Press Conference

Week 3 Browns coordinator press conferences - Priefer, Monken, Wilks

Special teams coordinator Mike Priefer:

Opening statement:

“Good morning. I hope everybody is doing well and having a good week. I was just checking out the weather again today. If you do not believe Cleveland is God’s country, then I do not know what your problem is. It is another beautiful, beautiful day here in Cleveland.

“We are coming off a solid win Monday night in New York. I thought our guys played well. They played hard across the board. We covered kicks well. Punt return game was pretty good. We had another penalty. We have to eliminate that. Punter did well. Kicker did well. Snapper did well. Kickoff return, we only had the one opportunity. We got tackled at the 19 to start the game. We have to find a way to get our kickoff return team going, and that is going to be the emphasis today in practice when we do KOR today and tomorrow.”

On Rams WR/RS JoJo Natson:

“He is terrifying. He is really quick. He is the fastest guy on the field. He is fearless for a little guy. When I was in Minnesota, we played at the Rams last year on a Thursday night and he was injured prior to the Sunday night. I do not like anybody getting hurt, but I am glad we did not have to face him. Unfortunately, we will have to face him on Sunday night. He has now become their dual returner so he is dangerous on both punts and kickoffs. He poses a big-time threat because you can’t be out of control at the point of attack or you are going to miss him. I told our guys in the meeting today that he can make you miss in a phone booth. He is that quick. We have to do a great job of surrounding him, throttling down, being under control and making a play.”

On if Natson has established himself in the upper echelon of NFL returners:

“I do not think so yet. He has the potential. I do not think he has had the productivity yet because he is so young, but he is definitely on that upward trend. Hopefully, we can stifle that upward trend a little bit on Sunday night.”

On P Jamie Gillan only allowing one punt return so far this season and the impressiveness of it:

“That is really important to what we do. He has the leg to do what some of these other punters around the league do with hitting a 60-65 yarder and hope for the best. That is not how we are wired. That is not how I am wired. Our guys understand that we want to limit the opportunities for the opponent’s return team every single opportunity for a guy because of that reason – JoJo Natson and the other returners that we are going to face this year. There are so many good ones that you do not want them to get it going. You are hoping, ‘Hey, we hit a 60-yarder and we get a 50 yard net.’ It does not always happen because those guys are going to make people miss. I know we can’t cover perfectly every time so we are trying to limit the opportunities for our opponents’ punt returners and kickoff returners for that matter, depending on the situation.”

On Gillan crediting the gunners for their efforts and who the Browns count on in those roles:

“First of all, you understood what he was saying? Did he talk slow or something (laughter)?

I am only kidding. I tease him all the time about that. He has a great accent. (CB) Tavierre Thomas is the one gunner and (WR) KhaDarel Hodge, which has been a huge sign. Our personnel people did a great job getting a hold of him, and I can’t believe the Rams let him go. He is so talented. Both of those guys did a really good job the other night of finding the ball, beating their man off the ball – the corner over the safety and corner depending on if it was a vice – winning that battle, finding that ball, finding the returner, finding the ball and making the decision, which we coach over and over and over again. Because Jamie did such a good job for the most part directionally, it makes their job a little bit easier. Our protection did a good job for the most, We had one that was too close that we have to correct, and we have to make sure that does not happen. Our guys protected well. Jamie got the ball of quick and did a good job for the most part with his directional punts. It makes the job for the gunners easier. We have good gunners. We have guys that believe in what we are doing, and they understand that going back to the original question about limiting the opponent’s punt returner and the opportunities that they have, hopefully, it is going to be higher and a little bit shorter than some teams punt it. I do not want it 35 yards but 50 yards, 5.0 [hang time] or 48 yards, 4.8 [hang time], somewhere along those lines. A good hang-distance ratio, that helps our gunners and that helps everybody.”

On if Hodge has a reputation on special teams:

“He does. He does. We played them last year. I think he only had one game under his belt when we played them like Week 4 a year ago and I already knew about him, because he had already had made an impact in special teams in preseason and in that one game that he had played. I am very glad that we have him. For a young guy, he has some leadership abilities and some leadership qualities. He plays very, very hard and he is very intelligent. He understands his role. He is also becoming a better receiver. I was telling the offensive coaches yesterday, please do not use him at receiver – I do not want to get him tired for special teams. Usually, it is the other way around. He has done a nice job for us so far.”

On if he campaigned for Thomas to make the 53-man roster:

“I did. I did. I did not have to pound very hard because I think that (General Manager) John (Dorsey) and the personnel guys, they understood the importance of what Tavierre brings to the table. I did not pound very hard because they get it. I know (Head Coach) Freddie (Kitchens) is obviously emphasizing the importance of special teams for our football team. He has done such a great job supporting what we do. It has made my job a lot easier. Guys like Tavierre going out there, he understands his role and he will play defense if they need him to. At the end of the day, he is dressing to pay in the four core phases, and he plays on the field goal block, as well. I think he is our only five-phase guy that we have.”

On his philosophy on trick plays and fakes on special teams:

“We did a few of them in Minnesota. We kind of pick and choose our spots. We will have one in every week, whether or not we use it is depending on the situation and depending on the confidence that we have in the play depending on sometimes the look that we get from our opponents. They do a really good job with the Rams. I was going to tell you guys that I did shave this morning, but I already grown this because I am nervous for all the fakes. It grows back really fast and grey when I am nervous about a team. They do a really good job of fakes. I think they had five that they tried last year. One they tried against us that we stopped, but they tried four others. I think three of them were successful. They have had a history of doing it. They are very creative. Their guys believe in what they do, and they have a punter that can throw the ball like a quarterback so that poses a big time threat.”

On the number of different types of punts Gillan has and when to use them:

“Depending on the field position. Depending on the winds and what not and what type of look that we get from our opponents. He probably has at least four or five different punts that he can pull out at any time that we actually work on in practice. I am not going to ever ask him to do… Last week, there was a situation where I wanted to do a certain punt, but we had not practiced it enough and I did not feel comfortable and he did not feel comfortable pulling it out and pulling that club, so to speak, out of his golf bag. At any one time at some point in his career, he is going to be able to do whatever he wants in that situation as long as he has practiced it that week and feels confident for that type of punt for that week.”

On if RB Dontrell Hilliard will remain the primary punt returner after returning from injury or will WR Jarvis Landry continue to return punts:

“Probably both. Get a little bit of both this weekend. Yeah, the guys will be prepared. Dontrell is back and he will be playing hopefully on every phase for us because he brings a lot to the table – speed and toughness. The one play he got hurt on, he actually slipped. He actually did a great job on the kickoff cover. He actually slipped and that is when he ran into the hip of the returner against Tennessee. I think these guys are really buying in. They are believing in what we are selling. Dontrell is one of those guys that we are going to rely on all year as a returner or otherwise.”

On Landry being close to breaking a punt return against the NY Jets:

“There were a couple that he was close. They did a nice job. Their center for the Jets is a very good athlete. We knew that going in. We tried to slow him down with (DE) Chad Thomas, and Chad did a good job initially, but the kid got away from him on one of them and made a nice play on Jarvis. He was pretty close. Our guys did a good job. Jarvis has such great vision and great leadership. He kind of changes the mentality of the punt return unit when he is out there because you know he can break one at any time.”

On preparing for an opponent like the Rams who have many fakes and trick plays on special teams and disguise them well:

“I think you have to keep it simple for our guys. Whether we are in a defensive stage on punt return against their punter knowing that there is a threat or there is a possibility. It is also the call that I would make on fourth down, depending on the down and distance, field position and how many guys we have in the box. Every situation is going to be a little bit different, but to be quite honest, we have to be ready for a fake every single time we go out there. We have to be ready for a surprise onside with our kickoff return unit. We have to be ready for a counter or reverse with their kickoff return unit. There are a lot of different things that we have to prepare for. I will be honest with you, I started preparing for the Rams back in the spring, running fakes against our punt return unit against and against our defense stage unit back in the spring through the summer. Not that it guarantees success, but at least our guys understand where we are coming when we are talking about it this week.”

On if is pleased with the Browns special teams only having three penalties on special teams this season, given the improvement from last year:

“No, I was not pleased in the first game. I thought there were two penalties on one play. They were not very good things. We had the one that was the phantom illegal double team on that kickoff return, but you still have to learn from it and move on. The penalty the other day, we had an 18-yard punt return, which is outstanding. It would have been about a 35-36-yard net for the Jets, and our nose blocks a guy in the back late. I understood what he was trying to do, but it was not a good decision. I think the guys are knowing and we also avoided several penalties on punt return the other night so guys are learning. There is some progress there. We are not anywhere near where we need to be. I am not happy with any penalties, but I understand what you are saying. It is a reduction, but if we want to get where we want to get to and especially on our return phases, we have to eliminate them across the board, period.”

On positives from K Austin Seibert’s performance on Monday, in addition to his made FGs and PATs:

“His demeanor was outstanding the whole night. I told him after the game, I am walking off the field and after the game, I said, ‘You looked like a confident kicker today.’ The first game was not so confident and obviously he missed that first one, but he kicked off well for us. They were taking a knee 1-yard deep in the end zone so we said, ‘OK, kick them a little bit shorter.’ We wanted our kickoff team to go down there and cover. Our guys did a great job of doing so. I think he kicked off well, his demeanor was great and he approached every kick like it was a game-winner. He did a really good job for us. The snaps and holds were great and the protection was great on field goals and PATs. Our guys did a good job.”

On if he has picked Hodge’s brain at all about the Rams special teams:

“That is a good question. We asked KhaDarel yesterday and today in our special teams meeting this morning. What are they thinking here? I have a good idea of what they are doing, but he knows the ins and outs of it. He just gives us a little bit of insight, not exactly what they are going to. They might change their calls up a little bit. I do not rely on that a whole lot. He is a smart player that was very much involved with their special teams. He understands when they are going to run fakes, what type of fakes they are going to run, what their mindset is on kickoff return or whatever the case may be. His intelligence and his recollection of obviously what they have done during the past couple of years that he has been there, last year and this year, it really has helped us.”

On if he saw Hodge as a special teamer when signed, while the public generally views the signing as a WR:

“I see a special teamer, absolutely. I see gunner. I see the five on kickoff, front line KOR guy and the MIKE backer is what we call them on punt return. That is what I see. Eventually, I am sure like any young man, he wants to be a starter on offense, but we have a pretty good receiver core so until he becomes a starter, he is going to be a four-phase guy for us.”

On the specialists’ time at FirstEnergy Stadium this week:

“It was a short week. They had kicked so much and they were a little bit sore after Monday night. Tuesday was our day off. Yesterday morning, we are practicing less than 48 hours since they had played in the game so we did not take them down this week, but we will start that back up again next week.”

On Browns Legend Clay Matthews being inducted into the Browns Ring of Honor Sunday:

“I think it is great. I loved watching him play. What a great player he was. You guys know that. Just growing up, he was one of the stalwarts of that defense. He always played so hard. He always just seemed to show up every week. He was a fun guy to watch when I was a young man growing up.”

On if he has favorite Matthews moment or trait:

“Whenever we beat Pittsburgh. That was always fun. He helped us beat them a few times. Not as much in the 70s, but the 80s were pretty good that I remember.”

Offensive coordinator Todd Monken:

On helping QB Baker Mayfield release passes more quickly:

“That is always something we look at, trying to get the ball in rhythm, quick-game rhythm throws. Some of that comes with screen games, some of it comes in the RPO world, some of it comes in scheme and some of it comes in protection. It is all the above. Something we have to be better at.”

On how to help the Browns offense and Mayfield establish a better rhythm:

“First, I think he has played his butt off. I really do. I think he has competed awfully, awfully hard. Other than the backend of the first game when we were down and that is his nature to try and make a play, but I think he has played awfully well. I am sure he would say that he can play better, but in my eyes, there are a lot of things that go into that. We have to scheme it better. We have to play better up front. We have to do a better job in terms of everywhere – route running or you name it. It is all of us to put ourselves in a better position to be more consistent. At times, we have been choppy. That is all of us. There is not just one area you fix. We are close. We just have to continue to build on the things we are doing every day and then continue to get better at it.”

On the challenges at TE with TE David Njoku injured:

“There are challenges at any given position when you lose a player that is part of your 53. David gives us a weapon vertically down the field that you like to have and can be a matchup problem for opponents, but we will just have to next man up. (TE) Demetrius Harris, who we bought in here for a reason, then and (TE) Pharaoh (Brown) and (TE) Ricky (Seals-Jones) will have to continue to improve.”

On if the Browns will need to use more four WR sets following Njoku’s u injury and facing the Rams this week:

“I do not know. Every team is a little bit different in terms of how you gameplan. Obviously you are going to put the guys in a position to where you think it gives you the best chance to move the football. Some of that, in terms of all of our skill players and also all of our tight ends and as the week goes on and we will see where those guys are.”

On RG Eric Kush and his personality as ‘a character’:

“I think he has played fine. I think he is what we thought he was when we bought him in. He is a good football player. He is a pro. He works awfully hard at it. He happens to be starting at guard, but he also can play center for us, which is invaluable. You have to have swings guys that can do that. I have been awfully impressed with him. To talk about being a character, I am not in that room enough to know exactly from a personality standpoint, but I like him a lot as a player and as a person.”

On how much snapping the ball as time expires on the play clock is by design:

“None of it is by design for the most part to let it wind all the way down, unless you are in four-minute. You are not really trying to get up against it. That is part of everybody. It is getting out of the huddle, getting up to the line of scrimmage, the communication from the quarterback, from the sideline to the skill players getting lined up correctly to if you are doing some things at the line of scrimmage with the skill players. We do not ask the skill players to look at the clock so them getting aligned. The defense has something to do with that in terms of what Baker happens to be seeing. We just know we have to do it better.”

On WR Odell Beckham Jr.’s production and precision:

“It has been good. He asks good questions. He is not afraid to ask, and he is not afraid to take coaching. He wants to do it the right way. He wants to win. He wants to have success. Him being in the right position where Baker can expect him to be is going to help that. He is a really, really good football player that you have to find a number of ways to get him matched up and get him the ball, which we have been trying to do.”

On if Beckham is a unique player to coach:

“As I said a week ago, he is unique in his skillset. Let’s start with that. He is a unique skillset. He can play wherever you want him to play with his balance, body control and acceleration. He can change speeds. He he can track the ball. He is an awfully good football player, and he is an intelligent football player with excellent ball skills. He is competitive. It does not show sometimes, but he is awfully competitive, a prideful guy. It works out. We just have to continue to find ways to get him the ball and move him around.”

On if Beckham Jr. has been easy to work with, given his reputation from his time with the NY Giants:

“Yeah, it has not been a problem. There has been nothing. Not with me. Not with on the field. Not with our coaches. Nothing we have talked about that has not been get on the field, work, produce in the games and be attentive in the meetings. To me, that is a big part of it. To me, are you taking what we are talking about and the quarterbacks are communicating to you onto the field? I have seen that.”

On the toughest part of preparation for Rams DT Aaron Donald:

“Just forces you to have awareness of where he is at all times from a protection standpoint. Run game, as well, but especially how he creates loss yardage plays and in the pass game. From a protection standpoint, you have to be aware of where he is, but along with that, that starts with him but then when you surround him with (Rams DT Michael) Brockers and (Rams LB Dante) Fowler, and now they picked up (Rams LB Clay) Matthews and you have those guys up front, you end up having to pick your poison as to where you want to help. It is a tough battle. They do a great job of forcing you into one on ones up front. They do a good job of scheming up in terms of where you are trying to help to get guys in one on ones in terms of matchups. Every team has a way of doing it a little but different when you play teams that play the front the way the Rams do. We will have to change it up. You have to find ways to help different spots and then you have to be able to protect and get the ball on time. The one thing that helps you is if you can run the football. I have been down this road before when we were with Jacksonville and when we would have to play the Colts twice a year. The best way to negate some of that is being able to run the football and get the ball out of your hands. That will help you in terms of your play action game and stop getting you behind the chains and having loss yardage plays.”

On RB Nick Chubb’s start of the season:

“Been great. Nick is a fantastic football player, a downhill runner. We threw a screen or two, but I know one of thought. He is hard to bring down with one guy and arm tackles. He is usually moving forward. I think he has played fantastic, and I think he is only going to get better. We just have to find a way to continue to get him the football because he has been very productive since he has been here. This is not anything new. This is just something we have to continue to get him the football.”

On he feels comfortable T Justin McCray if McCray needs to replace T Chris Hubbard:

“Justin is a pro. He has played in this league. He played pretty well against the Titans for a guy that just got here that week. I really did. We expect him to play well. With all of our players, you are going to see how the week goes on and where you think you feel like you need to help, but he has been fine.”

On if it is tougher for Mayfield now as opposing coaches have more tape on his play, particularly as it relates to Mayfield adjusting to and reading defenses:

“Sure. I do not know if it is a matter of defensive coordinators having film on him as much as it is there were a number of looks the other night that (defensive coordinator) Coach (Gregg) Williams presented to us that got us either in a change of protection or different things that we had to do up front that was part of it. That is part of what you do when you are assessing what a defense is doing. That comes with time for Baker, and it comes with us as well as to what we are seeing and helping him on the field in terms of ‘Hey, this is what we are getting. They are really not doing this.’ From an Xs and Os standpoint, that is what you do throughout the game. I think that will continue to grow with him as he continues to play.”

On challenges facing an experienced coach like defensive coordinator Wade Phillips:

“Like most successful coaches, I think you are pretty consistent in what you believe in and your guys get really good at executing that. You can see that with them. I do not think they are overly complicated from where they are going to align and what they are going to try to accomplish. They are just really, really good at what they do. The scheme does not come from… We are going from extremes here. We are going from playing the Jets where everything is about disruption and chaos to we are going from a much more execution style, matchup, one on one, probably in some ways similar to how the Titans and Patriots kind of attack you. Not exact Xs and Os but more along the lines of matchup-wise and forcing you into a lot of one-on-one blocks up front. They have gone to a little but more with five bigs with Matthews so you have what the Bears did a year ago in terms of Nickel-51. Now, you have got five matchups across the board so it is getting matchups, doing the same things over and over and getting really good at it is a pretty darn good formula to have success at anything in life. That is the challenge. Now, it is how we matchup and as I talked about before, being able to run the football and stay out of long-yardage situations, which we have not done a very good job of. We have been good at converting third and extra long. We just have to do a better job of staying out of it.”

Defensive coordinator Steve Wilks:

Opening statement:

“Good morning. I do not want to get up here each and every week and sound very vanilla and bland, but really, the formula does not change. We have to do a great job of stopping the run this week, and we can’t give up the vertical shots over the top of the field. That is what they love to do. We have to tackle well, and we have to try and limit possessions as far as getting off the field on third down and trying to create takeaways. Tremendous respect for you guys. I know sometimes some of the questions come across and I want to answer some of these questions with as much detail as I can, but last week it was like, ‘Trevor Siemian is going to start. Is there anything you are going to do differently?’ Well, I am not going to tell the gameplan so I am going to try to dance around those kind of questions so I am just giving forewarning.”

On always needing to be prepared for the unexpected, especially when facing the Rams and Rams Head Coach Sean McVay:

“I think so. Sean McVay is a tremendous offensive mind. He does a great job of putting his players in position to be successful. They have tremendous talent on that side of the ball, starting in the backfield with (Rams QB Jared) Goff and then (Rams RB Todd) Gurley (II) so they spread the ball, move the ball around quite a bit. We have to be ready for anything.”

On challenges facing Rams WRs:

“Not giving up the vertical shots. Those guys do a great job of really trying to take the top off. They set the play action up with a good run game, and we have to be disciplined with our eyes and just play our responsibilities.”

On Goff is doing well this season and his improvement during his career:

“I think he makes great decisions. I think he does a great job of really reading the defense and trying to put the guys in position. He is very accurate with his throws, and he is very poised and patient in the pocket.”

On if he is satisfied with CB Denzel Ward’s performance in the first two weeks:

“I am not really satisfied with any of the 11 out there with the way they have been playing because I feel like we can play better. I feel like Denzel can play better, (DE) Myles (Garrett) can play better and across the board. We have to continue to improve as the weeks progress. We have to limit the foolish penalties out there. It is hurting us.”

On Garrett’s season so far, given his sack totals and penalties:

“I think you just said it right there – some good and bad. I think there are some inconsistencies there as far as the penalties. I know he is just trying to be aggressive sometimes and make plays, but offside we can’t have. I love the production and what he brings in his athleticism and his skillset there, but those plays will eventually hurt us. That is what have to try to eliminate.”

On LB Joe Schobert:

“I have seen it really going back into preseason – very smart, intelligent, understands the defense, can get everyone lined up and put them in the right position. He put himself in position to be successful and make plays. He is good in the run game, very accurate right there out in space as far as the pass game. I like the way he is playing right now, and he is bringing a lot to the table for us and helping this defense.”

On Schobert as a tackler and if some missed tackles can be written off, particularly when facing someone like NY Jets RB Le’Veon Bell:

“We never write missed tackles off as a whole. We want guys to make tackles, but there is an understanding that there are 10 other guys out of the field, as well. We emphasize and talk about pursuing the football, and at times when we do miss, you have to miss on what we consider to be the right leverage so therefore you are forcing it back to your help. I think Joe is playing well as I said before. I think his tackling has improved from last year, and I think he is only going to get better.”

On what Garrett can learn from Rams DT Aaron Donald in terms of maximizing sacks and limiting penalties:

“Just being disciplined and understanding that his greatest strength is his greatest weakness. He is so quick off the ball that teams are going to hard count to try to get him to jump. They are going to change the snap count. We have to be locked in and focused so we do not put ourselves in that positon.”

On if he has talked with Garrett about his goal to ultimately be Defensive Player of the Year and how to reach that objective in comparison to Donald:

“No, I do not really try to compare players in regards to that. I love and respect the individual goals, but we try to make sure they are aligned with the team goals. As I stated probably about a week or two ago, if he is Defensive Player of the Year, we are winning a lot of football games and I am excited about that. I hope he gets it, and in the process right here, we just continue to make sure we are doing everything to help the Cleveland Browns defense win games.”

On if he is more disappointed in offside penalties compared to personal fouls:

“The roughing penalties are going to happen at times. (Head Coach) Freddie (Kitchens) and I have talked about those. We are an aggressive defense, but the one thing we can’t tolerate is pre-snap and post-snap [penalties]. That to me is a lack of discipline.”

On the Browns having zero interceptions and how to create more opportunities:

“It is a concern. We try to pride ourselves on taking the ball away. No. 1, we just have to be closer in coverage. We talked about trying to complement one another with the front as well as the secondary so we have to have a better pass rush to try to force ill-advised throws, but we need to be tighter in coverage so when he does force the ball in there, we are able to get our hands on some.”

On the adjustments and development for DE Olivier Vernon and DT Sheldon Richardson in a new scheme this year:

“I think they are still progressing. I like where they are. They are doing a great job really as teammates, as you talked about, just even off the field in some of the things they are doing. I love their leadership. They are taking control there and not only on the defensive line but really as a whole defense. I think we are learning one another when you talk about as far as players, but I think they are moving in the right direction. I am glad we have them.”

On if he has to remind the Browns defense that last week’s win occurred when facing QBs with less preparation:

“No, not so much because it is the National Football League and really the focus is constantly on us and making sure we are executing the gameplan and putting ourselves in position to be successful. Somebody talked about the tackling. You talked about the discipline of being onside and really not giving up the big play. That is going to really be the key this week. They mentioned already about the receiving corps and how dynamic those guys are. We are going to have our hands full, but we have to make sure we limit the big plays.”

On how encouraging was the Browns defensive performance against the NY Jets:

“A whole lot. No. 1 was our ability to just stop the run early on. I know Le’Veon Bell got some things late in the game, and of course, he is just so phenomenal running the football and a dynamic football player overall in in the backfield and out of the backfield catching the ball. You get a little bit of that with Gurley, as well. We are going to see the same type of running back this week.”

On if the Browns need to re-teach technique in regards to Garrett’s roughing the passer penalties:

“I think you have to understand the exact situation at that moment. For the last probably three or four years, there has been a point of emphasis with the quarterback and the safety in the National Football League, which I agree with totally. We just have to be smarter and understand by being in that position right here. Like you said, sometimes it is just getting our hands up or maybe shoving the guy and doing this (places hands up) instead of just trying to take him to the ground.”

On if the Browns defense needs to change its scheme significantly due to injuries with Ss Morgan Burnett and Damarious Randall:

“We have been really since OTAs and training camp and trying to prepare some of these backup guys. Now, have they had the reps? No, they have not have the reps – the live reps, no. From the mere fact of understanding the gameplan, going out there and executing, I have total confidence in the backup guys.”

On S Jermaine Whitehead’s performance against the NY Jets:

“You guys already know but if you haven’t, Jermaine is one of my favorites. I think he is smart. He puts himself in a position to be successful. I love the way he orchestrates and really runs the back end by communicating everybody. He is good in the run game. He can fit the run just like the linebackers, and he is very adequate out in space, as well.”

On challenges preparing for McVay’s offense:

“No. 1, I think he is great with in-game adjustments. I think he does a tremendous job there. Great feel for the game and for the tempo in trying to create a little bit of a disadvantage for the defense, trying to get us back on our heels. We have to be prepared for it all. We know right now they are going to be fast ball, quick to the line of scrimmage. We have to get our calls in, we have to get set, we have to execute and we have to get ready to play.”

On the style of offense the Rams and McVay have developed over recent years:

“You see it throughout the league a little bit with some teams. Arizona is trying to do the same thing now, as well, as I have heard. I just think he does a unique job in trying to put those guys into position and a lot of what he does is he makes it look the same so we have to make sure that we are on point when executing the defense.” 

On if any of the Rams’ WRs stand out more than others:

“They are all dynamic. When you look at (Rams WR Brandin) Cooks from the screen game, he can take the top off and vertical speed. When you look at (Rams WR) Cooper Kupp, I think he can do it all just from a standpoint of a third down possession receiver, over routes and those things. Overall, they are very dynamic in what they are doing. They spread the ball around quite a bit, and I think Goff, as I mentioned before, does a great job of reading the defense and really trying to get the ball where it needs to be without forcing things in there sometimes.”

On if he has noticed differences in the Rams OL play with new personnel from last season:

“Still running the ball well. They are still protecting the quarterback. He does a good job of getting the ball out. I think they do a great job, too, of not really trying to get Goff hit a lot so sometimes it is max look and making sure that he can get the ball off and push it down the field.”

On the Rams coming to Cleveland and the atmosphere at FirstEnergy on Sunday night:

“In my experience here with the preseason games, as well as the home opener, we have a dynamic crowd. Our fans are tremendous. It is very loud in that stadium, and that is what we are anticipating on Sunday night. Hopefully, we can get a few calls from the standpoint of illegal procedures and those things that the noise is a factor come Sunday night.”

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