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Transcript from press conference with Browns defensive coordinator Rob Ryan

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 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 12-10-10

(On if it is fun to coach in bad weather games) -- “Yes, I like coaching all the time but I love the bad weather.  I’m a bad weather guy, built for it.  Really, it’s fun.  Someone just told me we’re in December.  The great thing is in the NFL, December it’s always the toughest guys win and the best coaches win so (shoot) we’re going to be great.  Our defense is as tough as there is, our players are tough and we got the best coaches so we’re looking forward to this month.”

(On his he has a plan for what he wants to get done with his defense in the last quarter of the season) -- “The good thing about it and I found this out a little bit last year,  being here in Cleveland the last month, it’s great to be the defensive coordinator because the weather’s just beautiful.  Wind, snow, we’ve got it all out here so we’re looking to make jumps statistically, absolutely.  I feel there are no fluke things that happen in this month, it’s all about the toughest guys, they win this month and the best coaches.  Last year I think it’s well documented how we did.  I think (Eric) Mangini, although he’s lighter, I think he’s just as tough and just as smart as he was before so I feel great about our chances.  I know one thing you can’t work harder than our defensive staff is working.  Ben Bloom there’s a rumor he’s been in hibernation, the guy’s upstairs all the time, never goes home.  The guy’s a phenomenal worker, what a huge upgrade this guy is for us on defense he does a lot of great things.  We’re still working, we’re just we’re just beginning this fight.  We’ve got a lot of things on this opponent coming up.  Last week, honestly I thought we’d shut that team out and the reason is because our preparation was a lot better than obviously theirs was.  I was surprised, I think they have a great offensive coordinator, but I never saw any wrinkles there, never saw anything new so our team beat the (heck) out of them and we should have.  We gave up a touchdown in double coverage which is unfortunate but this is the time now that the toughest guys stand up front and be counted and that’s what our defense staff does and that’s what our head coach does and that’s what our players are going to do.  Starting this Sunday we’re looking forward to every game we play on this schedule and we can’t wait to get after them.”

(On how the weather will be an advantage for the defense because the Bills like to throw the ball) -- “I know throwing the ball doesn’t make a whole lot of sense out there when it’s windy like 50 mile per hour winds and snow and all that, but last time they had a team there when Jim Kelly was quarterback and they used to throw that thing all over the yard so I guess that kind of never made sense. They were just fantastic at it.  I’m not sure what they think over there on offense, what their philosophy is.  I think that quarterback from Harvard is doing a great job. He’ll skip the ball off your helmet with his low delivery.  We ought to take advantage of that, we will.  He’s a real fine competitor, he stands in there.  I’ve never seen anybody take as many hits as this poor guy has, but he’s one (heck) of a competitive guy.  I’ve really got a lot of respect for him.  I love the back Fred Jackson, always have.  He’s been a featured guy this year finally, it’s taken a while he’s always had to share the limelight with somebody.  I know they have C.J. Spiller who’s an outstanding prospect but to me he really is a (heck) of a back.  Runs hard, he’s tough he can block, he catches the ball well.  He’s really a special guy.  I don’t think that’s necessarily the electric company blocking in front of him but (heck) this guy does a lot of great things on his own.”

(On if Buffalo throw to their tight ends) -- “I think it’s a rule they’re not allowed to.  I don’t think so (joking).  It’s weird, they do so much spread they have a lot of four wide receiver sets and empty, they’re in empty a ton.  The tight ends haven’t been a big weapon for them so far, but they got a good one.  That (David) Martin will block and he’s caught a touchdown pass against the Jets on one of those fall down throw back screens that most people don’t see the tape but of course we watch every tape.”

(On how Martin only has five catches) -- “Yes, that’s not a misprint.  It’s how they play, it’s their style of play.  They do the old spread offense, the run and shoot, there’s a lot of names for it. We just want to line up and beat it.”

(On Abram Elam coming up with big plays the last few weeks) -- “Abe’s doing great, he’s doing excellent and it really is fun to watch him play, watch him grow as a player and as a leader.  He’s really doing a fine job.  His teammates respect him and of course everybody respects him that’s around him.  Being through the life that he’s had, they ought to write a movie on him because he really is an inspiration to a lot of people.  It’s great to see a guy that’s such good people play so well.”

(On how Elam didn’t seem to live up to expectations at first and what is different now) -- “I’m not so sure about expectations.  I’m not sure about any of that, how people are perceived and things.  I know Abe’s always been a real consistent guy, a real consistent player.  I think he’s just getting more experience as a starter in this league and it’s probably really helping him.”

(On why Miami kept throwing the ball to Joe Haden) -- “We had anticipated Brandon Marshall playing the X so we had a lot of double coverage over there.  A lot of times people when you lean coverage one way they’ll try the other guy, but we just kept the same coverage because Haden was killing the guy.  It was like, ‘We’ll just stay leaning over here and we’ll be okay.’  I don’t like changing when you don’t have to change.  I know somebody said I’m not a good game day coach what a dumb (person) but anyway I’m a great game day coach probably the best coach, been coaching a long time.  That’s okay.  It was somebody on the talks show.  I always listen to it after the game just so my kids will get pissed at me, they get so mad. ‘Why are you doing that dad?’  ‘I don’t know I just want to hear someone dumber than me.’ Cute story there. Our guys are really playing well.  Joe Haden has been special though.  If we did it all over again I’m sure we would have to trade up to get him with the first overall pick.  He’s been phenomenal.  The kid works hard, he’s tough, he gets better, he takes coaching.  (Eric) Mangini’s constantly on that guy and making him be great and so is Jerome (Henderson).  The kid has just been phenomenal.”

(On if he got involved in the draft saying who he wanted) -- “I was actually watching the draft on ESPN going, ‘I wonder who we’re going to take? Okay good,’ (joking). They take our reports. I’m not sure how much they listen, they have their jobs.  This is really the best run football organization I have been in in a long time with (Tom) Heckert and obviously with Mike (Holmgren) at the top.  It’s very well run, you see all the players in the draft they want you to see and you evaluate those guys.  We have strong feelings as coaches because that’s what you do, that’s our type of personalities but they’ve got to sort through when you guys got ties and things like that and break all those ties.  I knew all along who we were going to take just from the tones of those meetings and man I couldn’t be happier with the guys we got at the top of the draft are just tremendous players.”

(On if he told Joe Haden that he was “the guy” after Rex Ryan had inferred that he wanted someone else) -- “Actually I did tell Joe that in a meeting because with my brother, he’s a lot like me.  He’ll talk some (crap) and he doesn’t care if it affects somebody else.  I guess for whatever reason, we just don’t care about that.  I wanted to make sure the kid knew the truth.  I worked out the (Kyle) Wilson kid and really thought he was going to be something special, but I don’t think he’s doing all that well for them.  It doesn’t look like it to me, but he’s a good kid.  I don’t know what they are doing, they should have had (Eric) Mangini and Rome (Jerome Henderson) coaching the guy and he would be fine.  I did want to tell him the truth, set the record straight and I did that.”

(On if he thought Kyle Wilson would be something special) -- “Absolutely, but I also got to work him out privately where I didn’t work out Joe Haden privately probably because they didn’t want the coordinator going down there and talking (crap) to everybody about who we are going to take.  That was probably a good move on their part.”

(On what Derreck Robinson has brought to the team) -- “I tell you what, him and (Brian) Schaefering both, you could flip a coin on which one starts.  They’re both the same type of deal.  They both came in and were fighting to be on the practice squad, they both get cut and we brought them back.  They work hard, they do better, they improve their technique, they’re big, strong guys.  That guy is going to be a good player for a long time.  I was talking to (Matt) Roth today on the sideline when he wasn’t throwing snowballs at his teammates and he was bragging about that kid to me.  I really do like the way he gets his hands on a lot of passes.  He’s got these great, long arms like his teammate Kenyon Coleman.  I really believe he’s the type of guy that’s going to grow into a 3-4 end and play for a long, long time.”

(On if he got Shaun Rogers’ best effort last Sunday) -- “He had a lot of great ones.  If he can just get his big body out there, he’s just tremendous.  He blocked a field goal, sacked the quarterback and had the guy running for his life back there.  He makes plays and if he was ever healthy, my God he must have been an unbelievable player.  He’s giving us everything he has got.  I don’t know if he was supposed to play in that game or not, but he willed himself to do it.  That’s the great thing about our defense and our players is these guys want to play.  They’re doing everything they can to play.  Scott Fujita’s injury, most people would have been on the shelf for the whole thing.  He’s working his (tail) off to get back out there and to fight with his teammates.  At the end of the year, some people look at it different ways, we are just trying to win every (dang) game and see what we can get done.  We are looking forward to the challenge.  We are just beginning to fight on defense, I know that.”

(On if he has ever had any issues with Rogers’ effort) -- “No, because when he’s on the field, when he’s out there playing between the white lines he’s busting his (tail).  He doesn’t need to be in front, he doesn’t want to be in front.  There are some guys that like to be in front, if you don’t know they’ll tell you about it. There are guys like that and coaches like that, but some people like to sit back.  He’s fine he does that, he likes his teammates to get all the glory.  If you let him do it he’ll get put in a game where he gets three guys on him and another guy can come around for the sack when I’m trying to design where he can come around and get the one on one.  He’s not like that he’s very unselfish which is impressive to me about a guy who obviously could be a superstar in the league and probably has been for a long time.  To me I just wish we had him where he could practice all the time, where he could be healthy. It would be great to see because he really is a dominating force.  He’s won games for us just by his effort.  By himself running through lines where three guys are in front of him, he gets through all of them, it’s pretty impressive.”

(On if he has heard from the Denver Broncos about their head coach vacancy) -- “I’ve heard from the Broncos.  I’ve got a great buddy of mine who is their defensive coordinator. Don Martindale and it’s his first time coordinating and he’s putting up numbers that are pretty god awful.  The thing is as long as he knows that he’s coaching his (tail) off and he’s working there for the hours that he ought to be working and he ought to be preparing the way I taught him how to prepare so that team will be alright if they just keep him there.  If they don’t then they lose out on a (heck) of a football coach.”

(On T.J. Ward and what’s next in his career) -- “I’m not some guy with a crystal ball but I think we all know where he’s heading.  That guy’s a fantastic football player.  He makes great tackles, he’s a great hitter, he can cover really well.  I know there were questions about how he can cover, that guy covers really well.  He’s an intense guy, he’s fun to be around, I think the players really like him, they respect him and he’s the genuine article.  Everything you wanted in a strong safety he is.  If you look at him at one time you mentioned that he and Joe Haden are short.  Does anybody notice that?  Honest to God I don’t notice all of that. Their height doesn’t do (anything) in the game, they play.  There are taller guys but I guarantee none of them are like this guy in the draft.  I don’t care who they are, none of them are as good as this kid is.  We might not have the tallest team but we got a pretty (dang) tough one.”

(On how football analysts like Mel Kiper didn’t have Ward as a high draft pick) -- “I really respect Mel Kiper, I think he does a good job.  If it wasn’t for him, me and Rex wouldn’t be in this league coaching right now.  He came and convinced my dad to go back into coaching.  He knew we were great coaches but we were in college and so he actually did so I was like, ‘Oh, he got that one right.’ The thing is what did they see? I think the biggest thing is just stick the tape on and the kid jumped off.  He played for a good defense, I thought they were well coached but this kid jumped off the tape.  They had a safety there (Patrick) Chung the year before who’s a good player as well.  I think you line them up next to each other this other kid will rip everybody’s face off and Chung will be there left to pick something up.”

(On how Marcus Benard has evolved as a pass rusher) -- “He’s been hurt this year and that’s the thing.  This kid’s got so much talent, so much wiggle as a rusher but he’s been battling through so many things it’s unfortunate.  The guy’s really a hardnosed kid, he works hard.  His best ball is in front of him.  Hopefully one day he’ll compete to lead the league with sacks and I think he will if he is ever healthy.  He’s not healthy but he still does a nice job.  He beats the tackle, they get rid of the ball quick.  He forced a lot of bad throws but it would be great to get him in full speed one of these days.”

(On Benard working on more moves) -- “I love the kid.  I see exactly what you see.  You see a young player that’s going to be a (heck) of a football player one day.  His work ethic is to the point where it’s like the Nnamdi Asomugha’s. The guys that you see working every day that do the extra, they make themselves.  I always said that Nnamdi made himself great and it’s because of his work ethic.  This kid comes from the same type of background and as I see them as players, I see this kid really getting better and developing and getting better and better and I think the sky’s only going to be the limit for this guy.  It really is I just wish he had a shoulder and everything else that’s been going on with this poor guy.”

(On what he said to the team leading up to the Miami game after a bad week of practice before the Carolina game) -- “We had two games that I didn’t feel were winning performances.  I think we could have won every game on our schedule based on how we play and how we prepare.  I thought Carolina we didn’t play that well, we didn’t have any guts, we didn’t have our usual stroke.  I think against Baltimore and I know we could have won that game and all that but I never felt very well during the game. I thought their coach outcoached me in those two games.  Other than that I think we played (darn) good defense and I think we’ve played more improved defense than anybody else in the league, it isn’t even close.  I think this last month is stand up and be counted time so we’re looking forward to it.”

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