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Press Conference

Hue Jackson & Sashi Brown Draft Press Conference - 4/29

Opening statement:
Brown: "Glad to here again tonight. Thanks everyone for coming back and sticking with us. Long day, a lot of hard work but really pleased to be able to add (LB) Emmanuel Ogbah to our roster. As we set out this offseason and talked about some of the goals that we had for our organization, other than landing this man (Jackson) and some dynamic playmakers on offense, being able to find an edge rusher in the draft was high on our list of priorities. For our board, Emmanuel is our best player. We had a first-round grade on him so we were hopeful and really pleased leaving last night that he sat there waiting on us. We had some debate today about whether or not we would trade out. Frankly, the player was just too good to pass on any other opportunities that were there. With that, I'll let Hue (Jackson) talk a little bit about E.O. and how he'll fit into our system."

Jackson: "Obviously, he's an edge rusher. The guy is 6'4" 275lbs and has 4.6 speed. He's had 24 sacks in the past two years so as Sashi just eluded to, one of our goals when we set this draft the way we have is to one obtain a dynamic player, which we did last night in (WR) Corey Coleman, and today was to get an edge rusher. Obviously, like he said, he was the best guy sitting there and he was too good to pass up. This guy brings a dynamic on defense. We say we want to be suffocating and we understand that we have to affect the quarterback in our division and throughout pro football. This guy has that element. He can do that. We are looking forward to him being here and again adding another really good player to our football team."

On the Browns' philosophy toward the importance of speed with a prospect and if there is a connection between both of the team's selections' speed so far:
Jackson: "It's a total connection, but more so, the connection is this man sitting here to my left (Brown) with our other guys, (Chief Strategy Officer) Paul (DePodesta) and (Vice President of Player Personnel) Andrew (Berry). This is something that's been very important to us. We want to impact our team with more speed and with more playmaking ability, and I think we all recognize in order to do that in the National Football League you can do it a couple of ways. One is with power and the other one is with speed. We were able to get two players thus far that have both. It's a little different with the receiver, but with this young man, there is power and speed combination. We're going to continue and we have a long way to go to finish thing off right, but we're we'll on our way."

On if the Browns' phone continued to ring from other teams and how tempting it was to move out of the No. 32 pick:
Brown: "It did. We will always listen and have great discussion, but as I said, when we really left last night, we were actually really pleased because Emmanuel was sitting there for us. We actually thought he could go as high as the middle of the first round, and to see him sitting there, it was tempting today to listen to some calls, but no one was able to give us the value we would get from Emmanuel."

On if trade offers will start to dwindle once the third round starts:
Brown: "Yeah, a bit, but there was as much activity on No. 32 as there was on No. 8. It's always when teams have players sitting there, particularly after they've gone through a round of the draft, they want to position themselves on Day 2 to get what they think is the last first-round talent. We had a number of calls today, good dialogue internally and externally but decided to pick the player that was the best choice for us."

On if Ogbah is a candidate to be a three-down LB in a 3-4 defense or if he is a situational rusher:
Jackson:  "He's a candidate to be a linebacker in a three-down scheme. He has that kind of versatility and that kind of skillset. We drafted him because he can do both of those things well."

On if the Browns needed an injection of speed on both sides of the football, considering how the team played last year:
Brown: "I'd answer that by not comparing us to last year's team, but really the combination of speed, there's not a lot of guys at 275 pounds that can do what Emmanuel can do, period. He's flexible. He can win with power and with speed. That is a rare combination. It fits our scheme in the 3-4. As Hue said, we expect Emmanuel to come in and to compete to be one of our full-time three-down linebackers on the edge and to create a little bit of pressure so people have to think about what's coming on that edge. We have some guys that are there that are pretty well established. Put Emmanuel in the mix and let them compete to see who will get the snaps on Sunday."

On Ogbah fitting in the Browns 3-4 defense
Brown: "I think that the defense we'll play here will be a little bit different for him. We'll ask him to do a little bit of different things, but we're confident the things that Oklahoma State asked him to do, he will be able to do here in our scheme under (defensive coordinator) Ray (Horton). All these guys are going to have to develop in time, but we absolutely anticipate that he'll be able to meet all of our expectations."

On how long the Browns have to initiate LB Barkevious Mingo's fifth-year option:
Brown: "We'll leave that to another day."

On if the Browns may trade back into the second round:
Brown: "It depends on the circumstance. For us, as we sat and watched the group of players, we were hoping Emmanuel would be the one that was there at 32, but there is a group that we felt like we were monitoring, and if that group gets slim and we feel like we'll end up in another tier, we would go get a player. There are some guys we need to get back and start watching now. Our anticipation is that we're prepared to pick at 65, and if someone that we think is prepared to go off the board early, we'll go get him."

On the importance of a team's base defense, considering the high usage of nickel and sub-packages:
Jackson: "I think it's still important because you have a foundation which you start from. There's also an advantage that I think we all recognize even when you play 3-4 versus base offensive football teams. If your skillset of the team is as good as we can be in a 3-4 scheme, sometimes you can cause matchup problems with teams that play in three wide receivers versus your base defense. It's kind of back and forth. I think it all takes care of itself if you draft really good players that have versatility and that can play in either scheme."

On how much character came into play with Browns' first two picks:
Brown: "A fair amount. We've talked about that. It's an important, really central aspect of what we're going to build here. We want guys who are passionate about football but also good citizens, good members of the Cleveland community and good teammates. Emmanuel and Corey both are that. They're hyper-competitive guys who aren't afraid to be coached hard and want to get better and be great. That was in Corey's comment last night. I know you all picked that up as a theme, and Emmanuel is no different. Both of these guys are loved by their coaches. We expect them to come in day one and compete but also be great teammates even before they get on campus. I know a couple of the guys have already reached out to both players."

On how the Browns evaluate character:
Jackson: "First of all, you find out and you dig more about the person and you kind of understand their background and their history and what they've done. Normally, what you see is what you get, but I think on top of that for me is I'm looking for a guy who has true desire who wants to be great, who's willing to go through the grin, because we all know that pro football is a grind and a guy that can withstand it. Pro football is tough. It's not for everybody. Everybody can't do it. I think the guys that we've picked thus far have really demonstrated that quality that they really love football and that they're willing to come into a culture that's changing and be a part of something that's new and different and exciting. They have to fit in with the rest of our guys and be willing to accept the things we do here and how we do it."

On if Ogbah has played in stand-up positions before:
Jackson: "Yes, he has. He has stood up before. This will not be new to him. It wasn't the foundation of what they did, but he did stand up and rush the passer and drop before. He has some of that in his background so he does fit in that way."

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