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Chudzinski press conf. transcript - Oct. 28

Posted Oct 28, 2013

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

Opening statement: “Disappointed about the loss yesterday. It was a hard-fought game. Kansas City is an outstanding team. They out-executed us early and were able to build a lead we couldn’t overcome. It’s never about one player, one play, one coach; we win and lose together, and we’re all accountable. However, there were a number of things that I felt we did well and have improved on and can continue to build on. We’ve had a tough stretch against some very good teams here. I think the guys have learned that we can be, and when we are on our game and play consistently, that we can compete and go toe-to-toe with anybody. We’ll be back in the division against Baltimore. We’ll make the corrections today, and then shift our focus to them and the challenge ahead after we’re done with our meetings today.”

On if QB Jason Campbell will be the starting quarterback going forward: “Jason will be the starting quarterback this week.”

On how impressed he was with Campbell’s play and his leadership: “I thought Jason played very well. After looking at the tape, he was able to manage the game, was able to escape and get out of trouble, create some plays. He did a good job from a decision-making standpoint, protected the football, and he gave us a lift in that game. We were really pleased with how he played.”

On the defense playing one strong half and not two in multiple games this season: “It’s something we’re looking [at] hard and taking a hard look at. Really, as you break it down, you look for the execution. In yesterday’s game, our early execution wasn’t very good defensively, offensively either. You go to the specific plays. You look at the first drive had a penalty on it; the 15-yard penalty that hurt us. Then just some breakdowns, some individual breakdowns, we had a multitude of those in the first half. We cleaned them up for the second half, and we were able to play better. Whether it’s looking at other games where we played better in one part of the game or the other, it’s been different points in the game. The thing that I like about our guys is when you focus them on something to improve that they respond and make the corrections. That’s what we’ll have to do in this case.”

On Campbell’s play indicating the quarterback competition was close, as he stated during training camp and the preseason: “We and I believed that all along. These guys going back to April all got better and improved and showed that they were capable so it was close in that way.”

On what ultimately led to QB Brandon Weeden being named the starting quarterback to begin the season: “I think the biggest thing in looking at it was Brandon was somebody that we didn’t know a lot about, and we wanted to find out more about. He showed well and did well in the practices and in the preseason. The production hasn’t been there during the regular season that we would like. But again, his role is different now. He’s one play away from playing, and he’s still a developing player.”

On trading WR Josh Gordon: “We have no plans of trading any of our guys, including Josh. We’re not shopping them. As far as any personnel rumors, speculations, those things, I’m really not going to get into.”

On the defining factor that led to Weeden being active against Buffalo rather than Campbell: “Again, I think the first few games, there were some things that Brandon had done well. In different stretches and different points, he was out doing the things that you would like him to do. When he was able to get back and be healthy, we felt like his thumb was in good enough shape that he’d be able to play and play in that Buffalo game.”

On goals and expectations for the remaining eight games of the season: “We’re going to approach it the same way we do every week. We expect and go into every game approaching and expecting that we’re going to win. I think that Jason, again, we’ll want him to continue to play, and there’s some things that he can get better at, as we’re looking at tape, that he needs to improve on and we want him to improve on, as [we do] everybody. Really, we’re focused on one game. We’re focused on one game at a time, and we’re focused on each guy, each person, coach, player, everybody getting better every week. That’s what I want to see is that sort of improvement every single week.”

On a sense of optimism despite a three-game losing streak: “It’s been a tough stretch. As I mention before, I think that what guys have learned during that stretch of playing some very good teams is that we’ve played, whether it’s a half, whether it’s a quarter, whether it’s a couple of series or three quarters of games, we’ve played very well at times. It’s a matter of consistently putting it together for four quarters. That’s what the mission is that we’re on right now.”

On if offensive coordinator Norv Turner opened up the playbook, and if so, was it due to Campbell’s NFL experience: “I don’t know that it’s to that degree that you’re talking about, but particularly as the game went on, and Jason was into the game and playing the way he was playing, that we were able to do everything that we would want to do.”

On if Weeden still has   the skills to be a winning quarterback in the NFL: “Yeah, I still think that he’s a developing player, and that he has a good upside, and he needs to continue to work, which is what his approach is right now.”

On if Weeden can improve his pocket presence under pressure or if it is more of a naturally occurring ability: “There’s some guys that have a better sense for it, but there is some improvements that guys can make on it. There’s a lot of drills and things like that that quarterbacks do on a day-to-day basis. A lot of it’s getting out there and playing, though, and feeling the pocket and being able to slide and make those adjustments, keeping your eyes downfield and making the decisions on when to run and when to hang in there and throw.”

On changes at wide receiver based on WR Davone Bess’ performance yesterday and this season: “One thing that I did fail to mention earlier, and I’ll answer your question in a minute, (WR) Travis Benjamin tore his ACL, and he’ll require surgery.

“Back to your question, I think that Davone is everything you could ask for in terms of a guy working and doing the things to be the very best he can. He’s a pro’s pro in that way. I have faith in him that he’ll make the corrections. I know there’s some things from a technical standpoint that he can improve on in that area, and I think some of it is just trying to do it too much before he has the ball secured.”

On who will return punts: “Davone. Davone and then (CB) Joe Haden is another possibility, as well.”

On other injuries sustained against Kansas City: “Travis was the main injury.”

On if there were any surprises with Campbell’s play: “I think that his ability to come in in just a short week of practice and be as sharp as he was, also in a tough place with the noise and the difficulty in communication, I thought he did an outstanding job of that.”

On Benjamin’s development and performance this season prior to his injury: “You saw the growth as a player, as a receiver as well as the obvious that you see as a returner on the punt returns and then some on the kickoff returns, as well. It’s a tough loss for us, but we’ll have some guys step up. I don’t have any of the details as far as when the surgery is or any of those type of things for you, but I’ll get those to you.”

On how Benjamin got injured: “It was a twist [on the] plant on the tackle.”

On how the offensive played did in a hostile environment: “I thought they played the best game they have, as far as protection goes, in that game. It was a big challenge. We knew that a lot of times they were going to be singled up and that they had to man up in this game. They did that, and I think the tight ends, as well as the backs, and Jason getting the ball out were all factors in that.”

On if the holding call on OL Joe Thomas during the last offensive drive appeared correct when watching the film: “We’re going to submit it for clarification.”

On the holding call on the Thomas during a fourth-quarter running play: “Same thing; we’re going to submit both of those for clarification.”

On how to get consistent play, especially from a young team: “We try to do it from a coaching standpoint, and the plays and the things that we’re doing and running. From a player standpoint, we’ve talked a lot to those guys about mindset and having the same mindset at all different points in the game. Now, they’re all human and there’s the ebbs and flows of a game that affect those things, but it’s about having that consistent mindset and playing [at] the same level [from a] mental and physical standpoint.”

On the impact special teams has in a game and how Benjamin’s injury will affect that phase of the game: “First of all, I thought our special teams really performed well. We had a few penalties that hurt us in a couple situations, but Kansas City’s special teams is one of the best in the league. It was a big challenge, we knew, going into this game. Travis obviously is a big part of what we do and has been in terms of the return game. He’s explosive and he has the speed and the ability to make the big play; but we’ll have some guys that will step up, whether it’s Davone, as I mentioned, Joe Haden, and (DB) Jordan Poyer is a young guy who just came with us who has some experience as a punt returner. Then (RB) Fozzy Whittaker has been showing some of the things he’s been able to do as a kickoff returner, and we still have (WR) Greg Little, as well, there.”

On if Haden volunteered to return punts: “He’s always out there doing it whenever he can get in there and get it, just to show that he’s ready.”

On adjustments to open up the run game in the second half against Kansas City: “I don’t know that it was a lot of adjustments more than better execution and converting on some third downs and being able to get in a rhythm and get some drives going. We had three straight three-and-outs, and then we had a drive where we had two plays and a touchdown and then a two-minute drive. Really, there weren’t a lot of opportunities to have any runs in that. We just have to do a better job of executing early and get the ball moving, get some third downs converted. I think you saw that in the second half. When we have that, then we can get a good mix, a good balance going, and get into a rhythm.”

On why the offense hasn’t been able to establish a rhythm early in games: “We’re taking a hard look at it. We’ve been working on that. You look at this game and the specifics of this game, we had a couple of identification issues from a mental standpoint that caused some problems there. We had some opportunities to make some plays, whether it would be either a throw or catch that we didn’t make. It’s about execution, and that’s what our focus this week is going to be on, executing and doing a good job early of executing.”

On increasing the number of receivers available to Campbell: “We’re going to have to improve in that area. Those guys will step up, and I’m confident that they’ll do that and continue to get balls to (TE) Jordan (Cameron) and Josh and the backs, as were doing. I think when we’re playing well, you’re seeing the ball get spread around that way.”

On some coaches’ philosophy to not put a player like Haden on special teams: “It’s not my first choice of doing. Until we find somebody else that can do it and has done it before, Joe can catch and obviously, he can make plays with the ball in his hand, but Davone is going to be our primary returner right now.”

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