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Chudzinski conf. call transcript - Oct. 4

Posted Oct 4, 2013

The transcript of Browns coach Rob Chudzinski's Friday afternoon conference call with the Cleveland media.

Opening statement: “I’m really excited for our coaches, players and fans about that game. It was a total team effort. Defense, offense, special teams all really provided a spark in the game. I give a lot of credit, hats off to Buffalo. It was a great game back and forth, an exciting one for our fans. The fans were a real factor in the outcome and just can’t say enough about them and what they did to help up and support us in that game. Right now our main focus is on consistency. There are a lot of things we need to work on to be more consistent at. We’re back coaching them today and meeting and improving and working on the things that we need to correct off of the film. There are definitely some opportunities to improve. I can’t say enough about the locker room, the guys in the locker room, our coaching staff on a short week of being able to make adjustments in game time. Obviously dealing with so many injuries that came up throughout the course of the game. We’ll need to get refocused and start working on Detroit immediately. We’re going to have to do our best for them.

Let me give you an update. I just got the word back on the MRI for (QB) Brian Hoyer. He has a torn ACL that will require surgery. There is no other damage besides the ACL. Obviously he will be out for the season. (DL Desmond) Dez Bryant is fine; he’s back to normal. No problems there going forward. Other than (RB) Chris Ogbonnaya, I mentioned last night, had a concussion, so he will being going through the concussion protocol during the course of the next few days and we’ll see where he’s at from there.”

On being open to pick up another quarterback: “Right now we haven’t had a chance to sit down. We’ll sit down with (CEO) Joe (Banner) and talk through what our plans will be from there.”

On the disappointment of Hoyer being out for the season: “He did a great job stepping in and really showing what he could do with his opportunity. It was huge for us. This is disappointing. He was a big reason why we won those couple of games, but not the only reason. That’s how we look at it. (QB) Brandon (Weeden) I think stepped in and took over and really, the guys rallied around him. It was a gutsy performance. It wasn’t always pretty. I think he was still a little bit rusty, but he got the job done and he was able to help us win that game. Obviously that was a big game for us.”

On if the hit by Buffalo LB Kiko Alonso on Hoyer should have been penalized: “It was close. I don’t think there was any intention there. Brian was sliding and as he was sliding there was the contact. That was just an unfortunate thing. I think he just got caught up.”

On confirming if Hoyer has a partial tear of the ACL: “No, it’s a tear of his ACL. But there is no other damage. No other ligament or cartilage damage, which is obviously a good thing.”

On Desmond Bryant’s reason for leaving the game: “He had some shortness of breath and an irregular heartbeat. Again, we took him to the hospital. We stayed overnight as a precaution. He’s fine, everything is back to normal. We’re not expecting any issues going forward.”

On when in the game Bryant started to get shortness of breath: “I can’t say exactly. I can’t tell you. I’m not sure what time or what series it happened in.”

On concern that the symptoms of Bryant have come up a second time: “We’re taking precautions and steps so that it doesn’t happen again.”

On talking to Hoyer upon hearing that he would be out for the season: “I did. I talked to Brian. Obviously he is disappointed. But if you know him, and you guys have been around him a little bit to know how positive he is and the type of person he is, he’s already thinking about when he’s going to be back. I reassured him that as well. I wanted to let him know how much he meant to us and what he did. He’ll be back and he’ll make it back. He’s that type of guy.”

On difficulty in pursuing a quarterback in the offseason: “We’re six games into the season. I’m really just focused on this season. All of those things we’ll address down the road.”

On what Weeden showed him being thrown into the game so soon: “I think from a preparation standpoint, I sat down with him earlier in the week and announced that Brian would be the starter. We talked about him being ready and reacting to this positively, and he did. He came in, I thought he managed the game. Coming in off the bench is always a difficult situation, especially at that position. There was some ups and downs. I think he was resilient and kept playing through those and was able to make some big plays. The drive that he had there in the second quarter and then obviously, when the game was tied, a couple big time throws that he made for culminating in (WR) Josh’s (Gordon) score was huge.”

On the injury being harder on Brian due to being a hometown fan: “I think it is. I think it’s hard on him. I know he’s disappointed, like I said, just talking to him. But, he’s going to make it back. Again, he’s the type of guy who can overcome, and has overcome a number of obstacles. I have no doubt that this will be another thing that he’s able to overcome. You can already tell. He’s already moving to thinking about how he’s going to get that done and the work that he has ahead of him and all of those things. He’s such a positive guy.  He’s the kind of guy you just don’t doubt.”

On the run-defense struggles: “Defensively, I think a couple real big plays hurt us. Obviously the field position on the first drive and then the pass-interference call. I think you’re talking about the run, the first drive of the second half. We lost contain. (LB Barkevious) Mingo was trying to do a little bit too much. It’s a good learning experience for him. We have to stay in our gaps and be disciplined in that way.”

On Weeden having more preparation time for the next game against Detroit: “Well, I think it will help. You get out there without much practice time, you think about it, he really had one day and that was some work, but primarily scout-team work. Then he hadn’t played a couple of weeks prior to that. So I think that getting back into the groove will really help. We have a little bit of extra time which will help as well.”

On DL Armonty Bryant: “I’m glad you brought him up. There was a number of guys; we did have some injuries or some fatigue or just rolling some guys. So there was a number of guys that really stepped up in the special teams and defense. Armonty was one of them. He did a great job. He was able to put pressure on the quarterback; he got a sack. He had a chance for a couple other ones. But really gave our guys some valuable snaps in rush situations. I think there’s some other guys to talk about like a guy like (DB) Johnson Bademosi played outstanding on special teams. (DL) John Hughes had another really, really solid game playing on defensive line there. You guys talked about (K) Billy Cundiff last night. So there’s a lot of guys that really contributed and a lot of young guys that are stepping up and starting to see the field and make plays to make us win.”

On why he thinks Weeden will continue the Browns’ run of success: “Well, because we have no other choice. That’s what we’re going to do. Everybody that plays, regardless of your position, we expect to do well. There’s no difference from my expectations for Brandon.”

On OL Shawn Lauvao starting again and switching between him and OL Oniel Cousins: “That was part of the plan going into the game. Shawn has gotten some work, not a lot of work. So we did want to be able to substitute them a little bit. Shawn got back into it. That defensive front is really, really good for Buffalo. So it was a good test for him to get back into it. I think there was some things that were good and I think there was some things that we need to work with.”

On other injury updates: “Other than the guys that I mentioned, we really had no issues. Both (LB Jabaal) Sheard and (LB Quentin) Groves continue to get better. We’ll see where they’re at. This extra couple of days really helps us. They’re out without running and doing things. We’ll see where we’re at for this next week with them. Again, really other than that, there’s not a lot that came up from yesterday.”

On Desmond Bryant being able to play next week: “Yes.”

On being short-handed on the front seven: “Well, I think the thing that we didn’t have as much, at least at outside linebacker, was rotation. So those guys have gotten a lot of snaps lately. (LB) Eric Martin did get some time and (LB) Paul Hazel got some time. In the sub situations, Armonty got some time. So again, we did get some guys in there and they got some valuable playing time and some time that will help them in their development. We’ll see where Sheard and Groves are at and hopefully they’ll be back available soon.”

On how the team has shown resiliency going forward: “I can’t say enough about the guys and what they’ve been able to do, how focused they’ve been. You’re really seeing an identity develop of this team. It’s a lot of guys going out to do their job, playing together. They’re relentless, they don’t flinch. There’s great leadership that you’re seeing from some guys like the (LB) D’Qwells (Jackson) and (OL) Joe Thomases, but even the (DB) Joe Hadens and the (DL) Phil Taylors and younger guys like that, stepping up. You know, (WR) Davone Bess, who quietly goes about doing his job and sets such a good example for guys. So there’s a lot of positives. I can’t say enough about the guys in the locker room and how they feel about each other and how hard they play for each other.”

On finding it unusual that Josh Gordon was telling Weeden to relax during the game: “No, I think that overall, I think we were excited to come out and play a little bit. Probably too hyped up early on. Sometimes when that happens, guys try to do too much. Then we were able to settle in and play better. It was an interesting game from a standpoint of just how it was a game of runs. They came out and scored 10 right away, then we came back and scored 17, then they scored 14 and we scored 20. We want to try to be more consistent throughout the course of the game. But one thing that we definitely did do was kept fighting and kept playing. Again, it was a great game and I give Buffalo a lot of credit.”

On the chemistry of the team: “I think those guys, you see it. I think what you’re getting at is the support that they have for each other. They have each other’s back. It’s great from that standpoint. You don’t see an offense versus a defense, or where you have these divisions, or position or side of the ball. Everybody is just real positive. You see guys supporting each other from the opposite sides of the ball and they rally around each other. It’s a good thing to have when you’re in a team sport for sure, a lot of young guys who are learning how to play and getting better as we go.”               

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