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Transcript from press conference with Browns defensive coordinator Rob Ryan

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 10, 2010

Browns defensive coordinator Rob Ryan met with reporters Friday afternoon. Here is a transcript from the press conference:

Browns Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan press conference 9-10-10

(On how they are going to stop Kellen Winslow) -- “He’s obviously the big weapon in Tampa’s offense.  We have a nice plan here set up with multiple ways to attack him.  He really is a special guy and we are looking forward to that matchup.”

(On T.J. Ward potentially guarding Winslow in his first NFL game) -- “That’s about as tough as it gets.  That guy really is a special player, he’s a competitor.  He’s a more effective blocker than people think he is.  I know he calls himself a ‘soldier’ and when you watch him on tape, he really is.  He’s a fun guy to watch and it’s just unfortunate that we have got him this week in our matchup.”

(On facing fast players like Jahvid Best in Detroit) -- “Thanks for bringing that one up (joking).  He started out kind of fast on us didn’t he?  The big thing is, there’s a fine line in pro football.  You have to play to your strengths, you have to call defenses to your strengths.  I think we are smart and tough and that’s what we are going to build our defense around.  A lot of times, tough wins out in pro football.  You have to flex your muscle, you have to hit these guys that can run 4.2 and turn them into 4.8.  That’s what we have got to do.”

(On how he sees the linebacker rotation changing from week to week) -- “I think it goes to Matt Eberflus, who’s, I think, the top linebacker coach in football.  He’s doing a great juggling act with all these guys.  A lot of them have unique abilities, but one thing that looks pretty consistent with all of them is their versatility.  We can move them around in a lot of different places and we are looking forward to doing that, causing problems with people’s protection schemes and so on.  The thing also about them is they are very intelligent, everyone on the roster is very intelligent.  Not only are they experienced, but they’re smart and tough and that’s what we really believe in.”

(On Scott Fujita being flexible enough to play inside and outside) -- “Absolutely, he’s very flexible.  He was voted captain by his teammates, which is a great honor, especially coming into a new place.  Although he came in with a Super Bowl ring, automatically that gets respect.  He’s done nothing but be a positive influence on everybody.  His work ethic, his leadership and those things just jump off of the charts.  I’ve admired him for a long time. I wanted to draft him in New England.  Obviously, I have a lot of say in the draft, as he went somewhere else (joking).  He was a guy I really wanted. I really was excited about him.  I was like, ‘Man, please let me have this guy,’ and it never worked out.  It’s fun to get a guy that comes around like that.  Eric Barton was that way also.  When I went to Oakland, he was a guy that I saw on the tape that, ‘Man, I really want to coach this guy.’  He’s tough and does all of those things and fearless.  You have them both right here.”

(On Joe Haden being a starter and difference maker down the road) -- “Steve (Doerschuk), there’s no question.  This guy gets better every day in practice.  The ball is starting to find him. He gets two or three interceptions every day.  He’s a unique guy because he can tackle so well.  He’s outstanding and another smart, tough guy that we added on our defense.  Really, he is going to be a special guy, there’s no question.  The thing I like about him is his work ethic.  He’s a humble guy that comes to work every day to get better and man, has he improved.  He has just jumped out and made great strides and I really do look for him to be a special guy.”

(On if Haden potentially playing right away changes the big picture of his defense) -- “It doesn’t.  In today’s game, and you guys know this, there’s so many multiple receiver sets and things like that.  We are fortunate enough to have Eric Wright and Sheldon Brown, two very experienced, very talented corners, that allow us to give this guy a little bit of time.  He’s going to play right away and look for him to do some great things in this ball game.”

(On making up for the sacks that left with Kamerion Wimbley and Corey Williams) -- “Kamerion Wimbley is a great guy and played well for us, but I think he only had six and a half sacks or whatever.  We have guys on the roster that can beat tackles one-on-one.  We also have a scheme that’s set up to take advantage of everybody on the team, not just one particular guy, to get to the quarterback.  You guys know we will do that and I think we showed a little bit of that last year.  We’ll light this quarterback up, just like all of them every week.”

(On if the game plan will be different without D’Qwell Jackson) -- “Our plan always changes every week.  He’s a talent, no question.  D’Qwell Jackson is an excellent football player.  Whenever you have an excellent player in, it’s like having Baby (Shaun Rogers).  Sure you can change your scheme with guys with that kind of talent but our base philosophy will never change. We are a 3-4 defense. We believe in that as a staff here in Cleveland.  Every defense has a role for great players and when a great player comes back you put him back in there as many plays as he can play.  This week it’s like have a pitcher on a pitch count whatever they can do then you get into the fourth quarter and it’s like and then some.  Hopefully we don’t have any rotator cuffs like the kid (Stephen) Strasburg.  We are going to play our best, we’ve done a great job of preparing.  This Ben Bloom guy we have moved over on defense, he’s got plays that they have only thought about running that haven’t even showed up on tape.  He has been a big plus for us over there on defense.  We are taking advantage of everybody we got.  I bragged about Matt Eberflus, we got Bryan Cox doing an awesome job with our defensive line, Jerome Henderson with the secondary so we still have the best defensive staff in football but I’m not going to pretend it’s not because it is.  That includes me.”

(On who Matt Roth is and how he fits into the team) -- “He’s a bully, he is.  Whatever tight end they put on their Matt will be able to beat him up and that’s just a fact.  They can say whatever they want put 88 in there we’ll find out.  I’m looking forward to Matt being here for a full season, it’s going to be great.  He might not have been born in Cleveland but I know Cleveland fans will love this guy.  He’s tough, he’s legit and he’s who we like to be smart and tough.”

(On what Matt Roth does for the defense) -- “It’s great, you’ve seen his addition. Everyone wants to talk about at the end of the year our run defense improved, well yes it did and the reason is you had a Matt Roth come in there and play outside backer and he really did a great job.  David Bowens playing inside, those guys did great job for us. Our run defense is going to be much more improved and it’s the guys like Matt Roth that make it easy to play run defense.”

(On if part of the pass rush was being held off during the preseason) -- “I don’t know, that first game we had a lot of max pressures up.  We were just trying to get the ball out of the quarterback’s hands and we did but he was pretty hot.  That was the thing when Eric’s (Mangini) on the sideline saying, ‘Rob are we every going to stop them?’ I’m like ‘Eric the (heck) with stopping them. I’m just trying to get an incomplete pass.’ He was on a roll but we’ll get after the passer, we know what we’re doing and our players know what they are doing and that’s more important. We’re looking forward to rushing the passing.”

(On his thoughts of Josh Freeman and if he is like Ben Roethlisberger) -- “He’s a big guy that makes plays with his feet.  He doesn’t have all the pumping that Roethlisberger does, but he bides time by being so strong in the pocket and then he gets outside of it and makes all those plays like Ben does. He’s very similar in that regard he’s a big guy that you really have to wrap up to tackle, you can’t hit him, you’ve got to wrap this guy up.  We’ve got to wrap this guy up or he’s going to run around and he’ll kill you because he’s got the big arm. He can throw the thing 100-yards. We need to do a great job on him Mary Kay (Cabot), there’s no question.”

(On how Eric Wright has improved this year) -- “That’s hard to say, he was outstanding last year for us so we’re going to see.  We have expanded his role where he is going to be on the slot now which is a big difference.  That’s a whole new world out there for a corner from being outside primarily every time to now being in their in the slot.  He can blitz more, he gets the quicker receivers on third downs so his role is being expanded but his talent level is as good as there is in football.”

(On if the only way to get Ahtyba Rubin and Shaun Rogers on the field at the same time is to move Rogers to defensive end) -- “Really it’s not true. You can say it is on paper maybe, but there are a lot of defenses that have two tackles in them, not just one tackle and two ends.  There are a lot of different defenses that you can run.  The nice thing about having Shaun Rogers is his position flexibility and it also lets our defense be even more flexible.”

(On if he watched ‘Hard Knocks’ and if he helps Rex Ryan with his speeches) -- “I watch it, I thought it was good.  He could use some help there (on the speeches) but he’s working on it (joking).  The thing is you don’t see that every day I guess but we’re so used to it here it just looks like normal deal.  It’s fun to see him and my buddy (Jeff) Weeks. He’s his linebackers coach, best friend from college so he’s good to see. He’s the guy who wore the tanning stuff, he’s always been that way something wrong with him, but he’s a good guy.”

(On where the Browns are being ranked nationally and if he goes against that kind of thing) -- “It’s what I believe in.  I think we’re going to win the Super Bowl so what the (heck). I don’t care what people think out there.  Is our defense much improved? Absolutely.  Is our quarterback legit? (Darn) right he is. Do we have guys in here working Eric Mangini’s plan for the team? (Darn) right we do. They can say whatever they want to say but you guys that cover the team are no different.”

(On what it means that the Browns’ defense ranked 31st last year) -- “We were better than somebody (joking).  We’re going to be a (heck) of a lot better than a lot of people.  I know everybody talks about preseason and the quarterback did this and that. We were fifth in preseason in total defense. (Heck) we want to be number one.  Now we’ve got much better talent I think, I think we’re healthy.  We’re not going to make excuses, we are going to line up, kick some (butt) and have a great defense.  That’s why I am here and that’s why a lot of these players are here.  We have added a lot of good players.”

(On if his defensive players had questions for trying to defend the Browns quarterbacks) -- “I’m going to say no, they never talked to me.  In fairness and truthful, we are just trying to get out defense right going against our offense. We’re not trying to attack a Seneca Wallace, a Jake (Delhomme).  We’re worried about ourselves, but when you watch the games you’re over their coaching you sneak a peek and you watch, man the guy’s on point, boom, boom, boom, boom, moving the team.  You can feel the leadership and the whole thing.  In practice you’re always trying to get your defenses right as opposed to attacking a Joe Thomas, a (Eric) Steinbach, he’s a great puller.  We’re not really worried about our team that way, we’re about getting our communication right on defense.”

(On if Shaun Rogers is going to be playing a certain amount of reps on Sunday) -- “I don’t know what that pitch count is right now, but I’m sure we are watching him closely.  He’s an excellent football player that obviously going out there for the first time with no preseason games we have to be careful with him and make sure that his conditioning is where it should be.  We’re looking forward to him playing and making a big difference.”


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