BEREA, Ohio -- As the Cleveland Browns shifted their focus to Thursday night's preseason-opener against the St. Louis Rams, coach Rob Chudzinski addressed his plan for using players during the game.
“We are going to play our starters for the most part, for about a quarter,” Chudzinski said after Tuesday’s training-camp practice. “That may vary from individual to individual. We will get our second group in there for the second quarter and third quarter.
“Some will be done at halftime and some will go forward in the third quarter. Fourth quarter, we will get some of our third group in there.”
“(We’re) giving our guys some looks, studying the tapes and giving them a chance to work against some of the different things St. Louis may be doing that are different than they are seeing on a day-to-day basis from our offense and from our defense,” he said. “It will be good to get a chance to get out on the field to see our guys against different competition, against different people. We are looking forward to that opportunity.”
After installing new offensive and defensive schemes in the offseason, the Browns have a plan in place for dividing playing time among the 90 players.
Chudzinski and his staff have also put into place a script of plays for the game.
“We are going to be going in with our base offense, base defense, and our base calls, special teams as well, and see how are guys execute them,” Chudzinski said. “Preseason, we will always hold a little bit back for the regular season. We are in a situation where guys are learning an offense, defense and special teams, and so we want to see how they are going to execute our base package.”
Chudzinski will be coaching his first preseason game from the sidelines. Whether he was in the booth or on the field, Chudzinski will be a part of the decision-making process in terms of the play-calling.
“One of the things that is important to me is having two coordinators calling the game that you have faith in,” Chudzinski said. “I can focus more on game management, whether that’s situational calls, whether that’s replay, whether it’s timeouts. Those are the big things that come up. Hopefully, guys that I trust and the way I do with our coordinators here, that will be a good help.
“Whether I was up in the box or not, I have been able to be a part of those decisions and understanding the different situations in games that come up. It’s something I have been real fortunate, to be around really good head coaches that I can learn from along the way. Certainly, Norv (Turner) is a guy I have talked to. I have a book about this thick that’s full of different scenarios that over the course of summer, I had a chance to look at them and study the situations that would come up and think through how I would handle them.”
While Chudzinski will be on the field during the game, he will have assistants up in the booth to aid with the replay challenges. The men in the booth will be there to advise Chudzinski whether or not he should throw the red flag on a challengeable play.
“We have a system set up of guys looking from up top,” Chudzinski said. “Certainly, Norv and Ray (Horton) will be up in the box and they will have a good look at some of the replays. We will also have a guy specified to do that and then, down on the field between myself and some other eyes. Hopefully, we have it all covered.”
Rookie offensive lineman
“What I like and what we saw was a big guy who can really move his feet well,” Chudzinski said. “Where he is coming from, it’s a big adjustment. He played tackle, so moving to guard is usually an adjustment for guys. The level of competition of what he is seeing and the offense is a lot more than what he did in college. There are three things that usually young guys coming from smaller schools have adjustments to do. I have been pleased with what he is doing. He is a guy who has improved. He just needs to keep working.
“A lot of times it’s a matter of technique, going against guys who have been in the league for so long who are physically equal or a little bit ahead of him. It’s a matter of learning the techniques and getting better at those. He should be fine.”
YOUNT GETS EXTENSION
“At that position, you have to be perfect,” Chudzinski said. “He’s proven he has been a valuable part of the team. You never know how valuable those guys are until you don’t have one that can get the snap back, and I’ve been there before. We’re happy to have Christian as a part of our organization for a long time and he’s earned it.”