Cleveland Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski met with the media following the team's twelfth day of training camp on Wednesday. Chudzinski talked about S T.J. Ward and RB Trent Richardson practicing, how Chris Ogbonnaya looks at fullback, and more. The transcript is organized by topic below, or you can watch the news conference here.
Our Day 13 report on what happened at camp is here.
Opening Statement - Ward Returning, Pleased With Everyone's Effort
Opening statement: "It’s good to get back and get going with practice. We were able to get a couple guys back that we haven’t seen in a while. T.J. Ward was out in practice today and Jarmoris Slaughter also was out and got a chance to do some team work. We are excited about having those guys back.
"One of the things I was pleased with during the game was the way our guys competed, played hard and played fast. One of the things I wanted to challenge them with was coming back to practice and competing and working to get better. That’s one of the things we need to do to be the team we want to be is we’re going to have to work and scrap for everything we do and everything we get. The competition in practice was good. We had a good spirited practice. The tempo was good and we got some things done today. We worked a lot of situations and are really focusing on improving on situational football."
Trent Richardson Practicing
Trent Richardsonwill play Thursday: "He’s been practicing. Last week he was practicing, as well. He’s been back. Again, I will wait until later in the week and let you guys know on that."
On if Richardson had been treated for his shin injury: "No."
On if Richardson would have sat out the opening game if he didn’t sustain the shin injury: "It is part of the overall plan. We want him ready to go opening day."
Ogbonnaya and Options at the Fullback Position
On needing to re-evaluate the fullback position due to
Chris Ogbonnaya’s performance: "I don’t think that is accurate. I was pleased with what he did and what he brings to the table. He’s not your typical blow-it-up fullback. He functions well enough. As he learns and gets better from a technique standpoint, that will help him. Obviously, guys like that can cut and find ways to get on guys and their athleticism helps them get on guys as opposed to just knocking guys over."
On placing an offensive lineman in the fullback position: "It really depends on the guy. They (San Francisco) happen to have a guy or two that can do that. Right now, we are just focused on our guys learning the base offense and base defense. Those types of things like crossing guys over on offense and defense we can get to a little further down the road."
Joe Haden's Big Day, and Buster Skrine Improving
Joe Haden’s interceptions in practice: "He had a real nice break on a couple balls and picked them off. Like I said before, Joe’s approach has been outstanding. He is hungry to become the kind of player he can and reach his potential. He continues to work at it and he’s making plays out here every day. Those things and what I have been pleased with is the guy’s ability to take things from the meeting room to the practice field and then from the practice field to the games."
Buster Skrinerecording many passes defensed in practice: "He has. He has really improved from the spring. He’s a young guy and a guy that just works every single day. He’s one of the hardest workers on the team and is a super competitive guy. He takes a lot of pride in what he does. You can see it show on the field. He had a number of times where he got his hands on the ball today."
On Skrine being more comfortable defending the slot receiver: "I’ve seen him make plays and he looks good in all those areas to me."
Travis Benjamin on Offense & Special Teams
Travis Benjaminplaying offense and special teams early in the season: "We will. We will use him as a receiver, whether Josh (Gordon) is there or not, during the course of the season. He’s a guy with a unique skill set with the speed that he has. He’s definitely somebody we want to take advantage of and find a role for. He will be more important in those first couple games."
On Benjamin running better routes than last year: "He is. He has gotten a lot better. He’s using his speed better in his routes. As opposed to last year, where he was just a guy that ran deep, this year up to this point he has shown ability to run the shorter routes as well and get in and out of breaks really well."
On if he worries about Benjamin’s size playing wide receiver and returning kicks: "I really don’t. I’ve been around some smaller guys that were receivers that have had dual-roles, We will keep those guys fresh enough that I don’t expect any issues from that standpoint."
On if he is impressed with Benjamin’s hands: "He really has caught the ball well."
On if he tracks receptions during practice: "We do."
On if Weeden’s comment that Benjamin had the most catches since spring: "It ties into the number of reps. I haven’t checked it lately. Those totals get high, but he is up there and is one of the top guys."
On the chemistry between Weeden and Benjamin: "Yes, I watch and I’m at the point with
Greg Littleand Weeden working out here after practice. I’ve noticed more and more guys start to do that. That’s ultimately what we want to create here, that type of culture we want to create in this pursuit to be the best. I’m pleased with that and the extra work that guys are doing."
Norwood's Hamstring Injury and If He's Too Fragile
Jordan Norwoodgot hurt during the game: "He did he had a slight tight hamstring. It was tight after, I think late yesterday, or he reported it after the game. We held him, but it should be a day-to-day thing."
On if he looks at Norwood as a fragile player: "I don’t. He’s put weight on and he’s stronger. He has really worked on his flexibility and those types of things. I’m expecting him back in the next couple of day so I don’t see it as a problem."
Mingo Developing, and OLB Coach Brian Baker
On Mingo developing a diverse skill set, specifically his moves inside: "I think he is doing a good job. He did some of that in college. He wasn’t just strictly a speed rusher. Obviously, the guys that have that kind of athleticism coming off of the edge present problem for tackles. His continued developing a repertoire of moves, at least from a starting point, knowing that he can speed rush and threaten the edge in that way will be key for him. As you guys know from being around him, he is made of the right stuff. He is really working on his trade."
On if Brian Baker is concentrating that with him: "Brian has done a great job of working with that whole group of outside linebackers. Particularly when you are look at the fact that a number of them were defensive ends who are converting to outside linebacker, some of the basic things such as dropping into coverage and rushing standing up in a two-point where maybe they hadn’t done as much of that. I think Brain has done a great job with those guys making transitions, as well as those guys like
Paul Krugerwho continually gets better as well."
PB&J For the Offense, But Weeden Disagrees
On if there was any doubt on the sack during the goal-line competition: "It depends on who you talk to. Brandon (Weeden) came right over and said there was no way, but we will see and check it out on film."
On who is eating peanut butter tonight from the challenge: "The offense ended up with the peanut butter tonight. The whole group will. It’s just a competition between the offense and defense on that one play."
On if the referees called it a touchdown but did not give it to them: "No, they didn’t. I called it a sack. I put myself out there on that one. We will have to check the film. There is no review so we’ll have to check the film [laughter]. We will check the film later."