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Browns DC Jim O'Neil Press Conference - Sept. 10

Opening statement:

"I'm excited about Sunday. It's been a long offseason. I think our coaching staff has worked really hard. I think our players have worked really hard. I'm excited to get out here on Sunday and compete in a game that really matters and see where we're at as a defense."

On the keys to stopping the Jets' offense:

"First and foremost, we always talk about stopping the run. Then we always talk about getting turnovers. If you win the turnover battle, your chances of winning go way up. Then we have to affect the quarterback. He is a hard quarterback (Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick) to sack, but you have to affect him in more ways than just sacking him so I think that those are the three keys for us."

On LB Paul Kruger's performance last year and expectations for 2015:

"I thought Paul had a really good year rushing the quarterback. I think Paul was inconsistent at times in the run game. I think he's done a great job, though, throughout the offseason and training camp improving his technique on the edge. I think he's going to be one of the reasons we're going to be better against the run this year."

On Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick stepping in as Jets QB and comparing him to Jets QB Geno Smith:

"I feel like I've gone against Fitzpatrick a bunch. I was at the University of Pennsylvania in 2002 and he was the quarterback at Harvard. I think we went against him eight times when I was with the Jets. We've seen him a bunch. I think he's a good quarterback. I think he can make plays with the ball above his shoulder, and I think he can make plays with the ball below his shoulder when things break down and he has to use his feet. I think he's smart. He's an extension, obviously, of their offensive coordinator (Chan Gailey). He knows that system. There was a very effective system when Coach Galey was up in Buffalo. Geno, I haven't really studied. Last time I saw him was when I was in Buffalo two years ago and we played him so it would probably unfair for me to compare the two right now."

On defending against quick-release QBs:

"For us defensively, a lot of quarterbacks usually get the ball out a little bit quicker than what they normally do so it's something our guys up front are used to. That's why we don't get caught up in the sack numbers and that kind of stuff. As long as we're affecting the quarterback, we're effecting the pass game. Whether it's getting him off his spot, whether it's hitting him as he's throwing it, whether it's tipping the ball, that's all stuff than can change a game."

On what gives him confidence in the Browns strategy for run defense in the regular season:

"I'm confident in our ability right now against the run. I thought we did a pretty good job with our guys that were out there. There were a couple of plays, I think some missed tackles that obviously we'd like to have back. I thought we showed great improvement in the run game throughout the season."

On how DL Danny Shelton has surprised him since the 2015 NFL Draft:

"Probably the personality. I think the player we recognized off of tape, we knew he was going to be a force in the run game; we knew he could be a player that could push the pocket. I think just his personality and the energy he brings to the defensive huddle is special."

On if Shelton was typically one of the first players on the field during training camp:

"Yes. I You guys hear it all the time: 'Play Like a Brown.' You want guys that love football and they want to take as many reps, they want more reps than you're going to give them and they want to stay after practice and do extra individual work or get out there early and do extra stuff. When you see that from a young kid like Danny, that's so encouraging and it's infectious to all of the other guys, especially if he's having success. That's what you want. Those are the guys you want to build your program around."

On if Shelton is more disciplined on the field than expected, particularly for a rookie:

"He's done a nice job executing his job within the scheme. He does have some flexibility because we don't talk as much as gap control as some defenses. There's two levels of defense behind them. He's a big ol' guy that every once in a while you want to let him roll off and see if he can cut a play in half or cause some penetration and wreck it in the backfield. His discipline has been really good."

On letting Shelton freelance some:

"Not freelance, but he's got some room to operate in those two A gaps there."

On expectations for LB Barkevious Mingo, given Mingo was a first-round pick:

"Mingo's going to be a big part of what we do defensively. He's going to be part of a rotation in base defense at SAM backer and he's going to help us in our sub-packages."

On the Browns secondary compared to the Jets secondary:

"I know the names in the Jets secondary. I'd be lying if I tried to compare them because I haven't watched them play together. I think when you start talking about secondaries, it's how well guys can play together, chemistry, all that. I'm glad that all of our guys are back. They're healthy. I'm excited about that group. It is going to be the backbone of our defense and I think we're going to be pretty good back there. I do. I haven't seen them play one play together, but I know they have some good players. I was there with (Jets CB Darrelle) Revis. I was there with Crow (Jets CB Antonio Cromartie). Obviously, (Jets CB) Buster (Skrine) was here last year. I love all three of those guys."

On what makes Jets WR Brandon Marshall a challenge and DB Joe Haden matching up against him:

"He's big. He's physical. He's got great hands. The quarterback is going to get him the ball. Their offense will get you in a lot of one-on-one type of situations with him. That's what Chan has always done. He's done a good job of that. He likes to play one-on-one football. Joe will obviously be against him some. A lot of our guys will have a chance to go against him. I am looking forward to that matchup. It will let us know where we're at at that position."

On expectations for DB Justin Gilbert:

"Right now, just him getting healthy, getting back to 100 percent. I know he's done a great job in the training room. He was able to go out and practice with us yesterday. He did a good job at practice so he just has to keep going."

On what the Browns saw in DB Charles Gaines to put him on injured reserve/designated to return:

"He's got position flexibility so he can play outside corner and inside, which is huge in our scheme because we only have so many guys up on game day. If you're a guy where if you get an injury outside you can go fill that role or you get an injury inside you can go fill that role, that's big for us. He's got good man-coverage ability. He's got good zone instincts underneath. He can blitz. I think (secondary coach) Jeff Hafley, (assistant secondary coach-safeties) Bobby Babich and (assistant secondary coach-corners) Aaron Glenn did a good job identifying him on college tape. It's a guy that they went and worked out, they liked the player. We liked him. As camp got going, I thought he had a really good end of the offseason, struggled a little bit in the beginning of training camp and then really came on the past couple weeks. If he was healthy, he'd be a guy that we'd be scheming some stuff up for, I think he's that kind of player. I'll be excited when we get him back off of short-term IR."

On what the Browns saw from Gilbert before his hip flexor:

"I thought he had some good days at training camp. He had some days where he obviously struggled a little bit, but I think he had more good days than days that he struggled. He's grown a lot from where he was the previous year. I've said it a million times, that position takes time. He's just got to get out there and play football."

On DB Ibraheim Campbell as a solid run stopper:

"I think he's a great tackler. I think he is. I think he takes great angles to the football. He's physical. He can tackle. When we watched him on college tape because of how they played in their defensive scheme, it was a lot of quarters, flat footed at 10 yards. We had the same concerns. Coach Hafley went and worked him out. We put him through a lot of range drills. We were very happy with what we saw. I do think he has the ability to play the deep half, the post, the inside quarter, while coming down and still supporting the run so I think he's a complete safety. That's why we drafted him."

On what gave the Browns confidence in the defense this preseason:

"It was a little frustrating because we weren't out there as much as I would have liked all together. Just the buy-in, the buy-in with the scheme, the buy-in with the techniques. How it takes all 11 to stop the run. Everybody is going to have their chance to make plays. You don't need to break structure. Just do your job and good things will happen. Those guys have bought in. They brought energy every day to the meeting room, to the practice field and they're fun to be around. I wouldn't trade anybody in that room for anybody else in this league. I love them all."

On DL Jamie Meder making the 53-man roster:

"He's probably our most improved player. If you went back from the moment the Baltimore Ravens game ended last year to whenever they cut down to the 53, he made great strides as a run stopper, and then where I saw great improvement was his ability to rush the quarterback. He's a guy that can really push the pocket and get the quarterback off his spot."

On DL Xavier Cooper and DL Nate Orchard as pass rushers:

"I think that they both can have an impact. I think that obviously we saw good things from Xavier in the preseason. He had some numbers that showed in the stat sheet. With Nate, he was like right there a bunch of times so the stats really didn't show up. It was great to get Nate back out at practice the other day. I'm excited about both those guys."

On how the defense will change without DL Phil Taylor:

"I feel great about our D line group."

On who will fill in for Taylor:

"Jamie Meder, (DL) Randy Starks, our number 12 overall pick (Shelton). There's three or four guys. I feel good about the group."

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