On Browns offense: "They've got a good mix of young skill players and some guys that they've drafted and developed over the past few years. Their offensive line does a good job working together. Their young skill guys are starting to grow together. Their running back is a good player. Quarterback does some good things and their young wide receivers are learning how to work with him, so they have a young nucleus that can be a good offense for years to come if they continue to work together and do the right things."
On Omar Gaither: "Omar brings a lot of energy. Omar's done a good job being a professional and coming in and asking the right kind of questions. He does a good job of communicating with the guys in the huddle. When he doesn't know something, he asks, so that's good. He has picked up a lot pretty fast."
On the defense: "I would say the biggest thing we do is we need to find what takes us to that point to play a football game. Some of these guys are in the process of learning how to do that themselves. I think some of our older pros know how to do that consistently. I think some of our younger guys are still learning how to do that consistently and that's part of the deal of a 16-game season. We have a good number of rookies and a good number of young players that don't know any other than this system and they need to keep working on how to get themselves ready to play at all times. That's what's going on is the consistency. We need to play at that level and whatever takes us to that, because it usually isn't a coach's speech that does that. It's every man figuring out how to get ready to play these 60 minutes of football consistently. That's what we're working on with them. Everybody does that a little different way."
On if it's different on the road: "It shouldn't be, but again, as a young guy, sometimes you get in the hotel and you're thinking about things that you shouldn't be thinking about. When I say, shouldn't be thinking about, I mean not knowing how to prepare yet. We have to teach them; we have to bring them along. They've had a good week so far so I'm excited to see what they do because the second half, they played. We had a couple things we had to overcome, but they played. That's all you've got to do; you tackle the guy with the ball. And you do your job. And you do it together. At times, we've done that well this year. We need to do that consistently. The same run plays are the same run plays we've seen. We just have let them out through holes this big sometimes [holds up two fingers close together]. You have to close the hole, that's our job."
On improved 3rd quarter play: "When we saw them in the locker room, some of the veterans kind of had a little different feel. I just looked at them and said, 'just go play.' In some other words, but mostly it was just, 'let's go play because you know you can. Quit messing around, not communicating, go play and knock the heck out of somebody because that's your job. Tackle the guy with the ball. Get them on the ground, control what we can control. That's it. That's all you get. That's what you can control.' So that's all we talked about, but that's what we have to take ourselves to all the time. It's our job as a staff and the players working together to get that done."
On what they can change to improve the defense: "One, points allowed is a team stat. Two, we have to control what we can control on defense. It's the very first thing I told you guys when we talked. It doesn't matter where they get the ball. It doesn't matter. You have to hold them to the least amount of points possible, hopefully force a field goal and block it. We have been good, good, good, pretty good, good, good, bad. Rather than a little bad, they've been bigger bads the last four games. We can't fall down. We can't say, 'I knew how to fit that, I just didn't get there.' There's no I didn't hear, I didn't understand, I didn't know. It's the same plays. We're seeing the same stuff. We have to play them better. We've played them better. We've already played them better earlier in the year. We have to get that inconsistency out of our defense. So those would be the three things that take care of it. Is there anything different? No, we have to execute the stuff better. We have enough things, but not too much things. We have enough. We have to do them right."
On the same mistakes being made: "You have to tackle the guy with the ball. When in doubt, you have to be violent. Some of them, we have to be more violent. We have to knock guys back. We played a couple good offensive lines. We have to make up our minds, as we did in the second half, to go knock the heck out of people and tackle the guy with the ball. It's going to be tested this week because this guy is a good runner and their line is getting better, so this is a good test for us. We need to get an 'A' on that test in our home stadium. That's what we need to do."
On if it's lack of execution or lack of talent: "I would say this, once you're in the season and you've got the 16 games to do as good as you can, you want to go 1-0 every week, the guys in the locker room are the guys in the locker room. Our job as a coach is to raise each one's level to be as good as he can be. That's where we've got to go. We've got to raise their level to be, and the players are working with us, to be as good as they can be to do their best. If that's not good enough, if somebody gets out-athleted once in awhile, that's going to happen, this is the NFL. This is the best in the world, best athletes in the world. Our job is to get them to be in the right spots and help them make plays when they're there. Their job is to make the plays. They actually get the good job. So that's where we are. Our job is maximizing how to get them to play together. There's going to be a time where a guy beats you, so the point for the evaluation of the players is after the five weeks and we can't control that. What we can control is the guys we have in the room who are good guys that are working together helping them make more plays. That's what we can control."
On if he's raised the level of the defensive players: "There's some guys playing better than they have. There's some guys playing really well. Joselio Hanson's play that got called back was an outstanding play. He is covering people. Philip Wheeler has gotten better this year. Those are just a couple examples. Some of our guys, Tyvon [Branch] is having a good year. He had to mix the one week and he'll be better this week than he was last week. There's some guys that their level, they've played better than they have in the NFL, and we're thankful for those guys. Some of our young guys are coming along. Those are just a few examples."
On his relationship with Rolando McClain: "Coach Allen addressed that situation. Rolando and I have a good relationship and however Coach Allen and everybody decides to proceed, that's how we'll go with it as an organization."
On playing more man coverage: "We play a mix of man and zone anyway. What we did is we played a little bit more man in some situations. That was good for us. So we'll continue to mix in the mans as we have throughout the year."
On why man coverage was successful: "It helped them get aggressive. There was some forms of man that we played in the first half. I'll give you a specific – one of them was the first 3rd-and-long. We had a man called and we didn't quite execute it exactly as we were supposed to do that so we just used a different form of it in the second half. Similar, but not exact, but that's what we want to do; we want to challenge him."