The Cleveland Browns' offense and defensive coordinators, Brad Childress and Dick Jauron, respectively, met with the media on Thursday to talk about this past week's game against the Bengals and what's in store for this Sunday's game against the Colts. Their news conference transcripts are organized by topic below, starting with Childress.
Never Saw Josh Gordon When He Was Drafted
(On what Josh Gordon’s evolution has meant to the offense)- "Just the deep strike ability, the fact that he’s gotten behind some people and done it twice now. He’ll want to strive for consistency. That won’t happen all the time. Defenses are set up not to let you do that. They will be much more mindful, I think, of where he’s at. It helps you take the top of things and move people away from the line of scrimmage and make them play you with a deep threat."
(On how much better Gordon has gotten with little technique things)- "I think he’s gotten a lot better. All those little things kind of have equated to him doing some big things."
(On if teams will defend the offense differently since they’ve had success passing deep)- "I think they’ll be mindful of where he’s at, whether he’s in the slot, or whether he’s outside. Those guys kind of check and see who’s taking the top off, and who can run. They can see somebody can run now. That’s a good thing. They’ll honor him, and maybe play a little bit looser, although people have a tendency to play a good bit of man-to-man versus us."
(On what he saw in Gordon before they picked him in the Supplemental Draft)- "I never saw a snap of him. I got off a cruise boat and somebody said, ‘We signed Josh Gordon,’ and I said, ‘Who’s Josh Gordon?’"
(On if he’s being serious of about not knowing who Gordon was)- "Honestly, yeah. That was Tom (Heckert) and Pat (Shurmur)."
(On where he went on his cruise)- "Where did I go? What do they call it? Western or Eastern Caribbean, I can’t remember right now. I don’t know my islands very well, but it was my wife and I."
(On if he coaches Gordon any harder due to his background)- "No, I don’t think so. I’ve said before, I’m more concerned with what his demeanor is in the building. We don’t follow guys home at night or anything like that, and I don’t hold anything over anybody’s head, it’s just really how they respond to coaching. I’ve told you before he’s a great note taker, he’s on point in terms of what’s going on in the meetings. We just basically judge him that way, and what he does between those white lines."
Owen Marecic's Drops And Trying to Fix It
(On how deflating Owen Marecic’s drops to the whole scheme of things)- "I think I’ve said before, Tony (Grossi), in relationship to anybody dropping the ball, those are a lot of times drive stoppers. They don’t just happen necessarily on third downs and stop a drive, but those are drive killers. You don’t go back and see a lot of statistics about those and it says they were three and out. You focus on a three and out, but what stopped it in fact. Those aren’t good things."
(On if they need to say anything more to Marecic about dropped balls than he already realizes)- "I don’t think so. I think it can be paralysis by analysis sometimes. He’s a very mindful kid. He’s a great person and he wants to do well so much that it doesn’t do any good to stick his head in a vice and give him one more crack I don’t think."
Brandon Weeden Making Strong Throws
(On if Cincinnati was Weeden’s best game)- "I guess I don’t rank order them."
(On what improvements Weeden showed in the Cincinnati game)- "I think he put a string of good throws together after we hadn’t had much luck in seven series. That thing that I kind of talk about continuing to shoot, he continues to do that. He threw some good deep balls, made a couple of tight spot throws on the sideline, a couple to (Josh) Cooper that I thought were pretty good."
(On if the throw to Gordon was impressive or if it was expected)- "We were actually, if my memory serves Tony(Grossi), we kicked off, from the press box from left to right, and we were kind of waiting for it to swing back the other way, right to left. It varies on that field. That day, what I remember is, there were times on the field in the pregame that I thought it was coming directly from our bench to their bench. Yet, you look up at the flags coming in the corner, and it was blowing a different direction. It was just important that he really spun that ball."
(On if the wind took the ball across the field)- "I don’t know. I wasn’t down there."
(On if the wind kind of knocked the pass down because of the way it died at the end)- "It could have been. It had traveled an awful long way at the time that it did get knocked down. He had a couple that got knocked down in a pregame warm-up that he was kind of like, ‘Slider.’"
(On the batted balls mostly coming when Weeden throws to his right)- "I don’t know so much about the right. I think a lot of those things have been guys being locked out at the line of scrimmage. Typically, when a guy gets locked out and blocked at the line of scrimmage, then he starts to peak for the quarterbacks eyes, and then gets hand up. It’s a matter of almost doing too good a job on the offensive line because you’ve get them standing at the line of scrimmage, and now a guy’s only response is to jump when the quarterback throws. I don’t know if we made too much about coming to his right, but that’s my recollection of the balls that were tipped."
(On the merit Weeden gains from gaining a fourth quarter lead)- "I think the merits in that game, and not necessarily just the fourth quarter, are that you learn to play with the lead, and you learn to play from behind. You don’t go into fetal position in either. There’s a learning process with both, dealing with prosperity and dealing with the fact that, ‘Hey we’ve got to pick up we’re seven points down, we’re 10 points down,’ being able to get out of that hole, and how defenses are going to play you. I think both those things are learning processes."
(On not just sitting on the lead)- "Absolutely. That’s the thing that you have to do in this league is you have to always remain aggressive, I think. That doesn’t mean going five wide receivers with two minutes left, and a three point lead, and we’re going to throw it all over the field. If that’s your selected way to move the football, if that’s the way you move it the best, then that’s what you should probably do."
Josh Cooper to Remain Involved on Offense
(On if Josh Cooper will still be involved with the offense)- "Yeah, he’ll remain involved. The thing about this offense, again, it’s a progression type of offense. Where he caught the ball, a couple times, he may have been the first read or the second read. He’s involved. He’s one of those wide receivers that have a chance to see the ball then he has familiarity with the quarterback, which never hurts you."
(On how strong the group of wide receivers is as players return from injury)- "The more the merrier as far as I’m concerned. There’s always good competition. It’s great that the next guy can step up. You would like to see guys get healthy and get back. It allows you more weapons."
Whether Montario Hardesty Has Earned Playing Time
(On if Montario Hardesty did enough to rotate in every fourth series)- "I think he’s a good back. Sometimes those good backs just need an opportunity to kind of show their wares. By the same token, you have to be ready when opportunity knocks. I think that’s the best thing he has going for him. Do you put him in? Do you say, ‘Hey, every third series or fourth series?’ We hadn’t really talked about that. The more you can do, the more apt you are to find a way to stick him in there."
(On what he saw out of Hardesty when he entered the game)- "He has a little different pace than Trent (Richardson) does. He was juiced up pretty good. Whether it’s the line decided to get it together at that point in time in conjunction with the guy that was running pretty well through there. It was kind of a perfect storm."
Struggling to Move the Chains at Times
(On what the biggest issues were with the stretch of no first downs and how they snapped out of it)- "Some of them were close misses. Some of them weren’t converting third down to get another set of downs. I can’t remember exactly the seven circumstances that we came to third down on, but it was just important that we just kept slugging because they were mushing around themselves. You always believe that the next one’s going to be the most important one."
Relationship With Joe Banner
(On if he had a strong relationship with Joe Banner in Philadelphia)- "I told Joe I was glad to see him. I don’t know if you’ would say strong relationship or relationship. I know him and his wife and two boys. It was a good relationship. He was a lead part of that organization there. He really had his fingers in everything and was knowledgeable about everything."
Joe Thomas and the Offensive Linemen
(On Joe Thomas’ responsibilities going against Dwight Freeney)- "It’s kind of like being on the hot corner in baseball. Things are happening fast coming around that edge. A lot of times you can’t always get him chip help. People with a right handed quarterback are going to rush his back side. He’s always going to face, whatever that team’s premier pass-rusher is, in this case a guy like Dwight Freeney, who because of his build, his stature, will have some natural leverage components on Joe with Joe being a bigger, taller guy and a great spin move. You’ve got to be able to play the guy both ways. It’s not just speed around the outside edge. He’s got a great spin coming back inside."
(On if the offensive linemen can identify the guys that are good at jumping)- "They do, and then by scheme, there are times when we don’t want to allow them to jump. I.e. in the quick passing game, when you’re only taking three steps, and you’re asking a guy to kind of punch and grab cloth, and not let a guy get up off the ground. There are other times when we want to punch and separate. You have to change just with the offensive linemen, you have to call different schemes so that it’s not the same thing, it’s not the same drop back spot every time. It’s not always going to be five steps or seven steps. It’s got to be three. It’s got to be a bootleg. You’ve got to move the pocket. You’ve got to let them quick set so they can grab cloth. We identify all those things."
(On Freeney and Robert Mathis being in a different scheme)- "It’s unnatural to see them standing in a two-point stance, but they’re able to play enough in a four-point stance when they get in the nickel, where you say, ‘Okay, that’s the Freeney and Mathis I know.’ I think they present some different problems in two-point stances for the tackles. Tackles can probably measure them just a little bit better when they’re down in a three-point stance. I think the two-point stance is a little bit different. They can kind of come at you in different ways. Both of them look like they are adapted. I don’t know that they’re completely comfortable yet because the scheme is so new to them, but I’ve seen them both adapt, and see them both be productive."
Getting the First Win as a Confidence Booster
(On how important it is to get the win to reinforce what they have been teaching) – "In this business, if you lose a game, you feel like you may never win again. It’s a bad feeling. You want to turn it around as quickly as you can. It took us awhile to turn it around. It was a terrific feeling after that game. It’s hard to win in this league and you got to win in this league. It felt really good; really happy for our guys. They play hard. They certainly deserve it if deserves have anything to do with it, because they work at it."
Joe Haden's Impact on the Defense
(On if the defense had a lift with Joe Haden’s return) – "It was good to have him back, there’s no doubt. He’s a highly skilled player. He’s a starting corner in the National Football League and he draws a tough assignment. He comes back after a four week layoff, and we kind of match him on an outstanding receiver. He held him own. The receiver had a terrific day obviously against us, but Joe really overall played well. I wish I had noticed more or anticipated more how much the game would take out of him, because at the end of the game, I think he had lost his legs to some degree. He was struggling, and it made sense after the fact, but it was too bad they got that long one on him at the end, because he had played really well."
(On how Haden’s return affected other players in the secondary) – "It had a positive effect, there’s no doubt. Everybody recognizes his talent level, his playmaking ability. He does have, I guess to add to all the physical skills, he is tough. There’s a toughness involved there. He’s a willing tackler, he will hit you and that’s a big factor. That really helps us too. It was just great to have him back, and hopefully he’ll just get better and better every week."
(On if he thinks Haden’s conditioning will be a problem this week) – "I think he should be fine after two weeks of practice. I think I should have been more aware last week, particularly at the end of a game, a long game; a lot of passing, a lot of movement."
Possibility of Scott Fujita Being Out for the Year
(On if Scott Fujita will be out for the season) – "I don’t know that, and of course I’m not the person to talk about any injuries. I know he’s not practicing this week, so that’s really all I know about the injury situation."
(On what he loses without Fujita and how James-Michael Johnson has played) – "JMJ did a nice job. He was excited to be out there, which is always great to see. We lose significant leadership and experience on the field. Scott can make all the calls along with D’Qwell (Jackson), so when he’s on the field it gives D’Qwell a little breathing room, because he doesn’t have to handle everything. They can kind of share some of the issues in terms of getting the front of the line, getting the stunts called, getting the defensive calls, getting the adjustments made on the defenses. We definitely lose a good deal there in terms of just on field comfort and experience."
Grading the Production from the Safety Position
(On how he assesses the production of his safeties) – "Like every player, everybody that plays, you’d like them to be 100%, and they never are. Once the season starts, you’re just never playing again at 100%. They have suffered some. I think T.J. (Ward) had I don’t know how many surgical screws he had in that thumb, but a number, certainly more than two. That’s not easy. Very, very tough guys, both of them. Very competitive guys and want to do it. They really want to do it, and hopefully they regain full health here as we move forward."
(On what better production from the safeties mean for defense) – "I guess if you’re just looking overall at any position on any team, if you said you could get better production from everybody, it would certainly help the football team. As a general question, I would say higher production from anybody’s going to help our football team."
Jabaal Sheard Being Relentless and Ahtyba Rubin's Return
(On if Jabaal Sheard getting off the ball is technique, timing or confidence) – "I think it’s all of that. He’s a very good player. He likes to play. He’s tough. He’s relentless. He’s got a really good feel for the game. I think he’s a terrific player. Sometimes the stats add fast and sometimes they don’t. He’s the same player. I believe he’ll just get better, and be a really outstanding player for this franchise."
(On how important it is to get Ahtyba Rubin back and how Emmanuel Stephens is playing) – "Rube (Rubin) is out there working and it’d be great for us to get him back. Emmanuel’s working right next to him. Between the two of them, you don’t hear them talk very much, but boy they both play so hard all the time. It was really good to see Emmanuel get that play. I have a lot of admiration for his work ethic. Again, a really good team mate who fits in that group well."
(On how John Hughes has been playing) – "We’re very happy with John. Obviously, it seems like whenever we talk about John, we talk about John and Billy (Winn), just because they came the same year. (He’s) really, really doing well – been playing well – playing at a high level, both of them. Again, really, I’m pleased with them as teammates. How they’ve interacted, how they’ve been accepted, how hard they play. It’s been very good."
Discussing Andrew Luck
(On if Andrew Luck plays different in home games) – "I don’t know. He looks awfully good to me. He’s (a) very talented young man. He has all the tools, definitely appears to have the temperament, the demeanor for the game. He’s a bright guy. He has a very strong arm. He’s mobile. He’s converting numbers of third downs with his legs and with his arm. He looks very good to me. I think any team in our business can go anywhere and be humbled, and have a bad day or an off day. Things just turn a certain way sometimes. As hard as you try, you can’t turn them back. He looks awfully good to me."
(On Luck against the Green Bay Packers) – "Same kind of thing. There were a lot of contested throws. They made plays. Packers made plays. Two very skilled teams obviously with outstanding skill players. It’s hard. The formations are spread out all over the field, all kinds of personnel groupings; five wides, four wides and a tight end, four wides and a back. It’s a wide open game."
(On if there is anything ‘uncommon’ from Luck) – "I think he is uncommon. He was the very first pick in the draft for lots of good reasons. Some of them are clear, just size and strength and arm strength and mobility and awareness in the pocket. Those things are pretty clear I think. I’m sure there are lots of intangibles involved with the young man too, to get him where he is right now."
(On Luck making check downs) – "They do some. With any new quarterback at that position, it’s going to take time to get all of that stuff. He’s just experiencing the league within the very early part of his career, but when you look at him he’s as advertised. I think he’s very good, and probably just going to get better and better. Peyton’s (Manning) first year was a while ago, and he struggled in the league, even Peyton Manning struggled in the league."
(On if he faced Peyton Manning in his first year) – "I don’t think so."
Defending WR Reggie Wayne
(On Reggie Wayne and if he thinks he’ll matchup with Buster Skrine as opposed to Haden) – "I don’t think so, because see him everywhere. They do move him. You’ll see him primarily at certain spots, but they’ll move him around. I don’t see them doing anything different. I don’t know necessarily why they would. They may game plan a person, but they’ve done pretty well up to this point. He’s having a phenomenal year. He had an 11-catch game of 200 plus yards. I don’t see him changing, but we’ll watch it in the course of the game, because he does show up in a number of different spots preparing for him."
(On if there a chance that Haden would follow Wayne around) – "First of all, I wouldn’t answer the question for you, you know that. There’s always a chance of anything. I don’t know, that’s probably like saying I won’t answer that question, right?"
(On how you defend Wayne) – "You can double him obviously, that’s one way to defend him, but then you’re singled up everywhere else. You can man him up. All the normal things you would suspect, you try to change up. You zone some you man him up, pressure some. (You) try to affect the timing of the route in a number of different ways. Clearly, nobody has stopped him in his career. He has had a tremendous career. He is a terrific receiver. He’s got a lot of experience. He’s got powerful hands. He catches the ball cleanly and he understands how to run routes. We just have to challenge him and do the best we can against him try to change up. (He has been) a very productive guy throughout his whole career."
Reducing the Total Yards the Defense is Giving Up
(On if it would reduce total yards the defense gives up) – "I think it’s the same answer to that question. If you go to any position and say, if that position played better what would it do for you. Well, it would make the whole team better. You can talk about any position on either side of the ball or probably special teams. If you elevate the level of play anywhere, it obviously helps you."
(On why are the defensive yards way up) – "I have to make better calls, get them in better situations to play. We just have to make more plays in the course of the football game, limit the number of big plays. We’ve had a lot of big plays that you definitely want to avoid. People will get yards. They’re going to complete passes. They’re going to break some runs through the line of scrimmage. We’ve got to make plays to get them on the ground somehow before it goes 20 or 30 or 40 yards. Those kinds of things have hurt us. Hopefully, we’ll get that done."
Previous Interaction With Joe Banner
(On Joe Banner) – "I was in Philadelphia with him for one year, but I didn’t have a lot of interaction with Joe. I was a position coach. I coached the defensive secondary. Clearly he has done a terrific job. He has done a terrific job in Philadelphia for all those years. They had great success there and he was a huge part of it."
(On if he has spoken to Banner since his arrival) – "No. I have not, no."