By Bruce Hooley
Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski has been guarded in his comments about quarterback Brandon Weeden, and played it close to the vest again Friday in a meeting with Cleveland-area reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.
But in a Friday night interview with Cleveland Browns Daily, Chudzinski opened up to Vic Carucci and finally said some complimentary things about the Browns’ second-year quarterback.
Q: What kind of conclusions have you been able to come to in evaluating Weeden as your starter?
A: “I really like Brandon. He’s shown and demonstrated he has a good skill set. He showed progress as the season went on last year…I’m excited to get him into our meetings and into our spring football and those type of situations.”
Q: How is it different being at the Combine as a head coach after coming as an assistant in the past?
A: “The one thing that’s very critical is the interview process. That’s the one thing we’re focusing on…You get to meet the guys for the first time, look them in the eye and try to understand what their makeup is, how much they love football and find out about them.
“… It’s easy to see the size, the speed, the measurable, but the intangibles are what ultimately make the player and determine the success of the player.”
Q: What are you looking for in that area? I’ve heard you say you want guys who want to become Cleveland Browns. How do you determine that?
A: “It’s really finding out the type of people they are. We want guys who are gym rats. We want guys who love playing football, that are passionate about wherever they are and whatever they are doing. It’s interesting, you do get a sense for guys, if they’re excited to see you. That makes a difference.”
Q: How do you make that judgment about the players you inherit who are already on the roster?
A: “We want guys who love Cleveland, who love the Browns and are proud of our city, because we want our city to be proud of them.”
Q: How do you work in concert with the scouting staff and VP of Player Personnel Mike Lombardi to get the type of players you want?
A: “That’s one of the first things that we did. We came together, Ray (Horton) and his defensive staff, Norv (Turner) and his offensive staff, sat down and put together their ideal player profile for the positions on offense and the positions on defense. Then we sat down as a staff and went through it and hammered it out. I spent time on both sides of the ball doing that.
“We took that final product to the scouts and to Mike and his group, trying to explain and make them understand fully in terms of the fit and the type of player we’re looking for.”
Q: Is the plan to play Jabaal Sheard as defensive end or a stand-up outside linebacker in the 3-4 defense?
A: “He’s a very versatile player. We feel like he can do some of both….I think we have a group of guys who translate very well to what we’re going to do and the style of 3-4 we are. Some styles might not be as tranferable as others, but I think what we’re going to do is going to transfer very well with the guys we have.”
To hear the entire Chudzinski interview on Cleveland Browns Daily, click here
Bruce Hooley hosts The Hooligans from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on ESPN 850 WKNR.
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