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Chudzinski press conf. transcript - Nov. 18

Posted Nov 18, 2013

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

Opening statement: “The Bengals are a very good football team. They deserve credit for the game yesterday. I’m disappointed in our performance as a team. Simply had too many mistakes and critical errors, particularly in the second quarter. That, coupled with not capitalizing on two early red-zone opportunities, the game just got away from us. We have to play better in all three phases. Our veterans have to play better, our young guys have to play better and it needs to happen right away. I do feel confident that the things from yesterday that we were able to look at on tape, we can correct. This game is one we can learn from and grow from for the future if we approach it the right way. Again, it was one game and we have six more to go. There’s a lot still out there in front of us. I’m confident our guys will respond. We have a very close team and these guys will continue to fight for each other and compete. I feel confident that we’ll bounce back. Again, after making corrections, we can only control what we can control from here going forward. It’s Steeler week, so we’ll be getting ready for that and a big challenge with them.”

On if the second quarter of the game was scarier than the flight coming home (weather): “Yeah, it was just a rough landing. I was watching tape, and was pretty engrossed in that on the way back.”

On how much the game was a missed opportunity vs. a growing moment for a young team: “Probably both at the end of the day. It was an opportunity, obviously, an important opportunity for us that we didn’t play the way that we were capable of playing, and weren’t able to get it done at the end of the day. I think that as I mentioned, it’s important that we learn from this and when we have an opportunity again, which we will in the future, that this experience that the guys will be able to draw from and that’ll help us in the future.”

On how frustrating it was to see special teams struggle: “It was very disappointing and unacceptable. We need to be better in that area. It has been a strength for us this season and, uncharacteristically, we didn’t play well, and we had two major breakdowns there. We’ll get that corrected.”

On what the issues were on the two breakdowns on punt protection: “The first one was a pick-twist where we weren’t able to pass it off well enough. The second was just a straight rush that split our tackle and our wing.”

On if LB Barkevious Mingo is supposed to block the man that got through on the second punt block: “He’s the wing. Both of those guys; it’s a zone principle. But there needs to be help from the inside guy and he ultimately is responsible for that guy.”

On if Mingo and RB Chris Ogbonnaya are usually in the spots that led to the blocked punts: “We’ve been shuffling some guys around and we did in that game as well. But Mingo has played there. Mingo has played everywhere on the punt team.”

On whether blocking that spot was something that LB Quentin Groves did for the team: “When we lost Quentin we had to shuffle some guys and so we have to move guys. The effect of losing Quentin is having to move guys around. But that’s no excuse. There’s no excuse for getting punts blocked.”

On who was at the tackle position at the time of the blocked punt: “(LB Eric) Martin was the right tackle.”

On if QB Jason Campbell missed passes to open targets: “There was some of that. As I mentioned last night, and watching the tape, you see it. It’s usually a combination of things. At times it was good coverage; Cincinnati did a good job with their coverage where it was a check-down was the right thing to do. At times some of the protection broke down and so Jason had to get rid of it early. At times, he hurried through his progression and/or didn’t see it down the field.”

On if Campbell’s ribs affected how he threw the ball: “He said they were fine and that it didn’t affect him.”

On if it was just ‘one of those games’ for Campbell: “Yeah, as I mentioned before, you’re not always going to play great every game. Really, the key, you look at the last three games that Jason’s played have been against three very good defenses. I thought he played particularly well the other two games. He’s the first one to say he needs to do better. As I’ve said many times before, the key to quarterback and that position is how guys bounce back when they’re having some adversity or don’t play as well as they would have liked.”

On if there are any doubts about sticking with Campbell in the upcoming weeks: “No.”

On what he thinks of the Pittsburgh Steelers: “They played very well the last few weeks and have come up with some big wins. It’s a great rivalry, so at the end of the day, the records and everything else kind of go out the window. We’re going to be excited. Like I said, it’s Steeler week, so we’re going to be excited to play them.”

On Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger: “Over the course of time he’s shown the great player that he is. He has a way of making plays, getting it done, extending plays. He’s been unbelievable in the clutch, and key points in games where you need to get a play and win it. I have nothing but the utmost respect for him as a player.”

On why the Browns have been better at home this season rather than on the road: “I think, generally, teams are better at home. The energy, the crowd, I think the fans have been awesome and our team feeds off of that energy. It’s something, again, you have to win in both places, whether it’s on the road or at home, and we need to do a better job on the road. We’re excited to be at home for the next three out of four weeks.”

On struggles of correcting mistakes in road games as opposed to home games, and contributing factors to that: “I’ll speak to yesterday particularly. It’s a time where when you have a mistake, we talked a little bit about the two opportunities we had early where we weren’t able to capitalize, and you’d like to see happen where the two opportunities they had that they (would have) had to kick field goals. So it is, a point in time, where everybody has to stand up and focus a little bit more and work to make that play and make that difference that stops the bleeding.”

On if he felt the game slipping away in the second quarter: “I think that, as I look at it, it was a lot of things that happened that were atypical. It was less about a snowball and more about some things happening that were a little more out of the ordinary that you don’t expect necessarily in a game.”

On why the officials changed the spot of the ball inside the 5-yard line during the first quarter: “I’m trying to find that out. Don’t know exactly why. Just noticed that the spot of the ball was on the 2 there.”

On if the same players will be in the same spots on the punt team or if he will have to shuffle players around again: “Well it’s going to be some combination of the same people. We’ll look at all of the options that we have, regardless of who they are and we’ll get the best people out there to get it done and get it fixed.”

On if the ball being placed on the 2-yard line affected his decision to kick a field goal, as opposed to going for a TD on fourth down: “Where he (RB Willis McGahee) went to was hard to see what the spot was. But as far as going for it, going into the game and just knowing the conditions and the possible weather conditions, I felt like the points were at a premium at that point in the game, and decided to go with the points. If it would have been closer I may have gone differently on that. But where it was at the 2-yard line and, again, not knowing what weather was going to happen in the future through the course of the game, it just felt like getting points there and getting points early in that game when the conditions were good enough was important.”

On if the ball was moved back on the McGahee run or on a different play: “It looked, and again, we’ll go through this and find out exactly, but it looked like the spot on Willis was somewhere between the 3 and the 4 and the penalty (unnecessary roughness after McGahee’s run) took it down to the 1-and-a-half to 2-yard line. The ball was on the 2 at some point. Just from my angle seeing it, I couldn’t really tell exactly where the ball, where the spot was, but I know it was on the 2 for the fourth down.”

On if he has any concern bouncing back after such a tough loss: “I rely on the guys in the locker room and what I’ve seen out of them before. It’s a resilient group, it’s a group that is strong and, as I mentioned before, they’re really a together group, one of the closest groups I’ve been around. I have no reason to think otherwise that they won’t bounce back, and be ready to play and be excited to play this week. Again, being at home I think will bring more energy to it with the big rivalry that we have with the Steelers.”

On Buccaneers RB Bobby Rainey’s big games and why he didn’t stay in Cleveland: “I’d love to have him here. I’m glad he’s doing well. Where we were at with the roster at the time, we were short on some other positions and just had to make some moves, particularly for some other positions and for some special-teams considerations as well.”

On the play of DB Joe Haden: “He’s playing at a high level. He had a great game. He’s been impressive in how he responds to all of the challenges that he’s had throughout the course of the season and has really stepped up as a leader as well. You can see our team plays and our defense plays well, particularly, when he’s playing at that level.”

On if the loss revealed that this team is not ready for such a big game: “I think that’s hard to say. I think that, again, every time you’re in that situation, it helps you going forward in the future. We just needed to make some plays and do a better job in terms of that game. But if we approach it the right way and learn from it, the next time that we’re in that situation and have that opportunity, I think we’ll be better.”

On injuries: “(LB) Craig Robertson has a knee sprain. He’s getting an MRI. I don’t have the results on that yet. (WR) Armanti Edwards had an ankle sprain; he’s getting an MRI as well. I don’t have results on that either, those two guys.”

On why Campbell had trouble in the red zone: “We had some guys open, had some opportunities. One of them got batted down; would’ve been an easy one (TD). There was one that he was on the move and had a chance at (TE) Jordan (Cameron). We really, up to this point, have been in the top 10 in the red zone prior to this game. I think we’ve done a good job in the red zone and just weren’t able to get it done yesterday.”

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