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Transcript from press conference with Browns defensive coordinator Rob Ryan

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 17, 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 12-17-10

(On if Cincinnati is a dangerous team) -- “Yes, if you just watch the tape and you don’t have a newspaper to tell you what they are, they have a very high powered offense, they’ve got obviously great receivers and a great quarterback and that offensive line is playing well.  They’re big, strong guys.  (Andrew) Whitworth sounds like he’s finally getting his just do.  I think he’s one of the finer players in football.  It’s a great test any time you play these guys.  They have the ability to score anywhere on the field as we saw that our first game.  Plus the quarterback he can get red hot and that’s a long hard day if that happens.”

(On if they are going to switch up their approach toward Chad Ochocinco this game) -- “You hope Christmas coming early with that guy not being on the injury report, bad foot, but I’m not believing it.  We always take him away.  To me I think he’s the best receiver in football and I’ll always believe that so he’s always going to have a hard long day against us because it would take more than some injury report to convince me that guy’s not great and we’re just going to take him away every time.”

(On Terrell Owens catching 10 catches for 222 yards in the first meeting) -- “We don’t want him to catch that many this time, that 80 yarder helped him.  We’re going to make it a much tougher day on him.  He’s back to his old self playing like T.O. we just needed some convincing and believe me, we believe now.  He’s not going to have the same day he had last time that’s for sure.”

(On if it is going to make a difference with Joe Haden in the starting lineup) -- “I think Joe Haden, the way he’s playing that’s definitely going to make a difference.  That’s the real Joe Haden.  I think we had the young one early in the season and he still played pretty well in that game.  This one here is up for a challenge.  If it was up to him he would stay out there in man coverage all day long.  It’s not up to him right now but wow what a player.”

(On how he blocks out thinking about his coaching future) -- “I’m so used to it.  I’ve been so used to it for so long now it just seems like it’s part of this job this time of year.  When I was in New England it was, ‘Well, you’ve got to go coordinate here, got to go do that thing,’ then when I was coordinating Oakland it was like, ‘Oh God, you guys are going to get fired,’ or whatever.  Here this year it seems like it’s in between both.  Bottom line is we just work as hard as we can.  I think we had a really good week of preparation as far as coaching and our players are working hard during practice.  We demand a lot this week from our coaches and really excited about us playing this week.”

(On if the staff’s job depends on the last three weeks of the season) -- “I don’t know, if it does then (heck) I hope we win all three of them.  I’m not sure. I don’t make those decisions.  You know me, I have a lot of confidence in myself but the way I look at it rightfully so.  I’ll work in this business, I like it here in Cleveland, we don’t want to move, (heck) we shouldn’t have to move if we go out here and take care of business like we should.  This is our conference, this is exciting.  I think the way the commissioner did the schedule this year is pretty exciting for everybody.  We’ve got our conference and there’s not a better measuring stick than going out and playing these guys at the end of the year.  However it comes out I’ll be great with it.  I’m sure there are other people nervous but I’m not a guy that’s nervous, not anymore.  When I first got in the league I’d be scared (senseless) but not now.  Now it’s like please, there is nobody better.  I don’t care.  I’m going to coach my (tail) off, I’m going to prepare our team. I’m going to prepare it better than anybody else does on Sunday.  I’ve been doing that all year now, we can look that up, that’s documented.”

(On why Eric Mangini deserves to stay) -- “I think this is a different team now from when we first got here, there weren’t a whole lot of believers other than me and a couple other guys probably. I’m usually pretty optimistic.  I think it’s obvious, our team is a good football team.  Last week pisses me off because we should have beat that team.  We’ve got to get through those days of, ‘Oh, we should have won,’ those days suck. We don’t want those anymore.  We just need to kick the door in and win those games.  I really thought we had come along and started doing that.  When you beat Miami and you beat Carolina and the few teams that haven’t had a winning record on our schedule or being in first place, whatever they are, you need to beat those teams.  I think we’re capable of that.  It’s a little disappointing, it really is.  I know our guys are working hard but when you looked at the tape it’s surprising that I thought the other team played better than we did.  That’s not right.  The last 51 yards of that game rushing were all on me, wasn’t on our players.  I know statistically it looks like our run defense weren’t worth a (thing) but that’s not true.  It’s like 3.6 a carry or whatever.  Third down I went for the win, thought we’d load a zone over there and see if we couldn’t pick this guy off.  They ran a counter which is a nice play by (Chan) Gailey against that defense and that led our guys stiff and they’re not used to me making a bad call so that kind of deflated the whole team there.  We gave up those 50 yards rushing, they were all on me and they need to put a stat over there that that never really happened.  It pissed me off and our guys played too hard to have that, it just didn’t look right.”

(On if they were hurting for bodies on defense with so many players injured towards the end of the game) -- “Yes but that’s the Cleveland way.  Whoever we’ve got, man we’re going to play.  We’ve got good, tough guys, we really do.  They just line up and sometimes you’ve got to check the roster to find out their names.  Please don’t ask me to pronounce that new guy that we got, but we’ve got tough guys.  We know what we’re in the building for.  We’ve got smart, tough guys with high character.  Like I said before, I really like this team.  I like the way it has been assembled.  I believe in what we do here and I know our players do.  That’s the most important thing is when you’re talking in front of the players and everybody is obviously disappointed, especially last week.  Each week is like its own little season and we want to do better.  We’ve challenged ourselves, we want to be the best, we want to be in the top five in turnovers and scoring defense and red zone and that’s what we are going to do. That would be a pretty good accomplishment for a young group that’s together.  I know we’ve have got some older guys, but it is still only in our second year.”

(On settling for field goals in games instead of going for touchdowns and having the mentality to blowout weaker teams) -- “I understand your thinking.  Really the records though, there are not necessarily weak teams.  When you play in this league, you don’t get blowouts.  It would be great to say, “Oh, we are going to line up and kick the (crap) out of somebody.’  That doesn’t happen. That only happens in college.  In pro football, whether you want it or not, you are going to get a close game.  Both teams are going to be well-coached, both teams have got the best athletes in the world and that’s why they are so close every week.  The big blowouts, you don’t see them.  Even the great New England Patriots or the New Orleans Saints or whoever else is the hot team, they don’t blow everybody out every week either.  It really is going to come down to a close game every week.  Do you always go for the touchdown or always go for the field goal?  That’s the head coach’s decision.  Right now, I’m just trying to farm my own land and coach the defense.  You pretty much get a close game every week and again, I’m looking for three close games here at the end of the season in our division and I’m looking to win all three of them.”

(On why Carson Palmer has thrown so many interceptions this season) -- “I’m not sure.  He’s still a great quarterback and he’s still got the big arm.  He does a lot of things and you never know.  Sometimes guys, and I don’t care who you are, sometimes there is pressure to play a guy, maybe to throw a guy more passes than you are comfortable doing.  If the coverage is taking a guy away and the playmakers want the ball all of the time, I could see that.  That’s just being human.  Maybe he’s going through some of that, but really I see a guy that’s in control, I see a guy that’s a winner, I see a guy that can just drop back there and can throw it and win a game on his own.  He’s still an annoying scrambler where he makes plays, and we know that better than anybody at the end of a game.  He’ll make a play with his feet and we know we are going to have to be at our best.  I really want to be at our best here.  To me, at the end of the year, I want us to be going in the right direction.  Like I said, I want to finish as one of the top defenses in football, which was our goal all along.  We have had a lot of players play, but really when they are out there, it’s the Cleveland Browns’ defense.  It’s time to show up.  I know last week wasn’t ideal for us, I thought we would get more turnovers.  Their quarterback did a nice job of handing the ball off, but when he did throw it I thought we had some chances.  We have got to make plays.  Great defenses get turnovers, they get stops when you need them to and that’s what we want to do.”

(On the situation last week with New York Jets coach Sal Alosi) -- “That’s unfortunate.  I’ll just speak for me and I know my twin brother pretty well, there are not two guys that respect the league more than we do and love the players more than we do.  It was unfortunate to see something happen like that because obviously you are going to tie the head coach into it.  Believe me, Rex (Ryan) would never do that.  He loves the game, he loves to compete and that didn’t look right.  I’m sure their strength coach, who is supposed to be a great guy and feels terrible.  He probably made one mistake, (heck) I think we have all made bad mistakes before, I just don’t know if millions of people have seen them.  That was a bad mistake though, that’s a bad judgment.  Boy, you hate to see that.  I just know the head coach over there pretty well, like really well, and he was very upset about it.  He doesn’t like that.  He’s not an advocate of that (stuff), nobody is.  We love the game, we love getting after other team’s players, but we respect them and we love our own.”

(On if there is something still dangerous about Cincinnati despite their record) -- “With our defense, obviously there is a huge danger.  They put about 400 and some odd yards on us.  They can move the ball at will with a great quarterback.  Again, you don’t have the records when you roll it out there.  The only people that see those records are the people that are looking in the newspaper going, “Look the Browns have won whatever games and these guys have only won two.’  You don’t see that on the tape, this is a good football team on offense.  Now I don’t look at defense and I’m sure they’re great.  They have got Ross Browner and Bill Bergey and all of those guys probably.  Lemar Parrish, Kenny Riley, Tommy Casanova, but if they are all out there then we have got to beat them.  I know on offense, they’ve got their good players and that (Bob) Bratkowski is 1,000 years old and he does a good job with their offense.  We are looking forward to the matchup.  We want to play better than we did and we want to win.  We were fortunate enough that Peyton Hillis ran wild, but we want to do our part to add in the win.”

(On differences in Cincinnati’s running game from last season to this season) -- “They were explosive last year running the football.  I think they ran the ball a little more than they are now, but (Cedric) Benson is still a (heck) of a back.  He runs that ball hard, he’s real close to 1,000 yards this year again.  We know they will be at their best.  He reminds me a lot of (Fred) Jackson.  Jackson made a lot of big plays on us last week, but again, I added about 50 yards on to that.  We are going to be better than that, I’m going to be better than that and not put the game in my hands and then call a play that’s not as good as it should have been.”

(On if there are some things that are beyond their control when planning to stop an opponent) -- “It’s the National Football League. Sometimes you can have a guy unblocked on the player and their player makes a play.  That happens.  That’s why you play, we have got human beings playing against human beings and I think we are well prepared.  That’s why you prepare them so hard, so that the game slows down so you can make a good split-second decision and an accurate one.  Still, some of those times their X & O makes a play on ours.  I really like our defensive talent, I really do and we win most of those matchups.  Every once in a while, we might lose one of those, but we win most of them.  That’s for sure.”

(On Chris Gocong’s play last week) -- “I think that Gocong is a (heck) of a player.  Matt Eberflus, you know I brag about my Matt Eberflus, but that guy is a phenomenal coach.  Gocong needs it.  Here’s a guy that came inside, I don’t know what he did in Philadelphia, I don’t care.  What he does for us, he’s playing 3-4 inside linebacker, which is probably the hardest position to play in football.  I guess the quarterback is pretty hard I guess, I don’t know.  This guy has got everything going, he has made unbelievable strides, he’s a tough guy, he’s big, he’s fast and the game looks like it’s Cal-Poly all over now.  It’s slowing down, he’s starting to dominate and I think he’s going to be one of those Pro Bowl players once he finally does learn this system.  He’s on his way and again, a lot of that credit goes to Matt Eberflus certainly and Phil Eisenstein has helped him out a little bit too.”

(On if he has been surprised with T.J. Ward and Joe Haden’s this season) -- “I tell you what, I thought they would be excellent football players.  I think you have got to be surprised by first of all, their knowledge of football.  They both came from excellent programs, but they have an exceptional knowledge of football.  They love football, they really love football, so they have energy.  They’re young, but they love the game, so they can’t get enough of it.  They’re up in there studying with Jerome (Henderson) on Tuesdays on their day off like I said before.  They just can’t get enough of the game and usually by now, rookies are done.  Put a fork in them, they’re done.  Not these guys, they want to play for a long time.  I think after the season, they will be out in the parking lot playing against somebody like that Vince Papale movie or whatever.  They’re special guys, there are, and I know you guys know them.  They really are special.”

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