Cleveland Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski met with the media following the conclusion of the third day of the team's third set of organized team activity sessions on Thursday. The final OTA session will take place on Friday, although it it closed off to the media. Chudzinski talked about the health of Trent Richardson, Norv Turner's demeanor at practice, John Greco's status as a starter, what will happen at minicamp next week, and more. The transcript of what Chudzinski discussed is organized by topic below:
Opening Statement - Setting the Stage for Minicamp
(Opening statement)- "Good morning. It’s starting to feel a little bit like training camp out here, it’s heating up a little bit. We had a good week of OTAs this week. We really focused on situational football. We worked some of our short yardage. We worked some of our goal-line - we will work some of that tomorrow – the four minute situation and a backed up situation. We’ve got good work on that. I’ve been pleased with the focus with these guys. We’ve thrown a lot at them. That’s been by design that we’ve put a lot on their plates in teaching and throwing a lot at them and seeing how they apply on the field in the OTA setting.
Obviously, we are finishing up with OTAs this week. Next week we won’t be installing anything new for the minicamp. We will just be working through the minicamp with the same things that we’ve done. We’ll give those guys a chance to go out and execute, play fast and see how they can do that. Then the next step would be training camp. That’s where we really get a chance to work the physical part of football, the techniques and the fundamentals that we want to work on. That’s really where we are at. Again, I’ve been pleased with the OTAs as a whole with the progress we have been able to make. I’m looking forward to minicamp and really looking forward to when we can put the pads on in training camp."
Update on Trent Richardson & Other Running Backs
(On how Trent Richardson is doing and if he is coming along)- "Good, he’s coming along. We’ll just wait and see until we get closer to minicamp next and see what his participation level with be at that time. Again, we are being conservative with him."
(On if there is any concern with Richardson having a history of injuries)- "I’m not concerned. I know he is healthy from all the things from this past season. This is just something that we are working through and he will be fine."
(On if it says a lot about Richardson that he played with broken ribs last year)- "It does. You obviously have to be a tough guy, a real competitor and that’s the way I see him."
(On if he expects Richardson to sit out next week’s minicamp)- "We will wait and see. We are going to be cautious about it, but we will see early next week."
(On what he has seen from the other running backs)- "It’s been good that those guys have had a chance to be able to work with the first group. Montario (Hardesty) really is a different style than Trent. He’s a good companion-type guy to him. He’s a slasher and has really good vision. Again, it’s hard to tell when you are not in pads and it’s a very controlled tempo. It’s more like an assignment period, what you are doing right now. Dion (Lewis) this last week has really stepped it up and done well catching the ball and doing some things in the passing game. I think those guys are getting more comfortable with the offense."
Norv Turner Being Fired Up at Practice
(On if Norv Turner is always as feisty as he was today at practice)- "Norv is, for sure. That’s the way Norv has been his whole coaching career. He coaches guys hard and that’s the way we coach. That’s what I’ve been around and that’s the way we’ll always coach. I think guys respond to it and the guys really appreciate that."
(On if Turner yells at him like that anymore)- "He hasn’t for a while (joking)."
(On if Turner plays the bad guy more than he does)- "I think we both do that and that is just the style. I think there is a place and what you are always looking for is, what is the best way to get your guys to respond. Sometimes that is going over and putting your arm around them, sometimes it’s talking to them sternly and sometimes it’s yelling. That’s all a part of coaching and trying to find out what the best way is to motivate certain guys and what the situation dictates as well."
Owen Marecic is So Boned
(On if Owen Marecic fit the profile for fullback in this type of offense)- "I've never really had a true definition of what that guy has been, just because it has been so different in the course of the different places I've been. I think what you do is find what those guys can do well and you adjust to what they can do. Whether it's a true fullback who is a hammer blocking-type guy or if a finesse pass receiver or a guy that has been a tailback before. I've kind of all had those guys. We'll be flexible with what they can do. What we need to access once we get the pads on is what different guys can do in pads."
Greco as a Starter, Bess' Leadership
(On John Greco constantly being in at guard and if Greco could be a solid starter in the league)- "John has done a nice job out here. Again, that really is going to play itself out when we get into pads in camp. It’s really tough to evaluate anybody along the line on either side right now with what is going on. John is a solid guy. He really stepped up last year and played well in the games that he came in and started."
(On Davone Bess)- "Davone has been great. He has instantly brought leadership in a young room, he knows what it takes to be a pro and be successful. He has helped the younger guys along in a lot of ways. I see him talking to them whether it's in the cafeteria or out here. He's showing guys the right way of doing things. Obviously, he has proven what he can do on the field and he has shown a lot of that out here, which you can see."
Joe Haden, Chris Owens, and the Defensive Backs
(On the offense going after Joe Haden)- "It's good that everyone gets tested in terms of what they know and then on the field as well, so that they don't get comfortable. I was joking around with Joe, I told him I heard Norv was going to come after him today (joking). That's good, those guys get excited about that and have fun."
(On how Haden does against bigger wide receivers)- "He's doing good. This time of year there is no press coverage and no real pass rush. It's all a little bit different once you get the pads on and get into real football."
(On Chris Owens)- "Chris is a guy that I was familiar with being in Carolina and he was in Atlanta. He has really good feet, mirror skills and cover skills. He was a guy that we wanted to bring in and put into the mix with our corners to get a chance to compete. In this league, you need corners and you need to have good corners. Chris has been doing a nice job out there."
(On if he feels comfortable with his current roster of defensive backs)- "Yeah, I feel comfortable. It's all about getting familiar with them out here. I think they are a competitive and eager group. There are guys there that have ability. It's just a matter of really honing in on techniques. Those are the guys that are our guys and I feel good about them."
Attacking Defense and New Systems in General
(On if having an attacking defense is risk-reward)- "Football is risk/reward in anything you do. There are different styles and there will be different times where we will do different philosophies and come with different game plans. The mentality from the beginning is attack whether that’s pressure, giving guys different looks, disguising whatever those things are. We don’t want offenses to be comfortable about knowing that we are going to be in this every single time. Obviously, anytime you are doing those things you are going to be susceptible, but it’s not like we are just going to pressure all of the time."
(On his comfort level with how the players picking up the new system)- "We're throwing a lot at them and purposefully making it a fast tempo that they have to think and don’t have a lot of time to think. I think you saw that today with some of the things. We had the play clock on and we really wanted to press them to get some long calls and some things that they would have to get up there and do quickly. Right now is the time where you throw a lot at them to really find out what they can handle and how much we and certain guys can do. We'll pair it down as we go on and really focus on a game plan week where you are really zeroed in on the things you are doing. Right now, I think they've done a great job in terms of the effort they are putting into it outside of the building. Obviously, these guys are studying and doing things well."
Jim Brown Joining the Organization
(On Jim Brown becoming a special adviser)- "On a side note with Jim Brown and him being back with the organization, I am really excited about that. I had the chance to get to know Jim when I was here before. He is a fantastic person and all the things that he has done for the Browns and for the community and a lot of communities around the country. That says a lot about the type of person that he is. I am certainly excited about him being back here and being a part of the Browns."