Crennel press conference

Cleveland Browns coach Romeo Crennel held his weekly press conference Monday. Here's the transcript:

Romeo Crennel, coach, Cleveland Browns

(Opening Statement)- "The win was a good team win yesterday. Everybody made a contribution to win and we feel good about that. The players and coaches put a lot of time and effort into it. It paid off yesterday. I congratulated those guys on getting it done against a good football team. The Chiefs probably have a good chance to be a playoff team. We fought them hard, caught up and won the game. That says a lot about those guys. I thought the win was good for the fans as well. They have been suffering most of the year with us. They were out there and they were loud and enthusiastic. It helps and I know the players appreciate it. I think it's good for Cleveland and the organization that we were able to win. The guys didn't give up and they kept playing. That's the way we want the Cleveland Browns to play. It's a team game, everyone made a contribution and we never gave up. Hopefully, we'll be able to continue to do that with these last four games going forward. You try to be consistent and hopefully we'll be able to develop that consistency game in and game out. That's the way you need to do it because this league is very competitive."

(On players who stepped up in yesterday's game)- "Joe Jurevicius made some really good catches yesterday and he was productive. Joe came back (to Cleveland) so he would have an opportunity to perform in front of the home fans like he did yesterday. I was happy to see that. Steve Heiden had two touchdown passes. He's a guy who has been flying below the radar. He's a very hard worker and he was a starter last year. He had a career year in receptions last year. This year, he hasn't started as much and hasn't gotten as many balls. He works hard in practice and in the game. I was happy to see him make a contribution to the team. Reuben Droughns has kept a good attitude, hustled and played special teams. He was a productive runner for us and he had 70 yards which helped. Even though the rushing yardage wasn't as much for Jason Wright, he had some key plays in the game that helped us change field position. Derek Anderson showed up and did a good job for us. He had never thrown a pass in an NFL game and (yesterday) he drove down and got two scores and the game-winning drive which set up a field goal. I think that's pretty good for the guy. The most impressive thing was probably his 33-yard run (in overtime). Everyone probably thought he was going to go out of bounds and he was able to stay up and get the ball in good field position. I thought Willie McGinest had a real consistent game. He showed up quite a bit and made plays when they ran the ball over toward his side. He made a lot of tackles as well as Andra Davis. Andra started the game off well and he was able to make a lot of plays. He was around the ball quite a bit. Phil Dawson did a nice job on our kickoffs because we mixed it up a little bit. He pinned the guy outside the numbers a few times and we had a couple sky kicks where we got the ball in the air for hang time. He was also able to kick the game-winner at the end. It was a team win and several guys made contributions. Those were the guys who stood out a little bit. Guys were hustling and I thought everyone played hard during the course of the game."

(On injuries)- "The biggest deal would be Charlie (Frye) and his situation. He has a wrist injury on his throwing hand. The X-Rays were negative. We're doing further tests today, including an MRI, just as a precaution. We want to make sure there is nothing else there. As soon as we find out something, we'll let you know what it is. We also have our normal compliment of injuries. These are guys who are on the list quite frequently. Justin Hamilton has a back injury. Willie McGinest has a pec injury. Brian Russell has an elbow injury. Chaun Thompson has an ankle injury and he got kicked in the ankle during the game. He came back to play and he'll probably be a little sore. He should be OK. Leigh Bodden played for the first time and his ankle was a little sore after the game. We'll see how that goes. With a little rest, he should be able to play again next week. Jereme Perry had a knee situation in the game. He was limping a little bit, but X-Rays are negative. We'll have to see where he is. Orpheus Roye didn't play and he made a little progress last week. Going into the game, Mason Unck was questionable with a groin strain. Usually, when you play with a groin strain, you irritate it a little bit. He's going to be a little sore, but hopefully, he'll be able to play on Thursday. Kellen Winslow still has his knee injury. At the beginning of the week, it's usually a little sore and we have to give him some time to get it back. That will be the same thing this week. We have this short week coming and we are going down to play Pittsburgh. I think we'll put forth a good effort with those guys."

(On QB Charlie Frye breaking his wrist)- "It's not true to my knowledge."

(On QB Charlie Frye playing on Thursday)- "I won't know until I get the MRI results. I'll get them sometime this afternoon."

(On the Steelers matching up against a backup quarterback)- "Generally, your advanced scouting group gives you an idea of what the backup's abilities are. Even though you haven't seen him play, you take the information from the college reports and the team has that. They knew that he was a bigger quarterback. I don't think they were that concerned about his running, I think they were more concerned about his passing. He does have a strong arm. Going forward to the Pittsburgh game, I think they will consider him to be a young quarterback, and young quarterbacks haven't seen as much. I think they will show him quite a bit to see how he reacts."

(On Kansas City's defense)- "I think they weren't playing to give up the big play. They were playing some Tampa 2 defense where you can complete some balls underneath (the coverage). It's tougher to complete the balls over top. I think they were willing to complete some short passes, but then break off and making the tackles."

(On the offensive line playing better knowing where QB Derek Anderson was going to be)- "I think that was factor. We were trying to get the ball out quicker in the game plan and I think that helps the guys as well."

(On QB Charlie Frye taking hits early in the game)- "That was early and sometimes players have to adapt to the guys they are going against early in the game. They know what kind of a rusher he is and I think some of that came in to play as well."

(On what impressed him the most about QB Derek Anderson)- "The fact that he could go in and move the team the way he did. The 33-yard run (was also impressive) because he's not known as a running quarterback. He could have gone out of bounds on the sideline, but he was aggressive with it and got as much as he could."

(On QB Derek Anderson facing Pittsburgh's defense)- "He'll see the Pittsburgh-style defense and they are a blitz – zone team. They are not going to change that because of who the quarterback is. They might do more of it considering who the quarterback is."

(On QB Charlie Frye's status for Thursday's game)- "I'm not ruling anything out. Charlie is a tough guy. If he can take a snap and throw the ball, he'll want to go. It will depend on how much pain he can endure and how effectively he can throw the ball. I think that's what it will come down to."

(On why QB Charlie Frye was taken out of the game)- "The X-Ray was negative. We took him out of the game because he was hurt."

(On QB Charlie Frye's throw to WR Dennis Northcutt in the first half)- "The defensive back broke that one up. I thought Charlie did a nice job of pump-faking in order to give the receiver a chance to go deep. As he was throwing deep, his plant foot slipped a little bit and he wasn't able to get as much on it. The defensive back got a hand on the ball. His completion rating was up there pretty well and overall he was doing pretty decent."

(On QB Charlie Frye starting Thursday)- "I don't know whether he'll be able to start yet. I'll have to wait to see if he can take the snap and throw the ball effectively. We'll make the determination at that time."

(On the wrist injury effecting QB Charlie Frye)- "After he got hit early, he was moving his hand a little bit. I know something was bothering him a little bit."

(On the Browns offense against Kansas City)- "We had better execution and big plays. We had a shuffle pass and a quarterback draw. We had some bigger plays that we normally had."

(On knowing about QB Derek Anderson's ability)- "In preseason when he got into the game, he moved his team pretty well. That's preseason and it's different from the regular season. Sometimes, you don't know how a guy is going to react when he gets into the game when it counts. Everyone was depending on him and he had to perform. He did a nice job. He does a nice job in practice, but he's going up against guys he knows. You generally don't know your opponent as well. You don't know when the defensive back is slacking off to try to invite you to make a throw. You have to take you hat off to Derek for the way he played."

(On the demeanor of QB Derek Anderson) – "He's confident. He was really confident. I think he was excited to have the opportunity to play. Being able to make plays helped his confidence."

(On Larry Johnson not scoring a touchdown) – "Well, the guys understand more about stopping the run, about the running backs we are playing and what we have to do against them. With that said, he still gained 110 yards. That is still too many. Other than the times we let him break out for 15 yards, we made it tough for him. He was getting two, one or minus one, so that's what you have to do against those good running backs. You have to eliminate the seams for a guy. For the most part, we did that. He got around the corner when we were backed up and we shouldn't have let him out. He got out and got the first down. That changed field position a little bit on that. Early in the game, he had a run that he gained 15 to 19 yards on and Brian Russell made the tackle on the sideline. Otherwise, we tried to keep him contained. Not allowing him a touchdown was good. We still gave up too many yards."

(On if QB Charlie Frye is healthy, will he start) – "I said that it's a little too early to make that determination. I have to see if he can take the snap and how he throws during the week. After I see that, then I can make a determination."

(On why not go into the game with QB Derek Anderson as the starter) – "Because Charlie is the starter."

(On this possibly being a week to re-charge Charlie's batteries) – "Some people could say that, but I'm going to wait and see how the week goes before I say who the starter is going to be."

(On releasing the MRI results today or tomorrow) – "We are going to be here tomorrow, so we'll probably wait until tomorrow to be honest with you."

(On what it does to the organization knowing there is a capable backup quarterback) – "I think that is good for the confidence of the team and the organization. You have a guy that you feel reasonably sure can do something in the game. Really, up until yesterday, we didn't know. We knew we had a young quarterback with a strong arm, but we didn't know how he would perform in the game. For him to go in and perform the way he did and lead the team to victory, now you feel confident about going into another game and playing at a high level."

(On if the inexperience of Anderson compares to Tom Brady replacing Drew Bledsoe in New England) – "This is true. Nobody had an idea of what he (Brady) was other than what you saw in practice. The situation was, the number one got hurt so the number two had to go in. He went in and was able to perform and make some plays. His confidence grew as the confidence in him grew."

(On why Kansas City didn't blitz more) – "Generally what you find is, teams are who they are. They do what they do. Let's say they had been behind by two touchdowns rather than ahead, then, they might have blitzed more. Because they were ahead, I think they felt a comfort level."

(On why the team can't show so much emotion each week) – "Human nature (prevents the emotion from happening.) When you look around the league, you see it happening every time. To get out and play at a maximum level is tough to do. Even with the really good teams, it's hard for those guys to do. If you look at Indianapolis, who is one of the better teams who was going along, winning every game and now all of a sudden, they have a two-game losing streak. It's hard to get up every week. In our situation, where we are as a team, we put a lot into that Pittsburgh game. To end up losing that game took something out of us. Then, we came back with all of the distractions of the following week and that took something out of us. Then you play a team that matches up better against you and they start rolling and you can't stop them. That is a demoralizing loss. As I told you after that game, the guys on this team are hard workers, they have pride and I didn't think they were going to come out and lay another egg. I knew they would come out and compete and that's what they did."

(On the red zone efficiency, was there more effort in being aggressive) – "Nothing really changed. We wanted to score touchdowns and we tried to do that. The play that Braylon (Edwards) made was a really good play. He went up and out-jumped them for the ball. That started us off. We had some other opportunities down there. (TE Steve) Heiden caught two balls. He jumped in front of the guy for one and the other one was a good back-shoulder throw. The efficiency hasn't been as good as it was yesterday."

(On expecting more out of the new offense in regards to exotic plays) – "It depends on what the game plan is and the opponent that we are facing. If they give us some things that we can do, we might do it. The flea-flicker is in the playbook. It worked this time and we've had it in other game plans when it didn't get called. We were able to get it called it and it worked so we called it twice. The Joshua Cribbs thing was an experiment. We felt decent about it because we had him at quarterback from when we played Atlanta. He looked decent there, so we thought it might be a worth a shot to see how he would do and how they would adjust to it."

(On if TE Kellen Winslow was being used as a decoy) – "The one catch that he had was a really good catch. I told Kellen after another game that we ended up winning where he had only one catch, which was a really good catch, I said ‘that one catch was more important than the 11 you made the week before and we lost. Just go do your job and if it comes to you, it comes to you. If it doesn't, it' doesn't. If the ball is there, just make the play.' That's what he did yesterday. We didn't try to not throw him the ball. At times, they were covering him."

(On the challenge of getting QB Derek Anderson ready in a short week, given Pittsburgh's tough defense) – "It will be a challenge, but I think having Charlie will help him because he went through it last year. He can explain to him about what to look for and some keys to their coverage schemes. He probably won't be perfect, but he might have a little advantage because of Charlie."

(On the difference in the ‘zip' on the passes from Derek Anderson as compared to Charlie Frye) – "Anderson has a very strong arm. The strong-armed guys have a little more zip on the ball."

(On how the arm strength changes what can be done with an offense) – "In the second half, we didn't change the game plan at all. We stayed with the same plays and executed them. The only difference was the one back-shoulder throw to (Steve) Heiden. He zipped that one in there. Sometimes, when you have that confidence in your arm strength, you can make those kinds of throws."

(On if it is an adjustment to the receivers to have a strong-armed quarterback) – "It shouldn't be. They work with him in practice."

(On the progress of LB Kamerion Wimbley) – "He's made good progress. He really has. Think about the defensive end who has his hand on the ground all of the time and then making the conversion to a standup linebacker, learning coverage, route recognition, zone drops, man coverage and still rush. He's made a nice transition and a good contribution to the team. Going forward, we'll see a better pass rusher in the future because he is still learning."

(On the difficulty of playing twice in one week) – "It's difficult because this is a physical game. Guys play hard and tough. It's been going on for how many years now? The Thanksgiving Day game has been played for how long? Now, they are expanding on it and we are living with it."

(On the schedule for the week) – "We are going to have a meeting tonight, practice tomorrow, travel Wednesday and play on Thursday."

(On if it makes it easier having played Pittsburgh) – "That is the good thing. We recently played Pittsburgh, we know the personnel, the schemes and the changes would be minimal. It's not like you have a totally new that who you don't know and would have to do a full scouting report for. That would make it tough."

(On if the recent loss to Pittsburgh is motivation) – "I hope so. I really do. They know that we are going to have to play hard and give an effort because it's Pittsburgh and we are going down there."


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