Browns coordinators press conference - 10/28

Special teams coordinator Chris Tabor

Opening statement:

"We will get started on the New York Jets, another really good team. The first thing we always look at are the returners, and they have (Jets WR) Jalin Marshall, the rookie free agent kid from Ohio State who is having a nice year, especially in the kick return game. He is a strong runner, a north-and-south guy, breaks tackles and has great balance and vision. We have our work cut out with this guy. Their specialists have been doing a nice job. (Jets K) Nick Folk is a guy who has been around for a long time. He is one of the top guys in the league. I think he has only missed one kick under 40 yards. When he goes out there, he gets them the points. We have a lot of work to do on this one. They are well coached. We hope to play well on Sunday."

On looking forward to WR Corey Coleman returning to play soon:

"Yeah, it is always good when you see guys that have been injured and are working to get back. He is a step closer. We will be super excited when he is all the way back."

On P Britton Colquitt and K Cody Parkey performing well and if that settled down the entire special teams unit after a shakeup earlier in the season:

"I think so. Both of them are really good pros. I think that probably does help some in the room a little bit. To be honest with you, I have never really thought about it like that, they are both performing at a high level, and we need them to perform at a high level. Colquitt is a guy who can move the football around, and he has some other kicks that he has developed. He actually broke out one of the kicks last week and did a really nice job with it, which helps our younger guys with going down and covering. That has been a plus. Cody continues to work at his craft and is doing a nice job when called upon. We feel fortunate there and still have a ways to go but expect those guys to play well on Sunday."

On if Parkey kicked at FirstEnergy Stadium yesterday or will before Sunday:

"No, we didn't. He feels pretty good about it. I will be honest with you, I was more concerned with the first time when we were down in the New England game because he hadn't been down there. Being the pro that he is, he goes, 'Coach, I am good. I almost would treat it like a road game. There are plenty of stadiums I haven't been in that we will go kick at.' He kicked well that day. We actually probably have more wind down at practice because there is not anything blocking it. He has been kicking well in that. I feel confident that we are getting the wind work that we need. With where he is, how he is striking the ball and where he is mentally, I feel we are in a good spot." 


Defensive coordinator Ray Horton:**

On if it was an unpleasant surprise when DB Jamar Taylor was added to the Browns injury report:

"Anytime anybody misses, whether it is practice or a game, you like to have all your players up and available, especially your starters. Part of it is the next man has to be ready to step up and do his job, and we have played a lot of guys so it is not like guys are not ready to play and they have some experience. We just keep pushing, and the guys that are available to play on Sunday will play for us."

On Head Coach Hue Jackson not being happy with how the Browns defense played against the Bengals:

"Yeah, he was probably the second person not happy. I was the first. We have to just settle down and play defense. You have seen spurts, but we are not very consistent right now in playing good football. We have to be. It is Week 8, and our guys need to now go, 'I am a NFL player and this is what I do,' and not be on that rollercoaster of up and down. We are going to keep finding the players that play well, and when they play well, we are going to keep playing them. It does not matter who you are, where you came from and how you got here. If you perform well, you are going to get more and more opportunities to perform. I was very disappointed in the way we performed down in Cincinnati."

On the Browns' defensive struggles against the Bengals:

"Two things – one is obviously missed tackles. We had two missed tackles on the long run, and then we have to produce more big plays. As you look around the league, no matter how you look at it, whether it is ESPN, on the Red Zone or the highlights Sunday night, however they show those highlights it is always big plays, meaning big plays for somebody, whether it is a defensive big play or an offensive big play. We just need to settle down and produce more big plays and really just play fundamentally sound football. It is no secret to what you are doing and nothing has changed for years. It is just basic fundamental football and then producing big plays."

On big plays being defined as sacks and turnovers:

"On our side of the ball, yeah. Sometimes, it is just a tackle for a loss. It doesn't have to be a turnover-touchdown type of thing. It is just a third-and-one, a good stop. Just really doing your job. That is what we preach all the time: be fundamentally sound and do your job and just trust that the teammate next to you is going to do his. That is what we have to get good at is just basic fundamental football, and the rest will take care of itself."

On improving upon opponents' success on opening drives:

"Fundamental football to me. Not to be flippant, I'm not trying to be at all. It really is. When you watch – I think this would be indicative of no matter who you are – somewhere there is going to be a play where, whether you are offense or defense, to continue the drive or stop the drive, and it is probably going to come down to blocking, tackling, catching the ball or knocking the ball down. I don't want to overcomplicate things and say it is the scheme or these guys are doing this and the sun is up at certain times. It is just fundamental football, blocking and tackling and getting off the field."

On Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, him playing with an edge recently with his comments and his interception total:

"Watching him and playing him the last couple years and watching his career, he has always played with an edge. An Ivy League kid, it is hard to come from and not a lot of guys come from the Ivy League to the NFL. That is not the typical track to get here. He has probably always played that way. That is probably part of his DNA. As far as what is happening this year, it is between (Jets Head) Coach (Todd) Bowles, their upper management and what he is doing. What we are going to try to do is continue to play fundamental football and try to pressure the quarterback. It doesn't matter if it is Ryan Fitzpatrick or (Bengals QB) Andy Dalton. We just play who we play. We have to play better. That is the thing that we have been trying to stress to our team. It doesn't matter who comes in here and where we go on the road to play. We have to take care of the Cleveland Browns, and the rest will take care of itself. Until we can take care of ourselves, it doesn't matter who lines up at quarterback for everybody."

On if it is possible the Browns simply don't have enough good football players right now:

"Absolutely not. When you look, we make enough solid plays – we just need to make more. They are capable of it. They are working hard. If we can just be fundamentally sound in what we do, we will get better. They are working very hard to do what we ask them to do. It is our job to get them in position to do it and then just take over. If we will just continue to do what we are doing… We see signs of it. We just want to be more consistent on defense."

On how DB Joe Haden is progressing:

"Good. The medical staff will give us a report. I know he wants to play desperately. When his body will let him play, he will play. I know he wants to play. There is no question about that."On LB Joe Schobert receiving fewer snaps last week and how he can earn more snaps:

"We are going to continue to play guys that make plays and produce big plays. This is really a production business. The more you produce, the more you will play. We are going to play – I think we have and I don't have the direct count here – but a lot of guys that have played for us. (LB) Emmanuel (Ogbah) last week had two sacks so obviously, he will get more playing time. (DB) Briean (Boddy-Calhoun) has had a pick-six and that kind of thing. When you get a hot hand, you are going to play. Nothing is given and nothing is entitled here. You earn what you get. We want him to play better for us, and he will. He is working his butt off. He did play better on special teams last week so I am sure he will garner more playing time. Sometimes, it is good to take a little step back and go, 'Whew, let me catch my breath,' and how precious this game is to play. You just don't get to play all the time. You have to earn your keep. Joe is working hard to get better and better."

On Ogbah saying he feels completely different than he did the first two weeks of the season:

"I am sure he does. Going from an outside linebacker to an end to outside linebacker to an end, there are different techniques. It is still football but it is different technique. I can see it in him. We are continuing to communicate, and he does feel more comfortable. He is going to grow into the position. He will learn NFL blocks, the guys he is going against and how to study. He is another guy that – obviously, we are building a foundation around some guys – and he is one of the guys we want to play well. He has had a taste of success, and hopefully, it continues to grow and people start understanding who he is, too. That is part of becoming a real pro is when they know who you are to try to take you away can you still be effective. We like the progress. He is getting comfortable in the position that he is going to play for us."

On DL Carl Nassib's performance after recovering from the hand injury:

"He is very excited with his hand. Every week, every day he gets better and better and more mobility and being able to grasp and do what he does. Now, he will be able to function for us and play multiple positions for us. He is another guy that we want to build our defense around these good young players. We have to continue to push him to grow and take steps to become better and better. They are now what we call veterans. They have played, for the most part, half of a season. We need to continue to get them to ascend to being very good players for us."

On if Nassib's injury has delayed his growth, even though it is a hand injury:

"It is easy to say, 'It is just a hand,' but when you miss time for a young kid that is also learning the NFL game in a different position for him from college, yeah, it does because the more time you get on the grass, the better you are going to be, whether it is taking on double teams, seeing things, the speed of the game, the feel and what a double team feels like. Anybody that doesn't get on the field, I think it is retarding their growth."

On defending Jets WR Brandon Marshall with whomever is able to play DB this week, given Marshall's production:

"There is no question. What you have to do with most of these guys is first you affect the quarterback. That is not even a defensive back doing that. Once you get to the defensive back, it is going to be getting your hands on him, be physical with him. Still at the point of reception, you have a chance to intercept it, to get a pass broken up or if he does catch it, to strip. There are a lot of layers that go into it. You hate to say it is just, 'Oh, the corner better play well. It is Brandon Marshall.' It is an 11-man proposition, and we have been talking about that. The front affects the back end, and conversely, the back end affects the front. The better you cover, the more time you give the rushers; and the faster the rushers get there, the less time they have to get open. It has not been and has never been preached that it is just one man's responsibility, one group's responsibility to take care of anybody on that offense."

On DB Ibraheim Campbell being noted as missing a tackle on Bengals RB Jeremy Hill's TD run and if Campbell needs to improve his tackling technique:

"I think we all do, starting with me. I have to give them better calls to get them in better situations. Individually up front, I would hope all 11 men would say, 'That is on me because I didn't get the ball and squeeze it inside. I didn't get off my block.' I didn't give them a good call. There is nobody to blame. We just have to get better collectively. Obviously, you appreciate guys stepping up and taking responsibility. That is all part of being a good teammate. It starts with me, not with Ibraheim."

On appreciating Jets CB Darrelle Revis and his career:

"I was at the Pittsburgh Steelers when he was at the University of Pittsburgh, and we practiced on the same field. We shared fields, I should say. I remember him as a young college kid, watching him and understanding. Over his career to kind of be the next mantel of (Pro Football Hall of Fame CBs) Deion Sanders and the Emmitt Thomas from way back when, it is for his career to watch what he does, how he has developed, how he has continued it. During the game, I don't get to watch a lot of them play, but as you watch film, obviously, you watch how guys are playing to show your young players and players that here is how a pro's pro does it, and he does it with great technique, great hands and athleticism. He has had a very productive career."


Running backs coach/run game coordinator Kirby Wilson:**

On the Jets run defense and challenges it presents:

"They are so good at times it appears they are playing with 15 players. After watching film on Monday, I went home depressed. How are we going to block and get yards versus this defense? Really, it is a compliment to them and their staff. They have done a great job of collecting big people that run and little people that hit. It is an awesome opportunity for us to come out and compete against a unit that is so highly thought of and so well prepared. It is going to be a good challenge. Our guys have had a good week of practice, and they are up for it."

On which Jets players stand out in run defense:

"Employee No. 91 (Jets DL Sheldon Richardson). Employee No. 96 (Jets DL Muhammad Wilkerson). Employee No. 99 (Jets DL Steve McLendon). Employee No. 52 (David Harris). Immediately, they jump off the film at you. Then there is another couple guys that will show up, as well, in every frame." 

On how hard to create chemistry in the run game with continued changes on the OL:

"It is not a lot of fun planning for a defense like that with different parts than you are used to playing with. It has been a challenge for us, but we have faced that adversity all year and this week is no different. You always like to have that continuity. You always like to have the guy next to you from the previous week because now you know his run calls, pass calls, how he pass sets, how he steps in a certain gap, when they are double teaming so those things absent when you plug a new part into the machine. It does affect you, but you have to keep going because that is part of life and the National Football League and football in general. You just go on and do the best you can and you see what happens."

On RBs Isaiah Crowell's and Duke Johnson Jr.'s mindset facing the Jets run defense:

"They are excited because they know this is one of the best defenses in the entire league if not the best. They are excited to find out what they are going to be able to do versus this front. They have some things in mind we think we can take advantage of, and they are looking forward to executing that."

On if he is excited to play against the Jets defensive front and test the Browns rushing attack:

"No doubt about it because that is the competitor in all of us as coaches and as players is that you really look forward to challenges like this every week. In this league, it is hard to run the football versus anyone, let alone a defense that is so stocked and loaded with talent and fast and tough players. It is one of those where you look at it and you are depressed for about an hour, and then after that, you roll up your sleeves and say, 'OK, we are going to figure out some things' and how to take advantage of the weaknesses that you do see."

On if having a veteran QB like QB Josh McCown may loosens up a defense and takes some defenders out of the box:

"It is a comfort for us because we know we have a veteran back there who has been through so many different battles. He is tried and tested. It definitely eases you from a standpoint of will we have control of the game, will we have a complete understanding of what they are doing to us when they are going to do it. When you have a veteran, he can anticipate those things and relay that to the rest of the offense moving forward."

On how the Browns offense has been able to handle changes along the OL:

"Honestly, we have kind of gotten so used to it, it doesn't matter anymore now. If it doesn't happen, we are kind of looking around like, 'Where is the new guy (laughter)?' At first, it was a bit of a challenge, but we have come to accept it that those things happen and our guys are fighting and giving us everything they have. That is why we respect this group of men so much because they have faced adversity, and instead of running from it, they have kind of embraced it and said, 'We are still going to make it work. We are still going to go out there and do everything we can to win this football game.' We are proud of them as coaches, and we look forward to this next challenge Sunday."

On QB Kevin Hogan's success in the run game last week and if can happen week to week or needs to be of a surprise for a defense to be successful:

"No, that is one of the things that (Head) Coach (Hue Jackson) is really on top of. He is always looking for another opportunity to make some more yards, another opportunity to get a touchdown. He is always looking for ways to be creatively different that will help our offense grow. Every week, we look forward to him coming up with something that is a unique package that the opponent hasn't seen going into this game. This week, hopefully, it will be no different, and we will have something that maybe they have not seen or prepared for."

On releasing FB Malcolm Johnson and expectations of FB Danny Vitale:

"That is more of a question for a head coach to answer, but from my standpoint as an assistant, you coach who shows up to work. That is never going to change, and so we have a young man that we would like to give an opportunity to see how he plays. He is excited for it, as well. Sunday at one o'clock, a new era at fullback. Let's see what happens."

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