Berea—GM Phil Savage addressed the local media with his assessment of where the Browns are heading into the bye week. Here are some of his thoughts.
Q: Assess the first quarter of the season.
Savage: "We weren't going to panic at 0-3. The last 20 minutes of the game were the best we've played. I think we showed some pride and regained some confidence we've lost. It's not the start we wanted at 1-3, but going into the bye week we have some momentum.
"I think the injury report situation is a positive direction and will represent us well in the coming weeks."
Q: Chances on winning the division:
Savage: "This division has a very tough schedule and I don't think anyone is going to totally run away with it nor will anyone be totally out of it."
Q: Impact on injuries on 1-3 start:
Savage: "Training camp injuries impacted the offense, including the quarterback. Without having all the pieces in place a lot of criticism is for the quarterback, but I thought Derek fought through some tough moments. We feel we have enough good players around him that we'll have our best football in front of us. We have to play in a way to take some of the strain off of him."
Q: Play of the offensive line:
Savage: "The O-Line can control the tempo of the game and they set a tone. That group is critical for us to play well. They can play better, but when all else fails we need to be able to depend on."
Q: Play of the defensive line:
Savage: "The D-Line has played pretty well. Shaun Rogers has been what we hoped for. Corey Williams has flashed his potential. He has played good and can play better. Shaun Smith's versatility has helped."
Q: Thoughts on making changes:
Savage: "We've spent three plus years trying to put this team together. I've talked to people around the league and you don't go blowing things up after a couple of games. There's been no thought of changing quarterbacks, coaches at this point of the season. We put ourselves in this spot and we have to pull ourselves out of it."
Q: Thoughts on Derek Anderson's struggles:
Savage: "He deserves a chance to build off what he did last year. Unfortunately, he had a concussion and hasn't had all of the parts. It's not just one thing. The people who put you in these situations, you have to let them a chance to pull you out of it. You have to believe in what you have."
Q: What about the job Romeo has done:
Savage: "I'm not going to grade players or coaches at this point, but Romeo's going to be the same whether we're 0-3, 10-3 or whatever. When you start 0-3, it's important to have a coach to stand in there. Some of the criticism he's brought on himself."
Q: Three keys for the Browns to get better:
Savage: "No. 1 penalties have been a constant the first four games. Turnovers at key moments and a commitment to running the ball."
Q: Are injuries the main cause of the team's start?:
Savage: "Injuries would say you're making excuses."
Q: Do you expect Ryan Tucker back and at what position?:
Savage: "Ryan is much closer than Joe (Jurevicius). He's been practicing for two to three weeks and we hope he can play the next game after the bye. He could be a contributor on the line whether at guard or tackle."
Q: What about Jurevicius?:
Savage: "The window is not open. Joe has missed an awful lot of time in the off-season. I do think he can help us if his health is there. He has not done anything as it pertains to football, but has done some jogging."
Q: Are you and Romeo on the same page?:
Savage: "We're all working for the Browns. A lot of things are discussed on Mondays and we try to have an open forum. Sometimes, the decisions made in the game don't look like the best. I haven't been a part of the team that went through a perfect game. If you can make more right decisions than wrong decisions, you can win."
Q: Who decides who will start on Sunday?:
Savage: "I have the 53-man roster and Romeo has the 45-man roster. That's his decision."
Q: Views on putting in Brady Quinn to provide a spark:
Savage: "I think it depends on the situation. In this situation, we came in with a starter and we were going to ride it out. At that particular position, you have to be sensitive. It's a delicate balance because of the extraneous things that go on at quarterback. The feeling is DA gives us the best chance to win."
Q: How does Quinn develop?:
Savage: "We work with Brady every day. He takes extra reps every day and our objective was to keep both quarterbacks on hand and at some point, we might need two. He's one play away from getting an opportunity."
Q: Do you expect Beau Bell to be able to contribute?:
Savage: "Beau had the scope and it was unrealistic for him. Hope is he can contribute on special teams and hopefully, he can contribute before the end of the season at inside linebacker."