Offensive Coordinator Alex Van Pelt (9.29.22)


On if QB Jacoby Brissett is playing the best football of his career and/or if Brissett is well-suited to play in the Browns offense:

“I think it is a combination of both really. I see a lot of the similarities in his play in previous years. He is really good with the football, makes good decisions and throws it accurately. I think our system does benefit him and allows us to use him under center, play-action and things that suit his play style. Playing really well right now. Just want to keep maintaining that consistency.”


On if TE David Njoku getting lots of touches last week is a sign that it is TE Harrison Bryant’s turn to get more touches:

“The ball finds the open guy so it is just a matter of staying true to the read at the quarterback position and going through your progression, and it will find the open player. It just happened to be David a lot last week, which is a good thing for us. (WR) Amari (Cooper) recently, as well.”


On if there is a vision of Brissett’s ceiling in the Browns offense or if it is still to be determined:

“We are just looking for consistent play each week. I thought he has done a great job this season so far. I don’t really put ceilings or bottoms on anybody. You just come out and play, and we will go from there. You know how I am. I never like to make eye contact when guys are playing well so we just keep it at that, and we just keep doing what we are doing and stay consistent.”


On if Brissett has extra zip on his passes recently and if that is due to confidence and comfort in the offense:

“I think that is definitely a confidence thing. When you are throwing it accurately and really well, you are feeling really good about your reads and the plays that are being called so yes.”


On if Brissett has been making quicker decisions during the past two games:

“I think so. I think it is just getting confidence in the gameplan, knowing exactly where to go with the ball versus what coverages. He has been doing it for a long time now so there are not many defenses that fool him. Pre-snap, he has a good feel of where he is going to go with the football and allows him to play fast.”


On if Brissett is comfortable enough in the Browns offense to where Brissett has input on gameplan and play calls:

“For sure. There are things that each day and each meeting that he will make a suggestion. We run it up the chain. Obviously, (Head Coach) Kevin (Stefanski) is in our meetings, as well. We are all in there so everything is great communication. If there is something that the quarterback, no matter who it is, sees and likes, generally the coach is going to say, ‘OK, let’s get that going because if you feel good about it, I know you will see it in the game.’ Yeah, he is very interactive with the plan.”


On if the Browns’ run blocking is more precise this year compared to the previous two seasons:

“I think it is. I think that is a strength of ours. A lot of it has to do with coaching, a lot of it has to do with scheme and a lot of it has to do with having good players up front. A combination of those three things. We have gotten better each year. We are running the ball well right now, but it is really a tribute to those guys up front and the runners, tight ends included. Our receivers block in the run game. They don’t shy away from anybody. A big run that got us going against the Steelers, both of our receivers went down and cracked the linebackers in the box and didn’t flinch. It is all hands on deck in the run game. Obviously, we have the good players that help.”


On Brissett having composure to execute a spike against the Panthers despite taking a step backward, given WR Amari Cooper noted a personal mistake on the play:

“Just miscommunication really. I will leave it at that. There was just miscommunication. I don’t think anybody screwed up. Great composure. On gameday, he is awesome to be with on the sideline. It is just business as usual.  Good or bad drives, he comes off, and we talk through it. Very composed during the game. I attribute that to a veteran player who has played a lot of football.”


On if there is a main reason that Brissett ranks in the top-10 in the NFL in completion percentage:

“Decision-making is a big part of that and not trying to do too much. We have always talked about take what it is given. The defense will dictate where the ball goes. Don’t try to do more than that. He has really bought into that and is doing a great job of getting the ball to the check downs and then he sees it clearly when it is time to push the ball down the field. That is just a tribute to him and his decision making.”


On Brissett recording the highest completion percentage of his career thus far and if that can also be attributed to the Browns offense’s scheme:

“Scheme, players, play calls – it is a little bit of everything. I just feel really good about where he is right now in our system. His understanding of what is required from the quarterback position, he is playing at a high level.”


On if RB Nick Chubb is doing anything differently than last year, given the strong start:

“Smiling occasionally (laughter). He is tough to get to crack a smile. No, I do not. He is just a worker who comes everyday with the same attitude and the same work ethic. If you watch practice when we get going, we are on the minus-45 and he is finishing plays into the endzone. He is a worker, and it pays off on gameday, obviously.”


On if this is the most dominating the Browns run game has been since 2020:

“We have had some good moments for sure, but I think we are all playing a high level when it comes to the run game right now. Having (T) Jack (Conklin) back in there and getting the band back together, I think we feel good about where we are up front with everybody. Like I said, the receivers are as big of a part of that as anybody and the tight ends. Bery happy with the run game right now and where we are.”


On if it designed for Chubb to get more carries in games this season than past years:

“I think it is just happening right now. We kind of get into the rhythm of the game and say whose series is this. Is it Nick’s or is (RB) Kareem’s (Hunt)? Rarely do you hear, ‘Hey, keep Nick in there. Let’s keep him going.’ We just have a rhythm to who comes in the game. It just so happens he has more touches right now.”


On Brissett and WR Amari Cooper developing chemistry that has been seen during the first three weeks of the season:

“I think it is a lot of discussions off the field, in the meeting rooms, on the practice field and off to the side during special teams period where they are getting the extra work. Talking through all the scenarios that come up. ‘What if they do this? What if he plays it like this? What do you expect?’ It is just being on the same page. That is what good players do when they get together. You get a good feel for how the receiver will respond versus certain coverages or versus certain looks on defense. They talk a lot so that is very helpful, obviously.”


On how much the Browns run game has helped Cooper get open:

“It definitely makes it easier when you are beating one guy and not two when you have the ability to cloud to a receiver a play shell defense behind it. It opens up the run game. I think having the run game where we are right now teams are more apprehensive to keep the middle of the field open and double a receiver. Definitely a benefit.”


On Gs Joel Bitonio and Wyatt Teller pulling in the run game:

“It is pretty to watch. It is a lot of fun. No doubt. Those guys are athletic for big dancing bears. They can get on the edge or they can push you off the ball. It is fun to watch.”


On determining when to have Chubb or Hunt in the game:

“It is scheduled a little bit. Hey, give two series to Nick and then we will put Kareem in. Oftentimes, it is whose series is this on the sideline. We just kind of stay in that rhythm. I have been other places where you ride a hot hand. I don’t feel like that is the case here. We have two hot hands when they touch the ball so feel really good about either back that is in there.”


On if it is rare that as an offense has that ability to rotate RBs like Chubb and Hunt:

“It is rare.”


On anticipating Browns young WRs will continue to develop and produce more as the season progresses:

“I think so. I think you will see more production as the season goes on as they get more comfortable in their roles.”


On if the team can get where it wants with more rushing yards than passing yards in this era of the NFL:

“Each game will tell you what that ratio will be. Obviously, we love our run game, and that is where our starting point is with the wide zone. We have said that Day 1 since we have come in here. It is not a bad thing, I don’t think, as long as the game dictates that.”


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