OC Alex Van Pelt (11.19.20)

Offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt:

On how missing a Browns offensive lineman at practice this week impacts preparations for the Eagles pass rush: 

“That is a really, really good pass rush. Obviously, they do a great job of getting after the passer. Having them in practice I do not think is crucial. Obviously, you would like to get the practice reps, but it is going to come down to one-on-one matchups. (T) Jack (Conklin) missing the week, a true vet like he is I am sure he has done a ton of film studies and he is doing a great job of keeping up with his conditioning. He will be ready to roll so I do not have any concerns there, but they are very good front in pass rush.”

On if he still views T Jedrick Wills Jr. as a rookie and if Wills still needs extra help at times: 

“You always consider helping your edges, especially with a rush like this. He will get some help at times, obviously and so will Jack. It is just kind of the way we are built. He has been playing well. He is still a rookie so there is still a lot of room for improvement, but he has come in and he has played well. He has been available. He has done a nice job. We have to keep him onside. He has a little streak there of jumping offside with the false starts. Overall, he is going to continue to improve each week.”

On what makes a team good at screen plays and what makes RB Kareem Hunt so good in the screen game: 

“Obviously, Kareem is great in space. He is going to make guys miss. He can make you miss and can run through tackles. That is a big part of it. Screens come down to your linemen and the timing. I think the landmarks and where you are in the field, those are all critical and crucial. You have different variations of screens and different counts of screens, but just everybody leaving at the same time regardless of how many count screen it is. Getting in those right spots on the field and when you get those linemen in space, those guys are lesser athletes at time, but the aggression that they show is always key when they throw on those guys, even if they do not get them down, just getting in their legs and giving them something extra to think about. Good screen teams are guys that have a good feel for the timing and the landmarks in the screens.”

On if the Browns are a good screen team: 

“We are. We have not screened a ton yet, but when we do, we have had success. It is something that we feel good about. We rep it a lot off to the side with the linemen for timing purposes.”

On using the pistol formation last week: 

“It is just something that you throw in there for window dressing to be honest with you. Throw a pistol in there just to give them a different look, give them something to talk about and give them something to think about. It does not have any purpose other than that probably at this point.”

On if the Browns offense has worked more with Hunt and RB Nick Chubb in same backfield with FB Andy Janovich out: 

“Yeah, you would always like to get your playmakers on the field in whatever groupings that put the best group of guys out there, and those guys have been involved. We have done it in the past, and it is definitely part of something that we can get to.”

On if he was surprised at all by Chubb’s performance his first game back from his injury and Chubb’s last run of the game: 

“First question, I think I was not surprised because I saw the way Nick practiced last week. I saw the burst and acceleration. He looked like Nick. I am sure he felt a little rusty at times, but I was not surprised by his performance. As far as the last play goes, you would expect Nick to do that. Nick does everything you ask of him. He is a true Pro. He is a great pro. He is very unselfish. I think I may have been excited that he was going to score and forgot we had told him ‘no mas’ there to end the game if we got the first down. I would take 53 Nick Chubbs the way he works, his attitude and his unselfishness all day long. He is a great pro.”

On how special it was that Chubb and Hunt became the first Browns RBs to record 100 rushing yards in the same game since 1966: 

“It was very special. Those two guys are very deserving of all the credit they get. They are both excellent runners. Kareem would be a Pro Bowl-style starter on most teams. We are lucky to have them both. To get them both over 100, that was special. That was a point of emphasis. In the weather conditions, we knew we wanted to run the ball and run it efficiently and effectively. Both of those guys provided that for us.”

On how opposing defenses are worn down by the offense rotating Chubb and Hunt and both RBs having fresher legs late in the game: 

“I think it is just like you said, the fresh legs and the fresh body, a guy who is going to run through the arm tackles, break tackles and still have that freshness in them. As defenses continue to have to tackle these guys at every of level defense, eventually, you are going to pop some of those runs. That was the thing, I thought we did a great job and we were patient in our run game last week. We stuck with it knowing that eventually we would pop some of those runs. They were close, and the more attempts you play, the more the runners get a feel for the scheme and the more the linemen, the tight ends, the fullback understand how they are going to block a certain run scheme. Eventually, that came out like it did last Sunday.”

On if there is a greater burden on players to work independently this season with virtual meetings: 

“I think it is tough. I think it is hard for these guys. The good part about it is we went through the offseason virtually so they are used to it. It was not anything new going into this intensive protocol. Those guys understand the importance of each meeting. You might be at home on your couch and there might be distractions, but you have to lock in. That is the one thing they are missing. They are not in the room with the coaching staff right now. They are not locked in in that regard, but they have to take that same mentality and that same approach when they are at home. It has been good so far. It is going to be that way for the rest of the year. Like I said, luckily, we had the offseason to really emphasize the importance of virtual meetings.”

On what he misses most about players not being in the building all day: 

“For me personally, it is interacting face to face. It is tough. It is what it is, but you only get to see the whole group out on the practice fields. It is kind of different. Usually, you go into a meeting, you have the unit in there, you are in there five minutes early and you are just talking to guys and understanding where they are from and seeing how their wives and kids are doing. It is just that personal interaction. You kind of lose some of that. That is the biggest thing I have missed is just the face-to-face interaction in the meeting rooms.”

On the pressure QB Baker Mayfield will face Sunday against the Eagles defense:

“They are good at their pressures, there is no question. They generate pressure with their front four more or less. They blitz at a lower rate than most teams, but their blitzes are effective. That is definitely something that we have discussed, and we will have different ways to go about that.”

On confidence Mayfield will do better against pressure this week:

“He is growing in the system. I think he is feeling more comfortable with everything at this point, and we will help him. We will definitely help him.”

On WR Jarvis Landry’s consistency and availability after recording his 600th career reception last week:
“You see a guy that loves football. You see the way he practices. You see the way he competes on gameday. He loves to play the game. It is special for him to get that 600th reception. That was big. There is a guy who comes into work every day with the lunch bucket and the hard hat. He just goes to work and does his job. When it comes to gameday, he just loves to compete. He competes in the run game just as hard as he does in the pass game. Glad that we can continue to get him the ball.”

On Landry not having a TD yet this season:

“That is just the way the ball has bounced for him this year, but he will get in there soon.”

On T Jack Conklin’s performance this year and if he believes Conklin has helped stabilize the right side of the Browns OL:

“I definitely do. A great pickup for us in the offseason getting him involved and getting him on board. He is another guy that is a true pro when you talk about doing it right everyday, coming to work and putting the work in, and then you see the results. He is obviously a very talented player and does a great job on the right side, but all of those guys, they work really hard. It is good to see him having that success.”

On what makes Eagles DE Brandon Graham a tough matchup:

“His strength and size with the power. I think he is kind of not a real tall guy but he has great strength and power and multiple pass rush. Obviously, a veteran who has been doing it now for a while at a high level. He is definitely a guy that you are aware of, and I feel like we match up well. I think Jack will do a great job.”

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