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Week 9: Cleveland Browns Conference Calls

Posted Oct 30, 2013

Head Coach Rob Chudzinski

On any changes the Browns have made since last playing the Ravens: “There’s been quite a bit on both sides. Overall, both sides’ personnel changes is the biggest one. From a health standpoint, [the Ravens are] getting some guys back. I know Jacoby Jones is back, and Eugene Monroe is new. From our standpoint, we had some similar changes with quarterback a few times since then. Josh Gordon is back. Offensive lineman Shawn Lauvao is back for the offensive line, which is playing better. I think those are the biggest things, as you look at the two teams. From our standpoint, I’ve learned a lot about our team. Being new as a head coach with this team … There’s a group of a lot of young guys that haven’t been together for very long. I’ve been pleased and encouraged by the signs I’ve seen. I think we’ve improved every week. We’re looking for consistency and to be more consistent. I believe in what we are building here. As I look again at the Ravens, we talked about some of the personnel things. They’ve had a number of close games, and obviously, the bye week will be a challenge for us. It gives them a chance to get healthy and to focus in on some of the things they try and do, do differently, and add some wrinkles for our game.”

On if NT Haloti Ngata looks worn down on film: “I can only speak to how he performs against the guys he’s going against. He’s still playing dominating football, and he’s almost impossible to block.”

On starting QB Jason Campbell instead of QB Brandon Weeden: “I think that Jason [Campbell] did a good job for us last week. We had a chance for him to practice the entire week, which was good in getting him back oiled up. Obviously, Arrowhead Stadium is a tough place to play. I thought he did a good job from an efficiency standpoint. We’ll need him to continue to improve, get guys used to him, and develop that chemistry and continuity that you’d like to have.”

On if he thinks the AFC North is a weak division: “It’s halfway through [the season], so I think it’s still too early to determine that. What happens in the second half of the season is always a little more indicative of the teams. You look at a lot of the same faces and the same quality of football … It’s a tough division, a division that you have to play tough in. It’s physical, and you see those types of games when the teams are playing each other. We have a stretch here where we’re playing three in a row in the division, and the importance of the division games magnifies things. We need to be ready to play.”

On the Browns’ defensive line: “It was an area of focus for us in the offseason to try to improve in that area. I felt like we were able to do that. I think our defensive line has played well. Again, we want to be more consistent, including in the defensive line. I think that we’ve got some guys that have been playing and playing very well. We had some injuries a few weeks back, but I feel like we’re getting back to being healthy.”

On the matchup of the Browns’ defensive line against the Ravens’ offensive line: “I think it’s a great matchup. Eugene Monroe has come in and he’s been an outstanding tackle playing in this league. [Michael] Oher, the matchup with our outside guys and the inside matchups as well … The line of scrimmage battle is going to be one of the keys. Baltimore has done a great job of running the ball with Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce, and that’s going to be a key to the game. I know that they’ve talked about getting the run game cranked up again, so the line of scrimmage will again be a key battle.”

On OLB Elvis Dumervil and OLB Terrell Suggs being tough to block: “They both are. They’re tough to block because they have a combination of things – a combination of power, speed, quickness and agility. They’re great athletes. They have a combination of moves that they can use; they don’t just have one move. When you talk about guys with great ability, talent and motor like they have – and then the moves and the technique that they have – it makes both of those guys formidable.”

On RB Willis McGahee: “Willis [McGahee] has been big for us in a number of ways. He brings – not just from a football standpoint – his [leadership] ability and his running ability and the things that he does from that standpoint. We have a young group of guys, and the leadership that he brings, the maturity and the perspective that he’s had – he’s been great in terms of that.”

On WR Josh Gordon and OLB Barkevious Mingo: “In talking about Josh [Gordon] first, he’s made a lot of strides for us in all areas. He’s learning to play the game, he’s learning the little nuances of playing the position and has really gotten better. He’s been important for us because he’s a playmaker and a guy that is out there that people have to pay attention to. That obviously can open up things for other guys as well. He’s been very productive, and with any young player, we are looking for consistency. He’s gotten better, and we’re excited about him in the future. [Barkevious] Mingo has been outstanding as a pass rusher [and] has a lot of ability there. He’s learning the game and the defense; you see strides there. He’ll make some plays every week that make you go, ‘Wow.’ I’m excited about him as well and his future.”


RB Willis McGahee

On playing the Ravens, his former team: “It’s going to be a little different. We’re in the same division, so it’s not going to be the same.”

On how he would characterize his time spent with the Ravens: “I had some good times in Baltimore. I can’t complain about it. I was done right by the city and the organization. There’s no hatred or anything. It’s a business. It was time for me to move on and go somewhere else, and that’s what happened.”

On his feelings when the Ravens won the Super Bowl: “Good job. I was happy for Ray [Lewis] and Ed [Reed].”

On the Ravens having few players left from the time he was in Baltimore: “That’s part of being a business. Things happen. You never keep the same faces that were always there. I’m pretty sure they’re going to be ready to play us when they come here. We’ve just got to be ready.”

On if he remembers the last time the Browns beat the Ravens: “Yeah, I remember. Wasn’t it a night game?” (Reporter: “It was a 4:00 p.m. evening game.”) “Yeah, an evening game. I remember it, but that’s in the past. You can’t dwell on the past.”

On what he says to his teammates about ending the streak of 11-straight losses to Baltimore: “These guys know what they need to do. They’ve been in the division. I’m just getting here, so I’m sitting back just paying attention. These guys know what it means, what’s at stake. They played them earlier in the year, and we lost. It was kind of a tough loss. It was a good game, but at the end of the day, we lost, they won, and we put it behind us. But I think the guys are more prepared this week.”

On if he’s starting to regain his old form: “I mean, I think I’m doing pretty good. I’m doing OK. It doesn’t help when we’re down by two touchdowns in the first half, so you really can’t run the ball. But what I’ve been doing, I’ve been doing pretty decent.”

On his impressions of the Browns when he was a Raven: “It was just another team that we were playing in the division. There’s never an easy game when you’re playing inside the division. I don’t care what the record says. They were a team that played us [hard] every time.”

On if DT Haloti Ngata is the same dominant defensive lineman that he remembers: “Yeah, of course. He’s always been a dominant lineman. He’s one of the guys you’ve always got to account for. He’s a big presence for that D-line and for that [D-line] corps, so we have to really pay attention to him.”

On if it surprises him that the AFC North has struggled this season: “From my standpoint, it’s still one of the toughest divisions out here. I’ve been in the AFC my whole career. When I came over to Baltimore, and now I’m with Cleveland, it’s always been tough. There’s never been an easy game. It was going to be one of those grind games. It’s still like that. I don’t care what the record says for each team.”

On how bizarre the Ravens’ defense looks without Ray Lewis and Ed Reed: “It’s different, because every time I used to look at them, they used to be back there controlling everything. And now it’s a bunch of new faces. I guess it was time for them to start over and bring in new people.”



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