Offensive Coordinator Alex Van Pelt (8.23.22)


On QB Joshua Dobbs’ performance thus far:

“Been impressed, I really have. He has come in, and both of the games he has played, he has played extremely well. Very happy with where he is right now. Has a great understanding of the offense. He is a very intelligent young man. He does a lot of good things. He is athletic, obviously with the runs he has had in this preseason and the scrambles. Very excited about his development so far.”


On QB Jacoby Brissett’s growth in recent weeks and taking command of the Browns offense:

“It has been the last few weeks I have seen it really. It is impressive. The guy is a natural leader. He is a worker. He spends a lot of time when we are not around him working. I will look out of my window after practice 45 minutes later, and he is still on the field. He is an intelligent guy. He has played a lot of football in his career. Very comfortable with where he is.”


On how valuable it is that Dobbs has been here since free agency and gone through all of the installs:

“It is very valuable the more that they are around. Really, it is three new quarterbacks in the room that are learning the offense for the first time. To have that experience and going through each install through the spring, through OTAs and training camp, it is super valuable.”


On how the Browns offense differs depending on who is playing QB:

“As coaches, we have to build the best plan around the players that we have obviously. Skillsets change, but our job as coaches is to get the most out of each player based on their skillsets. It will look a little bit different, but our core offense is in You will see different plays for each different guy, and that is the case regardless of who is in. You always want to play to your strengths.”


On if there is a significant difference in terms of available plays depending on who is at QB:

“It is not that extreme, but there are definitely different aspects of the offense that we will run with (QB) Deshaun (Watson) that we may not run with Jacoby and vice versa to be honest. Both guys bring a different set of skillsets, but they are both experienced guys and played a lot of games in the NFL so we have to do it best to get the best out of them.”


On the Browns’ depth at RB:

“It is really a great group. All of the guys are super talented in that room. They have been productive when they have stepped on the field. Obviously, (RB) Kareem (Hunt) and (RB) Nick (Chubb) have not played in the preseason, but their body of work from the last two seasons is tremendous. (RB) D’Ernest (Johnson) coming in and having success when those guys were hurt, he is another guy who you feel really comfortable handing the ball off too. (RB) Jerome Ford coming in, and (RB) John Kelly (Jr.), heck, he has had a good preseason, too. It is a solid room and really happy to have all those guys.”


On if Brissett has enough time to get ready for the season, given Brissett has not played in a preseason game yet:

“I do believe that for sure. I am not sure how much or if he will play this week, but we have calculated reps and started to get him more and more a few weeks back moving in the direction of him starting the season. He will have plenty of reps when the first kickoff happens.”


On if Watson is working off to the side of practice at this point or will continue to get reps with the team:

“He is going to still get some work. It will be less and less with the first group moving forward, but he will still get work.”


On if Watson will get practice reps ahead of Dobbs:

“That is to be determined. We have to be ready for that opener, and that is the most important thing. Get this week obviously and then regroup and getting ready to go in the opener. Have to have both of those guys ready to go.”


On the challenge for the Browns coaches that they cannot contact Watson during the first half of the suspension:

“It is difficulty. Luckily, we will get him back earlier than later and he will have some time to be in the building. We will have to have a good plan in place for him when he is not around. We are moving in that direction. We will have drill work for him that he can take with him and do on the side when he is not in the building.”


On if it makes sense for the Browns offense to run the ball more often to start the season, given the depth at RB and Watson’s suspension:

“I think we are always going to run the football. That is where our offense starts is with the run game and the wide zone game. I do not think that will be any more or less. I am sure teams will defend us a little bit differently maybe than they would with Deshaun – that is fine; we are used to that – but we are never going to get away from the run game, regardless of who our quarterback is.”


On the Browns WRs room:

“I have been really impressed with Amari. He is a guy who I have always admired from far as a receiver coming out of college. Explosive. A true pro. He showed every bit of that out on the field in the practice reps he has gotten. (WR) Donovan (Peoples-Jones) is just as solid. He has had a really good camp and does a lot of things for us in the run game and the pass game. (WR Demetric) Felton (Jr.) has come on now as a slot receiver. In his second year, I like a lot of his qualities that he brings. Then there is a group of young guys behind that. Those guys have potential. There are some hard workers. (WR) Mike Woods (II) is a guy who has not been on the field as much, but when he has been on the field, he has been productive. (WR Mike) Harley (Jr.) is a guy who just can run all day. He is an Energizer bunny. It is a good group, but I definitely am very impressed with Amari.”


On Brissett and Cooper developing a strong chemistry:

“It takes a lot of work on the side and it takes a lot of individual route running. Some really good timely reps in that practice, the red zone practice that we had where Amari started off hot. It is trusting each other, and that is stuff that you gain on the practice field.”


On Carolina announcing its Week 1 starter is Panthers QB Baker Mayfield, who he spent a lot of time with together in Cleveland:

“Happy for him. Happy for Baker. Looking forward to competing against those guys in the opener.”


On Brissett’s steadiness, leadership and composure and the significance of those attributes:

“I think that is huge. He does bring that rock in the locker room and on the offensive side of the football. Even going back to earlier in training camp, we were maybe two weeks in and we had a really bad practice offensively, and he was the first one to call the group up and kind of just address the issues we were having at that time. He is a guy who has been there and he has done it. He has done it as a backup, and he has also done it as the starter. Those are valuable experiences that he has gone through, and we will leave heavily on him as the leader.”


On Brissett being popular with teammates and earning respect of the locker room:

“Absolutely, like I said earlier, he is a natural leader. He is a worker. Guys will gravitate to that style of player, and it shows.”


On calling offensive plays for some of last week’s preseason game against the Eagles:

“It was fun. It was good. I love it.”


On for how long he called offensive plays during last week’s preseason game:

“I had the first half last week. It is awesome here because (Head Coach) Kevin (Stefanski) gives everybody an opportunity to call [plays]. As a young coach, to have that opportunity is so valuable. I am not sure who will help call this week, but last week, (pass game coordinator/wide receivers) Coach (Chad) O’Shea called the second half. It is fun to have different voices and give guys opportunities to be play callers.”


On Dobbs’ control of the offense in the two-minute drill last Sunday:

“He is very in control. He is very in-tune with the offense and what we are trying to accomplish on each play call, and he has been executing at a high level.”


On Dobbs’ high academic intelligence and if that translates to football:

“For sure. Absolutely. Whether it is memorizing numbers in calculus to memorizing formations and play calls, it definitely helps.”


On how RB Kareem Hunt has handled the contract situation:

“I understand where he is obviously. I have nothing but good things to say about his work ethic and the way he plays. When he is out there, he is a violent runner. I understand it obviously, but at the same time, he is under contract and we are hoping he is happy with that and plays hard for us this year, which I am sure he will.”


On if Hunt will be as big of a piece of the Browns offense as two years ago when healthy:

“I certainly would expect that, yes.”


On how young Browns players have responded to the individual ups and downs of training camp, particularly at WR:

“Schwartzy (WR Anthony Schwartz) has put together some really good practices here of late. He is doing everything we have asked him to do. He gets guys open alone with his speed. He made some plays on the ball this past game, as well as in practice. (WR) David Bell is just a young guy. He is learning his way right now. He is getting better each day – that is the thing that I have seen from him. He started off just a little unsure of maybe the offense, and now you can see his play speed is increasing and he is starting to get a better understanding.”


On G Michael Dunn’s performance and mobility at C last week and if C Ethan Pocic’s skillset impacts the Browns’ ability with wide zone runs:

“I do not think so. I think those are very good. I am real happy that we have the depth that we do have. Po is a very stout, strong guy. The wide zone game will suit him just fine. Dunny does a lot of good things, like you said, on the perimeter. The depth that we have at offensive line is very reassuring.”


On if Dunn solidified the role of backup C and swing G with the recent performances:

“You would have to ask (offensive line) Coach (Bill) Callahan on that one.”


On the coaches’ main points of emphasis this week when transitioning to more of a regular-season practice-week schedule:

“Really, it is just to get the rhythm and the timing of how an in-season Wednesday would feel. That is it for us today. We talked through personnel this morning with the group of who they are and put in our base plan. It gives the coaches an opportunity to kind of do a dry run on their presentations. Each coach will present a different area to the guys so this is the week that we are going to get the rust off of our presentations and give these guys a feel of what an in-season week [looks like].”


On if the Browns’ schedule and approach to practice will also change to more of a regular-season practice-week structure:

“It definitely changes, yes. We go back to in-season schedule so we will be in the building earlier and out on the field a little bit earlier than normal.”


On if the Browns’ objectives for practice this week also transition to a regular-season approach:

“We are still in the mode of Browns versus Browns at times. At the same time, getting ready for Chicago so we are still a little bit in training camp mode. It is not 100 percent scout team cards yet so we are still competing in a couple of periods but then we are getting ready for Chicago, as well.”


On T Jedrick Wills Jr. committing errors and penalties at the end of a practice last week:

“It was a tough situation for Jed. It was just an alignment thing with the left side of the line – we were deep a few times. Did not get it corrected, then he had a false start and got frustrated understandably. That is just part of the deal. You can’t get frustrated. You can’t throw your helmet. We addressed it with Jed, and Jed is fine.’


On the Browns’ expectations for Wills this season, given Callahan said the team expects a ‘quantum leap’:

“I see it. I see it, especially in the Philly practices going against different guys. He is getting the best work he can get every day in practice against (DE) Myles (Garrett). To see him go out and have success against other defensive ends is very encouraging.”


On what Brissett needs to show on Saturday if playing in his first preseason game with the Browns:

“We always talk about operation, getting in and out of the huddle cleanly with the right play calls and getting us into the right plays. Just the operation of our offense I think is the big thing. Obviously, we would love to go down there and score a few times, but that is not the end of the world if we do not. We are looking for a clean operation and clean mechanics from that position.”


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