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Chudzinski press conf. transcript - Oct. 7

Posted Oct 7, 2013

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

Opening statement: “Good to be back practicing. We had a few days off, gave us a chance to recover and rest up from the short week that we had previously. We got a chance to do some introduction to Detroit and some initial work on them, but mostly, we want to focus on ourselves and getting ourselves better. Today’s practice is primarily a lot of fundamental work; coming out and getting some young guys some chances and opportunities to get some reps as well. Then getting some situational work, some things that we’ve wanted to get better at and focus on that. Detroit obviously is going to be a big challenge for us this week. We want to continue to keep improving. We’ve been able to improve every week and get better. That’s what we’re setting out to do this week, as well.”

On entering the week with two quarterbacks and signing an additional quarterback: “We’re looking at our options right now. We’ll determine that. Obviously, we have two guys that are comfortable and that have been in the system. We’ll just work through that. We have a number of different options that we can go.”

On why WR-PR Travis Benjamin does not return kicks: “Mostly, we focused him on the punts. That’s a little bit different type of return. On kickoffs, there is a lot more contact, and it’s a little bit different in terms of the return and how you hit those returns.”

On if contact on kickoffs are more dangerous for Benjamin: “The kick returners, typically, it’s more about a straight-line return and then making one cut. Obviously, Travis has the ability to do it more on a punt return, is make quick moves, get going. It’s a little bit different style of return.”

On if WR Greg Little will continue to return kickoffs: “He’ll continue in that role. We’re also getting a chance to look at (RB) Fozzy Whittaker as well.”

On why he did not go for a two-point conversion at the end of the game against Buffalo: “I should have went for two. That’s my fault.”

On who would have been the third quarterback behind QB Brandon Weeden against Buffalo: “We’ll put (TE) MarQueis Gray [in at quarterback].”

On being more comfortable having three quarterbacks and if there is a need to have one on the practice squad: “I’ve done it both ways, had two or three, so I’m comfortable either way. It’s just a matter of us looking through our options and weighing those things, and then coming up with the best decision.”

On the injury status of QB Brian Hoyer and surgery schedule: “I believe he has one more doctor looking at it. I don’t think there’s an actual scheduled date for it. I’ll let you know when I do get that information.”

On finding other ways to get Benjamin the ball: “You like getting the ball in his hands. He’s able to do some things that are pretty special. You certainly see this kind of speed that he has. We’ve been able to get him the ball through the course of the normal passing game. We’ve had some screens, and he’s been able to do that as well. Anytime you have a playmaker, you like to find way to get the ball in his hands.”

On FB Chris Ogbonnaya’s status and who will play fullback if he is unable to play: “We have worked and have been using MarQueis Gray as well as (TE) Gary Barnidge in that personnel group, basically in the same role.”

On if Ogbonnaya has been cleared to play: “He has not. He’s going through the concussion protocol but seems to be doing really well on that.”

On assuming Weeden will start against Detroit: “He is.”

On TE Cameron Jordan’s performance, including his blocking abilities: “I think the last couple weeks, really seen him improve as a blocker. He’s been improving in all areas. I think you’re seeing that in terms of the production that he’s had as a receiver. He’s just understanding the game better. He’s understanding what we’re trying to do, but I really think he’s improving as a blocker. He had some key blocks on some of our runs from this past game that were big blocks. One-on-one blocks against some pretty good-sized guys.”

On how the offense has grown from Week 2 to Week 5: “I think there’s been a lot of improvement in a lot of areas. Obviously, it helps getting some of the guys back and getting them out on the field. The (WR) Josh Gordons and getting (OL) Shawn (Lauvao) back, I think, is good as well. I think each guy individually you look at from a technique standpoint – some of the things you don’t identify as readily – they’re improving in those areas. I think we’re understanding and playing our roles better, and we’re making plays when we have the opportunities. That’s some of the things we weren’t doing early that we’re making better plays and doing a better job of making that more recently.”

On concern with the number of times Weeden has been sacked Weeden: “They’re a concern. I think we’ve been taking steps in improving in that area. I think that Brandon will be, with a week of work, as well, will be more comfortable and a little less of the rust that he had from the last game. Hopefully, all of those things will factor in. This certainly is a tough team that we’re playing and a team with a great defensive front and great pass rush.”

On what he can do to account for Lions DT Ndamukong Suh: “It’s tough. You have to account for him and always know where he’s at. They move him around and do some different things with him so he’s going to be matched on different guys. All of those guys have to be ready for him to be playing against him. You try to do some things from a scheme standpoint, but the tough thing is you can’t just zero in on him alone because (Lions DT Nick) Fairley and the other rushers and the guys that they have are also factors. This is a game everybody has to man up and come ready to play.”

On Weeden needing to get the ball out quicker: “I think the last game, again Brandon coming in without a lot of work in practice, you could see a little bit of rustiness. The encouraging thing from my standpoint is that when we needed plays, he was able to make those plays and make good throws and get the ball out on time. I think as the game went on he was better and more comfortable in that area.”

On if TE MarQueis Gray was the emergency quarterback against Buffalo: “Yes. Yes, and we have (WR) Davone Bess, as well, so we have a couple different options as well.”

On if Gray will get reps at quarterback: “Not normal reps, but we do. We work a period with those guys with him and the guys around so he gets on air and gets a chance to do some of that after practice.”

On Gray being a busy guy as the back-up fullback and back-up quarterback: “[Laughter] Probably one of the first times or few times that that’s the case, but yes.”

On confidence that this team will stay as hungry as it’s been: “They’re hungry to begin with. I don’t see them being satisfied with what they’re doing because I see improvement and them making improvement and really doing the things they need to in order to improve. I think the leadership, you look at the leadership in our locker room, the guys that are in there are such solid guys and great influences that I think we’ll continue to be a hungry team. It’s not perfect. We’ll have ups and downs., but this is a group of fighters and guys that want to be better and get better and succeed.”

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