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Chudzinski press conf. transcript - Sept. 30

Posted Sep 30, 2013

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

Opening statement: “Good win yesterday. Really pleased with the effort. It wasn’t always pretty, but our guys played extremely hard and made the plays when we needed to win that game against a really good team, a really good Cincinnati Bengal team, a talented group. So I was really pleased with our guys. It was a team win in all phases. A lot of guys stepped up and played well. We’ve got a lot of work to do to get better. That was one game, one win. It’s a short week, so we’re right back to work. You look at Buffalo, a very good team, they’ve had four close games. Very similar to us, they’re 2-2 right now. Offensively, obviously E.J. Manuel is their quarterback, a real talented, young player. They have a great run game in (RB C.J.) Spiller and (RB Fred) Jackson and have some weapons as well, (WR) Stevie Johnson outside, as well as others. They’re playing really good football. Defensively, obviously, yesterday they were opportunistic; five interceptions that they were able to force. An excellent front seven. Again, it sounds like a broken record every week coming in here and saying it. (DE) Mario Williams, (DT) Kyle Williams, (DT Marcell) Dareus, (LB) Manny Lawson, those guys up front present some real challenges for us. They’ve had injuries in their secondary, but guys stepped up yesterday and played extremely well for them. Their special teams are solid. It’s going to be a challenge for us. I know our guys will be excited about playing Thursday night. (QB) Brian Hoyer will start for us again this week. He played well again yesterday, and for the past two weeks. Obviously we’ve been able to win those games. It’s a short week, we’ll get ready and be ready to play Thursday. As far as the game from an injury standpoint, we came out good from the game. No new injuries to report from that standpoint.”

On the way Hoyer executed against Cincinnati: “I think he improved from the week before. His decisions were very good. I was just talking with him this morning and there was a few throws that he would like to have made better. You look at the drives, we had some long drives that we were able to string together because some of the things he did on third down and the decisions he was making. I think the guys are rallying around him.”

On Hoyer embracing a leadership role: “I think the first thing is that he’s doing his job. That’s where all of that starts. That’s where you get the credibility to be able to do that. He’s a fiery guy. I think that our whole team was that way about that game yesterday. The fans were awesome; it was loud. Guys were really excited about that and playing in front of them. I think Brian typified that.”

On why he thought Hoyer would be able to serve as a spark to bring the team together: “Going back, like I mentioned before, the fourth preseason game in Chicago, you could see glimpses of that. He had a way of making plays. He’s done a good job with the opportunity and he continues to get better.”

On if quarterbacks have to win to establish leadership: “I think that’s all part of it. It starts with their approach. Always believe that quarterbacks have to be the first guy in the building and the last guy out, and their teammates see that. Set the example, and lead by example. Then it ultimately comes down to production and winning games.”

On if QB Brandon Weeden is healthy enough to play on Thursday: “He is. He’s healthy. He’s been cleared. Obviously, we don’t have a lot of practice opportunities. We only really have one full-speed practice before that time. So, that’s not a lot of opportunities. You look at Brian and what he’s able to do as well.”

On if Weeden will be the backup quarterback for the game: “We’ll work him back into practice and just see where he’s at this week.”

On RB Willis McGahee and if he is making progress: “Yeah, at the end of the game, being able to get in there, he ran hard. Obviously he’s a physical guy and hits it up in there. He was big on that drive. I mentioned before, not just from him as a player, but also the leadership he’s bringing and the attitude he’s bringing to the offense, and to our team, I think has really helped our guys.”

On McGahee’s attitude: “Willis has a lot of confidence. He’s won, he’s been a winner; he knows what it takes in this league. He brings some of that swagger to us.”

On Hoyer being able to click with WR Josh Gordon and TE Jordan Cameron: “You go back to the spring and all of our quarterbacks have worked with the whole group of receivers. Every time we go out and run individual routes, all of the guys are throwing to all of the different receivers. So it’s not like they haven’t been able to hook up, or no one understands. The quarterbacks sit in the same meetings, watch the same things. You get to learn how guys run certain routes. So I think from that standpoint, there’s been a lot more thrown to those guys than what it would appear. Obviously that wasn’t in preseason or game situations, but I think we got a lot more in practice done in that regard than what you think.”

On whether Hoyer is the permanent starter: “I think it’s a week to week. I think where we’re at, in terms of that, I’m comfortable with. We’re focused on the week; we’re focused on the day. I’m a coach. You know that coaches tend to think that way anyhow, on a day-to-day basis. So it’s not adversely affecting our guys in any way. So we’ll continue to go in that direction.”

On improvement in the offensive line: “It’s always been a focus on technique and carrying over what you’re doing on the practice field to the game field, and trusting your technique. Trusting yourself as a player. I think we’ve also done some things from the scheme standpoint that have helped. Obviously we’ve been able to make some plays, sustain some drives, maybe not get into a third-and-long or the passing-type situations where everybody knows we’re passing as well. So I think it’s a combination of things.”

On the defense: “They really, really have played well. I can’t be more pleased with our defense. We’ve improved. You look at the secondary as a whole, that was the best performance and best game that they played to date this season. We just continue to get better and better in that area.”

On Hoyer’s decision-making being one of his strengths: “It is. It’s one of his strengths in seeing the defense and making those kind of decisions.”

On DL Phil Taylor on defense, physically and emotionally: “He’s a very excitable guy. A very intelligent football player. Understands, not just his position, but he can answer questions about secondary and coverages. You watch him and sit in meetings with him,he talks that way; he talks almost like a coach. I can’t say enough about the guy and how he’s matured and how he’s playing and how he is. He’s a fun guy to be around.”

On wanting to have ‘nasty’ guys on defense: “You definitely do. If you’re playing football and you want to have a defense that’s the kind of defense we want to have, you have to have an attitude and it has to be a nasty attitude.”

On the challenges of a short week for coaches and players: “It’s definitely a challenge. Obviously with the players, physically being able to turn around and play on a Thursday. Emotionally, to be able to bring energy to that game on Thursday. Obviously the preparation in getting to know and seeing the opponent and getting to work on them out on the practice field with limited reps, which is what you’re going to do over the course of that. For coaches, from a  coaching standpoint, putting together a game plan in a short amount of time and having the guys ready. So there’s quite a few challenges, but we’re excited about that opportunity to play on a Thursday night. Obviously (Hall of Fame RB) Jim Brown getting inducted into the Ring of Honor will be huge and another thing that will be special about that night.”

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