Chudzinski press conf. transcript - Nov. 25

Posted Nov 25, 2013

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

Opening statement: “Disappointed in the loss, for our fans and our team. Simply, we did not get the job done, and give the Steelers credit; they did. There’s some positives, but in the end, four turnovers we had, 17 points off of those turnovers. Offensively, we had a number of drives that ended in the plus territory and so we were unable to get anything out of those drives and capitalize on that field position. Then keeping our quarterback upright; we have to do a better job of that. Defensively, we need to create some turnovers. I thought our early tackling wasn’t as good as it needs to be. We weren’t able to get the pressure on (Steelers QB Ben) Roethlisberger that we would have liked. The result was not good enough but I believe in our coaches and our players. We’ll stick together and we’ll learn from that game, make the corrections and move on. It was one game; we still have five games left in the regular season starting with Jacksonville. We’re excited about those opportunities and the opportunity to play on a week-to-week basis.

“As far as injuries, a couple of things that I mentioned last night: (QB) Jason Campbell has a concussion. He’ll be going through the NFL protocol for that before he’s cleared to play. (LB) Tank Carder has a shoulder sprain; we’ll see how he is as the week progresses. (DB) Buster Skrine has bruised ribs and again, we’ll see how he progresses as the week goes on. Those are the injuries from the game that I have to report.”

On if the play in which Campbell was hit on the head should be a reviewable play: “I think you open up all of the things, in terms of penalties, being reviewed. You open that whole can of worms so I don’t know that that’s a necessarily thing that you should do on that.”

On if he will have the league take a closer look at the play: “Yes. Yes, we will.”

On if it is frustrating to not get the penalty called despite the league emphasizing illegal hits to the head: “Those are the plays in the games that are important. There was a number of plays, though; it wasn’t just that one that was an issue for us yesterday. Certainly, hopefully, we’ll have Jason back soon.”

On if he will work out quarterbacks and if he will have one signed in time for the Jacksonville game: “We’re looking at all of those options. There’s a good chance that we’ll sign another guy before the game.”

On not being able to get Roethlisberger down: “Looking at the game, they got the ball out quickly a lot. Most of their passes were quick screens or just quick gain. When we did have four-man pressure and when he was dropping deeper, we weren’t able to win the one-on-one matchups. It’s as simple as that. When we did have blitzes on, we were able to get pressure, when he was dropping in deeper. So as a combination of a number of things, you look at our blitz percentage, as a whole it’s right in line with the other games that we’ve played. They were just getting the ball out quick during those times, or that’s the times that we were able to get some pressure on him.”

On if defensive struggles are attributed to offense not scoring, and if the defense feels a lot of pressure to win games: “I don’t think so. I think at the end of the day, our guys know and understand that it’s a team game. Their job is defense. The guys on offense, their job is offense. Overall, we have the leaders that understand that and as we’re going through the season there’s going to be points in time where one side might be playing well and the other side not as well, and there’s going to be different points in games when that happens. That’s part of it. But we all have to play and come together as a team in the end and that’s what we plan on doing.”

On his thoughts of DB T.J. Ward’s frustrations on losing: “I saw what he said. I don’t know that it was in a context of being frustrated about losing, which I understand. Guys who aren’t frustrated or like losing, we don’t want here anyhow. I think that what T.J. said was in frustration. I know as he came in today, he’s looking at his own performance and there’s a lot of things that we all can do better. That’s the approach it’s been with the team.”

On why the team has not been able to take the next step to win and what it will take to take the next step: “You define it as a big step. I think that at the end of the day you look at each game, you look at each play and you look how you’re executing what you need to do; from a coaching standpoint, if we’re doing the things we need to do in preparing guys and so forth. Then you analyze it from that way, and sooner or later you’ll make the corrections and the corrections will be there that should put the games together. We’ve played some good games this year against some very good teams. We’ve played well in some critical times of games. We just have to put it together consistently and get it on the field in that game.”

On if he talked to Ward: “I talked to the team about the importance of us sticking together and this is the time when those frustrations come out, when you don’t have as much success in a game that you want to have. Again, we have a lot of football left to play this season. It’s a team sport and we need to stick together in that way.”

On if there is a crisis in confidence in the locker room about QB Brandon Weeden: “I don’t think so. I think that whoever it is, they’re going to prepare. The quarterback position is going to prepare and play. I feel confident every time we go into a game, of all of the guys on our team, regardless of position, regardless of how experienced, inexperienced they are; it doesn’t matter. You’re putting on the Cleveland Browns uniform and I believe in them.”

On what the team needs to do to protect the quarterback better: “Some of that, in the last two games, has been in this position that we’re in, throwing a lot at the end of the games. Obviously, they’re not being a threat to run and being one-dimensional and what we’re trying to do playing catch-up. But I think that, as I look at the season, I think we’ve made strides in the protection area. Yesterday were some physical breakdowns and a few identification breakdowns that we have to get corrected. Again, it’s something that we have to protect our quarterback and have to keep our quarterbacks upright and healthy.”

On if linemen having to block longer for deeper passes attributes to struggles in protecting the quarterback: “I think it’s a combination of a lot of things. To say it’s just one thing is inaccurate. To say that it’s probably nothing is inaccurate. So it’s a combination of things that may play into it a little bit. Again, it’s something that we need to improve on as guys get more comfortable in what they’re doing. We should eliminate the mistakes and get better, and I think we have. As the course of the season has gone on, when you’re in those type of situations, trying to catch up, you’re spread out and the defensive linemen are teeing off, and that’s where it makes it tough.”

On what Campbell should have done differently to avoid the sack that led to his injury: “That’s one of the examples we had in the identification issue there and miscommunication. So that’s something we need to get fixed.”

On what the quarterback could have done differently: “More from just a communication standpoint; it was more a combination up front.”

On if Campbell has been ruled out for the game against Jacksonville: “He has not.”

On if he knows how Campbell is feeling today: “He came over this morning and then he’s gone home since.”

On why the front office continues to keep Weeden and why it will not bring just anybody in: “I think that at the end of the day he’s on our team and that he’s done some good things this season. He’s our second-team quarterback, or was our second-team quarterback. We’ll see what we need to do this week. Chances are he’ll start this week and we’ll see later on in the week; we’ll make that determination and see where Jason’s at.”

On if Jason addressed how he was feeling: “I think he was okay, felt okay.”

On how he feels about fans booing Weeden and players at home: “It’s difficult. I understand the fans, the perspective and where they’re coming from on things. At the end of the day he’s a Cleveland Brown and we need him to win and to help us win. I know that that’s how the team feels about him.”

On if Weeden has any confidence left: “I think he does. I think he does and I think that going down when we were able to score, he led us down and got a touchdown on a drive. I think that was big for going into next week to be able to do that. The team kept fighting there in the end and was able to get the ball in the end zone and he led that drive down.”

On if he plans to work out quarterbacks or if he has someone in mind: “We have a number of options that we’re looking at.”

On Reggie Rucker’s comments regarding WR Josh Gordon’s record-setting game: “Production is production at the end of the day. He was able to get those yards and in an NFL game, at the time, it doesn’t really matter. He was out there. I thought he played one of his better games in terms of he’s just getting better and better as a route runner and really making plays.”

On if he is surprised the offense has not been able to produce points week in and week out and where he thinks it comes from: “I think it comes from a number of areas and I think that, again, it’s something we’re looking hard at and trying to improve. We fixed and improved at a number of areas. There’s still more to go. As we fix something, it seems like something else pops up. Offensive football is about rhythm. You have to have 11 guys executing on every play and if there’s one breakdown or one small thing that can happen, that can throw you off. Right now that’s what’s happened to us. As I mentioned before, we had a number of drives that we were moving the ball well at times and were getting into plus territory, down there closer, about where you’re going to get a chance to get some points; either a field goal or pushing it all the way in. And there was a breakdown or a penalty or it was those type of things. You just can’t do that.”

On what the plan is with the running game at this point in the season: “We keep going with it. The one thing is (RB) Chris (Ogbonnaya) has to protect the football. (RB) Fozzy (Whittaker) got some opportunities and ran pretty well. So we’ll continue to work to tweak it and find way that we can get better at it.”

On what happened on the illegal snap penalty on C Alex Mack: “That was an issue. We had an audible at the line of scrimmage so he just ended up snapping it early. It was just a miscommunication.”

On what was illegal about the snap: “He snapped it and then stopped it and then restarted again.”

On why the defense is unable to get sacks in the last few games and what they can do to fix that: “I think that the situation in the last two games wasn’t one where the other team had to throw the ball a lot. So that’s part of it. Again, as I mentioned before, we had some one-on-one opportunities and when we get those opportunities with our four-man rush we have to generate pressure and beat the guys across from us. We’re pressuring and blitzing and when we are, we’re getting chances to get guys. We had some chances to get Roethlisberger down yesterday and weren’t able to do that and get him on the ground. We knew that going into the game. That’s tough, but we just have to continue to work to improve at that.”

On if there are things the team can do differently to on defense to put pressure on the quarterback: “We just have to keep stressing technique and beating the man and that approach with our guys. Again, they were getting the ball out fast yesterday so that’s a big part of it. It’s tough with a quick passing game to get to the quarterback in that way.”

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