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Settle to 'teach, critique, demand'

Posted Mar 5, 2013

Browns running backs coach John Settle is focused on teaching the system, critiquing the film and demanding excellence from his players.

Cleveland Browns running backs coach John Settle has a simple philosophy when it comes to coaching in the NFL: teach the players what he wants to have done on the field and in the classroom.

“My thing is: ‘Teach, critique and demand,’” Settle said. “It sounds pretty simple, but if you’re a player, it’s not always the nicest thing. I’m going to teach you want we want done. I’m going to show you, diagram it on the board. Then, I’m going to put it on you to understand it and then, I’m going to critique it on film. I’m going to grade the practice film, going to give you the corrections, and then, I’m going to demand that it’s done correctly.”

Teaching, critiquing and demanding success from players is something Settle learned during his days working with the Carolina Panthers under new Browns coach Rob Chudzinski. Chudzinski served as the Panthers’ offensive coordinator, and Settle was the running backs coach.

“The first time I met Chud, I probably had one of the longest interviews in the history of man, as far as being on the board and those types of things,” Settle said. “I learned right away that Chud’s a guy that’s very detail-oriented. He wanted to make sure that you knew what you were talking about so if he relayed something to you, you could relate that message to your position group.”

Settle will teach, critique and demand excellence from a running game that gained 1,593 yards and scored 12 of the team’s 31 overall touchdowns last season. The Browns had 396 rushing plays in 2012, which accounted for 39.7 percent of the team’s offensive snaps.

First-year Browns running back Trent Richardson rushed for 950 yards and 11 touchdowns -- both team rookie records -- on 267 carries. His long run of 32 yards went for a touchdown in the team’s loss at Cincinnati on Sept. 16.

When Richardson battled his way through injuries, third-year pro Montario Hardesty rushed for 271 yards and one touchdown, a one-yard leap over the line of scrimmage in a 34-24 home win over the Bengals on Oct. 14.

“It’s great talent,” Settle said. “There’s a great ceiling. The sky’s the limit for these guys. With what you saw last year with Trent and then, Montario, and some of the guys that were here already, you see that they were guys that were productive, that they have a great skill set and should be able to have an easy transition into what we want to do here.

“A smarter player is a better player. All of these guys are very intelligent ball players and we have a way of getting information to them early enough to when they come in for OTAs and that type of thing, we have an opportunity to be a step ahead.”

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