Browns coach Rob Chudzinski addressed the media today after the first practice of rookie minicamp. Here is a transcript from the news conference:
(Opening statement)- “How’s everybody doing? Thanks for coming out. It’s good to get back with a little football again here. We had the rookies in today. It’s really nice to get a chance to see them, get out with them for the first time and actually see them on the field and see what they can do and have our coaches around to get to know them. We had basically a normal minicamp day. Similar to the ones we had with the veteran minicamp initially there. We had a walk-thru this morning. We threw a lot at these guys. We gave them a chance to learn it and go through it on the field walking then go out and practice this afternoon. We started on the field this afternoon and then ended up inside. A Lake Erie sprinkle hit us a little bit, but we got a lot done. I’m really pleased with today.”
(On if he felt the need to address Armonty Bryant personally)- “I did. It’s a serious matter. Now that Armonty has gotten here, I had the chance to sit down with him and talk about my expectations – make those expectations clear with him. I feel like we have a good support structure here. I think we have good guys in the locker room, some guys who are excellent mentors. You look at D’Qwell Jackson, Davone Bess and those guys, anybody that follows them and follows their example will learn how to be a professional. Ultimately, Armonty needs to show that he is going to be accountable and I expect that out of him.”
(On his early impressions of Bryant)- “Well, I just met him for the first time face-to-face yesterday. I think he is very remorseful for the things that have happened. He understands me and what I expect of him and is ready to make amends.”
(On if he can tell when players apologize seems real or not)- “Time will tell. You have to give guys every chance, every opportunity. Again, I feel really good the structure that we will have around him to give him every chance. Again, he will be evaluated constantly just like all our players are. Time will tell.”
(On Bryant has a chance to be a sleeper who brings more than expected)- “We’ll see. He’s real raw. He has ability. There are a lot of guys who are raw and have ability, and it really just depends on his commitment level and work ethic.”
(On if they thought about not bringing Bryant in)- “We discussed all of the options. We ultimately decided that we wanted bring him in, sit down and talk to him and that’s the process we went through.”
(On if Bryant’s situation distracts from building a positive team environment)- “I don’t think it does. I think what we are doing here, there’s a feeling in the air. If you look at the vets - that’s one guy out of many guys – what the vets are doing and the energy that’s in the building right now. I feel great about what we are doing and accomplishing overall.”
(On if he attended Barkevious Mingo’s workouts or if this was the first time he saw him in a uniform)- “This is the first time that I have seen him in a uniform live. Obviously, watching tape on him and seeing him at the Combine. Those were the exposures I had to Keke. He came and visited us as well as one of our 30 visits.”
(On if Mingo looked different than on tape)- “He looked pretty quick and pretty fast. He moved around the field pretty well. It’s always different when you see guys live, in person and you are close on the field to them. He had a good day and he really picks things up well. That’s the thing that stood out to me as well.”
(On if Mingo needs to add 15-20 pounds)- “I don’t know if it’s 15-20 pounds. That remains to be seen. Different guys have different body types and different weights that they play the best at. You look at guys from Jason Taylor all the way to some of the bigger guys. Really, it’s a matter of getting them in here, spending some time with coach (Brad) Roll and bringing them up to speed. All those things will work themselves out.”
(On if everything today was normal)- “Just normal. Some guys made some good plays. I saw Leon McFadden make a nice play driving on a ball and deflected it away from a receiver. Some guys always catch your eyes. You go in and watch the tape – that’s the biggest thing. We will watch tape tonight and see some of the guys. It’s always good to see some of the tryout guys come in that you don’t know anything about at all and really haven’t much of. Some of those guys flash. It’s good to have them for a couple days because you get another two days, two practices of evaluation. Usually by the weekend you have a pretty good sense for what those guys are and what they can become potentially. If they can help us, whether it’s now or down the road, practice squad, all those types of things, you are hoping to find guys.”
(On the health status of Jamoris Slaughter and Chris Faulk)- “We were looking at them and today we were going to evaluate them on the field, while we were out there working out. Slaughter we are expecting to be back ready for training camp, maybe he will be ready sooner. I don’t know, but we are planning on training camp for him. For Faulk, we are looking at basically the same thing. We will see and make that determination for sure after this is over.”
(On Chris Faulk and what they saw in him)- "George Warhop watched him on tape and some of our scouts, who had seen him earlier in the season, did as well. He's a big guy and that's the first thing that stands out to you - his size. Certainly coming back from the injury he'll have a lot of work to do. As a player who played at LSU, played and started games and competed in that conference, obviously there is something there. Again, we'll see. It's a long way between where guys are now and where they want to be. That's one thing I talked to them the first day about. It doesn't matter where you start it's where you finish. That's the emphasis on this weekend."
(On what position Faulk fits best at)- "We'll see when we get him out there."
(On if they will decide on Mingo’s ideal weight after OTAs)- "We'll plan on giving all our guys target weights when they come back for training camp."
(On what he saw from Dave Kruger and Josh Haden)- "The big brothers were real interested in those guys. Josh came running by and I think I asked him who was faster, him or Joe. I made sure Joe heard it when I asked him. He moved around, he can run, he's quick and he made a couple nice runs out there. Dave, I didn't notice him as much but it's harder until you get a chance to watch the tape. We were talking a little bit before practice and obviously you guys saw Paul out there checking out his little brother."
(On if he already has a target weight in mind for Mingo)- "Not right now. We'll wait and see. We'll have something for those guys all coming back for training camp."
(On how many rookies will make the team)- "It's hard to say. I've been around at times where undrafted guys were big impact guys on the team. Back when I was in San Diego, if you looked at that team at that time Antonio Gates was an undrafted guy, Kassim Osgood and Eric Parker. Some of those guys were guys who came this route and came up as rookies or undrafted. You look at these guys and you look at them seriously. You never know. Diamonds in the rough, a couple years ago Byron Bell played for us. He was an undrafted offensive lineman who started as a rookie. You just never know who they are, where they come from or what they have inside. Ultimately, that's really what helps them succeed."
(On if he knew right away that Antonio Gates would be something)- "I wasn't there his rookie year, but by the time I got there I could tell."
(On his connection with Rashad Butler)- "Back in college, he was a younger guy when I was still at the University of Miami."
(On the reason for signing Butler)- "Just depth at the tackle position and a guy who has some experience as well. Obviously, he's coming back from a couple injuries, but hopefully he'll be a guy in the mix."