On the final day of Cleveland Browns minicamp last Thursday, the team’s assistant coaches spoke individually with the media. This article will look at some notes from the offensive assistants, and then we’ll follow up with another article covering the defensive assistants and special teams assistants.
Quarterbacks - Ken Zampese
- Here are some quick notes that Zampese had on each of the quarterbacks:
- Tyrod Taylor: Brings professionalism and sets the standard for how to conduct business, study, and take accountability.
- Drew Stanton: Provides comedic input, gets people on the same page, and is experienced. Stanton will work closely with rookie Baker Mayfield.
- Baker Mayfield: Hungry and humble, with his mind willing to learn every day. There are a lot of things he needs to get up to speed on, but he fights through it. Mayfield isn’t satisfied with where he’s at, and there will be another level to his game that they’ll tap into as time goes on.
Running Backs - Freddie Kitchens
- Asked about finding ways to use all three running backs, Kitchens immediately pointed out that Duke Johnson can do things as a receiver that Carlos Hyde and Nick Chubb cannot, “with more efficiency and with more success” in the passing game.
- Asked about “keeping the guy in with the hot hand,” Kitchens said, “If they are having success, why would you change?” He noted that the hot man could change from week to week and that things can change in a heartbeat. As far as how their initial plan to distribute carries will go, Kitchens said “we are nowhere close right now [to determining that].” That would seem to indicate that Carlos Hyde isn’t a lock for the starting job.
- One word that describes rookie Nick Chubb? Violence. Everything he does is violent, said Kitchens, and that’s the unique element he brings to the running back room.
Wide Receivers - Adam Henry
- If you recall, right after the draft, the Browns said they were confident Antonio Callaway would be fine staying away from problems at the NFL level because of the influence that receivers coach Adam Henry would have on him. What does that entail?
“The biggest thing is that I have been fortunate enough to coach 10 years in college, then go to the NFL, then come back to college and then back into the NFL. It’s the transition. Learning how guys learn and being that, it is a little different. Being at LSU, then coming back to the pros has really helped me with the whole recruiting and how guys are. I have a master’s in education and structural technology. Just kind of adapting to the way that guys are and understanding that everybody is different, but you have to meet them at where they are and kind of reach them. It is more of a peer inspiration than that as a coach. It is more interactive. Really, the group places themselves. I oversee, and through (head) Coach Jackson and (offensive coordinator) Coach (Todd) Haley, they give the directions. I just enforce the directions. They really place themselves. It is a little different. It is hard to explain, but it is a little different.”
- Guys have to know different spots, so they can exploit one-on-ones. Any of their receivers could be in the slot — everyone can line up inside or outside on this team.
- Jarvis Landry’s yards per catch in this offense should be higher because Todd Haley loves chunk plays and throwing it down the field.
- It’s been a pleasant surprise with Rashard Higgins and Ricardo Louis. Both of them are very engaged and willing to stay after meetings to ask questions.
Tight Ends - Greg Seamon
- In general, Seamon says that Seth DeValve and David Njoku are both a little strong and more confident in their techniques this year. But when it comes to Njoku, Seamon sees him as a “much more refined route runner” now, and he believes he should be a dominant receiver in the red zone, particularly on high throws to the back. Seamon acknowledges that Njoku was inconsistent catching the ball last year, but that hasn’t been an issue thus far in 2018.
- One thing that Seamon emphasized is that they want the tight ends to use their skills and stretch the field more this year. Seth DeValve was asked to run a lot of routes within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage last year, but know he runs well and are working hard to get the entire group to run some more vertical routes.
- Lastly, with new addition Darren Fells, Seamon talked up his former basketball career and how he had an unusual mix of being 6-7, 270 pounds while still being able to bend, have agility, balance, and is “very, very bright.”
Offensive Line - Bob Wylie
- Bob Wylie is always a fun character to listen to. At left tackle, he says Shon Coleman is currently leading the charge, but that it takes time. Of course, he talked about it in only the way he would:
“What happens when you are moving from right tackle to left tackle – how many guys play golf here right handed? Go play left handed and see how that feels. That is what happens. People do not understand that, except the guys that are really playing. When you have your right hand on the ground, you are using this side of your body most of the time. Now all of a sudden, they are taking you and moving you over to the left side. Now, you have to switch your feet and everything has to move over. That just does not happen overnight. It is going to take a while. He has had, what? 12 practices over at left tackle? It is going to take a while for him to get used to stepping with the opposite foot, using the opposite hands for different things on the other side of the line.”
- The other player discussed was rookie OL Austin Corbett. Wylie said that he missed very few assignments during OTAs and minicamps, and they are not concerned about his capabilities. What they are concerned about is figuring out which spot on the offensive line they want him to be at. Left tackle? Left guard? Right tackle?
- As far as where Corbett’s most comfortable position is, Wylie basically said of course it’s probably left tackle, since that’s where he played in high school and college. But they still want to move him around during this time of the year to figure out where he fits best on the Browns’ line.
- Even though the players are “off” until training camp, this isn’t a vacation: Wylie says they still need to work on what they need to do: