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Desire to play 'good sign' for Chudzinski

Posted Aug 27, 2013

Cleveland Browns coach Rob Chudzinski was happy to hear that his starting quarterback wants to play in the fourth preseason game Thursday.

At a time when many coaches rest their starters in preparation for the regular season, Cleveland Browns coach Rob Chudzinski is considering playing his first-team offense and defense in Thursday’s preseason finale against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field.

Upon hearing that quarterback Brandon Weeden called himself a “creature of habit” that does not like taking much time off, Chudzinski said Weeden’s attitude was “a good sign.”

“I think that speaks a lot about their value of preparation and continuing to get reps, go out and improve and get those opportunities to go out and play,” Chudzinski said. “That’s how we’re approaching it this week. Those guys are all preparing themselves to play. I think that’s important in the process. I like that attitude.

“The players came back, were very focused and very open to coaching and some of the improvements and corrections that we’ve made. We had a good day of work yesterday, and another good day of work today. We’re going to continue to coach them hard. We’re going to continue to improve and make progress.”

Having players who do not want to sit out a game, and instead, plan on taking repetitions in a game situation aligns with Chudzinski’s philosophy and goal for development during training camp and the preseason.

“In the preseason, you try to build the base,” Chudzinski said. “You’re trying to evaluate specific guys, so sometimes, you may do more of something than at other times or what you plan on doing during the year.

“You want to combine building a base with the evaluation of players. Sometimes, you may show things that you want to show on purpose that you may not be doing a lot of, and vice versa. As you’re studying at the preseason and looking at an opponent, you always have to take those things into consideration.”

Although he likes the energy and effort displayed by the Browns’ players, Chudzinski said he will weigh the risk of injuries against getting valuable on-field work when making the final decision whether or not the starters will take the field against the Bears.

“You have to consider it,” Chudzinski said of the injury factor. “It’s a tough decision, especially considering that there’s new systems in place and a lot of guys who don’t have experience, those first, second, third-year type guys that you need to play. You have to weigh those things, and then, there’s all the other situations in terms of guys that may be nicked up that you’d like to hold. We’ll factor that all together.”

TRIMMING THE ROSTER

By the end of the day Tuesday, the Browns have to be down to 75 players on their active roster. Then, the roster must be trimmed to 53 men by Saturday evening. Going through the process of cutting players for the first time, Chudzinski said it can be “difficult.”

“I recognize that a lot of guys, this is their dream, and I take that seriously, sitting down with them and talking through things,” Chudzinski said. “The crazy thing about this business is, you just never know. Sometimes, for some of them, it is the last time that they’ll play. For some of them, they may play somewhere else. We may pick them up later on down the road, and you just never know, but I appreciate everything that they’ve done.

“Coming in as a new coaching staff and bringing in a whole new approach to things, a different approach to things, these guys were all part of that, part of the process, put in the work. I appreciate all the efforts they’ve made.”

INJURY UPDATE

The Browns have been without outside linebacker and the No. 6 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, Barkevious Mingo, since the team’s preseason win over the Detroit Lions on Aug. 15. Mingo suffered a bruised lung in the win and subsequently, spent two nights in the hospital undergoing “further evaluation.”

On Tuesday, Chudzinski provided an update on Mingo.

“He’s doing better, and he continues to be monitored,” Chudzinski said. “He’s actually going to run a little bit today, so we’re looking forward to seeing that.”