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Browns coordinator press conferences - 10/15

Defensive coordinator Jim O'Neil

Opening statement:

"Obviously, a big win for our team last week. Huge for the Dawg Pound for us to get that win. I was proud of how our guys finished in crunch time. I was proud of how some of the guys stepped up in some of the roles they were thrusted into given some of our injuries. Denver Broncos coming into town this week. It's a great opportunity for us as a team and as a defense – a chance to go against (Broncos QB) Peyton Manning at quarterback, a good offense, got weapons at every level of their offense – and we know as a defense we have to execute at a high level. We have to put our guys in a position to make some plays for us to be in this game and get a victory."

On if Manning is like a coordinator on the field:

"Yeah, absolutely a lot of it's like a couple weeks ago with (Chargers QB) Philip Rivers. He's got a lot of flexibility at the line of scrimmage to check plays and attack coverages that he might see or front that he might see. Yeah, it's like you're going against a damn good player and a damn good offensive coordinator all at once."

On if Manning ever makes it seem like he is changing plays at the line of scrimmage to confuse the defense:

"Yeah, he's been doing that forever so you have to be careful about listening too much to what he's saying out there."

On Manning being ranked as the 30th QB in the league:

"To me, right now, he's undefeated. Their team is undefeated. On the tape, he still looks like to me he's playing at a high level. I think that as the year has gone on, he's getting more comfortable in the new offensive system. Each game, you can tell that. If the numbers are low, the wins are high so they're doing something right."

On Browns players filling roles due to injury against the Ravens:

"(DB) Pierre (Desir) had to step in again when (DB) Joe (Haden) went down, and I thought he did a nice job in there in the second half and in overtime. (DB) Jordan Poyer had to come in for (DB) Tashaun Gipson. He did a really good job. He got a game ball last week. He probably had his best game defensively as a Cleveland Brown. We really challenged him. Two weeks ago, he made some mistakes out there that I know he wish he had back, and he did a good job responding for us. We had some young guys up front play well. (DL) Xavier Cooper continues to do some good things for us, and (LB) Nate Orchard did some good things on the edge for us. (LB) Tank (Carder) went in there. We're thin at the inside backer position with (LB) Craig (Robertson) being down. Tank went in there and made some nice plays for us. It was good to see those guys step into bigger roles than what they might have been expected going into the year and do some good things for us defensively."

On Gipson's performance this year and if it's a lost season:

"I don't think it'll be a lost season. He had a little bit of an ankle. He's looked good this week. Still hoping that he's got a chance for this upcoming weakened. He's been playing, when he's been out there, he's been outstanding for us. I know everybody wants to look at the stats, but as far as his eye discipline, his ability to show up in the run game, to scare a quarterback from throwing the ball down the middle of the field, when he was in there, he was playing great for us. He was playing a lot better at the beginning of this year than he played last year for us. I'll be excited to get him back."

On only having one interception so far this year:

"Turnovers come in bunches. We have to make some plays. We have to put our guys in position to make some more plays by affecting the quarterback and when the quarterback does throw us one we have to make sure we catch it. We've had some opportunities to pick a few balls off and we've ended up with some PBUs (pass breakups) or the wide receiver does a nice job getting a hand in there. We're not coaching it any different. The scheme is not that much different. We're still turnover Thursdays. Today, if they get four, the coaches do push-ups; if they don't, they do push-ups. We're doing all the same stuff that we've always done in the past. The last two years of this system – the first year when we were in Buffalo and then our first year here in Cleveland – we've had a lot of success turning the ball over. We're hoping for the wave of them to come here."

On LB Paul Kruger's limited snaps:

"I think Paul's doing a good job for us. I know that the stats haven't been there. I think Paul went eight games last year without having a sack. It's just like turnovers; sacks come in bunches. Paul has done a really good job affecting the quarterback. He's gotten the quarterback off of his spot. He's doing a good job getting push on the offensive tackles. We're asking him to do a lot of things defensively, and he's been a real pro and a team guy. Just the way last week felt, the way the game played out – I know Pett (Head coach Mike Pettine) explained the whole thing to you guys about how we packaged it – we had five outside backers up. We were trying to roll all those guys to get them all reps to keep them all fresh throughout the game. We had edges. We were humming out there. Just the other guys ended up with some more reps. I don't see that being a constant thing week in and week out. Paul is going to get his reps. If you have 60 reps, you'd like Paul to be out there for 40 to 45. You don't want him out there for every one because he's your best pass rusher and you want your best pass rushers fresh at times, especially in the fourth quarter when you need him to go in in a two-minute situation."

On why LB Barkevious Mingo hasn't played more SAM linebacker:

"It became a little bit of a crowded position group. I talked to Ming this week. I have to do a better job of getting him going and getting him involved, and that's our plan moving forward."

On why Mingo hasn't been more involved:

"It's just he had the injury so he was gone for a while. We had packages up for him last week. We just couldn't get to him. The way that game ended up being played in the second half, we just couldn't get to those packages. He's got a big part of our game plan this week. He has had a big part of our gameplan every week. You can never predict how it's going to go and what packages you're going to end up in and what down and distances you're going to end up in more."

On if DL Danny Shelton's tape was more impressive this week:

"I thought he did some really good things. Obviously, the two penalties were two not so good things. That's been addressed with him, but I do think he popped in the middle of the defense, yes."

On if LB Scott Solomon's injury causes issues in the lineup:

"I did have high expectations of Scott. Anytime a guy gets injured that you're counting on as a key backup or a starter, it always causes a ripple effect and you have to adjust. Every team has to go through that, but I'd be lying to you if I didn't say I was excited about Scott Solomon going into the year. I feel horrible for the kid because I know how hard he's worked and just given his past, cut here, cut there, cut here and then he gets a chance here and he ends up turning an ankle on the second play of the season, then he ends up with a knee injury in the beginning of the second quarter of this past game, it's just tough but that's the game. It's a violent game and injuries are going to happen."

On if he has resolved the lineup issues with Solomon out:

"Yeah, absolutely. The other guys have to step up. We have to put them in position to make plays, and we have to go. It's next man up."

On how DB Tashaun Gipson looks good this week without being able to practice:

"How he feels, how he's in the meeting room, what they're saying treatment wise, walking around in the walkthrough – that kind of stuff."

On the Broncos WRs' talent:

"They're special. Both those wide receivers are difference makers. They have a difference maker throwing them the ball and they're difference makers catching the ball. Anytime a team has two difference makers on the outside, it's definitely a challenge."

On Carder playing more often:

"With us being thin at inside backer, when you lose a guy like (LB) Craig (Robertson), if you ask Kirko (LB Christian Kirksey) to step on that role, it hurts our special teams. We tried to roll some guys. That way, the Kirkseys of the world could still have a role and help us on special teams. We know special teams is a big part of what's going to help us win and lose football games. We thought Tank deserved to get some plays on defense. He's done a really good job for us in practice, he had a good spring so it was a good opportunity to get him out there. There were some plays that I know he wishes he had some back. Kind of some growing pains of being out there for the first time, but he made a lot of good plays for us. He did a good job in the box against the run and he made some nice plays in the pass game."

On LB Nate Orchard's playing time last Sunday:

"Again, we ended up in one of our sub-groupings where we had him as a starter. If you were to ask me if we were going to end up in that grouping that much going into the game, I would have said no, but that's just how the game went. I think Nate is just getting better every week. I think that the production and the stats will eventually pop, but he's just gotten better and better and better and better and better each week he's been here. I'm happy with where he's at and the direction he's going since he's been here."

On if possibly not having Haden on Sunday makes it easier to get Desir prepared:

"I didn't know that Joe definitely wasn't going yet this week so I'm still holding out. I'm still holding out for Joe and Gip (DB Tashaun Gipson) to go this week. We kind of have Plan A and Plan B going right now as a coaching staff. Joe obviously didn't practice yesterday. We'll see what he can do today. If he can't, it's a good situation for Pierre and guys like Bade (DB Johnson Bademosi) and guys like (DB) Justin (Gilbert) because they're getting a lot more practice reps, whereas when a guy gets hurt in game, a lot of times those guys don't get a lot of reps and you're adjusting on the fly with them. If those guys can't go, then the guys that are going to replace them will be more prepared than if they got hurt in game."

On DB K'Waun William's penalty last Sunday:

"I thought he did exactly what he's coached to do."

Offensive coordinator John DeFilippo

Opening statement:

"Great to see everybody. Fantastic team victory this past weekend for us. It is great to be 1-0 in the division. As we all know, especially in this division, those wins are hard to come by, especially on the road. It is great to be 1-0 in the division. That is a tough place to play. We earned that victory. There is no doubt about it. I am really proud of the way our players stepped up. We had a couple tough situations there in the beginning of the game. We obviously didn't punch the ball in when we wanted to. We kept fighting and scratching and clawing and playing with a bunch of passion, energy and swagger that we talk about all the time and found a way to get the ball into the end zone. I was really pleased with the way we ran the ball in the second half. I think we had 74 yards rushing. The thing that was good to see was we ran the ball when they knew we were going to run it. We had some loaded boxes in there. There were bringing Cover 0, Cover 0, Cover 0 and we just kept finding a way to get three, four and we broke one. It was good to see us run the ball a little bit more consistently in the second half."

To say that this is going to be a challenge for us this week is obviously an understatement. The Denver Broncos defense is a fabulous unit. They are ranked number one in the league for a reason and they show it on the field. Not only up front in their front seven, but also in their secondary. They play with a ton of speed and a ton of energy and they rally to the football better than most teams I have seen in the league so far this season."

On his view of the latest TE Gary Barnidge circus catch:

"Gary is one of those guys that nothing surprises me with Gary anymore. It really doesn't. Gary, like I have always said, Gary's preparation and the way he handles his business in the building it is not a surprise that Gary is having the success he is having."

On what Barnidge's success can do for the offense:

"I think anytime you have a big body that can occupy the middle of the field it is a plus for this offense. It really is or for any offense."

On regrouping with the wide receivers and judge what is going to happen next after the team passed for 457 yards last week:

"I think our coaching staff does a great job. I was just up there with (Pett) and we have a ton of personnel groupings where we stick specific guys on the field in specific places to do certain things that they do well. It is not just running plays. It is making sure that they are the right plays and you have the right guys running those plays. I always tell our coaching staff. We could easily brief case coach and leave the building at five o'clock and say we have a great plan. We have to make sure guys that you are running into those spots are doing the things that they do well. To me that is coaching."

On how to slow down Denver's pass rush:

"Good question. We are going to try to get the ball out of our hand. We are going to change up some protections and keep them off balance as much as we can, but it is definitely a pass rush we are going to respect, but at the same time we are not going to shy away from."

On if he believes McCown will be 100 percent Sunday:

"I think that as the week goes on we will find out more about the ankle. Obviously he was limited yesterday, but I think as the week goes on we will know more about the ankle."

On how often he gives McCown a run/pass play call option and how much does his ability to diagnose the defense and get into the right play help the offense:

"I don't want to say how many times we did from a strategic advantage for the other team, but it is more than a few. It is great that he sees the field. A couple of those were in crucial situations where we really needed a play to get us back into manageable situations on third down. I think those plays when you see Josh making those types of plays that is why you saw us last week have the success we did on third down was because we got back into manageable."

On how he handles the praise he has recently been getting:

"I will be honest with you, no offense to anyone here, but I don't really read much. I really don't. There are going to be some weeks when you have good weeks that you are going to get that praise and believe me there are going to be some weeks when it doesn't go so good and you are going to get it the other. That is the price you pay when you sit in the big boy chair."

On did he think working with this offense was going to be a major task when he accepted the job:

"I think anytime you are running an offense in the NFL it is a major task, whether you have 11 Pro Bowlers or you have 11 rookies. I think it is a very, very challenging task, one that takes time, a lot of preparation because obviously this is the best of the best in terms of both players and coaches."

On what led him to believe McCown was going to play well in Cleveland after a down year in Tampa:

"I know just because of my past with Josh. If I hadn't had that past with Josh I probably wouldn't have known that. Just knowing what type of person he is and knowing how he prepares. Knowing the leadership that he brings, not only to the offense, but to the team – those are the things I had. I will be honest with you, I am not sure I would have known that if I had not been with Josh in 2007."

On if Denver's defense is the best defense that have seen all season:


On what makes the Denver defense so strong:

"The hardest thing that any defense, whether it be the Denver Broncos or whoever is when you can get home rushing four people. When you can get home rushing four people and you drop seven into coverage it can make for a long day if you are not protecting up front. That is the first thing we are going to have to concentrate on is blocking their front four and then we will worry about the peripheral after that. We are going to concentrate on blocking those front four guys. The other thing is the physicality plays with at every position. Those corners want to get their hands on you. Their safeties want to grab you and get you at the line of scrimmage. I see this team running to the football more than any team we have played so far this year. The overall speed of the defense is something that stands out to me on tape. Like last week, I said it against the Ravens, I really like our plan this week, but it is going to be a challenge like it is every week in this league."

On the impact DE Derek Wolfe returning to play:

"They are just so deep at every position. You just added depth. You see it in the DB position. You see in the linebacker position. You see it on the defensive line. I think they do a great job of rotating guys in and out and keeping them fresh and he just adds to the overall depth they have on their defense."

On if Barnidge is a better athlete than he looks:

"Gary is a very humble guy. I don't know how he views himself, but the way I view him he is a much better athlete than he gives himself credit for. I really do. I think from day 1 he has shown tremendous ball skills and his ability to separate. The thing that Gary understands is Gary has a great understanding of leverage on defenders. He is not afraid to make contact with a defender while keeping his outside shoulder free if he knows he is making an out breaking move. Those little tricks of the trade that, I don't want to say mastered, but has gotten a lot better at understanding."

On WR Dwayne Bowe:

"We are going to need Dwayne at some point this year. There is no doubt about it. It is a long season. I don't count games. This is Week 6, right? We are going to have ten games after this. We are going to need Dwayne at some point this season. There is no doubt about it. We just have to keep going and I see progress from Dwayne every week."

On if Bowe will be on the field this week:

"That is on the head coach. The inactives and those things. We always have a plan for every scenario."

On his thoughts on Broncos QB Peyton Manning and his legacy:

"Well I can tell you this. When I was in college there was no bigger Peyton Manning fan than me. I always used to joke with (Oakland Raiders DB) Charles Woodson that I am still mad at him for stealing the Heisman (trophy) from (Manning). Peyton Manning, what else can you say? What a career he has had and having. The guy is a total pro and does everything right. I got to know (New York Giants QB) Eli (Manning), his brother, when I was at the Giants and I have been around Peyton a few times. The guy is just a football player. Loves football. You can't say enough great things about Peyton Manning."

On if WR Brian Hartline is going to become a consistent pass catcher:

"Yeah I think, depending on the flow of the game and where we are going with the ball at certain times – I probably need to get Brian on the field a little bit more. There is no doubt about it. We spread the ball around so much and to me I think that is part of the reason we are having a little success because teams can't focus on just one person and that is something that we strive to do. Brian, to me, I am high on Brian Hartline as you guys all know."

On what makes McCown so successful on third and long:

"The first thing he does is stand in the pocket. On third and long you know you're probably going to get hit. It is probably going to be a second or third hitch throw to get to the sticks. You know you are going to get hit so to me number one, toughness and staying in the pocket is one reason why he is very good on third and long. Number two, I think he has a great understanding of what we are trying to do offensively and what the defense is giving him. He has not been afraid to check the ball down."

Special teams coordinator Chris Tabor

Opening statement:

"Denver this week, another big challenge for us. Really good on special teams. Their personnel, I believe, is one of the top units that we've played. Got great linebackers that can run with great speed. Their returner, they've got (WR) Emmanuel Sanders back there, who obviously we all know is a play maker. We have to do a good job there, and we have to be very sound in our coverage. The punter (Broncos P Brandon Colquitt) is one of the Colquitt kids. He's outstanding, very good directional punter, can take a returner out of the game, been a long-time pro who's done a nice job. Then the (Broncos K Brandon) McManus kid, the kicker has made all his field goals. He can hit them from anywhere. He has 22 touchbacks on the season, 28 kicks. As is every week, we have another big challenge, and we have to step up to it."

On Baltimore keeping WR Travis Benjamin out of the game at punt return:

"When you're facing a punter like that, sometimes you are. (Ravens P) Sam Koch obviously is one of the top guys in the league. He did a really nice job with his directional putting it out of bounds, not giving Travis any opportunities. We got a couple opportunities there. They did a nice job in their coverage. You go into games that you have to have some answers, and I think this week will be no different. I expect Colquitt to be the same type of game plan that we saw last week."

On if punting is better league wide:

"It kind of seems that way, to be honest with you, or we're just running into a good string of them. This is guy that's not only been really good directionally with his hang, but then he's also kind of incorporating some of the same type of kicks that (Ravens P) Sam Koch incorporates. They angle one way, then they hit a rugby or a knuckle ball going back the other way so it really keeps your returner guessing on where he needs to be to field the ball. It makes it a little tough sometimes calling a game because you're not exactly sure where he's going."

On high punt averages and not remembering players averaging 50 yards per punt:

"I don't either, to be honest with you, but that's kind of the trend right now. Hopefully, like I said, if we get limited opportunities, we just keep preaching we have to take advantage. If we only get one opportunity, we have to take advantage of it."

On what made him believe in K Travis Coons before the season:

"I just thought that in training camp, the one thing that really struck you is when he hits his ball, he has good rotation on the ball, but it's a straight ball. There's not a lot of draw or a fade to it. I just felt like going into the season and with the weather and the wind and those type of things, that's what you're looking for, a guy that can hit his line, and then if he misses, it's not because of a duck hook or anything like that. It's just probably because his line was just a little off. He's done a nice job for us, he's going to continue to get better and we're excited about which way he's trending right now."

On Coons getting his misses out of his system before game day:

"He gets his misses out. With Thursday's practice field goals, today' s usually the miss day (laughter)."

On if it is unusual for a kicker to practice that way but perform so well in games:

"It has been tough to say a little bit because a couple weeks ago, he might have missed four of them, and then afterwards, he said, 'I'm going to go over and hit some more.' I said 'No, my mom told me somedays there'd be days like that you just have to let it go.' With a young kicker, if they do have a bad day at practice, the natural tendency is 'I'm going to go hit some more, hit some more.' Then, what happens is their leg gets tired. He's really, he's improved and he's working at his craft, and we're still learning Coonsy (K Travis Coons) ourselves from the standpoint of he has multiple kicks and we're working on some things on the side that if we need to use them, we'll be able to do that."

On Coons' personality:

"He's been very good to say the least. I can say in the Baltimore game, I thought the offense did a great job getting down there and getting us yardage and getting us closer and closer, but we did have to approach him and said, 'Which hash would you like it on?' He just kind of looked at me and said, 'I don't care. Whichever one you would like, Tabes.' That made me feel good. We talked about it, I think Tony (Grossi) asked if he hadn't had a game-winner yet so we can kind check that off the list, but you're only as good as your next kick. He understands that so he needs to have another good week this week."

On Coons' comments that he would kick the last field goal in Baltimore from wherever they wanted him to kick:

"I would say that's him in a nutshell right there."

On if coaches had a range in mind for the last kick:

"We did. That's why we elected – there was little bit of a breeze at his back right there, and we thought that definitely from 53 that he was definitely going to have a really good opportunity to make that, and if we had to stretch it a little further, that we could."

On if Coons and 49ers K Phil Dawson's personalities are similar:

"I would say they're different. They have some similarities with regards to attacking their craft and working on their craft. When Phil was here, he had already had his established routine. I think Travis is going through his routine right now of what he wants to do each and every day. He's getting more routine about it, and I think that's helping him."

On Coons' comments that he needs to work on kickoffs:

"There's been some missed contact with it, and that's something that he is working on. It's an area that he needs to improve and he will improve, but he's also beginning to move the ball a little bit, which is going to help us, especially with the weather. I think it's supposed to be pretty windy on Sunday. I think the things that he's been working on hopefully comes into play."

On if the Browns have practiced kicks at FirstEnergy Stadium with the weather changing:

"No, we haven't. We're still kicking here. There's been some good gusts out there so we feel pretty comfortable, and I think where we're at right now with regards to the season, he feels comfortable in the stadium so we haven't ventured down there."

On if the Browns have had too many penalties on special teams:

"I think we have. Obviously, that's an area that we need to improve. Here's what we tell our guys: We've said here before we're going to play aggressive but at the same time want to use good judgement. Sometimes I get the effort penalties and I can live with those. Obviously, you still want to eliminate those things but things that you can control, for example, they called (TE) Gary (Barnidge) one time too far off the ball on the punt. Just things like that, things that you can control that are so easy, you want to start there and clean all those up, and then the effort ones, that's probably I have to do a better job of coaching technique and those things so we need to get that rectified."

On if DB Justin Gilbert will stay in the kickoff return role:

"Yes, he will."

On if Gilbert could have been more aggressive returning some of the kickoffs that went 5-yards deep:

"He did, and I'll be honest with you, I told him to hang right in there. Really the way the game flow was going and we had some guys that ended up playing some more snaps on defense and they were getting a little tired and that was a very speedy unit, we wanted to make sure we started at least at the 20 and not put our offense in danger or start behind the 20 there. That was kind of a little bit of a game plan and personnel type thing at that time, the way the game flow was going so those were instructions."

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