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Browns coordinators press conferences - 9/17

Offensive coordinator John DeFilippo

Opening statement:

"It is good to see everybody. It was great to get back on the field yesterday after a tough game on Sunday. The feeling really doesn't leave you until you really get back on the field and start working again towards another opponent so it was great to get back on the field yesterday. I was pleased with the way our offense played in the first half. A [17]-play drive to open our season, unfortunately, resulted in no points, a turnover and losing our starting quarterback. That is part of the NFL. You need to adjust. Those are the things that happen in the NFL that you need to be ready for. The second half, I felt just kind of snowballed on us a little bit. Whenever you put the team in harm's way like we did three times, that is not a good thing, obviously. We can't do that. We can't put the team in harm's way like we did. We are onto this week's mentality. Onto next week. As I told our players this morning, this is the most important game of our season because it is the next game and that is the only reason. It is our next game. That is why it is the most important game of our season. That is the approach we are going to take each week. It is going to be great to be in front of our home fans this week. Really excited to be a part of the Browns in this atmosphere. I have been here as an opponent a few times. I am really looking forward to play well in front of our home crowd."

On if 'putting the team in harm's way' referred to the QBs' fumbles or that QB Josh McCown's fumble play resulted in an injury:

"Yes, I think those are two different situations. I guess I could see where you group those two together. When I say in harm's way, giving their offense short fields is more of what I am talking about. Unfortunately, even after McCown's fumble, instead of the ball being on the 20, which is a best case scenario in a bad situation, we got a personal foul and put the ball on the 35. It went from was he in to the ball being to the other team on the 35-yard line. I would equate the turnovers. Josh was trying to make a play, which I think a majority of the quarterbacks in that situation would do. If that play would have happened at the plus-40, you would have seen me really, really upset."

On the Browns losing McCown on that play with a backup who had taken limited reps:

"I think anytime that you're are trying to make a play and score a touchdown, the last thing that crosses your mind as a competitor is that I am going to get injured. Josh was trying to make a play for our team. It would have put us up 7-0 on our first drive of the season. It has been a mantra of our offense to start fast, and for the majority of this time so far this year, we have. Unfortunately, he got hurt."

On if three points and keeping McCown more important than risking injury:

"In the heat of the battle, you don't think about those things. You see the goal line. Those are the times, the majority of the quarterbacks in this league when they get their rushing yards, they are in the red zone. They really are. If you broke it down – (Packers QB) Aaron Rodgers and those guys that take off and run – I would say the majority of their yards come in the red zone. I am not going to take away Josh's competitiveness from him. Obviously, we would have loved it if he would have stayed in the game – he is our starting quarterback – but that is the NFL for you."

On Manziel and McCown not being similar enough QBs to keep the same gameplan:

"I wouldn't go that far to say they are not similar enough. I think they have enough of the same qualities to where you can still run a lot of your base offense and still with a few wrinkles if you have to make an adjustment. We did not change the game plan one bit when Johnny went into the game. To me, that is a credit to him because of a combination of things, his elbow and being the No. 2 quarterback, he hadn't gotten a lot of reps in the past three weeks. It is a credit to him the way he went in there and threw the football. Obviously, the turnovers were disappointing, but he threw some good balls in there."

On how McCown has looked this week and a gut feeling on if McCown will play Sunday:

"I don't. I don't have a gut feeling. I will be honest with you, I try to stay out of the medical things and just listen when it comes to the medical part of the deal. I don't know notice any change in Josh. He has been in the meetings. He has been attentive. He has been himself. Again, when it comes to the medical, I just take a back seat and listen to the doctors."

On if the NFL will have to change due to the number of mobile, spread-offense QBs in college:

"I want to give it a few more years and see. I do think, though, that is why you are seeing some of these quarterbacks, the older – when I say older I mean the early to mid, late 30s guys hang around as long as they do and have long careers because quarterbacks now a days are hard to come by, as are fullbacks and tight ends, because of the spread offense. I am going to wait another couple years. Football is like anything. It comes and goes. It is like fashion and it kind of comes and goes. I would anticipate at some point the drop-back style coming back in the college game."

On what the Browns need to do to have a successful running attack:

"A couple things. First thing is we need to be more physical at the point of attack. That is without question. We need to be more physical at the point of attack. We need to be disciplined in our tracks at the running back position. Those are the two glaring things to me that we need to be a little bit more consistent at. Those are two things that we have been stressing to our players all week. We will see where it goes on Sunday. We will run the ball better Sunday."

On comparing Manziel to Titans QB Marcus Mariota, who passed four TDs and a perfect passer rating in his first game:

"One thing I never do is compare players because each person situation is different. Each person is different. I can tell you this, from going back obviously the turnovers part of it, we have to cut out. There is no doubt about it. I will be the first person to admit that, but if you didn't notice a change in Johnny Manziel from last year to this year then, I don't know [what you saw]. I saw him going through his progressions. Did he take off and run when a lane was there? Yeah. Did we get down and was he trying to do too much at times? Probably. I think that just comes with the maturation of understanding situational football. You can't get two scores back on one drive. I think the more he plays and the more he learns those things the better he will get."

On if Manziel can be a quality starting QB:


On why Manziel can be a quality starting QB:

"He has a tremendous amount of physical traits. Johnny losing these last three weeks of practice, he didn't drop off from a level of accuracy, footwork and those things that a lot of young quarterbacks do. Johnny has tremendous physical attributes, tremendous physical attributes. We just have to keep grooming him and keep teaching him situational football and when to take chances and when not to."

On his comments to recent critics of Manziel:

"I will be honest with you, I leave this building about 1:30-2:00 a.m. I don't listen to those people. I don't listen to the noise. I really don't have a comment for what other people say or think. I really don't care."

On if is it more challenging to get the running game going because of offensive line coach Andy Moeller's suspension:

"I have all the faith in the world in (assistant offensive line coach) George DeLeone. George DeLeone has forgotten more football than I know. He has coached every position on offense and defense. I have all the faith in the world in George. I am very thankful he is here. He has done not a good job, a great job in the transition that he has had to make and so has our whole offensive staff. Whenever you lose somebody, it goes on everyone's plate. It's like whenever you lose a player, there are more reps to go around for each player. I am really, really proud of the way our coaching staff has handled this thing. Andy is part of our family and we think about him every day. We are in touch with him and we love him."

On if WR Dwayne Bowe will be even more ready to go this week:

"Dwayne looked a lot better yesterday at practice. He really did. I think it is coming along. I still wouldn't say Dwayne is 100 percent yet. There is no doubt he is getting better. There is no doubt he is getting better. He is on the upward curve."

On how much the offense is missing without Bowe:

"I wouldn't say from a play standpoint anything is missing, but from a presence standpoint, there are some things missing. When I say a presence standpoint, we don't have another body type like that outside. We just don't have that. Our other players out there have different skillsets than Dwayne has. I think whenever you have that physical skillset from being a tall, big person like Dwayne is, a DB has to take notice of that that he is going to get bodied up."

On facing Titans assistant head coach/defense Dick LeBeau and Titans defensive coordinator Ray Horton's defense:

"I have had a ton of respect for both of those guys throughout my career. I have competed against them, obviously never has as a coordinator but as a position coach. You have to give them a ton of credit for the amount of discipline that their defenses play with, the new wrinkles that you will see. We will see something that we haven't seen before. There is no doubt about, I have nothing but the utmost respect for both those guys."

On RB Duke Johnson Jr.s debut:

"We tried to get the first play of the game – the ball was designed to go to Duke. He ran a swing pass and Antonio Cromartie got width. We thought they were going to come out in man coverage. They came out in zone coverage and Cromartie got width with him. We were going to throw him a swing pass on the first play of the game just to get him going. We ended up going to the second progression to the corner route. I saw Duke not make any mental mistakes, which I think for a first game for a rookie on that stage shows that it is not too big for him. As we go along here, we tried to get Duke the football in the pass game a few times. It is a lot easier said than done to get guys the ball sometimes outside because it depends on the coverage and depends the blitz. Do I have to throw hot? It is a little bit easier said than done at times than to say, 'I am just going to go to this guy right here.' There are a lot of other factors involved."

On if it is fair to say he is perturbed at the critics criticizing Manziel, referring to ESPN analyst Merrill Hoge's recent comments:

"There is no bigger fan of our players than me, especially on offense. Since the day I have gotten here, they have done nothing but buy in, do everything that I have asked them to do so yeah, when people criticize our guys, yeah it does make me a little bit upset. I had not heard Merrill (Hoge) say that. I had not. That is the first time I had heard it sitting up on this stage. We are a family here."

On Hoge's repeated criticism of Manziel:

"That happens sometimes. Some guys just have it out for some guys sometimes. I literally, I am sorry that is the first I have heard of it."

Defensive coordinator Jim O'Neil

Opening statement:

"Fired up for this week with it being the [home] opener. I think I can speak for everybody on the defensive side of the ball, coaches and players, we're excited to get out there in front of the Dawg Pound. You know they'll bring it. You know we can feed off their energy. To us, it's the best home field advantage in the NFL, the way our fans are when we're on defense. Can't wait to get out there. Excited to be a part of that atmosphere this Sunday against the Titans."

On not having many sacks or pressures last week:

"We knew the quarterback (Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick) was going to get the ball out quick. It's always hard to sack that quarterback. He does a good job gathering pre-snap information and getting the ball out. I'm pretty sure – I don't know the exact number – I know we hit him eight or nine times so there was some pressure there, and then obviously, once the game got away from us, you weren't going to have a lot of opportunities to get after the quarterback at that point."

On the Jets' rushing yards after the Browns emphasized stopping the run this season:

"I thought we did some good things in the first half. In the second half, there were some technique problems that we had that were similar to last year. I think guys started to press and they got outside of themselves. I'm confident that we learn from our mistakes. We've got it cleaned it up off the tape. We've emphasized it this week in practice. We'll be better in Week 2."

On Titans QB Marcus Mariota:

"He's good. He's big, got a strong arm. The thing that probably impresses me the most for a young quarterback, a rookie in this league, he's doing a great job staying in the pocket going through his progression, throwing the ball on time. He's definitely ahead of where most rookies are at this point in his career. He obviously played lights out last week."

On what DL Danny Shelton did well in run defense:

"Held two guys at the point of attack, got some penetration in the middle there. Danny was pretty solid in the middle. He did get his pads up a couple times so that's something that we worked on him all week with. He does a great job staying low early in the play and getting to knock them back. He tends to get a little high late in the play, and that's where he could struggle to get off the block and make a tackle or split a double team. That's what we're working on with him, but for his first game, he did a hell of a job for us."

On how often Shelton will play on third down:

"I couldn't sit here and tell you the exact number. We always want to have a big guy and then a guy that can push the pocket in there on third down. Again, the way that game went, we didn't have a ton of third down opportunities. We had a few early in the game and then there were a couple short yardage plays, a third-and-2 and a fourth-and-1. Towards the second half, it became a run and screen on third down fest so we kind of got away from our third down game plan."

On if distance will determine if Shelton is used on third downs:

"It's just package based. He's kind of in a rotation with (DL) Randy Starks, himself and then (DL Jamie) Meder. Those are three guys that we see as our three guys up front that can push the pocket and drive a guy back into a quarterback's face."

On if the run defense's technique errors are easy to fix:

"Yes, we think that they're very correctable."

On if those technique errors are difficult to correct in game:

"You're still going against another NFL player, but to me, it's tackling or set an edge or play a little bit lower. Guys just have to execute the technique they're being asked to do. As coaches, we have to put them in a better position to do that. Like I said, I feel good about the coaching that was done this week and I feel good about where we're at going into Week 2. I'm by no means in panic mode after one game, guys."

On the mood of the defense this week:

"It's been awesome. Yup."

On describing the mood as 'awesome':

"Ready to bounce back. I think that they were a little embarrassed by what happened on Sunday. I was embarrassed, but it's a resilient group. They have a lot of pride. They compete. Had a great practice yesterday so I love where we're at. I love how they've come back. I'd be shocked if we didn't play well on Sunday."

On LB Scott Solomon and how his injury may affect the Browns defense:

"We were counting on him being one of our better players against the run on the edge. That's who he is. Injuries are a part of the game. The thing that sucked for him was that game meant a lot to him because that team cut him. For him to get hurt on the second play of the game with how hard he's worked and where he came from was tough on him. I know it was. It was tough for us coaches to see that because I really wanted that kid to have success. He turned the ankle. He'll be back. I think (DL) Armonty Bryant did a good job filling that role for him. He did some good things out there, and we're counting on (LB) Nate Orchard to take some of those plays off of him and do some good things for us two."

On LB Nate Orchard:

"Heavy handed, good pass rush ability. Stronger than probably what most people give him credit for. Very good football player, instinctually, whether it's against the run or even in coverage. Glad he's healthy, glad he's back. He had a great practice yesterday. He looked good last week. It was just his first week back. That's probably why we erred on the side of giving him another week before we put him in some game action. I'm excited that he's back, healthy, back is feeling food."

On Titans RB Bishop Sankey now compared to last year:

"Last year, I thought he was a guy that ran hard. I think he's similar to (Jets RB) Chris Ivory in a sense. He's going to get the ball and he's going to get downhill. He's not running away from anybody. If you're in the hole, he's going to try and run you over. He's a complete back. He can catch the ball out of the backfield. He can protect. He's a good player. I know that Danny and some of the guys from the west coast are familiar with him because they either played against him or played with him in college."

On DB Joe Haden's performance in Week 1 and expecting him to bounce back:

"Joe's the most competitive guy on our team. There are a couple plays I'm sure he wishes that he could have back. I'm confident in Joe. I wouldn't want any other corner in this league than Joe Haden."

On DB Tashaun Gipson's interception that was then stripped by Jets WR Brandon Marshall:

"It was a great play by Gip. We called a defense. We knew that they were going to run double slants, and Gip did a great job sinking into the outside window, got the interception. He's got to secure the football. Me, personally, I don't even count that as a turnover. We've been busting Gip on it all week, but he knows he's got to put the ball away. He's got to put the ball away and finish it."

On DB Tramon Williams performance in Week 1:

"Outstanding. I thought he did a great job. So glad to have him apart of our secondary. True pro. Helps all the guys in the meeting room. I thought he did a great job to the field against the Jets. He got a couple balls caught on him underneath for four, five or six yards. Did a great job on the double move. Was solid all day. Him and (DB) K'Waun Williams had really good games for us in the secondary."

On the secondary as a whole, given the Browns expectations for the group:

"They just have to do their jobs. Just do your job. They're all talented enough to play well. They have to communicate. Do their job. If they do that, we'll be dominant back there. Like I said, I think they started to press a little bit. Got a little bit probably outside of themselves, made a couple mistakes back there that led to third down conversions or led to a touchdown. I think they learned from it. We move on. We play this week, and we'll see what happens."

On what is different about the secondary this year that gives him confidence, given some of the difficulties from Sunday occurred last year:

"Our guys know exactly what we expect and the guys have fully bought into it." '

On the wrestling belt in a defensive player's locker:

"We're still doing the dog collar and the guys are still getting tags for 'Play like a Brown' [plays]. The belt, the championship belt is given to whoever led that week. Whoever had the most tags gets the belt. They get to walk around with it, wear it, whatever the heck they want to do with it. Then, it's a reward that they can keep above their locker, whoever the season champ is at the end of the year."

On who has the belt this week:

"It was a tie between (LB) Craig (Robertson) and Des (DL Desmond Bryant). They both had four what we would call exceptional 'Play like a Brown' plays."

On how the two players will share the belt:

"I just let them take care of it. It's in there. Hey, you guys want to have it for two days and two days. It's one championship belt for the year. If you win the week, your name gets engraved on one of the side patches. If you win the year like (DB) Donte Whitner last year, you get your name real big on the front of it."

Special teams coordinator Chris Tabor

Opening statement:

"Tennessee this week. They played real well in Tampa this week. Overall, the thing that jumps out is they have good team speed. The kicker, (Titans K Ryan) Succop is a guy that has been in the league for a while and coming off a little offseason surgery but he kicked the ball well. Then (Titans P Brett) Kern is a kid that played at Toledo and is a good directional punter. The guy that we have to be definitely aware of is (Titans WR Dexter) McCluster, the returner, because he's dynamic and he could wreck a game if he really wanted to. We've got our work cut out for us."

On practicing extra points from beyond the 40-yard line this week:

"What we were trying to get done there since that was his first game we were trying to get him as many kicks as we possibly could so that's why we attempted three on that one right there (laughter). I'm glad he made them, he did a nice job and came through for us."

On if the 48-yard extra point and if it's a record:

"We were also shooting for an NFL record (laughter) and we're hoping that we got that, but we have to check with the league office on that."

On if further kicks change protection or distance of the snap:

"The distance of the snap is still all the same, but with regards to protections, people are really coming off the edge and going after it. You saw a few instances this past week there were a couple blocked field goals. It's not an automatic anymore."

On if RB Shaun Draughn will return kicks until RB Duke Johnson Jr. is ready:

"Both those guys are. They're both in the mix and we just play it how it goes. They're both up and available."

On being concerned about footing after new grass was laid at FirstEnergy stadium recently:

"I'm not. I think our grounds crew does a great job. It's amazing everyone stereotypes Cleveland. Obviously, its rough weather here, but our fields are immaculate and those guys do a great job. They said it'll play great so I trust their judgement on it."

On if the Browns have kicked at the stadium this week:

"This week we have not. We've been down there obviously numerous times in the preseason and then obviously in the games, but we did some early on in training camp. I feel like (K) Travis (Coons) and (P) Andy (Lee) are both comfortable down there so we didn't do it this week."

On Lee's performance in Week 1:

"I thought it was impressive. I told him after the game I've never been a part of a 54-yard net [punting average]. I thought he did a great job. His hang was outstanding, and then the guys going down to cover for him I thought did a nice job. Like I said, we're going to have our work cut out this week with McCluster so we have to step up to the challenge."

On how Lee is able to kick the ball so high and deep:

"I'm not sure. The good lord sprinkled a little extra dust on that leg. He's a guy when you look at his leg swing coming up through there, it is so fast and his quick twitch muscle fibers coming up through that ball, he just explodes through it. I think that's the reason he's been so successful in the league for a long time."

On if he chuckled after the 48-yard extra point following penalties:

"Not really (laughter). I did not. First one, we didn't have enough men on the line of scrimmage, and then on the next one, they called hooking on (Jets CB Antonio) Cromartie coming around the edge there. Obviously, as it's going further and further back, your chances of it going through are obviously going down, and every point is critical, especially when you're on the road. I was pleased that the kid came through. He was un-phased and that said a lot about him. That's his first kick."

On reactions on the extra point the next day:

"Well, we told him that maybe we should get him a game ball for the longest extra point in NFL history but we're going to try to avoid those."

On if Succup kicked off in Week 1:

"He did. He does a nice job for them. He had a couple of touchbacks last week. I think a couple were returned so we'll just see how hits them."

On not having kick returns as often, given the higher amount of touchbacks:

"It's this time of the year the balls are going to fly out. As a special teams coach, you do get a little frustrated because you work all week trying to put together a plan and then you don't get opportunities. You have to be patient, and if there is an opportunity, you have to take advantage of it. It might only be one, and if it is, then we have to do a better job than we did last week."

On DB Justin Gilbert moving to the last option as a returner with his hip flexor:

"No, no. Obviously, the injury did set him back, but he's a guy that's definitely in the mix. He just wasn't up for the game. Had he been, he'll be a guy that we will put back there."

On WR Travis Benjamin at punt return:

"I'm still excited about him. Just a couple of things in our area: When you see him catch the football, is he square? He's not chasing the ball and his hands are high. The way he's catching the ball, you see that he's exuding a lot of confidence. He got it, he made a decision, went quickly and he got us 10 yards. We're always saying, let's get the first first down and then everything after that is gravy. I'm real pleased with where he's at. I think we said today his last essentially almost three touches have gone 17, 54 and 10 so I feel confident where he's at right now."

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