Are you excited to have ham tomorrow?
“I am. It was a big thing last year when I said I liked ham.”
It was a pretty big deal…
“Yeah. I’m excited for the whole Thanksgiving meal.”
Are your parents in town?
“No, just my family here. And some of the guys from the team come over. It’s a nice relaxing thanksgiving.”
With the Cleveland Browns coming to town this weekend, is it helpful to have their former coach, Hue Jackson, on your coaching staff?
“Yeah. He obviously knows them well. He knows what they’ve done, and he can give us some insights on some stuff. For us, we’re trying to handle it the same way, see what they do on tape and go from there.”
There’s a rumor going around A.J. Green will be back this week. How much have you missed having him out there?
"We want him out there all the time. It would be nice to get him back, but we’ll see how it goes. I’ll definitely welcome him back pretty easily (laughs).”
Offensive coordinator Bill Lazor noted the other day how receivers are getting grabbed a lot by opposing defenders. As a quarterback, how do you handle that?
“You still just have to put it (the ball) on them. They may not have as much speed out of breaks and those different things because of it. You have to know where to put it. I don’t want to say you can anticipate it, but you can see where the DB is, where route is going and throw it accordingly. You have to trust they (WRs) are going to win and run through the grab.”
Are those things, where your receivers are getting grabbed, even more frustrating when you go back and watch it on film? Particularly if it’s a play that may not have gone right...
“Yeah, for sure. There ‘s specifically one in Atlanta where he took his jersey off and they didn’t call it. It’s really frustrating. You see the grab at the end of the game last week and it didn’t get called. We have to expect it’s not going to get called. For us, we just have to go out there and, regardless of what happens, and we have to make the play.”
Do you have to hold the ball longer to wait and see if the receiver is going to break out of a grab? Does it affect timing?
“No. You still have to play on time. You can usually tell when there’s going to be contact and when there’s going to be something, and you can throw the ball accordingly to that. They may not be as far out of their break as they would’ve been if they didn’t get grabbed, but you just have to trust what you see out there and put it in the spot you think he’s going to be at.”
The Browns defense has a lot of passes defensed this season. Are they a “handsy” group, in terms of coverage?
“They’ve done a good job. It definitely shows up on tape. It’s just about being accurate with the ball, finding windows, changing arm angles and different things up front if they’re going to get their hands up.”
Do they grab guys on routes? Are they in that category?
“It’s probably not what they’re known for, but it happens at times.”
Does that affect or change how you do things at practice?
“No, it doesn’t change anything.”
The Browns’ defense causes a lot of turnovers. Does head coach Greg Williams, who’s also their defensive coordinator, change his looks as much as Baltimore did?
“He’s got a unique way of playing. It’s different than the way other teams play, with just the style they play and how they line up and different things. You have to be ready for the different looks that they give, because it’s just not a standard look out there. That’s the challenge for us this week, is getting used to the new look of their defense.”