Skip to main content


Browns assistant coach press conferences - 6/9

Included below are select quotes from interviews with the following Browns position coaches during today's media availability:

  • Defensive backs coach Louie Cioffi
  • Inside linebackers coach Johnny Holland
  • Offensive line coach Hal Hunter
  • Defensive line coach Robert Nunn
  • Senior offensive assistant/wide receivers coach Al Saunders
  • Outside linebackers coach Ryan Slowik

Defensive backs coach Louie Cioffi:

On potentially feeling unsettled due to new personnel in the secondary, plus DB Joe Haden missing time:

"No, I'm excited about this group. It's a very young group with two veterans, really. There's a lot of opportunity for guys, both at the nickel position and the corner position. You can never have enough corners in this league. This is a passing league. The more guys we have that can compete and be ready to play for us, the better off we will be in the long run."

On the confidence level with two younger safeties in DBs Ibraheim Campbell and Jordan Poyer:

"I have confidence in both of them. I was fortunate enough to coach Campbell at the Senior Bowl when he was a rookie so we have some history together. I've also been around Poyer during my last stop here [in 2013]. They've both been in our system before. They've done everything that we have asked them up to this point. I think it is going to be a very good competition moving into camp."

On if Haden has shown signs for a positive return after missing time last season and this offseason due to injury:

"When I got hired here, the first person I talked to was obviously (Head) Coach (Hue) Jackson. The second text I got was from Joe. He was extremely excited that we are back together. I expect him to be back in the Pro Bowl. He's that kind of player. We are going to do everything we can to get him back to that status. I think he's going to help us win a lot of football games. He's been awesome. He's been rehabbing like crazy. He's been great in the meeting rooms, and I think he'll be ready to go when the season starts."

On what he knew about DB Justin Gilbert prior to joining the Browns and how Gilbert has looked during offseason workouts:

"Before I got here, we obviously had studied him and had him on our board. He was a high first-round pick, very talented athlete. We discussed possibly taking him. Everything I know about him is good. The same thing here. When I first got here, we sat down. We mapped out a plan. He has goals and I have goals. What we are going to do is do everything we can in our power to get him to reach his goals. He has been tremendous. He has done everything that we have asked. He has been attentive in meetings. He has been very productive on the field. He's been amenable to the techniques that we have asked him to play, and he's been successful in that area. Hopefully, that will continue. I don't see any reason why he can't be a very good corner in this league."

On if it can be tough to give all players a 'clean slate' when hearing about past situations:

"No, I always approach that every time you go into a situation that everyone starts on the same page. Right now, in the DB room, we have 19 players. That's 19 different personalities. My goal, as a coach is to get the very oat out of those players and to get them to reach their goals. If I do that, then it's better for everybody. I give everyone the benefit of the doubt. It's really an old saying, 'I see better than I hear.' As long as they are doing what I see, we're good to go.

Inside linebackers coach Johnny Holland:

On how the ILBs have progressed during offseason workouts:

"(LB) Demario Davis, he has done a terrific job for us coming in and trying to learn the system and has been a leader for us. He's been working in the weight room and he's a good worker on the field. (LB) Christian Kirksey, he's been very impressive athletically. He's getting stronger and bigger. He shows a lot of athletic skill on the field that we really like. A lot of it will come down to how we play with the pads on. I'm looking forward to him having a great year. (LB) Justin Tuggle is one of our inside linebackers. He has been a great addition for us. He has some size and speed. He's a very sharp guy. A lot of it will come to when we put the pads on. There's a lot of competition at the positions. We're very pleased with Tuggle and his progression and learning our defense. (LB) Tank Carder has been very consistent. He's a dual player that can play both positions. He's a smooth athlete and does exactly what we want him to do. I've been very impressed with Tank, as well. (LB) Scooby Wright (III), our seventh-round draft pick, he's playing the Buck linebacker for us. He's done an excellent job of trying to learn our defense, working very hard. He's going to have a bright future. Scooby plays with the effort that we like. He's a very intense player and he had a lot of production in college, which we are looking to get some production from our inside linebackers. We have our free agent, (LB) Dominique Alexander. We are very pleased to have him. We like his athletic ability. He's a smart kid and an instinctive player who can make plays. We are very impressed with our inside linebacker group. There is a lot of competition there."

On if LB Christian Kirksey has the ability to be a starter:

"Yeah, absolutely. Kirksey has the tools that you look for at that position. He's athletic enough to cover. We're going to develop him with some pass rush skills. This system fits his athletic ability. (Defensive coordinator) Ray (Horton) does a good job of moving our linebackers around and giving them the opportunity to rush. Kirksey definitely has the ability to be a big time player in this league."

On if LB Demario Davis has displayed strong leadership ability:

"Yes, most definitely. He's a dynamic worker. He's in the building all the time. He wants to be a good player. He's always working to get better. He's one of those guys that he's going to lead. He's going to show up early and he's going to stay late. We're definitely pleased to have him. We just have to take his pay to another level, and I think he's going to be a big time player in this league. I'm excited about working with him.

On emphasizing the need to stop the run and the amount of teaching involved:

"Ray is our defensive coordinator, and we put a lot of emphasis on that. That's one of the points that we touched early in the offseason is that we're going to be able to stop the run. It's practice. Guys have to know what to do and know how to fit gaps, and that's what we're working on this offseason. We're working hard. You have to be physical. Our guys run to the ball hard right now. That's a part of stopping the run, as well. We're going to do a good job of stopping the run."

On if he likes the physical type of training camp that Head Coach Hue Jackson has described:

"Absolutely. In order to be an inside linebacker or a defensive player period, you have to be physical. In order to be physical, you have to practice being physical. You can't just be physical overnight and get into a game and be physical. We're going to practice physical when it's time to, and we're going to practice smart when it's time to. As an inside linebacker, the more opportunities we have to tackle and practice physical, we want to do that."

The Browns took to the field to finish the three-day veterans' minicamp.

Offensive line coach Hal Hunter:

On if the Browns have an interior swing lineman who can also serve as a backup center:

"The guy that did it in the past I guess a couple years ago when (OL Alex) Mack got hurt was (OL John) Greco. We've had Greco do [center-quarterback] exchange every single day out here. He's done a really good job of it. He's really functional at it. He's smart. He understands it. He probably didn't take any reps during the spring, but he'll get reps during the fall there. Because it's a whole new system, I wanted him to have the opportunity to just focus on right guard and just practice there at the position. I have no question that he could come in if he had to come in [at center]. They dress maybe seven or eight guys so somebody has got to be the swing man."

On if OL Mike Matthews is getting reps at guard:

"No, he's been mostly focusing on center. There is so much going on at center right now. We've had him mainly focused there at center. He's gotten some reps, probably not as many reps as he would like, but we've had a lot of guys working that center position. He'll get his opportunity in camp. He's a tough kid. He's a smart kid, a competitive kid, comes from a good stock. Football is important to him. I'll be anxious to see him put the pads on and let him go."

On right tackle:

"At the right tackle position, there is going to be a lot of competition at right tackle because you've got (OL) Alvin Bailey that came in. You look at Alvin Bailey when he played last year [in Seattle], he went in for (former Seahawks and Broncos OL) Russell Okung at left tackle. He played really good. When they had me evaluate him, I was like, 'Why am I wasting my time because they're not letting him go?' Then, I was really excited when he came in here for the visit. When he swings over the right tackle, all the technique is absolutely backwards. We've worked a lot of his technique, and our system is a lot more complicated than what they did in Seattle. We're asking him to do a lot more, but he's picked it up really well. I've been pleased. He's got a ways to go to be able to do what we want, but he's making progress. (OL) Spencer Drango has come in and has kind of been a little bit of a surprise. He's been working the backup right tackle, picking up the offense good. He's a tough, competitive kid, fairly athletic. He's a four-year left tackle. We've gone to right tackle so we're getting his technique. He's gone in there and competed. He's still got a ways to go, but he's in there. (OL) Michael Bowie played a little bit of right tackle early in the spring, and he played some guard. He's been finishing out the last couple weeks at left tackle. Then of course, (OL) Shon Coleman. Shon Coleman was a really impressive guy at Auburn when we watched him on tape. He reminded me a lot of a guy I had at San Diego from Auburn named Marcus McNeill, who played me for and was All-Pro for the first two years for me in San Diego – Shon Coleman, they have a lot in common. He'll be ready for fall camp. There are going to be a lot of guys competing at that position which is good news."

Defensive line coach Robert Nunn:

On the message to the Browns defensive line after minicamp:

"I told them, for the next few weeks or days or weeks or whatever, get you mind off of it. Relax, get their mind right and start training. Come in here, and if you're not in the best shape of your life, then it's your own fault. I believe every one of them will. All of them have got a plan, and we've talked about the plan in the offseason and how they're going to train and where they're going to train, when they're coming back. I just told them a minute ago, they have to come back with the same frame of mind and be ready to go to work and we'll see where this thing goes.

On having strength and conditioning/skills development coach Joe Kim on staff:

"I've worked with Joe for 17 years. He and I go way back. I've been close to Joe for a long time and have worked with him for a lot of years. That was one of the first discussions that I had with (Head Coach) Hue (Jackson) was about Joe. Joe is a great teacher. He can teach. The guy has great energy when he's around guys. If he's teaching martial arts or football or how to drive that tractor over there, he can teach. He's a good teacher."

On DL Danny Shelton during offseason workouts and if he can be a three-down lineman:

"The thing that Danny has bought into is he has gotten the weight off right now, and he's in a very good place mentally, very good place physically. He's a very good player. He can do so many more things at the weight he's at right now and the condition he is in. He's got to keep that, and time will tell. He's the one that controls that. I can only help him so much. The strength coaches can only help him so much. Coach Jackson can only help him so much. He's really in a good place right now. I see him being more than a first- and second-down player. Will he be in on every nickel package situation? No, but he will be in there against certain people. When we get in a situation where there are certain guards that struggle blocking certain guys like Danny, he will be in the package if he stays right where he is from a mental standpoint and a physical standpoint. The guy has a special talent. To be that big and to move as quick as he can, all he's got to do is stick with the process and keep improving his hands, keep improving his pad level and keep improving his footwork. The sky is the limit for Danny."

Senior offensive assistant/wide receivers coach Al Saunders:

On how the Browns can put a strong group of WRs on the field if they are so young:

"If they continue to make the improvements that they've made since they've been here, we're looking forward to a group of very energetic and very capable players. These guys work hard. They've had great careers in college, and those that have been here for a year have made marked improvement on a daily basis. What they've learned so far in this OTA session and these minicamps is what we expect of them in terms of their energy and their effort in the classroom and on the field. They've made some great strides. Now, we got to Phase 2, which is the training camp. We play real football at that time. We'll see how they progress through that. I'm excited about this group. They're great kids."

On WR Corey Coleman:

"Corey is what we thought he was. He's a talented football player. He's got great speed. He's got some great route-running ability. He just has had a very limited background in his college days. That's what we're here for is to make sure that he learns how to progress the basics and gets better and better. I've been really pleased with his attitude and really pleased with his effort. I think the Cleveland fans are going to be excited to see him when he gets up to speed in every phase of the game. We're looking forward to that, also."

On if WR Terrelle Pryor will be able to make an impact and contribute this season:
"The season is yet to come here, but I know one thing: he's improved by leaps and bounds. It's really hard, that transition from the quarterback position to a wide receiver position, and the physical environment is so different. He's being asked to do things that he's never really been asked to do before. He's got to make a lot of ground up in that way, but every day he gets better, he does something that really gives me room for optimism that he has a future at that position. We're really excited about him. He's dedicated himself in the classroom, and his work ethic is better and better and better. His efficiency is better and better and better. I look forward to getting him in training camp and see where we can go from there. He's done a nice job."

Outside linebackers coach Ryan Slowik:

On LB Emanuel Ogbah's progress and when he may be ready to play regularly:

"Each day, he's gotten better. He'll ask questions that are a little more advanced than the question he asked the day before. You can see it, once he starts to just let it go and play, how talented he is. Each day is a step in that direction. It's been good."

On if LB Barkevious Mingo's role and if he may be playing in multiple spots in the front:

"We hope to. How much he moves around is up to him as far as how much he kind of embraces the defense and continues to grow in it. So far, that's the plan to get him active in different ways and doing different things."

On how Browns players have benefitted from strength and conditioning/skills development coach Joe Kim and the hand-fighting techniques:

"Any time you have more eyes, more hands on a player, the better. We only have limited access to them. Obviously, schematically, we're a lot of the time just worried about getting them lined up, making sure they understand the call and understand their responsibilities. The fact that you can have somebody that is dedicated to that craft all the time is just really helpful. You can just see their hands moving, their feet, their hips staying active in the rush. It's been great."

On the message to Browns players about not focusing on how reps are split in practice and snaps during the season:

"Right now, it's all about competition. That's a decision that they are making for themselves. They understand the importance of that position and that role. They're competing with each other. That'll play out."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content