Browns defensive coordinator Dick Jauron met with reporters today. Here is a transcript from the news conference:

(On what the defense has accomplished this year and how does that apply to next year)- “I’m not sure I totally understand the question, but I think we’ve talked a lot of times that the defense now is significantly deeper up front with good players. We’ll be able to play in waves. That should service well as time passes. The injuries to the linebacker corps really depleted them. It allowed for some younger players to get a lot of playing experience and that should bode well for the future also. It’s kind of the same thing that has happened in the secondary, really depleted, and a lot of guys have played. I think that should help also as we move forward. The bad news is not nearly as many wins as obviously you want to have in a season. I guess the good news is it’s a young team that’s got some talented players. We should just get better.”

(On if it would be difficult to go back to a 3-4 defense)- “I don’t know. I hadn’t ever really thought about that. I think that our tackles certainly could play the nose. Some of them could play defensive end. Certainly, Billy Winn could play defensive end easily I think in a 3-4 scheme. He’s a talented player, can play either tackle or defensive end. Jabaal’s (Sheard) a player. I don’t know. I don’t know if it would be difficult or not. I’d have to think about it some more, but some good players.”

(On if Sheard is too big to play outside linebacker)- “I would never put anything past Jabaal. Jabaal is really a good player and a very good athlete. I suspect that he probably could.”

(On if he can explain what happened the last two games)- “No, things happen on the field and you’ve got to play with the players that you have, and then you’ve got to perform. I’ve got to do a better job of getting them ready and making better calls, get them in better positions to make plays.”

(On what Sheldon Brown could have done different in coverage on Peyton Manning’s touchdown passes)- “Just get the ball out. That’s the whole thing. At the end of the day, yeah he had terrific position, terrific coverage, but you’ve just got to get the ball out. Obviously, the ball was thrown very well. The receiver is a very good player also. It ends up that’s what it comes down to. I’ve got to give them a better call and then they’ve got to make plays.”

(On if in the last two weeks the quality of opponent went up or if their play just fell off)- “We certainly haven’t fallen off in any effort area. I don’t know, we just got beat. Those other guys are pretty good. Any Sunday you go out there, we’ve got a chance to win and they’ve certainly got a chance to win. I have to tip my hat to them. They did a better job and beat us.”

(On if he thought the pick that knocked Sheldon Brown out was dirty)- “I don’t know that it’s dirty. Clearly it’s a planned play. It’s a pick, and every offense runs them. They just they had that collision. Sheldon’s trying to trail his to avoid it. Their team, like most offenses, they run a lot of pick plays. We play a lot of man coverage so we get a lot of pick plays. They definitely picked him. They knocked him right down.”

(On if it looked like Brown was lunged into)- “They’ll lean in. Offenses do it all the time. They are trying to knock you off of the coverage. They’ll try to be good actors. I would guess that he just misjudged. I don’t know that player personally. He’s played in the league a long time. He does not have any reputation like that. He certainly wasn’t trying to hurt anybody. Things happen on the field and they happen fast. It’s not like you have a lot of time to think about those things, whether you are a defender or an offensive player. People are springing full speed at each other.” 

(On why he thinks they’ve made more plays this season than last year in terms of turnovers and sacks)- “There are so many things you look at after a year or through a year and try to figure out why they happened and what you did differently. Generally, I’ve kind of found that things just happen. You prepare the same way. You’re off-seasons is the same. You’re training programs, everything’s the same. Some years you stay really healthy, other years you don’t. Some years the ball bounces your way, other years it doesn’t. I think like they always say, it’s probably very much like life, sometimes the ball bounces up to you and sometimes it bounces away.”

(On what players have made big jumps from the summer until now)- “The players that we’ve mentioned before, and they’ll all be younger players. Certainly, Craig Robertson has really played well. He’s started in our sub-package almost all year. He’s had an opportunity to play and performed well. Talk about making a jump, from an undrafted guy into a starting role. Tashaun (Gipson), another undrafted player. Johnson Bademosi, another undrafted, really guys that have come kind of from filling out your roster. Certainly, you’ve got to say that our personnel department did a good job of finding them because they turned out to be very good players, very good players and were undrafted guys. I would say those people certainly.”

(On if Tashaun Gipson and Eric Hagg will switch around at the safety position)- “They will switch a little bit just because offenses can formation you, the safeties have to know both spots. Generally, Eric will play the strong and Tashaun will play the free safety.”

(On if an elite pass rusher will take this defense to the next level)- “I haven’t really sat down and thought about that. I probably won’t until the season ends and we start working on the draft. I guess I’ll just back away from that.”

(On what he knew about Ishmaa’ily Kitchen coming into the season and how he’s set himself up for future success in the NFL)- “When he became available, clearly we looked at him. We had looked at him as a free agent and liked him. We were moving towards him after last year’s draft. Then when he became available to us from Baltimore, we obviously knew a little bit about him and our personnel department knew a good deal about him. We like big, stout people inside. That’s what he is. He’s a tough guy. He can hold the point against the double team. He can play his gap and control it. He’s a good guy. He fits our room well. He’s a good teammate. I do think he’s another one of those younger guys that’s going to contribute in the future and be a steady player, maybe work into a starting role. At the very least, be a 15-30 snap a game player.”

(On if he thinks about the future)- “Really the future for us is just weekly. You just go to the next game so you just keep preparing. We’ll prepare for Pittsburgh, go there and play our game. Then whatever happens will happen certainly without me worrying about it.”

(On what Chris Gocong would have brought the defense this year)- “It’s hard to tell. You never know how a season is going to work out. Chris as a player and a leader and a tough guy is a really good football player. He’s been a good football player everywhere he’s been. You all know him, he’s a terrific person, so he always brings something to the room, to the team and to the entire defense. You definitely miss him, definitely missed him in terms of leadership. He and D’Qwell (Jackson) and Scott (Fujita) had a terrific relationship on the field. There weren’t a lot of communication break downs between those three. It was too bad for him and for us.”

(On how he trains himself to not worry about the future)- “I wouldn’t say I don’t worry about the future. I guess I don’t train myself, but I guess I would say I don’t overly worry about the future. I think that probably like all of us, like most people I know, my mom used to talk about it a great deal, I’ll say that - she always thought worry was not worth the effort quite frankly, because there’s not a whole lot you can do about certain things. Worry about the things you can control, and forget those you can’t. There you go.”

(On how strong the defense would have been if everyone had stayed healthy and no one was suspended)- “I don’t know. It’s just so hard to tell. It’s always really hard to tell and predict anything that’s going to happen. That is why sports are so attractive to all of us because you never know what’s going to happen. You just prepare and do the best you can. As a player, you play as hard as you possibly can, and then you let it all go and go on to the next one. The beauty of it is, generally there’s a next one. Then sometime there’s not, and you deal with that when it comes.”

(On if the next step for Kitchen is to establish himself as a pass rusher)- “You’d hate to put anybody in a pigeonhole, but I don’t know that he’s ever going to be a great pass rusher. He’s a very powerful man. He could push the pocket. He could certainly push the pocket. If he gets on the edge of a defender, he can beat him. He can definitely beat him. He’s not a small defensive tackle. He’s not a three-technique, up the field pass rusher. He’ll be a bull rusher and then move off the power rush. I think he’ll be good at it. I really like him. I like the man. He’s a hard worker. He’s a quiet guy. He’s a tough guy. He has all the things that it will take to be a defensive lineman in this league and play if not in a starting role - really even in a starting role now, you’re not talking about playing every snap. There aren’t many people that play every snap. It’s hard to do that. He’s a really good guy, he’s got a chance to be a good player and play in the league for a long time and contribute. I really believe that and he’s got a great name (joking).”