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Transcript from news conference with Browns defensive coordinator Dick Jauron

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 27, 2011

Browns defensive coordinator Dick Jauron met with reporters today. Here is a transcript from the news conference:

(On how the defensive unit has come together)- “I’ve said it a number of times, they are a really good group of guys.  They work hard.  I think they are serious about it, they want to be good.  We’ve obviously got a long way to go.  It’s not always pretty, but they’re tough.  They have toughness to them.  So far they have done a pretty decent job.  We’ve just got to keep getting better because it’s just going to get harder and harder as we move on through the season.  It always does.  I certainly like them.  I’m not sure that’s critically important (joking), but I really like them.  I like being around them and they’ve got a great attitude.  It will be a huge test for us.  This is a very talented football team at almost every position.  They are really confident, playing at a high level.  They just lost that one overtime game to the Cowboys.”

(On the teams in the AFC North being ranked 1-4 defensively and if when he took the job he looked at the other division teams and thought we have to get to that level)- “It’s pretty clear that this division is very good, it’s very good.  I don’t know that I ever thought that.  I thought we would have to have a very good football team overall to get really competitive in this division.  That’s what we’re trying to do.”

(On if he has ever been around a game that was a low yardage as last week)- “I’m going to say yeah, I just don’t remember them.  We got some breaks and it kind of has to work that way.  I think you have to play well, you have to play hard, you have to be a little bit lucky and you have to stay lucky.  Some things went our way obviously, but it was a great win.  I really was a great win for our whole football team and our fans.  That would have been a very tough one to lose.”

(On the 49ers loading up on the run game and sometimes only having one wide receiver on the field)- “They are unique.  As I said earlier, their talent level is very deep.  They may be out there with one so-called wide out, unfortunately for the league and for us this week is their tight ends are as fast as anybody’s wide outs.  They can be out there with three tight ends, but two of them are like wide receivers.  This is an advantage they have in there and they are smart in how they use it.  You’ve got to be a little bit careful, you can’t load up in terms of defensive personnel for example, because you will get mismatched.  There’s no guarantee they’ll stay in a packed in set and run the ball in those situations.  They do a very nice job running it, throwing it and threatening you with that speed down the field.”

(On his relationship with Donte Whitner and what he looks like on film this year)- “I haven’t seen Donte this year.  We had a good relationship. He’s a very good player, very fast safety, not overly big. He had a lot of skills, played hard, likes the game.  He was a good guy for us.”

(On the thought process when they drafted Whitner when he was in Buffalo)- “A lot of the things I just said, people felt like he was not a large safety, but a tough safety, somebody who would come and tackle you, would be a good blitzer.  He had the speed to cover, had some coverage experience.  He could play at times in the sub package as a cover guy like a nickel or dime player for sure.  He was a good attitude guy.”

(On how he feels about the play of his three safeties)- “We are learning more and more about each one of them as we get into this regular season.  I am learning more how to use them and how to use their skills.  They’re all really competitive guys.  They’re all tough guys, which is something you have to have to play this game.  They’re getting more and more comfortable with us too.  I am happy with their play.  I think overall it’s kind of like we said about the whole defense, and that includes us, the staff, we’ve just got to keep improving, getting to know each other.”

(On how Usama Young has done in coverage)- “He’s done pretty well.  He’s a big athlete that can move.  It took him a long time to get back to us from that injury, it really set him back early.  He’s catching up, I think he might be caught up now.  We will keep playing him, rotating him like we’ve done, keep them all ready to go.”

(On if the Seattle game was the best T.J. Ward has played this year)- “Probably, yeah. He’s a tough guy, competitive guy.  He made a huge play in the game. The turnover was a huge play in the game.  Hardly any points were scored and I think that led to our first three.  It was a big play anyway just to get them off the field.  He’s an aggressive guy, we’ve got to keep finding ways to use him that way.”

(On if any guys have surprised him so far this season)- “Going in we thought our linebacker core would be good and it’s solid.  That’s a solid group of guys and they play well.  The secondary we knew that Joe (Haden) was coming off a really good year and T.J. (Ward).  They’ve played really well.  Joe’s played exceptionally well I think.  There can’t be a lot of corners playing at a higher level than him.  I’m sure there are some that are playing at the same level.  Sheldon (Brown) has been solid for us.  Up front, with the two rookies they keep advancing.  I think Jabaal (Sheard) flashes.  Both of those guys I believe will just keep getting better.  Jabaal has made a number of plays.  Phil’s been in on a lot of tackles.  He’s learning that you’ve got to keep those pads down in this league, because no matter how big you are or how strong there are bigger and stronger.  They’ll all come off the ball and challenge you.  We’ve said a number of times, it’s tougher in there.  They come at you from a lot of different ways and this week will be no different.  Jayme (Mitchell) is a really good team guy, plays hard and gives you everything he’s got all the time.  Because it was such a unique offseason, it’s been a very interesting and short time together.  We’re still learning a lot about each other.”

(On if he has faced Alex Smith before)- “I’m going to say yeah.”

(On why Alex Smith’s numbers are better this year than in the past and why)- “Again, their confidence level is so high now, you can see him playing with great confidence.  The ball is coming out fast.  They vary it, they do a very nice job.  They will stretch the field.  They will go down the field with the ball.  They will also get it out of his hands quickly.  They’re very talented in their skilled people.  They’re tight ends, everybody talks about.  They’re wide receivers are very talented guys.  As an offensive roster they are just fill it with number ones all over the place.  I think all those things all contribute.  Other than that it’s another year.  He’s got another year behind him and it’s clearly not a very easy position to play in this business.  He’s really doing a fine job.”

(On why it’s hard to defend Frank Gore)- “He has a very low center of gravity.  He keeps his pads down, not a lot of surface to hit.  He doesn’t give you a lot of hittable surface, shoulder pads, knees.  He’s got great balance, very tough.  He really fits in their scheme.  He’s just a terrific inside runner, always has been.  He is hard to knock off his feet.”

(On Kendall Hunter’s traits)- “He looks like he’s got real good speed off the edge. He’s somewhat like Frank Gore inside.  He’s got good balance, good pad level.  Frank Gore’s pad level is very unique I think.  You have to go a long way to find a runner that really has that kind of leverage, keeps that kind of leverage on hitters, just hard to get to his body and get a solid hit on him.  They’re a real good combination, a real good one-two combination.”

(On if there are secrets for trying to tackle Frank Gore)- “There are no secrets.  You’ve got to get a lot of people to the ball and they’ve got to really want to tackle.  You’ve got to want to tackle this guy and get a number of people around the ball.  Clearly on the field every Sunday there are people that are a lot bigger than him.  That’s an advantage if you can get you big people to him you’ve got a chance to get him off his feet.  Really, he’s one of the premier runners in the league.”

(On what sets Vernon Davis apart)- “It starts with speed.  There aren’t many guys that size that can run like that.  Both of their tight ends can run like that.  He can really stretch the field and you’ve got to be really careful of the matchups that you make or get yourself into on him.  He’s a good blocker.  He’ll block you at the point of attack, work on you.  He seems to be a very competitive guy.  But, that speed, you can’t teach speed.  It’s just something you’re given and he’s got it.”

(On how Kaluka Maiava played)- “Kaluka was terrific.  You people know him. He’s not fazed by a whole lot.  He’s very, very tough.  I’m really glad we’ve got him.”

(On Chris Gocong and how he played moving to the strong side)- “Chris gives you great comfort because he’s a smart player and he’s got experience.  He’s tough and he’s an athletic guy.  He did play well.  He just moved over there and handled it, fit right in.  It’s a great thing to have.  As we said, kind of going into it with the three starters and Kaluka and Titus (Brown), that’s a nice setup.  Quinton (Spears) made a big play in that game for us down in the red zone when they got the big pass on us.  They threw that reverse screen back to the wide out.  If Quinton hadn’t been there and turned him back or slowed him down, but Joe made the tackle.  That was a huge play in the game for us. Our linebacker corps has been really solid.”

(On if Gocong could play strong side in the future)- “I think Chris could probably play any of them.  Really, he could play any of them, SAM, WILL or MIKE, I think.”

(On the Sidney Rice’s long catch catch)- “It probably started off with being a bad call.  It wasn’t a call I had made any other time in the game.  We didn’t play it particularly well either and kind of anywhere.  It was just one of those deals.  Every play in the game is the critical play.  I think T.J. would’ve gotten him, I’m glad he stepped out of bounds when he did.  I think T.J. would’ve gotten him.  Then it was a great job by the guys keeping them out of the end zone.”

(On if Maiava will get more playing time)- “We wouldn’t be afraid to do it, but generally speaking we wouldn’t do it.  I really don’t have an answer for why or why not, but it’s just never been generally done. You almost always rotate your big guys, very seldom do you rotate those guys or the secondary.”

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