The Browns replaced one former quarterback with another to coach their running backs, which is nothing new to Dontrell Hilliard.
Hilliard’s been coached by coaches who played other positions nearly his whole career. The lone exception was Jamaal Fobbs, his running backs coach at Tulane. So being coached from a different viewpoint isn’t a new perspective for Hilliard.
“I take it as, you never know what you can learn from a person,” Hilliard said. “I learned more about running back with Jamaal Fobbs at Tulane; I learned a lot of different things and different schemes with coach (Freddie) Kitchens and Ryan (Lindley).”
Lindley spoke to the media Friday for the first time since being hired after Kitchens was promoted to offensive coordinator. He said he hardly left the building during his first three days on the job because of his need to feel prepared. The players seem to like Lindley and respect his football knowledge.
At the very least, Nick Chubb feels comfortable enough with his new coach to throw the following barbs when asked if he could tell if Lindley used to be a quarterback.
“Not by how he throws the ball to us,” Chubb quipped. “It is more of him just always know the protections, how to run and what things should look like. From that direction, he has been great.”
— The NFL announced the potential for changes to the punt game earlier this week, and special teams coordinator Amos Jones isn’t in favor.
The NFL didn’t specify what rules would be changed, just that they would be changed for safety and competitive reasons. From Jones’ seat, though, the punt is fine the way it is.
“I think that the punt game in this game is so unique and such a traditional thing that I would hate to see us put it into a situation like what we see in college football or anything like that,” Jones said. “It really is a true test of a guy being able to transition from a protection to a coverage, or from a holdup to a trail. To me, I love the play the way it is.”
The major differences between NFL and college punts can be seen by watching the line of scrimmage. The long snapper doesn’t block in college, and the gunners have to wait until the punt is kicked in the NFL.
Jones said the injuries on punts are probably comparable to the injuries that players suffer on kickoffs, on which the NFL has already changed numerous rules. He hasn’t seen an abnormal amount of violence on punts this year and stressed that proper technique is the key to avoiding injuries on special teams. At the same time, Jones understands the league doesn’t mess with the rules for no reason.
“I am sure that if they have said something, they have probably had some statistical data to support it,” Jones said.
—DB Denzel Ward (concussion) and OL Austin Corbett (foot) will not play in Sunday’s game.
DT Larry Ogunjobi (Bicep), C JC Tretter (ankle) and DB Phillip Gaines (knee) are questionable.