OC Alex Van Pelt (10.8.20)

Offensive Coordinator Alex Van Pelt:

On how effective the Browns OL has played and if the group can still continue to improve with more reps:

“Yeah, I think they will only get better. I agree, they are playing extremely well up front. I know (offensive line) Coach (Bill) Callahan and (assistant offensive line) Coach (Scott) Peters do an exceptional job of getting those guys ready each week. With all the drill work they do on the side, those guys are constantly working as soon as they step on the field from pre-practice to post-practice. I know that is paying off now. Really impressed with the way they have played up front, both in the run game and in the protections.”


On if WR Jarvis Landry was in the QB room this week after his TD pass at Dallas:

“I do not know, but I would take him in at a draft if I had a chance because man, that was one heck of a pass and. I have seen him do it. He did it against the Bengals when I was on the other sideline a few years ago and he threw a dime down the right sideline. Obviously, he is a weapon. He does a great job, makes great decisions and is extremely accurate down the field throwing the ball.”

On he has grown to appreciate the value WR Odell Beckham Jr. brings to the team:

“Absolutely, he is an extremely dynamic player. He can do a lot of different things, and he does it at an extremely high level. It is our job to find ways to get him the ball. As you can see there, going back to him again with the second time of the game on the reverse play, just putting the trust in the players like (Head) Coach Kevin (Stefanski) said. He really came through for us, and we expect that moving forward. We have to get the ball to him early and get him going because he really is a talented guy that can do a lot of things with the ball in his hands, whether he is catching it or running it.”


On if it was important for Beckham to remind everyone of his abilities with last week’s breakout game:

“I think so. He is a very prideful player. Obviously, he wants to be great. Guys like that, when they do not have a chance to show their greatness, kind of get frustrated at times. What a better stage than in Dallas to do it in a big game and then really pulled us through to a victory there at the end. That was special for him, I am sure, and does remind everybody of the talent that he does have.”


On if he knew RB D’Ernest Johnson could perform at the level Johnson did at Dallas:

“You saw flashes of that. I have not been around him a long time, but I did see flashes in the training camp. He is a very instinctive runner. Also, very impressed with that whole group in that room really with (RB) Nick (Chubb) going down and (RB) Kareem (Hunt) kind of limited, D’Ernest thrust into that role, (RB) Dontrell (Hilliard) having a big run and I thought (FB) Andy (Janovich) played extremely well at the fullback position and covered up a lot of things and made some key critical blocks. Great job by (run game coordinator/running backs coach) Stump Mitchell with the running back room last week. We expect that from D’Ernest. I know Stump did. Next man up mentality. I know he has those guys ready to go no matter what happens. That was an impressive performance.”


On what Callahan has meant to the run game:

“It is huge. The different scheme variation that we have each week and the things that he brings to the table, he has a vast library of knowledge of different types of runs. Really faced almost every defense in the league at some point and understands how those runs affect those defenses. Just the knowledge that he brings in and the scheme he brings every week to the run game, it has helped us tremendously. Very happy to have coach on staff. Lean on him a lot.”

On how encouraging it is to get TE David Njoku back and if Njoku can build upon his success in the season opener:

“Absolutely, David is another guy that is a very talented guy. He brings a great depth to that tight end position. We have had good play out the tight end room this year, very solid performances in each of the games. Now he just adds another element to that. Another guy that it is a good problem to have having to find ways to get guys the ball. When he gets the ball in his hands, he is explosive so we have to be conscious of that moving forward, as well.”

On if drawing up red zone plays is 100 percent or if someone deserves special credit for being the ‘red zone wizard’ this season:

“No, it is definitely collaborative. Everybody has ideas. We all go through the ideas together. The thing that stands out in the red zone is that most teams that are successful in the red zone runs the ball very well in the red zone. As you see, we have, as well. We have a lot of great passes schemed up, but if we can just run it in every time we get down there, we all would be extremely happy. It is definitely as collaborative effort.”

On the Browns third WR role with WR KhaDarel Hodge out:

“It is going to be a little bit by committee, and maybe we will have another guy up this week ready to go. (WR) Rashard (Higgins) should be possibly up. We will see how things go towards the end of the week. Between him and (WR) Donovan (Peoples-Jones), those guys will come in and split time and try to fill that void right now until Hodge comes back.”

On losing Chubb and the impact on the Browns offense:

“It is tough. It is obviously going to be tough, and there are some big shoes to fill there. Kareem is a guy that has done it in the past. He has had great success, and we expect nothing less from him. We do not expect a drop off at all in the run game with Kareem there, and then D’Ernest obviously showed that he belongs and can play in this league at a high level, as well.”

On Colts DT DeForest Buckner and the Colts defense:

“It is going to be a challenge for us offensively. This will be the biggest challenge of the year, we feel. A very talented group of guys. They do not do a lot schematically, but they play extremely hard and they are very sound – fundamentally sound and scheme sound. They do a very little, but they do it a lot very well. The effort is there. You see those guys on film they finish. They run hard to the ball so we are going to have to be able to play at a level that we can match or exceed their finish and their fundamentals. We have addressed that this week. A big challenge ahead for us offensively.”

On how pleased has he been with QB Baker Mayfield’s decision making and how important it is for Mayfield to continue the streak of not throwing an interception:

“Obviously, that defense is talented. Seven interceptions is a ton. Going in, we have to make great decisions. Been very impressed with him the last two weeks with Baker. In the game against Dallas, he had four balls that he threw out of bounds. Those are plays that we are OK with. We are fine with incompletions. We just cannot afford the interceptions. Now we start a streak moving in the other direction, and we will see how long we keep this streak going.”

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