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Browns coordinators press conferences - 9/7

Special teams coordinator Amos Jones:

On how often he spends time worrying about the weather:

“Very few [times]. Can’t control it anyway. It is what it is. Luckily, we had a little bit of wet grass yesterday. In that respect, we have learned how to run with our toes.”

On if WR Antonio Callaway will be the primary punt returner:

“Yes. (DB Jabrill) Peppers will be ready, as well. Could be a spilt time situation with those guys based on hot hand or who is playing the most side on that side of the ball, as well.”

On what Callaway showed as a punt returner:

“The biggest thing for him is that he still has good catching procedures. It is like he did not lose those things after being out of football for a year, which is a good thing to see. Would we have like to have gotten him some more touches in preseason? Probably so. Situations happen. Sometimes you do not get those reps in the preseason. He has caught the ball well in practice. He has game experience back there. Be it even in college, it is still game experience with people coming down there trying tackle him. In that respect, I do not foresee it being a problem for him. It is not too big, I would not think.”

On if Peppers will also be on kickoff return:

“Yes. It is also an opportunity to have two guys out there. The way that the configurations are now, everybody back there better be a ball handler.”

On if he wants kickoff returners to be aggressive:

“You play percentage football no matter what you do, even before the rule changes. You have to have a distance-hang time meter going off in your head to be able to know whether or not you want to down a ball. Obviously, our goal is to give the offense at least the 25-yard line. Trying to catch the ball going forward, knowing their placekicker and where the balls are going and things like that all kind of tie into what you think is going to be a ball you are going to get an opportunity. Everybody kicks the ball differently in this league. Some people are going to put it in the short situation. Some people are going to put it on the goal line. Just having them lined up to where they can at least see the ball full flight makes a lot of times the decision easier for them.”

On his philosophy on kicking it through the end zone or trying to hang a kickoff in the air:

“You always try to see if you can steal a possession. When you see teams that are kicking the ball and putting it into play, they are teams that either feel like they have seen something on tape from a schematic standpoint or something from a handling standpoint. You always want to keep those options open. You want to have a kicker that can do those types of kicks. Love to do the spraying of the ball as best we can. There are going to be times that you are going to need a touchback. You have a lot of starters maybe on the kickoff team now with the new rules. You kind of have to be smart in that respect because you can’t control that factor, particularly in early games when the weather should be better. I just watched last night’s game. There were a lot of touchbacks in that game because those are two high-powered offenses. What is the difference between the 20 and the 25 (yard line)? There are a lot of studies, but at the bottom line is there probably is not much difference of where the offense gets the ball, but as a return team, you want to give them the ball at the best advantage. That would be the 25 for the extra five yards.”

On expected stalwarts on special teams, given the changeover on the roster since last season:

“We start always with the gunners. Are we going to get one on ones? If we are, then they need to have the standard of 100 percent tackle. Those are the kind of guys that are usually perimeter guys, skill guys. We start the punt coverage from can our guys make one-on-one tackles? Can they beat a vice and still get down and be a factor at the point of catch. In terms of the guys that are new, that is the NFL nowadays. You have so many guys that come out of college that do not play special teams so you just kind of have to go into it. Would you like to have a true core? Yes. Sometimes injuries, sometimes guys getting hats, you just have to be able to plug guys in. You have to protect it before you can cover it. Punt protection is a big things for us. It always will be. On the kickoff stuff, it is being able to mix it up, like we talked about a little while ago, and keep them guessing as to where we are coming with the hit spot.”

On if showed the team Pittsburgh’s punt block from the season opener last season:

“I can’t say that we have not watched it because from a schematic standpoint, it was something that you have to be able to protect against. You can’t beat up one play as negative as it was. It was one of those deals there where there are not many guys left that were on that unit. From the players that were here, they did a good job of explaining their particular situation in that play. That is what I kind of look for. I did not look for good plays and bad plays. I look for what the players saw so that I knew how to teach them and kind of work it from there.”

On P Britton Colquitt being named a captain:

“The biggest thing with Britton is that he is a weight room guy so he is always around the players. He is good probably in the locker room with the guys. Respect. He is one of the older players on the team. He is married. He has kids. He has a lot of answers for some of the young guys that might not have been through this. He has been in a Super Bowl. I think the biggest thing for him is the respect factor that he has from his peers. They know that he is a guy that is going to go out there and try to give them the best shot that they can to be successful. From that standpoint, he knows how to stand up and say what he has to say.”

On K Zane Gonzalez since entering the league:

“I have seen progression. From a kickoff standpoint, I think that he is better. That was one of our goals coming out of our initial meetings was what we needed to do. From a field goal standpoint, not getting a whole bunch of shots in the preseason but making the kicks when he did get the opportunities. I know he still wants to strive to be the best. I know that he wants to make 100 percent of his kicks. All of those things factor in. I have seen a progression from him. I think that he is stronger. Obviously, he has a year under his belt of being tested in this league. The experience factor for him has to come back to where it was at the tail end of last year.”

On Gonzalez’s improvement on kickoffs:

“Placement. Distance of kicks. Hitting the accurate hit spot when we do call certain things. Just an overall stronger leg in that respect.”

On what former Browns WR and returner and special teams coaching intern Josh Cribbs offers the special teams group:

“Instant resource on the catching of a punt. The minor details of that job. Same with the kickoff stuff. Just the fact that he was a productive coverage guy. Those are the things that he and (special teams assistant) Sam (Shade) bring to me. I can kind of work with two or three guys and they can kind of work with two or three guys apiece. Both of them have experience in the coverage aspect of it in knowing and completely understanding what we are trying to accomplish. That is the biggest thing that both of those guys have brought. Josh coming from not being in coaching to coaching is – this is how we are going to do it, this is how we are going to teach it and meticulously taking notes like he did as a player. Those are the things that what you want to see and has shown that he has that ability to translate it form paper and listening and onto the grass itself.”

On if Cribbs is the ‘prototypical intern’:

“No, I do not think so. We had some great interns in Arizona. We had some great interns in Pittsburgh that became coaches. You do not find very many special teams guys that have that kind of pedigree that walk into a building as a volunteer and an intern in that respect and do what he has done for our players.”

Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams:

Opening statement:

“Back into the regular season, which is good stuff.”

On Steelers WR Antonio Brown:

“He is a really, really, really good receiver. He is someone that (Steelers QB) Ben (Roethlisberger) looks to. The big things is that you will never, ever, ever take him away. You just ty to minimize. We did a pretty good job of that last year. Had quite a few catches but minimized the effect, except for a couple of plays. He makes those two plays on you, and it puts points on the board. You are always in that dilemma of trying to minimize.”

On the duo of Brown and Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster:

“JuJu has come on. He really has. Last year, he was learning the game. Now, that puts on a threat and spreads us out a little bit more. Hopefully, we will be forcing them into some things where we want them to throw it. Those are two big time players. They are on our list that we need to make sure that we minimize.”

On DBs Denzel Ward and Terrance Mitchell:

“Those guys have come a long ways. They deserve the opportunity to play and they deserve the opportunity to produce. They have had a good preseason. They have had a good training camp. They have had good preseason games, but now, they are playing for real. The production will tell.”

On the two TDs Browns scored last season and DL Myles Garrett saying he believes he can help in those situations, as well as the secondary, given he will have time to get to the QB:

“Both of those plays were a little bit of a time constraint. You are right. One of them was an error on our part where we did not contain the pocket. When he threw that punt, he kind of threw that up for grabs. That still haunts me in respect to that. That should have been our ball, too. Ben should have never gotten out of the pocket. We had an error on how we contained the pocket. Myles had a really good camp. I am anxious to see him play. He is healthier now than he has been since he has been a Cleveland Brown. It will be good to see him play.”

On OL Desmond Harrison:

“He has come a long way. The big thing about those guys is – I do not want to put words into their mouths – I think they feel like they are getting a lot of work every day having to play against Myles. Myles helps train them. Myles can do some things in practice that other guys can’t do that you would be surprised about in a game. There are no surprises now. You see it in practice. Coaches get a chance to correct and coaches get a chance to help because of some of the things he can do.”

On if Garrett can help the OL get a good look by using his quickness:

“That and just his whole power. His movement and reactions. Myles is rare in that burst area and that strength area. He does not have to finesse you. He has the power part of it, too. He has a good combination of things. A lot of different ways that the people we are going to play through the whole year, they are going to see out of him in one day.”

On the Browns DL having more versatility:

“I think we have done a good job on increasing that versatility and then how we go about packaging that, yes. The big thing is having a healthy group of guys going into the game. We are healthier going into this game this time this year than we were last year.”

On if will coach the Browns defense any differently than he did last year:

“Production tells. I said this last year, I have not been harder on a group of guys than I was that group of guys last year. They did not flinch. I am talking hard in demands of focus, attention, detail, toughness, effort and all of that stuff. This has been very good this year because they already understand that. There is already a good understanding of that. The guys that are here that were there last year have helped spread the word with the new guys this year. It has been a culture shock for the new guys this year. They have not been places that have not been that demanding or have had a coach that demanding on them. They have bought in very well. They really have. We have had some very good fellowship moments, some good chemistry moments. There is some a good camaraderie of that group of guys that like being around each other. They trust being around each other. Now, it is about going out and playing.”

On if it is too early in Ward’s career to shadow Brown:

“Right now, it is about getting him ready to play in his first NFL game. There will be times when we do that and there will be times that we do not. Getting him to take the steps that need to be taken to play at this level. He had a really good practice today. It was fun to see him competing and how far he has come in a short period of time. You can’t picture the regular season game until you are in it. Preseason speed is one thing. Training camp speed is another thing. Now, regular season and if fortunate enough to get into the playoffs – I have been there a lot of times too – it takes another step. He has got to take the next step right now of regular season speed. I am anxious to see him do it.”

On Roethlisberger:

“He is very smart. He understands how to get the ball out of his hand quickly. He understands a lot of things about coverage dynamics. There are not a whole lot of things that you can confuse him with, you just have to be able to produce with, meaning that you have to win your matchups.”

On if Browns personnel changes this past year allow him more to do more schematically:

“That is a good question. Each and every year, I adapt the style to the players we have. One of the things is that the good coaches do that in a game. All of a sudden, a guy goes down in a game and the next guy that comes up can’t do that so why would I continue to do that? Because I like it and he can’t do that? No. Each group of guys that takes the field, it is my job to pattern and do the things right for them and try to put them into as few of unusual or uncomfortable position that I can. Can’t do it all. It is inside the white lines. They have to play. We adapt to that and have done that for a long time now adapting to the personnel that is out there.”

On the biggest difference without Steelers RB Le’Veon Bells:

“I think (Steelers RB James) Connor has really done well in the preseason, having taken a look at that and you take a look at the other times that they had their other backs coming in there. It may be a two-headed or three-headed monster where whoever the backs dress instead of Le’Veon just taking all of them. We are used to doing that. We are used to seeing that so just got to adapt to wherever they play.”

On what DB Jabrill Peppers learned from being so hard on himself last year:

“That is the competitive part of it. You should be that way. All of us you know. I am hard on myself, everybody. Everybody that comes in here every day, and that is the fun part of having those kinds of people. You should see (DL) Myles (Garrett), (LB Christian) Kirksey, (LB) Jamie Collins (Sr.), (LB Joe) Schobert. All of those guys are that way. That is why Jabrill is respected in the room for a young guy because he acts like an old guy.”

On why last year was the hardest he has ever been on players:

“There was just a thing from a culture standpoint, maybe just all of a sudden from a youth standpoint and a not accepting excuses standpoint. Everybody has got an excuse. I do not want to hear them, OK? it is about going out and doing your job.”

On how much better the culture is and players not accepting or making excuses:

“A lot. It has been very well, been very good.”

On if he backed off this year because of the culture change seen:

“No. You know what I did was I have brought up the points with leadership in the room, and to be quite truthful, I have a smile on my face as when we started training camp I said, ‘That guy is still inside me if you guys want him to come out.’ It is a test. I watched the leadership in the room take form, and leadership is actions first, voice second. The leadership was really good in the room. That person, this hard person has come out a few times this training camp and not as much as it did last year because the leadership is better.”

On Garrett’s growth as a leader and being named captain:

“Outstanding. You do not become a captain because of what you are saying. It is because of what you are doing, and it is your everyday focus, it is your everyday habits and it is your everyday work. He has done outstanding. I am very proud of that.”

On if LB Mychal Kendricks’ release changed the team’s number of personal packages:

“He was involved in really a couple of the same ones we are going to use anyways so really no.”

On feedback he received from HBO’s Hard Knocks this year:

“I will tell you this – those [Hard Knocks crew members] work so hard, and you guys do, too. It is amazing – I have been on it twice now – to see how hard they work behind the scenes. I have never seen an episode. I have never watched it because we are busy working. We are in 20-hour days in training camp. There is no rest, no days off and stuff. Evidently, I have said a couple of things and so I have gotten some shipments of lozenges. I have gotten some dad apparel hats with some sayings that I can’t repeat over the microphone right now that where they have put some sayings I have said on some hats. Evidently I said something about waking up and paying attention maybe with a few adjectives, and I got some organic coffee sent. There was a while there was a shipment about every other day of something coming in. I said maybe I need to start talking about some alcohol or start talking about something nicer and get some nicer gifts this way. It has been fun in that respect. I do respect those people a lot and have really kind of developed some friendships for life with some of those people on how hard they work.”

On if Hard Knocks felt evasive:

“It probably would to other people, but it does not to me. I am who I am, and I am not going to change that aspect of it. I thought our head coach did a great job. I thought our players did a good job, too, so no, it is not any more than everything we do in life is out there. It is out there when you are in public, on gameday and all of that stuff. There is nothing that is hidden so really you have to be who you are. Otherwise, you appear to be phony I am not going to be that with the players because the players can smell that faster than anything."

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