Head Coach Ben McAdoo
November 23, 2016
Cleveland, theyíre a young, hungry team. Lost a lot of close ballgames. A handful of them. Defensively, theyíre fast and multiple. They have difference makers at each level with Shelton, Collins and Haden. Their corners are playmakers. They have eight INTís.
Offensively, theyíre creative with their personnel and their schemes. Both backs, Crowell and Johnson, have big-play ability both in the run and pass game. McCown is a pro and heís going to be ready. He knows where to go with the football. They have four talented perimeter players, all with unique skill sets and sizes. Thomas anchors their offensive line.
Special teams, theyíre an aggressive unit with a history of fakes. Alexander and Schobert are good on the coverage teams, and Johnson is a shifty vertical returner.
With that, weíll open it up.
Q: Justin Pugh hit the practice field today for the first time since his injury. How do you think he looked and what are his chances for Sunday?
A: He moved around. Weíll take a look at him and see how he does during the week.
Q: What does he need to prove to you?
A: He needs to prove that he can go. Today, he was just out here moving around a little bit.
Q: That position as a whole, how many guys do you think will be ready?
A: We have a bunch of guys that are nicked up on the offensive line. Weíll play with whoever is ready to go.
Q: Where does Marshall Newhouse stand at this point?
A: Same thing. He worked a little bit today but weíll have to wait and see how they progress through the week. Weíll play with whoever is ready to go.
Q: Thatís something that he is going to have to deal with for the duration?
A: I donít know. Thatís a better question for Marshall.
Q: What happened with JPP?
A: JPP is sore.
Q: Is it more just a rest day?
A: No, he has some swelling. Heís sore.
Q: You talk about the challenges of coaching and the dumpster fires, as you call it. How comforting is it to show up every week and know that your quarterback decision is made?
A: Comforting. Each week we play with whoever is ready to go. Whoís healthy and able to prepare. Eli is always steady. Thatís the great part about this job. Thereís not a lot of franchise quarterbacks out there. One who is as steady as Eli and always prepares at a high level always helps.
Q: What was Odell Beckham so frustrated about in the Bears game?
A: I donít know. Thatís a better question for Odell.
Q: Is it upsetting that thatís happening when the team is winning?
A: No. There are frustrations and highs and lows in every ballgame.
Q: Is there any more of a challenge facing a team thatís maybe a little bit more desperate for a win to turn the season around?
A: I donít know any team thatís not desperate for a win each week. Thatís why weíre here and why weíre working. Every win is important, every game is important and every week is important. Today was important for us. We had a good day of practice.
Q: Is Odell the kind of talent that lets a play caller get a little bit greedy? He lets you do so many things and you can use him in so many spots. For you, do you look at him as a guy that you can put in any of those spots even if he may not like them?
A: Heís very versatile. You can use him underneath, over the top and intermediate. He can handle them physically and mentally. Most guys canít. Heís a luxury to have.
Q: How do you handle tomorrow, Thanksgiving, with the guys?
A: Weíre going to bring them in a little bit early, practice earlier and get them out of here after the hydration stations.
Q: You made a point to tell us that after the bye week, you werenít really looking for a break. How do you personally handle tomorrow?
A: We have some work to do tomorrow. We have to take care of some things tomorrow. Iíll get the chance to spend some time with the family, I guess, in the afternoon.
Q: Thereís a bunch of games tomorrow and they feature some teams that you have to play. How much do you pay attention, if at all?
A: Iíll be preparing for my son in the afternoon. He wants to play a little tackle football. Iíll accommodate him. If he wants to watch a little ball, Iíll probably watch a little bit. We still have some work to do.
Q: Do you find that when youíre aggressive on fourth down that that gets the attention of the players? More increased intensity?
A: Thatís a better question for them. I believe that they appreciate the confidence. We talk to them about how we want to play and coach. Everyone needs to be on the same page.
Q: Can you catch a defense maybe not expecting it?
A: I think defenses are prepared for it. Theyíve seen it on film a few times. I donít think weíll catch anyone by surprise.
Q: Do you start to alter your play calling when you get past midfield knowing that you may have more chances than three?
A: Iíd rather convert on third down.
Q: Are there challenges of not knowing who the quarterback is going to be? McCown is the starter but RGIII was back at practice today.
A: Yeah, they make you defend the whole field. They do it in a variety of ways. East, west, north and south. You have to be ready for the deep throws. Theyíll throw it up to Pryor. They have good speed with Coleman, and their backs are tremendous assets underneath. They can run the read option. They use pods out by the numbers. They make you defend everything. It depends on which quarterback is out there. They have a little bit of a different weapon.
Q: Are you impressed with how smooth Pryor seems to be given the position change?
A: Going back, Iím familiar with him from his high school days. He was a tremendous football player, basketball player, you name it. Just a tremendous athlete. You see it just transferring over. It took a little time but heís made the transition. I believe he is the highest targeted player in the league. I can see why.
Q: Howíd you know him in high school?
A: I didnít know him personally, but I was aware of him. Southwestern Pennsylvania.