Browns coach Rob Chudzinski met with reporters today after practice. Here is a transcript from the news conference:
Opening statement: “We haven’t played for a while. It will be good to get back at it. Our players are excited about the opportunity and challenge this week with Cincinnati. We can feel the excitement that the fans and the community have [and are] pleased and have been pleased with the growth and improvement of this team. I like where we’re at and the direction we’re going. The focus has been good this week in our preparation. I have confidence in our guys. We’re going to need to be at our best in all three phases this week for this football game. Ultimately, it will come down to us getting it done on the field.
“I do have one thing to report form an injury standpoint with (WR) Travis Benjamin. He had his surgery today. Everything went well in that regard, and we’re expecting a full recovery with Travis.
“As far as the injury report: (TE MarQueis) Gray will be out for the game, and (OL Jason) Pinkston is questionable. Everybody else looks good, is either probable of full speed.”
On Pinkston’s limited participation in practice yesterday: “He’s just a little sore yesterday. He’s fine.”
On keeping a ‘one game at a time’ mentality with the hype for this division game: “I think it’s just the approach that I’ve known over the course of the years and been experienced with that works. The seasons are long seasons. There’s a lot of games. We got a lot of games left. Obviously, this is an important game, just like every week is an important game.”
On if he has seen the weather reports for the game: “Yeah, we’ve tracked that.”
On if the weather will factor into the game plan: “We’ll make adjustments at game time or the night before when we get a better idea. The weather report typically changes every day you look at it. That’s not uncommon this time of year. You plan to have enough things, regardless of the type of weather, that you can adjust.”
On defensive coordinator Ray Horton’s comment that DB Tashaun Gipson was the defensive MVP to date: “I think there’s a lot of guys that you would say are our MVP guys and guys that are playing well. As you look at Tashaun, he’s a guy that’s improved a lot. He’s come out of nowhere and stepped up and has been a solid starter for us. He calls a lot of things on our defense and he’s making plays. (We) really like the direction he’s going in.”
On Gipson: “His approach has been great throughout. He does have a lot of confidence in himself and has gone on and performed. Like I said, he’s really done a nice job for us.”
On Benjamin’s return to the field: “It’s hard to say right now. We plan on him hopefully for training camp and anything before that, whether it’s OTA’s or whatever, would be a bonus.”
On the team’s offensive philosophy and run-pass balance: “You can’t be one dimensional, and that’s the critical part of it because there’s always different situations, different games, things that defenses are going to do that are going to give you opportunities to do one or the other, and then within a passing game or within a running game, different types of runs or different types of passes that are going to be available. From the outset, this just goes back to a philosophy standpoint; I’ve always felt that you have to be able to do multiple things if you’re going to be a good offense and a type of offense that we want to have.”
On whether the team needs to run the ball to keep defenses honest: “I think we’ve done a good job of that. I think that we have been able to run. We have been able to get some tough yards. You look at the defenses in this division and the defenses that we’ve played this season, [there are] a lot of good run defenses. Again, we’re striving for balance and we’re working at all times to create that.”
On whether he told QB Jason Campbell he needs to run more often: “I haven’t told him that specifically. When those opportunities are there, he’s got the kind of movement skills and running skills that he can take advantage of opportunities if they’re there. Obviously, we want to get down on the ground if he does.”
On Campbell’s perceived lack of mobility: “I wouldn’t see that in how he’s played here. I don’t see that as being a valid criticism here.”
On whether Campbell will wear a jacket Sunday to protect his ribs: “No.”