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Transcript from news conference with Browns defensive coordinator Dick Jauron

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 15, 2011
Cleveland Browns defensive coordinator Dick Jauron during an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens Sunday, Dec. 4, 2011, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

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

(On if they tried to pressure Ben Roethlisberger more after he returned)- “We blitzed.  I don’t have the exact numbers, but probably as much as we blitzed in the first half.  We’re not an overwhelmingly blitzing defense as it is, but we did.  First of all, he’s not a runner. He can run, he’s capable of running, but he doesn’t run a lot.  He’s very good in the pocket.  I didn’t think he was going to be that less mobile or that less evasive.  He can sidestep and he’s got great strength, shrugs off tacklers.  When he was out there playing, I didn’t think there was going to be a whole lot of difference.  If he had to run I don’t think he could’ve made a lot of yards down the field.  That would’ve been the difference.”

(On if Roethlisberger could have baiting the defense with over dramatizations to get them to blitz)- “Oh no, that never occurred to me.  I thought he was really hurt just because of the nature of the hit.  It looked like he got hit from two different angles and twisted.  Quite honestly, I’d just not have him play, but you don’t want to see him get hurt badly.  It looked like it could’ve been a serious deal.”

(On what he attributes to the goal-line stands this season)- “I think the players make plays.  That’s what happens and they’ve done a nice job down in that area at times.  I think that’s the answer to that one.  Other than that, not much and they’re nice to have.  It would’ve been great to have won that game and have made that stand.  It was a good goal-line stand, but we didn’t win the game.  It just ends up footnoting history.”

(On Phil Taylor having an up and down season and him not being as visible recently)- “Quite honestly, I thought he had his best game last Thursday night. I thought Phil really played well, he played a strong game from beginning to end in all areas.  As we’ve talked about in here, it’s a really difficult position to play.  I thought he held the double teams.  I thought he held up really well inside, he played hard.  I really believe it was his most consistent game. That was good for us because obviously that’s a tremendous football team and a very physical football team.  We’re going to have to be physical to be able to contend with those teams, the teams in our division.”

(On players being more visible when they get sacks)- “That’s always going to be the case.  I guess people get paid for sacks, but there’s so much more to it.  You’d like to have a lot of everything.  You’d like to have a lot of sacks from a lot of players.  You’d like to have a lot of pressures.  If you had to take one or the other, you’d take a lot of pressures over a few sacks, obviously.  The consistent pressure and hits on a quarterback are what ends up winning for you and you could argue that sacks are a result of all that.  You get that pressure all the time, you’re hitting the quarterback all the time, you get sacks.  Sometimes that’s true, sometimes it’s not.”

(On how he thinks his defense stacks up with team speed)- “I think we’re pretty good.  Up front I think we move pretty well.  I think Rub (Ahtyba Rubin) moves exceptionally well for a tackle.  I think Phil’s very athletic.  Our ends are athletic.  Our linebackers are certainly are.  I would say overall, we have pretty good team speed.”

(On how he would rate a healthy Scott Fujita’s speed)- “I’d say he’s got good, but not great speed.  He’s played a long time.  Players like Scott, are so smart.  They very seldom waste steps.  They’re almost always where they’re supposed to be.  Pure speed shows up at times, the field is only 100 plus yards.  You can cover ground if you’re smart. If you don’t waste movement and waste precious tenths of seconds having to diagnose.  He’s very quick and very experienced. I’d say he’s still got good speed for a linebacker.”

(On how hard it is to run with the Steelers receivers)- “They’ve got outstanding speed.  I do know what there come out time was and they’re in like the 4.3’s, 4.29, 4.3-something.  They can just fly down the field.  You’ve got to plan for it clearly because he can throw to him too, he can reach them.  You’ve got a big strong armed quarterback and a lot of speed outside on that team.”

(On facing Beanie Wells and if their run defense is improving)- “I think that every week we’d like to believe we’re getting a little bit better in every area. A little bit wiser, know our people our little bit better, all those things.  He’s really a good runner.  He’s had some outstanding games as you well know.  He’s a big powerful runner.  We’ll be tested.  We’ll be very tested because clearly he’s not alone out in the field.  They have a lot of talent on that football team and number 11 on the outside.  You’ve got to choose what you want to do.  You want to play an eight man front and single him up, you want to try to get someone over the top of him most of the time.  They present some issues for us.”

(On how well he felt the defense played against the Steelers)- “Whenever you lose it’s not good enough.  If they score 14, we’ve got to have 15 points and then you can say we played pretty well, but we didn’t win the game.  I’d say we didn’t play well enough to win.”

(On what happened on the play when Joe Haden slipped and if it’s just one of those things)- “It was clearly one of those things where he fell down.  That’s what happened.  You can talk about all kinds of things, planting the up-field foot and all those things, but you fall down at times. He went up and challenged him.  We had to at that point.  He was doing all the right stuff. Jerome (Henderson) I think does a great job with the secondary.  You practice footwork and you practice plant and drive, but it doesn’t always happen on gameday because very seldom is it perfect.  He ended up slipping and falling.  He was in good shape.”

(On if there is a correlation between T.J. Ward’s absence and Joe Haden plateauing recently)- “No, I don’t.”

(On how much Ward helps the defensive backs on the outside)- “You always want your starters. You want all your starters, but on a play like that it was single-safety high.  You don’t have anybody directly over the top of him.  He’s all by himself out there really.  When it breaks down you’d like somebody to be able to get there and make a play.  We know that receiver is hard to tackle in the open field.  But, I don’t see any correlation there.”

(On what makes Larry Fitzgerald special and if he is the best in the league)- “He’s one of the best.  It’s not my job to rank them so I don’t rank them, but he’s one of the best.  He’s a very special combination.  He’s got size, he’s got speed, he’s got great hands, great ability to snatch the ball out of the air.  He makes lots of plays when he’s covered.  Clearly, he’s got the desire to catch the ball.  He competes all the time.  He’s a very, very special athlete.  He’s proved it week in and week out for a number of years, year after year he’s proven it.  Again, it’s a real test for us.”

(On if they move Fitzgerald around)- “They move him some.  They move him some so you can’t always exactly know where he’s going to be, which is smart obviously.  He doesn’t seem to struggle with much really out in the field.”

(On what are the considerations are of putting Haden solo on Fitzgerald or if he would need consistent help)- “That’s an interesting way of asking if Joe is going to match him (joking).  He might, Joe might match.  You’ve got to change up coverages anyway to some degree.  It’s down and distance oriented.  Its pass-run oriented because you obviously only have so many players.  He’ll be singled up at times.”

(On if he feels James Harrison’s hit was illegal)- “I haven’t seen the hit.  I didn’t see it on the field.  I was back on the bench.  I haven’t seen it any other time either because I don’t watch our offense.  You just don’t have time to.”

(On Phil Taylor being fined and the teaching points from it)- “I was surprised by it. You just tell him not to do it.”

(On what he saw on Taylor’s hit)- “There’s always a fine line, clearly.  The game is very fast.  Things happen really quickly.  Up front you’re covered up all the time so you get a burst of the quarterback late and you make a play.  You’ve got your hands up at times. We teach hands up.  We try not to tell them to swipe because anytime you hit them in the head at all its going to be a foul.  You get penalized for it.  The natural tendency is to move your hands, move your hands forward and you’ve just got to play.  All we ever teach really is to play as hard as you can, as fast as you can, don’t ever intentionally hit anybody in the head or the neck, don’t ever intentionally go low on a player like the quarterback in the pocket.  Those things are going to happen anyway, but if you intentionally do it you should be fined and you should be probably thrown out of the game.  Don’t intentionally do it, play as hard and as fast as you can.  You’re going to get tripped, you’re going to fall into people low.  The offensive player is going to move and there’s no way you can re-direct within a split second.  You can’t do it so just play as clean and hard as you possibly can.  Then let it go and you can feel good about yourself.  If you’re trying to hurt people in the head or neck area or knee area when the quarterback in the pocket then the fines are definitely deserved and you should be suspended for it.”

(On if he worries about his players getting fined and then maybe backing off too much)- “To some degree you do and I know that’s why I’ve always approached it the way I just said.  I think you can teach that.  I think that’s legitimate, play as hard as you can and don’t ever intentionally hit anybody in the head or the neck.  Don’t ever intentionally hit the quarterback in the knees in the pocket.  Don’t do it.  The rest of it, you’re not going to have enough control to re-direct at the point of impact, you just don’t.  I think intentions are important and I think you can coach that and you can certainly control it as a player.  You’re still going to get some strikes that are illegal and they will penalized. As long as you’re not trying to do it, I think you’re okay and within the spirit of the game.”

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