BROWNS OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR KYLE SHANAHAN ON BRIAN HOYER, THE NO HUDDLE OFFENSE AND IF HE’D PLAY JOSH GORDON THIS WEEK IF ALLOWED

On if he planned to go to the hurry up offense against Pittsburgh or if it was just a matter of how the game was going:

“No, it was something we’ve planned for a while. We’ve been planning since the summer. It’s something we wanted to go to at some time in that game. We kind of planned on going to it in the first half. We just didn’t stay on the field long enough, so we opened up the second half with it.”

 

On if he’s surprised by how effective it was:

“We thought it would be good. It was a little better than anticipated. It was something that got them off-balance, tired them out a little bit. It tired us out too. When you do that that much, you get a little sloppy on both sides of the ball, but it ended up working out well for us – got some points, got us going.”

 

On if he can condition and train to be more of a no huddle team at this point:

“Yeah, you definitely can. You’ve got to do whatever it takes to score points. I think it’s different based on what fronts and coverages you go against every week. It’s different based on what you’re trying to accomplish with the no-huddle. I thought we did a really good job running the ball. It opened up a lot of bootlegs for us and things like that, which got us some easy completions. I think going to it in the second half made us avoid third down a lot because our first and second down plays were so good.”

 

On what he can do in a more conventional offense to be as good as they were in the second half:

“I think the key in the second half…well, we struggled in the whole game because we weren’t good on third down in the first half or the second half. What helped us with the no huddle was the plays we did were so good that we avoided third down. In the first half…we didn’t have a lot of success in the first half. That was obvious, but I thought that was because we didn’t do anything on third down. We got one third down in the first half, and on that third down, we scored. On the opening drive, we converted a third-and-one. We went all the way down really to the two-yard-line. It got negated by a penalty, and then we didn’t convert a third down the rest of the half. When you don’t convert third downs, it’s hard to have drives. I thought our running game did well, but we were punting. When we went to the second half, we went no huddle a lot. I think we had two third downs I want to say, out of the first 23 plays. We were one-of-two on them. Actually I believe we were zero-for-two on them. To me, what helped us wasn’t necessarily the success of the no huddle. It was the success of running the ball to where we didn’t have to face third down because we struggled on third down all game.”

 

On averaging 6.1 yards-per-carry against Pittsburgh and if that’s expectation for him or something that’s surprising:

“I’d like to say that we expect to run for six yards-per-carry every time, but I don’t think that’s been done before over the course of a year. It’s setting the bar a little bit high, but I would love for that to be our goal. Every time we call a run play we expect all 11 guys to block. We’re trying to score on every play. You rarely do, but our goal is to score. We’re not just calling runs to get three yards and stuff. We’re trying to be as explosive in the run game as in the pass game. I was excited for the guys because they made a big commitment to it – to working hard in the run game. I was excited for them to have some success and see it work. Hopefully we can work off it this week.”

 

On if the success they had in the no huddle had more to do with how well they were playing or with a vulnerability they saw in Pittsburgh:

“It’s both. It’s something we did when I was in Washington also. It’s just a package you can always go to. A lot of it has to do with what (defensive) fronts we’re going against and everything. Philly did have some success with them in the preseason, but this is a totally different type of no huddle so it really doesn’t relate. It was more about the looks we thought we would get and whether we thought those plays would be good against them. It worked, and so we stayed with it. If it didn’t, we probably would have got out of it.”

 

On what his take is on wordy play-calls, how long his play-calls are and if they can be streamlined:

“It all depends. The more words that you put in there, the more the other 10 guys don’t have to memorize. You don’t just make things wordy to make it harder for people. You make things wordy to make it easier for the other 10 guys. If you ever have a quarterback who’s really struggling with it then you make it easier and you put more on the other 10 guys. You like to put the most on the quarterback for him to repeat after the coach. I’ve got to be able to say it. Then if he can say it, it makes the other 10 guys jobs a lot easier.”

 

On if the process of getting all those words in affects the pace of the whole offense:

“It hasn’t for the last seven years, and everywhere else I’ve ever been it hasn’t. I don’t think it’s too big of a deal.”

 

On if he’ll be able to throw WR Josh Gordon right into the mix if he’s allowed to come back after the NFLPA votes on the NFL drug policy:

“Yeah, if Josh is able to play this week, I’d like to get him out there. I think he would help.”

 

On his thoughts on RB Terrance West and RB Isaiah Crowell’s performances on Sunday:

“I thought they did a good job. We expected for West to get some carries with Crowell being our third back. Then when (RB Ben) Tate went down, they kind of flipped roles where West was our main guy and Crowell was (the second back). I thought they had some really good runs. They got a little bit tired going into the no huddle just like the other 22 guys on the field did. There were a couple of times where we didn’t block it. We blocked it for about negative three. West had one where we blocked it for about negative three and he picked up 20. We did a hell of a job making some guys miss. They didn’t hit every hole right. They had a couple that they miss. That’s expected from rookie backs. It’s expected from any back. I just hope they get better this week and learn from some of the success they had last week and some of the mistakes they made also.”

 

On if he likes where the offensive line is:

“To have the success we did, I was obviously pretty happy with. At times they did real well, and then there were a few things that we missed that they know from. We do it over and over every week. I think they’ll get better from it throughout the year. Going into that game, they were good at the stuff we were expecting. They missed a couple of looks that we weren’t expecting. The more reps they get, the more they get playing in it, the more they’ll be able to adjust to that. I feel we’ll get better as we go. Just stay healthy. You have continuity. That’s the main thing with having those guys out there.”

 

On how he thinks running backs coach Wilbert Montgomery has done with the backs:

“I think Wilbert has done a great job. I never knew Wilbert until we brought him in here. I’ve known of him from being a fan of his when I was younger when he was a player. I’ve known him from just being a coach and what he’s done with the Rams and Baltimore. He demands a lot out of his players. He does a hell of a job. He works as hard as anyone I’ve been around, and he’s a real good person also.”

 

On if he has the mindset that it’s going to be a shootout against the Saints and if he maybe doesn’t want to give them the ball quickly:

“Not really. I’ve got a lot of respect for their offense and everyone else does too, but if you think that way, you’re not going to call a game right. You’ve got to call a game to put your players in a position to win, a position to be successful. If you worry about what the other offense is doing, you’re not doing what’s best for your players. I try to not think about that stuff and just take it one step at a time. Whatever the scoreboard says, I’ll adjust to that, but you don’t really go in thinking anything like that.”

 

On if he thinks that sometimes QB Brian Hoyer gets in trouble when he hurries himself:

“At times, I think all quarterbacks are like that. You’ve got to keep your same rhythm throughout a game, and by rhythm I mean just the tempo of your drop and your feet and going through progressions. You don’t want to speed anything up and force it. If people are taking somebody, relax, hitch up and go to the next one. If someone double-teams a guy, it opens up a hole somewhere else. You don’t have to force it in there. Sometime when you have max-protection and you don’t have as many people out on a route, that can happen, but if you can get five eligibles out on a route or at least four and they’re playing zone, someone is going to be open. Whoever they take away,  it opens up another area, and you’ve just got to progress.”

 

On if he saw Hoyer’s comfort grow from the first half to the second half:

“Yeah, I think everyone’s did. When you start running the ball like that, it opens up a lot of things. It got us a lot of bootlegs and stuff like that – a lot of people more open than usual. Whenever you can have success going down the field like that and scoring some points, it helps everybody, coaches included.”

 

On what points he’s emphasizing to Hoyer this week in terms of facing Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan:

“In terms of going against their defenses, just really to not get too set on anything you see on tape. You never know what you’re going to get from Rob. I’ve faced him a lot being in Washington while he was in Dallas. He’s got a hell of a scheme. Everything you see on tape makes sense. He does a lot of stuff. I’ve learned if you work on all that stuff too hard, you’re probably not going to see it on Sunday. It could be a whole different thing, so you’ve just got to be able to go out there, relax, know your plays, go through progression. If you see something you haven’t seen before, don’t panic. We’ll come to the sidelines. We’ll talk about it and always be ready to adjust.”

 

On if they still would have kept Crowell if he didn’t have the game he had against Chicago:

“That was a decision…you’ve really got to ask someone else, but I know there were a bunch of guys battling for that third spot. Going into that game, we had two guys who were locked in and it could have gone any way for that third spot. He wasn’t locked in at all. He did well which helped him. It wasn’t just the guys on the team; they’re competing against other people in the league who are getting let off of other rosters. For him to have a good game like that, it definitely made it an easier decision for the people who make it to keep him.”

 

On if he’ll have a package for QB Johnny Manziel available for this week:

“As far as a Johnny package, like I said last week, a package is running our offense. Johnny is not a wildcat quarterback. If our starting quarterback gets injured or something like that, then your backup quarterback comes in. You hope he can run the offense and execute it. There are obviously plays that Johnny would do that Brian wouldn’t, but that usually has to do with the health of your quarterback and how the game is going.”

 

On if it really has more to do with Hoyer’s health and he wouldn’t put Manziel in as just a change of pace:

“Probably not, but that always depends on what you’re going against – what the looks are – how everything is going as a whole. There are really no absolutes, but week in and week out, it has to do with what I see on tape with who we’re going against.”

 

On if the third down play near the goal line where Hoyer turned the wrong way on a handoff would have been a first down if he had turned the right way:

“Yeah, it was third-and-one. I think we would have gotten a first down.”

 

On if they would have scored:

“Possibly. We were on the seven-yard-line. I just wanted to a yard. I think we would have had a good chance to get three tries from the six. I can’t say if we would have scored or not, but hopefully, I think we would have at least got the first down.”

 

On if has showed the players film of the Redskins winning at New Orleans two years ago:

“No, players don’t care (laughs). I really don’t care either, just like you guys don’t care (laughs). All that matters is that we how do this week.”

 

On it being a big deal:

“It was. It was fun for about 15 hours, and then I had to go on with the rest of my life.”

 

On if the game plan would be drastically affected if Browns TE Jordan Cameron can’t play on Sunday:

“Yeah, it affects how we look at everything. When you put together a game plan, a third down package, everything you do it affects it – who you want to get the ball to with matchups and stuff. I’m used to being in this situation. A lot of times you never know who’s going to be up, so you’ve got to have plans for both and make sure when it is a game-time decision and things like that that you’re not depending on the decision. You’re ready for it and you can go either way.”

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