Offensive Coordinator Alex Van Pelt (10.13.22)


On the Patriots defense under Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick:

“Excellent coach obviously. The scheme is really sound, and they have been doing it for a long time. They just put the pieces in, and they have a lot of good pieces. A very challenging defense. We will have our hands full this week. Notoriously, he does a great job of taking away what you do well, and understanding that going into it when you are game planning gives you a chance there. Extremely disciplined group, really good fundamentals and very sound scheme obviously. They play really at a high level.”


On if there is an advantage to an offense if it is able to catch an opponent’s defense when they are running stunts on the DL:

“Yeah, I think so. It is a challenge to pick all of the stunts up. That is a portion of their pressure package is moving the line. One of our strengths is the ability to play together up front and pass those off. If you catch them at the right time in a run, you can pop those, but again, they are extremely sound. They know their weaknesses in each of their schemes, and they usually protect against that type of play.”


On if New England moves Patriots LB Matthew Judon around the formation:

“A little bit. Yeah, he will move around, but we will expect to see him out on the edge for the most part. Coming off a great game last week. Does a lot of really good things in the pass rush. He is another guy, much like (Chargers LB Khalil) Mack last week, we will make sure we are aware of where he is.”


On if Judon is playing at the highest level of his career:

“Yeah, coming off last week’s game, I would have to say so. He has had this production in the pass game as far as rushing the quarterback. Extremely aware of him at all times.”


On if the Browns offense has done a better job running against stacked defensive fronts this season:

“I think so. I think it is expected now. Teams are going to try to stop the run any way they can. A lot of the times that includes adding an extra body down in the box. Accounting for those guys in the box with our scheme has helped, but we expect it. I think in the last year and a half or so, we are kind of to the point where we would be shocked if we didn’t see it.”


On if Belichick may have something planned the Browns have not seen yet this season to try to limit to running game:

“Oh, sure. I wouldn’t put anything past him. Obviously an excellent coach. He has done a lot of things. He has jumped into some 6-1 looks against the Rams a couple of years back. That became the fad against that type of offense. We are prepared for everything. We have faced a lot of different fronts against other teams. I am not sure if there is much else that he could show, but I wouldn’t put it past him to come up with something.”


On if he has ever said ‘where did you come up with that? in reference to Belichick’s defenses:

“Yeah, there is a lot of stuff. I have played against him – all of my playing days in Buffalo and coaching in Buffalo so coached against him. Obviously, I have a ton of respect for that organization, him and their scheme on defense. There is stuff that pops up every year like, ‘That is good. That is really good.’ Definitely, a well-coached unit.”


On how success in the Browns running game has created opportunities in the pass game:

“That is the starting point for us is the run. Then we try to get chunk plays off the actions off of that and the keeper game off of that. If you are not running the ball well, it is hard to fake a handoff and push the ball down the field or keep it and try to get on the edge. A lot of times when teams are chasing on the backside, that is when we come back to the keepers and they are effective. If they are not having to chase on the backside to stop the run, then the rest of your pass game and your play-action, run-action game becomes ineffective. It is the marriage of the run and the pass for sure for us.”


On how Brissett can eliminate late-game mistakes:

“Two of those were really situational. The two-minute drives where we need points and we need a lot of yards with little timeouts, you have a tendency as a quarterback – we ask him to do that – the tighter the game, the less time on the clock and the less timeouts, we have to be more aggressive in taking those chances. Two of those came up in those situations. The red zone interception is something he would love to have back last week. Really, he is playing at a high level, minus really the one play. The two-minute interceptions, you are going to have those because you are trying to push the ball down the field into tight windows. I think he is playing at a really high level, minus those two plays or that one play in the red zone especially. Everything has been really good. I want to make sure he understands that we are very happy with his play. He is playing extremely well for us right now. If we just eliminate one play or really three plays in those games, it is a different ballgame. Proud of him what he has been able to do for us offensively. A great leader again. Really showing his leadership here in the last few weeks.”


On if Brissett has exceeded expectations with the ability to get out of the pocket and run to extend plays:

“Probably exceeded expectations for the production he has had in the scrambles, but you do see a lot of that in his past film as we watched him. He is very strong in the pocket. He is tough to bring down. Guys will come off of him and fall off of him, and he gets what is there. Obviously, he is not a (Ravens QB) Lamar Jackson or (QB) Deshaun (Watson) out on the edge, but it is effective. He has had some big runs for us on scrambles.”


On if there is someone assigned to work with Watson while not able to practice with the team:

“We are glad to have Deshaun back in the building and back in the meeting rooms, and there is definitely a plan in place for him to get the work that he needs.”


On if Watson is attending meetings:



On who is working with Watson to get fieldwork:

“That is not to be discussed, but there is definitely a plan in place. It has been discussed at every level. We will get him ready.”


On if Watson is able to give input in game planning now:

“Our quarterback room is awesome. Everybody has a voice in there. Good just to have him back in the room. Obviously, we take everybody in that room’s opinions, and we use them if we think fit. Everybody in that room is welcome to speak up at any time.”


On WR David Bell’s progress:

“I think he is getting better each week. His confidence level is growing each week. The quarterback’s confidence in him is growing. He is quietly making the plays that he is asked to make when they come to him. Continuing to see growth there from him.”


On if the Browns are starting to see the desired consistency in production from TE David Njoku:

“Yes, and the run game. Again, he is another guy who is playing at a really high level right now. Love what he does in the pass game. He had a big conversion on third down running away from a defender using his speed. Makes some plays that have come to him, but in the run game, asking him to block these edge rushes in these five-on-the-line structured defenses, those are big guys on the edge. Him handling a (Chargers LB Khalil) Mack on the edge or (Patriots LB Matthew) Judon this week, those are things that you don’t ask a lot of tight ends to do in the NFL, and he can do them. Really happy with where he is right now.”


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