Offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt (11.18.21)


On if QB Baker Mayfield will practice today:

“I think we will see Baker today. He is just still sore a little bit, and that thing is healing. Give it an extra day of rest.”


On Mayfield saying he expects to play on Sunday:

“I think so. That is what we are planning for, yes.”


On Mayfield saying this is the most beat up he has been during his career and how the injuries may be impacting Mayfield’s throws or mobility:

“I think the mobility is definitely affected from it, but again, he is a guy who wants to be there for his teammates and play every week. It is crappy that he is as sore as he is in multiple areas, but it shows how much he loves his teammates, wants to plan and be out there on Sundays. Yeah, it is definitely going to affect him – a lot of the guys are affected with a lot of things in this point of the season. That is just part of the deal with living in the NFL world.”


On if the injuries are wearing Mayfield down from a mental perspective:

“He is as tough of a mental guy as I have been around. I do not think it will affect him. He prepares himself as well as anybody I have been around during the week of preparation. He does a great job of trying to get healthy and taking care of his body each week. I think once you get to gameday, the juices get flowing, and those injuries, they are sore, but they are not as sore with all of the adrenaline of the game. Hopefully, he will continue to heal and feel better each week, but it is tough, and he is battling through, much like a lot of our guys right now.”


On how Mayfield’s mobility due to the injuries impacts the offensive gameplan:

“Just probably do not have as many plays where we are expecting him to run. If things happen in the course of a game where he has to move and run, he will and he has. I do not think it has that much of an affect on his ability to scramble, but we would probably not go out of our way to do a lot of that.”


On if Mayfield’s mobility was affected last Sunday due to the foot injury or if he is referencing Mayfield’s knee injury sustained in the game and moving forward:

“I know you want to talk about injuries. He has a bunch of them. They all affect everything. It all adds up over time. I think he will be effective on Sunday, effective enough to play.”


On the Browns’ injuries at WR and if the team expects WR Donovan Peoples-Jones to be available:

“We will see. We think so. We hope so. He was in walkthrough today so if he is in walkthrough, then we expect to have him on Sunday.”


On RB John Kelly Jr. returning to the active roster with RBs Nick Chubb and Demetric Felton still on the reserve/COVID-19 list:

“That will help. I think things are trending in the right direction for the other guys. Maybe we will get to see them later in the week as the protocols run out for those guys. We are hoping.”


On what the Browns have identified to help improve the pass game:

“The biggest thing is we just have to be more consistent – more consistent and the production. We have up games where we look great and a lot of explosive plays and things work for us, and other days, it does not. Last week, it is kind of tough – you go out there, you go down the field and you score; you come back on the second drive, and we throw an interception; the third drive, they stopped us on third down; and by that point, we are down enough now where we kind of have to get in the mode of throwing it. That is not when we are at our best is when we have to throw the football for whatever reason. When we are rolling is when we are play-action, run-action and keeper game, and it all ties in together. We have to be more consistent. We really do across the board. We have to find ways to get the ball to the guys who need to touch it more. That has been addressed obviously. We have to be more consistent as a group.”


On if it is tougher for the Browns offense when the approach has to change when down multiple scores:

“Yeah, I think that is anybody’s offense. Anytime you are down and having to come back, it makes it tough and that is how you are built. We are built to run the football and take what comes off of that.”


On the number of sacks and QB hits since Week 2 and how to give Mayfield more protection:

“It is not always the answer of max protection. Max protection means more people around the quarterback. Maybe it is the answer of getting into more empty formations and spreading them out and keeping guys away from him. I thought our protection unit has been doing a good job. We have to get the ball out of his hands, and that is our mindset.”


On the Browns’ lack of success on third down last week:

“That was just the conversions. We were in some really long situations, which were tough. We have to execute and we have to convert when it is manageable [situations]. If it is third and 10 or less, we feel like we need to stay on the field. We did dive down and do a good study on third down early in the week so we feel like we have addressed some areas there to hopefully make some improvements moving forward.”


On if converting more third downs comes down to focusing more on the little details of a play:

“It is, and it is good defensive play to give the Patriots credit. They did a nice job. They gave us some looks we did not expect and did not see, and they disguised well in some situations that caused us some trouble on third downs. We just need to be better and more consistent as a group.”


On if Browns players are getting the message as the team emphasizes not committing penalties:

“Oh yeah, they definitely are. The last week was very clean in our operation – no false starts and none of that. This week has been great. Yesterday was a very good practice. It causes those guys to lock in a little bit harder. We have been good at times, and when we are good and we are clean in our operation, we are usually doing well offensively. When we are behind the sticks – first-and-20 or first-and-15 because we jump offside – that always makes it tougher, but that is just any offense.”


On if Chubb’s conditioning would be in strong enough position to play on Sunday, if activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list:

“I think so. I do not know. I would be lying to tell you I knew exactly where he was with the conditioning, but guys come off of the COVID list and play all of the time across the league. If he is available, I am sure we will be very smart with how we handle his carries, but he is obviously a big part of what we do offensively.”


On RB D’Ernest Johnson’s performance last week being one of the bright moments from the game:

“It really was. I will take you to the last play offensively for us, he catches the ball out of the backfield and runs down the field – whatever it was, 15 yards – and he had two defenders coming in on him. Nine out of 10 backs in this league would have stepped out of bounds, and he put his shoulder down. This guy loves football, and I love that he is in our room.”


On TE David Njoku saying the missed catch for a TD was a ‘lazy play’ and the teaching point from that play:

“It is unfortunate for him – it cost him a touchdown. That is the lesson that he learned on that one is that you have to finish every play with the intensity until the play is over. He will learn from that, no question.”


On the Patriots’ ability to adjust to the Browns and other opponents after the first offensive series:

“They have been doing it for a long time in that system so they obviously have a lot of answers with a lot of different personnel groupings and scheme. They have always done a good job at that.”


On if the Patriots defense made a lot of adjustments following the Browns’ first offensive series:

“We saw a lot of everything that they have shown throughout the course of the year. Really, they gave us a little bit of all of the looks that we had seen. I do not know if it was in reaction to our first drive or just their gameplan to give us different looks.”


On if the Browns need to do a better job of getting the ball to WR Jarvis Landry and how to do so:

“Find ways. Just find ways, whether it is quick throws, double moves or get him involved in the run game. Whatever it is, but he needs to touch the ball more, and we are aware of that.”


On if the Browns need to get the WRs more yardage, given their production last week, while understanding the team uses a lot of 13 personnel:

“We have to get them involved for sure, but we definitely like our tight end groups. They present some matchup problems.”


On how to create more quick throws and why that has not occurred more often:

“I do not know, unless you know something I do not know about the time clock and when he is getting rid of the ball and how it is longer than it has been. I feel like the play calling has been the same. We have run plenty of quick game. I do not know the numbers on that, but we definitely call plays to get the ball out of his hands quickly at times. When we have to hold it, we have to hold it. If it is third-and-long, there are going to be times where we do have to hold it.”


On the interception against the Patriots:

“I think it was just the coverage and good coverage by them. They showed a single-high, and they rolled back late to a two-high and kind of trapped an out-breaker. Baker left the ball a little bit inside, not expecting the corner to come off like he did.”


On if Peoples-Jones needed to get off of the line of scrimmage faster on the interception:

“That, too. That is scheme. That is on me. I should not have him off of the ball. I should have had him on the ball, and I will take credit for that. I told those guys that moving forward. We are all accountable to each other, and that is one of the areas that I need to do better for you guys.”


On if the Browns WRs are doing a good enough job of winning against man coverage:

“I think so. I do. We have to be better obviously and more consistent. At times, it is good, and at times, you look up and we are covered. That is part of football. We have to do a better job of scheming those guys open, and when we do get the one-on-one matchups, they have to do a better job of creating separation versus man coverage. That has never changed. That is offensive football.”


On the Lions defense’s strengths:

“They have a really good pressure package on third down. It is multiple. I would say that is the area I have spent a lot of time in this week is just trying to figure out what they are trying to get done on third down with their pressures. They play hard.”


On Landry’s attitude in the building and if Landry has changed at all in recent weeks since LA Rams WR Odell Beckham Jr. was released by the team:

“No. Obviously, he has made mention that it stings him, and I get that 100 percent. That is a close friend. He is a pro. He comes out at the walkthroughs, and he is great and he is communicating. He has been good.”


On the Browns offense running a significant amount of no-huddle last week:

“We were down there, and we were trying to come back. We were going into a two-minute offense than a no-huddle offense. We do have a lot of ways to get to the line of scrimmage quickly and run consecutive plays, yes.”


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