Coach Whisenhunt's Wednesday Practice Report



(on Jake Locker returning)

It's always good to have your quarterback return, but we'll see how it feels tomorrow, that's the key. That's what we've been consistent in saying all along. He did a lot today, and if it responds the way we think it's going to, then everything's good.

(on his expectations from Jake Locker)

Really the two things you worry about is just the soreness as it relates to throwing the football, and if he were to have to put it on the ground to brace himself or something like that. If it's sore or would get banged up doing that. That's why you have to make sure that it's healed before you make that decision.

(on necessary improvements from players)

Everybody's got to play better. It's hard to single out any one person, because there are a lot of things. First of all, we've got to quit turning the ball over, we've got to make plays on the ball defensively, special teams we've got to do a better job. I could go on. There are a lot things that we need to improve. It starts with third down. It starts with turning the ball over. It starts with making plays on the balls and cutting down penalties. We've got to do something in special teams.

(on the impact of Jake Locker having a game off)

I guess that's what we'll see as this week progresses.

(on how badly the team needs to have a good Sunday)

I think we all are. It's not just the team. It's our fans, it's everybody. It's tough. After you have such excitement after the Kansas City game and then to put disappointment for three weeks, it's not easy. It's not easy on anybody. Trust me, it's not like we're happy. We're working hard; we've still got that pit in our gut. It hurts. The thing that's hopefully different for us this week is being at home, going out and knowing the routine, not having to travel. We can make a play early and get some confidence, and maybe that's all we need.

(on having home games coming up in the schedule)

We didn't make a big deal about the first four games, but we knew it was going to be tough. It turned out to be that way. Some of it was our own fault. Knowing that we've got three out of the next four at home, that does have an impact on us. It's hard to say after the way we played at home last time, but that doesn't mean we're going to do that this week. I think we're excited to be back home, maybe have a greater appreciation for what that means and go out and play well.

(on playing at LP Field)

I'll tell you what, it's hard to remember. I haven't been there. I know it's only been a couple of weeks. The first game there, it's kind of a blur anyway, the first game experience. We'll see. I'm looking forward to playing at home.

(on simplifying the game plan)

It's Wednesday. We had a good practice today, but we've had good practices a lot of the weeks. We have simplified a few things. We've tried to make it so we can play faster, maybe with a little more confidence. Sometimes maybe that's just talking about it that will help you play better.

(on the Browns offense)

They're a talented team. They've got a good line. They do a good job with the run game. Everything's kind of based off of that. Nice play action game, they'll take some shots down the field. They've been consistent in moving the football.

(on Browns QB Brian Hoyer)

We had him in Arizona for a couple of weeks. I've always respected Brian (Hoyer). I thought he did a good job. He's a good quarterback.

(on what makes Brian Hoyer successful)

He has a good understanding of the game, of what he has to do, his checks, his reads. He plays under control, does a nice job with that.

(on the difference between performance in practice and a game)

I think the human element sometimes gets lost. When you get an onside kick on you, when you get a throw back to a quarterback where you don't make the tackle, when you have an interception that's in your hands that can change the course of a game and it gets knocked out, those are the kinds of things that, as we get older in this process and our skin gets tougher, those things maybe won't bother us as much and maybe we'll respond to them better. It makes it tough sometimes. If you think back to Kansas City when they missed that field goal, and we went down and scored a touchdown, the whole thing changed from that point going forward. You don't want to be a team that says you have to have something positive happen in order to play well, but that may be where we are right now. We've just got to work on playing fast and making a play.

(on players overthinking instead of reacting during a game)

You could say it's anything. At times we're smart, we make good plays. At other times we look like we don't. We miss things. That's normal in football. We haven't done enough of what we needed to do. That's captain obvious here, stating that. I think we have to just continue to keep our heads down and work. I know we're working productively on the practice field. We've got to do a better job of it on game day.

(on penalties this season)

Penalties are up for everybody in the league right now. That was expected coming out of the preseason, but probably we've had a couple of unnecessary roughness's that were not good for us; bad times of the game, bad places in the field. We've had some interference penalties, some illegal contact penalties that have hurt us. Even some inopportune offsides, like the one in the red zone against Cincinnati. It's really hard to say it's one area. It seems like we've just had some penalties at bad times.

(on if the Browns are a better team than their record indicates)

They're a good football team. I don't really pay much attention to the record when you're looking at them on tape. They're a good defense, talented, they have good offense, and they've got some weapons on special teams. They've been in every game. They're a good football team.

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