Chudzinski press conf. transcript - Dec. 18

Posted Dec 18, 2013

The transcript of Coach Rob Chudzinski's Wednesday morning press conference.

Opening statement: “Our coaches and players are busy preparing for the Jets game. We’re very focused on these last two weeks of the season, and we want to close out this season the right way. We’re committed to do everything we can to get prepared to win these next two games. Obviously, that starts this week with the Jets. They’re a very solid team. I have a lot of respect for their coaching staff.

“As you look at them on tape, offensively, very versatile with big play potential. Their quarterback Geno Smith is a young, talented player who we had a chance to take a look at and get to know him before the draft. (He’s) developing. He’s very athletic and has a big arm in their offense and the things that he does there. (Jets RB Chris) Ivory and (Jets RB Bilal) Powell are two very good runners. They complement each other. Ivory is a very physical player, and Powell is one of their guys that’s getting a lot of balls and catching a lot of balls. They’re a good one-two punch for them. Skill-player wise, (Jets WR) Santonio Holmes and (Jets WR Jeremy) Kerley playing in the slot are two very good players and very good receivers and have been for a long time. (Jets WR) David Nelson also is playing there. (Jets TE Kellen) Winslow, as we know, is still plugging along and playing and catching passes and doing a good job for them. (Jets TE) Jeff Cumberland is a younger guy whose got some reps this season and shown very well. Their offensive line is very solid. It’s a good, physical group. They run the ball very well and do a good job up front.

“Defensively, they have an outstanding defense. They play the multiple fronts, pressure packages. Their front seven, there’s a lot of playmakers. (Jets DL Muhammad) Wilkerson and (Jets DL Sheldon) Richardson are two young, very impressive guys that can be dominant players and are showing to be dominant players in this league. (Jets LB) David Harris, I have a lot of respect for as an inside linebacker, very active and does a lot for their defense and getting them going. Outside linebackers (Calvin) Pace and (Quinton) Coples both are really good rush guys and productive and bring the pressure off the edge. Secondary wise: (Jets CB Antonio) Cromartie and then (Jets DB Dee) Milliner, one of the top picks in the draft last season, those guys are playing at their corner position. (Jets DB) Ed Reed, one of the best ever to play at that position at safety and (Jets DB Dawan) Landry (is) the other safety. Those are good players in the back end.

“Their special teams are a real solid unit, and their kicker (Jets K) Nick Folk is an outstanding kicker and has been for this season and has done a nice job for them.

“That’ll be a big challenge for us, again, in getting ready to play and going through that process. Our guys will be excited and ready to play. We’re traveling to New York, and we’ll be ready for the game.”

On DB Joe Haden’s status and an injury update: “Joe Haden, he will not practice today, but again, it will be day-to-day, and we’ll see how he progresses as the week goes on. (TE) Jordan Cameron will not practice today. He came in on Monday, and he’s in the concussion protocol for this week so we’ll see how that goes as the week progresses. (OL John) Greco and (TE Andre) Smith will not practice today, and we’ll see as the week goes on how they do. (RB Willis) McGahee has been cleared to practice and play so he’ll practice today. That’s all I have as far as the injury updates.”

On specifically when Cameron sustained a concussion: “He didn’t report [symptoms] until Monday so it was maybe late in the game but not sure exactly the play.”

On if Cameron is unable to play Sunday: “We have some other guys. (TE) Gary Barnidge has played a lot of snaps. (TE) MarQueis Gray, he’ll have a good opportunity, and it’s good from a timing standpoint: this last week was really the first time MarQueis has been 100 percent since he was injured back before the bye week so he’ll get an opportunity. (TE) Keavon Milton, as well, is another guy that we have at that position.”

On Cameron’s contributions this season: “Like I’ve said many times, I’m really pleased with how he’s jumped out and improved in such a short amount of time. He’s proved to be a consistent playmaker and really done a nice job of catching the ball, learning the game, getting open, understanding the nuances of that position and the versatility that you need in that position, and he’s grown as a blocker as well.”

On how roster moves have affected special teams: “I don’t know that it’s affected that. Those guys that have come in have picked things up fairly quickly. There’s always some things in terms of continuity and those type of things, but I don’t see that it’s really affected us very much.”

On why he believes the team will get better in the future: “I’ve said all along I believe in our plan that we have, and that’s a long-term plan for sustained success. I see progress, and although the outcomes and the wins and the losses aren’t what I or anybody else wants them to be, I see the progress, and it’s internal progress. It’s the things in developing what I believe is a backbone for success and future success. I’ve seen player development. I’ve seen growth from them in our system and systems. Those things give me the feeling of excitement, hope for the future. I believe we will win here. We have the right people. I think that the group with (Browns Owner) Jimmy (Haslam) and his commitment, (Browns CEO) Joe Banner and his commitment, to what we’re doing, I feel our best days are ahead of us, and it is a bright future here in Cleveland.”

On if this Browns can and should be a playoff team next year: “I don’t think you can make those type of predictions that early. Our goal is always to win. Our goal is always going to be to win a championship. Our goal is always going to be to make the playoffs. As far as expectations, as I’ve mentioned, the things that I expect are to see us working and moving in that direction and making the progress that I know needs to get done in order to get to those points and being able to do that.”

On players that have been instrumental and inspirational in moving forward with the wining plan: “I’ll give you some examples of guys I think that have jumped out this season, have developed and have come out of nowhere to have the types of seasons they are or see the progress they are: I think the obvious one, as you guys see and have seen, is (WR) Josh Gordon, who’s come a long way; I think of Jordan Cameron as another great example; I think of (DB) Tashaun Gipson is another example of guys who really came from not having played or not having played much to being in the forefront.  I’m really seeing a bright future for those young guys. There’s a lot of guys who you may not see jumping out the flashy-type plays; some of those guys like a (DB) Josh Aubrey, for example, or a (DB) Jordan Poyer, for example, those type of guys who I’ve seen a lot of improvement with, and I think have good futures, as well. I can give a lot more examples and we can go on, and on, and on, but those are the things that I see and those are some of the guys that I see, even behind the scenes, that you see that type of growth with.”

On similarities between DB T.J. Ward’s and Tashaun Gipson’s style of play, whether it’s as a traditional or non-traditional strong and free safety, respectively: “We need both of our guys to be able to function as both. I think that their versatility is good in that way that you’ll see. T.J. can cover guys and has covered guys down in the box; he plays deep. We’ve done the same thing with Tashaun. That’s an important ability is that versatility for those guys to play. Style-wise, physical make-up, those things are the obvious differences, but I think that with the combination of those two guys, they’ve done a nice job this season.”

On what he liked about NY Jets QB Geno Smith and why he dropped to the second round of the draft: “It’s tough to say, and it’s tough to speak to other people and where their draft boards are and what happens during the course of the draft. We went down and spent time with Geno. I really like him as a person. I really like him as a player. He has a lot of things that he can do and do well. It’s a process for young quarterbacks to go through, and he’s in the middle of the process right now of learning and working to get better. You don’t know until time how that’s going to end. It takes time to find that out. For us and our situation where we were, we were happy with (LB) Barkevious (Mingo) and what he’s been able to do and the direction he’s going.”

On DL Desmond Bryant’s status and if his condition affected him during the season: “I have talked to Desmond, and I’ve seen him a number of times afterward. He’s doing fine, and he’s excited because obviously, it was something that was on his mind and he was concerned about, but it’s past him now with that procedure being done. He’s expected to be back 100 percent and better than ever. From a mental standpoint, did that affect him? I know he was concerned about it so maybe it did. I don’t know. I can’t say that. Just telling in the pep in his step, he’s excited about the future right now.”

On if Bryant was the same player after being diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat earlier this season: “I think we saw signs of that. I know he was battling some nagging injuries, as well, so some of that I know plays into that. Again, I’m just excited about him getting back and being full speed and getting going again because he’s another guy with a bright future.”

On if it was a hasty decision to cut Jets WR David Nelson and evaluating Nelson on film: “Those are always tough decisions down at the very end. We just didn’t have a lot of time. He missed a lot of training camp so it was a difficult decision. I really like David as a person, and certainly, he’s been able to get back into it and being able to play. I’m happy from that standpoint for him personally that he’s been able to do that, but those are the types of decisions when it comes down to that point of, who you have, are they ready to play right away in games early in the season and then the rest of the roster you’re trying to balance with all of those things.”

On how impressed he’s been with Jets rookie DL Sheldon Richardson and what makes him a challenge: “He’s very impressive. He has a great combination of athleticism, quickness and strength and power. He’s played very well this season. He was obviously one of the top guys coming out, as well, that a lot of people had rated very high, and he’s lived up to that and then some.”

On OL Mitchell Schwartz having an up-and-down season: “I think at times, he’s struggled; at times, he’s done well. Some of those things you expect with a young player. I think he’s battled through some nagging-type injuries that may have affected him or have affected him. I think that he’s a guy that we need to continue to look at and continue to coach. He’s smart, he understands things and he’s the type of guy that gets better with the more reps and the more he plays.”

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