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Gregg Williams press conference - 11/5

Opening statement:

“As we got back into the office today, guys got back to work. Came in pretty good. Have to go through the injuries and that kind of stuff as we take a look each and every week. That is no stranger. That is every week. Pretty good as far as the meetings so far today. One of the things they got the chance to hear me say – defensively, they have heard it said a lot of times – it is the 24-hour rule. When they walk out of the building today, we have to have understanding of corrections but we have to get on to the Falcons. That is the next team up. As they prepare to get back in here and get started on Wednesday, there will be already a lot of things that they will all start on tonight and tomorrow on getting onto the Falcons.”

On injury update:

“Right now, those are at this point in time – really early in the week – it is a day-to-day process. There has been nothing to me stated until we go through all of the other different types of testing and stuff on who is an extended [injury], who is not. We are in a day-to-day process. Some are better than others.”

On if DB E.J. Gaines sustaining his second concussion in recent weeks and if it could result in a significant amount of time missed or the end of his season:

“That is one of the things that I have to go through, too and go through the protocol and listen to the whole thing. He and I go way back. I drafted him a long time ago. He grew up about 30 miles from where I grew up back in the Kansas City area. That is something that will be through the process, and I am anxious to hear the process. I need to find it out, too.”

On OL Greg Robinson’s performance and if he may have earned a starting position:

“Played well, didn’t he? He played well. It was good to see. I have known him since the day he came into the league. I was on the team that drafted him when he was the high draft pick at the Rams. I have seen him develop as a young guy. I have seen him have his battles, ups and downs. It has been good. I think that (offensive line coach) Bob Wylie and (offensive coordinator) Freddie (Kitchens) have done some good things with him. It is a day-by-day process. That is what the next man up is supposed to be. You are supposed to perform the way that he performed. Those are the discussions that the offensive staff will have. I will be a part of that once they go through it. I mentioned that to them today.”

On if OL Desmond Harrison simply was not healthy enough to play against Kansas City due to illness that caused him to miss practice time:

“Was not.”

On when Harrison could return:

“It is still a process. I do not have any new information.”

On injuries potentially impacting a team’s psyche despite a next man up mentality:

“We do understand the effects, but the only way that can be controlled is having a philosophy and then executing a philosophy. The fact that we have one that is mentioned and everybody has to do their job, the next man up has to do it. A large part of it is that I have taken great pride in before is adjusting to what each one of those guys can do. It is never easy, but it is never an excuse.”

On if minimizing penalties was a strong point of emphasis this past week, given the decreased number:

“This will be a real long answer – yes (laughter). We do it all of the time. We do emphasize that, but it is them listening and doing it. Four [penalties] is too many. It was better.”

On there being an emphasis on limiting penalties throughout the season and the number decreasing this week:

“Yes, from a practice situation to meetings and everything. Yes, it was emphasized. It was a positive. There were a lot of positives that went on in that ball game. That was one of them.”

On if the Browns could acquire CBs, given the number of injuries at the position:

“I trust (General Manager) John (Dorsey) and that group of guys. I really do. I trust all of those guys. I have been really impressed with them since they have been here and since we have had the chance in the short amount of time to work with that. The big thing is what we can control and what I can control is what is here. Have to help those guys. Have to help them more and continue [to help them] more. One of the things, a note that I had jotted down and discussed with the staff and the team, was an even more formulated dispersion of practice reps, making sure that it is a little bit more of a training camp in that respect where there is an even amount of reps to make sure that some of those guys – they are going to get more reps anyway while some of the guys are healing.”

On playing on Sunday without DB Denzel Ward following his injury:

“He is a pretty good player. I appreciate how hard he prepares and everything. Hopefully, we will see how long he is out. It is one of those situations where again the next man up comes from that. People see how good you are when you are not around, too. You see that. That was evident.”

On keeping the team on track following consecutive losses and with seven regular season games remaining:

“The only way that I know that is to treat every day like it is the most important day and do not deface or denounce or underutilize each and every day. There is somebody wanting to sit in your seat as a player and as a coach in this league. That just is what you do. As we prepare, we have to prepare better, prepare smarter, practice better, practice smarter and then really do the fundamental things. Do not make the game too complicated. Do the fundamental things. Have to tackle. Have to catch it. Have to run it. Have to block it. Have to do those things, even to the point where you do not put as much emphasis on the opponent as is on you and on what you and we have to do. Getting back to the basics on a few things, especially with a young team. Getting back to the basics and do not forget how important that is with guys that need as much time on task at this fast level of football with not a lot of experience.”

On the biggest positive from yesterday’s game:

“One of the things that I covered was it was pretty good to see the offense and we went in and stole some possessions. The fourth down conversions were good – three of the four. We should have gotten the fourth one, too. The understanding of how important that was on making sure that a really good offense also is on the other side on the sideline and your offense is on the field. Two-point plays, we have to execute those better. That is one of the things that has been going on here this whole year, but how much emphasis we place on that in practice, we need to get more production out of that. Those types of things are meaningful. The penalty things, which I thought was really good, too, I thought that was excellent. What I did notice was – I talked to the team about the fact – I never saw them blink. One, two, scores down or whatever, we were always in a position to continue to fight. I never saw them blink. That is good. That is what we are supposed to do as professionals. Young team, old team, I do not care – that was good. There was a lot of positive that way. Defensively, we have to play better. That is what I said. We have to make the space plays. (Chiefs Head Coach) Andy Reid’s teams have done this for a long, long time. They create the space plays to make you play in space. We have to tackle better. We have to play in space better. We have to do better on third down. We have to be better in the red zone. We have to play a more synchronized game. Offensively, we did well in the red zone, and we did well on fourth down. Defensively, we have to do better in those other areas.”

On if he is familiar enough with Harrison to make a decision at LT, given he was focused on the defense prior to last week:

“Very good question. Everything is a competition. It is not game by game. It is day by day. Really, the competition is how you sit in your chair in the meeting that day. You do not pay attention, maybe somebody moves into your chair before we even get to the game because of practice situations. The other thing from a coaching perspective when you possibly have been doing this for as long as I have been doing it is there is a distinctive feel when you are on the field at practice. I do not need to watch it on film. I am at practice. I am feeling it. I see it. I sense it. He has come a long way – both of them (Harrison and Robinson). I think that Desmond has improved light years from when he stepped out onto the field for the first time. He had the big eyes with the speed of the game when he started here in minicamp and stuff. Every day, we need to continue to be better. What we will do as a staff and what we will do as a team is play the best guy for the best opportunity.”

On external perception that LB Jamie Collins Sr. isn’t putting forth maximum effort:

“I will say this and it has come across my desk a couple times here today – we have to play better on defense. That is what we have to do. When all of a sudden all of the dominos start hitting around him and all of the things he is saying and doing to everybody else just to try to get them lined up, sometimes there is a lot going on. We have to play better on defense as a whole. It is not him. I have to coach better. It is not him. I have to coach better. All of us have to play better on defense. When we understand that, then you understand the importance of playing as a team. We have to tackle better. Not just him, we all do. Those things are addressed daily, and we have to practice better in those kinds of things and we have talked about it. As a team on defense – not just one guy – we have to play better. I have to coach better.”

On if the team is awaiting MRI results for Ward:

“There are some other testing processes going on. I do not know to tell you the truth right now. I have been busy doing a lot of other things here, but that will be one of the meetings I have here tonight before it is all over and done with is at the end of the day I know and have a lot of respect for (Vice President Player Health and Development) Joe Sheehan and that staff. He and I were on another staff together, too, quite a while ago, but they do a really good job, and I will get a report before the day is out.”

On if there should have been a penalty thrown for hit on Mayfield when he was ultimately evaluated for a concussion after the call from the medical spotter:

“I am anxious to see the report come back. I did not see this in the game because I was watching the protection actually on that particular thing, but we will see when we turn it in. We will see. I can’t answer that question right now.”

On surrendering the blocked punt:

“Technique. Technique, and it was a punt return – only one rusher. That shows you how important that every single snap is important. You can only send one pass receiver out. He is the one that runs deep, you have to cover him. You send one rusher, you better make sure you are blocking him. That guy was probably shocked he blocked a punt because it was a punt return, a special teams core guy. I have been there before too is that it was technique. We gave too much ground and can’t let that happen. That is field position battles and then when that does happen defensively, we have to make them kick a field goal. We did not. That is what happens.”

On if RB Duke Johnson Jr emphasized his playmaking abilities with yesterday’s performance:

“I think it was a good thing. I think Freddie did a good job and Baker, too. Baker’s understanding of that from the read process – when a play is called as a quarterback, you don’t automatically know it is going to go to that person. There is a read definition that takes you to that person, but from Baker and Freddie, they did a good job with that. It was good to see that with Duke. Just like what we have talked about with other people, I think he can do more and he will. He had a good fire about him, and he will continue to improve too. We need him to improve.”

On Mayfield’s inaccurate throws:

“He was irritated, too. He is such a prideful guy. When it means more to him than it means more to us… A little bit of that is pocket awareness. All of a sudden, something has happened in the pocket. I thought our protection was pretty solid, though, minus those two plays in the game. A couple of things that takes one read to the next read and you are on your heels instead of on your toes. That is just some minor things that he does a very good job with. It is hard for coaches at this level to drastically improve accuracy. Either you have it or do not. He has it. Those little bitty things can be repped and improved, and he will because he is a hard working dude.”

On if he has a strict policy on players not playing in games after not practicing during the week:

“I do believe this and through lots of trials and experiments for a long time is I do believe that we as coaches set them up to fail if they can’t practice during the week. I have never been with any person that could not practice during the week to walk out there and though they were good enough at this level to do it. It is different than the NBA, and it is different than baseball. Football, you set them up for a failure so in order to get their body reaction time correct and their power response time correct, there needs to be a full speed rep or two before you get into the Sunday game. We have always had that wherever I have been is that, and I have kind of modeled it that you need to be able to practice on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in order to go into the game without being set up for failure.”

On determining how much a player needs to practice in order to play in the game:

“What I do is I kind of take it into effect on the overall health, the age of the player, the experience of the player and kind of build it all into a thing and then it comes down to instincts – my instincts and their instincts – but I do listen to them.”

On DB Damarious Randall not playing yesterday:

“Wanted to get him healthy, and he had not practiced.”

On if Randall will not play this week to give him two full weeks to get healthy with the upcoming bye:

“No, no. [Evaluate it] every day, each and every day, you know? Hopefully, when I get the report today we will see how it is going with the response on the wear and tear of what he has been practicing through. We will see, but I am anxious to see that report later on today.”

On if the Browns will continue to be aggressive on fourth downs and two-point conversions:

“Each week, and we have a bunch of talented people in the building that do a great job – not a good job but a great job – in some of the game analytics that we do. I have been a part of other staffs that did a bunch of that, too, as a staff. That was a process that we started on Tuesday of last week. It was not that I woke up on Sunday and started doing that. We discussed it. We practiced it all week that way. In the course of the ball game, if it adjusts, then we have to adjust, but it fell pretty much the way we went into it and executed it to a pretty good deal. Defensively, we have to improve to give them a few more shots in that area.”

On the benefits and drawbacks of attempting two-point conversions:

“It really kind of depends on the overall game. There is not any hard fast formula, but from week to week on who you are playing, you take a look at the point production throughout the whole year and then how the game is going too comes somewhat of an instinctive feel, but we do have – we do without me telling everybody else so everybody else is copying what the formula is – we have some formulas in the background with some talented people that I trust and listen to.”

On if he is referring to analytics as a resource and formula:

“Yep, some of them are. Some of them are – yes. Yes. Almost said his name, but I did not (laughter).”

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