himself in this league.

Q: Did you guys talk this week about trying to get Jordan Cameron more involved?

JC: Yeah, well we just talked as a whole – I talked earlier this week I believe [on] Friday that everyone feeds off of Josh’s [Cooper] success. I feel like the success that he’s been having, I think the other receivers and Jordan all feel like they want to have a piece of that kind of success. I think the way Josh has been playing it has been opening up more for Jordan, opening up more for Greg [Little] and [Davone] Bess. So, more guys have opportunities to make plays when you have guy like Josh making big plays and drawing attention.

Q: Josh will get more credit for that 80-yarder, but the third down one can you just talk about how clutch that was?

JC: That was big. Like I said, we were called [for] a penalty before and I was trying to throw it away and got hit at the same time and we got an intentional grounding penalty and that kind of set us back, so we knew at that time it was a critical play. Once I saw the coverage I just knew in my mind I was going to go to Josh to give him the opportunity to win and like I said, he went and made a great catch and put us in position to keep moving the ball. I thought that said a lot about our team on that drive because they scored and we had to answer. They had all of the momentum and I just feel like all of the guys in the huddle were like, ‘Let’s finish the game’. We went down and scored and had some big plays, and I think coach [Scott] Turner called some magnificent plays in that situation with the reverse – a lot of people wouldn't do it but he’s a guy that would do it and because he felt like it was a good chance for us to win.

Q: Did you think the field goal was good?

JC: It looked good for a second. When [Billy Cundiff] kicked it, it looked like it went right down the middle and all of a sudden it felt like a gust just came and pushed it back. Just for it to fall a yard short it was just like, man, when are we getting our break through – at some point hopefully.

Q: Do you recall being a part of a loss this gut wrenching?

JC: Yeah, I'd say we’ve had two already within the last… well two in the past two weeks and then three in the last five games. You can go back to the Kansas City game and the way we lost that game, so it's just been – we’re so close to being a 7-6 team than a 4-9 team. Those three games were just so close and coach [Rob Chudzinski] Chud said, we’ve just got to keep working and not get our heads down. Like I said, we’ve just got to keep fighting. I am proud of this team though, we show a lot of resilience and we’ll continue to fight these next three games and there won't be any giving up in any of us.

Q: Nobody gave you guys even a chance to be in the game.

JC: That’s what made it a great opportunity. We talked about it all week – if you want to get recognition and respect you're going to have to earn it and what better opportunity to play against a team like this on their home field and give us a chance to come here and get a win.

Billy Cundiff, Kicker
(On the final field goal attempt)
“If I could have that ball the rest of the year for every kick I would be extremely happy. I just know when I looked up I expected to make it. I don’t think it had any effect on the final field goal but 24 degrees and 58 yards had more of an effect on it. My calf cramped but we got it settled and it went away enough for me to go out and give it a good shot on the last field goal.”

Tashaun Gipson, Defensive Back
(On how tough the loss was)
“Anytime you lose a game in this fashion it’s tough, but when you go out and dominate one of the better teams in the NFL the way we did, it’s very frustrating. At the end of the day, the ball bounced their way and there was nothing we really could do about it.”

(On what he saw on the onside kick)
“The ball bounced a bit prematurely and you definitely want to go out there and grab it. I saw someone from our team flash in who had a clear shot at the ball, I believe it was Fozzy [Whittaker]. Unfortunately, the ball bounced the wrong way and they got it.”

Joe Haden, Defensive Back
(On the game)
“This was crazy and I have never been a part of a game like this. We have to give all the credit to the Patriots, they did a good job and did what they had to do to somehow come back and win. Tom Brady is really good and that team over there never gets down, I think with us we just have to figure out a way to finish. At the end of the day, it was not due to lack of effort. People were going after it and this one hurts for real but I am just so happy to be a part of this squad. Nobody gave up and everybody was looking in everybody’s eyes and we knew we could win the game the whole time. Nobody ever stopped fighting. We know we have the ability, but we just have to figure out how to finish.”

D’Qwell Jackson, Linebacker
(On what he saw on the Rob Gronkowski injury)
“I was in man coverage and I was looking at the ball. I saw his arms go up to catch it and I was trying to rake the ball away from him and he was tackled. I don’t know how serious it is, but I hope he’s OK. My prayers go out to him and his family.”

(On the loss)
“I’ve played a ton of games in my career and this is the first one that went down to the last second and it was bizarre. We played well in every phase of the game throughout the game and it just got away from us. I’m proud of every guy in this locker room. Every guy gave it his all.”

(On controlling Tom Brady until the end of the game)
“That’s what makes him great, he’s a Hall of Fame quarterback, you see the banners in the stadium so you aren’t out of it until the clock strikes zero with him. I thought we played well, he made some plays toward the end, but you have to give them credit, they made the tough plays down the stretch.”

Paul Kruger, Linebacker
(On the last two Patriots drives)
“You have to give them credit for what they do well. They are a good team and their offense knows how to get it done when they need to. I thought we played extremely well against them except for those last two drives.”

Leon McFadden, Defensive Back
(On how he felt about the pass interference play)
“I didn’t feel like there was pass interference, but all I can do is go back and look at the film and make corrections.”

(On how it feels to lose like that)
“It’s real tough. As a team, we are going to go back and make corrections. We are looking forward to making progress and we just have to keep pushing week by week.”

Jordan Poyer, Defensive Back
(On the defenseless receiver penalty)
“It is a tough play and any time the referee sees a defender go high they are going to throw the flag. It is a crunch time game and any time a referee sees that they are going to throw the flag.”

(On the message to the team being up 12 points in the fourth quarter)
“Just keep playing and don’t get to high or get to low. You just have to keep playing because it is a long game and it is Tom Brady. He is probably one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game. That was just the message.”

(On the calls going the Patriots’ way)
“We are out on the road. We cannot expect any calls to go our way, especially when you are playing the New England Patriots. You just have to keep playing and keep fighting. We will come back to practice this week and I feel like this group of guys is a good group and that they will get the focus going. ”

(On the Rob Gronkowski hit)
“That is what they tell us to do. I feel like it was a fair hit. My heart and prayers go out to Gronk because it was a nasty hit. At the end of the day that is the way they want the defenders to come in and hit. If he would have hit him high there would have been a flag. He came low and I don’t know what the outcome that happened to Gronkowski but it looked bad. It is just the nature of the beast of the game.”

Jabaal Sheard, Linebacker
(On how frustrating it is to see the Patriots come back)
“I just hate that the end of the game came down to that. We were scrappy and guys made plays. I mean, let guys make plays.”

(On whether they were comfortable with the lead late in the game)
“We knew what the challenge was. He’s [Tom Brady] been there before but we know we have a good defense and we had a chance.”

(On dominating the game and losing)
“It sucks losing no matter what, whether you have 5 sacks or 12 picks, it sucks losing period. Just for the game to come down like that, it’s even worse.”

T.J. Ward, Defensive Back
(On the Gronkowski hit)
“I think they ran a seam route and as I was closing on the pass. The decision I made was to make a tackle on a big man and unfortunately he got hurt. If I were to hit him up high, there’s a chance I would be fined, so I was just being safe. Gronk’s a big dude, he’s not small by any means, it just makes it difficult. My intention is not to hurt anyone, that’s not what this game is about and that’s not how I play.”

(On the pass interference call on Leon McFadden)
“I have no comment on that call.”

(On whether he knew Gronkowski was hurt)
“No, I didn’t even know until I got up. I thought he dropped the ball on impact and I was celebrating until I found out he was hurt.”

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