By Will Burge | ESPNCleveland.com
T-Rich on the sidelines – Members of the media were welcomed to week two of OTAs with a surprise. Trent Richardson was not practicing due to what the team called a lower leg injury. Normally missing a day of off season work would not be a big deal, but the Browns are installing a new offensive system that has many downfield passing routes.
When Brandon Weeden has to wait for deeper routes to develop it allows time for the defense to get into the backfield. Richardson needs to know his protection assignments like the back of his hand.
When that pressure forces Weeden to check down he needs to be on the exact same page as his running back. Without thinking, he needs to know where Richardson will be and which way he needs to lead him with the pass. There is still plenty of time for Weeden and Richardson to get on the same page, but there is a chance Richardson will not be back in practice for a few weeks.
“It’s precautionary, we’re holding him out,” said head coach Rob Chudzinski. “We got mini-camp in a week and a half, he may miss that I’m not sure. We’ll take it day by day.”
While Richardson rests his leg, Montario Hardesty took the reps with the first team offense. Even though he has looked good through the first two weeks of OTAs and has been very consistent catching the ball, it seems as though he may be the odd man out. He certainly needs to build more consistency when it comes to catching the ball out of the backfield. That skill is highly coveted in Norv Turner’s and Rob Chudzinski’s offenses.
Also working against Hardesty is the fact that Dion Lewis is emerging as a candidate to not only make the roster but steal some playing time. He has been electric in team drills and thrives catching the ball in the flat.
“Dion has done a nice job,” said Chudzinski. “He had a couple nice runs out here. He shows some quickness, he can catch the ball, and has some skills.”
Add in the resigning of Brandon Jackson and Chris Ogbonnaya’s pass catching ability and it equals heavy competition in the backfield.
That’s your starting quarterback – Brandon Weeden had one of the sharpest practices I have seen in since he entered the league. Weeden was a surgeon in the two minute drill and carved up the first team defense. He found Travis Benjamin for a 30+ yard touchdown pass down the sideline and made a perfect throw on a similar route that Josh Gordon seemed to lose in the sun.
He was quick and decisive. He did not pat the ball. His footwork looked quicker. These were all the things that the coaching staff has been hoping he would improve. Even when he had his few misfires in the red zone drills, after some quick tutelage from Norv Turner, he bounced back with back-to-back touchdown passes.
If you did not know anything about the Browns and walked out to practice, you would have no trouble identifying who is the starting quarterback on the team. If Weeden continues this progression there won’t be any QB controversy before the season starts.
Brian Hoyer, who many thought would get to compete for a starting job in Cleveland, looks like he may be relegated to the third quarterback position. He did not get many reps during practice and that is exactly why the Browns went after him apparently.
“He is a guy that has had experience, has been around, and with our situation right now (at quarterback) you don’t have enough reps to split a lot of different ways,” said Chudzinski. “So having a guy who has had a lot of experience and been around on NFL teams helps.”
On a different route – One of the most improved players so far has been Travis Benjamin. Last season he was nothing more than speed in a uniform. You could tell his athleticism and quickness helped him succeed in college much more than his route running. He did not make particularly sharp cuts and didn’t sell his fakes well.
It looks like Benjamin really focused on his route running this offseason. His cuts are quicker and sharper and he consistently is beating defensive backs with precision instead of quickness. Once he learns how to sell the outside and underneath routes, his speed will be that much more effective. I have also yet to see him drop a pass.
Tight end battle getting tighter – Last week Jordan Cameron was one of the disappointments from practice. He did not have a great week and still looked as though he lacked the aggression that is needed to catch passes in congested areas of the field. This week, Cameron missed practice with a groin injury and as the old saying goes, “never let them see your backup.”
Gary Barnidge, who most dismissed as a role player and head coaches guy, has had two very impressive showings. He is not the fastest guy on earth but has great hands and knows how to use his big frame to get himself open. Only one time all practice was someone able to defend a pass thrown his way. If Cameron takes too long getting back on the field he might find himself behind Barnidge on the depth chart.
Miscellaneous sights and sounds – Rob Chudzinksi’s practices have music blasting during warm-ups to get the players loose and motivated. One of the songs that played on Thursday was Jay-Z and Alicia Keys Big Apple anthem, Empire State of Mind. Browns GM Michael Lombardi could be seen mouthing the lyrics to one of Jay-Z’s verses as he stood on the sidelines and took in the activities. He keeps it real.
The scoreboard on the side of the Browns’ practice facility looked a little different this week. The movie “Draft Day” has been filming at the facility for the last few weeks and one of the subtle changes they made was putting the name “Weaver Field” on top of the scoreboard. Sonny Weaver Jr. is the Browns’ general manager in the movie played by Kevin Costner.
One of the Browns PR staffers told us a funny story about the film crew. They were filming a scene in the hallway near the weight room and had no signs up or production assistants to signal that cameras were rolling. While going about his daily activities, the staffer wandered right into the middle of scene causing the director to yell, “Bogey, bogey! Cut!” The next day there were production assistants at every possible entrance to the filming area.
|Will Burge covers the Browns for ESPNCleveland.com and hosts 3 Deep, Monday - Friday from 7pm-9pm.|
Follow Will on Twitter @WillBurge
(Opening statement)- “We had a good week. I’m pleased with what we got done. A lot of it we focused on situational work again and this week we got more into red zone, two minute situations. We worked that really all week long was red zone. We got a lot of work there. Then the last two days we have worked two minute situations and have done that. I feel good about the progress we are making. We are covering a lot. The energy has been great. We are making our way.”
(On what made them bring Brian Hoyer in)- “He was available and we decided to bring him in. He is a guy who has had experience. He has been around. With our situation right now, you don’t have enough reps to split, they are split a lot of different ways. Having a guy who has had some experience and knows how to play and has been on NFL teams helps.”
(On how Hoyer has looked this week)- “It’s early. He has picked things up quickly and he has a good feel.”
(On if Hoyer’s skill set fits what they wanted)- “Again, he’s had experience. He has a good arm and a good sense for playing. We are working him here and we’ll get more of a look at him as we go.”
(On if the reps will be taken by Brandon Weeden-one, Jason Campbell-two and Brian Hoyer-three and then whatever happens happens)- “That’s how we will have them. We will have them 1-2-3. We are getting some extra reps with the young guys and really working that so Brian has been able to get some extra reps with the threes.”
(On if they didn’t need a fourth quarterback for training camp)- “We don’t necessarily need a fourth. It’s not the worst thing to have a fourth and that’s traditionally what has been done, but we need reps and guys to get reps, especially with a new offense right now so three is a good number for us.”
(On Dion Lewis)- “Dion has done a nice job. He had a couple nice runs out here. He has shown some quickness, can catch the ball and has some skills.”
(On if he likes Lewis’ pass catching ability)- “I do. I’ve liked what I’ve seen.”
(On if Paul Kruger and Jabaal Sheard switched sides from last week)- “We are working them a little bit on both sides. You have probably seen that with a lot of players out here. We are working them multiple sides. It gives us a chance to work them there in case you need to down the road and just to see guys from different sides”
(On if a player could be more comfortable on one side than another)- “I haven’t noticed it. It would be too early to tell. Where they have been playing and how they have been playing has looked pretty good to me.”
(On why Desmond Bryant wasn’t at practice today)- “He has a legal matter that he is taking care of today.”
(On if Johnson Bademosi is now the leader of the special teams unit)- “I’ve been pleased with him. He has taken that type of role, special teams wise. Obviously, he is learning a new position and playing some safety. His approach has been great and I have been pleased with his progress.”
(On is it an experiment or if Bademosi is a safety until further notice)- "I think he looks pretty good at safety right now. We'll keep playing him there and we'll also get him some work at corner and see how that goes."
(On Brandon Weeden looking better this week an practice than last week and his improvement over the course of OTAs)- "You guys are out here one day a week so sometimes you might see one thing one day and the next day you are out. I've seen a progression with Brandon. With all the guys, some days are better than others and that's the thing working with these guys and these quarterbacks. It's not going to be about what a guy does in one day. We're looking over the course of time and they are doing a good job. They are learning what we are doing. Again, we are really working different situations. Next week, we'll work in different situations, get into backed up, get into some four-minute and some of those types of situations. We’ll continue to throw different things at them."
(On if John Greco being a versatile lineman)- "John is able to play a lot of different positions. He came in and did a really nice job last season. He's smart and he can handle a lot of different things. We've been working him on both sides and he is a valuable guy."
(On the competition at the wide receiver position)- "It's pretty open right now and there are a lot of guys there. Again, here, there is no press coverage and there are some things that will make it a little easier for the offense and the receivers particularly. Once we get into training camp that'll play itself out."
(On Josh Cooper)- "He has done a nice job. He has had some nice plays out there. He's a versatile guy who has played in the slot and he has some quickness. He has caught the ball well this spring."
(On Brandon Jackson returning)- "With Brandon, I always felt like you can't have enough good running backs. He's a proven guy who has had production in the league. He has been able to have good production catching the ball as well. Just bringing in another guy who was available at that position from my experience, you can never have enough good running backs."
(On if pass catching is a high requirement for his running backs)- "You'd like to have somebody who can do everything. That's typically not what the case is so you look for different things from different guys. That's something that he obviously has shown that he can do."
(On Trent Richardson's injury)- "It's precautionary. We are holding him out. He may miss minicamp in a week and a half. I'm not sure, we'll just take it day-by-day."
(On Jordan Cameron's injury)- "Same thing. He has a groin that he has pulled. Again, we are being more cautionary with these type of things. We'll have to wait and see."
(On Tashaun Gipson)- "He has done a nice job and there are some young guys there, we’re giving them opportunities. That's going to be a competitive and fluid situation and we'll just keep working. Again, when we get into training camp, that'll really play itself out when we get into contact."
By Aaron Goldhammer | ESPNCleveland.com
Browns QB Brandon Weeden joined "The Really Big Show" on ESPN 850 WKNR on Friday morning to discuss his off-season and whether he thinks he will be the starter in 2013.
What do you think of the new offense?
"I'm getting coached every single play...Guys are really confident in the routes they are running, they're confident in the schemes up front, whatever it may be. I love this system. I think Norv Turner is great for everybody involved."
Do you like the fact that the new coaching staff is making everyone earn their starting job?
"This is a win now league. This league is all about W's. Whether you win by one or 40, it doesn't matter...Every team across the league, if you're not a guy that's getting it done, they'll find guys to replace you. You've got to go out and prove that you're the guy. You've got to prove that you can make a team better."
Do you feel threatened by competition?
"I'm worried about me. If I worry about other stuff that's going on around me, it's tough to get out there and function and be the guy; be the quarterback I want to be. I'm worried about myself. I didn't listen to all the draft stuff."
Do you have a chip on your shoulder going into this season?
"Last year was kind of an eye opener for me because I've never really been through a season like that in any sport: basketball, baseball, or football. I've faced adversity, don't get me wrong, but the roller coaster of an NFL season in grueling. You only win five games. You have some rough patches. My play wasn't good at times. Looking back at the tape, I don't want to go through that again."
By Will Burge | ESPNCleveland.com
The skinny – The Browns held their first OTA with both rookies and vets this week. Over the next three weeks the Browns will hold practices Tuesday through Thursday and the media will only be allowed to view the final day of each week. The team has also instituted “media reporting guidelines” which prevent us from telling the fans about trick plays, who played with which units, and how many reps players were taking. Essentially we can’t tell you anything you really want to know. Here is the best of the rest though…
Tempo, tempo, tempo – Since the very first time Rob Chudzinski spoke with the media in Cleveland as a head coach, he was preaching fast and aggressive football. Thursday’s practice certainly lived up to the billing. Neither Shurmur nor Mangini ever had a practice this fast paced and competitive.
Chudzinski did however have an element of Mangini’s program: Loud music. The music played as a soundtrack to an intense two hours of team drills. Mix in the yelling by players and coaches and it was quite an entertaining afternoon.
The QB pressure cooker – I had been told that Brandon Weeden did not look very good through the first two days of OTAs and this was confirmed on Thursday. Weeden himself admitted this was his worst day of the week. He struggled to find the open read on many throws, missed a few open receivers and had multiple miscommunications with his wide outs.
Jason Campbell didn’t look much better. While Weeden throws a better ball, Campbell seemed more comfortable finding the correct read. Once he found that read, however, he did not consistently deliver the ball in a place that led receivers away from the defender. It was a rough day for the QBs.
It is unwise to read too deeply into the third day of OTAs but I certainly wasn’t the only one who noticed the poor play. Just hours after practice ended the Browns reportedly agreed to a 2 year deal with quarterback Brian Hoyer. Hoyer, who Browns’ GM Michael Lombardi has previously said he thought could be a starter, will compete with Weeden and Campbell.
“I think Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett are starters. I’ve said this many times: If I would have taken the GM job of the 49ers, I would have gone after Brian Hoyer, because I think he has all the traits and characteristics. If I were the Cleveland Browns, I’d rather have Brian Hoyer behind center than Colt McCoy. I think he’s got all the traits you need, in terms of leadership, toughness, the arm strength, the ability to move the team.” – Michael Lombardi with WEEI Boston on December 9th, 2011.
It remains to be seen exactly what job Hoyer will compete for. Will he challenge Campbell for the backup role or will the entire thing be an open competition? At the very least this move improves the overall talent of that position on the roster.
Not only does this mean the end of Taddeus Lewis’ tenure in Cleveland, but it also presents a challenge to Weeden mentally. The team refrained from drafting a QB which led everyone to believe that Weeden was “the guy” moving into this season. But as Lee Corso so obnoxiously says, “not so fast my friend!” Hoyer’s signing sent a clear message to the rest of the quarterback room: There will be competition at ALL positions.
The bright side – Whoever ends up as the quarterback of the Browns this season (for the record I still think it will be Weeden) will have a pleasant surprise. The wide receiver corps not only looks like it is NFL caliber, but it looks, dare I say, dangerous. Greg Little and Josh Gordon look confident and fluid in their routes and more aggressive to the ball once it is in the air. They will give any defensive secondary fits with their size and speed.
“No doubt about it,” Weeden responded when asked if he has seen progression in the duo. “Not only what they are doing out here on the field but just the way they are walking through the building, studying and all those other things. They have taken the next step. They are playing faster. I think they have a lot of confidence in this system and the routes they are running. It’s exciting for me.”
Devone Bess, who the Browns acquired in a trade with Miami, is the easiest player to spot on the field. If someone told you to point out who has made a career on moving the chains on third down, you could do it in less than five plays. Bess has a knack for finding the open part of the field, runs some of the cleanest routes I have seen in my time covering the NFL, and made whoever covered him look silly time and time again.
Secondary is the primary concern – After the draft, fans and media were ranting and raving about the fact that the Browns only drafted a 5’9” cornerback in Leon McFadden when they had so many other perceived needs. We will have to wait one more week to find out about Mcfadden because he is still finishing up school at San Diego State but we now know who will start at free safety. It’s Tashaun Gipson for the time being.
Gipson looked good too. He will be left to cover the deep part of the field by himself most of the time because TJ Ward is moving into a role that closely resembles that of a fifth linebacker. With Ward playing near the line of scrimmage and blitzing, Gipson was the sole insurance past Joe Haden and Buster Skrine (who got the start as the second CB with McFadden still not in camp). Not only did he hold his own but Gipson actually snagged an interception when Weeden tried to fit a ball into double coverage deep down the sideline. Eric Hagg and Johnson Bademosi were the backups.
I didn’t think it was possible but Haden looked better than I have ever seen him. He was absolutely dominant on his side of the field and only saw one reception against him. He broke up multiple passes and blanketed whoever he covered the entire day.
That first step is a doozy – On the first day of training camp two seasons ago I marveled at Jabaal Sheard’s first step. He was so explosive off the snap that it stood out above and beyond anyone else in his position group. Now that he is an outside linebacker, his first step is highlighted that much more. He is able to start his rush from the standing position and can use his speed to try and beat the left tackle.
Unfortunately for Sheard, his first step was not the most impressive in camp. His backup, Barkevious Mingo, was everything he had been billed to be. He made Sheard look slow. He exploded toward the line of scrimmage like a sprinter out the blocks in the 100 yard dash. Both he and Sheard did not look very comfortable when they dropped back into coverage however.
Time for the next step – One of the staples of the Norv Turner’s offense is the tight end. The Browns have shown a lot of faith in Jordan Cameron by not bringing in a legitimate contender for the starting spot. The Browns need to see more from the young man.
There is no doubt he has the physical attributes but once the ball is in the air he doesn’t seem to win the fight as much as you would like. Cameron has improved his route running but will need to adopt the company mantra of “aggressive” more frequently if he doesn’t want new competition when other teams cut down their rosters.
|Will Burge covers the Browns for ESPNCleveland.com and hosts 3 Deep, Monday - Friday from 7pm-9pm.|
Follow Will on Twitter @WillBurge
(On if it’s hard to know what he has on defense since everything is just coming together)- “It may not be hard, but it’s fun. It’s exciting. The guys are working very, very hard and that’s the most important thing – that they are applying what they are learning. They are doing a great job. They are being diligent in the workouts, not only on the field but also in the class room.”
(On how long it will take for Barkevious Mingo to get into the flow and take a bunch of snaps)- “I don’t know. We are not putting a timetable on anybody. All we are really doing right now in these OTAs is trying to install the defense and trying to get our guys to understand our system and play hard. We aren’t putting a timetable on anybody. We are just trying to get better.”
(On what he saw from Mingo prior to the draft and what we has seen since he has been here)- “Before, obviously it was all on tape and it was an explosively player. He is a young man that played with his hand in the ground at LSU and now we are asking him to stand up and do different things. He’s got a learning curve and we don’t want to rush him. We don’t want to say this is what we expect day one or day two. We want it to be a growing process. This is not a simple defense. It’s a complicated defense. He’s got a learning curve and we want to make sure that he learns it.”
(On what the biggest adjustment is for the players switching from a 3-4 to a 4-3)- “It’s a totally different defense so there is a lot of adjustments – terminology, drops, the way I call games, the way I ask them to learn the defense. Right now I am just asking them to trust me and trust the defense and they are doing that. We are pleased with where we are at day three of OTAs.”
(On Mingo’s weight and what type of player they want him to be)- “I want him to be a dominating player. Weight? Some guys are too big, some guys are too small. Some guys aren’t fast enough, some guys aren’t slow enough, but they learn how to play. We want athletic players. He is an athletic football player and that’s what we want him to be.”
(On the secondary)- “It’s a lot of young men competing for jobs. You hope I think in every situation in every NFL city, is that you get competition at positions. I think that’s what we have. We are going to let it settle, however it does, with guys busting their butt, learning the defense and committing to the Cleveland Browns. That is what they are doing right now.”
(On if he feels he has hit the jackpot with the all of the defensive acquisitions)- “I bought a Powerball ticket last night, I didn’t check it yet (joking). I am very pleased with how Mr. (Joe) Banner, Mr. (Jimmy) Haslam and how coach (Rob) Chud (Chudzinski) have stockpiled the defense. We have got a lot of talent and we are going to try to figure out who fits where best for the Cleveland Browns to play very good defense. Everywhere I go I hear about the Dawg Pound. I meet people and they are in the Dawg Pound third row or this or that and they are excited. We are excited to put a good product on the field that the Cleveland fans will love and be excited about.”
(On how much different his defense is than other 3-4 defenses and how much of a change it will be for Paul Kruger)- “In the old days in Pittsburgh, Baltimore and the Jets, we would steal from each other. Rex Ryan, Dick LeBeau and I think you do. You evaluate people and what works best. I think on offense it’s the college read right now with those Washington, Seattle and San Francisco quarterbacks. I think you take a little bit from successful teams and I think that’s what we are trying to do here. Obviously, he (Kruger) stood up so things were simpler for him. He has been in the type of system before so there is a transition or learning curve for him as well, but it’s a little different than it is for a rookie that had his hand in the ground.”
(On Jabaal Sheard’s transition to linebacker)- “He’s been doing great. We ask him to do different things. If you would have asked me what I am most excited and happy about is the way the guys have come in and trusted and applied themselves. We’ve had almost 100 percent participation. The guys are attentive and they are doing what we ask them to do. The participation and the trust factor right now has been fantastic.”
(On Tashaun Gipson)- “It’s the same thing. He’s come in and he’s taken reps. He is learning the system and he is playing well. He had a nice interception today, showed athleticism. That’s the kind of thing I am talking about. You can name a lot of guys, but you will probably hear the same thing – we have guys that are competing, playing hard and are trying to learn a new system. What we want to do is be a defense that the Cleveland Browns fans can are excited about.”
(On T.J. Ward playing closer to the line of scrimmage)- “He’s a dynamic player. He’s another guy that has come in and we’ve asked him to do a different role and has trusted – I keep using that word, trusted – he has trusted us that we are going to put these guys in the right position, whomever they are to play quality winning football.”
(On what he saw from Johnson Bademosi in moving him to safety)- “If you guys were here at the press conference, coach Chud was talking about a hybrid defense. That’s part of what we are talking about, moving guys around. Is he a corner? Is he a safety? Is it a 3-4? It’s a 5? It’s athletic men playing. We are trying to let athletic men find a place to play.”
(On how important the tempo of practice is for an aggressive defense)- “The first thing you need to do is know what to do. The tempo of everything, sometimes we slow it down, sometimes we speed it up. To me, you’ve got to know what to do before you can do something fast.”
(On how Buster Skrine is coming along)- “Buster is competing hard. He is one of those hybrid players that is playing corner, nickel, penny, safety. He’s a dynamic player that can play more than one position. If you can do that in the Cleveland Browns defense it opens up a versatile attack where you can attack from different angles because you have different players on the field.”
(Opening statement)- “Thanks for coming. We had a really productive week. I am really pleased with the tempo that the guys have practiced with. Their approach, again, has been outstanding. We got a lot done this week. As far as the OTAs themselves, the structure of it has been that we bring them in, they have a lift session. We get a chance to meet with them for an extended period of time where we will correct the previous tape as well as install for a particular day. Then we have a chance to come out here and practice. The past three days we have done that. We’ve had a chance, situation primarily, where we have been working on our first and second down packages, offensively, defensively and then really getting into some third downs. We got into some shorter third downs the first day of the week. There have been some medium third downs and some longer third downs. We are in process of installing those situations. It’s been a good week for us. It’s been good to get a chance to go out on the field against each other and see guy’s execution. That’s been the focus and really what we are trying to work on and see the execution level after being in phase two, which is basically working on air, for the past three weeks.”
(On why Shawn Lauvao is playing left guard and if that change is permanent)- “We are moving guys around at the guard position. (Jason) Pinkston has been back. Just this week is his first week back so he is not getting the normal amount of reps. We will slowly work him into it. We are working all the guards at all the different spots.”
(On if the guards need to get outside a lot in the run game)- “They need to be able to block inside, pass block and be able to get outside as pullers as well.”
(On if they did a lot of pulling with the guards)- “We did. That’s part of what the install was this particular day, the plays where you saw those guys getting outside a lot.”
(On Buster Skrine)- “I think he’s done a good job. Again, it’s only been a couple days here going against guys. He’s worked at it and he shows a lot of the skills from the corner position that you like. He’s got feet, he’s competitive so it’s just the process of learning the defense and just honing up on the fundamentals and techniques.”
(On how Brandon Weeden has been able to translate from the classroom to the field)- “I think he’s done a good job with that. It starts, really with those guys with calling the play. Getting in the huddle and being able to go through that process. We had a play clock, I don’t know if you guy’s noticed. We’ve had a play clock out here on them to really try to really work on that tempo because that’s the difference. Guys can learn it indoors in the classroom and the application out here is what we are looking for. Part of that is the process of having to do it when there is a time constraint going on. That’s a big part of it.”
(On if the offense needs to be at the line at a certain point on the play clock)- “Not necessarily at the line. When we break the huddle, we set it for different times and that has progressively gone down as the week has gone on. We will get it down to where they are breaking it at 13 or 12, which that is kind of a stress situation where you have to move things along quickly. That is kind of what we are putting on those guys right now.”
(On how much more he knows know about Weeden than he did in January)- “You get to know about him. How he picks things up. How he translates and that’s what we want to see is how he is translating to decision making on the field. That’s what we are looking at right now at this step. Obviously, things are slowed down up front a little bit so you are not getting the total pass rush. It’s not completely 100 percent guys going against each other.”
(On Brian Hoyer and if the three quarterbacks here now will be the three in camp)- “I think all of that will remain to be seen. We are coaching these guys up right now. I feel good with this group with what they are doing and how they have progressed. We will just move along and keep going in the same direction. As you saw today Brandon was working with the first group. Jason (Campbell) has been working with the second group and Thaddeus (Lewis) has gotten reps with the third group. We will continue along that way, it’s just too early right now to be able to say anything. It wouldn’t be smart to name a starter and all those types of things that we have gone through before.”
(On if it’s different world for a quarterback during his second year in the league)- “Every year is a different world for a quarterback. The minute they get comfortable – you can’t do that at that position. It will help, that experience under his belt of what it’s like to be in a game. It’s obviously a brand new system so there are a lot of things where it will be like a first-year guy again.”
(On if it is tough for Weeden because he will be compared to the elite class of rookies from last year)- “That’s going to happen all the time at that position. If you are playing that position in the NFL you have to expect those things.”
(On when Leon McFadden will be available)- “He is finishing up his school so he will be back next week.”
(On what Jason Campbell brings to the quarterback position)- “Really if you look at him, he’s a guy that’s had success. He’s played in the league. He’s got a good arm, good mobility and that experience level that he brings to the table.”
(On if Campbell has one of the stronger arms in the league)- “He has a strong arm. There are quite a few guys that have a strong arm. He has good touch and he is able to get the ball where he wants to put it.”
(On if you can tell that Campbell has played in this offense previously)- “He knows the terminology. It’s a little more comfortable for him. He has basically called the same things before. That definitely helps.”
(On who has influenced him as a coach)- “Along the way I have been real fortunate to be around a lot of great coaches going back all the way to Jimmy Johnson. He was the first guy I played for in college. Through Dennis Erickson and Marty Schottenheimer and being around Norv (Turner), Romeo (Crennel) and Ron Rivera. I’ve tried to grab a little bit from each guy. The thing that we do want is to emphasize the tempo, emphasize trying to put pressure on ours guys to make it as game-like from a standpoint of them having to react to situations as quickly as we can. ”
(On if he has been happy with the tempo)- “The tempo has been pretty good. We have been working them at a pretty good clip and they have responded to that. I’ve been pleased with that. That’s the first thing, if you can create the environment of the practice and situation around them then we will get the result we want as we are working and continue to work.”
(On what he has seen from Josh Gordon)- “I’ve really seen improvement from Josh. From his route running standpoint, he is really working at it. A lot of times that takes time. He has really embraced that. He is making plays and really, I’ve been pleased with his progress.”
(On what they saw in Johnson Bademosi to move him to safety)- “He is a good football player, obviously on special teams. He is aggressive, good tackler and he goes 100 miles per hour on that. We felt like from an athletic and physicality standpoint, that it would be worth trying to look at him at safety. We know that he has played corner and can play corner. That is some of what we are trying to do out here now, is put some guys in some spots that they may not necessarily have been in before and just take a look at them.”