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Transcript from press conference with Browns defensive coordinator Rob Ryan

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 3, 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 12-3-10

(On the need to improve their tackling and it being a point of emphasis this week) -- “It’s been a point of emphasis even last week. It’s just we didn’t have a real good week of practice last week.  It’s the first time in a long time, really (dang) near all season where you just know as a coordinator you know you’re not having a good week of practice.  It’s hard to put your finger on it, we had a multiple plan and without Scott (Fujita) in there guys like that, and (Eric) Barton not practicing until later in the week, it did slow our progress up.  It’s the first time in 24 games or 23 games that we gave up a touchdown in the opening drive.  For real that was not what we were looking for obviously and it looked like we had to wake up.  We did that, we got on the sideline, we got regrouped, I think came out with a few three and outs, got back on track.  Then our tackling still wasn’t up to par. Really in the running game we didn’t attack the runs downhill like we need to.  You play a great running team like Carolina is I know their numbers may not speak that way but this is the same team that was in the top five last year I believe in running, had two thousand yard rushers so they do a great job, (Jeff) Davidson does.  Jacksonville was fourth or whatever and the Jets were second so we’ve faced several good run teams.  Again, we know how to play the run. We’re 14th in the league in rush defense so we’re going to get that fixed.  We’ve had a hard week of practice, these guys will run it down your throat if you’re not ready. They’ll get in that Wildcat and pound you with it.  I think they had about 500 yards against Oakland so that will get your attention.  Our guys have had a great week of practice, we’re responding.  I know a lot of people were saying that it sounded like Mark Twain got a new book out now finally waited a hundred years to get it out.  The death of our defense has been greatly exaggerated, we’re going to get back after it.  We’ve got a lot of pride and that game wasn’t what we were looking for.  If you look at two games in the year this year that I don’t think we played at our best, I believe it was Baltimore and this last game.  That said we still had some positive things like Joe Haden’s doing a great job. He’s getting better every day, you can just see him growing in front of you and he’s really becoming a (heck) of a player.  We picked up another kid we’re excited about Sabby Piscitelli. He’s up stairs right now with Rome (Jerome Henderson) learning his assignments and you know us, we’ll get them and we’ll play them.  We’re happy to have him and I’m sure he’ll have a role on Sunday somewhere.”

(On Sabby Piscitelli) -- “He did only get here on Wednesday so he’s got some catching up to do but I know he’s a fine player, he’s a good athlete, he seems very intelligent so we’re excited about him.  Bubba’s (Ray Ventrone) given us everything he’s got and then some like Bubba always does.  These guys that step up in here now they’re doing a good job.  We’ve had a lot of injuries especially in that secondary and guys just jump in there and play and play hard and they’re doing a good job.”

(On if Eric Wright will be back for Sunday) -- “We’re hoping to.  I think he’ll hopefully be able to do some things for us.”

(On how they handle guys like Eric Wright who has always been a starter, potentially not starting) -- “That starting thing, it’s a tougher thing obviously on the players than it is the coaches because we do play everybody.  There are so many multiple offenses now that really everybody ends up playing.  You want to hear your name called out and all that and that’s just part of it.  I think Joe Haden’s done a super job and I think he could probably start for every team in the league including ours, so whatever happens there we’d be happy to get Eric back obviously and have all three of those guys back at full strength.”

(On how much enters his mind each week about building for the long term) -- “I think with all the players that we’ve had to play with all the injuries and things, I think you do have a good building block for the future that you could evaluate your players.  You do that after the season.  Right now, we’re just trying to win one game at a time because we’re always going to fight if there is a mathematical chance that’s what happens.  I can remember my brother last year, ‘We’re out of the playoffs,’ he’s all bummed out (heck) he made it and went to the championship game.  We’re looking forward to playing.  The craziest thing last week, all kinds of (heck) had to happen for that thing to go the way it did and that (Jimmy) Clausen kid made a (heck) of a throw.  That was unbelievable.  You stay in it long enough that’s what happens, but we’re not going to apologize for winning any games here on defense I can promise you.”

(On what he has learned the last few games that he didn’t know) -- “That’s a tough question.  The Jet game I really liked the way we fought.  We held them to 20 points, stopped them four or five times in overtime, gave our team a chance to win there, that was encouraging.  That game was played about as hard of a game as I’ve seen in a long time.  That was a physical game and I don’t know what the numbers say but it was a (heck) of a game and our guys played their (behinds) off.  It didn’t always go our way, in the second quarter we gave up a couple drives there but then we responded and played (darn) good football so that was encouraging.  Which we had followed up several big games into that deal.  Then we go into Jacksonville on the road, had all of those turnovers, scored on defense so that was very positive.  What wasn’t so positive was the very last drive when you miss tackles.  There’s no excuse for that, you’re in the right place to make a tackle you got to get him down.  I think guys press at those times, the game’s on the line.  It’s amazing because I haven’t seen guys miss tackles all year like that and then we’ll have a rash of them and we got to stop it and that’s what we’re doing.”

(On his reaction when the clock didn’t start at the end of the Carolina game) -- “That was amazing to me.  The game’s over in my opinion and then it wasn’t and then they’re telling us it’s going to be.  It’s like wait a second don’t let them kick the (darn) thing, the game’s over.  Thank god he missed it.  We’ve been on that end also now when the ball didn’t go our way.  We’ve had several games like that.  We can list about five or six of them that defensively we thought we were going to win the game.”

(On if he would have called the defense any differently on the last offensive play) -- “I know everybody else would but the thing is, the game’s in slow motion for me.  I like to say I’ve got a PhD in football because that’s what I know.  I know my mother’s got one in English and my older brother’s something but I know the game and what happened was last year if you go back we had a similar situation where we played for the sideline and Jacksonville with 10 seconds left not 12 at almost the identical spot.  They went in, they declared themselves down and they flipped the ball and they were getting ready to spike it and (David) Bowens ran into the official and knocked the ball down or they’re going to get that thing off and that’s only 10 seconds this was 12 seconds.  The other incident happened in our practice with our offense.  They had it with 15 seconds, we tried it, they spiked it and still had five seconds left.  That’s something that I felt good about, we had double coverage with outside leverage.  All of a sudden we didn’t have outside leverage and the guy made a (heck) of a throw.  I mean he did.  That’s the way it is but I’m always thinking of the best call to have and talk to Eric (Mangini) and Eric’s wanting to play the sideline again then (heck) if we get in that situation we’ll play it.  It’s just something that I thought about, that I remembered.  There’s nothing worse than not contesting anything and watch somebody go down and declare themselves down and kick the (darn) field goal.  That’s just what I was thinking.”

(On if having the ball completed over the middle in that situation would have allowed time to run out) -- “Then they declare themselves down and that’s a thing that smart teams do.  They declare themselves down then they spot the ball and you’re at the mercy of that official really.  I know that’s the book way to do it and I’m sure next time, that’s how the Browns are going to play it.”

(On what Joe Haden can do that another corner might not be able to do) -- “I think the guy is such a good tackler and he’s very physical.  The thing I’m most impressed about is the way he competes.  He doesn’t just compete on Sundays, he competes all through the week in practice.  He makes plays on the ball, he’s got great leaping ability, great hands and he really is everything you want in a corner.  He really is.  He’s going to be great for a long time.”

(On if Nnamdi Asomuhga was as far advanced as Haden) -- “I missed Nnamdi’s rookie year, but no he wasn’t.  He had to make himself that great.  Joe is much further along, absolutely.”

(On defending against Ronnie Brown, Ricky Williams and Brandon Marshall) -- “And (Davone) Bess, they are very talented.  Ricky Williams, I played him in college twice.  I think we were the only team to keep him under 100 yards both times when I was at Oklahoma State.  It took everybody on our team to get down there and try to tackle him.  He’s a super back, always has been, and runs with great power.  Ronnie Brown is tremendous, I’ve seen him run over a lot of people.  With him getting back, it looks like he is healthy again.  We really have our work cut out for us.  These guys run the ball hard, they’re well coached, they’re real physical with their offensive line and we have to do a great job against them.”

(On if there is a set number of carries for both Williams and Brown) -- “I’ve heard that they end up going with the hot hand, but it’s a nice problem to have.  They have a two-headed monster back there, they can just keep feeding him and sometimes they’re both in there together.  It’s like the old USC days when they used to put a tailback back there and you never knew who he was, but he was great.  That’s just how it is.  Matt Roth going back down there, he’s excited and I think the whole team is excited on defense.  I can only speak for defense that’s what I’m with.  We’re excited, we can’t wait to get back to play.  We just didn’t feel real good about our effort last week.”

(On how he prepares for potentially not having Shaun Rogers in the lineup Sunday) -- “We have to go with what we have.  At this time of year, everybody is banged up, but we have to go with what we’ve got.  You hope he’s up, but with the way this season has been, he’s never been full speed.  We get out of him what we can and hope he doesn’t get any more setbacks.  We’re hoping he plays and if he does, that will be great.  If he doesn’t, then the next man has to step up.”

(On what kind of player Chad Henne is) -- “He’s got a big, strong arm.  He looks like a real competitive guy.  He can get streaky, which is always scary when you go against these guys.  They get hot and he just keeps coming.  I watched the Jet game the other night and he must have thrown for about 400 yards it seemed.  He’s very talented, he’s a big guy and he’s coming back.  He looks like he’s doing a good job.  With their receivers, that (Brian) Hartline kid is a hell of a player as well.  I guess he’s drawn all these penalties because they probably look out there and maybe they don’t think he’s all this, but this kid is a (heck) of a player.  He’s quick, he beat Nnamdi last week about three times.  There’s no easy draw out there and this team looks like they are getting better as they go.  We are going to have to have a (heck) of a game to get after (them).”

(On what kind of penalties Hartline draws) -- “I guess they’re like pass interference and holding because the kid is relentless.  All he does is compete.  You see him out there and he fights for the football, he goes deep up there fighting the guy to get it and I admire the way the guy plays.  He really does look like he plays well.”

(On how confident he is that the defensive intensity will be higher this week) -- “I’m very confident.  Last week, if you had asked me before the game, I didn’t feel like we had a hell of a practice.  I’ve been in it long enough to know when you don’t practice well and there are communication problems, usually that doesn’t bode well for you on Sunday.  But our guys have worked hard and we are looking forward to this challenge.  Right now, we have got the 13th scoring defense in football.  I think we are fourth in interceptions and fifth in turnovers, in the top ten in the red zone, so our guys have put up some pretty good numbers.  We’ve played some pretty good offenses and this will be another one down in Miami.  We are going to prove our mettle, that’s just what we are going to do.”

(On Roth playing against his old team) -- “I know he’ll be great, he’ll be ready to go.  He is ready to go.”

(On Abram Elam playing well the past few weeks) -- “He really has and the last time we went into Florida was in Jacksonville he probably had the game of his life.  Had those interceptions, he had a big hit and a forced fumble and a touchdown. Abe’s doing a great job.  He really has settled things down for us back there with T.J. Ward, I know I’m not supposed to read something that the kid hasn’t done much lately, (shoot) that kid’s playing his (butt) off and the reporter wrote it after he had two interceptions in one game, so I was like, ‘Hmm, he must have missed that game,’ but that guy is a (heck) of a player, he’s special.  These young guys (Brian) Schaefering, (Derreck) Robinson, these guys are getting in, they’re trying hard, they’re physical and it’s good for them.  It’s good for them, we’ve lost several good linemen along the way but these guys just keep fighting and eventually they’re going to end up having great careers as well.”

(On the upcoming Monday night game) -- “I don’t know what’s going to happen.  I know blood’s thicker than water so I’m definitely rooting for Rex (Ryan), but I don’t know, I just hope he wins.  All we’re doing is working on Miami.  We don’t feel we have anything to prove but we just want to prove that we’re a better defense than that.  It’s not like we got dragged out to the woodshed, they got 16 points on us but we want to play physical and I don’t think we played that physical last week.”

(On if the Patriots had an off day when they played the Browns) -- “Our guys put in a lot of work, we were prepared.  I thought we got after their (behind) pretty good.”


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