Transcript From Coach Chudzinski’s Interview At The NFL Combine


2013 NFL Combine: Transcript from meeting with Browns coach Rob Chudzinski

Original By NATE ULRICH

Browns coach Rob Chudzinski met with local reporters this morning at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. Here is a transcript from the transcript:

Do you want to keep any of your free agents?: “We have an overall plan that we’ve been working on and working through for the last few weeks. It’s sort of a high level philosophy and there’s ongoing discussions and it’s an ongoing plan that we’re developing. At this time, not all the details have been worked out on that. Not all the discussion and specifics about every player have been worked out on that. So and that’ll be, we have 2 ½ weeks till we get into the free-agency period. Obviously those things will be worked out going forward and through those times. We’ve been meeting trying to catch up with a lot of things, free agency being one of the major things. I think really the biggest thing is we’ve outlined what we want in terms of a philosophy on anything.”

Where do you stand with free-agents-to-be Phil Dawson and Josh Cribbs?: “I’m not going to get into any specifics on any players, any of our free agents, any contractual situations. All those things I’m not going to get into and you understand why.”

Is there a chance any of your free agents could be back?: “Again, I don’t really want to get into any of that.”

What do you think of quarterback Brandon Weeden?: “I’ve looked at Brandon. I’m excited about getting Brandon out on the field and in the meetings and around the building. It’s tough when you’re just looking at tape on guys. That’s one piece of it. Certainly he has some good tools to work with. He had some success. You saw progress as the season went on last year. And again, I’m excited really with all of our guys, just getting them around and being around them a little bit more. And once we get them in meetings and get them on the field and start working with them, [we’ll] see where they can go from there. But I’m excited about Brandon.”

When owner Jimmy Haslam said you’ll have competition, does that mean you’ll add a quarterback in the draft or free agency?: “We have three guys here that provide competition and we’ll leave it open to whatever happens in terms of any other possible scenarios. We’re going to look at everything, every possibility to try to make the team better. I’m excited about Brandon. Obviously Colt [McCoy] has been here, has won games, has some unique abilities himself that I’m excited about. Again, getting all those guys in the building and see what they can do and being around them and really getting a chance to really evaluate them. You can look at tape and evaluate tape, but until you’re around guys, until you understand when you’re asking them to do certain things and seeing how they react to that and how they react on the field and how they play ultimately is what decides how far they can go.”

When you interviewed for the job, was there any discussion about expanding the zone-read offense you used with the Carolina Panthers here?: “No, there was really no discussion on that specifically. I’ve always believed from a philosophy standpoint as a coach you have to be able to flexible and adapt to the players that you have. That was something that I had never done in Carolina before and with Cam Newton and the possibilities with him and the potential that he had and really the background he had in college, I just felt like being able to give him something that would transition him to the NFL as you continue to develop and utilize some of those special, unique qualities that guys have, and that goes for all positions. That you’re looking to try to find roles for guys, looking for guys that have redeeming qualities and things they can do that are special and us having a good enough system and a flexible enough system that you can use those type of guys.”

We know what your offense looked like in 2007, is that the starting point or ending point?: “I feel like I’ve evolved as a coach and really that comes from offensive coordinator Norv [Turner]’s philosophy from year to year that you have to be pushing the envelope at all times and finding new, different, call them better ways of attacking and trying to attack defenses. So I don’t know if you call it the beginning point or starting point but there are components of the things that you would have seen in that offense, there’s components of the things that you would have seen in that offense, there’s components of the things that you would have seen in that offense. There’s components of the things that you would see in some of Norv’s offense, components of some of the things you would have seen in the Carolina offense that we’ll incorporate. And that’s really been one of the things that’s been fun, is sitting in there together and working through some of these things both on offense and defense, here’s what we’d like to do. Then the whole big part of it is, OK, now here’s the players we have. What can we do that fits? You’ve got this big playbook. What portion of it will we be able to use?”

Would you be comfortable with Weeden as your starter?: “Whoever our starter is, I’m going to be comfortable with.”

Is there another change coming at QB?: “Some of those things are hard to say. We need to get out on the practice field. We need to get into the meetings, get into the installs and evaluate him. We’re going to put the best guy on the field that gives us the best chance to win.”

Is Weeden’s age – 29 — a factor?: “I think you have to look at him as a second-year player because that’s what he is in this league. He had some ups and downs last season, but you saw progress as he went on. And all the quarterbacks, we’re going to challenge all of them. That’s the way we’re going to be with all our players, specifically the quarterbacks. I expect all of them to rise to the challenge and improve. I’m excited. You guys know the history of Norv and his work with quarterbacks. He’s done an unbelievable job with them, and I’m excited to get started with those guys.”

Do you think zone read has a future in Cleveland and does it depend on who your QB is?: “It’ll depend on the guys that are playing it, do they have the capabilities of doing it and some of the background on doing it and we’ll just have to see once we get out there what the guys can do.”

But you don’t dismiss it as just a fad?: “No, not at all.”

What do you like about it?: “When you look at doing it, you really, balance of it, most of the time defenses don’t have to account for the quarterback as a runner so you actually add a number to your run game and to your blocking schemes even out. It’s hard for them to outnumber you in the box and obviously just one more possibility of a guy who can carry the ball.”

Are those quarterbacks getting easier to find?: “Yeah, the college game has evolved to a lot of the spread and a lot of people doing those type of things so that’s what you’re getting from a college quarterbacks and you find less and less of the old style traditional drop back guys so they have some unique skill set.”

Do you see defenses starting to adjust?: “I think they have. You know they’ll continue to work and spend a lot of time on that and they’ll get better at playing those things. Again, it just gives you one more option as an offensive coach and in Carolina we were on the front end of that and on the cutting edge of really incorporating that as part of our offense. It started as not really knowing exactly how it would work. We worked our way through it really helped us a lot and helped Cam in his development and obviously the questions you start asking are what about the long term possibility of doing it and those type of things as a guy gets older and those are the things that we would’ve had to work through and anybody that is doing has to work through. Defensively we’re going to end up playing teams that do it and so we have to have answers and hopefully my experiences with doing that will help us defensively.”

How does Turner feel about Weeden?: “Very similar to what I’m telling you. As coaches a lot of time you look at tape and it tells a very small part of the story. Until you get out there, until you get in meetings with guys and you get a sense for them, you start teaching the things you want done and how you want them done and then see those guys and how they react to them on the field, and then get him in situations. Put him in situations that as a quarterback are important, the two-minute drills that you do in practice, and the third downs and the red zone and all those critical situations. That’s where you really get a chance to see him and evaluate him based on what you’re teaching them and what you’re emphasizing.”

Do you need to make a decision on Weeden before you get him on the field?: “April 1 is when these guys come in and show up. So we get them for two weeks starting April 1. This is all optional for them to report. We can meet with them for two weeks. We can’t go on the field with them, but we can meet with them for two weeks during that time. And then they can lift and work out in the weight room and run and those type of things. We can’t as coaches go on the fiel with them. And then we’ll have a minicamp after those two weeks, a veteran minicamp for three days. I think we’ll have five practices during those three days. Then we have three more weeks of phase two. That’s where we can be on the field coaching those guys and going through things. We can’t line up offense vs. defense, but we can do our perfect plays, we can run through all those things for three weeks and then we have four weeks of OTAs and finish with another minicamp at the end. Because we’re new, we get two minicamps. You get a minicamp before the draft, which will end up being two weeks or so before the draft and then the minicamp at the end.

Can Turner make Weeden better?: “He’s got a skill set that you’re excited about, and I have all the confidence in the world that Norv will get Brandon to improve and ultimately it’s going to be on Brandon or on any player what they put it into and how much they commit to it. That’s going to be the difference.”

What are Weeden’s skills?: “He has a really good arm, he can throw the ball, he can make all the throws that you need to throw, he has a good, calm poise and demeanor in the pocket. Again, he was up and down a little bit and during the season as any young quarterback, or rookie quarterback especially is. You see some things that are there that get you excited about him.”

Do you need a veteran wide receiver?: “From a leadership standpoint, we have a lot of young guys on the team. And I think that as opposed to saying let’s bring in a veteran type guy necessarily, I think you need strong leadership regardless of where that comes from. And that can come from young guys. Sometimes that’s the thing you think of when you don’t have a veteran, you don’t have leaders. But leaders can grow from the young group of guys. So we need strong leadership. We need good leaders. Where that comes from I’m not necessarily worried whether that comes from a veteran or whether that would come from a young guy.”

Wide receivers Greg Little and Josh Gordon missed college time. Vet wide receivers good route runner would help?: “Greg and Josh both, you look at those guys and really like some of the ability that they have and what they’ve shown and obviously there are some areas they need to continue to get better in. But even sometimes with veteran guys, they’re coming in and learning a brand new system, and how we do things is going to be different than maybe they’re used to doing, regardless of how many years they have in the league. It’s going to be new for everybody, just having a veteran isn’t necessarily helpful in that manner.”

What are the biggest areas of need on the roster?: “We’ve assessed all those areas, and we do have a lot of areas that we need to improve on. I’m not going to get into pinning down the specifics on that, but we do have a lot of needs, a lot of areas we can improve on.”

Do you still use tight ends a lot in your offense?: “We have in the past. We’ve been fortunate to have those type of guys. If you don’t have those type of guys, then you utilize different personnel groups and, again, that goes back to the overall system of being flexible enough to be able to adjust to the guys you have and put the best guys on the field that can help you win.”

What are your impressions of running back Trent Richardson?: “I’m excited about Trent as well. I know he had some injuries early, but you could see him really develop as the season went on. Again, he’s a young guy, I think there’s still a lot of things he can improve on in his game and I’m excited to get him out there and get started with that process. We do have an overall young team and a young group of guys and we have a lot of work to do with those guys. And that’s the part you’re excited about as a coach, because that’s bridging the gap from some of the potential — which sometimes it’s that ugly word potential — but seeing that potential in guys and the talent in guys and then being able to bring that out and for them to develop into the players that they can ultimately become.”

What are your impressions about this year’s quarterback draft class?: “People have talked about that. I have not studied enough. I’m still playing catch up on a lot of these things in the draft, and we can go into all the things I’ve been doing in the meantime. I don’t have enough of a pulse on the whole class to really make a comment.”

Why do you feel you need to add a quarterback?: “In our discussions, I think the overall point is that we want competition. Going back to my past and my background playing at the University of Miami and being lucky enough to somehow get a chance to get on the field there – I don’t know how that happened – but competition makes people better, so however that competitions ends up coming about, I’m satisfied that we’ll be pushing and creating an environment for competition and that’s really ultimately what you want. Guys are going to have opportunities and when guys have opportunities, they have to make good on those opportunities and deliver, and that’s ultimately what you want to see as a coach, and that’s what you’re looking for.”

Will you have a role in evaluating draft prospects?: “Well, let me start off with, as I mentioned before, I am really excited about working, just in the short amount of time, working with [CEO] Joe [Banner] and [vice president of player personnel] Mike [Lombardi] and seeing those guys work together, the experience they have in football. They understand the football side of it, the business side of it. They’re extremely intelligent guys. They know the game. We’ve worked so well together. It’s really a collaborative effort. You look at Mike and the scouting staff and what they’ve done in a short amount of time. I’ve been extremely impressed with them. Part of the process we had to do early on was with the coaches. We spent a lot of time as coaches coming together and identifying what our profile was for our ideal player at different positions whether it was a slot corner or a left guard, or a receiver – every position coming together and really sitting down and hammering out. That was a process that took some time. Then being able to communicate that to the scouts and what they are looking for and how they can go out and recognize that more easily so we can all come together. It’s a worthwhile process and a necessary job to really do the job we want to do. I can’t emphasize enough Joe and Mike and what a great job they’ve done and what a pleasure it is to work with them. I really think the group works so well together. We’re all on the same page of where we want to go and the overall philosophy of it. You just have to hammer out the details of it. We have a great working relationship.”

Does the work the scouts did before you were hired conflict with what you want?: “I wouldn’t say conflict. As I mentioned before, we really tried to sit down and define from a player’s standpoint what we’re looking for as coaches by positions. What we’ve had to do, and Mike has done a great job with the scouts, is circle back and get them all together and then work to define that and get them all on the same page. Based on the evaluations they’ve done already, go back and, [say] ‘Does this fit this. This is what we’re talking about.’ They’ve done a lot of work. I don’t know if they’ve had to adjust to the overall system we’re talking about.’

How does the line in your hybrid defense look?: “A lot of those things will be answered when we get on the field and go through that. The style of 3-4 we’re talking about, the guys we have are very adaptable to that and will fit in. What I really see with that group up front is a number of guys that can play multiple positions. The inside guys, Phil [Taylor] and [Ahtyba] Rubin and Billy [Winn] can move around. Some can play defensive end. Some can play nose. The defensive tackles move and rotate around in there. You talked about Jabaal [Sheard]. I see him with the ability to be an outside linebacker and a defensive end. When we get out there on the grass, we’ll make that determination as far as that goes. One of the things [defensive coordinator] Ray [Horton] said in the press conference was not to put limitations on guys. You want to find out what they can do and not say, ‘They can’t do this. They can’t do that.’ Give them the chance to go there and we’ll zero in on what they can do well to hope us the most.”

Do you mean Sheard can play end in a 3-4 or 4-3?: “Both.”

How tough would it be for him to drop into coverage?: “It’s something he’s done some. You can see on tape he’s done a little bit of. Obviously that will be something he’ll learn and keep working on. I know that a year ago there were a lot of 3-4 teams that were interested in him as well.”

Linebackers are crucial. Who besides D’Qwell Jackson can you count on?: “You talk about Jabaal being able to play either one of the positions there. D’Qwell has played in a 3-4 defense before so he has a background in it. He’s played both positions inside in the 3-4 before. That gives us a lot of flexibility there. We have some younger guys, obviously Chris [Gocong] coming back from an Achilles. We’ll see how that all fits in there together. I feel confident we’ll be able to get the guys in place to be successful there.”

Will Gocong be ready for the start of the offseason conditioning program on April 1?: “I’m not sure about that yet. Rehab is on target, on track, he’s running and doing those type of things. Beyond that I don’t know exactly. I can’t give you an exact date.”

Will he be ready by minicamp?: “I don’t know yet.”

Were there offseason surgeries for other players?: “I’m not expecting any issues with any other things.”

Would you listen to trade offers for Weeden and Colt McCoy?: “We’re not going to get into any specifics on any of our guys. We’re looking to improve our team in any areas, by any means of doing that.”

Both Super Bowl teams used two tight ends. Is it more in vogue?: “I’ve always kind of thought it was in vogue. I think the position has grown in importance over the last 10 years. You look at the guys and the type of guys who are coming out in college, you’re seeing so many more guys who are athletic, are receiver types. The game’s evolved in that way and the position has evolved in that way, that you want those versatile type guys who can do everything. Ozzie Newsome was the exception back in the day.”

Three to four wide receivers were in two or three years ago, now it’s two tight ends?: “Versatile players are something that you value, guys that can play multiple positions and do multiple things for you.”

Versatility is a lot to ask of young team. Are you trying out guys at different spots then stick with one thing?: “I think it’s a little bit of both. You’re looking for guys who can do a lot of different things. Hopefully you have a system in place that you can teach and get those guys to be able to do that. Talking about the coaching staff, one of the things I was looking for, especially with a young group, is great teachers. Guy who can teach them, communicate effectively and motivate and get them to do things in a short amount of time. So that is part of that process as well. Looking for the right type of guys that fit, then finding what they can do well and then being able to coach them and teach them to get them to do the things you need to do. It’s all a part of the process.”

Has left guard Jason Pinkston, who had a blood clot in his lung last season, been cleared?: “I’m not sure what his status is and probably won’t be for a while.”

Is the fullback still an elemental part of your offense?: “I think so. The biggest thing is you have to adjust to the guys that you have, and if you have one, that’s great. It’s kind of a lost position, a lost art nowadays. But there is definite value in a good fullback.”

Why wouldn’t you re-sign Dawson given what he’s meant to the franchise?: What’s to think about?: “Phil had a great year last year. I know Phil and I have a lot of respect for Phil, but I’m not going to get into what’s going on in our free-agent type situations.”

Were you so tied to 3-4 you didn’t care what went on here before?: You talk about flexibility. Why not keep defense and staff?: “I felt the ideal situation was the 3-4. That was the ideal in my mind as for what I wanted to do. I think the personnel we have are flexible enough that you don’t have to do a major overhaul. I don’t think the difference in scheme is that big from that standpoint. And then a guy like Ray Horton becomes available and he fit exactly the style I was talking about and the one I preferred. So, those things all come together and I’m excited about what the Browns’ defense is going to be.”

Why fire the wide receivers coach?: “From a system’s standpoint and bringing in a new system is I had a background with Scott and was very comfortable with Scott coaching the receivers. It doesn’t comment to any of the coaches who were here before. It’s more about knowing the system and the scheme and comfortable level and being around guys you have coached with.”

Was Ray Horton your hire or the front office’s hire?: “It was [me] all the way. I love having Ray Horton and I think everybody was excited in the building about it as well.”

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Full Transcript From 1/29/13 Press Conference With DC Ray Horton


Browns coach Pat Shurmur met with reporters today following his team’s organized team activity practice. Here is a transcript from the news conference:

(Opening Statement)- “It’s week two of the OTA process here and I think the guys worked well. We’re trying to introduce one phase of situational football each day and we did some two-minute at the end of practice, which I think the guys handled well. I’m more interested in going through the mechanics of it from calling the plays and getting the defense lined up and whatnot and I thought they functioned well. One thing I would caution you against is looking out there and trying to decide who is a starter and who is a backup. I think right now we’re just out there, at most positions, competing and trying to get better. I feel good about the work we got done today and we’ll try to back it up tomorrow and Friday with two more practices with this structure. Next week we will have a minicamp structure, which is our mandatory minicamp, so the players will have technically a travel day on Monday and then Tuesday and Wednesday will feel like an in-season Wednesday practice because the two-a-days, as we know, are gone which will be a walk-through and a practice. Thursday then would feel like an in-season Friday practice, which would be a practice just minus the walk-through. That’s what the minicamp should feel like and then we’ll try to go back and review the things we did in the first six OTA’s and through the minicamp structure and then finish up the next week of course with four OTA’s. That’s where we’re at, it’s a beautiful day, I think we got a lot of work done.”

(On if it meant anything that Brandon Weeden took first team reps today)- “I don’t think you can read into that. I think last week Colt (McCoy) started all of the team drills. This week, or at least today and it will change throughout the week, we had Brandon start the drill, but they all got similar amount of reps with guys that are competing at the skill positions to be starters. I wouldn’t read into that, no.”

(On how Greg Little’s leaner physical appearance is translating on the field)- “I’ve seen him look a lot quicker, a lot more sudden and I think to this point he has caught the ball at a much more consistent rate and he just looks like a different guy to me. A guy that’s been through it once and to his credit, and again let’s not tell him I said this, but to his credit he has done a really nice job of getting his body into the right kind of shape he needs to be in to be a receiver in this league.”

(On if Little was encouraged by the organization to be in better shape)-“Greg and I, we spoke often throughout the year and of course just trying to counsel him on how to be a pro and part of it is taking care of your body. I think he did reshape his body in some ways and it’s a credit to him.”

(On how much confidence they have in the receiving corps)- “I think the players that are here and their development is what we are hopeful will make a receiving corps that we need. Then you add the new players, of course, a couple of whom have showed up and then you put it all together. Then you get better play from all of the positions around them and I think it is going to be what we think it should be.”

(On how much Nolan Cromwell will help the receivers)- “I think Mike Wilson did a nice job with them last year, but again I had Nolan on the radar because I worked with Nolan in St. Louis. He’s just a fine teacher and I think when you add a fine teacher to the group it helps. Nolan has done a nice job. He and Mike work extremely well with the receivers and we have a good situation because in team drills, they can work sides and the guys can get immediate attention. I think that works out well and Nolan is a great addition.”

(On the play of the running backs compared to midseason last year)- “I think they are all out here healthy and they are all here competing and they are getting they’re reps, but the reps that they are getting, they can be fresh because there is a lot of them right now and they all look quick. I think Montario looks good. I’m getting used to watching the new number. Brandon Jackson’s healthy, he looked quick to me. Chris Ogbonnaya is very consistent and he also looked like he gave himself a chance to compete because he is in good shape, not to mention Trent (Richardson).”

(On if he had a conversation with Hardesty after they drafted Richardson)- “I think it’s part of the business. The players are aware that you’re going to draft players at their position at some time in their career, so when we are out here competing, determining who’s going to be the starter and who’s going to be the roll players, they know what’s up. These are pro players, they are used to competing, and they’re used to being in these team situations where they have had to fight for everything. I think Montario is handling it very well.”

(On if he ever saw Hardesty at 100% last year)- “I thought I saw him play very well against Miami. I think that was his high watermark for me and he did a nice job. I’m hopeful that he will come back in great shape for training camp when we put the pads on and start getting banged around.”

(On if there are any rookie or young defensive backs that are standing out)-“I think that in the secondary, (Tashaun) Gipson has flashed a little bit at safety. I think Trevin (Wade) has done a nice job at corner. Young players, I still look at T.J. Ward and Eric Hagg as young players in my mind. Weeden is older than them, right (joking)? I am teasing of course, but I think they are doing a nice job. For the defensive backs, there are certain things that they can’t do that will make some of our guys stand out more. We’re not allowed to bump-and-run out here, we’re obviously not running the ball out here so you’re not seeing guys tackle. So there are some facets to their game that we’re going to have to wait and see once we put the pads on.”

(On if the offensive line is restricted during OTAs)- “Yeah it is, but I think the NFL way is you practice without pads on quite frequently, even during the year. They get used to coming off, using their hands and their pad level. What you can see it their body position, their pad level, when they get off and their finish. We can see a lot of what we need to see, but again, the whole team needs to be involved in the physicalness of training camp and the preseason games.”

(On how much of Little’s transition to the NFL was delayed because he did not have a senior season at UNC)- “That may have delayed it some. I think he also did not have a traditional offseason. He got hit with a double-whammy, so to speak. I know he worked out extremely hard on his own, but it’s hard to get the same kind of work that you get when you are here working with the guys.”

(On if he knew Little would need extra care when he was drafted)- “I think when you look at his history and the reason why he didn’t play his senior year, we obviously wanted to take that into account when we drafted him. We feel like he’s got skill and ability and we want to work with him. Just like I’ve talked you about numerous times, I’ve talked to Greg quite frequently. When you coach him he is very coachable. You can whisper at him or yell at him. It’s not his first rodeo, he’s been coached before, and he takes it and I think he has been listening. When I had my exit interview with him in January, I basically told him that he needed to do everything he can in this offseason to make a huge jump for his second year. I think he’s got a good start on that.”

(On how good he thinks Little can be)- “I don’t know. We drafted him with the idea that he could be a starter in this league and be very productive.”

(On if Little has already done that)- “He has already done that, but I think we can all agree and he would be the first one to tell you that he needs to be more consistent. I think that being in better shape, having a better understanding of what he has to do, that will help him with that consistency. A lot of these guys can do it once, the key is over the grind of the season, being able to do it over and over and over consistently well. I think that’s what him being in better shape will give him a chance to do.”

(On what Little did to improve himself)- “I know he worked on his nutrition and weight lifting. He’s always been a guy that’s kind of a very dense guy that’s got a lot of muscle tone.”

(On what a receiver can to do to improve dropping the ball)- “You work on the fundamentals of catching the football. We try to avoid saying, when a ball is dropped, ‘Hey, catch the ball.’ It’s about focusing on a small point, it’s about your eyes and your fingers and catching the tip and all of those things. We have an increased number of drills that we do and I think you’ll find in coaching and teaching that you get what you emphasize and we’ve emphasized it a great deal. He’s (Little) embraced working at it and we’re hopeful it will show up that way once we start playing for real.”

(On evaluating Little’s hands)- “I think he has very good hands. I think he’s got NFL hands.”

(On if it is a little more complicated than just the fundamentals of catching a football)- “Most skills in football are a little more complicated than just saying, ‘Hey, block the guy,’ or ‘Hey, catch the ball,’ and those are the things we try to zero in on when we coach players, to hit them on the details and the fine points of it.”

(On what catching the tip means)- “When the ball spins at you, what you see is the tip and so then you try to catch the tip.”

(On what he has seen from Marcus Bernard)- “He looks like a different guy, physically, to me as well. He’s much leaner, he looks much more fit and he’s flashed just in the little bit you can see from defensive linemen. He looks to me like he is putting himself in position to have a good camp and that’s good.”

(On if he is impressed that Bernard is able to be here after what happened)-“I am glad he’s here and I think we all go through things in life that refocus us on doing things the right way and allowing us to be able to continue to do the things that are important to us. He’s done that, he looks like he is in good shape and I am glad he is here to help compete and make this team.”

(On if Scott Fujita is at his appeal hearing today)- “Yes, you probably know more details about that, but that’s where he is at.”

(On updates on Brian Schaefering and Eddie Williams)- “Schaefering is doing great. I wouldn’t say he is ahead of schedule, but initially we thought he would be here for training camp, but he’s looking and feeling very good so we might be able to get something out of him the last week here of the offseason. We will wait and see, but he is doing very well. Then Eddie Williams, his back is a little stiff, but he is okay.”

(On what was wrong with Schaefering)- “He had groin surgery, a sports hernia.”

Transcript of Cleveland Browns Introduction of Norv Turner


Browns coach Rob Chudzinski introduced new offensive coordinator Norv Turner to the media this morning. Here is a transcript from the news conference:

Rob Chudzinski

(Opening statement)- “Good morning everyone, thanks for coming today. I get this opportunity to introduce Norv Turner as our offensive coordinator and obviously, I’m extremely excited about Norv being here. We have known each other for a long time and had a chance to work together in San Diego for two years. Norv has been one of the best coaches in this league for a long time and I’m extremely excited for him to be here as our offensive coordinator. Our offensive philosophies, in working together and knowing him, mesh very well so I’m excited about us putting together and pulling from things that I’ve done in the last few years and Norv’s done and putting together the Browns’ offense. Obviously, with my relationship with Norv, he’ll be extremely valuable in his experiences as a head coach and me having a sounding board with somebody with that kind of experience that’s 20 feet down the hall that I can go in and pop in his office and bounce things off of. We sat down a little bit and started shaping what we want as the Browns’ offense. We’ve talked through a number of things. Norv will be calling the plays. I’ll be involved in that process and overseeing that as well. Norv will also be coaching the quarterbacks, which based on his history and past, the great quarterbacks that he’s been around and developed throughout the years, I think that will be a real asset for us. But again, overall I’m excited in putting this thing together as we sit down during the course of the next few weeks and both evaluate personnel and also put together the offense as I was talking about before. I’m really excited about this and I’ll turn it over to Norv now.”

Norv Turner

(Opening statement)- “Thanks Rob. I look forward to meeting all of you, to working with you, and doing the things that are involved in that, obviously, as an offensive coordinator. I’m extremely excited to be a part of the Cleveland Browns – new ownership, new leadership in all areas. Certainly my relationship with Rob is a big part of the reason I wanted to be here, but in talking to Rob I think the excitement of what’s happening here in Cleveland, he really got to me. Having a feel for a lot of the players on the roster, the youth of the team was extremely exciting to me and it looked like a great opportunity to be with someone who, obviously we share a philosophy in terms of offensive football and the way you play football. The biggest thing for me, you want to offensively be a team that is exciting. You want to be a team that the fans love to watch. If you’re going to be that type of team, obviously you have to be able to score points, you have to be able to make explosive plays, big plays, you have to be a team that plays fast, plays hard, plays physical and I think it will show that our guys like to play football. I think that is something that has always been conveyed in the way we play the game. I’m excited to be here and certainly excited to work with Rob.”

Norv Turner

(On if there are any comparisons between the players on the Browns roster to any of his former players)- “When people want to start making comparisons, first of all it’s early. Second of all, I think each guy has his own style, has his own thing that he brings. I always compare production more than types of players. I got to see Trent (Richardson) firsthand. He made an amazing, explosive run against us in that game here in October, I think it was. I know it was a rainy day, but he’s an impressive, young player. I’ve been fortunate through most of my stops to be with outstanding running backs, great running backs. Guys who have characteristics like Trent. I’ve been fortunate to be able to coach five backs that have led the NFL in rushing. I think that experience will help me in terms of understanding what we need to do.”

Norv Turner

(On what his impressions of Brandon Weeden are after playing against him this year)- “I think you have an idea and first of all, I always am reluctant to be too quick to evaluate a young player. Brandon’s a very, very young player in terms of his experience, but he did good things in the game when we played and he did good things in the games that we evaluated getting ready for that game. The thing that I really – when I started talking to Rob and looking at personnel – Rob and I have both been fortunate to have been with young players and be able to develop young players. I think we’ll look for the guys, what they do best and find a way to get them an opportunity to do that and then hopefully they can continue to grow as players. I look at what Rob did in Carolina with Cam (Newton) and the production and the things he did over his first two years. That’s what you’re trying to do with young players -allow them to get better and grow. So for me to give you a big evaluation on Brandon would not be fair. I, first of all, haven’t met him and I just started looking at tape.”

Norv Turner

(On if he wants to have a fullback like he has had in the past with Daryl Johnston and Lorenzo Neal)- “You want to be a physical football team. We’ve had good fullbacks where we’ve been and we’ve done things from more of a two tight end-two receiver set. So I think a lot of what’s happening in football now is the field is being spread a lot more. The fullback still has got a role, but it’s not as big a role in this league. You like to have that physical presence. Sometimes you get that out of a tight end, sometimes you get that out of a pure fullback.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On if it was an easy decision to hand the play calling duties off to Turner)- “We talked through it and talked through some of the things. We started with what we’re going to call things because we were a little bit different in some of those, what we want the offense to look like and we’re still having those discussions. But, Norv’s been one of the best play callers in the league for a long time so it was just a matter of getting to that and us sitting down and working through the process and that will be an ongoing process of, again, defining what the Browns’ offense is going to be.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On if it was difficult for him not to call the plays this year)- “I think that one of the things you want to do as a head coach is recognize the people that are around you and the talents that they have. With Norv here, there’s no doubt in my mind he’ll do a great job as the play caller. I’ll still be involved. The way that we’ve done this is from a game-planning standpoint and on gameday when I was with Norv when we we’re in San Diego together is that everybody’s really involved through the whole process of that. Certainly, like I said, I’ll oversee it, but be involved in suggesting or whatever it may be or calling it at times. That process is a fluid process in my experience and my experiences with Norv.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On how he will benefit from having Turner call the offensive plays)-“First of all, Norv is outstanding at it so it will give us a great opportunity to win. Secondly, I think it will allow me to be able to be involved more with special teams, be involved more with defense and those guys in those areas. One of the things as a head coach that I want be careful of is just being classified as an offensive guy. I’m the head coach of the football team and being involved with everybody in all of those different phases and all of our players on a day-to-day basis is important in shaping the direction that we want to go.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On if he would like to have an athletic/mobile quarterback on the roster)- “I think again, as Norv mentioned, the most important thing you do as a coach and I learned a lot of this from Norv, is to be able to adjust to the people that you do have. Really focus on the guys that you have, finding roles for them, finding what they do the best and putting them in the situations to be able to let them have the success that they can have. From that stand point, the first thing we have to do is look at the guys that we have here and see what they can do and see where they would fit in and how we can adjust and grow the Browns’ offense to doing what they can do best and then going from there.”

Norv Turner

(On when he watches Brandon Weeden on tape if he sees a guy with potential that he can bring out the best in)- “Again, I go to the history, the track record and it’s what Rob was talking about. Whoever you’re coaching and whether it be a receiver, a quarterback, a running back, whatever it might be, I think you’re looking for ways for him to improve. Certainly there are things I look at right now and I say, ‘Brandon can get a lot better at these things.’ So you get excited, you go out and work on the details of playing the position. Part of playing quarterback is getting everyone else around him playing at a high level also. So that’s one of the things we’re going to do is spend a lot of time talking about how we get everybody on the same page and then everybody playing at a high level because they really do feed off each other. I’m excited. I love working with young guys. Rob and I both have had a lot of success with young players and there’s a lot of guys that I’ve been with that I think have had their best seasons while I was coaching them. That’s an exciting thing to get with some guys and watch them grow.”

Norv Turner

(On if it is difficult not being a head coach anymore)- “To me, this is incredible, to have an opportunity to be here, to be with Rob. When he called I took a lot of time to decide what I wanted to do in terms of the next phase of my career. The opportunity to be with Rob, help him and coach for him and I think he’s putting together a great staff. It’s just an exciting opportunity for me.”

Norv Turner

(On if he had to consider other job offers)- “I’m fortunate that I’ve got a lot of people I’ve worked with and people I know in the league. There are some people that appreciate the things I’ve been able to do so that didn’t really matter, the opportunities that I had or didn’t have. This is really where I wanted to be. I wanted to be with Rob. I wanted to have a chance to be on his staff with this organization and that’s really what matters to me.”

Norv Turner

(On who else he was impressed with on the Browns roster when they played San Diego)- “The thing that happens and again, you’re talking about when we were getting ready to play Cleveland is that I saw potential. I saw guys that when they were doing things right, they did them very well. As I said, when you’re dealing with young players, getting them to do it over and over and over again can be the challenge, but certainly there are guys that got my attention. I thought the offensive line was a good offensive line. I thought there were guys on the outside that had a chance to be good players and be guys that can make big plays.”

Norv Turner

(On what advice he would give Chudzinski about being a first-time head coach)- “I won’t say is this advice I’d give Chud (Chudzinski), I’d give any guy. A number of years ago Mike Tomlin, when he got the Steeler job, we were waiting for a meeting at the owners meetings and we were talking about it. I just think there are a lot of things that you have to handle that you don’t realize that first year. That is, I think, one of the things Rob has kind of thought in terms of the role I’m playing offensively because there are a lot of things that you have to handle that are other than just dealing with one side of the ball. That would be the biggest thing. You can get spread pretty thin real fast.”

Norv Turner

(On why he hired Chudzinski in San Diego)- “We had a change of staff. We had a coach leave. I think we had someone get a job, but anyway, I thought that one of the things I’ve always tried to do and I think good coaches try to do is continue to grow and stay relevant. There were things I thought Rob could bring to our offensive staff and could bring to what we were doing on offense that could really help us get better. He was familiar with the system, he had been in the system and he had coached (Antonio) Gates before so there were a lot of things that really attracted me to getting Rob with us. I made him Assistant Head Coach, he helped me with a lot of the things you do as a head coach like I’m talking about and then Rob brought a lot of things that I had not been exposed to offensively that we kind of tied together with what we were doing. That first year he was with us we were 13-3 and we were a very, very productive offense. We were in the top five in big plays in the league and we’ve always been very productive in terms of plays over 20 yards. The second year we were together we were first in the league in total offense and again, we were in the top four or five in terms of big plays. Bringing him in really, I think, gave our offense a little different look and gave our guys some more things to get good at and we expanded with that.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On if he knew Turner before he was hired by him)- “Probably for about 20 years we’ve known each other.”

Norv Turner

(On Brandon Weeden in the West Coast Offense and how he would fit into his offense)- “The way this league is now and I know people want to label different styles of offense, but most of the labels now are based on the terminology you use and the background of the people who are coaching it. I think the way this game has evolved most people are trying to do a lot of the same things, they just maybe name them different so I never get caught up in systems. I think you look for the things that, in terms of the style of offense we have, you look at the tape and identify things that I think Brandon does well that we’re going to ask him to do. I look at things where I know he has to improve and needs to get better to do the things we want him to do, but I think he has a lot of the skill set that we’re looking for. Again, this is early in terms of an evaluation, but he does have a big arm and he can throw the ball up the field.”

Norv Turner

(On if he has had a chance to look at Colt McCoy and how McCoy’s skills translate to the offense he runs)- “I just think to get into the evaluation of players, it’s really not fair to them. I am familiar with Colt. I watched him come out, watched him play when he played for Cleveland. He brings a different style than maybe Brandon. He’s been a productive player when he’s played.”

Norv Turner

(On if he has to think differently regarding big plays due to the cold weather here)- “Some of our best passing games have come in the real cold, the people think are the tougher conditions to play in. The day we were here, I don’t think either team was going to make many plays. It was not only cold, it was windy and very rainy so obviously, some of that does limit you and that’s what we talked about being a physical team. Not only being a physical team, but being a complete team so if you’re in the conditions where you’re not going to make a lot of big plays, being able to be more of a high percentage team and run the football. You look at the games that were played this past weekend and the games that were played in the weather, I didn’t see a limit in terms of big plays or of production offensively so I’ve never really felt, other than when it gets real windy and rainy that it limits you. In fact, some of the big passing games that I’ve been involved with have been in the real cold weather. Places like New York, Philadelphia, those types of places.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On his relationship with Mike Lombardi)- “It’s been great. We’ve had a lot of chances to sit down and talk. I’ve been in and out of his office and he’s been in and out of my office. He’s getting settled in. We’ll have some more meetings as time goes on here in the next few weeks of really sitting down and talking more personnel. Really, most of my efforts have been in putting together the staff and I feel we’re off to a great start. I’m really excited about the guys that we have. I’ve been taking my time with it. I want to make sure that we do it right and we get the right people in here, the people that are going to develop the guys on this team because that’s what it boils down to is making those guys the best guys they can be. Obviously, in Mike’s part in us working together to find guys to bring in to help us win as well. I’m excited where we’re at. We still have some more spots to fill and I’ve been real thorough in the process and taking my time. I really don’t have a timetable on it. I just want the right people here.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On if he can say that they are proceeding with Brandon Weeden as the starting quarterback for 2013)- “No, I think that’s premature to say any of that. Again, until we all get together, we get the staff set, we get a chance to sit down and talk through personnel and everybody’s on the same page with those things. There’s always, you don’t know watching tape, necessarily how guys are. Sometimes guys will get out there and they get into the system and maybe it’s a better fit. Maybe you see some things that you didn’t see from tape, whether its game tape or practice tape so you just never know. Like Norv mentioned before, there’s a lot of young guys and those young guys have a lot of growth potential and you have to see what they are when you get out there on the field.”

Norv Turner

(On if he thinks defenses will catch up with the read-option like they did with the run and shoot offense)- “I really believe and you were very specific talking about the run and shoot, but I think people catch up with whatever you’re doing. We go back to why I wanted Rob to come in and work for me, he brought some things that people didn’t identify me with in terms of the things we did on offense. I think the read-option and the style of offense that some of these teams are doing now, I think it’s going to be in the league for a long time. I think defenses will get better at defending it and you may not see the explosive big plays out of it like you saw in two or three of those games. I think it’s very successful in college and the college defenses have gotten better at defending it, but they certainly aren’t stopping it. I think depending on the type of players you have, yeah, it’s going to be a part of football at all levels.”

Rob Chudzinski

(On how long it took him after he got to job to call Turner and if it is odd to now have Turner working for him)- “I knew that Norv was the guy that I wanted to bring here as the offensive coordinator and I had that trust level in him. We have a great relationship, have a great relationship. Like Norv mentioned, as an assistant head coach I was sitting in there a lot of times learning, dealing with the same issues, seeing what things were coming across his desk. I think we’re that close and I feel that close and have that kind of trust with him. I don’t see the situation as being awkward at all. I am happy to have him here. I’m a team guy. I’m leading the Browns in that way. Everybody’s going to contribute and that’s the type of environment we want here in this building.”