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Pep Hamilton Talks About Browns QBs, Playmakers on Offense, and the Risk of Losing Two Offensive Linemen

Cleveland Browns associate head coach Pep Hamilton met with the media this past week for 13 minutes. This is the first time Hamilton, who is basically the "second offensive coordinator" after head coach Hue Jackson, has talked to the local media. You can watch the video of the entire presser here. Here are some notes we gathered from his press conference:

How Does Pep Hamilton Figure In?

With Hue Jackson set to call plays, how does Hamilton fit in terms of what his job is? "We have a veteran offensive staff," said Hamilton. "My job is really to facilitate what [Hue] wants to do and organize things in a way that we can implement it with our players and have a chance to be successful." Basically, he will be the lead gopher for the head coach, which is a good thing. It allows Jackson to be the top offensive guy when he needs to be, but if he needs to shift focus for a day or so, he can delegate things to Hamilton.

Drafting a Quarterback

Hamilton expects to attend Pro Days and interview quarterbacks over the next couple of months, leading up to the draft. He also feels that he'll be able to provide his input to the higher ups, but then ultimately it is up to them to decide who they want, and then from there, he'll help form a plan for whoever the team's quarterbacks are.

As far as how much work he's already done on looking at the top quarterbacks in this year's draft, he said, "Not a ton [of work yet]. We're still working on implementing Hue's system with our coaches and getting ready for the start of the offseason programs [on April 4th]. We're slowly starting to transition ourselves to start preparing for the draft."

Hamilton cited the following three qualities as what are important to he and Jackson when looking for a quarterback:

  1. Accuracy
  2. Is he a winner?
  3. Leadership qualities

He has not watched enough tape on Carson Wentz, Jared Goff, or Paxton Lynch to have a strong enough opinion on them. He noted that he did help recruit Goff while he was at Stanford and is not surprised he's in the position he's in today [to be a first-round pick].

Thoughts on the Browns' Current QBs

When asked about the team's current quarterbacks, there was no specific mention of QB Johnny Manziel. Tick tock, tick tock.

"Starting with [Josh] McCown, I've always loved having a veteran guy in the room that has credibility throughout the locker room. He's been productive throughout his career. You don't survive as long as he has in his career without having the skillset, first and foremost, and then having the work ethic and the character that cause coaches to feel comfortable enough to put the keys in your hands. I feel good about Josh, feel good about Austin [Davis], feel good about all the guys that we have on the roster currently and I'm excited to work with those guys."

Have You Guys Discussed the Possibility of Having Josh Gordon?

"We have not."

Offensive Playmakers

When asked who he playmakers are, Hamilton quickly started with WR Travis Benjamin, citing his speed being off-the-chart. He next cited "Barnridge," before looking over to someone and asking, "am I saying that right?" He says that tight ends have typically been a quarterback's best friend in Hue Jackson's offense. That might be true in the red zone, but the yardage doesn't always equate if you're thinking beyond 700 yards.

Duke Johnson and Isaiah Crowell were the other two players he mentioned, hoping that both of them can take a step forward in 2016. Other than those guys, Hamilton said that he likes thinking of the offensive linemen as the most important playmakers.

Possibility of Losing the OL Playmakers

Hamilton was asked if it is unnerving knowing that two members of that playmaking offensive line could be gone in the next 4-5 weeks. "It is," said Hamilton, with a bit of a nervous laugh. "I try not to think about it. At the same time, I'm optimistic that things are going to work out."

When asked about utilizing OL Cameron Erving, Hamilton said he likes the fact that he has experience at all positions and also said that they will probably use some sets this year where they have more than five offensive linemen. They also hope Erving can improve more as their offensive line coaches work with him. It wasn't a ringing endorsement that they expect him to be a starter, but they will continue to work with him to find his strengths.

What About Manziel? Asks Tony Grossi to End the Press Conference

"That's something that coach and Sashi [Brown] have already addressed, above my pay grade."