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Transcript from news conference with Browns offensive coordinator Brad Childress

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 6, 2012

Brad ChildressBrowns offensive coordinator Brad Childress met with reporters today. Here is a transcript from the news conference:

(On if he thinks Brandon Weeden is ready for Sunday) – “Yes. By all measures, this would be the next step for him. The speed of these regular season games, I think he has come along just about like you’d expect a rookie quarterback to. I don’t think it has been too big for him. I think he has gone about it very methodically. You appreciate that, coach and quarterbacks, he’s a flat line guy. You don’t like to see those big spikes and ups and downs. You like to see somebody handle that.”

(On if they will have to monitor Trent Richardson on Sunday) – “I’d still like to fall back and watch him practice another couple days and then I think we’ll probably make those decisions. Yesterday was really the first heavy workload that he has had. You always want to see how they respond and then come back to practice today and then respond, particularly when you’re talking about his situation.”

(On how gifted is Richardson) – “He’s gifted. I don’t think you get an appreciation for him until you really see him in full pads. You watch the OTA’s and that type of thing, but I don’t think you can get the full measure of him until you see him shrug a couple people off and be physical and that type of thing. Those are all things that for you guys remain to be seen.”

(On if there is a way to speed up Richardson’s comeback after missing the entire preseason) – “I don’t think there’s any way to speed up the conditioning. Certainly some of his rehab has been conditioning oriented. We always talk about as coaches, being in football shape and carrying your pads. At a point in time, he was pretty good there, but that kind of wanes after a while of inactivity.”

(On if he’s curious to see what Richardson can do having not played in the preseason) – “I know there’s curiosity from you folks, but I’d be lying to you if I didn’t have some anxiousness and want us all play and compete as well.”

(On if Richardson will struggle towards the end because he hasn’t played in pads) – “I hate hypotheticals. You’re leading the witness. You want to rephrase that? Doesn’t the judge usually say you to re-ask that?”

(On Josh Gordon’s progress) – “His evolution has been complete. I’m told that he didn’t decide to apply for the hardship draft until two days before he decided to do that. All of a sudden, two days before he decides to do that and then he’s drafted, bang, and then there’s the, ‘Oh okay, I’m not in college anymore.’ You come (to Cleveland). He nursed a little bit of a strain in his quad early on. He had to get up to football shape. I think he thought he was preparing to go back to the University of Utah at a point in time in the summer, (and) then all of a sudden you’re going to be at an NFL camp at the end of July. Just the conditioning, getting in shape, learning our system, learning you can’t play fast if you don’t understand. (I’m) watching him become more fluid, and play faster because he’s starting to get it. I think it’s a really whole evolution that he has gone through.”

(On what trait he likes most about Weeden) – “I don’t think he ever lets you see him sweat. He doesn’t ride the roller coaster and I just think that’s huge for a quarterback. It’s never as bad or it’s never as good as you think it is. I think he’s wired the right way that you want a quarterback to be, in my opinion.”

(On the offensive line) – “It’s a body of work. At times they’ve looked imposing and other times just about every position, not so much. Those guys have been able to play together as five from an early point on in training camp, and so I think they’re all growing through this thing together. From the rookie right tackle (Mitchell Schwartz) on down the line to Joe Thomas.”

(On if the Eagles’ defensive front hard to deal with as an offense) – “Yes, those guys are in sprinter stances outside and you’ve got a guy, that by nature, I don’t think it’s any secret that those defensive ends are probably better athletes than the tackles they’re blocking against. You’re technique has to be excellent as an offensive tackle to slide out, unless you’re (former Browns offensive lineman) Doug Dieken, and you are able to slide out and block those wide-nine techniques on a consistent basis.”

(On how they plan to block the wide-nine techniques) – “There’re various ways. You can vary your sets, whether you’re vertical setting, whether you’re sliding out to them, whether you’re quick setting them, you’re making them certainly play versus the run. You’re trying to mix up things. I think their defense is probably the best when they play with a lead and they’re able to pin their ears back and rush the passer.”

(On if he’s fortuitous to get to see this team two weeks ago and the pressure they put on) – “I don’t know if I’d go as far as fortuitous, but certainly it’s good to be able to see the speed of the game with which they play. Not that the Lions were any slouch in terms of running around on AstroTurf and getting off on the football, and that type of thing. I think it’s good because it gives our players a mind’s eye picture, if you will, even though a couple of those guys didn’t play that night on that side of the ball. It gives them kind of a mind’s eye picture of what that defense is going to be all about.”

(On what he feels Jordan Cameron is ready to contribute this year) – “I just think he’s an excellent athlete that doesn’t have much football experience. He was a basketball player that came into football late, which in some ways is refreshing. In some ways can be frustrating. I just think he’s probably growing leaps and bounds too, from being a professional football player last year to being a guy that more is expected (of). He has been given great gifts. Much is given, much is expected.”

(On how smooth has the play calling gone during the preseason) – “As fluid as it can be. I don’t think there has been many delay of games. I’d say the thoughts are flowing freely from his end and mine.”

(On how he feels about his offensive line going into this game regarding their injury situation) – “Those guys are trying to get a jump. I mean the Tour-de-France just finished and those guys are trying to get a jump on next year (jokingly). It takes a long time to be able to go through the Alps. It’s no secret that some guys are nicked, but I wouldn’t say that, that’s probably foreign to 30 teams out of the NFL. You’re never where you want to be from a depth chart standpoint and you hate to think about what the disaster plan may be.”

(On if he likes coaching kids) – “Yes. They are receptive and there is a certain refreshing nature to it. They all think they’re invincible, just like your kids and teenagers and guys in their twenties. That’s a good thing and they’re hungry and they will do whatever you ask them to do. From that standpoint, it’s gratifying.”

(On what the wide-nine formation reminds him of) – “There have just been a few people that have jumped off and elected to play that way. Kind of like the 3-4 comes in and out of vogue and just as soon as you think it’s in vogue then maybe New England goes back and starts playing an even front. I think you have to recruit to it or sign to it or draft to it and they have a specific guy in mind. I’m just trying to think what it reminds you of. Indianapolis is doing it, Detroit has done it and these guys (Philadelphia) are doing it. Everybody has a little bit of it in their package. I think you have to coach it all the time so that you understand it, the holes in it and most especially against the run. It’s great rushing the passer, but you’ve got to be able to play all those 60 snaps in between when you’re not rushing the passer.”

(On what mental traits Weeden has) – “Plenty smart. He’s probably his own worst critic. I think what remains to be seen is availability and durability. You’ve got to be able to stand there and weather it without withering through 16 games so those are the kind of things we want to see and watch him go through it. He’s a tough-lipped kid, he stands there in the face of the rush and will step into throws and I think that’s an important thing as well.”

(On if he has noticed Weeden’s transition to the NFL being helped by his minor league experience) – “I’m not a giant baseball guy or baseball fan or anything like that. I’ve got to imagine and you guys have to imagine too that just like wrestling, where you’re the only one on the mat or like being a track athlete or when you’re a pitcher and they knock the ball over the fence on you. It’s not the shortstops deal, it’s the pitchers deal. It’s not the left fielder it’s the pitcher. To have been down that track and then the toughest thing is to get that next ball from the umpire and stand in there and heave it again. Last time I checked, they don’t always yank you when you get one knocked over the fence. From my standpoint, he has that kind of toughness, he’s kind of steeled himself to be able to withstand some of those tough times that you knew inevitability you’re going to have.”

(On if the gunslinger mentality is something that either you have or you don’t) – “I think so. I can remember people watching Eli Manning early on and it was does he or doesn’t he, does he or doesn’t he, you know? Geez, I’m not sure. You guys can go back that far and think about it and now we look at him in a whole different vein than probably what he just started. You either got it and you can deal with the adversities that lie in front of you or it crushes you.”


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