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Chudzinski press conf. transcript - Dec. 13

Posted Dec 13, 2013

The transcript of Coach Rob Chudzinski's Friday afternoon press conference.

Opening statement: “We’ve had a good week of preparation. I’m proud of the way both our coaches and players have responded to the ups and downs of the season. This is certainly a big challenge for us this week against the Bears. We’re excited about getting back out in front of our fans out at FirstEnergy Stadium and looking forward to the opportunity to play them. Let’s go right to questions. Actually, let me say, as far as the injury goes, (RB Willis) McGahee, (OL John) Greco and (TE) Andre Smith are all out for this game. (QB Brandon) Weeden has been cleared for this game. Now I’ll take questions.”

On when Weeden was cleared to play: “He was cleared yesterday.”

On if Weeden will be the No. 2 quarterback: “He’ll be the No. 2.”

On if OL Jason Pinkston will start at left guard in place of Greco: “Pinkston will start at left guard.”

On how nice it is to get Pinkston back on the field: “Yeah, it is. It’s been a long road, a tough road for him. Going back to the embolism and then getting back to the point in training camp where he was feeling better and you can see him getting back to normal. Then he has the high-ankle sprain. So we got him back and he’s been through a lot of that. I’ve really been impressed with his attitude, how he’s worked, the weight room, all the extra things, the rehab; he was in there non-stop. Just in the game, you could see him excited about playing again, so I feel good for him. He did a good job last week and he’s had a good week of practice.”

On how he plans to tweak the gameplan: “Well, we go into every game with the same basic philosophy. We want to be balanced and attack a team however we can to move the ball, and that’s critical this week, with the type of offense that Chicago has and the amount of points they put on the board. Last week they didn’t even punt, so hopefully we can get them to punt this week. Certainly our offense and having success on offense is critical.”

On the surprising amount of fight in this team, considering a 4-9 record: “Well, I think it says a lot about them and the type of guys we have on the team, and their mindset, the mindset that we’ve developed as a team and the direction that they feel like we’re going, that we are going. Every time you get a chance to step out on the field it’s an opportunity to play and our guys are excited about competing. It’s how they approach every week.”

On the challenges of facing Bears QB Jay Cutler as opposed to Bears QB Josh McCown: “Well, he’s a great player, certainly, and he’s been a Pro Bowler and had a lot of success in this league. Strong arm, he can run around, he can make plays, he’s functioned and played extremely well in their system, as McCown has as well. It’s either guy, whoever it is or whoever it was in terms of a decision, it doesn’t really matter. They’ve been so effective this season, and it’s a big challenge for us overall.”

On why LB Paul Kruger, LB Jabaal Sheard and LB Barkevious Mingo were able to rush Tom Brady so effectively last week and how important it is for them to finish the season in strong fashion: “Well it’s been important. It’s been an emphasis for us. We’ve obviously been able to get some pressure on the quarterback, when we’re blitzing, but for the last few weeks we really wanted to emphasize getting pressure on the quarterback with a four-man rush to do that. So we really focused on the one-on-one, the techniques and got a lot of extra work in that regard. Last week it paid off and hopefully that continues.”

On how important RB Chis Ogbonnaya’s versatility is to the team: “He’s an extremely valuable guy on a team, the type of guy that every team needs. Can do a lot of different things, he just brings his lunchpail to work every day, and regardless of what the role is, whether it’s fullback, whether it’s tailback, whether it’s special teams, whether he’s catching, whether he’s blocking, whether he’s running the ball, he does all of those things well, and has a great attitude. The guys have a lot of respect for him. It’s nice to have a guy, especially during the course of an NFL season, when there’s injuries, that can fill in at a lot of different places.”

On if Andre Smith’s injury is serious: “We’ll have to see. He strained his calf. He’s out this week and we’ll rehab and we’ll see how it goes from here.”

On whether Smith injured his calf in practice Thursday: “In practice.”

On what it is about offensive coordinator Norv Turner’s system that allows him to have continuous success at quarterback: “Well I think overall, the system is a quarterback-friendly system, a system that’s geared toward the quarterbacks. I think a lot of it has to do with Norv’s knowledge, understanding of the position and his ability to coach and teach and communicate, that you see through the course of the years, the kind of success that he has with his guys.”

On the importance of balance in the passing game: “It’s real important and as people look to us and look at what we’re doing and pointing more and more to (WR) Josh (Gordon) or to (TE) Jordan (Cameron) that you have other guys able to step up. Whether that’s in the run game or whether that’s in the pass game and it being other guys, they’re going to get opportunities. It happens a lot of times in cycles where guys get more opportunities in one game or another, and them responding and our ability to move the ball in different ways with different guys is the key to ultimately succeeding on offense.”