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Chudzinski press conf. transcript - Nov. 27

Posted Nov 27, 2013

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

Opening statement: “Back to work with our players today. We’re looking forward to playing Jacksonville at FirstEnergy Stadium this weekend. As you look at them as a team, they’ve improved as the season’s gone on, particularly since the bye week. They’ve won two out of three games since that bye week that they had, beat Tennessee and beat Houston this past weekend. Offensively, they’ve come on. Opportunistic offense led at quarterback by (Jaguars QB Chad) Henne. He’s played well and efficiently in that role. They’re talented at the skill positions. (Jaguars WR) Cecil Shorts, a very good wide receiver, very versatile. He does a lot for them. (Jaguars WR Mike) Brown and (Jaguars WR Ace) Sanders also play there, as well. (Jaguars TE) Marcedes Lewis, I felt, has been one of the most underrated tight ends for a long time in the league, and (Jaguars TE) Clay Harbor is playing very well at tight end, as well, in their multiple-tight end sets. (Jaguars RB) Maurice Jones-Drew has been one of the best running backs in the league for a long time. He’s still playing at a high level. Their offensive line, they’ve had some changes at their offensive line but have seemed to solidify there.

“Defensively it’s a high-motor, very active defense, attacking defense. Their defensive line is excellent. It’s a deep group. They play a lot of guys there. (Jaguars DE) Jason Babin, (Jaguars DE Andre) Branch and (Jaguars TE Tyson) Alualu are very good defensive ends, and (Jaguars DL Sen’Derrick) Marks is playing very well inside at defensive tackle. Their linebackers: (Jaguars LB Paul) Posluszny you know about; (Jaguars LB Geno) Hayes and (Jaguars LB Russell) Allen, all tough guys, play very good in the defense. Their defensive backs are a young group, a very talented group. I think they’re starting three rookies in the back end. Some of these guys we had a chance to evaluate and really liked going into the draft. (Jaguars DB Josh) Evans and (Jaguars DB Johnathan) Cyprien are their safeties starting there. (Jaguars DB Alan) Ball and (Jaguars DB Dwayne) Gratz are starting at their corners. Their special teams are very good. It’s a strength of theirs, solid core.

“They’ve got a great kicker and punter and returners, as well, so those will all be a challenge as we get ready to play.

“(QB) Jason Campbell is feeling better. He’s not going to practice today. He’s in the NFL concussions protocol. (QB Brandon) Weeden will start the game. We’ll rally around him in order to get ready for Jacksonville. We’ll be ready for that opportunity as we work through this Thanksgiving week, and we’ll modify our practice schedule tomorrow for Thanksgiving.”

On if Campbell is in the facility currently: “Jason is not.”

On if Campbell is ruled out against Jacksonville: “It’s doubtful that he’ll play, but he’s not ruled out completely.”

On if signing QB Alex Tanney off Dallas’ practice squad rather than a veteran indicates that he anticipates Campbell will return soon: “No, not necessarily. We looked around and felt that Alex was a guy that had good potential. He was efficient in his opportunities in the preseason. Looking at him, he’s got good ability, accuracy and was a guy that (assistant general manager) Ray Farmer on our scouting staff had actually spent time with a year ago in Kansas City and knew him really well so he was very high on him. The other thing that is important is that he’s been in the system. The terminology is familiar to him. From that standpoint, it’d be an easier transition.”

On what he expects Tanney to learn by Sunday if he is forced into action: “Some of that we’ll have to find out as we go and see what he does best and is most comfortable with. We’ll have a package for him for him to be ready. Again, the biggest hurdle typically is guys’ ability to get over the terminology and then the names of the plays and the formations and all those type of things. Since Dallas is similar in that way, that’ll ease that process.”

On if he saw Tanney’s trick-shot video on YouTube: “Yeah, I heard about that. I have not watched that. I’m hoping he can throw them to the receivers, and we’ll find that out today. [Laughter]”

On how Weeden has handled the ups and downs this season: “I think that he’s done a good job. He’s really kept his head into it. He’s been a professional through it all. Those are the things that are difficult as you go through a career, and I think he’s handled them very well. I think it’s put him into a position where he stood into it and was going to be ready for his opportunity if it came up, and it’s come up.”

On if it is frustrating to Weeden when fans boo: “Well, I think that changes and it can change quickly. It’s a matter of production and performance. The most important thing is I know that he has the backing of his teammates. The type of guys that we have in the locker room, their support for him, they want to win and everybody realizes that Brandon needs to play well, as everybody does, but Brandon needs to play well and do his part for us to win.”

On how tough it is for an offense to change quarterbacks multiple times: “It’s not easy and it’s not ideal, but it is what it is right now. I think as you look at it, it’s impressive; it says a lot about the character of our guys and those guys in the locker room that they have been able to adjust, rally, re-rally and do it again behind guys. I don’t expect anything different in this case, as well.”

On if Tanney passed his physical and is signed: “He is.”

On if there is any consideration of putting Campbell on IR: “Not at this point.”

On why the Browns chose to sign another tight end (Andre Smith): “(TE MarQueis) Gray’s been battling some injuries right now. Andre Smith is a guy who is a good football player, very good blocker. That’s one of the areas that we want to improve on, as well.”

On OL Mitchell Schwartz having some tough times this season: “It’s been up and down a little bit. I really felt like he’s made a lot of progress. He had some struggles this week. I think that as I look at him, obviously taking out this past week, I’m seeing a lot of improvement. I think he’ll get it back on track and get playing better. A lot of the things are technical things that he can improve on and trust his technique in that way.”

On improving the production of all skill players, not having to rely on one primary target: “Yeah, I think that those opportunities as they come up in the game are going to come up. A lot of that is you can design plays expecting trying to throw it to a certain place. As defenses have different coverages, those different coverages are going to dictate it to go somewhere else. There’s some things you can do to design [it]. The emphasis has been on those guys and everybody producing when they have their opportunities, and we’ll continue to emphasize that. As things come up in the game, we have to be ready to make those plays.”

On why the Browns decided to wait to bring in another quarterback, specifically since Farmer was familiar with Tanney: “At the time that we had the two, it felt like Jason was playing well and we still had Brandon who was very familiar with the system and what we were doing. We had some injury issues that we had to work around from a roster standpoint and balancing the roster. It also gave us an opportunity to activate or bring some guys in that could contribute right away in other areas. You look at the guys like the (DB) Jordan Poyers and the (LB Darius) Eubankses and a number of those guys and some examples of those guys that we were able to bring in and get them where they were producing and helping us right away, whether it’s special teams or on defense or offensively, so forth.”

On OL Alex Mack: “I think that Alex is an outstanding player. He’s physical; he can move. Every week, he’s getting a better and better understanding of calls and doing a lot of things that we ask a center to do and really improved in that way in learning the game. Some of those things he wasn’t asked and hasn’t been asked to do so that was new for him.”

On if he would like to re-sign Mack: “We’ll get into all of those discussions once we get done with the season.”

On DB Buster Skrine’s and LB Tank Carder’s status: “Skrine will practice today, and Carder will not practice today.”

On if LB Craig Robertson will practice today: “Craig will not practice today.”

On if the Browns brought in other quarterbacks for workouts: “We looked at a number of guys.”

On if the Browns looked at other quarterback candidates in person or on film: “Both.”

On Eubanks last week and if he has confidence in him if he has to start: “Yeah, I really thought that he stepped in and did a nice job. There’s obviously some things that he can improve on that we can correct, but it was encouraging to see him come in, understand what he needed to do and play well for that position coming in.”

On if the team has moved past emotions or potential ‘finger-pointing’ after last week’s loss: “I do. We’re starting December, and this is an important part of the season, this stretch run here. That’s how we’re approaching it. This team is a very, very close team. I haven’t been around one that’s closer. There’s really not finger-pointing going on. I think sometimes those things can be taken the wrong way. I spoke to that the other day. Certainly, there’s things we need to improve on and get better at, and we’ll continue to do that. As far as the team and the chemistry of the team, there’s no issues there.”

On Jaguars WR Cecil Shorts: “(A) really versatile guy. He’s a playmaker. He does a lot for them. He can run any type of route that you want and really has been productive and playing well.”

 

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