News

Print
RSS

Banner, Chudzinski press conf. transcript - 4/27

Posted Apr 27, 2013

The transcript of Browns CEO Joe Banner and Coach Rob Chudzinski's post-draft press conference.

Browns CEO Joe Banner and Head Coach Rob Chudzinski Press Conference 4-27-13

Joe Banner

(Opening statement)- “A couple things I think you already know. We signed (Davone) Bess to a three-year contract extension, so including the year he already has that’s four years. We have agreements with, we won’t have them signed so we won’t release any of the names yet, 17 undrafted free agents. We’ll get you those names as soon as we get the contracts back but until we do that we don’t want to put them out. That probably won’t be until tomorrow morning. We’re still working, we probably have two more spots to fill. I just want to talk a little philosophically about what we did. We view Bess as part of the draft and we were fortunate being able to trade back a couple spots to acquire him, keep the same number of picks and then as you know we were able to take those picks and trade them for future picks. The philosophy really is to treat everything we have, whether it’s a draft pick, an undrafted free agent, cap space, whatever it is as an asset and try to maximize the value we can get for it. We took our fourth round pick for example, traded back to pay for part of Bess and then traded that for a future third round pick. We feel like, for a fourth round pick that’s about as much value as you can possibly hope to get. He’s a good player, still good enough to contribute for a while. Again, he’s very high character, all the things that we keep talking about that we’re looking for. Then we were able to trade the pick and have the asset of a third round pick next year. That’s how we’re thinking about those things, what’s the best value that we can get out of each of those assets, with having in mind the idea of building a really good team over two to three years as opposed to just worrying about filling every single need that we could identify for this moment. That’s just kind of an overview behind the moves you saw us make today.”

Joe Banner

(On if they stuck with their plan going into the draft)- “We were open to the idea of trading for future picks if we could get the right value, but we also went in, I mean frankly I think if you had asked us this morning we would have thought we were going to use those picks. We thought we had good players identified but you start getting into the fourth and fifth round, I’m not going to tell you they’re guys you know that are going to be stars. But as we were able to go through and finalize the best trades, we were a little further in the fourth round as we got an offer that we thought was really good value for the pick as we looked at who was available, I think we had open mindedness about that possibility and then made the decision to use it that way.”

Joe Banner

(On if the plan all along was to improve the defense in free agency and the draft)- “Yeah, to a degree. We were trying to focus on making sure we got players that we thought made us better. I think the difference is on offense we think we have a lot of young guys who are not quite sure what they are going to be over time. So we were inclined to give them some time and see how they develop and then we’ll be able to identify where we’re at. On defense, we felt it was clear to identify what talent was out there, what talent we had, match it up with the philosophy we’ve been talking about and make some moves that will make the team better. It was a little bit of both.”

Joe Banner

(On why they traded with the Steelers who initiated it)- “We had so many causable trades. I think they called us first. Although we had multiple trade offers for that pick, including other teams offering the same thing and we felt that was the best trade to make. Time will tell who got the better of the deal.”

Joe Banner

(On if they have a philosophical problem trading within their division)- “I’m going to sound, I don’t know where this is going to lead, but I prefer to trade within the division. You don’t make a trade that you don’t think you’re winning. So if you’re winning a trade in your own division you’re even better than winning a trade in another division. Obviously, that can burn you from time to time. If you look in Philadelphia, we traded (Donovan) McNabb to the Redskins and everybody thought, ‘Oh my god. What are they doing? They are giving a quarterback to a team in the division.’ We thought we strengthened the Eagles, and in time we didn’t really do anything that helped the competitors. We try to make the best deal, it didn’t really matter who it was, but we’re also not afraid at all of making a trade within the division if we think it benefits us.”

Joe Banner

(On if the trade with the Steelers had anything to do with the Giants’ trade before that pick)- “That trade had nothing to do with anything other than our board and our own value.”

Joe Banner

(On if they had other 2014 third round offers for their fourth round pick)- “I don’t want to get that specific, but other offers that involved future picks. There were other opportunities.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On Jamoris Slaughter)- “Just looking at Jamoris, we felt good looking at his film from the year before, not this past season. Obviously, he is coming off the injury. We felt good medically from the research that we had done and he’ll be back at full speed. That’s still going to take a little time in him getting back into it, but we saw a player who was extremely productive, and very versatile that played on the slot, been able to cover people man to man and also blitzed and played back deep. He’d been able to do a number of different things and we really liked the player we saw at that particular time, and projecting forward, that he we would be able to be in the mix and be able to compete for the safety positions.”

Joe Banner

(On why they would draft a player coming off an Achilles injury after they cut Chris Gocong who had the same injury)- “I think the difference is player evaluation in terms of we are picking the in the sixth round and we feel like we have a player who has a chance to be a contributor – much more than you would get in the sixth round. Our medical staff was very optimistic about the medical part of it. We thought this would be good value.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On Tashaun Gipson)- “Well from what we have been able to see - very positive on Tashaun and his work ethic and how he has approached things out on the field. He has some good instincts as a player and solid skills. Again, he’s a younger guy and we will see once we get into pads and into real football, how he looks.”

Joe Banner

(On if there is any worry that the focus is already down the road when the 2013 season is coming up)- “We are not asking for a free pass for this year. We expect to improve. We expect it to be conspicuous. As you look at the individual players we added and the way the coaches bring them together and get them in sync, we are not saying that we don’t expect to be better. We are not going to reach all of our goals or fill all of our needs this year. But we think we will play exciting, aggressive football. I think it will be clear that the team is continuing to improve as I think it has for the last year or two and positioning itself well to have a chance to become very good and sustain it.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On if he has a different view because he is trying to win next year as a coach)- “Our goal is to win and it always will be. We will approach it from that standpoint. I want us to progress and improve on a daily basis. That is always the focus of a coach, you are focusing on today and improving today. That is the approach that we have taken up to this point with our guys and we will continue to approach it that way.”

Joe Banner

(On the quarterback situation)- “Quarterback is an important position. We are always going to be open to looking at the position. We are always going to be evaluating everybody and every option there is to get stronger there. That’s just a matter of organizational philosophy.”

Rob Chudzinski

“As far as the draft goes, I think the value and the ranking and rating and how we had players stacked with the timing of when the draft was just didn’t match up. As far as the guys that are here, I want to see and we want to give them every opportunity to improve. They have ability and we are excited about them as players to see them grow and how they progress in the system. We feel good about the group that we have.”

Joe Banner

(On if the Giants trading in front of them impacted them trading in the fourth round)- “I answered that question before, the players picked in front of us and around us had no impact on the decision to go ahead and make that trade.”

Joe Banner

(On if Jimmy Haslam was actively involved in the draft)- “He’s actively involved in his way, which I think I’ve described. He holds everybody to a high standard. He asks a lot of very good, very smart questions that are good things to make sure we think through. He is a very positive energy and force to have around. Everyone feels like we have his support. He just uplifts, you’ve been around him, he up lifts the energy around him. He is just a very positive, happy guy. He was here all weekend and it was great to have him.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On having inexperienced players at wide receiver)- “We feel good about that group. There are young players who have ability and talent. We would like to give them the opportunity to develop them and work with them. We were talking a little about Josh Gordon who was basically our second round pick this year. He is a young guy. Davone, we were able to get. We’re excited about him. He is a proven guy in this guy and has been very productive. He’s a guy that can win matchups and help you win particularly in critical situations in games. You look at Greg Little and the improvement he has been making. Travis Benjamin and his speed and some of the things he brings. It’s a group that we’ve had a chance to see a little bit on the field that we are excited about. I would say the same thing about the tight ends. That’s what we do as coaches is take those guys who may not have the experience right now and work with them to improve and get better. They need to get better in a hurry and am confident in our coaching staff that we will get that done.”

Joe Banner

“We think of our draft as the five players we drafted plus Gordon plus Bess plus two quality future draft picks. When you look, before the (Colt) McCoy trade we have six draft picks. What value did we turn that into? It’s Gordon, Bess, plus the players we picked, plus the two future assets that we have acquired and hopefully some good decisions with the undrafted guys. Almost every one of the really good teams in the league has some undrafted players that have cone through and contributed to the team. We view the last couple hours as an important part of the draft as well.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On Armonty Bryant)- “As you looked at Armonty on tape and we’ve had a chance to study him - actually Joe Cullen went out and worked him out as well. So we got to know him a little bit better than the cursory glance at a guy. He’s an explosive, speed off the edge, good sized defensive end who can apply pressure to the quarterback. He’d be that type of player in our scheme. He can put weight on. I think he is 265 or somewhere in that range. He has a big frame and is real raw. He’s a guy that you look at that you are excited about what he can be if he develops and works at it. Through the course of looking into his background with Coach Cullen out there, as well as our scouting staff, we felt like he is passed the mistakes that he has made and ready to move on. He has matured.”

Joe Banner

(On the philosophy of drafting two Division II players and how he found them)- “This is mostly the work of Michael Lombardi, Jon Sandusky, John Spytek, Ray Farmer and the rest of the crew. They did a great job getting us ready for this. It’s a matter of leaving no stone unturned. Sometimes you can find value in those spots. They found them, they identified them, we went through the process with the scouts and the coaches evaluated them. We felt they had a chance to help us and we went ahead.”

Joe Banner

(On if there is more concern because they are taking a bigger leap from Division II)- “There is a little bit more of a projection when you do that. You trust yourself, we had a lot of eyes on it and a lot of opinions. Probably had at least five scouts and two to three coaches on every single player that we seriously considered. Maybe even more on some cases. You just have to trust that collective wisdom.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On if not drafting a quarterback shows commitment to Brandon Weeden)- “Again, I feel good about the group. How all that plays out, we’ll see and know in time. I’m excited about Brandon and the progress he has made thus far, learning the system to the point we are right now, which is still very early. I’ve also been pleased with Jason (Campbell) and the role he has taken in being there. We want to give these guys every opportunity to succeed and give Brandon, since you are asking about him specifically, every opportunity to succeed.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On if they are moving forward with the intent that Weeden is the guy)- “We’re going to proceed as we are proceeding right now. Brandon is getting the reps with the first team and working with the first group. A lot of this will remain to be seen. We get into pads and we get into real football instead of the football where you run around in shorts on air, which is what we are doing right now.”

Joe Banner

(On if he can say now whether or not Josh Gordon was worth the second round pick)- “My answer is the same as it was. I think Josh has a lot of potential and we are excited about what he can do. We’re all going to see how he develops and what he can turn into. In the end that question will answer itself, I think. We’re certainly rooting for him to prove that was a great decision.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On if Garrett Gilkey is a guard or tackle- “He has played tackle and then played guard in the Senior Bowl. He has played some of both so we’ll see when he gets in. He has played primarily on the left side and we’ll see if he can play on the right side. We’ll see when he gets in.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On if Bryant is an outside linebacker or defensive end)- “More defensive end.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On what he liked about Gilkey)- “Big guy, good size, has really good feet for a big man and can bend very well. He went into the Senior Bowl and played very well against those guys and competed. Coming from Chadron State and competed against those guys. He has lined up against guys from Florida State, North Carolina and everywhere else and looked like he fit right in. It didn’t faze him one bit. He’s a tough guy and has the kind of attitude that we want.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On Gilkey’s past health conditions)- “We did all the research on him and we felt good about that.”

Joe Banner

(On their reaction to Quentin Groves)- “I think we said all there is to say about it. We’re aware of it, we’ve spoken to him. Chud has met with him extensively. There’s really nothing more to add to that.”