BEREA - If the Browns offense is as confident as first year offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski, they could have a good season.
"I feel we've made a lot of strides and feel good where we're at right now," he said. "But, I think we can grow more, but we're ready to go now."
Chudzinski met with the media on Friday and answered a variety of questions in leading up to Sunday's opener with the Steelers.
Q: What's it like to play the Steelers in your first game as offensive coordinator, having grown up in Toledo?:
Chud: "We're excited about this game. Growing up in the area, it's a special rivalry for me and the fans. I remember the rivalry going back to when I was five years old. I've probably had 5-10 voice mails reminding me it's Steelers week."
Q: What do you expect out of Charlie Frye?:
Chud: "My expectation for Charlie is that he'll play well. He's put himself in a position to perform. He just has to manage the offense. If he just does that he doesn't have to be superman, he just has to manage the offense."
Q: Are you concerned about him running out of the pocket too much?:
Chud: "That's a tough thing, because that's one of the things he does well. I think he'll use his feet when he needs to use his feet. I think that's a positive for us."
Q: Why does it seem it took so long for the players to grasp the offense?:
Chud: "I think a little bit of everything is involved in that. Sometimes it's getting the play called or getting the right substitutions. I think we've worked through that in the preseason.
"Sometimes, it's just something new. We tried setting a different tempo and a different pace in practice. As you look at the preseason early on, the guys have become more comfortable with the system."
Q: Did the injuries on the offensive line hurt the development of the offense?:
Chud: "You always have to deal with injuries. Particularly, with the offensive line you want them to gel as a unit. From that perspective, it hasn't been an ideal situation."
Q: Do you feel confident about the interior offensive line going into the opener?:
Chud: "It goes back to that old saying in baseball, be strong up the middle. Hank (Fraley) has been strong since he's been here. With Eric (Steinbach), it makes you feel good on the interior line."
Q: What are your thought s on Joe Thomas starting as a rookie?
Chud: "I'm pleased with his progress. As a rookie, he's going to make mistakes. He's corrected the mistakes he's made and we're counting on him to be a heckuva player for us."
Q: What impact do you see Jamal Lewis making on the offense?:
Chud: "He came in from day one in great condition. He was lighter and quicker then he had been. He's been great with his attitude. His experience and leadership has been very good for us. He's done a good job in catching the football and has done that since he's been here."
Shaffer Says He's Ready: It appears the Browns offensive line will be intact as the season opens Sunday. Both Eric Steinbach and Kevin Shaffer are expected to play. Steinbach has been practicing throughout the week and Shaffer says he is having no headaches from the concussion he received in the preseason game with the Broncos.
"I feel good," Shaffer said. "I feel as normal as I can. I think it's looking good for Sunday. I'm having no headaches."
Shaffer was switched to right tackle when Ryan Tucker was suspended during the preseason for the first four games and says he feels comfortable there.
"At the beginning, I was a little nervous at making the switch with my footwork," Shaffer said. "I'm comfortable there now."