Skip to main content

Press Conference

Week 12 Browns coordinator press conferences - Priefer, Monken, Wilks

Special teams coordinator Mike Priefer:

Opening statement:

"I know what you guys are thinking, it has been two weeks since we have done this and I hope you guys have missed me as much as I have missed you. We will kind of leave it at that. Two wins in a row. We are playing pretty well as a team. We have to keep focused. We have a team coming into town that has obviously won two of their last three. They are talented. They are feeling more and more confident. They had a phenomenal special teams game on Sunday four days ago against Buffalo. A surprise onside that they got, a 101-yard kickoff returned for a touchdown. They have some good players. They have some good specialists. They have some guys that are playing hard. They are a young team on special teams like we are. They play with high energy and effort, and they are playing with a lot of confident right now. We are going to have to get after it, play our game and help our football team."

On how much the Browns will emphasizes the Dolphins' surprise onside kick last week:

"We actually emphasize that every week no matter who we are playing. Against a team like Miami that is 2-8 – I am not going to say that they do not have anything to lose because it is the National Football League and everybody has something to lose. They are a prideful team. They have a good coaching staff. Their special teams coordinator (Darren Rizzi) is a very good coach. You have to be ready for that every week, but obviously, this week there is more of an emphasis because they have tried three and they have gotten all three – two of them when they were offside. Finally, the one that they got the other day, they were not offside on that one. They have faked a punt successfully, they have faked a field goal successfully and they had a kickoff returned for a touchdown. They signed my old punt returner (Dolphins CB) Marcus Sherels. It is really weird seeing him in a Miami Dolphin uniform wearing the No. 48 instead of No. 35 in a purple [Vikings] uniform. I know what he can do, and he still has it. Great quickness. He will make great decisions back there. Specialists wise and what have bringing to the game on Sunday, they are pretty dangerous. As normal, we have our work cut out for us."

On WR KhaDarel Hodge's season:

"It is funny, like a lot of young players, he started out really good on special teams and he got more and more involved in the offense because he is a good football player, a good receiver as well. Had he not been as productive so my challenge to him and to other guys like him is when you start playing more offense and defense, but we still need you because you are only playing 12-15 plays on offense so he can still be a four-phase player so those guys still have to show up in the special teams phases. He is a young guy, and he is looking around going, 'Hey man, I have a chance to be a receiver in the NFL, too.' I would not say that he has lost focus because I think he is a pretty focused young man. My challenge to him and to the guys like him that play more on offense and defense is to keep playing at a high level and help us win games. He will do that for us."

On if the Dolphins special teams has used fakes and surprise kicks all year or only until their record dropped:

"I think when you are struggling as a team, you have to try and find different ways to win. They picked the right spots. I am sure their head coach is very much involved in when they do it, and he has a lot of confidence in their guys. Two of those surprise onside were executed perfectly by Miami that they recovered, but they moved early and they left early. That is kind of what you have is the guy who is recovering the kick and who is designed to recover the kick, he is the one leaving a little bit early because he wants to make sure that he gets there. That is where it kind of got him a couple of times."

On Dolphins K Jason Sanders recovering the onside kick last Sunday:
"That is the slow roller, middle bunt we call it. They executed that one perfectly. It was a great kick. Kicker did a nice job of grabbing it and going down before he took a shot."

On how the team can galvanize after last week:

"(Head Coach) Freddie (Kitchens) has done a great job off having all of us understand, coaches and players, that we have to be 1-0 this week. We have to move on. We won a really hard fought game. We are excited about Miami coming into town for the next challenge, and I think we will become closer as a team because of all the adversity. It is us against the world. Let's go win this one and continue our season in a positive manner. Like he has been saying the last few weeks, let's just go 1-0 this week and then worry about the next one when it shows up. We have a really, really important battle this week and we have to get after these guys."

On if P Jamie Gillan is at the point where he has the precision to nail almost all of his kicks or if inexperience is still a factor:

"I will be honest with you, he had eight punts the other night and seven of them were outstanding. Two of the ones that were touchbacks, one went into the end zone that we need to find that ball. That is something that we emphasize a lot and we emphasized it again this week especially in practice yesterday. Then the one was a penalty, it was a perfect kick. It died at the 3-yard line, and inexplicably, we touched the ball after it going out of bounds. That is something that we pride ourselves on being a smart, situational football team. We talk about it all the time – me talking about it and our players understanding it and being focused on it. Being a young team, that is no excuse. They have to execute that. I can't be on the field for him. Obviously, thank goodness. At the end of the day, they know the rules, they know their job and they know their assignment. In order to play fast and execute, they have to focus. Our focus level has to be higher and higher and higher. I think Freddie called it earlier this week hyper-focused. The focus has to be on an all-time high in every situation because every situation could be the determining factor in whether you win or lose a game. That was a tough penalty for us because they got the ball at the 20, and I think they had a few penalties on our defense and Pittsburgh went down, scored and made it a 14-7 game. It is inexcusable. Could not believe it happened. It is not going to happen again, and we just have to learn from it and move on. Like any young team, we have to learn from every one of our mistakes and everything that we do well, and we did a lot of really good things on Thursday night. We have to build on those and continue to get better."

On if Gillan is become really good at his craft:

"He is. I have told many people and I think I told you guys before that we are just scratching the surface with this guy. I am starting to find out some of the different things that he can do with the football. I think he had a real good night the other night. He was better as a holder, and he was better as a punter. The situation at the end of the game, he had a 1.75 get off which is outstanding when we knew they were bringing pressure, and they fair caught it at the 10 and almost dropped the ball. He is doing a really nice job with all the different situations. Very coachable, starting to understand the game better and he is helping us win."

On the 'Bermuda Triangle' with the number of missed kicks this year heading into the Dawg Pound:

"Bermuda Triangle? That is actually a good way to put it. Everybody, our opponents have had problems. (K) Austin (Seibert), all of his misses have been at that end of the field. It is funny because you talk to (K) Phil Dawson before the season, and I got a lot of information from Phil. Obviously, he spent many great years here. He never gave me that indication that the Dawg Pound was that bad, but he did say, once the ball gets up in the air, the winds do not always do what the flags are showing. I think that is what is happening. Austin does such a good job of getting the ball up in the air. One of the things that I liked about him coming out of Oklahoma, his timing was good, his elevation was good and obviously, he was very accurate. He does get a lot of great elevation, and there are sometimes when it gets up there and those crazy winds. The first kick, he pushed right and then he missed the 50-yarder – he did great, drilled it and it got started going down the middle then all of a sudden the wind just took it. It did not seem like it was that windy. We sent them down there again yesterday like we always do, and he was 12 for 12 in the Dawg Pound end. It was not that windy yesterday, but that gives him confidence going forward."

On the combined FG and PAT percentage heading into the Dawg Pound:

"Yeah, it is crazy. I just look at what our guys have done. Yeah, all five of his misses – knock on wood – he has made every other kick in every other stadium and the other end." 

On if there is another half of field in the league as tricky to kick in, specifically Heinz Field:

"I think Heinz Field probably. I have not played there or coached there a lot. I think the one end there is supposed to be pretty bad, as well, especially this time of year and on into December. That is something that we just got to keep working on, sending them down there and getting them confidence because he is a confident young man and he will bounce back and he will do well for us. He has helped us a lot so far this year and he will continue to do so."

On if Dawson shared specifics on the 'Dawson flag' and how to read the flags located around the stadium:

"It was blowing. I do not think it is that he has not learned how to read it. It comes down to not overthinking it, to be honest with you. Phil just said hit your true ball. You hit a true ball, and sometimes you can't really determine what the winds are going to do or would even guess what they might do. I think at the end of the day, you have to practice it, you have to go down there and keep working on it. Pregame is always important, and Austin struggled a little bit in pregame as their guy did on that end so we knew it was going to be an issue. We just have to learn how to kick the right kick at the right time."

On if he is frustrated the Browns have not had many long returns and the Dolphins' long returns this year:

"To answer the first part, (Dolphins WR) Jakeem Grant is an outstanding kickoff returner. I know he is a young guy. (QB) Baker Mayfield played with him for one year, Baker's freshman year at Texas Tech and he told me some things about him yesterday. He is confident, and you can tell by the way he runs. Extremely quick. You have to throttle down under control to get him tackled, and we talk about tackling with your feet first all of the time and that is kind of our coaching point with him. He can make you miss in a phone booth, he is so quick. He is also explosive. He can break tackles. He is so strong for a smaller man. He has exceptional speed and explosion. Those are the things that make you concerned about him. The second part of your question, I do not know if 'frustrating' is right or if I am 'frustrated' by that. You want to have big plays, and we had one against Seattle. We really have not broken a big one since. Then punt return, we have not really got going. We have two young returners that have to continue to work and continue to gain confidence. We are going to continue (RB) Dontrell (Hilliard) as punt returner and (CB) Tavierre (Thomas) as our kickoff returner. Tavierre was one block away from a big play on the left return last week. We are close. We just have not got over the hump yet, and that is what we are looking for."

On what goes into making a guy a great special teams player:

"You have to be a good enough athlete – fast, strong, tough, smart. You need to play a little bit smarter, obviously. I think the guys that really want to be good special teams players are the ones that are the best special teams players. An example I use from two weeks ago is (Bills LB) Lorenzo Alexander. Here is a 14-year veteran who made his name, made his mark on special teams and went to the Pro Bowl for Arizona as a special teams player. Then he becomes a starter at linebacker and does not want to come off the field. There is something about that young man that makes him special in terms of being a core contributor on special teams and an outstanding linebacker. He comes to mind. I have coached several guys like that who have either been really good returners and a really good gunner like (Bears WR) Cordarrelle Patterson. A great receiver in (former NFL receiver) Percy Harvin who is also a great kickoff returner. Marcus Sherels who was a role player for us in Minnesota, who is known as we see in Miami, he was as a great punt returner and played on the other three phases and was the best gunner we had year in and year out. Those guys had something special that in their mind, their want to, their heart, they have a passion for the game and those are the type of guys that make great core contributors on teams."

On how jarring was the altercation that ended Thursday night's game:

"I think you guys have covered that enough last week. Honestly, I do not want to go there. I am focused on the Miami Dolphins. We have been tasked to focus on the Miami Dolphins, and that is what we are going to do. We won a game. It was a hard fought game, and I am excited about this weekend."

On how the team is going to respond and Mayfield's response of 'we will find out Sunday':

"I would agree 100 percent with Baker. We will find out Sunday."

On if it is harder to recover surprise onside kicks because of the new kickoff rules:
"I think the surprise part is probably even harder to get those because you have eight guys in the setup zone. It is how you deploy them and how you set those guys up. We are going to have to change what we do a little bit based on what Miami does to take that away. I will be honest with you, you do not want him to kick it. There is an opportunity for them to recover it if they do kick it so we are going to try to take it away by alignment, we are going to try and take it away by focus and if they kick it, we are going to get good field position. That is our stance on that."

Offensive coordinator Todd Monken:

On the impact TE David Njoku's return could have on the offense, if Njoku is able to play this week:

"We will have to see where he is. I think that is the biggest thing is just seeing where he is after being out for a number of weeks. Really has not been with us out there. He has been working with the trainers working to get back. I think yesterday was a good first step."

On elements Njoku brings to an offense:
"His athleticism, his speed, being able to get down the field vertically. He has made a number of plays in the past in the red zone. I did see that during training camp and saw that during in the offseason."

On QB Baker Mayfield playing with more confidence in recent weeks:
"I think he has always had that. Obviously, we have played better around him. He has played better. We have continued to be able to run the football for the most part. A couple of games in between there not nearly as well, but when you are in the game, you are not having to throw it, you are not putting yourself under duress and you are not maybe doing things outside of yourself to try and win the game, which happens and has happened in the past with a number of quarterbacks where you are trying to win the game and you are making decisions you would not normally make. I think he has played well all year. It has just come about the last few weeks in terms of everyone doing it better."

On using RBs Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb together last week helped take Steelers S Minkah Fitzpatrick out of the game:

"He is a good football player. It is hard to imagine the streak that he had in terms of making plays, creating turnovers and scoring – like we talked about earlier about some of the penalties and turnovers, it being a week-to-week league and you do not anticipate that it is going to carry over – same there. He is going to go weeks where that does not happen and where the ball does not just fall his way or a fumble does not come his way. He is a good football player. He is certainly capable of making those game-changing plays. Whether that had something to do with it, sometimes the ability to run the football does that in not turning it over. Those are the plays he had making when the ball is in the air or the ball happened to be on the ground."

On the Browns offense's performance against the Steelers and potentially evaluating it as playing against one of the better defenses the Browns have played this year:
"We went into that game looking at the number of talented players they have, high draft picks they have hit on the last few years and then Fitzpatrick, who they traded for to add to that. We knew it was going to be a real challenge. Very similar to, maybe not schematically, but to Tennessee. We started the year off with 11 guys, good football players that you have to earn it up front. We knew it would be a heck of a challenge, and our defense really stepped up with the four turnovers and the two times they stopped them on fourth down. We had great field position all day."

On if preparing for the Steelers on a short week was a factor in not introducing many new plays or schemes with Chubb and Hunt:

"Some of that is true. You really only have so much you can do in a short week. You try as best as you can – to kind of coin a phrase – with your plays to have the songs you know the words to and that it is easy for your guys to recall for that week. It is hard to come up with too many things when you are trying to assess timing with your receivers in terms of different blocking schemes and you try to revert back to what you do well."

On if he has seen an improvement in Mayfield's ability to handle the pass rush and buy time in the pocket:

"I think overall, the quarterback is going to have those improvements the better you protect, the quicker you get the ball out and the more comfortable he is. He has done a better job over the last few weeks. You would have to ask him about how he felt, but we can continue to do a better job of protecting him, doing a better job from a route concept that he is comfortable there because that is also part of it. If the quarterback is not comfortable with what he is seeing or what you have designed, then they just start to take off. I am not saying that is what he is doing. I am just telling you in things I have been around. It is tough because I do think he is elite outside the pocket. That is tough because he is capable of making some plays outside of the pocket."

On making sure the Browns offense's mind is right ahead of the Dolphins, following a win against a tough Steelers defense:

"It is a challenge every week. It is a challenge, whether you win or lose, to get your team's mind right. That is one of the toughest things you deal with, with a week in between playing. I think one of the hardest things you deal with is just the media, good or bad, the sky is falling or you are great. You can't get beat. It is one of those things you deal with every day with your players that it is a week-to-week league and you can't carry over points. You can carry over momentum in the way you feel and the way you practice, but in terms of once you get on the field, it is a different opponent, a different style and everybody is capable of beating anybody. Just a couple weeks ago, the team we are going to face is a team that beat the Colts on the road, a pretty good football team. We have to be ready to go."

On his reaction to the altercation against the Steelers and how the team can move on from it:

"I do not know. I think you will have to ask them. I have not even given it a thought. I really have not. We are on to Miami, and I know everyone says that but that is our job. Our job is finding a way to fix the puzzle and to figure out a way to do it better than they do it with whoever you have, whoever you take the field with. It impacts us less obviously on the offensive side, and that is who you are speaking to, someone on the offensive side."

On the release of WR Antonio Callaway and its impact on the Browns offense last week:


On if having two dynamic players and personalities in WRs like Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry in the huddle can add some pressure to a younger QB's job and distributing the football:

"I think there is a challenge when you have multiple skill players. There is also going to be that with Kareem and Nick. They are paid to showcase their ability to make plays and with that is when the ball is in their hands their ability to make plays. All of our skill players, David included when we get him back on the field. That is a challenge at times because I do not care how much you throw it or hand it off to a skill player, they want more opportunities. I understand that. With all that being said, in my mind, you can never have enough talent. In my mind, speaking to me, you want to have talent. You want to take the field with enough weapons to give yourself the chance to score as often as you can. With that being said, sure, there is. You are talking about highly competitive people who have been very successful in their life and have shown they have the ability to make plays. That is the part you have to deal with, not only us as coaches but especially the quarterbacks. Good question, but in the end, you certainly want to find a way with the guys with talent to get them to play at a very high level in a way you want it to look when you take the field."

On how Mayfield has managed the Browns offensive personalities during games:

"I can't speak to it exactly. I am up in the box. It is hard for me to say exactly when they are on the sideline, but I have not heard anything or seen anything that would lead me to believe anything other than positive. 'This is the way I see it. This is the way we need to do it moving forward, this is the way that we have designed the play and how we want to attack this given opponent,' whether it is in practice, meeting rooms or on gameday."

On Landry's improved performances in recent weeks and what it is like to be around him in meeting rooms:
"He is a heck of a football player, one. Highly competitive and prideful. Sometimes it just works out that. There were times earlier in the year where it did not work out that way. Like I said, you only have one football. I think Baker has a load of confidence in Jarvis in terms of where he will be and in terms of the plays he can make. He also does a nice job underneath so there are some things you can do with him that have worked out. Sometimes it just kind of works that way where you get some extra targets.

On if WR Rashard Higgins is healthy and capable of all that is asked of him in the offense:
"Yes. He is healthy. That is for sure."

On if Mayfield's footwork, eyes and vision have improved as the season has progressed:

"I think so. I think the more comfortable he is with schemes, protection, the routes, who you are playing, what to anticipate and when guys are coming out of their breaks, there is no question a quarterback is going to play better. That is a big part of it because the windows are tighter, the time you have in the pocket is shorter in terms of college so those are the things that you continue [to develop]. That is why you practice. That is why you get on the field. That is why you develop the timing and the consistency and then you carry that over to the games. It is rare that you do not see that in practice. It does not happen in practice or it happens in games. It is a byproduct of what you do in practice."

On if Mayfield is beginning to grow into the QB the Browns want for this offense, given Mayfield's improved performance in recent weeks:
"Sometimes it is just opportunities. Sometimes I think that is. I do not think early on he played poorly. It is just sometimes you get other opportunities, and then as he gains his confidence back, and I would not say he lacked confidence – that is not him, he is a very confident young man – but then you start to see him make a few plays. Then all of the sudden, you start to build some things around for him and feel good about it. He is a good football player, and we thought that from the begging. You only have one ball and you only have one opportunity to get it to your skill players."

On if TE Stephen Carlson showed him anything he did not know with his TD reception against Pittsburgh:

"It is just amazing. Guys that do it right all the time and you can count on if they have a certain level of skillset – now they have to have a skillset because you cannot just take anybody because they do stuff right – but he has a skillset. He will do it exactly the way you want. Obviously, it was a big play in the game after the turnover, a third down. We still would have had a chance to kick a field goal and go up two possessions, but Baker did a nice job of escaping. We really had nobody open. Baker did a nice job of initially escaping and then for him to redirect and then take the ball off the defenders helmet. I think a lot of people were really excited for him, and usually, when your teammates get excited for somebody, it is someone that they really respect the way they work and go about their business. You do not see that from a coaching staff or from players unless they really respect the work that a player puts in."

On if there is still room for the package with Chubb and Hunt to grow:

"Sure. The toughest thing you have is he was not able to practice with us so you are playing a little bit of catch up. He was not obviously [missing practice] when you are in training camp, but we knew we would not have him for the eight weeks so there is catch up there. There is also a certain amount of reps that you have during the week. There are only so many reps that we have leading up to the game, and it is a race against the clock to get the gameplan in and to see where you can fit all of our pieces, not just those guys, to give us the best chance to win. They are obviously two really good football players so we have to continue to find ways to get them touches in a number of ways."

On if he has ever a RB tandem close to the talent of Chubb and Hunt during coaching career:

"I would have to think about that. If we did, I would not say it was better, I guess is a way to put. I have had places where we had good running backs. I would say this, we (Jaguars RBs) Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew in 2007 in Jacksonville. It was comparable. Both of those guys were good players. Fred might have had one more year with us, but that year in 2007, we had two really good running backs. It is rare. It hard to collect and keep talent in the NFL. A lot of times not only at one position but on offense, it is hard to be elite at every single spot. As players develop, you lose them to free agency, some guys get hurt and you only have so many draft picks. When you are really talented at one end, you have some other pieces that you have to continue to build, grow and develop some younger players so that you can put a good product on the field on any side of the football."

On if he used Taylor and Jones-Drew together on the field at the same time in Jacksonville:

"Fred and Mo-Jo? No, we did not do that nearly as much, but similar to here, we were a run-first team. I can't remember, amazingly enough, 12 years ago. I can remember both of them having success. I just do not remember. We did not do a lot with both of them in the backfield. I do not remember if we did it at all, and I do not remember how we distributed it. I just remember them both having really good years and both of them being really good pros."

On if the Browns offensive mindset has changed with recent losses on defense in order to help the defense following the loss of personnel:

"I do not think it ever changes the mindset. I have not thought ever once. You would have to ask Freddie that. I have not ever thought our job would change depending on what the defense is. In my mind, you try to score every time you have it. I do not know how you would change that. I think during a game it changes in terms of how it is going and the feel of your risk-take in terms of you thought process, in terms of how it is going and how the other side is playing. Every team loses players, and every team has someone there that is one of the best in the world to step in. We do too on the defensive side, and we expect them to play as well as the other ones collectively. Great players, like I said before, are hard to replace, but it is a team sport. You have to find a way to win with whoever you put up on the field. Our job – at least you are asking me on the offensive side – has not changed other than you try to put collectively the best plan you can together so that you can to create as many points as you can without turning it over.

Defensive coordinator Steve Wilks:

Opening statement:

"Good morning. I am not going to elaborate at all on the (DE) Myles Garrett situation. He put out a statement last week, as well as the organization. Very disappointing about the situation. We support Myles wholeheartedly, and we are going to accept whatever ruling that the league may bring down. We still have football games to play. We have to prepare accordingly to get ready for these games, particularly Miami next. Miami is a good football team. It has been getting better each and every week. You have seen their improvements. One of the things that I will say about Miami is they are one of the least penalized teams in the league. They are very disciplined. They are not going to beat themselves and we have to make sure that we play the same."

On overcoming the loss of a player as talented as Garrett:

"I really equate it no different than when (CBs) Denzel (Ward) and Greedy (Williams) were out. Other guys have to step up. If you look at (DE) Chad Thomas, I think right now he has three sacks so he has been performing well. We need more out of him, as well as (DE) Chris Smith and all other guys. (DE) Bryan Cox is a guy we just picked up. He is going to have to perform and play well. They are not canceling the season. We have to find a way to compensate for these losses, and we will find a way to get it done."

On how the Browns defensive scheme changes with the loss of Garrett and if the team has to blitz more due to Garrett's absence, as well as if the opponent's offensive scheme will change due to Garrett's absence:

"With the first question, I definitely would not answer that because I do not want to put out any information to our opponent. The second question would be I would say yes that they are going to adjust differently because we saw a lot of chipping with Myles when he was in there. Hopefully, the other guys can eventually gain that respect, but right now, I probably do not see that. We are going to have to do some different things to be able to try to compensate for the caliber of player that Myles is, yes."

On if he is hoping that DE Olivier Vernon will step in and make an impact once he returns from injury, particularly given Garrett's absence:

"I hope so. When he was in there the last couple of weeks, you saw his progression. He was playing well, making plays not only in the run game but also getting to the quarterback. Hopefully, he can be able to step back in and fill that void."

On two Steelers players sustaining concussions last week and comments that it was a 'dirty game' or a 'bounty game' by the Browns defense:

"I would say this right here: this is a physical football game, a physical game as a whole. That is not my personality. That is not our personality as an organization. Things happen on the football field. Very unfortunate, and I do not think anything was malicious at all with the hit with (S) Damarious Randall. It just so happen that he caught him in the wrong place. That is nothing that we coach nor do we condone that."

On how much of a wild card is Dolphins QB Ryan Fitzpatrick on Sunday:

"I think he is a major wild card. This guy is a very savvy vet, extremely smart, can still beat you with his legs. He does a great job avoiding the rush, making guys miss in the pocket, and he does a tremendous job of really putting the ball where it needs to be. He can still throw the deep ball. He is a proven winner. When he had the opportunity to step in at Tampa Bay, you saw exactly what he did down there when (Buccaneers QB) Jameis (Winston) was out of the game. I have a lot of respect for him. As I told the guys, we have to be ready to play."

On what does he see in the Browns defense's attitude this week:

"I really do not think that there is going to be any surprises. I think we moved on. I think the guys are prepared and ready for Miami. I will tell you one thing, Miami is not feeling sorry for us. They are coming in here trying to get a win. As I said before, these guys are well coached and very disciplined, and we are going to have to play the same. I think our guys are ready to step up and accept the challenge. Guys are out, and we have been there before as I mentioned. Guys have to step up and play."

On if he had to gather himself in preparation for multiple Browns defensive starters missing this game:

"I think it is a part of the game. Things like that happen – to this extreme, with Myles being out and the way it happened, no – but things like this come up each and every week, each and every year. We have to compensate and find ways to get over it."

On how DT Larry Ogunjobi had been playing prior to this week's suspension:

"It is a blow to our defense. He has been playing well. I think right now you are talking about an inside guy, I think he has probably about five or six sacks, which is good for an inside interior lineman. We are going to miss the presence with him. The other guys have to step up. (DT) Sheldon (Richardson) has to step up. Guys have to be ready to play. We are going to try and compensate in certain areas, but guys have to perform and play well."

Related Content