BEREA -- What was on the minds of the coaches and players after the Browns increased their record to 3-2 after beating the Bills 37-24 on Thursday night?
Here's a lineup of quotes from both teams.
Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski:
"Obviously, an exciting win for us and certainly a team win. Just watching the guys out there, another example of how these guys never quit. We never flinched in this game. Things went wrong, things not going good early. It was a back and forth game. (It was) just a real good effort and real good team effort. But the fans were awesome tonight. They were loud, they made a difference for us and really helped us. I have to give credit a lot of credit to Buffalo's team. They were in it toe to toe with us all the way and we were fortunate to be able to make some plays at the end to make the difference. I thought that special teams was key, obviously in the scoring on the play that (WR) Travis (Benjamin) scored on, as well as some field position things with (P) Spencer (Lanning) punting and being able to keep them pinned down in the second half there late. (There were) some big plays for that. I thought we protected the ball very well. We didn't turn the ball over and that was one of the keys going into the game. We were able to sustain some drives. I thought (RB) Willis (McGahee) gave us a spark. Obviously I think that there were a lot of guys who made a lot of different plays. You saw (WR) Greg Little, you saw (WR) Josh (Gordon), you saw (TE) Jordan Cameron, you saw guys out there making plays and doing a good job. We need to continue to work and get better. This was one game again and we'll go back to work. We'll meet tomorrow and review the film and get better. We had some injuries to report. Obviously (QB) Brian Hoyer was out early. He has a knee sprain, he's going to get an MRI tomorrow and we'll give you a further update on that tomorrow. (RB) Chris Ogbonnaya had a concussion. So he came out of the game and did not return. (DL) Desmond Bryant, we took him to the hospital for further evaluation and he had shortness of breath. I don't have any more information on that right now."
On Hoyer having torn ligaments: "Well he had a sprain. They're going to evaluate that, obviously in the MRI."
On what kind of shock for the team it was that Hoyer got hurt so early in the game: "He's been a big part of what we've done the last couple of weeks. I think it was a little bit of a shock for the guys at first. But (QB) Brandon (Weeden) came in and played real well. I think the guys rallied around him. In the second quarter we got rolling and were playing a lot better there. I can't say enough about Brandon coming in, and in the situation he did, not having practiced a lot this week and being able to play the way he did and get the job done."
On when he decided to have Weeden as the backup quarterback: "After practice yesterday, I guess it would have been in the afternoon or so. He had practiced. We had a walk-through the first day, so he was practicing the second day. He practiced with a glove and tape. He was taped on his thumb. He didn't feel comfortable doing that so on the third day of practice, he came out without anything on. So when he was able to throw the ball fairly well with that, then we made the determination yesterday that we would have him on."
On Travis Benjamin: "Fabulous. He's a real weapon back there and he showed it tonight. It was a huge, huge play and a great run. He broke multiple tackles and obviously you saw his speed. He's an electrifying player and he did that tonight."
On the chemistry between Brandon Weeden and Josh Gordon: "I think that we were able to score points tonight. Josh (Gordon) made some plays and everybody made big plays. I just think we have improved over the course of the last five games. I think Brandon (Weeden) did a great job. We will look at the tape and I will be able to go into more detail after I look at the tape. Again, I can't say enough about everybody, the whole team and the way the guys responded."
On Billy Cundiff playing well tonight: "He did. He's mentally tough, he's a tough guy. You have seen him out in practice and I have a lot of confidence in him like I said the other day. He came through big tonight, not just with the field goals but I thought the kickoffs were a major factor as well. I can't say enough about him."
On if he liked how Brandon Weeden responded: "Absolutely. That's what I have expected from him and that doesn't surprise me about him. For going through that (thumb injury) and coming back after watching Brian (Hoyer) do a great job for the couple of weeks that he was playing and responding the way he did says a lot about Brandon."
On the disappointment of losing Brian Hoyer: "I don't want to be too premature. Let's find out what the status is and see what the MRI says. Obviously any time you lose a guy and he has to go out of the game, a guy that has done what he has done, it's disappointing. Let's wait until tomorrow and see what the status of that is."
On if Brandon Weeden will provide a spark: "Whoever is in there, I would expect the same from. I expect them to go out, play and prepare and be prepared at that position to lead our team. It doesn't matter who is there. I have said before many times that I have confidence in all three guys. The team has played well and I think those guys have shown that in the last couple of weeks."
On Desmond Bryant leaving the game: "I don't know. It's serious enough that we are going to get an MRI on it tomorrow."
On T.J. Ward stepping up to make a big play on his interception return: "Obviously a huge play in the game. He has just been doing everything right. He has been playing physical football from his position and I have been real pleased with what he has been doing from a leadership standpoint. He was a captain for this game and come up with the big play. I think that's what impresses me most about this team is that when it comes time to win a game and make plays to win a game down the stretch, we have been able to do that."
On the rush defense on the long touchdown run: "We will look at it tomorrow. We lost contain on it and obviously it was a cut all the way back behind (the defense). We will look at it, check it out on tape and make the corrections.
DB Joe Haden
On such a bad start of the game: "That was the worst, we didn't start off too good at all. But we rallied together, we came to the sideline and we said 'come on man we gave them ten.' We spotted them and we needed to make sure we changed things up. The only thing that was beating us at the beginning of the game was just us hurting ourselves. We said 'come on let's tighten up everybody, slow down, calm down and let's get back into the game.'"
On how the sidelines were when Brian Hoyer went down: "It was definitely upsetting, he was doing a great job. He was scrambling to get the first down just trying to get the extra yards. It was definitely a blow because he was doing so well for us and he is a really good quarterback. He was controlling the offense doing a good job. But we knew we had (Brandon) Weeden coming back so we knew that he was ready. He was practicing this week like he was going to play so we knew that he was ready for action."
On how in the past the Browns might not come back from a 10-0 deficit: "This is a different team, it's a different feel, it's a different vibe. We feel like that at any time we can come back from behind. We feel like if everybody keeps slowing down and doing their jobs - offense puts the ball in the end zone and defense gets the ball back to the offense - we feel like that's the way it works."
DL Phil Taylor
On showing everyone how nasty the Browns defense is on national television: "It was a test for us with the rushing attack, they stung us a little bit, but we weathered the storm. Since we were the game on TV, people will know what we're about."
On the defense this year and the ability to bounce back: "Last year was more about finishing games. We weren't finishing games last year and this year we've been getting it done defensively and offensively."
WR Josh Gordon
On the first time since 2001 the team is starting out 3-2: "It's a great turnaround for this city; it's exactly what we've been striving for, for people to just notice us as something else. We've been wanting to turn that page in this city and I think that's exactly what we're working for."
On having to score a touchdown on the night you're hosting a party: "I don't even believe that's the case, you know, I think I may just go home and rest up. I'm kind of tired."
On juggling the touchdown catch: "Aaron Williams, great DB, got his hand on the ball a little bit to knock it up. He stayed focused on it and tried to reel it in. I know I had to make a play today and luckily that was the one. "
OL Joe Thomas
On Brian Hoyer getting hurt: "It's tough, you don't plan for. Obviously, they don't end the game when the quarterback goes down. Both sides lost their starter, but the next man in has to just come in and do his best. He has to move the ball down the field as if he was the first guy up. I don't know what happened to Brian, but Brandon did a nice job stepping in there. We have a little bit of time off here to get ready for the next one. Hopefully Brian can get healthy and if not, I think we have a lot of confidence in Brandon. "
On the team winning three straight: "It was a good team win. We have a lot of talented players and we play well together as a team. When the offense isn't playing well, the defense is picking it up. If our offense or defense isn't doing anything, the special teams come up with big plays. It was just a good team win all around. Getting the pick six at the end of the game sealed it. It was great, that's the kind of football we, as Browns, expect every week."
QB Brandon Weeden
On getting the call to go into the game: "It was basically, 'here we go'. I got a chance. Once I saw what happened to Brian [Hoyer], it happened right in front of me. This football team has relied on me. Whether or not I've been in there the past couple weeks, this team has relied on me. The guys around me played really good today."
On getting back into a playing "groove": "It takes time. That's a pretty complex defense, good front four, good defense. It takes time. I was a little rusty coming out of the chute, overthrowing routes. There's no excuses, I have to come in and operate. We have to run the offense just like we installed it all week. We did that for the most part, the guys played well. Big third downs, at times, a lot of areas we need cleaned up as well."
On getting down after he was replaced: "I didn't. I knew I couldn't, because regardless if I was the starter or not, still being the quarterback of this football team. Eyes are still on you, see how you respond, how you react. So I was upbeat the entire time, never let it bother me. It kind of lit a fire in me, I just need to get going, stay hungry. I couldn't take any days off, I still needed to prepare, still needed to watch tape at night. Just in case something unfortunate happens, like tonight, and I think I handled it as well as I possibly could; for the most part I did."
On when he felt he got back into a rhythm: "I think the long drive we put together, just getting into a rhythm. I think offensively we started to run the ball extremely well, the offensive line created holes for Willis [McGahee], he ran the ball well. It felt more in sync. A couple throws to Jordan [Cameron] and Josh [Gordon] on the sideline, the long third down, late in the game, kind of stand out. That was late in the game, I didn't get into a rhythm, I guess, until the third quarter."
LB Barkevious Mingo
On the big hit in the first quarter that "jarred" the ball loose for an incompletion: "I just tried to do what I can to help the team win. I saw him come across the middle and I just didn't want to let him catch it. I went in for the hit and got the ball loose."
On getting pressure on the quarterback: "We knew we had to get pressure, we wanted to take some pressure off of our DB's. They have been playing really well, but we just wanted to help them out a little bit more. We wanted to make sure the ball would come out fast and hopefully they could come up with them. They did towards the end of the game and the pressure helped."
On what turned the game around: "We didn't want to lose. We came together on the sideline and just rallied together. D'Qwell (Jackson) just said we had to play better."
On the difference when Jeff Tuel came in for E.J. Manuel: "They count on both of those guys to win games when they need to. For us, it wasn't really that we have it easier now; it just meant that we have to play the game that we've been playing. We needed to get pressure on the quarterback and make him make bad decisions so then we could get off the field."
WR Travis Benjamin
On the punt return touchdown: "It was a wild punt return for us. We knew that he just wanted to kick the ball out of bounds and kick it away from me. I knew once I caught the ball that I had great special team blocks and they were going to get me a crease."
On not scoring on the first punt return: "Yeah, first time I let him push me out of bounds so I came to the sidelines thinking I can't let the punter tackle me. So, the second time when I came to him I just cut back inside and I knew he missed the tackle."
On breaking Eric Metcalf's single game punt return yards record: "It means a lot, knowing that I can come in and give my team great field position and make that play; be a game changer to put my team up on top."
Bills Head Coach Doug Marrone
"I thought the guys went out there and fought hard. When you look at the game we gave up big plays. We gave up the big play on special teams, we gave up some big pass plays and we didn't make any big plays on offense. I think C.J.'s (Spiller) run was a big play that was good, but vertically, down the field we needed to make some plays and convert some of those third downs. We'd go ahead and put yardage up, but we've got to put more points than the other team up. We had a couple of injuries. E.J. (Manuel) has a sprained knee so we'll look at that and then, obviously, Stevie (Johnson) getting his back. When you lose those two guys it's difficult. Jeff (Tuel) went in the game, it was a short week, and he really didn't have a lot of reps. We got a chance to win the game at the end with a two minute drive down by six. They played three-buzz, buzzed the safety down before the snap and we throw a pick-six. Those are the things that happen. Unfortunately, it didn't go our way, but we've got some time now to rest. A lot of guys went ahead and played today that worked extremely hard to get back. Jairus Byrd told me right before the game that he was ready to go, but it was a coach's decision, my decision, to hold him out. So that's encouraging moving forward with him. Our guys all will have a chance to rest up and then we'll regroup and then get ready to play at home"
On E.J. Manuel's injury situation and his injury being determined a sprain: "That's what the doctor told me. I was under the same impression as you. I saw him working out on the sideline (and) thought we probably could get him back and then they shut him down and said, 'Hey, listen. We're not going to put him back in there.' We're going to take a good look at it when we get back to Buffalo."
On if there is a time-frame for Manuel's injury: "I don't know. Like I said, I was out there trying to hope to get him back and then they said it was a sprain and they've got to look at it. So as soon as I get the information, I'm sure you guys will get that information."
On the special teams breakdowns: "I think it starts out (with) hang-time, direction, and then we got out-leveraged. So, it all starts at the beginning, how it goes and you just can't have that against a good punt returner with speed. You saw that and we knew that going in. After the big return, the two returns, then we tried to make a strategic decision to try to make sure we kick the ball out of bounds. We didn't want to give him another opportunity.
On how much the short week hurt Jeff Tuel's preparation and if that was evident: "I'm not going to stand here and say it didn't. Obviously, on a short week, it's very difficult to get guys reps. We had two rookies. Jeff's a rookie and E.J. getting ready to play fifth game, but they went through the same thing. They lost a starter. I'm sure the second team guy didn't get reps, but he'd been playing. Did it hurt Jeff? Yeah, I mean I think that hurt him."
On how much it hurt not having Stevie Johnson in with an inexperienced quarterback playing: "I don't know about the experience standpoint. We had a lot of things in for Stevie in this game that we wanted to go to especially putting him in the slot. I thought that he started off well. He tried to push through it which I appreciate from him and we were going to get him some plays. He fought down the field to get the pass interference call. We had some shots to him and we really worked on it. I think when you work on something with a player during the week and you're taking limited reps on the short week, those things come into play, but I'm not going to stand up here and make excuses."
On what his view was of the play where E.J. Manuel got injured and if he would have liked to have seen him step out of bounds: "No, I'm sure the kid wanted to score a touchdown."
On if it is alright with him that E.J. was trying to score a touchdown instead of going out of bounds: "I don't think I'm ever going to tell someone not to score a touchdown."
On his decision to hold Jairus Byrd out: "Yeah, coach's decision. I think that I was happy the first time really that he did some things full speed. He practiced a little bit this week. I think it's my responsibility to make sure that we put a player out there that goes full speed for a full week. If it was a Sunday game I think it could have been different for us, but on the short week right before I was happy that he could do it and I appreciate that and now we'll get him in there and get him practicing and get him ready to go."
On how much Jeff Tuel's inexperience played a part: "Jeff played a lot in the preseason and during the week, a normal week, we get him snaps in practice and he prepares just like E.J. for the game. So again, he's the backup quarterback and his responsibility is to be ready to go in. Like I said before, with E.J. we have high expectations and with Jeff we have high expectations. Right at the end they buzzed down three right before the snap and for some reason he wasn't able to see it and wound up throwing the interception for a touchdown."
On if he felt that Jeff Tuel was ready to go in: "Yeah, that's his job."
On if he has the sense that the team will have to look at other quarterbacks just in case: "You guys are way ahead of me right now. I'm going to look at that. We'll talk, we've got some time. We'll get on this plane and go back. We'll talk in the morning and see what the doctors say. We'll go through that process first before we start going the other way."
On if E.J. Manuel is going to have an MRI when he gets back to Buffalo: "I would probably assume so, but no one has really told me that. I would assume yes, but I don't know."
RB C.J. Spiller
On having to play with an injured ankle: "I wouldn't say it was something I had to do. I was going through every option to try to prepare myself and compete. Fred (Jackson) did everything he was supposed to do. Sometimes you have to play this game injured. It felt good today."
On what percentage he felt he was at before the game started: "Right at 80%. I felt good. I felt very confident. We did around-the-clock treatment. The man said it's impossible. My faith said it's possible and that's what happened today."
On when they made the decision to let him play: "We made the decision around 1:00."
On the long touchdown run: "The offensive line did a great job blocking up front. The biggest thing is that I pressed the line of scrimmage as much as I could. I was able to get a jump cut to the left and saw T.J. Graham do a great job blocking the corner. From then on, I just looked up into the jumbotron. I knew my ankle wasn't 100%, but I was just seeing if I could outrun guys on a bum ankle."
On how he feels now: "A little sore, my feet are sore right now, I must say."
On having a long week off: "More treatment. I am not 100%. I am going to continue to do what I need to do to make sure I can get to 100%. Good thing we don't play until next Sunday. It's a good time to take advantage of all the treatment times and to rest up."
RB Fred Jackson
On injuries: "Yeah, I mean it's always frustrating. It's the NFL. Injuries are going to happen, a lot of key players that got injured today. You just have to wait for the next man up, rally around him and continue to push forward."
On how he felt playing a lot of the game while not at 100%: "It's definitely sore. It's one of those things where we are at the corner of the season where guys have to play. I am one of them. I'm going to have to go out and play injured. I tried to do what I could out there. I had to suck it up and play."
On Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller being the foundation of the offense: "That's what we have to do. We have to make this offense go through us. It's something we relish. We like the opportunity. We didn't do enough today. We made some plays and some chances where we have to make a lot more plays."
On the Browns defense giving them different looks: "They were doing a little bit of different stuff. Not anything we haven't seen. We knew we could get looks like that and practiced all week. We were able to handle it."
On leading 10-0 and slowing down during the second quarter: "That's the game. There are ups and downs in this game. We had to deal with them. We are playing at an opposing stadium where they are going to feed off the crowd. They were able to do so and score some points. We have to counter that. We didn't do that well today and ended up costing us the game."
C Eric Wood
On Injuries: "Yeah, it's tough. It's nothing we have been able to find a common denominator on. But shoot, you tell me what it is and we would give anything to find out. Our injury situation isn't great, but with ten days rest, hopefully we can get some guys back."
On RB's C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson coming off injuries: "Yeah, two gutsy players. We appreciate everything they do for us. Two great all-around backs. Having them out there was vital tonight. Credit them, it wasn't easy for either of them, but they both fought back."
On the multiple momentum swings throughout the game: "There were some big runs by both teams. Unfortunately, we fell short of it. I don't necessarily have an explanation for it. I haven't played in a lot of primetime games, but the ones that I have played in, the crowd can really get going and they were feeding off that. There was a lot of energy in that stadium tonight and I thought we did a pretty good job of keeping our composure and letting that fuel us."
WR T.J. Graham
On momentum swings: "It was a very intense game. We tried to get something going in the fourth quarter, but they got an interception and that's pretty big with the time running out. We didn't make the plays to capitalize on that."
On picking up the slack when Steve Johnson went out: "It goes back to when we had OTA's and the times in training camp when Stevie was out. We picked up the slack then. It's a good thing we had that time to work things out so now during the season we can handle it. I thought we did a pretty good job of picking up Stevie's slack."
On injuries: "We have to figure it out. We are pretty tough guys, but injuries you can't really help and they happen. All you can do is just get healthy and get back."