On if he is still optimistic DB Joe Haden and WR Terrelle Pryor Sr. will be able to play Sunday:
"Oh yeah. Yes, I am."
On if Haden and Pryor will have participated enough to play, given Friday is a walkthrough:
"Yeah, they do because we will do more with them. I need to know for sure. They have a chance. I need to know without question. We are not going to dress them and get them out there and then they can't play. If we have to do more, we will do more."
On what QB Cody Kessler has done that other rookie QBs haven't that he has coached:
"I think we've asked him to make more plays with the ball. Some of the other teams I was on, during that time, the team was structured different so there are other things that the quarterback didn't need to do to give the team an opportunity to win. For us to have a chance, he has got to make plays. He has to put us in position and score the ball as often as he can. That is a lot of pressure for a young guy, but he has handled it well thus far."
On if that can speed up Kessler's learning curve:
"Oh yeah, it can. It can also hurt the learning curve, too, so it kind of goes both ways. It all depends on the situation you are in at that time."
On the Indians reaching the World Series:
"I'm very excited for their opportunity. (Indians Manager) Coach (Terry) Francona deserves it. He has done a great job with that team, but as I look at it from afar, I want to be in that spot, too. The basketball team has done it. The baseball team is doing it. They have a great opportunity to get it done. Our football team, we are not there yet, but all those teams were built to where they are now today. We are in our stage. I told you I learned that word. We are in our stage, too. We have to get there, but that is the goal – to win a championship."
On talking about the Browns competing to win a Super Bowl and how hard it is to discuss as the Browns are rebuilding the program:
"Absolutely. It is not hard. No, you have to have aspirations and goals. You have to know what you want and what the vision is and where you are trying to go or you are never going to get anywhere. I think you have to talk about those things. I'm not ever going to back off that. That is what I'm here for. We are going to get there. I didn't say it was going to happen this year. I said we have a lot of work to do, and I keep saying that, too. I get it. That is what we all are chasing. Obviously, the basketball team has done it. The baseball team has an opportunity to do it. We are going to do it here at some point. I feel very comfortable and confident in that."
On challenges not knowing if Haden or Pryor will be able to run after not having practiced all week:
"It is very challenging if I didn't know that for sure, but as I said, they are going to run. I'm going to have them run. If they can't run, they won't be able to play. There is no question what you said is very true. We have guys playing those positions. They are running all the time and breaking and starting and re-stopping and all that. We have to know for sure. I will not dress a guy who I think cannot contribute to our football team in some positive capacity."
On OL Jonathan Cooper and if he has made progress toward potentially receiving playing time:
"Yes, he has. He is getting better. He is learning our system, how we do things and he has done some good things out there. We will see where he is as we get through the week. He is learning the gameplan and starting to really get it in his system on how we want things done and how we see it. Eventually, he is going to get a chance to get out there, too."
On if QB Josh McCown is closer to being healthy:
"Oh, I think he is close. I think he is close to having a chance. As you guys know, nothing has changed for this week for him, but I think he is closer to playing than not playing."
On if OL Joe Thomas' status is the same as last week and if will he play Sunday:
"Yes. Absolutely. Yes."
On if there has been anyone in his past that has helped shape who he is as a coach, given Bengals QB Andy Dalton's comments about him:
"There are a couple people I would point to. One would be (Bengals Head Coach) Marvin Lewis. Marvin has always told me be very honest with players. Tell them the truth and don't sugarcoat it. Let them know. Probably the guy that helped get me into this profession at this level, the first job I ever had was with (former Browns Head Coach) Marty Schottenheimer. I think you guys all know how Marty was. Marty was one of the best at what he did. He just didn't take any B.S. and just called it like it is. I have been around a lot of good guys that way, from Marvin to (Vikings Head Coach) Mike Zimmer to Marty, that have instilled that in me. I think if you are honest and fair with players and they know you come from a good place and you want the best for them, they are going to give you a good day's work. They are going to work their tails off for you. I don't think as a coach, I can get too high, too low; steady is the way because I think that breeds confidence within the players. They know what they are going to get every day from me. That is not going to change."
On if football is more violent than it was years ago:
"I think it is different, but it is still blocking, tackling and all the fundamental things that football is made up of. There are more rules that regulate things a lot more than it was 25-30 years ago. It is a tough sport. It is a violent sport. It is meant to be played that way, all within the rules of the game. To answer your question, do I think we protect the players more? Yeah, for good reasons because long-term health is very important. At the same time, it is a rough sport and a lot of things can happen. God forbid anything happens seriously to anybody, but we know when we sign up, the players do and us as coaches, when we see it and deal with it. It is part of the game."
On Bengals DT Geno Atkins and LB Karlos Dansby:
"You had to ask me about them, huh? (laughter) Geno Atkins is a tremendous football player. Obviously, he is the glue for all they do up front. He is strong. He is quick. He is tenacious. He is a spark plug. He is not a tall guy, but he is a big guy. He likes to play the game. When I think of Karlos, Karlos has a long wingspan. He is very athletic and he is tough. Those guys, they know how to play. They were raised right in this profession with the coaches that they have been around there, obviously, with Marvin and Mike Zimmer and now (Bengals defensive coordinator) Paul Guenther. They come from a good background. They know how to play."
On WR Ricardo Louis' development, considering he has made some plays but also dropped passes:
"I think you just said it. He is working at trying to be more consistent. Obviously, the talent is there and the ability is there. He recognizes and understands that every catch matters, how crucial it could be to a drive or opportunity to win a game. That is an experience within itself for a young player. Normally, you don't get in those situations very often to be in that tough situation. He is growing. He has had a great week. He is very hard on himself, too. He is one of those guys that is a perfectionist. He wants to do everything right. We like that about him. He is still another young emerging player that has to continue to grow and get better every week."
On WRs Jordan Payton's and Rashard Higgins' development:
"Good. Obviously, we will see more of Rashard this week. I have been dying to do that and we need to do that better. Jordan obviously had an attempt at a heck of a catch last week. Those young guys, I have always said as the year goes along, we are going to need them to make plays, too. It is just too long of a season, too many things happen, but they are getting their opportunities now. They have to go make the most of them."
On DB Derrick Kindred's week and expectations for him to bounce back after the Titans game:
"He has had a good week of practice, but he has to get better. We can't let the ball go over our heads. That is happening at an alarming rate for me. That is one thing our defense has built on. You can't let the ball just go traveling over everybody else's head. We have to improve that way. We have to do that fast because this a team that will throw it over your head if you don't stay back there."