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Transcript from press conference with Browns defensive coordinator Rob Ryan

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 15, 2010

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

Browns Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan press conference 10-15-10

(On how they sacked Ben Roethlisberger eight times last year and if he is still as vulnerable) -- “We’d like to duplicate that if we could.  That’s tough, we’re lucky to tackle the guy eight times, he’s a hard guy to tackle.  I know he hasn’t been playing this year but it’s unfortunate he had to come back our week.  It’s great the young man paid his dues and came back to his team.  I’m sure they’re excited about that and we’re looking forward to getting after a good football team and a great player.”

(On if the Steelers are going to ease Ben Roethlisberger back in) -- “This guy is no rookie.  He’s been playing a long time, he’s been a Pro Bowler for a long time so if they liked something in the passing game, which I’m sure they will, I’m sure they’ll be airing it out.  Their running game is doing a good job.  I think (Mike) Tomlin’s real happy with the way his team’s playing probably and we’re excited about going in there.  One thing I’ve been here in Cleveland now for two games against Pittsburgh and after we beat them I really see how big this game is and we’re not going to let the fans down we’re ready to go in there and get after them.”

(On Pittsburgh will try to run the ball more against them) -- “No, I think they can run the ball against anybody.  I think against Pittsburgh you always have to be prepared to stop the run that’s just who they are, that’s their team, that’s their town, that’s their identity.  The big thing is you can’t go to sleep on a Pro Bowl quarterback. They averaged 400 yards a game last year on offense pretty much and I think he had about 500 yards passing the first time they played us.  We’re ready to go against them we’ve worked hard and we’re looking forward to it.”

(On why Shaun Rogers isn’t as dominate this year) -- “Shaun’s had injuries, nagging injuries and I’m sure it’s one of those things that once he gets healthy, we all know what a dominate player he can be when he’s healthy.  We look forward to when we get that opportunity and hopefully it’s week.  I’m not real sure if it is because he hasn’t been practicing all that much but obviously he is one of the premier players in the league when he’s healthy and right and we’re looking forward to getting that big fellow in the middle.”

(On how difficult it is not having the whole defensive line in practice each week) -- “In practice the thing is you practice who you have.  It’d be a lot tougher in the games if all guys were missing.  I remember when my father coached the defensive line in Minnesota and he had the Purple People Eaters and they never actually practiced until Saturday and that was when they brought their kids to practice, but they’d raise (heck) on Sunday.  It’s unfortunate we have injuries if these guys were just veterans that would be one thing but it is the injuries so you aren’t getting the guy full strength when he does come back.  We make do with what we have and last year taught me a lot.  It taught me that the next guy stands up and goes in, if you pick them off of the streets or where ever it is you got to field 11 out there.  The nice thing about us is we have guys that really want to play that are tough guys and whoever is out there we’re going to put them in there and they’re going to have to be tough this week.”

(On their red zone defense) -- “If you just trace the history of it my group has always done great in the red zone.  The way I like to look that is, I take that as a challenge as a coach because it’s at the end of the week and if you look at me I’m not going to win any beauty contests but I know one thing I can work.  I see that as preparation number one, so when people are sleeping on whatever night that is Thursday night or Friday night, I’m working.  The one thing that I’m going to do is work and we’re going to prepare and that’s the day of preparation in my mind first starts with preparation.  Then obviously it’s execution and the players and the players’ belief in what you do.  We have excellent football players here on defense, we have smart guys and if we change a lot in the red zone they have to do a great job and change and that’s what we do.  A lot of times there’s some games that we play different things and others that we play a completely different ways.  I think that comes out to a lot of things and to me as a coach I think it’s preparation number one because I’ve been around a long time and I’ve seen guys leave the office but I’m not one of them.”

(On if he would coach his defense any differently against a rookie quarterback) -- “I think you would coach differently, I think you’d coach to go get that guy especially if that young man is making a start like ours is.  I really like Colt McCoy. I’ve seen him light our defense up now for three weeks so it’s good to have him actually play against somebody else.  A young man is exciting to me but I’d be lying if you don’t go after a young quarterback, of course you do.”

(On if he will coach the Browns defense any differently with having McCoy at quarterback) -- “No, I’m not going to coach our defense any different.  As a coordinator on defense, you have just prepare for the opponent as best you can and that’s what we’ll do.  They have so much talent over there on offense and they’re really well coached and they’ve got a lot of great veteran players that we have to worry about our business. In the NFL, you always plan on, if you’re a defensive coordinator, it being a low scoring game.  Then you get in some and it’s like woo it was a high scoring game.  You can never really tell what’s going to happen, you just want your players to play the best that they can and keep you in every game.”

(On what he likes about McCoy) -- “I think the guy’s a leader.  I think he’s mature. The way you look at him, he doesn’t look like much but I think he’s a mature kid.  I think he’s a competitive guy and I’m excited to watch him get out there and play.  You’ve got to play sometime.  Now there would be easier starts than playing the number one defense and Dick LeBeau but this kid will probably do great.”

(On Rashard Mendenhall) -- “First of all the guy was a rookie, his first game was against Ray Lewis and Baltimore and he got his shoulder broke from a hit, that’s a hard hit.  That can slow down anyone’s progress.  This year you see the guy they drafted.  The dynamic speed, the ability to cut and bounce balls out that don’t look like much and then to be able to hit them outside and then also the great cut back ability.  He’s a tremendous football player like he was in college.  He can catch the football and obviously he can really run it.  He’s got good toughness.  I like the way he’s playing and usually those young guys they do develop the second year.  Again, he had a hard start there when you break your shoulder as a runner I’m sure that’s kind of a difficult deal.”

(On the big run that against Atlanta) -- “That 55-yarder, that hurt because we had been playing solid football there and then he hits that big run.  The one thing you saw was an unbelievable effort on Abe Elam to go bring him down.  He got run over, got up and then tracked him down and they missed a field goal.  Yes, that’s disappointing any time you let a big play like that go out in the middle of your defense is not what we’re looking for.  It’s a simple mistake but good players make them look bad, make a simple mistake go a long ways.  He’s a fine player and at the end of the game we weren’t real happy with how we closed it out.  We were trying to tackle the ball and it led to just really poor tackling and with a big back like that he can roll through you pretty good and he did.  He’s just a good player.”

(On if their defense has gotten better facing such good quarterbacks week after week) -- “Yes, I think so.  I think anytime you play a similar style offense I always use a line, just peel the decal off and we’re playing the same team.  There are a lot of similarities between Atlanta and Pittsburgh. (Mike) Mularkey was with this system for a long time.  There are definitely a lot of similarities with the plays, with the formations, how they form them and then ironically the quarterback.  I think Roethlisberger is a fierce competitor and sometimes that gets him in trouble where he’ll stay in that pocket and he’ll stand up there big and tall and dare somebody to come in there and hit him, but then he’ll pump the ball 64 times and then finally throw it.  I see Roethlisberger I don’t think he can play catch because he pumps it every time, okay here go for a pass.  The guy’s phenomenal, the guys a winner and he came in the league winning and he keeps winning.  I know we’re going to get their best shot but I know but I really believe they are going to get our best shot too.”


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