Chudzinski press conf. transcript - Nov. 11

Posted Nov 11, 2013

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

Opening statement: “It’s good to get back to work. I think after about the third trip to the grocery store this weekend, I was ready to get back, myself. We had a good, productive bye week. Players and coaches had a chance to get a break and re-energize, had a chance to study ourselves internally and work to improve in those areas, whether it was personnel scheme, from a technique standpoint, all of those things we had a chance to work on this week. Also, got a chance to work on Cincinnati and look at them with some initial game-plan thoughts. Obviously, the game yesterday was a great game, the Baltimore-Cincinnati game. Typical AFC North-type game; physical, hard-fought, down to the wire and a real defensive battle. As I said, we’ve shifted our focus to Cincinnati. They’re an outstanding team, very talented. They’re leading the division and we’re excited to play them. It’s going to be a great challenge for us, especially being on the road. One thing I did have to report from an injury standpoint is that we will put (LB) Quentin Groves on IR at this point.”

On how QB Jason Campbell did at practice today with rib injury: “He’s doing fine.”

On if Campbell is good to play: “He’s good to go. He’s full speed in practice.”

On what put Groves on IR: “Just the ankle. He’s going to have surgery on it either later this week or next week.”

On if WR Travis Benjamin has had his surgery on his torn ACL: “Travis has not yet.”

On when he will know when Travis will have surgery on his torn ACL: “At some point this week.”

On what he plans to do with the open roster spot: “We’ll announce it when we get to that point.”

On if he watched a lot of football on the bye week: “I watched a little bit. I had my iPad with me loaded up with Cincinnati tape and our cut-ups as well, and spent some time here in the office. I actually can get more done when nobody’s around than when a lot of people are here.”

On how the team is different since the first game against Cincinnati, Sept. 29 in Cleveland: “We’re different in a lot of ways. As coaches, we have a better grasp of our guys and understanding of them, what we do. I think our guys have a better grasp of what we’re trying to do from a system standpoint. Obviously, there’s some different faces, most notably the quarterback is different. I think that we’re playing better football, I think we’ve improved from the beginning of the season and certainly from that game, as I’m sure they have as well.”

On if he watched the Cincinnati-Baltimore game live, with the Hail Mary pass at the end of regulation: “I didn’t see the whole game live; I saw parts of it. I did see that particular play.”

On if he believes Cincinnati losing gave players an extra boost for the remainder of the season: “I really don’t. I don’t see a difference in our guys. I think that, as we’ve done all season long, they’ve been focused on the game that they’re playing. I think the guys have seen that we can play with anybody. If we’re on top of our game and doing the things that we need to do and taking care of ourselves. I think that they’re excited about playing. That’s what I see in them.”

On what it will take for this team to win on the road: “It takes a great focus to win on the road. It’s a mentality, a business mentality when you go on those trips that you have to go and play a full-team game. That’s where we’re at; offense, defense, special teams have to play well together. You certainly don’t get the added boost of the crowd and the energy that a crowd brings to you. But I think, again, it takes an extra focus to win on the road.”

On his recollection of the Week 15 game loss Cincinnati in 2007: “It was a game that we needed to win and were not able to win. Certainly that was a disappointment for us and for me, and one of those games that you’ll always remember.”

On if the game against Cincinnati in 2007 was a learning experience for him as a play-caller: “I think every experience is a learning experience. That particular day we did what we felt like, and what I felt like, we needed to do to win in that case. Sometimes they work, sometimes it doesn’t.”

On if he talks about playoffs when he addresses the team: “We talk about our goals, but more specifically and most of the time, we talk about what we need to do right here and now, because that’s the thing you can control. All of the other things, people talk about all of the different scenarios and you start to get caught up in those things and you miss out on the present. So we’re really focusing on the present.”

On what the bye week did for him, the coaches and players, mentally and physically: “We talked about coming back today, on Monday, being stronger and being hungrier and re-energized. I think that the guys used this as an opportunity to do that. It’s not a vacation; it’s more an opportunity to get ourselves better, and I think they really had the right mindset all week long.”

On if there is a new message he delivered to the players that restarts the rest of the season: “Just approaching it that we’ve hit the halfway point of the season, basically with this break being like a halftime, and now we have to play well in the second half. It starts, again, our same approach with this game and playing them one at a time.”

On bringing in Hall of Fame WR Michael Irvin during the bye week: “As part of the NFL, it’s mandatory to have a presentation to the guys. Michael doesn’t typically do those presentations but I think just the message he can relay, as a former player, is a guy who’s gone through a lot of ups and downs in his career and his own life, a guy who has seen and started with a team that wasn’t winning and went through the process of winning and becoming a champion; that he had a lot to bring to the table for our guys and be able to talk to them in a way and share his experiences, and I felt like those experiences would help.”

On if he liked that Irvin has taken WRs Josh Gordon and Greg Little under his wing and mentored them: “I think that Michael, with the success that he’s had -- everybody knows and can see the success a Hall of Fame guy, a Hall of Fame receiver -- is as competitive of a person you’ve ever met in your life. Anytime that a guy like that, who I know our guys look up to, takes that kind of interest in him, I think that’s positive.”

On if he has kept in touch with Irvin: “I have through the years.”

On if he got any concerning calls over the bye week regarding any problems with players: “I didn’t get any concerning calls. Everybody was out here today and appears to be ready to roll.”

On how the loss of Groves affects the Browns: “Quentin’s a valuable part of our team and a valuable part of the leadership on our team. Obviously, we’re disappointed in (the loss), but it’s the best thing right now to get that fixed and corrected. We’ll have to have other guys step up, whether it’s on special teams or whether it’s on defense, and the outside ‘backer rotation and some of the things he’s doing from that standpoint.”

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