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Browns OC John DeFilippo press conference - August 24

Opening statement:

"Good to see everybody this morning, appreciate you coming out. I think offensively we've made a lot of strides in training camp. I think you're seeing a lot more explosive pass gains. Be good to get (WR) Dwayne Bowe back, (RB) Duke Johnson back. They're a major piece in what we want to do. It's been disappointing they've been out for so long. I wanted to establish a run against Buffalo and wanted to test our guys against one of the top fronts in football and see how that goes. I challenged our players the night before the game that ' Hey, this is what we're going to do' There's probably a few situations where we got to second and long and I probably would have thrown it in the regular season, but that's what preseason football is for. I've been pleased in the scrimmage and in the first game with our first team offense. Obviously, against the Bills, that stuff happens. Josh tried to squeeze a ball into a tight area. I thought that the DB got there early which would have been our ball still but the call didn't go our way, they got the ball back. The one we have to avoid is the second one. Those are the ones we have to avoid, the forced errors. There's going to be times where the ball goes off a receiver's hands when you're trying to make a play on third down and the ball is going to get intercepted. I tell those guys: if you're afraid to push the ball down the field, play another position… play another position. When you're trying to get explosive pass gains you're going to put the ball in harm's way at times, that's the nature of football. I'm never going to take the aggressiveness away from our quarterbacks but at the same time we have to be much, much smarter with the second pass that (QB) Josh (McCown) threw. Proud with the way our players have handled the change. I think that you see we are playing better. I think you've seen us- obviously I've been told since I've been here, last year they won the jerseys one time and we've won the jerseys a bunch of times and that's what this things about, its competition. Pleased with the way our guys have competed and with that I'll open it up."

On what he feels a sense of urgency to get accomplished in the next week:

"The first thing I'm really excited about is we actually get to game plan for an opponent. That's going to be a dry run for us as a staff. I'm a new coordinator, we have some guys that are here that have never game planned in the NFL before. The cohesiveness of the staff I'm really excited about. Number two I'm really excited to see what Dwayne Bowe and Duke Johnson can do on the field. Obviously Dwayne has shown what he can do in terms of when he was with the Chiefs but he hasn't done it here, I want to see it firsthand. I think it's very important that we get those two guys involved. I'm not going to say I'm going to tailor the whole game plan around those two guys but we need to see what they can do. It's a shame those guys missed as much time as they did because I'm not a big believer in saying 'Hey, a guy's been in the league for this many years, he doesn't need to work on his craft' a guy need to be on the field in my opinion. It's like taking a four or five week sabbatical from doing a news story. You're not going to be as good at it as if you do it every day. I'm a big believer in that guys need to be on the field and practicing, working on their craft every day."

On if he is concerned about QB Duke Johnson Jr.'s elbow:

"I'm not, I'm not. Johnny's probably got what 30 to 40 percent of the other quarterbacks in the league have right now, sore elbow, sore shoulders. There's a lot of wear and tear on those guys in terms of their arm. Those guys have been throwing footballs since they've been young guys. I'm not too concerned about it. If Joe Sheehan and the doctors come up to me and say' Hey, this is something that's going to be a chronic issue' then there's going to be some concern and we have to watch it but I'm not too concerned about Johnny right now, no. He's doing fine."

On if rest will take care of it:

"Once training camp is over and the volume of throws goes down usually that has a way of clearing up itself, it really doesn't. I've been around guys before with elbow and shoulder issues that once they get out of camp and break camp after that first week. Your throw count goes down, there's not as many receivers, you don't get as many reps in the (individuals), your periods are cut shorter. You have a way of that calming down a little bit in the elbow and the shoulder."

On if Manziel will practice today:

"I like to leave all injury issues to the head coach, just out of respect. I'm going to leave that to Coach Pettine."

On if WR Terrelle Pryor has a lot to show to make the team:

"Absolutely. There's got to be a sense of urgency from Terrell and I'll be the first person to say that. Terrelle and I have a very special relationship because obviously I was his position coach for two years. Starting out with Terrelle, I'll be frankly honest with you, I was very skeptical about Terrell's mindset when he was going to come in here. Just because I know from coaching him for two years how passionate a person he is, how much he cares about his craft. I was really, concerned is the wrong word, but I was really excited to see how his mindset was going to be with a position change because as you know that's a major change no matter what position you're at. I'm really, really proud of the way he's handled this. He has been receiver all the way, working on releases, getting with the DB's and having them give him some tricks of the trade on how they see him as a bigger receiver. He has been all in at receiver and I- It was a shame Terrelle went down with the hamstrings because I thought he was making unbelievable strides, more so than many other players that I've seen that have tried to change positions at this level. It's hard enough to play this game at this level at the position you've been playing since high school but when you go from quarterback to another position, that's huge change. I've been really proud with the way Terrelle's handled this whole thing.

On if there is risk in RB Duke Johnson sitting out during the preseason:

"Sure. Absolutely. We're going to limit Dukes plays. We're not going to throw him in there and have him practice 20 plays the first few days he's back. We're going to put him on a pitch count from anywhere from 10-12 plays today I think we have scripted for him. I've seen enough from Duke in the spring where I have a feel for what he can do and what the skillset is. At the same time he's never been in a live situation before. It important to see Duke out there. I just don't want to throw him out there and risk getting hurt again but yeah, he's going to have a significant role, I would think, in this game on Saturday night. Now is he going to play 25, 30 plays? I don't know but I'm hoping when he's in there he can show us what he can do."

On why he lasted so long in the draft:

"I don't know. I know this: I'm glad he did and I think Ray Farmer made a great selection in choosing him. I'm glad he's on our football team."

On any players that surprised him in training camp:

"Yeah, there's a few guys. Up front (OL) Darrian Miller I think has gotten a lot better. I think he's a more natural tackle than he is a guard. We had him playing more guard in spring, I think he's a much more natural tackle, that's what he played at Kentucky. I think he's playing pretty good and he's getting a lot better. Emanuel Bibbs (TE E.J. Bibbs) has gotten a lot better, you know in terms of cutting down his mental mistakes. Obviously he shows what he can show when he has the ball in his hand, making guys miss. He's done a nice job talking about the tight end position. Then the two guys that are playing receiver, Josh Lentz and Darius Jennings just continue to make plays every day on the field and in practice. That's just all those guys do is do the right thing and make plays. From a young players standpoint those would we be the guys I'm really pleased with and excited about and I'm sure I'm leaving someone out but those are the guys."

On McCown's second interception in the preseason game:

"My thing is this though, you have to know how you're going to play the game each week, to me. Going up against the Bills defense, there's going to be some weeks where you feel – I'm not saying we weren't confident or we couldn't move the ball but there's some weeks where points are going to be tough to come by some weeks, they just are. When you're playing against a great front, we don't have all of our weapons. My thing with Josh on that play is we had Gary Barnidge out in the flat. It would've been a bang, bang play at the sticks, I'm not sure we wouldn't gotten the first down. But my thing is this, I think the ball was around plus 45, I don't remember exactly what is was. Throw the ball to the flat, let Andy Lee do his job and then when you're in a game where it's going to be a 17-14 game a 10-7 game, pin them back and now you flip the field and then hopefully our defense, which was playing lights out too that night, holds them and now anytime you've changed the field, to me, it's a win for us in the grand scheme of things. I think dependent on the way you're playing the game I think going in we didn't have a lot of time to talk about that stuff. Our game planning consisted of a four hour train ride back from Rochester. Didn't have a lot of time to explain 'Hey, this is how we're going to play the game' But that's, yeah it's a good question. I know what you're thinking but my thing is too, I love the offensive lineman but there are five guys out there that can't make a tackle, right? You're throwing the ball to a DB and you never know what can happen so just take the flat, we'll punt it. Andy has done a great job pinning guys inside the ten and let's play football from there.

On Manziel's progress from the start of OTA's:

"I think he's a new guy, I do. I think he's a new guy. I think from a preparation standpoint and want to standpoint, haven't changed since OTA's but I think you see a different quarterback, I really do. I think his overall understanding of the game and what we're trying to do has changed drastically. I really think that. He understands protections, he's making the calls, he understands the sight adjusts, he understands his hots. Twice he's had- once got documented- we had a substitution issue the other night and he got us into a play without one being called. You're seeing those types of growth in him which I'm very pleased with. Our mantra with him and I talked about this with him all the time is one day at a time, just one day at a time. Practice after practice after practice together and next thing you know, you're taking a one day at a time attitude and you put four or five days in a row of good work in."

On Manziel going through progressions of plays like the throw to Darius Jennings against the Bills:

"Absolutely. What happened is, you take that backside post when the free safety's going to try to cut the over route. People don't realize that's a tough play, rolling to your left, throwing that ball in the air as long as it was. I think it was 37 yards or 35 yards, that's hard to do, that's really hard to do. The defensive end bit but he still had a little bit of an angle on Johnny and that's hard to do. For him to see that, I was very pleased and Darius made a great play for us and it was great to see it. He's definitely going through his progression, no question. I wasn't sure, to be honest with you, I went attack, attack which is running the ball after- I wasn't sure the ball was caught from where I was standing so that's why we lined up right on the ball. I didn't want to give Rex a chance to throw the red flag and take away an explosive pass gain."

On why Manziel hasn't played against first team defenses:

"I wouldn't say keep it at bay, I would say again we're taking the one day at a time mentality with Johnny and letting him grow within himself. I don't think Josh, to be honest with you, take away the one throw that he threw deep that we already talked about. I don't think Josh has done anything to warrant the change of reps, I'm pleased with Josh right now. There's never a thing as a flawless drive but that drive against our defense in the scrimmage and that drive against Washington was as close to flawless as you can get. I'm pleased with where Josh is right now and I'm really pleased with the role that Johnny's in right now because he's getting better every day. He's really getting better every day, he's into it. Obviously, he's got some magic to him which we see when he's on the field and I think we're comfortable with where he is in his role."

On what he is doing physically to get better throwing the ball:

"I think accuracy comes with knowing where to go with the football. Your body follows your eyes, it really does in the mechanics of throwing a football. So if your eyes are in the right spot, if I'm going from here to here to here normally your body follows with you. I always equate everything -I always joke around with the quarterbacks- like my golf swing. My heads all over the place I spray the ball everywhere. It's the same thing when you're playing quarterback. If I become crazy eyes, if you've got crazy eyes and your looking all over the field you're not going to be an accurate quarterback because there's a lot of moving parts in your body. I think the number 1 thing is he actually knows where to look right now in terms of his progressions, in terms of is it a half field read , is it a full field read, is it a middle third read. He's buying into that and knowing where to go with the football. I think that's what you're seeing and I made a comment in spring about it, where Johnny needed to be more accurate and I think that's another area of his improvement is because he knows where his eyes are."

On what he needs to see from RB Terrance West and RB Isaiah Crowell in the last two preseason games:

"That's a good question. I tried to find out as much as I could against Buffalo. We threw the ball a little bit to see where the quarterbacks were at against Washington and I wanted to see where these two backs were this past week. I was pleased with the way both those guys ran the ball. Those guys are both really really good players in between the tackles. The things we need to improve with those guys are when we get them outside in pass routes. That's constant work and improvement and they know that, I've discussed that with them. But between the tackles those guys can really run. You saw (Isaiah Crowell) stiff arm, that was a heck of a play. Terrance on the fourth and one just hit it. Those guys between the tackles are pretty darn good. Just continued development and the tackle box a little bit with those guys and knowing where to go and how to run the routes and those things. I've been pleased with those guys in terms of when they're running the football inside."

On what Manziel can change mechanically to help his elbow:

"Couple things. You see a three quarter release sometimes and that just – I'm a big believer in this: once guys get to this level, you can help them with their lower body from the waist down, it's really really hard to change from the waist up, it really is. You look at the guys that have been documented in the past in terms of bad mechanic quarterbacks. It follows them throughout their careers because it's really hard when a guy's been throwing a ball since he's been ten years old to change that in an offseason or, especially now with the new CBA when you don't get these guys in the offseason. You see them three quarters at times and sometimes that puts a lot of pressure on the elbow and on the shoulder. I wouldn't say it's the wrong way to throw a football because I've seen a lot of successful quarterbacks throw the ball and that's part of the reason Johnny can get the ball out of his hand so fast. He's got that whip release but at times that will put a lot of stress on your elbow."

On his high comfort level with McCown:

"Comfort level. I think Josh gets us into the protections, he really knows the protections, he really knows the offense. I think he's demonstrated, like I said, minus one pass that he can move the football. I feel like Josh, again, besides that one pass threw the ball well the other night. He's done nothing to warrant that we can't trust him to be the leader of this offense, that we can't score points with him. I think Josh has shown that he can demonstrate all the skills needed to be a starting quarterback in the NFL."

On if Pryor's ability to play quarterback is a factor:

"Mary Kay, Terrelle is a receiver. (Laughter)

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