Offensive Coordinator Alex Van Pelt (10.28.22)


On the Bengals pass rush:

“Relentless, I think, is the biggest thing. The motor that they play with, that is an intensity we will have to match and exceed. Both of the ends are hard-charging, high-motor guys who play to the end of the whistle. We are aware of that, and we expect to be able to play and match that intensity.”


On the Browns offense’s approach if TEs David Njoku and/or Pharaoh Brown are unavailable on Monday:

“It just gives guys opportunities to step up. We have been in these positions before. As a coaching staff, you have to find ways to get your best players on the field. Unfortunately, we will see what happens there. Dave was playing at a really high level so somebody will have to fill some big shoes if they step up for Dave.”


On how much the Browns offense changes schematically if Njoku and Brown are unavailable, including if that will lead to more sets with three WRs and/or two RBs:

“We will see. We will see who makes it to the game. We are definitely ready for whatever scenarios unfold later in the week. We feel good about the guys who are available, regardless of who it is. It may look a little different than it has in the past if those guys can’t make it, but we still have confidence in the guys who we will put out there, and we will have scheme available for the people and the personnel we put on the field.”


On the possibility of not having Njoku as a presence over the middle of the field and if someone can fill that role:

“I think so. I think we will find a way to get it done. That is our job as coaches to find schemes that fit our players’ abilities


On if Monday night’s game provides an opportunity for TE Harrison Bryant to showcase his abilities with an increased role:

“I think so. I think it gives him an opportunity to go out and like you said showcase his abilities. The last time he played an extensive role was in 2020 as a rookie down at Cincinnati and really came out and had a really good game. Oftentimes, he is not the No. 1 target in the tight end room just because of the guys who have been in that room before him. He will be the top guy if those other two do not make it to the game on Sunday. Excited for him. He works as hard as anybody. A really smart guy on the football field, has really good instincts and awareness, catches the ball well and gives you everything he has in the run game. Hopefully, he will step up to the challenge.”


On Browns TEs combining for only one TD this season and how the group can be more involved in the red zone:

“Big bodies down there, big targets. We have had success running the ball in down there. That takes away from opportunities to throw it in. We will take them in any way we can get them. Touchdowns, regardless of who is scoring them, we are happy. We definitely have tried to put our guys in positions to make plays down in the red zone. It just hasn’t happened yet up to this point.”


On the Ravens defense making big plays last week and if that was the result of the Ravens’ talent or offensive breakdowns:

“That is a good front. We have a lot of respect for them. We protected well for the most part. We had a few breakdowns here and there. (QB) Jacoby (Brissett) does a great job. We have to be better in the pocket with the ball. We can’t put two on the ground. Obviously, that is a scenario that we have addressed, and he understands that. He has made a handful of plays for us already this year where he has dodged a bullet in the pocket and gotten out and scrambled for positive yards. Just continue what he is doing with more emphasis on just ball security in the pocket.”


On if Brissett was too loose on the strip-sack:

“That is a hard one. You are going to tell him as a quarterbacks coach that you don’t want him to put that ball on the ground, but at the same time, he is starting his throwing motion to a wide open receiver. It is that fine line. Ultimately, ball security is what we strive for.”


On if the Browns had an open player downfield on the strip-sack play:

“Yes, there was. That is football. It is a game of inches, and that was just one inch – the other way, then we convert there on third down, and we are moving again.”


On WR Donovan Peoples-Jones’ explosive plays, especially against the Bengals in recent seasons:

“He is playing at a high level for us right now. Every time we have asked him to step up and make a play, he makes it. Multiple, multiple contested catches on the season. Over the course of his young career here, he has caught multiple balls down the field. He tracks it extremely well. He has made big plays against Cincinnati. We are going to need him to step up again.”


On if T Jedrick Wills Jr. did anything different this past Sunday compared to past weeks, given it seemed Wills gave ups some pressures last week:

“Not just Jed, I think we all just have to step up and play at a higher level. It was not just Jed. Jed probably didn’t have his best game if you look back, and you can ask him. We all need to hunker down. We do some really good things at times and then we get in these lulls. We have to avoid those lulls. We had a couple of three-and-outs in the middle of some good offensive football. Trying to find ways to get out of those little funks in the course of the game when we are going three-and-out, three-and-out and then four-and-out with the strip-sack-fumble. Those are what we are trying to avoid. More consistency, moving the ball down the field and putting it in the end zone when we hit the red zone.”


On if WR Amari Cooper should have been called for offensive pass interference near the end of the game:

“Maybe it gets called early in the season. If that is a playoff game, it is not going to get called. It is just whatever they see at the time. It has gone both ways. Multiple times, I have been on the good end and have been on the bad end. Not going to ever place judgement on the referees. They are doing what they see so we just have to live with that call.”


On if the Browns saw an opportunity against the Ravens defense on the deep pass to Cooper that resulted in offensive pass interference:

“It was built into the call. It was something that we felt good about. We liked our matchups, we liked the scheme and we got lucky and got the right look. It was just unfortunate.”


On if anything stands out about going against former Browns CB Joe Haden over the years:

“No, not really.”


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