OC Alex Van Pelt (12.3.20)

Offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt:

On QB Baker Mayfield’s ability to draw defenses offside this year: 

“He has been really good. As an offense, we really believe in cadence variation and trying to keep defenses off balance. If you get an offside, that is great, but you are also in your head all game long it is what cadence is he going on so they can’t jump the count. It comes down to voice inflection, just getting into a rhythm and kind of lull the defense to sleep and then using your cadence variation to get them offside. (Packers QB) Aaron Rodgers was really good at this, I learned a lot from him. Baker has taken it as a challenge to get defenses offside, and he has done a great job.”

On coaching points with Mayfield on missed throws last week: 

“Do not overanalyze it. That is the biggest thing. It happens. He made four, five or six different throws in that game that were big time throws in tight windows down the field with great accuracy and then he missed a couple of easy ones. He obviously said that, as well. You just do not overanalyze it. It is part of the game. You are going to miss them. Guys are going to have drops that are in their hands, and you are going to miss throws to guys that are open. That is just part of the game. Not dwelling too much and trying to overanalyze and have it become a mental thing at that point. Just throw it to the guy that is open. If he is open, just throw it to him. Very simple coaching points.”

On the significance of WR Jarvis Landry’s performance last week and doing so going forward week: 

“It was huge. He came up big for us time and time again – critical catches and tough, contested catches. His hand strength really showed up there. Really strong hands at the point. That is something that we have to find more ways to get him involved because obviously, he can take over a game like he did the other day.”

On the key to running the clock down and scoring at the end of the first half: 

“It is every drive that we go out there with the mindset that we want to possess the ball, take it down the field and score. I do not think there is any more emphasis put on it than any other drive to be honest with you. It is just the way it has unfolded this year for us. When you defer in the first half and you get a chance to score at the end of the half and then come out and get the ball in the second half, that can potentially be a 14-point swing. There is a little bit of emphasis on just the fact that we want to score before the half and get the ball back when we defer. Every drive, we have that mindset that we want to possess the ball, long drives, convert on third down and finish in the end zone.”

On if clock management is on the team’s mind when having the ball late in the half to score and not leave enough time on the clock for the opponent to answer: 

“Yeah, there is definitely clock management that comes in. I thought (Head) Coach (Kevin Stefanski) and (coaching assistant) Ryan (Cordell) did a great job of managing the clock. When do you huddle? When do you decide to really shift into two-minute there and get to the line of scrimmage? You obviously want to score with leaving them as little time as possible left in the half.”

On if RB Nick Chubb is back to 100 percent or if Chubb is still knocking off rust from the knee injury and still has room to go and improve: 

“I hope there is room to go, but I think he is pretty much 100 percent in my eyes right now with the things he does on the field. I am sure he was knocking rust off in his first game back. If there is more to give, I can’t wait to see it. I am really proud of Nick and the way he has come back from that and produced for us.”

On if Chubb has any extra motivation in this game sharing the field with Titans RB Derrick Henry, who barely beat him for the rushing title last year: 

“Possibly, but he is not playing against Henry. We are going against that Titans defense. That is kind of how the approach has to be and the mindset. Is there any extra motivation? I think he wants to be great every game. This one is no different than any other.”

On Mayfield’s streak without a turnover:

“It is really a mindset. We do talk about it. We do not talk a lot about it because I think you can put that out there and it can backfire on you. Just really the mindset of I am not going to turn the ball over. He has really grasped that in the last four or five weeks. You can make that decision. You ultimately make the final decision of where the ball goes, who it goes to and then where that location of that ball is thrown. Just understanding that the importance of turnovers and giveaways and how that is a big part of our success is not turning the football over, I think he has really grasped that now and understands how important that is. If you can come away from a game with no interceptions or no turnovers, we are in a good position to win it at the end. I think now he really understands that.”

On what FB Andy Janovich brings to the offense:

“He is a very good fullback, an elite fullback. To be able to have somebody to lead from that position in the backfield, it just gives you a different aspect in your run game really. A lot of the single-back stuff that we have done has been very productive obviously, but to have another guy back there that can kind of lead the way for the running backs is crucial. A lot of teams do not face a true fullback so linebackers having to fit a fullback leading on them is a little bit different than playing some combinations with the offensive line. It gives you another variable there in the run game. He is a big part of that. Also, he catches the ball extremely well in the backfield.”

On if he senses that T Jack Conklin is excited to face his former team and Conklin’s performance this season:

“He is outstanding. I have not really felt that excitement of him going back yet – not really around the guys enough under the protocols to really get that feel. He has been a big part of our success. He has really solidified that right side. He is a true pro. He approaches it the right way. He is a very good player on that right side. He has been great for us. Great job by him, as we expected, to come in and fill that spot on the right side.”

On how Mayfield is doing with balancing not throwing interceptions and maintaining aggressiveness:

“Yeah, that is always the question. With Aaron Rodgers, it is the same thing in Green Bay, and he gets criticized at times for not taking chances, but at the end of the day, you look at the turnover ratio again and how critical that is to team success. We are going to be aggressive. He is going to make the right decisions. It is finding that balance, as you say, of when to take that risk. That changes throughout the course of the game. You could be down 10 points late in the game, and you are going to have to fit some balls in there that you may not do it early. Just understanding the importance again of not turning that ball over is critical. I would gladly take a 5-yard gain over a 20-yard chance of an interception. I think that is the mindset we have to take.”

On if Titans QB Ryan Tannehill is doing a good job of balancing not throwing interceptions while maintaining aggressiveness, understanding he has not necessarily been watching the Titans offense’s film:

“I have not been [watching that side of the ball]. The guys that take care of the ball, generally you are going to see winning records on those teams. That is the case throughout the history of football. If you do not turn it over, you are going to put yourself in position to win.”

On the Titans defense and compensating for losses on the Titans DL:

“That is a really good defense. Scheme wise, they are very multiple. They are going to give you multiple fronts in the base packages and multiple disguises in the back end in their sub package. It is a very big challenge. Their pressure packages are multiple, as well – different front spacing and different looks. Really for us, it is the communication of understanding each pressure package, how they attack the offense and how we can defend it in pass protection. They do a really nice job. It is going to be a good challenge.”

On if the Browns have used the RBs as much in the pass game as much as anticipated prior to the season:

“They do a whole heck of a lot for us in the run game. Obviously, they can both catch the ball out of the backfield. I do not feel like that is the case right now. I think we are moving the ball down the field without having to use those guys and rely on those guys in the pass game with the guys who are working for us well, but they definitely give you that ability to use them in the pass game.”

On G Joel Bitonio’s performance last week, particularly on the screen play to convert third-and-12 late in the game:

“Joel has been playing great all year long. He got a game ball last week. I thought it was his best performance of the year for him. Well-deserving. He was a critical part of that block. They had a linebacker down in that position that was responsible for Nick. His recognition of the man coverage and the tight coverage that was on Nick there and him executing that block was really what sprung that screen there to finish out the game.”

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