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Transcript from press conference with Browns defensive coordinator Rob Ryan

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 23, 2010

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

Browns Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan press conference 12-23-10

(On what has been the biggest problem with stopping the run recently) -- “Not to blame anything, that team did a nice job of running the ball on us.  I think we turned in 14 holding penalties that we thought should have been called.  I’m not going to officiate the thing but I think the league came back and told us they had nine of them that weren’t called.  Really tough to get off, those guys did a nice job of grabbing us or hooking us or some people call it holding us, tackling us.  When that big Bobbie Williams grabs you it’s hard to get off him, he’s 400 pounds.  They pushed us around a little bit too much in my opinion so once that happens and they’re hitting you in the mouth and they keep doing it, we’ve got guys trying to make plays, jumping in to different gaps and things and that’s human nature and then it got worse.  It was real difficult last week to stand there and watch as we couldn’t get our offense back on the field because we just couldn’t get off the (darn) thing.  It wasn’t a very good performance on our part and we look like we had to wait until they got into the red zone to stop them and that’s never a good sign when you’re calling defense.”

(On if holding could be called on every play) -- “There’s holding in every play but then there’s this hooking and tackling and grabbing which I’m not going to blame anything.  You set these drills up in practice, we call them disadvantage drills where you hook a guy up, you put his arm behind his back and then they got to fight to get off the block, to get off the hold.  I’m not saying anything but when they’re tackling you, that’s kind of hard to get off.  I’m not one to complain, I’m not going to blame anything. I just didn’t think it was officiated as tight as it could have been.”

(On if officials will call a game tighter after being aware of this) -- “I’m not real sure.  We turn our things in, our penalties in.  Our league is the best officiated league in sports I think.  I love baseball and you see guys blowing calls all the time costing guys no hitters and all that stuff so I’m not going to complain about it. We’ve got to do a better job.  If we do business, business is being done. If we’re getting held like that then we’ve got to figure out a way to get off them and make more plays and that’s what we need to do.”

(On if Jason Trusnik was held during a touchdown run) -- “That was on the tight end actually and (Andrew) Whitworth’s a good blocker.  He didn’t play the assignment exactly correct and Trusnik jumped outside and he’s supposed to be inside.  We had the corner Eric Wright filling in for outside coverage so we duplicated each other in our run fit.  Any time you do that, you’ve got a problem and we also got reached on the play.  Our three technique got reached the guard came around him and hooked him which we’re supposed to be in the B gap there.  I don’t like to say comedy of errors but that was one play we were looking for, got the play, had the right defense called what I thought it should have been and then they ran in there unmolested.  I can wear a lot of hats but (darn) we should have had two guys in the hole making tackles.  I don’t know what happened.”

(On if they are playing as well as a group defensively as they were at the beginning of the year) -- “I’m not going to say that.  I think anytime you take perhaps our best player off the field and our toughest player. We got Scott (Fujita) and Robaire (Smith), you’re going to lose something.  I don’t care who you are.  We’ve got guys fighting like (crazy), we’ve got good players to back these guys up and they do a good job.  Is it as good as it could be?  Probably not, we’re going to work harder, we’re working our tails off on these run fits, we know Baltimore’s going to come in here. They’ve got (John) Harbaugh as their coach and I know his dad and his dad ran a power play about 62 times against somebody so I’m sure they’re going to run that power play.  We’re going to have to answer the bell and I think we’re going to be up to the challenge in fact I know we will.”

(On if there is a let down on defense if the offense has to settle for a field goal) -- “All we’re doing is thinking our next possession, we’re not even really considering what’s going on on offense, how many points, we’re going to play that next situation out.  Whether we go for it or not, we’re just thinking ahead and what we have to do to be better to get off the field the next time we’re on defense.  That thought about going for it and all that really doesn’t come into play until the very end of the game when you actually have a chance to watch the game you go, ‘Okay, we’re going to kick a field goal to win the game,’ so really that doesn’t come into play on defense.  We’re always trying to go three and out the next series or take the ball away.  We just play out the situations when they’re out there.”

(On if it would be easier if they had the leeway to give up a field goal) -- “Sure you can point to that but there was nothing easy about that game last week for us.  If we played better and I don’t think I’ve ever said we need to play better on defense.  I’ve been here two years pretty much it’s always coaching or whatever, but I thought we needed to play better last week. I don’t think we necessarily played that well on defense and we need to do that.  To win these games we have to play better on defense.  I thought the young man moved the team well.  I saw him make some great plays out there out of the corner of my eye I was like, ‘(Shoot) that kid made a great play.’  We have to be on point as a defense and we haven’t been frustrated all year with our offense, our offense is doing a great job.”

(On Ray Rice) -- “You know he’s tremendous.  We’ve had our work cut out for him every time we play him. They run the ball at will, they’re very committed to the run.  They got away from that somehow I guess I’m not sure why but obviously they came back and ran the football really well last week against New Orleans.  That’s the best thing they do is put the ball in this young man’s arms and let him do his thing.  He is a weapon out of the back field, he’s very good and we’ve done a nice job on him in the past. Scott Fujita did a fantastic job on him this year. Kaluka Maiava did a nice job the time before.  We know there’s a point of emphasis there we need to take this young man away as best we can and that’s what we’re going to try and do.”

(On if they need to have one player assigned to Rice) -- “It usually works out that way whether you’re in man or zone, there’s always going to be somebody there first that’s got to make a play on him.  It’s a tough task.  We’ve had several of our players studying tape on this guy, what kind of moves he likes coming out after he catches the ball, is he a north south guy when he catches it, what kind of routes they give to him and things like that.  He really is a weapon.  I saw him catch that wheel route last week and he’s a tremendous player.”

(On how the Carolina and Baltimore games have bothered him this year and saying felt he got out smarted by Cam Cameron) -- “Out coached, I never got outsmarted but he definitely out coached me in that first game.  That guy has been a long time nemesis of mine, he’s a pain in the (butt) to prepare for, got all the respect for him.  Didn’t necessarily like the touchdown pass he threw on us when he was up 30 some odd points against us with three minutes to go in the game one time before and I would love to return the favor.  I have a ton of respect for that guy but looking to kick his (butt) this Sunday.”

(On how Cameron is so good) -- “He’s done about everything I think he’s got about everything in his playbook but obviously the best thing about Cam and all these offensive gurus is players.  When they got a ton of players, they got (Derrick) Mason out there and they’ve got (Anquan) Boldin, they got this (T.J.) Houshmandzadeh, (Todd) Heap when he’s healthy and Ray Rice, I mean I might be able to call some offensive plays too.  Thank God Jonathan Ogden retired.  They got weapons and he does a good job there’s no question.  He’s a scheme guy and you know I always claim I’ll out work them in the red zone because that’s the day they get tired.  Usually happens this guy is tough in the red zone, he must get his sleep earlier in the week because he does a good job of preparing, but we’re going to be here all night and we’re going to get it done tonight on red zone night.”

(On what he thinks of the league scheduling division games to finish the season) -- “I think it’s great.  We lost the first phase of that to Cincinnati.  We beat them earlier in the year, but this is great division.  We have got great teams here.  We are going to be a part of that and right now, we need to beat these guys to show everybody we are a part of that.  This is a great division, it’s dominated by great players, but there are great coaches in it.  I think Eric (Mangini) is the best one out of all of them, so we will see what happens.  I think we will prove it these last two weeks.”

(On if Joe Haden will cover Anquan Boldin Sunday and if they will cover him tight) -- “It will be a little tighter because there are only two people that got their butts kicked that game and that was me and Eric (Wright).  E-Wright came one at the end of the year, but this Joe Haden is the real deal.  He’s going to be on anybody tight.”

(On if Joe Flacco has gotten better since they saw him earlier in the season) -- “I hope not.  He was great against us.  I don’t think he’s getting any better, I think this guy has arrived.  You say he’s a young quarterback, he doesn’t play like a young quarterback.  He’s like these fast rising stars, that Matt Ryan.  These guys are great and they’re going to be great for a long time.  We have to do a great job of disguising our coverage, a better job than we’ve done in the past to be successful against him.”

(On if he remembers anything about the Browns moving to Baltimore in 1996) -- “I was shocked because we scrimmaged the Browns that year and they beat the (heck) out of us.  We thought we were going to be a good team, we had the second ranked defense in the National Football League.  We were going against these guys, they come in and practice against us and they beat the crap out of us.  We thought they might win the Super Bowl.  They had a great team, they had great talent and obviously (Bill) Belichick.  I thought they were well-coached and I’m not sure what happened there.  I know they ended up moving the team and that must have been something else around here in Cleveland without a football team.  I can’t even imagine.  We have got a team here, we are going to get better and we have been getting better.  A couple of tough losses, but we can come back with a couple of big wins and get this town excited again.”

(On it being hot during that scrimmage) -- “It was hot.  I think I was weighing literally about 195 at the time, so obviously it was hot.  I’ve put on 100 pounds since.  It was hotter than (heck), but no one was getting lit up more than my DBs were against those wide outs.  Michael Jackson, all of those guys you had there.  Keenan McCardell, everybody is like, ‘Who is that?  He’s pretty good.’  That team was loaded.”

(On if he feels they have to win the last two games for the coaching staff to keep their jobs) -- “I don’t know.  Maybe we do.  Like I said, I think Eric is a great head coach.  I think our staff is a great staff.  I’ll talk about defense, I think our defensive staff works their (tails) off.  I don’t know how many guys’ defenses are playing better than ours.  I know we are 10th in the league in scoring defense and fifth in turnovers.  We have had a lot of guys play.  Are we a top-10 defense?  I don’t know, we are going to find out.  We have got two more games.  We are trying to be a top-five in that, red zone, scoring the only team in the league not to give up 30 points, pretty consistent.  Have we been great all of the time?  No, but we have been pretty (darn) consistent.  We are hard to score on in the first quarter because we prepare.  There are a lot of things you can throw away, but if they bring somebody else in on defense good luck because he isn’t nearly going to be as good as I am.  As a head coach, I really believe Eric is a tremendous coach and this team believes in him guys.  Whatever it is, is he the poster boy of pretty boy coaches?  He’s good looking, he lost a lot of weight, the guy is handsome.  I know one thing, he is a great coach.  Our team, we have got a great team here.  If they break it up, I’m not going to farm anybody’s land, but that would be dumb as (heck).”

(On why job security isn’t entirely attributed to record) -- “That’s a tough thing.  I think when you're new to a situation, you want to come in and say, ‘We will win every week.’  I always think we are going to win every week, and then something happens.  We just have got to be more consistent, whatever it is, we have to play better in all three phases.  I think we are well-coached and I think our players play hard, they fight and they play aggressive.  It’s not an overnight thing.  It’s not like you can go out there and we did a great job of getting free agents.  We have got some of the best (dang) free agents in this league.  We really did, but you can’t go out and say, ‘Hey, here’s LeBron (James), here’s this other guy from Toronto and let’s just stick them out there and now you have got five guys playing on the court and hey, we are better than anybody.’  That doesn’t happen in football.  There’s 22 guys, 11 on offense, 11 on defense and it takes a little while.  Guys, you know, and you can see it, you know this team is growing.  This team is coming on.  Look at this young quarterback, this kid is phenomenal.  You watch out, this kid is going to be a superstar in this league.  It’s fun to watch.  Am I going to be a part of it?  Hey who knows?  We’ll see.  I want to be, but I also want to be a head coach.  Maybe I’ll be a head coach somewhere, what the (heck)?”

(On if their job security is entirely speculation and if nobody really knows what is going to happen) -- “We definitely don’t know.  I’m not Mike Holmgren by any chance.  He does a great job.  He’s going to evaluate the situation as it is, and obviously there is going to be speculation because our record is not good.  We are 5-9 or whatever it is.  That’s just the way it is, but do I see our team improving every day?  Yes.  Do I see our guys working their (tails) off still, even though we are having a tough season?  Yes.  Are our guys into it working their (tails) off out there at practice?  Absolutely.  All I can say is in my room, I see guys trying hard, they fight hard, they believe in what our direction is as a team and we have got the right kind of guys that you win with.  Is it overnight success?  Not yet, but I’m sure it will be.”

(On if he still feels like he will be shocked if he is not a head coach somewhere by next year) -- “I thought we would win more games and I think you have got to win more games to get a chance, but I’m not sure.  I’m not going to pretend I can’t do this job as a head coach, I know I can.  Am I frustrated?  No.  Do I enjoy working for Eric Mangini?  Absolutely.  I love to come to work every day.  Do I wish our record was better?  (Heck) yes, but one day I’m going to get that.  It’s not like winning a lottery ticket, “Oh, I have got one in a billion chance.’  No, I’m a good football coach and people are going to know that.  That’s just the way it is.”

(On if he would address the national stories concerning his brother) -- “No.  That’s a personal thing with Rex (Ryan).  I love him to death.  Whatever happened, that’s between him and Mickey.  Whatever, that’s the way it is.  Screw it.  I don’t think all of us have wings on, except maybe Mary Kay (Cabot) (joking).”


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