Cleveland Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski met with the media following the team's fourth day of training camp on Sunday. Chudzinski talked about the players having full pads on for the first day, the injury suffered by S Tashaun Gipson, red zone performances, and more. The transcript is organized by topic below, or you can watch the news conference here.
Our Day 4 report on what happened at camp is here.
Opening Statement & Other Injuries
Opening statement: "Good afternoon, we had a good first day in pads. We started out a little bit slow, but we picked it up and ended up having a good practice. We really focused a lot on the red zone. It’s an area where we really want to concentrate and improve, and make improvements on this season. We had a good practice. Just to give you a Ryan Miller update, there is no new news with him. He is currently in the NFL concussion protocol. I saw him last night before we got to our nightly meetings. I’ll take questions now."
On Montario Hardesty: "Montario has a hamstring. He’s day-to-day; I’m not concerned about him."
On Desmond Bryant not taking any reps: "He’s had back spasms. He will be day-to-day."
Tashaun Gipson's Status and His Collision
On Tashaun Gipson: "He sprained his shoulder. I’m not concerned about it. I think it will be a day-to-day type thing."
On whether the injury happened on the collision between Gipson and Josh Gordon: "Right. Yep."
On how much contact he tolerates, regarding the Gipson-Gordon collision: "The ones down the field are the ones we are trying to stay away from. That was just a case of both of them going for that ball. That’s going to happen."
QB Decisions in Red Zone and Brandon Weeden's Practice
On quarterback decisions in the red zone: "Good ones for sure. Being the first day, everything is tighter. Obviously the space is tighter down there. Decisions have to be quicker. Getting comfortable what we are doing from a scheme standpoint, because everything is quicker down there. These guys getting familiar with that and doing it and executing it and seeing it over and over again is the important thing. That is what we are looking for."
On Brandon Weeden’s first day outside with pads: "Again, we will have to look at film, but I thought for the first day of red zone there were some ups and some downs, as all of them had. As they get more familiar with what we’re doing in the package, the decisions are quicker and the effectiveness is better."
On Weeden being on schedule so far: "I don’t look at it from a schedule standpoint. Where I look at it from is an improvement standpoint. Us being able to learn about him, then we will be able to tailor what we’re doing to him or any other quarterback or players that are in there."
On improvement of Brandon Weeden: "He has improved."
RB Dion Lewis and a Young Offense in General
On Dion Lewis: "I thought he did a good job. He’s had a couple of good practices out there since pads have come on. I think I stressed yesterday how with running backs it’s easier to see them and evaluate them when actual blocking schemes are happening. He’s had a good couple of days."
On Dion Lewis’ quickness: "He does. He can stop and start. We talked about it a little earlier; he’s had a nice two days. He has good vision and I think that is showing up as well."
On the unknown with a young offense: "Well that’s part of this process in training camp. We want to be able to look at them and for them to give a chance to show what they can do, for us to assess them and to be able to see what their strengths are, to be able to adjust and put in the best things to succeed."
On the worry factor not knowing what he has on offense: "It’s fairly typical for this time of year to be in that position, especially being new coming in. I’ve been through a few different situations. You learn as you go. Those guys have opportunities; it’s called competing. But we are learning them as well."
WR Josh Gordon Having a Better Day
On Josh Gordon: "The last two days, Josh has really come out and competed. He has come out with a plan in practice specifically of what he wants to work on and get better. He’s done that. You see those plays he is able to make; he is going after the ball and going strong for the ball."
On whether giving consistent effort is a challenge for Josh Gordon: "Well, I think it is for everybody. Here, you want to push guys. You want to put them in situations that are tougher, stress them and push them when they are tired, and that is what training camp is really for. It’s about developing mental toughness and we want to do that with everyone on our team as well."
Narrowing Down the Punt Return Candidates
On the punt-return candidates: "We are going to look at and continue to work a big group of guys in the punt-return area and the kickoff-return area. We’ll have opportunities during the preseason to work a number of them. We will pair it down by then and get the guys that we want to get."
On not sending any defense downfield on punt return: "Yeah, because a lot of times you’re not live out here in these punt situations, so getting in the games when they are actually catching and having to return the balls, then you have a chance to see them a little better."
On how fast to pair the group down: "Yeah, it’s good to have a big group because you never know from an injury standpoint. You want to make sure you have a big pool of guys to pull from and we’ll pair it as it applies to that."
Mingo and Kruger in Pads
On how valuable Mingo is after seeing first day in full pads: "It’s great work for him. He flashed. I saw him getting around the edge on some guys. He had a nice counter move on his pass rush. It was a good day to see him and be able to get him in pads. You can see these guys in full speed, finally."
On Paul Kruger’s pass rush: "Yeah, Paul had a couple nice pressures today, too."
Loose Ends - TE Group, Lauvao Doing Well, and an Experienced OL
On tight end group: "Yeah, I see improvement from that group. Kellen Davis, it was good to see him back out there practicing today. So we will get a good competition in that whole group. Brad Smelley is doing a number of different things. The group is improving. It is a group that doesn’t get a lot of snaps, but they’re improving out here and working at it."
On Shawn Lauvao: "I think Shawn’s done well the last day in pads. I will have to go in and see after practice on how he looked. He’s playing physical. He’s working on his technique, which is something he wants to focus on. We will see as this goes on."
On how valuable it is that most of the offensive line has past experience on the field: "Obviously, they have all played. Getting over that first hurdle of being in games is huge. They’ve all worked with the other guys, which part of that process of communication and being comfortable with other guys out there, we have a jump start on that."