Browns Defensive Coordinator Dick Jauron Press Conference 9-6-12
(On how he deals with having so many injured players specifically linebackers)- "It's really unfortunate obviously losing Chris (Gocong) and then Scott's (Fujita) situation. The young guys have responded really well. We believe we got lucky, we think they're three good young players. JMJ (James-Michael Johnson) is not practicing right now. They are really enthusiastic, athletic, maybe not the biggest, but fast and both of them are tough. They work well with D'Qwell (Jackson), so we've got a good thing going there. Kaluka's (Maiava) had a terrific camp. Kind of quietly, he's gone about his business. He got himself in terrific shape, really competed at a high level, and we know he's a very tough guy. I think we'll be alright. I believe we'll be okay."
(On if there is a positive to having so many young players)- "I don't know that they're any more eager than Chris and Scott, those two guys are really professional, but they're also very highly motivated. They practice fast, they did, they practice fast, and D'Qwell does also. I don't know, I guess there are a lot of ways to look at it. Would you rather have somebody with a lot of experience? Maybe. Would you like to have a young player with a lot of experience? Yeah. How do you do that? We have those guys and we really like them and we'll just keep moving forward and work with them."
(On how to stop Michael Vick)- "Not many people ever have. He's an extremely talented athlete as we all know, incredibly strong arm, can reach almost any part of the field with the ball. He throws it pretty well on the run too, and he really can run. You can talk about trying to keep him in the pocket - you can't really keep him in the pocket. You've got to be successful some of the time. I believe you've just got to play, go play your game, play as fast as you can. He's going to make plays, you've got to hope you can limit them, and then play the game."
(On if Philadelphia is as talented on offense as anyone)- "I would say yes. As far as I'm concerned they are. I was there for a year, they're very good. They're very, very good."
(On if he's ever started a season with only two linebackers with NFL experience)- "I would say probably not. It would take too long for me to think through them all - the places I've been - but I would say probably not."
(On all the injuries on defense and Mike Holmgren saying that he's comforted that Jauron is in charge of that unit)- "That was nice of him to say that. I'll have to thank him when I see him, but I don't make any plays. We like our guys. I really like our staff a lot. Those guys do a terrific job getting them ready. I believe they'll be ready, but they're going to be tested. It will be a test, and a strong one."
(On if L.J. Fort is ready for Sunday)- "I think he is. I believe that the young guys are ready. They are excited about it. I think they will be very nervous, as we all will be. That's probably a good thing. I think when you're not really nervous going into a game, it's probably time to get out of it or an indicator that you probably shouldn't be in it anymore. I don't know, but I believe he'll be ready."
(On if he still gets nervous before games)- "Very much so. It's a pretty good feeling. Like I said, I think when you lose it, I don't know that I'm just guessing, but when you lose it, I guess it's time to leave."
(On if it has been a point of emphasis to make big plays on defense this year)- "It was an emphasis last year. It's an emphasis everywhere I would believe in any defense. Takeaways are critical for the success of your team. As we all know, the statistics are not very meaningful to any of us. The only one that really counts is that win-loss record. If you could trade statistics, you would trade all your statistics for a playoff berth. Who cares? That's what you want to be, you want to get there. We'll go out and play. I know that our guys will play hard. We like our guys. They'll perform and they'll play hard, but we're going to have to make plays."
(On the challenges of trying to stop DeSean Jackson)- "He's really almost as unique probably as Michael Vick. He's very smooth and extremely fast. He has another gear when the ball gets up in the air. It's a little bit like Randy Moss and Daunte Culpepper. The quarterback's arm is strong enough to stretch the field with him. It's hard to overthrow him because he's really fast. It adds a whole other dimension to an already very talented football team. He runs reverses. They get the ball to him on screens. They throw the ball down the field, he stretches the field. He returns punts at times, he's a very dynamic player."
(On if they ever put Jackson in the slot)- "They will move him around some."
(On how they compensate for a veteran like Sheldon Brown who is little slower than some of the Eagles wide receivers)- "Sheldon, as you pointed out, has a lot of experience in the league. He can read routes extremely well. He played down in distance situations, and can use his hands to slow them down, to jam them within that 5-yard area. We can help him out at times, we can help any corner at times, put somebody over the top of him, play him high and low on a receiver. Sheldon obviously has done a great job of recognizing things, and he still is very athletic. We shouldn't sell his athleticism short."
(On if it is imperative to improve against the run this year)- "Yeah, we talk about it a lot. We would like to improve against the run, but again as long as we win games I don't really care, we can give up yardage. I think winning the game is the main thing. Last year I think the New England Patriots weren't statistically a very good defense, but they're a pretty good defense. They were within a whisker of winning it all and I think that's what you want. You want to be there and forget about the statistics. Going into it, you've got to try to improve those things. We don't want to be wherever we were against the run, 30th. We don't want to be there. You want to do everything really well. To win in this league I think you have to do everything pretty well everywhere, kick it, cover it, offense and defense. You've got to be pretty good to win consistently."
(On what was made their red zone defense so special last year and what makes him think they can perform up to those levels again this year)- "I believe it first of all because I'm an optimist. I like to think good things are going to happen and because our guys work hard at it. Whether it will happen, we'll find out. You've got to go out on the field and play. I like our scheme, we're okay, but our guy's performed. They performed really well in the red zone. They made plays and just kept them out of the end zone more times than not which is what you've got to do. I think the statistics that do matter in our game are points scored and points allowed clearly and then takeaways. You would like to be great in every other area too, but if you're great in those two areas, you're going to be a pretty good football team."
(On what kind of jump Joe Haden and T.J. Ward will take in their third year)- "We really need them to perform at a high level. Clearly, we're counting on both of those guys to be playmakers for us this year and then on into the future."
(On how Dimitri Patterson has looked and how important is it to have him back)- "It's really important to have him back. He brings a lot of energy to everything. To the practice field, to everything he does and he plays hard. He's a tough guy, very aggressive guy, a competitive person, and a really good teammate. It was great to see him back on the field and it was probably even better to see him move. He's clearly been working at it, whatever they allowed him to do, and I know he's been conditioning aerobically. He's had good practices for us."
(On how difficult it is to teach young linebackers to play in the NFL)- "I think it's hard. There're so many different things that they have to do. There are so many different formations they have to adjust to. The run schemes are different from what they've seen, and then things change from week to week. I think it's difficult. Billy (Davis) and Chuck (Bullough) do a great job with them. We've just got to believe that they're ready, and I believe that they are. It's tough. I think it's tough to play there, tougher to play inside in the secondary than the outside, but tough to play anywhere, and not easy to play up front, because they attack you a lot of different ways."
(On how important it is having D'Qwell Jackson to help with the young guys)- "I know that we've talked about it a lot before, D'Qwell is just a pleasure to be around. It doesn't matter where you are, on the field, off the field, out in public. I'm not away from here with him very often, but I would imagine he's a very solid person to be around out there too. In this building and in the meeting room he is exceptional with our defense, with our whole football team, with the young players, with everybody. He's kind of holding that thing together, and he's taken a lot upon himself, and hopefully we can get him to play just like he did a year ago. I know he wants it as badly as anybody I've ever been around."
(On how important it is to have a good pass rush)- "It'll be critical. There are certain things you're not going to get home on no matter what happens, no matter what. If he throws a three-step, you're only chance is to knock it down. If it's a five-step rhythm throw, the odds of you getting there are very small. Depending on what they do, if they're a seven-step team or a play-action team. A lot of play-action is seven man protection stuff. It's hard to get home. There's a lot of pressure on those guys, but we've got to find ways to get pressure on the quarterbacks. It'll be critical for us."
(On if he's comfortable with the player's replacing Phil Taylor)- "Yeah, we are. Billy (Winn) and John (Hughes) have both had really good training camps. John got injured a little bit, but he's back now. Billy's had a terrific training camp the whole time. John, as I said, when he was healthy, was really doing well for us. We're happy there. We're happy with (Ishmaa'ily) Kitchen, ‘Kitch' we call him, mostly because I can't pronounce his first name (joking). We're really happy with that pick up. I think he's going to help us, and I think he's going to help us right away. We really like him, and we need that inside. Rub's (Ahtyba Rubin) there and we need to get Rub more rest than we got him a year ago. We need to keep him at a high level all year. We're pretty excited about it. Phil's (Taylor) doing fine. He's doing everything in rehab that they ask him to do. He looks good. He's continuously working out. I feel a lot better about our depth, certainly, now we've just got to make it translate."
(On how Trent Richardson has looked so far)- "Quite honestly I haven't seen him much. I was just saying to our defensive coaches that I'm looking forward to seeing him play. Even in practice, I don't get a chance to see him really. Hopefully, in the game, occasionally I'll get a chance to watch because I'm really excited about seeing him play."
(On how much of a change it was for Joe Haden to switch from Rob Ryan's defense to his)- "You know, that's probably a better question to ask Joe (Haden) because I haven't ever really thought about that. I would say not a lot."
(On if it's fair to say Haden struggled at times last year despite having a productive season)- "I wouldn't say, ‘It's not fair to say,' but I would say you could say that about every single player that ever lived. They struggle at times in this league. Joe's a really good player. I wouldn't compare the systems, it's not anything I do or care to do actually, but I like Joe Haden."