OC Alex Van Pelt (10.1.20)

Offensive Coordinator Alex Van Pelt:

On one or two areas of improvement for QB Baker Mayfield and how Mayfield has played in the first three games:

“The thing I see is the constant improvement each week, and that is what we are looking for from that position. Obviously, it was a tough start in Baltimore. No question, presented a lot of issues for us offensively. The following week against Cincinnati, you saw a solid performance and then he capped it off with another one back to back. Just the consistency. He is getting a better understanding of what we are asking him to do within the system, and he is growing each week within the system.”

On if opposing defenses have installed similar gameplans against the Browns in the first three weeks:

“You see some of it. You see last week there was an emphasis on taking away the play action keep game, the nakeds and keepers so the ends were rushing up the field wider and not respecting the run as much, which opened up some big holes for us in the run game. You are starting to see teams do that a little bit more. Like I said last week, it is really a pick your poison and chase down the line or you play the quarterback. Baker has done a great job all season of continuing to carry on his fakes and they look the same every play, whether it is a run or a play-action keep.”

On how good the Browns OL been blocking in the run game:

“They have been very impressive. We have a really good mix. (Offensive line coach Bill) Callahan has done an excellent job of putting together that run plan every week with (run game coordinator/running backs coach) Stump (Mitchell), mixing in the zone game with the gap schemes and pulling people. Our line has done an outstanding job and is really well-suited to do both. I thought our pullers last week were very effective. I think (G) Joel (Bitonio) in particular had a really good feel and does a great job when he gets out on his pulls, also (G) Wyatt (Teller). All of our guys have the ability to play the wide zone game with their strength and speed and then also the agility to get on the edge when they decide to pull. I think right now, we have a good mix going of both.”

On confidence the Browns offense can produce in the passing game, particularly late in the game as the team has relied heavily on the run in recent weeks:

“We are confident. We are very confident. We have talented players outside. The quarterback is a talented player, our tight ends are a talented group and our running backs catch the ball well out of the backfield. We have just been in these situations now where we are in a four-minute offense at the end of the game so we have not been required to throw. There will be times this year obviously when we will. We are excited when that comes, as well, but we would rather have the lead and run the ball out to burn the clock up at the end. We are very realistic in fact that we know that we will be in some situations where we will have to rely on the pass game, and we are capable of doing that obviously.”

On what has been learned about RB Nick Chubb’s demeanor and personality and what it says about Chubb as a player:

“What a great teammate he is. Just a true pro in every sense. His attention to detail, he is all work. There is no nonsense. He is not a guy that needs accolades, but really cares. He just does everything the right way, the right way you ask him. His approach has been outstanding. It is a pleasure to be around him and see the way he works, his work ethic and the way he just approaches everything about the game. He is obviously extremely talented. Of course, you would want to be listed as one of the top backs, but he is in my mind. I am very excited that we have him on our team because he does everything the way we want him to.”

On if Chubb will take on more of a load or if other RBs will fill RB Kareem Hunt’s role, if Hunt is unable to play on Sunday: 

“We will see how the game goes. If he has to be the workhorse and carry it, he is definitely capable of doing that. Obviously, we like to keep him fresh as possible so (RB) D’Ernest (Johnson) and (RB) Dontrell (Hilliard) will get their opportunities, as well, as if Kareem can’t go. They are definitely capable understudies, so to speak, and they are ready to roll, as well. I know they are excited if they get the chance and they will go in and productive as well. If Nick needs to carry the load, I think he is in a position where he can do that if need be.”

On what he learned from working with Cowboys Head Coach Mike McCarthy in Green Bay: 

“Yeah, there is a ton. I learned a lot from Coach McCarthy. We were together a long time before that, as well, at the University of Pittsburgh when he was a graduate assistant. I had a long relationship with Mike. I take a lot of this stuff now offensively and just philosophy and teaching. A lot of that I learned from Mike. He is a hell of a football coach.”

On McCarthy noticing QB Baker Mayfield’s footwork change and if that was common between McCarthy and him: 

“Yes, just coming from the pure West Coast [offense] that we grew up in under (former Pitt Head Coach) Coach Paul Hackett, it was all about footwork, timing and rhythm so I am glad he noticed that.”

On WR KhaDarel Hodge and Hodge’s expanding role on offense: 

“He tries to do everything right. He is in the right place at the right time. He is assignment sound. He has the skill to make the plays when you call his number. He does a lot of the dirty work in the run game, his ability to finish down the field on every single play. He is another guy you can group in that Nick job category that just does everything the right way that you ask him to do it.”

On WR Jarvis Landry playing in his 100th consecutive career game this week and what he has seen from Landry since returning from hip surgery: 

“He has been very impressive. Juice is another guy that he has a great knack for just playing football, being in the right place, understanding coverages and understanding where he fits into the route schemes. Another guy that is tremendous in the run game and his physicality that he brings in his blocking and his finish as well. A tribute to him that he is out there after what he has gone through this offseason. I know he is probably not still 100 percent, but he goes out and gives everything he has every week. We are glad to have him.”

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