Browns coordinators press conference - 12/9

Defensive coordinator Ray Horton:

Opening statement:

"I just wanted to open up with a little note about (former US Senator and astronaut) John Glenn. It seems like this has been a weird year for me and noting people, but he was special to me. Special people, there are a lot of them in my life, and for him, for me, it was what he did. When you think about being the first American in orbit, wow. I love flying and I know (CEO of SpaceX) Elon Musk is trying to get people to go on a one-way trip to Mars, and I was thinking, would I do that? Would I love to do something – I would. I do not know if I am brave enough to do it, but John Glenn was a hero to me. I know he was an Ohio boy and all that and was a classy, classy person. I hate to see him pass on, but I know he is going to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery, which again is an awesome place. I was kind of hoping selfishly he would maybe get a last ride up into the cosmos to go that way. Anyway, onto the Browns."

On the impact of Bengals WR A.J. most likely being out with a hamstring injury:

"Well, it helps. It helps when one of the premier players does not play. Obviously, you would like to see him – I know (DB) Joe (Haden) would like to see him again. I know in the past few games, Joe has relished the chance to go against the top guys, and A.J. is one of those guys. In his absence Cincinnati has kind of relied on a receiver by committee. (Bengals QB) Andy Dalton had an excellent game last week against Philly, and I think he is probably now maybe relying on different people not necessarily going to one read."

On Bengals RB Giovani Bernard also being out due to injury and if that changes the Browns preparation:

"It is watching them on film because I am used to seeing those guys there, but (Bengals RB) Rex Burkhead, has picked up the place where Gio is out, and they seem to be and (Bengals offensive coordinator) Ken Zampese seems to be doing the same things with him. It does not look like he is calling a different game. The thing you see is Andy Dalton is probably relying on more guys than he would have in the past."

On the biggest teaching points from the Browns' last matchup against the Bengals:

"If we do things right, teams do not do that to you, and it just comes down to really playing sound fundamental football. The guys realize that now, and they have really taken into how to study film and what the other team is trying to do. Then some of it is just personal pride and playing the best that we can."

On how tough it is to lose DB Derick Kindred to injury:

"Yeah, especially hard when it was not on the football field for us and I am sure for him also. For him, it was a process coming on to learning how to play NFL football, and obviously, you want all your players on the field at all times. It looked like he was taking that growth spurt to understand football, how to play and what we ask and expect of him. We want our good players to be on the field, and it is unfortunate that he is not going to be. That is what happens in the NFL. Sometimes you have to just go to the next guy."

On who will fill in for Kindred:

"Committee. We are just going to play a bunch of guys and let them play and get experience. We will roll guys through."

On if LB/DE Emmanuel Ogbah has progressively developed throughout the season:

"Yeah, for him, when you are a big man inside, especially a very young big man, I think football is football, but then it is big boy football. It is different in the trenches. I know he is strong, but you put on a different kind of strength in the NFL that some of it is just a will, want to, heart and determination and once you realize that these guys are grown men that you are playing with, it takes a little bit of an adjustment to that type of football. He is growing and he is getting smarter. That is the thing that is hard to quantify is how do guys and how you perceive what they are learning and what they are doing. Sometimes it is as subtle as learning how to take on a double team or where the guy is leaning. He is progressing. My last words to him yesterday as he was walking out, 'Two sacks.' He just smiled and said, 'Yeah, Coach.'"

On if Ogbah will primarily be used as a down lineman or will also play LB:

"We are going to use guys… I was thinking about this yesterday – as you watch all of the film that you watch, you want to have pieces that you move around, chess pieces that you can move around and experiment stuff. I like guys who can play multiple positions, and he can. We are going to benefit from his experiment of standing up, hand in the ground, moving around where you have to account for him at different places. I think he likes that. I think he likes that we envision him as a versatile player and a smart player."

On the Browns defense's self-scout during the bye:

"Most of it was obviously looking at us and then obviously looking at me and what we are calling, what we are doing and how to put our players in the best position. As you watch football, sometimes you overcomplicate things. Really what I hope to do is put our players in position to succeed. That is what I learned is just give them calls that they are comfortable with and just allow them to make plays. Coming back, obviously, we have talked about what is important to us and how you study and what you have learned. I think the guys have taken that to heart and understand because we have had a really good week of practice. I am excited for this weekend."

On Bengals TE Tyler Eifert being back to full strength:

"He is healthy. He hadn't played for a long time. With the injuries on their side, I would hope and believe that (Bengals QB) Andy (Dalton) would think, 'I know I can count on No. 85 to be where he is supposed to be.' We will have to be aware of where he is at, where they move him at and why they are putting him where they put him. We really just have to play a sound game. For us, we have to get some turnovers and that is going to be the key. Whether it is Eifert, (Bengals TE Tyler) Kroft, (Bengals HB Rex) Burkhead or (Bengals RB Jeremy) Hill, they are all capable. We just want to play an inspired game because it is a big game for us."

Special teams coordinator Chris Tabor:

Opening statement:

"Cincinnati Bengals – I say it every week because I do believe it – they are good on special teams. With their returners, they put Pacman (Bengals CB Adam) Jones back there anytime that they want. He has been a dynamic returner in this league for a long time, and I don't see any drop off with him. They have the (Bengals WR Alex) Erickson kid who is playing better and better. They have increased and I think they are sixth in the league in drive start after kickoff returns. They block well. They have also picked up a guy that we play get the first time around but we have played a bunch, (Bengals HB) Cedric Peerman, one of their core special teams players and probably one of the best guys in the league. He is a Pro Bowl-type player. They are a well-coached unit. We have our hands full."

On if WR Corey Coleman is ready to return punts:

"When it is time, we will give him a shot."

On if the Browns special teams self-scouted during the bye:

"Oh yeah, we went through the self-scout and looked at a lot of things. Sometimes when you go from week to week and you are game planning, you kind of sometimes lose a little sight of things that you have done well and what you haven't done so well. When you go back and you look at it over and over again, there are obviously a lot of areas where we need to improve and there have been areas where we have improved, but we haven't improved fast enough in my opinion in our area. I am proud of the guys of how they have come to work this week and challenged ourselves to get better because this is a big test for us. Hopefully, we will see the things that we wanted to improve upon show up this week."

On the forecast for wintry conditions on Sunday:

"There is nothing you can really do about it. This is kind of Santa Claus type weather. The wind is blowing. The snow is coming. You have to prepare for it with your gameplan with regards to certain things with how you want to handle things, but we will show up to the stadium and I am sure  FirstEnergy Stadium will welcome us with a nice breeze and something off the lake."

On why Coleman may not yet be ready to return punts:

"Right now, he is playing a lot of offense. He is still continuing to work at his craft of catching the ball and those types of things. He is working hard at it. I am really proud of the progress that he has made. He is a young player, and I know that we are late in the season, but he is also a guy that missed a lot of time. We are essentially picking up a lot of reps to get him game ready."

On Bengals K Mike Nugent missing five FGs and five PATs this season and if that is surprising for the veteran:

"He has been around a long time. I have a lot of respect for that guy. He is really good. I know that he is going through a little bit of a slump, but I will say this about the kid – obviously, I just know him from our interactions before the games and I have watched a lot of him, and he has made a lot of big kicks – he is a good player. I know that he battling right through it. At the same time, we have to be worried about us and we have to try to put some pressure on him, just like we do any kicker, and force some misses and/or get a block. We are going to try our best to do that."

On if it is possible to game plan toward a K who has missed multiple kicks to help continue it:

"His misses have been is he is just kind of pushing the ball right a little bit. He made one last week where it hit the upright and it went in. I just think he is getting the ball off in good timing, and he is getting good lift. Is not like they are low kicks. They just happen to be leaking a little bit on him. Every week, we try to scheme something up with regards to maybe personnel in the front and those types of things. This is no different. They have done a nice job with their protection and their operation. We have to operate our fundamentals to try to put some pressure on them. A lot of times when you do see blocks, someone's technique has been flawed and someone gets home. Hopefully, that can happen for us."

On if the possibility to return PAT for two points excites him and if a team considers adjusting FG protection to defend against it:

"It is actually a common thing now to be quite honest with you. You have seen a lot of those blocked, picked up and go for two [points]. You have the big guys inside because obviously, they are going against the defensive linemen. The field goal protection, they are protecting from the inside-out. The farter that it gets out, you are hoping that the operation handles that true speed rusher. When you look around the league – for example, let's go to off the top of my head Arizona – you have (Cardinals CB) Patrick Peterson on one side and you have (Cardinals CB) Justin Bethel on the other side. You have those two speed demons where you say our operation might not handle this, then yes, you do have to tweak some things in your technique of how you want to do that. Arizona, obviously, they are blessed with two guys that are scary. Cincinnati has some guys coming around the edge that are really good, too. At the end, the protections around the league are really about the same, the techniques are the same but you do have to tweak a few things here or there. It might be as simple as instead of putting one hand on a guy, you put two hands on a guy. That actually makes a big difference. You do look at things and who the people are."

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