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Transcript from news conference with Browns defensive coordinator Dick Jauron

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 21, 2011

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

(On defending Ray Rice the second time around)- “Obviously it wasn’t what we wanted the first time.  He is an exceptional player.  I don’t know that we can make sure things happen, but we’ll certainly try not to have that happen again. They’re very good at what they do.  We’ve made some adjustments.  We’ll just have to see if they work out the way we would like them to work out.  Obviously, they’ll make adjustments too.  They do an outstanding job.  He’s an exceptional player.”

(On if he’s noticed an improvement in the run defense because the numbers have been better recently)- “Just like you said, the numbers have been better.  We’re not big on numbers except for that ‘W’.  We’re still not winning and that’s the deal.  We’ve got to find ways to play enough to win games.  It’s kind of what we’re aiming at.  I believe that our guys are obviously at this point in the year they’re a little bit familiar with what we’re doing every week.  They get a little more experienced every week.  They’re good guys.  They’ll play hard.  They sell out for you and we’ve just got to hope it keeps going that way, keeps trending and getting a little better all the time.”

(On what lessons they learned after Rice’s performance against them the first time)- “Everything that doesn’t work, it’s that something breaks down.  Obviously some things broke down.  It wasn’t always the same thing.  Everybody’s got to do their job on every play.  I’ve got to make better calls, I’ve got to play them better, people have to stay in their gaps, but it’s not consistently one thing.  Again, their scheme is very good.  They are a very talented team.  They do a nice job with it.  Everybody’s got to keep grinding and keep staying with what they’re supposed to be doing and take care of it.  I think for sure with younger groups that haven’t been together very long, they tend to try to do too much on a play, instead of take care of their business before they try to help anybody else take care of their business.  That’s where we are, that’s where we’ve got to be.  The guys embrace it, they work at it.  They want to do it right.”

(On why it’s difficult for players to stay in their gaps)- “Because you’ve got two or three 330-pound men trying to knock you out of that gap and then it expands.  It doesn’t stay in one spot.  The play will move and as it stretches, there are lots of things going on.  You don’t know before the snap which way it’s going to go or how they’re going to block it, how they’re going to come after you.  In a one-gap scheme it’s pretty clear at the snap where you belong. It’s very difficult to play it and to stay in that gap.  The offenses are good.  The people are huge and strong.  It’s what makes the game so competitive and so hard to play.”

(On Jabaal Sheard’s overall progress)- “Jabaal is an outstanding player really in every aspect of the game.  I believe he’s just going to get better too as time goes on.  He’s very into it, very tough, he likes to compete.  He competes quickly.  He recognizes things quickly and he reacts to them very quickly.  He doesn’t have to stop and think, he reacts.  Sometimes he’s not in the right place, that’s true of everybody.  Sometimes he gets knocked out of his gap, that’s true of everybody.  In general, he plays the run very well and rushes the passer well.  He’s into what he’s doing.  He is not a giant defensive end, but most tight ends can’t handle him.  That’s what we’re looking for on the edge.  If our defensive ends can be blocked by a tight end, we’re going to struggle. He does a very nice job of controlling the tight ends.  Tackles are significantly bigger than him, but he’s quicker.  He’s generally much quicker than they are.”

(On what kind of season Jayme Mitchell is having)- “Jayme’s done okay.  He’s had a number of injuries that have slowed him down.  They kind of accumulated on him over the year.  I think that’s affected his play to some degree.  He’s a guy that works at it.  He’s a consistent effort guy for us and has done a decent job.”

(On if he is surprised that Sheard has been able to be successful all year long)-“I would say no just because we liked him so much in the draft.  We liked him enough to draft him that high.  You have to believe he’s got those skills and he consistently does it.  I think he’s just a really good player.  He’s probably underappreciated at this point.  There are lots of big number pass rushers.  Jabaal’s a very good football player.  Obviously I don’t hang around with him, but he appears to be a really good teammate.  That’s what you’re hoping for.  It’s what you want to have.  You want to have really good players that are really great teammates and then you’ve got a chance to win.”

(On if there was miscommunication on Larry Fitzgerald’s catch at the end of the game last week)- “There was no miscommunication.  Unfortunately they just ended up misplaying it on the field.”

(On what he saw from John Skelton)- “He’s very big and hard to knock down in the pocket.  He’s hard to sack, he can keep plays alive longer than you want him to stay alive, he has a very good arm, strong arm.  He doesn’t seem to rattle, we saw that coming in.  I thought he had control of himself in the pocket.  Just getting him down on the ground is not an easy thing to do.  I would say those were the key things.  Again, it’s another talented football team around him which helps him.”

(On if there is a common denominator to young quarterbacks in that they will be limited to some extent)- “I don’t think you can assume too much.  If they are young in the league, they are young in experience in the league.  So they haven’t seen a lot of things a lot of times, but they’re all different.  Some of them read defenses very well.  Some of them don’t read defenses at all.  It depends on your scheme, does it make a lot of difference or doesn’t it?  They’re different from one to the other.  You’ve just got to look at them and hope you can get them.  They are about as good as the people that are around them, generally.”

(On if any of the young quarterbacks he’s faced this year surprised him)- “Probably not, once you’re playing against them you know who they are.  When you’re coming in you’ve got background on them from college.  You generally see them. You got tape on them so you can see them perform.  They have a feel, you get a feel for them.”

(On if they teach Jabaal Sheard about strip-sacks because he ranks so high in the league)- “I know Pee-Wee (Dwaine Board) does a great job of working with them. Pee-Wee’s got a lot of experience s that helps him.  The guy’s got a knack.  Probably at every position I’m sure, there are things you can help them with and things that they’re born with.  He’s born with some of those things.  Pee-Wee helps him with technique things and emphasizes things that works with them.  Jabaal’s done a really good job doing that.”

(On what he saw from Dimitri Patterson and Buster Skrine on the outside when they replaced Sheldon Brown)- “We’ve got two younger guys.  Dimitri’s obviously older than Buster, but Dimitri hasn’t had a lot of time out there.  We really like them both and would like to see them both play a little more outside so we kind of moved him in a couple of times.  We gave Sheldon rest in a couple of series and we’ll probably continue to do it.  We like those guys and have an opportunity to look at them in the next couple of games kind of the same way.”

(On if Sheldon Brown has another year or two left in him)- “I haven’t thought about that.  We’ve got two more games left to play.  I know he’s played well.  He’s very smart obviously.  He’s a savvy corner.  He’s very skilled and doesn’t waste a lot of movement, tremendous ball skills, ability to get his hand on the ball. He avoids the contact with the receiver, gets through and gets his hand on the ball.  He’s as good as I’ve seen that in that area and a smart guy, proud player.”

(On Chris Gocong going from the weak side to the strong side)- “He’s done a nice job.  It’s always kind of a disservice, there’s nothing we can do about it, but it’s a disservice to the player to have to move them, which you’ve got to do it.  You have no options really.  Because he’s a smart guy and can do it, you do it to him, but it’s not easy.  There are a lot of differences on that other side.  He’s grown into it too.  He played it fine in at the beginning, but he wasn’t as comfortable as he’s becoming at it.  He’s a really valuable guy to have, tough guy.  It’s a long year for linebackers, playing both ends of it.  They’re running the pass, playing all the special teams.  It’s a long year for a linebacker.  He’s done a terrific job for us.”

(On if he feels playing younger guys can speed up their long term development)- “I definitely do.  The game is so different from what they’ve played before.  No matter what level they’ve played at in college, this game is so different for them.  To get them out on the field and let them experience it, how good these people are that they’re playing against now is invaluable in terms of their development.  To give us a chance to look at them on the field against varsity players, the best in the world gives us a chance to judge them and say, ‘They can do it or they can’t.’  Obviously we’re not always right either, but it does help us and it does help them.”

(On the challenges Joe Flacco presents and how he is like Ben Roethlisberger with his escapability)- “He has a very strong arm.  I don’t think he’s as thick.  He’s definitely as tall as it appears to me.  The arm strength appears to be similar.  It seems they can reach the whole field.  You’ve got to defend everything and you’ve got to expect the ball to arrive.  He’s got speed outside so he can launch it and that speed can get to it.  You’ve got to be leery of that and stress that all the time. Try not to give up the big plays to them and they got that run game so they can utilize the play action pass.  They’ve got tough weapons for us.”

(On if he can say who the best offensive player is that he’s seen this year)- “Maybe someday, but probably not today I won’t.”

(On how important it is to contain Ray Rice in terms preventing them from hurting them over the top)- “It’s critical obviously.  You’ve got to do both and that’s what makes it so hard.  They’re not a one dimensional team.  They are a very talented team all over including their offensive line and tight ends.  We’ve talked about their quarterbacks, wide receivers, running backs and their offensive line.  They are just very good.  They pose problems for you and that’s why they are where they are in the division.  We’ve got to find a way to limit the big play.  If they’re going to move it on us we’ve got to kind of bleed them and try to contain them as best as we can and keep them out of the end zone.  It’s kind of like staying in that gap, it’s easier said than done.  They’re very good.”

(On if Phil Taylor sustained his decent level of play recently at Arizona)- “I believe that he is.  I’m really confident we’re going to have a strong inside game on defense over time.  Rub (Ahtyba Rubin) has just been outstanding from the first practice until today.  The guy has been terrific.”

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