Brian Hoyer Sidelines vs SteelersOn how it feels to be 5-3:

“It’s pretty good. We came in to the week and knew we were 4-3 and (Head) Coach (Mike) Pettine always stresses it’s one week at a time so we wanted to get to 5-3.”


On the touchdown pass to Taylor Gabriel:

“Yeah, he was probably mad about that, but you know, it was a play we had run earlier and the corner had jumped. I think I had thrown it to Travis and he batted it down and jumped, so I was a little nervous when I saw that coverage with that same corner over there on the same play. I was a little hesitant, I worked back to my second read which is usually over the ball, and I didn’t see him. I knew I had time – I think it was Terrance blocked the guy – I felt there was no one out there so I just bought time. We got some big plays on that this year and that’s something I talked with the receivers about. I said, ‘If you see me looking around, just go deep.’ Gabes did a great job and got a touchdown. It doesn’t always have to be the way you draw it up.”


On the big plays from the special teams and defense:

“This is the ultimate team sport. It wasn’t always pretty with the way our offense was playing, but we’re 5-3, and it doesn’t say in the box score tomorrow, ‘Well, the offense didn’t play so great and it was close but they won’. It says 5-3. We just have to continue to improve, and obviously, get the running game going a little bit more and continue to do the things we do. Similar to last week, we didn’t abandon our game plan. We were able to hit some play-action passes, still run the ball and take advantage of it and make plays when had to. Obviously, the defense played great and the special teams came up huge with those two plays.”


On how he feels about his stats:

“It’s been a tough three weeks, there’s no doubt. You go from Jacksonville, who I told you guys was going to be a tough front seven to last week with Oakland – you look at those guys on paper and you have Justin Tuck and Antonio Smith and, like I said last week, Khalil Mack, one of the best players we’ve played against. Then, you come in here with a guy who just signed a $98 million contract, (DT) Gerald McCoy. The one thing I’ll say about him is – the production people told me he had some nice things about me so I looked. He came up to me during the game and he’s like, ‘Hey, I meant everything I said’. You couldn’t ask to see a nicer guy. Obviously, you don’t want to him to be on the other team, whose a dominant three technique in this league. To know you’re earning the respect around the league and he’s willing to say that not only to you but also to the media, it means a lot. We knew this three game stretch was going to be – you know, everybody marked it up as it should be easy – but we knew it wasn’t going to be. Going against tough defenses with tough front sevens and, obviously, losing (DL)Alex Mack, we knew it was going to be a battle. To come out 2-1 out of those three games when people probably thought we should have gone out and killed those teams, that’s the reason this is the NFL and it’s week in and week out. They’re good players, too. Their records might not be what they want it to be, but we all get paid to do this and people are going to play no matter what the situation is.”


On the crowd booing in the second half:

“Obviously, we need to play better.  Our fans expect more out of us, and we expect more out of us.  We want to play better and you never want to hear (the crowd booing).  When it is all said and done, we are 5-3 and we are moving on.  It is a quick week. I have to get home and start watching Cincinnati.”


On McCoy making the comments to him on the field:

“It was during one of the timeouts.  I think there was an injury on the field or something. They mentioned it in our production meeting, and usually, I don’t look at the media, but when a player of that caliber has nice things to say, I made sure I read it before I talked to him.  Just to give my appreciation for something like that.”


On playing on Thursday night on national television:

“Hopefully, knock on wood – Thursday night games haven’t been good for me, but I’m looking forward to it. This is definitely one you keep your eye on. Before this three-game stretch, we knew in the back of our minds that if we do well in these three, it was going to be a meaningful game down in Cincinnati. I’m anxious to get home – thank goodness we have iPad’s – and I’m going to start watching those guys. The other thing is that I’ve played against them before. This isn’t a team that I’m unfamiliar with. Obvioulsy, a division opponent, but at least I’ve actually been out on the field and played against these guys. (Vikings Head Coach) Mike Zimmer went to Minnesota so we’ll see if there is any variation in how their defense plays. We know it’s a week of another tough front – (DL) Geno Atkins – you can’t say enough about a guy like that. I can’t wait to get home and start studying these guys.”


On if there is anything special that enables the Browns to win games late:

“Just the team – this is the ultimate team sport. One guy can mess up on a play and it can doom the rest of the team. That goes for offense, defense and special teams. Coach told us last night, every player is 1/11th. You have to do your job. The biggest thing for us is, whether it is special teams making plays, our offense or defense, we stick together.  For a team who’s culture has been losing, I don’t know if a few years ago – and I can only speak for my time here – I don’t know if a Browns team wins that game. With every win and with every moment where a guy steps up to make a play, you believe in each other more and it really pulls each other together. You never feel like your down.  It’s frustrating, trust me, sitting on the sideline and the defense is playing well and we (offense) can’t get anything going. That is the mental toughness part that plays in. Move on to the next drive or next play, whatever it might be and keep battling. There is a reason it’s 60 minutes.”


On throwing two interceptions:

“That’s the worst, when you throw an interception. The first one, that’s all on me. I’m trying to throw over a linebacker. But when you throw a pick, it’s just a kind of luck in the balance, especially when you get the ball moving and get the third down conversion. It’s frustrating, it’s disappointing but me personally and our team as a whole is going to have that mentaility to keep pressing on like, “Hang in there, hang in there,” and know that eventually, we’re going to push through. Fortunately, we’re a team that plays like a team.”


On if he wanted to go for it before the half ended, rather than kick a field goal:

“Well, you have to be smart so you don’t want to give the other team the ball back or a chance to score. At the end of the half or in a two-minute situation, first and foremost, you don’t want to give the other team the ball back and give them a chance to score and then obviously after that you want to get points. So for me, I don’t want to take a sack in that situation, but I also don’t want to throw the ball at a lineman and have it be an interception. Fortunately, we were able to hit (WR) Miles (Austin) on a third down and we get some yards back and, got the field goal, which was huge because we came out in the second half and were able to do more after that.


On if he prefers to huddle or a no-huddle offense:

“Not necessarily. Obviously, when you’re in the huddle, things are happening fast so you have to make quick decisions. I guess that suits me well, it suits our offense well; but there’s also times where a call on the field or know when to pull it back and call plays that have worked all week long. There’s a lot of no-huddle plays that you don’t set a ton of reps at. It’s just on a sheet, and it’s in the arsenal, but you might not get a ton of looks at those plays because we’re not in the huddle every day at practice. There’s good things in both.”

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