Cleveland Browns defensive coordinator met with the media on Tuesday this week since the team plays against the Steelers on Thursday. He talked a little bit about the team's upcoming match with Pittsburgh, but also elaborated on the difficulties his unit had at stopping the run this past Sunday against the Ravens. While he, like Shurmur, stated that the defense did come up with stops despite being gashed, he was more forthcoming about the team's struggles. [Read full press conference transcript here]
(On what the biggest issue was against the Ravens)- "Clearly, we didn’t play the run nearly how we wanted to play it. We took turns messing up, including me. I didn’t put them in the best defenses sometimes. We got out of our gaps. You’ve got to tip your hat to them. They’re good, we knew they were very good coming in that they were a very talented team with an exceptional runner. We expected to do a lot better than that. If there was anything good that occurred, it was that we kept them out of the end zone for the most part and had a chance to keep the game close. But, it wasn’t what we wanted."
(On if Ahtyba Rubin and Phil Taylor had trouble trying to plug up the middle)- "I would say that everybody kind of took turns, as I said including myself obviously in there. They played hard. At times they played exceptionally and at times they got out of their gaps. They weren’t alone. It was just again not anything like what we wanted. We clearly knew this team was extremely talented overall. We knew the running back was as good as anybody you play."
(On if there are teachable corrections from the defensive mistakes)- "It is teachable, it’s not easy. It’s easy to say, ‘stay in that gap.’ It’s hard to stay in that gap. They’re trying to knock you out of it and they’re not bad. They’re very good and they have different schemes and they change it up. It’s definitely correctable."
(On if Sunday was less scheme than execution)- "They’re a zone team. They zoned up a lot of plays. It was difficult. It is a difficult scheme. They don’t do it as extensively or as devotedly as Houston does it. That’s what they do, but they do it well."
(On if he knows Haden well enough to know that he won’t lose confidence)- "I think I know him fairly well, but I don’t want to pretend like I know him really well. We don’t hang around off the field. I think he’s a very confident young man in the right way. I think he’s very, very competitive. He’s a very competitive guy and a very tough guy so that wouldn’t be one of my worries, but I have been wrong before."
(On what he tells his guys about how to tackle Ben Roethlisberger)- "It depends on how you’re coming at him. You’ve got to get the arm. You’ve got to get the throwing arm and a good piece of it, at least that makes him stop. He is so big, not bigger than the defensive linemen, but he’s certainly bigger than most quarterbacks we’ve seen. He’s thick and very athletic. He’s got great balance. He’s just hard to get down and he’s got an uncanny knack of holding onto the ball somehow even when you get it from the blind side occasionally. They’re playing at a very, very high level and are another really talented football team. It’ll be a stern test."