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Press Conference

Browns OC Todd Haley press conference - 9/6

Offensive coordinator Todd Haley:

Opening statement:

"Pittsburgh Steelers this week. The place where I grew up and have a lot of connections. We have talked about most of those. I just think it's one of the top organizations in sports not just football, highly successful. I was happy to be a part of it. Learned a lot. Grew a lot. I think that it is an organization that a lot of other organizations are trying to pattern or model themselves after. It is a big week for us, an AFC North opponent. First game of the year. A great opportunity to go out and have a chance to show what we have been working on."

On if he is able to help defensive coordinator Gregg Williams with preparations for the Steelers offense, including Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger and Steelers WR Antonio Brown:

"What is that saying? I am worried about my own house (laughter). We are worried about trying to be the best that we can be on offense. Having been there for an extended period of time, it could possibly be of help. At the same time, I have always been a believer that if you are worrying a lot about picking up the things that they are doing, you could end up not playing. I have been careful not to talk too much or say too much when I have been asked or giving any thought. I think all of our players on offense and defense have to go out and play their best game."

On if this game means extra to him, given his history with the Steelers:

"I would like to say yes, but no [it does not]. Every week is the biggest game of the year. This just so happens to be against the team I worked for the last six years. If every week is not the biggest game of the year to us as coaches and to the players, then it is probably not going to go the way that we want it to go week in and week out. We are just trying to make sure that every guy who has an opportunity to compete is at his best."

On Steelers RB James Conner:

"We are going to talk about offensive players (laughter)? I will stick to the defense."

On his experience with the rivalry between the organizations during his time with the Steelers:

"I think that it is a big one. It is a big one in their building. The history of this series goes back a long way. As a young kid, I was at Municipal Stadium. I remember feeling it shake and worried whether it was going to fall down. There have been a lot of great games played between these teams. I think that just adds to it and what just makes the NFL great. Our focus has to be to have our guys ready to go and play their best game."

On if he came to every Browns-Steelers game during former Steelers Director of Player Personnel Dick Haley's time with the Steelers:

"No, but because it was close, I was able to tag along with my father a couple of times."

On how much WR Josh Gordon will be involved on Sunday:

"I hope he is involved a lot. He obviously is a big time talent. As I told him, 'We have been waiting on you.' It is time. He worked very hard when he was not here. He is very clear from a mental standpoint. He has worked hard to get himself physically ready to go. He definitely can help us. This is one of those five-star matchups. Our best players have to play better than their best players for us to have a chance to come out on top, and he is one of our best players. I would expect him to be involved."

On if Gordon eased concerns when he was not with the team after he returned:

"I really try to focus on the guys that are here when they are here. He got back and had a setback physically that everyone is aware of. He has got back out on the field and has done his best to try to get involved."

On his role in Hard Knocks:

"I intentionally did not watch it because I did not want to be affected. I really try to every day go out there and be me, coach hard and put everything I have into trying to get our team into a position to succeed – our offense, specifically. I definitely got a lot of texts and messages all over the country, but I am not real worried about that."

On public perceptions about his personality and how he has fit in with the Browns organization:

"I can't worry about perception. I am a very competitive person that wants to succeed. I think that most of the places that I have been, whether it is a positon coach, a coordinator or a head coach, I have found ways to succeed or have guys that play at a high, high level that I am coaching. For me, getting along with other people has never been at the top of my priority list. When you work for (Pro Football Hall of Famer) Bill Parcells as long as I did, you better have your players ready to play. They better play their best or close to their best when you are coaching them or you won't be coaching for Coach Parcells for very long. Having come in under Bill and learned that way quickly that you would not be around if your guys did not perform the way that they were supposed to and do their job the way that they were supposed to, that is a high-pressure situation to be in. People can perceive whatever they want. I have some great, great relationships with coaches and players from my last 22-23 years in this league. That is what is important to me."

On if people have told him he is like his father:

"He says that I am more like my mother (laughter). My dad was one of the best in the business at doing what he did. He is very low-profile, no ego involved ever. When you are a part of drafting 13 Hall of Famers or whatever the number is, he is someone that I have looked up to and still do and am very grateful to have as a father and someone to listen to me and answer questions and give advice to me."

On if the Browns have enough toughness to beat the Steelers:

"We will see. We are a work in progress like 31 other teams. In this league, you are not a finished product. You better be getting better each and every week. This is the first game of the season. Regardless of the result, we need to continue to get better. Two weeks from now, we need to be better than what we were this week because if you are staying the same and you are not getting better, you are probably not going to be one of the teams in the end that has the chance to compete."

On if there are concerns that the left side of the Browns OL was not solidified prior to Week 1:

"Anytime you lose someone like (OL) Joe Thomas, that is a big hole to fill. You are talking about one of the better left tackles ever, but I like the guys that we have. We have had a lot of moving parts, and most of it not a lot to do with us. We have had guys whether they were injured or missing time that have really prevented us from… Ideally, you would like to be playing with the same five guys for all of OTAs, training camp and throughout the season. Generally, the teams that are able to do that and keep guys healthy are generally the successful teams at the end of the year. It does not often happen, but when it does, you probably have done pretty well for yourself. Through those moving parts, we have had additions through the waiver wire. (OL) Desmond Harrison missed an extended amount of time in training camp on top of already being a rookie and missing time immediately after the draft. The good thing is (OL) Joel Bitonio is a guy that likes to play football and likes to play at a high level so that is what gives comfort to me."

On what Harrison has shown since returning from injury:

"He has ability. He has a chance to lay in this league, but he has got to show us that he can be dependable on a down-in and down-out basis and week-in week-out basis."

On handling personnel, given moving parts and the number of new members on the Browns this year:

"Just do it the way I have done it throughout my career and the way I have been taught to do it and the ways I have seen success happen. You continually try to get better on the field. You continually try to get better from a personnel standpoint – which (General Manager) John (Dorsey) and his group have continually to work at and tried to help us. Then you have to coach the heck out of them on a full time basis, and they better be developed and getting better and coaches better be getting better. When you come in and you change a lot for a lot of different people, coaches included, credit to the coaches, it has been very seamless from a logistical standpoint. There are a lot of things that go into this and a lot of things that go into not only getting ready for training camp – playbooks and all the different things that go on top of a whole group of players having to learn a new language. It is a big job, but I am not letting go of the rope I tell everybody all of the time, I will refuse to let go of the rope. My goal and our offense's goal and desire is to win and win a bunch. That being said, this is the first game of a four-game set for us if you break it up into quarters, and that is all it is. We have to go out and try to play our best football to date."

On Steelers DL Cameron Heyward impacts the Browns OL:

"Their entire defense is driving it. They are a very well-coached group by (Steelers defensive coordinator) Coach (Keith) Butler. I know a majority of the players that are over there, and I know what they are capable of. It is Cam. It is (Steelers DE) Stephon Tuitt. Both of those guys are very disruptive players inside. Two outside – (Steelers LB Alvin Dupree) Bud and (Steelers LB) T.J (Watt) – young, developing outside backers that look like Steelers linebackers. (Steelers LB) Vince Williams always is a high-level inside backer. Their corners, they have put the time or draft picks and money into it. (Steelers DB) Artie Burns looks like he is getting better and better, (Steelers DB) Sean Davis. (Steelers' DB) Joe Haden you all know very well. They have acquired a young guy that looks like he is playing a bunch. They have got a good group, and it is not just the left side of our line. Our entire [team], the 11 guys playing each snap – I keep stressing it – need to play close to their best, and we need to have young guys that contribute, do their job and know what to do. We have to play a good game against this group. There is no doubt about it."

On if Callaway is ready for a big game like the season opener against Pittsburgh, given he said he is not nervous and is ready to play:

"He has played in some big games. If you go to the University of Florida and play football, you understand what big games are. Everybody is a little different. There are guys who are 10 years in the league who are throwing up before pregame like you could set your clock by it. Guys you would never think would be throwing up before pregame. Other guys are cool and calm, and it does not seem to faze them. It never gets old for me. I know I am nervous before every game. Either way, it is everybody's routine. That is one of the critical things that good teams do is they stay in their routine and they do not waiver, and they just continue to get a little better every day."

On QB Tyrod Taylor immediately taking a leadership role with the team and his expectations for Taylor:

"My expectations are high. It is well documented. I have said it, everybody has said it I think. This guys has come in and gone in head first with no hesitation. He is all in. He works his butt off off the field. He works his butt off on the field. He is a very good communicator, which is very critical at that position obviously. He has the ability to throw the ball and run the ball. He is very smart, which helps us in the run game. He has to make a lot of decisions there, getting us out of good runs. My expectations are high. I think that my hope is we have not seen the best of Tyrod Taylor."

On the kind of advice Steelers WR Antonio Brown can offer Callaway:

"When we were talking about taking Callaway, I was already working Antonio hard. They are from similar areas and know each other. If you have someone to look up to and try to pattern yourself off of, there is nobody better than Antonio Brown. If he could get a quarter of the stuff that AB is doing to make sure he is in his best position to succeed, he will be ahead of the game. I like to see that. I like to see other guys, even when they are not on the same team, look out for guys that they like and I think it is a good thing."

On the difference Dorsey can make in helping set the tone for the team:

"Just keep getting us good players (laughter). That is what I tell him. He says I am never happy. I go, 'Get us another one.' Everybody has their role in a successful organization and team, and his is obviously a big one. I am excited about working with him."

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