Special teams coordinator Amos Jones:
On the blocked FG in Week 1:
"I broke it down as a situation where it is a crucial moment in the game obviously so you have to look at all of the parameters there late in the game. We had already seen pretty much three other plays so we kind of knew what the plan was. At the end of the day, you have to go out and protect, we have to go out and snap, hold and kick, I have to go out and coach and all of those things. I just kind of look at it as the situation arises, and we have to make our performance. We have to do our jobs."
On if the FG was blocked due to OL Joel Bitonio was pushed back too far:
"I am not going to call out a specific player because everybody involved starts with me. You have to understand the situation. First of all, the guy who blocked the kick was in a two-point stance for the first time in the game so his eyes were in the backfield. Footwork, leverage, all of those things have to be maintained the same on every play form the first kick to the last kick. That is really the deal for me. What was the technique? Can we do it better? All of those things. Can I coach better? You bet. All of those things. I take full responsibility for that."
On the Steelers potentially determining the timing for the snap on the blocked FG:
"Everybody – offense, defense, special teams – always tries to get a jump off of the ball. You better be a ball-key team. If your eyes are looking at the wrong thing, you might get caught. There are various ways to snap a football in offense and special teams. We have various ways to do that. Obviously, they made a good play. Relying on one particular thing to get a jump as a third-down pass rusher might get you caught. It is the same thing on a field goal. We all try to develop various ways to do things. Snap count, obviously, for an offense is a lot more of a discipline-type deal from a standpoint of the quarterback is 5 yards from you, a holder is 8 yards. It is not so much verbiage. It is as much about looking at other things. Most importantly for us, keying the ball."
On if K Zane Gonzalez had enough loft the final FG attempt:
"I do not think that it was as high as the previous three to be quite frank, but who knows whether or not it had the ball to get over? I do not think anybody could look at it – I have looked at it every copy that you could have – I do not think that anybody could say that it was going to the direction that it needed to go or not based on how quick the play was a bang-bang play in terms of that. It was a good snap. It was a good hold. He has a good plant, which he had on the previous one. You kind of have to trust the process that he had already been out there. I thought that Zane did an excellent job in reality of handling some tough extra points. As we know, it is not an extra point anymore; it is a 33-yard field goal. I thought that he had handled the game up to that point so you could trust him to go out there and make that kick."
On the Steelers short kickoffs that forced the Browns to attempt returns:
"They only kicked short the one time. Did the ball land in the end zone or on the 2- or 3-yard line down the middle the one time? Yes, but we has the same kick ourselves laying there. I do not know if you could call that a true plan or not since both of us had the same ball and the same type of kicker kicking the ball. The biggest thing on that is awareness of where the ball is on your side of the field. From a blocking standpoint, the backside has to know that their chase angles are not going to be as great. That was a plus-50. We had one of those, as well, where the ball was spotted on the 50-yard line after the penalty. Those are factors that you knew going in. Some teams are going to kick the ball out of the end zone and play defense. Some teams are going to put the ball on the goal line and try to get you pinned inside of the 20. We have to set up the block a little bit, awareness of sticking our foot in the ground and climbing back. That is where it truly does turn into a punt return because you do not have the separation and space from a normal kick from the 35-yard line."
On DB Jabrill Peppers as the primary returner and Head Coach Hue Jackson stating WR Antonio Callaway was still working to earn trust of the coaches as a returner:
"The biggest thing is that you are still dealing with a player that is a first-year player. Ebb and flows of games can sometimes dictate where those inexperienced players fall into. The biggest thing is staying in it. Obviously, he came into the game and fielded a kickoff when Jabrill needed a break. You kind of have to trust the process with young guys. You kind of have to expect that from them. Jabrill has a year under his belt with this. Coach made that decision. Obviously, we are going to stick behind it as coaches. We are going to do what the hell we are told. The biggest thing is it is just going to be a learning curve. You are talking about a guy that is still a year out of football, and the nuances of the game and particularly this league. Now, the time that he was in, there was a bad ball that he did get a chance to catch. Once a guy like that gets a spark, gets a ball and grass in front of him, I think that you might see the type of player that we know he is."
On the punt that was close to hitting RB Nick Chubb and if Callaway could have fielded it:
"We have to do a better job of awareness. One thing is we ask our players a lot of times not to be that far downfield when they are not a skill-type position. We like to do our work with the eight guys, seven guys or whatever we have inside that 20 yards from the line of scrimmage because by then, you are probably within eyesight of where the returner is. I think that is the whole thing. You just have to learn as a player where you are at in location. Playing at home, you get a little voice communication of, 'Get away from it.' Whatever you are using. Also, in a scenario where we always telling our return guys to make sure that you are in continuous communication. Also, we have to know as blockers, where the dadgum ball is."
On if the punt made contact with Chubb:
"I am not going to say that is did or did not. One thing I never saw was the trajectory of the ball change. The ball was a knuckler coming off anyway. It was an Aussie rotation. When it hit the ground, most of those balls that hit the point are going to go straight up in the air. I just never saw the ball's rotation. Quite frankly as well all know, whatever that play was called on the field was probably how that play was going to turn out. We had the advantage there because they called it a no-contact play."
On a high number of kick and punt return penalties throughout the NFL:
"The first one, you can't put your hands on the back. We teach them where the official is at. That official is a trail official. Just stopping would have probably shielded that guy. When you do anything with your hands on the backside of a guy's jersey, that call is going to come. Then on the other one, it is about getting your leverage and your feet and then the ricochet of thinking that I am going to hip him, but I really do not need to hip him. The second one was not a call from the standpoint of hooking or throwing. We teach them not to torque. You throw in this league, and you are going to get called. It was a matter of a fact of a guy trying to get two guys. Effort – great, but, a little bit more awareness of sometimes that guy might not have been a factor. That would have been an interesting one on the first play. The guy might not have made the tackle. He ends up – Pep (Peppers) gets through, bounces around a little bit so who knows. We had a lot of open grass. I know that."
On Peppers' fair catch in OT:
"First off, that is 'ball in hand and grass' as we call it. We like those. There was a lot of grass. Trust himself. Nobody is more beat up about it than him. That is why I said, 'Friday before New Orleans.' We have moved on, and he has. Would he want to have that play back? Everybody wants a play back. The biggest thing is the trust factor. That is the thing I coach on and we harp on. Players get coach, technique and scheme get built around players making and developing technique. We tease the players, but we are truthful with them and tell them they invent the techniques that we coach; we just get to build the drill and the scheme around what they do. No player knows more about when he has made the mistake quicker because he is the guy. Like a guy that muffs a punt, he knows it. We do not need 19 guys trying to go get the ball, we need them to block so that he can get the ball because he knew that he dropped it first. Those are things that you just have to learn to trust. Still some newness on that part, even though Jabrill is older than Callaway. The biggest thing for us is just trust it. Your first instinct in sports is probably right. I tease the players, premonition or gas pain – I usually find out about Thursday and that is about when the calls come from. It is kind of one of those deals. I learned a long time ago coaching in college with great returners, coaching in this league with great returners, you can't second guess them. You just have to move on and the next play, this game will come to you. Plays will come to you if you just let them and seize the moment when they are there. That is the biggest thing."
On if Peppers could have looked to see if he had space to return or was more focused on securing the football:
"We have all kinds of tricks. When you have (former Browns WR and special teams coaching intern) Josh Cribbs helping you, you have all kinds of tricks. We try to get a peek as much as we can. The bottom line, the focus is the ball. Go back and look at the game – I think that I would be right in this – that was a hell of a punt and really the best punt of the day. They rose up to that occasion, and there was 20-something yards probably before the first defender. You just have to judge it. You have to trust it. If you get a peek pre-snap where they are lined up and where the ball is going – perfect spot, could not have lined him up any better. Man, I trust that kid. I am going to trust him again this weekend."