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Chudzinski press conf. transcript - 9/25

Posted Sep 25, 2013

The transcript of Cleveland Browns coach Rob Chudzinski's Wednesday morning press conference.

Opening statement: “Back to work this week. Back at home, back in the division against an outstanding team. They’re extremely talented, well coached. I have a lot of respect for (Bengals Head) Coach (Marvin) Lewis. They’re well-coached in all three phases. They’ve won a couple in a row. Obviously, they had the huge win this past Sunday. You look at them from a team standpoint; you look at their offense, it starts with their quarterback Andy Dalton. I think he’s done a great job at managing the game, as well as making plays. They have a solid offensive line, two very good runners that complement each other and they’re loaded at the skill positions. Everybody knows about (WR) A.J. Green and what kind of player he is, outstanding player. They have a good wide receiver group, and they play a lot with two tight ends, two very good tight ends in (TE Jermaine) Gresham and (TE Tyler) Eifert. So it will be a real challenge for our defense this week. Defensively, they have an excellent scheme. Their personnel is outstanding as well. It sounds like a broken record every week, but again, the front-four that’s excellent outside in (DE Michael) Johnson and (DE Carlos) Dunlap and then inside with (DT Geno) Atkins and (DT Domata) Peko. They have an active group of linebackers. They’ve had some injuries in their secondary, but they’re deep there. We’ll see where (CB) Leon Hall is this week, but they have (CB Adam) ‘Pacman’ (Jones) and (CB) Terence Newman. Obviously, he made the big play in the last game for them, and (S Reggie) Nelson is playing great at the safety position. In special teams, they’re solid in all areas, two very good returners. This is a tremendous challenge for us. I expect our guys to be ready and respond to the challenge because we’ll need to be at our best as a team for this game. Additionally, Brian Hoyer will start at quarterback. (QB) Brandon (Weeden) will be out for this game. He’s making progress and expect that he’ll be throwing some and start throwing some this week.”

On when he ruled Weeden out for Sunday: “Just basically from the information we got yesterday. I talked to him last night.”

On if Weeden has thrown a football yet: “He’s going to start this week in the next few days with that and should be throwing a football, we’re hoping and expecting, by the end of the week.”

On confidence in Hoyer based on his performance against Minnesota: “Brian obviously was critical in that game. As I said before, I have confidence in all of those guys. I expect that Brian will be ready for this game, as well, and I’m looking forward to it.”

On steps to take now that Hoyer can be evaluated by other teams: “I think that our playbook is deep enough in terms of that and that we won’t have that issue. The biggest thing, really, I’m most concerned about is us and him getting better, us all getting better around him. Really, that’s the focus.”

On improved pass protection and Hoyer’s contribution to it: “He did a good job at getting the ball out, but the guys did play better and are improving in that area.”

On if Weeden was not getting the ball out fast enough in the first two games: “There was a little bit of everything, as I’ve mentioned before. I think we’re starting to improve around the quarterback, and that always makes a difference. I think (WR) Josh (Gordon) coming back made a difference, too. I think it’s a little bit of everything.”

On if leaving Hoyer in longer will make it harder to take him out: “Like I’ve said all along, we’ll just approach it from a week-to-week basis and see where everybody is at. We’ll make the best decision for what I’ve determined gives us the best chance to win.”

On if OL Shawn Lauvao will play this week: “He’s going to practice today. We’ll wait to see how he does.”

On LB Jabaal Sheard’s status: “He’s not going to practice today. We’ll take it day by day though.”

On WR Greg Little returning kickoffs and if he will remain there: “He’s done it before in college and was pretty effective at it. We looked at him earlier in the week and he looked good doing it. We’ll continue to work him there.”

On if K Billy Cundiff will kick today: “He won’t work out today, but as the week progresses, we’ll see how it goes.”

On if the team will need to bring in another kicker: “We’ll just see how Billy progresses as the week goes on. We have a plan and we’ll be OK there. Obviously (P) Spencer (Lanning), AFC Special Teams Player of the Week, we have a lot of faith in him, as well.”

On if he told Lanning that he throws ‘like a girl’: “[Laughter] No, I have a daughter. I wouldn’t say that.”

On TE Jordan Cameron improving: “Like I said, he gets better every day out there. He’s a talented guy. You can see that physical part of it right from the beginning. It’s just a matter of him playing more, understanding the game better. He’s really worked at it to make those strides. He’s made plays. That’s the bottom line in this league at any position is when you have the opportunity, you make plays, and he’s been able to do that.”

On comparing Cameron to other TEs with whom he’s worked, including Antonio Gates: “They’re all different. As far as Jordan goes, he’s very athletic; he’s very smooth; he runs faster than what it appears he’s running and moving; he has tremendous hands and ball skills; and he can jump and get up and get balls. He’s just learning the nuances of the game and the position. As he continues to do that and get more reps with the attitude he’s taking and growing as a player, he’ll continue to get better and better.”

On TE’s learning his offense: “It starts with, from a formation standpoint, they’re always moving, they’re always in different spots. Sometimes they’re playing in essence a fullback position; sometimes they’re playing a receiver position; sometimes they’re playing at tight end. They have to know the run game; they have to know the pass game. Ultimately, you want those guys to understand what we’re trying to do like a quarterback would. As they’re in the offense, the longer they’re in the offense, they understand those things better and better.”

On how Cameron is grasping the offense: “It takes time, especially initially. I’ve been fortunate, and I know (offensive coordinator) Norv (Turner) has been fortunate to have guys in a system for a number of years where they really can refer back and ultimately have that kind of knowledge. That’s what you want.”

On it being overwhelming to grasp the offense: “It does. It takes a little bit of time to understand it. I think that as they understand what we can do, and the flexibility that we have, if they grasp and the more they can grasp, they want to do it. I think (tight ends coach) Jon Embree has done a great job in teach him and working with him to get it.”

On how far Gordon is from reach the status of Cincinnati WR A.J. Green: “I think Josh, everybody knows, he’s a young guy. He has ability. I think he’s made real strides and he’s matured as a person. I see him working harder than he has. Again, I go back to April, I’ve seen a lot of progress with him. It’s not been perfect, he’s not perfect, but he’s working at it. Ultimately, this is a process. It’s a process of becoming a player, the kind of player that he can become.”

On Gordon can be in the same class as Green: “I hate doing comparisons on guys, just because they’re all different and they bring different things to the table. But I think Josh could be a number one (receiver) in this league if he continues to work and progress and be the player that we all want him to be.”

On if backing up Patriots QB Tom Brady has helped Hoyer’s development: “I’m sure he did. When you’re playing around or behind a great player, the things that you pick up and you’re able to learn from them in all areas. I’m sure that was very valuable for him. He’s a quick decision maker on the field, and we have to continue to work in that area with him. Certainly, there were a few times where he made some throws that we don’t want him to make. He’ll grow in that area. Obviously, I’m pleased with that part of it and the part of it and the part of it of being able to put bad plays and things that happened to you in the course of the game behind you, and go to the next play or go to the next series or focus on what needs to be done at that particular time.”

On if WR Travis Benjamin is struggling on punt return: “No, I think he’s doing fine. I think he’ll have his opportunities to shine and he has. Some people are kicking away from him a little bit or hanging it up. But I’m excited about Travis every time he’s out there on the field.”

On if it will be running back by committee: “We’ll work all those guys. Again, we’ll have packages and different personnel groups and things like that that the guys are going to work in and continue to work through it that way.”

On if rookie LB Barkevious Mingo will be ready to start if Sheard cannot play: “I do. I mean, I have all of the confidence. We’ve been rolling and rotating those guys. Mingo has been getting his share of reps, especially this past game.”

On Mingo against the run: “He’s done well against the run. He’s improved in that area tremendously. He’s a guy that plays with really good leverage, and he plays stronger than what you would expect or think because he plays with such good leverage. Obviously, his athleticism allows him to do some things and create some problems with guys that are trying to block him.”

On the good play of the rush defense and having an opportunity to evaluate it more against Adrian Peterson: “It always solidifies your thoughts when you see that. I’ve had that kind of confidence in our group, that group up front, an then from a scheme standpoint, what we’re doing with the running game, it’s not a surprise to me that we’ve been able to be effective.”