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Chudzinski press conf. transcript - Dec. 2

Posted Dec 2, 2013

The transcript of coach Rob Chudzinski's Monday afternoon press conference.

Opening statement: “Not satisfied with our performance yesterday, as I mentioned last night. Losing is not acceptable. It’s not a mystery, there’s no curse, it’s not a matter of bad luck. There’s tangible reasons why we lost that game. We made critical mistakes and breakdowns that we can control as coaches and as players. That’s the tough thing. There’s a lot of good things happening. I see good signs in the direction and the progress this team is making in a lot of ways and the improvement there. Those things get overshadowed by the end results. Obviously, that’s the tough thing, especially in the last few weeks. But this is what I came here for. We have a plan. I believe in that plan and I’ll navigate us through this to the better days that lay ahead for us. I’m fully committed and undaunted in doing that.”

On if QB Brandon Weeden has a concussion: “He does. He has a concussion so he’s in the NFL protocol. We sent him home today.”

On if he knows when Weeden suffered the concussion: “I don’t. I don’t know exactly when it happened.”

On how QB Jason Campbell is feeling: “Jason’s getting better. He’s been cleared for activity, not practice, but for activity and we’ll see how he progresses in the next couple of days.”

On if Campbell is able to practice on Wednesday: “It goes by a day-to-day basis, so we’ll have to see.”

On how he plans to prepare for the next game regarding a quarterback: “Again, these next 24-48 hours will be key. We have a number of plans, contingency plans, and we’ll see, as I get more information, how that plays out. But all of the possibilities are open right now.”

On why he chose an aggressive approach on the last few possessions of the first half: “I think, as you look at it, those were not good (quarterback) decisions; they were tight coverage. Obviously, Brandon would like to have those back. The last drive, I felt like we threw a couple of short passes and put ourselves in position at midfield. The last play there (the sack-fumble) was a matter of protection. We actually had (WR) Josh Gordon open for about a 25-yard gain on the sideline that would have put us in field-goal range. The opportunity to get a field goal there would have been huge going into the half and then having the ball (to start) the next half. I think it’s a philosophical thing. Generally, I want our guys, and we’re going to continue to develop that type of mentality, aggressive mentally. We’re going to play to win. We’re going to expect good things to happen and make good things happen, as opposed to being concerned about the bad things that might happen. There’s going to be times where it works out and there’s going to be times where it doesn’t work out. Obviously, hindsight is 20/20.”

On if he would bench Weeden, if healthy, due to all of the turnovers: “Let’s let these next couple of days sort themselves out and we’ll look where everybody is at that point.”

On how late he can go to bring in another quarterback: “We can wait. We have a few days to let it sort it out and we’ll have to know something by the time that we get into practice time. If Alex (Tanney) is the guy, then we’ll have him ready and have him working and he’ll have a package where he can be successful with.”

On if he could bring in a veteran QB to start: “As I said, all of the possibilities are open right now.”

On whether Monday night is usually the time starting quarterbacks are decided: “That’s right.”

On if he will have different possibilities due to having two quarterbacks with concussions: “That’s exactly what we’re doing. We’ll have different possibilities and we’ll have to see how it plays out during the course of the week, when guys can practice or be cleared to practice, or be cleared to play. Then how much practice time they would need in those situations. It may be different for each guy.”

On what he saw on the interceptions and if they all were Weeden’s fault: “Again, they weren’t good decisions. The coverage was tight and, as I said before, those are the things that I know Brandon would want back. I thought that he did play very well at times; he made some good decisions and some great throws. But those are the things that we have to correct and get better at.”

On if a receiver was supposed to be at a specific spot on the second interception: “It was a timing route that he threw to a spot and, again, coverage was too tight.”

On if Weeden threw the ball late on the first interception: “It wasn’t late. Again, it was just a tough throw to try and fit in there.”

On the timing of Weeden’s concussion and whether it may have affected his play: “I don’t know when and exactly how much affect it had on him.”

On Weeden playing without reporting concussion symptoms until after the game: “Well I’ve seen that happen before, where guys have done that.”

On what he would say to DB Joe Haden on the play that led to a late Jacksonville lead: “Well, as far as Joe goes, and I’ve talked about it before, he cares a lot. It’s important to him. I think you saw that in his reaction and I want guys that are like that and feel that way. He’s a great player. He made a mistake. It happens to everybody and the important thing is how he reacts to it. He’ll learn from it and I have all of the confidence in the world in Joe.”

On the players’ frustrations: “The frustration is natural. I have it; I feel it as well, so it’s natural. The key is that we funnel it and fuel it, use it as fuel to take us in the right direction and to get better and step forward the next time we have an opportunity. That’s how we’ve approached it. Again, these guys are competitors. I look the guys in the eye in the meetings, the locker room, and they want to win. They’ll do whatever it takes to win. As I mentioned at the outset, there’s tangible things that we can do better to win and when we do those things we’ll give ourselves that opportunity. That’s the bottom line.”

On if he needs to address players airing out their frustrations regarding turnovers: “No. We stressed all week long about the importance of turnovers, creating turnovers and not turn the ball over. That is a tangible thing that was a goal for us to do and we weren’t able to do that. They (Jacksonville) beat us in the turnover battle and the turnover ratio. So guys talking about it isn’t an issue. I know that as I talk to guys, they all are focused on what they can do better, whether it’s themselves as individuals or their side of the ball or their position group, whatever it is. I think we’re in a good place from that standpoint. Maybe I’m different than a lot of people, but I think the frustration, the disappointment, those things to me are signs that guys care, and I want those things. Again, the key is we channel those to go in a positive direction going forward.”

On comparing the early season Browns at 3-2 with the Browns today: “I’d have to think back; that was a long time ago. The end result is we’re not getting the end result in the wins. I think in some areas we’re playing better, in some areas we’re not. But at the end of the day, if we’re turning the ball over and we’re not able to get the turnovers, and some of those things, or overcome them, we’re not going to have the record that we want.”

On if he feels the team is starting to point fingers at one another: “I really don’t see it at all, in that way, that that’s happening. I think, again, everybody yesterday, it was a team. It was a team loss. There were spots in places where we all had opportunities to do better, coaches included. We’ll work to do that.”

On what happened on the final drive for Jacksonville: “They got a few big plays on that final drive that were key there. It’s the point in the game where you’d love to shut them down. Obviously, coming back in the see-saw nature of that game was huge. I mentioned it yesterday, I thought that the guys showed a lot of resiliency in that game. For things to happen and us to bounce back, the back and forth, I give Jacksonville a lot of credit for what they did. They made those plays on that last drive and we’re a whisker away on one of them. (DB Leon) McFadden, the ball just goes over his head, just is a little too high, or we get an interception a play of two before that.”

On if the team was celebrating too soon after the 95-yard touchdown by Gordon: “No, I didn’t see that at all.”

On if he and offensive coordinator Norv Turner discuss strategy during the game (e.g. whether to take a knee going into halftime): “We discuss that as well as what exactly from a play-selection standpoint what we’re thinking there. Again, I mentioned that we worked a couple short passes to get ourselves in position there right before the half. We had the play that we wanted but protection broke down and we had a sack-fumble. But we had Josh (Gordon) on the sideline there and we’re kicking a field goal the next play if it works out the way we wanted it to work out.”

On run-game production, especially in the second half: “It was both. It was a combination of that and wanting to run the ball a little bit more and feeling like we could. From what they did from a coverage standpoint and defensive standpoint, they gave us the opportunity to do that as well.”

On WR Josh Gordon: “I think you’re seeing the product of his hard work and his commitment to what he’s been doing. It’s no surprise to me. I saw this a number of months ago and those are, I think when I spoke earlier about the team and seeing some of the signs and some of the little things and the improvements, that’s what I saw in Josh months ago. I think you’re seeing the results; you're seeing the end results in the last few games. He’s improving as a player. He still has room to grow and get better as a player and we’re continuing to work with him and push him in that regard. He’s been receptive and been in a forefront and wanting to be good. I think you’ve seen the confidence grow on his part, as well as he’s playing and he’s seeing the things that he can do.”

On what Gordon does to get open: “He can run; he’s got big strides. He’s very deceptive in how fast he is when he’s running. I think you see that, and he just looks so smooth out there. The next thing you know, he’s running by somebody. But he’s really improved as a route runner. I think he made some huge catches as well going over the middle. You see some of the toughness, some of those things that I think he’s grown as a player in terms of. Again, there’s still a lot of time for growth and we’re going to continue to coach him hard.”

On why the defense seems to struggle in the red zone: “It’s been a number of things. Yesterday we had a communication breakdown on one of the coverages. They ran the trick play, halfback pass, which is a tough one. It’s a tough thing to defend. We’ve been working hard on (red-zone defense) and we’ve recognized that. We’ve been working extra over the course of the week and in practice in addressing that. It’s something that we have to really harp on and improve on.”

On if the defensive struggles in the red zone are mental: “I don’t think it’s a mental thing. Again, pass rush is something we want to improve. Red zone is something we want to improve.”