HC Rex Ryan
Opening Statement: Ok guys, here (are) the players that did not participate today: (Lerentee) McCray is still in the concussion protocol; Kyle Williams with his back [injury]; Cordy Glenn, back; and then Jerry Hughes, we gave him—we call it the veterans day off. So NFR is the technical term there. Three players were limited today: Sammy Watkins, foot; (Charles) Clay, knee; and Zach Brown (ankle) and then Shaq Lawson and Tyrod Taylor were full. Lawson, knee; and Taylor, groin. So that’s the list.
Q: Rex, you’re playing against a team with 19 rookies with the Browns. You guys only have five rookies. And with Reggie Ragland and Lawson being hurt, their contributions have been minimal. How would you assess what you’ve gotten from your rookie class this year?
A: Well I think we’re going to get a lot more from that class as the years go on. In fact, I think it’s a tremendous rookie class. You know, however, you’re right. You know, we had the unfortunate injury. You know to Reggie (Ragland), to (Kolby) Listenbee. I mean so we’ve got no production out of—you know, no snaps out of those two. But especially Reggie, he’s going to be in my opinion, I think he’ll be an elite player, so we’ll see that in the future. And with Shaq and all of that, missing training camp and things, but I think he’s going to be a good one as well. So, you know, we might not have had the production and, you know, I think we were hoping for—you know due to all the injuries and stuff—man it’s going to be a good class. I truly believe that. I think (Kevon) Seymour has a chance to be a really good one as well. So, real happy with him.
Q: Any elevated concern on Kyle Williams?
A: You know, he seems to be doing pretty good. So we’ll see. If we’re going to lose him, it’s not going to be on the practice field, it’s going to be on the game field.
Q: Shaq got the start last week and you’ve increased his playing time regularly. Is he on track and developing the way you’ve hoped? How much more do you think there still is to come for him?
A: No, I think there’s a great deal more. I think when you miss all that time in practice, I think that obviously hurts your growth. He’s probably not where he would be had he been through training camp. But I think the kid’s going to be a heck of a player for us and you know, we’re a little nicked up. I know he’s got a little bit of a knee and then bumps and bruises along the way. All three of those guys. But I think this time of year, that’s what you want though, I mean as far as, you want three guys that can man those two positions, and that’s what we’re really trying to do.
Q: Listenbee had some kind of surgery?
A: I’m not really sure. (Scott Berchtold: Yes) Ok he did.
Q: What does Anthony Lynn bring?
A: You know, really everything about Anthony I think as far as—you know he gives you a players’ perspective. You know he’s been around this league a long time. He got two rings I think as a player. But I think he could relate to the players, he does a great job. You know, he knows the game. He does a good job motivating, I think he’s a team builder. So I think there’s a lot things to like about Anthony Lynn.
Q: How has Anthony Lynn done with calling plays?
A: I think he does a great job as play caller. Even his delivery of plays I think is good. There’s a confidence there. So it’s been impressive. And you’re right. I think about the one knocker but he would say on him, well he hadn’t called plays but you can’t say that now. So it’ll be interesting to see how it plays out here in the near future.
Q: Joe Thomas said on Wednesday that the Browns are undergoing what he called a “deep rebuild.” As a head coach, what are your thoughts on that and what would it be like to be in that situation from your perspective? How would you go about it?
A: Well it’s tough. It’s business as usual though. As a coach, you just try to teach. I think that’s the biggest thing. We did it in Baltimore in 2002. We had won a Super Bowl in 2000, went for it in 2001 and I remember I was coaching defensive line and I had one starter and one backup left and the rest of them were gone. From (Tony) Siragusa, (Sam) Adams, (Lional) Dalton, you know, Rob Burnett. You name them, they’re all gone. And so after you cry a little bit, then you’ve got to realize that, “hey look, I’ve got to get to work.” So we did. And we changed things up and you know, guys got better. I forget how we finished but we were competitive as hell. I think that’s it. You know, you just try to get better each day, and that’s really how you approach it. No different than right now.
Q: Who’s your backup long snapper?
A: Well it used to be Eric Wood but we’ve got a couple of guys that can do it. If it’s a long haul, then we’ve got a guy on the practice squad. What’s his name? (Reid) Ferguson. No, but if you have it in a game, the guy that can fire it back there, it’s no surprise to everybody else, would be Kyle (Williams). But right now, I’m not even sure on that availability so I guess I’d have to lean on Cross (Danny Crossman) for that. Every now, we’ll get guys to, you know, throw it back there and we’ll make sure some guy will get a couple shots at it each week, so we get a backup guy.
Q: Is Kyle practicing it?
A: Well Kyle just did it. No. I’ve seen him throw it back there a few times.
Q: With everything going on outside, how would you compare the pressure of this job compared with the one in New York?
A: I don’t—it sounds weird, but I don’t think there’s any difference. I know there’s not any difference in the way I approach my job, that you just—I guess you guys don’t believe me but it’s just focusing on this game. And that’s all you can do. But you know, this is probably not the safest occupation, you know, if you want stability and everything else, so I get all that. But all you do is the best job you can. And the other thing too is I walk by face so it’s easy for me. I’m at peace knowing hey, I’m going to do the best job I can. And that’s all I can do.
Q: The Browns are in a total teardown. That’s not where you are. You’re a lot closer, but there has to be some level of rebuilding to get there. How do you go about that when you’re not yet over the hump?
A: I think there’s a time to really look at that. Obviously that’d be the offseason. But for now it’s like, we’ve got three games in front of us and Cleveland is on Sunday, so that’s what it is. Obviously at the end of the season, and then you’ll look at things. I think the big thing for us is try to get our guys healthy. I think that’d be a great start.
Q: Going back to the pressure, how surprising is the pressure coming from the biggest market to a smaller market?
A: I guess what I’m saying is regardless of how many reporters there are, you know, this is much smaller size, that doesn’t bother me. I understand the job. I’ve been around this game a long time, all my life, you know with my dad coaching and things, I think a Ryan has been on the sidelines for I think 50 years in the NFL. So that’s really what I know. No matter how many people are talking about you on the outside, just focus on the job you have. And that’s what I do.
Q: There is a difference though right? Nine professional teams compared to just two.
A: I guess I just don’t know the difference. I guess it’s not like I got a whole lot of papers when I was in New York or when I was here. Buffalo News is a fine paper but I don’t necessarily pick it up or all these things.
Q: Is two years enough to get a feel for your football team as head coach?
A: I think three years is better. I think you get a good feel of your football team in two years. I think you definitely do. I think when you come in as your first year, you really don’t know anybody and you don’t know what makes guys tick. So I think that’s definitely a learning year more than your second year. Like I know I feel much better about this team knowing the individuals than I did my first year.
OC Anthony Lynn
Q: Tyrod doesn’t do a whole lot of seven step drops. Drew Brees and Russell Wilson do it a lot. I know you inherited the playbook, but is there some merit to maybe dropping a shorter quarterback further back to have a better vantage point in the passing game?
A: Well you do have a better vantage point at seeing the field. But we do have some seven steps, we just do it from the gun. So when you go from the gun, then you go five instead of seven. We’ve got plenty of those in the gameplan. So that’s something we do but you also put stress on your tackles when you do that. So a lot of times it depends on the defensive ends that we’re going up against.
Q: What has LeSean McCoy shown to you after battling injuries?
A: Well he’s shown to me more of what he’s done on a consistent basis than what he did last year. When he was on the field, I though he played well last season. But he’s been healthier, he’s been versatile in the passing game, the running game, and the things we ask him to do between the tackles, running on the perimeter. Like I’ve said, he’s a really good blocker. People don’t give enough credit for his blocking but he’s a very unselfish back like that.
Q: He doesn’t seem like he’s slowing down.
A: Other than the hamstring injuries here and there, I don’t see him slowing down. And I think it’s a credit to him of how he takes care of his body. And things he does off the field.
Q: What makes him so special?
A: You know, his ability to win his one on ones. His lateral quickness, that’s one of the things that I think he’s really elite at. You know, straight line speed, a lot of backs can run straight line. LeSean can move laterally just as fast. And that’s special.
Q: If you had the reigns of your own playbook, what are some of the things that you’d change?
A: Well terminology for one. I would change some of that. And it’s more so the process when you install these plays and how you practice these plays and what you beat into a player’s brain in OTA’s and minicamp and training camp. Right now it’s too hard to go back through that process. But the plays—a lot of people run the same plays. I mean let’s be real. It’s the terminology. But it’s the process and how we prepare for those plays.
DC Dennis Thurman
Q: It seems you have to do more shuffling at safety with Ihedigbo on IR now. How do you see that shaking out in terms of who fills the void, plays more, all of that?
A: Whoever’s healthy. I mean we’ve got to go with the guys that are healthy and get them coached up and go out and play football.
Q: What do you think of Jonathan Meeks this year?
A: He’s learning. He’s gaining experience. But he’s still growing. Continue to learn and develop our players, and that’s never going to stop or change.
Q: What went into the decision to not start Jerry Hughes last weekend?
A: You have to ask coach Ryan that.
Q: Was that not your call?
A: You have to ask coach Ryan that.
Q: Rex mentioned that he has been calling plays, when did that start again?
A: It never really stopped.