Coach Flip's opening statement:
First off, I'd like to thank everyone for being here. I look forward to working with everybody and forming a personal relationship and I'm just thrilled to be here. I couldn't thank the Haslam family enough, Ray Farmer, Coach Pettine for entrusting me in this position. I'm thrilled to be here, it's great to be back in Northeast Ohio, and [I'm] ready for your questions.
Flip on quarterbacks:
Well we're not sure if our starting quarterback is in the building right now or not. If he is, that's great. If he's not, that's great too. Whoever's in that room is going to be coached hard, held accountable, and [will be] expected to do the things that we expect out of the Cleveland Browns quarterbacks.
Flip on developing a young quarterback:
Well, I think the first thing you need to do is get a personal connection and see how they learn. I spent a lot of time on developing on how guys learn. Some guys are visual guys, some guys need to be coddled a little bit, some guys need to be ripped. So I think you find that connection on how a guy learns best and you go with that route. I think I've done a fairly decent job of finding that out with the different quarterbacks I've coached.
Flip on keeping the zone blocking scheme:
I'll tell you, I've been in the zone blocking scheme: it's a fabulous scheme. My first year back in Oakland, Greg Knapp was out offensive coordinator and he came from Houston. So, we were strictly -- it was the exact same scheme as the Browns ran last year, so I'm very familiar with the zone blocking scheme and I've been involved in a lot of things, like last year in Oakland we were mainly a gap scheme. So, I've been around a lot of different run games, been exposed to a lot, and both have their merits, both have their drawbacks and we're going to have a mixture of both but I can promise you this: whatever the Cleveland Browns do well -- and what they did well last year -- we're going to continue to do.
Has Flip watched tape of Johnny Manziel?
I'll be honest with you -- I'll be flat honest because that's the only way I know how to be -- I have not. I have not watched the games last year with Johnny. Obviously I studied Johnny coming out of college and spent some time with Johnny. I wouldn't say it was a lot of time, but spent some time with Johnny. He flew out to Oakland and spent a day with him. You know, can you get an overview on a guy in one day? No, but you can get a grasp of what he thinks and how he's feeling and those things but I got along with Johnny when we met him but I can't tell you that I have watched the games yet. No, I have not.
Flip on if Manziel can be a starting quarterback:
I know this: whoever is in our quarterback room is going to have a clean slate and I'm really looking forward to working with Johnny and getting him better and improving on the things he needs to improve on.
Flip on possibly not having the starting QB on the team:
I've been in the situation before. I mean, at this point last year Derek Carr wasn't in the Oakland Raiders' building. Derek had a very good rookie year, obviously we would like better, our standard's very high and it's going to continue to be high, but I've been in the situation several times where we've either drafted a quarterback or signed a guy in free agency -- I mean that was the last two year in Oakland: we signed Matt Flynn and we signed Matt Schaub. So I've been in this situation before so, no, that doesn't scare me one bit.
Flip on if he would have two playbooks:
No. We're going to very flexible here on offense. There was a very similar situation two years ago when we had Matt McGloin and Terrelle Pryor. I mean, you have certain plays that both guys can run, you have certain plays that Terrelle could run, you have certain plays that Matt could run. Obviously you dictate on that who the starting quarterback's going to be, obviously where you overload certain plays, but, no, you can't get into [having two different playbooks] because it's unfair to the other ten guys on offense, I think. So, we're going to have a plan, we're going to be very flexible with our plan, and obviously our plan's going to revolve around who are starting quarterback is and what his skill set is.
Flip on another change at offensive coordinator:
Well, yeah, it'll be different. I mean, change is tough and it's about how you embrace it. We're going to make this change as clean as we can for these players and, like I said earlier on, as much crossover as that they've done last year, we're going to incorporate those things. Now, will there be some new concepts? Absolutely. Will there be a new way of delivering it? Absolutely. So, no two guys are the same when they deliver an offense, when they present in front of the team. You can't be the same as somebody else, so there's going to be change, but from everything I've done -- and I've done my research too on this team -- the players on this offense are a resilient group, they're open to change, and we're going to make it as smooth as we can for them.
Flip on getting to call plays in the NFL:
It'll be great. It'll be great! I'm looking forward to it, yeah. It's something I've done in college and I can tell you this, I'm just the type of guy that it doesn't matter what job I have, I don't look at calling plays at San Jose State any more than I will at the Cleveland Browns or vice versa. If I ever went back there I wouldn't think it was any less big of a deal or not, so I know this: you're going to get a hard day's work out of me, I'm thrilled to be here, and I'm going to be just fine calling plays. That's not going to be a problem.
Flip on what this offense does well:
I'll be honest with you, I haven't gone back and watched all the tapes yet, okay, but I saw this offense play our defense this year when I was in Oakland. I thought they obviously ran the football very well, I think there's a good young stable of backs here -- the thing I mentioned yesterday to our people was the combination of athleticism and strength on the offensive line. I mean, for guys that don't weight 350 pounds, they change the line of scrimmage, the back run downhill. Those are the things that stand out to you on tape. They did a great job on some of the play action stuff last year to be able to get some of their receivers open behind guys, so those are the things we're going to continue to explore, I'm going to continue to look at and see where it meshes and fits with where Coach Pettine and I see this offense going.
On how Flip would describe his offense:
We're going to put our playmakers in a lot of different spots. I'm a big believer in that. We were very fortunate in Oakland to have a guy Marcel Reece, we put him in a bunch of different spots. There's some good young tight ends here, some good young backs that we're looking to get matchups. Are they going to line up in the backfield all the time? No. We're going to try to exploit those matchups as much as we can whether that be from shifting and motioning out of the backfield, whether that be to try to outflank people with motion, whether that be to just run somebody out and snap the ball on first down and try to outleverage the defense. So we're going to have a combination of those things and find out what our playmakers do well and do those things over and over and over again so they can get great at them so no matter what the coverage is they're going to know how to run the route or block the play.
Flip on being from Northeast Ohio:
I grew up in a coaching family like Coach Pettine said. I was trying to count but I ran out of fingers, I think this is my 16th or 17th move in 36 years. I was born here, my dad was the offensive coordinator at Youngstown State and I moved from here at a young age, but the thing I didn't lose from Youngstown was my blue collar work ethic. That's something that I was born with because I was born in Northeast Ohio and that's something that I've continued to carry my whole life.
Flip on getting the job after applying for it last year:
I'm a pretty low ego guy, okay, and whatever job I have I'm going to work my butt off at it -- that really didn't cross my mind one time. It really didn't. I've interviewed for two Division I head coaching jobs in college: I didn't get them. One was my alma mater and I don't hold anything against them. So, you know, you do the best you can. You're going to get some jobs, you're not going to get some jobs. I'm just thrilled, hey, second time it worked out.
Flip on having a smooth transition going into the season:
Sure, like I said, I just need to get to know some of these players on offense and keeping some of the things the same, some of the concepts the same, maybe some of the formations the same, but there's going to be some new stuff. I mean that's what happens when there's change. There's going to be some new concepts.
Flip on Browns players that will be exciting to coach:
Well, you know Josh Gordon is as talented a guy as you get. You know, in terms of when you watch him run routes from a physical stature he's a fantastic athlete. Joe Thomas is a fantastic athlete. Alex Mack's an unbelievable center. So those are the guys when you look at the Browns roster you're like "Wow, those guys are Pro Bowl-type players."
Flip on getting to know Pettine in New York despite coaching on opposite sides of the ball:
Absolutely. Whenever you're on a staff and there's a staff of a lot of people...[you get along better with some than with others]. Mike and I gravitate towards each other from the start. We come from very similar backgrounds, we come from coaching dads, we both work hard and grind, so we have a lot of the same character, moral values, those type things so I think when you're that like-minded I think you just tend to gravitate towards that person.
Flip on if experience with Terrelle Pryor can help with coaching Johnny Manziel:
Yeah, absolutely. I think it exposed me to some of the zone read quarterback run game. I mean, absolutely. You know, I had not been exposed to that very much before and when you have a guy of that skill set you want to expose those skills that he has and we were forced to study other teams and, like I said, that's going back to doing the things we're going to do to make this football team win is if we don't have an answer, we're going to find the answer. We didn't have all the answers in Oakland when we decided to start Terrelle. I pulled some of the things out that I did from college, we researched some other teams -- the concepts they used with running quarterbacks -- and we went that direction. I think that you can't just have a playbook and say "Here's the playbook." That's not the case. You gotta expose your best players' skillsets.
Flip on building an offense without a QB solution:
Well, you have a base plan, okay, you're always going to have your core. You don't have an offense unless you have a core. It's impossible. You're going to have your five or six core runs, you're going to have your twelve or fifteen core passes, and build off that. You know, your formations obviously stay the same, but if you're going to be a great offense in this league you gotta have some core values to it.