Offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt (9.30.21)

On WR Odell Beckham Jr. smoothly transitioning into the Browns offense, especially after losing WR Jarvis Landry:

“That is what we expected. Odell came in and caught the balls that were thrown to him his way. He looked really good running routes. He drew coverage his way, which helps us in a lot of different ways in the run game and in the pass game, as well. He definitely had an impact out there, and we expect that to continue.”


On if Mayfield was looking for the opportunity for a deep ball to Beckham:

“I think so. We had some plays that were plays to Odell that were not there, but we have to make good decisions as quarterbacks and just run the offense. I think Bake did a good job of doing that.”


On if Mayfield not going for the deep ball was a sign of growth:

“I definitely think so. Obviously, we have to get the ball in our best players’ hands, and Odell is one of those guys, but not at the expense of jeopardizing the offense and the system. Yeah, there was some growth in that area for sure. O will continue to be a big part of this offense moving forward, and he will continue to have more catches and more production as the year goes on.”


On if the Browns are considering giving T Jedrick Wills Jr. a week off to recover from the ankle injury, particularly with T Chris Hubbard expected to return:

“Not many guys are 100 percent at this time of year. That is football. Jed will be just fine hopefully this week. We understand he is playing on one leg at times. He continues to get better each week through treatment. It would always be great to have Hub back for the depth, but whoever is out there, we expect them to play well. Jed did the best he could while he was in there last week. He is continuing to get better and heal each week.”


On if Wills playing hurt is better than an alternative option at LT:

“That is (offensive line) Coach (Bill) Callahan’s and (Head) Coach (Kevin) Stefanski’s area there. Those guys discuss that during the week. I really appreciate again Jed’s effort to get out there and be there for his teammates.”


On the Browns missing chances early in the game last week and if Mayfield was too ‘amped up’:

“That happens. When you go into any game like that, you want to start fast. We did not start fast. He had a couple of errant throws early but really settled in. That is part of football. I do not know how amped up he was more than any other game that he is because that is who he is, but that is just part of playing football.”


On the lift RB Kareem Hunt gave the Browns offense last week with the Bears defense keying in on RB Nick Chubb:

“Oh man, those two guys are my favorites. They complement each other so well, just different running styles but extremely effective. That is the beauty of having both of those guys. I thought Kareem had a heck of a game, both in the pass game and running the football. Having those two guys on your sideline is a treat.”


On Hunt’s running style:

“It is definitely fun to watch. There are body parts flying everywhere. He is in the air, but he is always doing it with great ball security, which we appreciate.”


On T Jedrick Wills Jr. playing through injury:

“Any young player, they are going to be not as excited to play when they are just dinged, and it is knowing the difference between when you are injured or when you are just hurting. Like I said, a lot of people are hurting, and they go out there and they play. It is part of the growth of a young player to understand the difference of the two and is going to be there for his teammates. It is growth in the right direction for him.”


On how he and Head Coach Kevin Stefanski determine how to blend together their offensive philosophies, especially with both working with multiple other coaches with various mindsets:

“We did it collectively. There is a little bit of everything. A lot of it is obviously West Coast based, which we both have an upbringing in the system. There is stuff in there from Green Bay. There is stuff from Washington and everything that (offensive line) Coach (Bill) Callahan has done in the run game. It is a nice blend of it all. It is our offense together, and that is how we put it in collectively.”


On WR Odell Beckham Jr.’s snap count on Sunday and if he was surprised Beckham played that much:

“It is those juices get going and you are in the middle of the game, it is a seven-point game in the fourth quarter and you want your best players out there. I am sure if we had taken him off of the field at that point, he would have been upset with us (laughter). Yeah, it was a lot of plays for O and he did feel it after the game, but I think as the season goes on, he will be in better football shape, his legs will come back quicker and he will be able to play longer for us.”


On if Beckham came out of the game well with that amount of play time, given it was Beckham’s first since sustaining the season-ending injury:

“Absolutely. Very happy about that.”


On if he saw signs of growth for the chemistry with QB Baker Mayfield and Beckham, particularly given the extra time they have spent working together:

“Yes, very much so. The first third-and-10 or third-and-12, whatever that long-yardage play was, that is a play that was timing and it was throwing as he was coming out of the break. That is something that they have done over and over again in the spring, through the summer and training camp. Definitely see the fruits of their labor.”


On the Bears paying additional attention to Beckham and it freeing up opportunities for other players, and if the Browns expected the Bears to take that approach:

“Yeah, was not sure how teams would look at him at that point coming back after a half-year off. Obviously, he demands respect out there with the coverage element. They did have a safety over the top of him a lot of the day, whether he was on the weak side by himself or the strong side of the field of receivers.”


On using Beckham on an end around and what that does for the rest of the Browns offense and running game:

“That is the good part about our run game. We have a lot of guys who can do good things for us. We handed it off to (WR Anthony) Schwartz on one at Kansas City and got positive yards. Odell, (RB) Demetric (Felton) can do things with the ball in his hands. It takes a little pressure off of the runners in the run game to be able to spread that production around with other players.”


On WR Donovan Peoples-Jones’ special skills working the sideline:

“It is. Donovan is a guy who makes great contested catches. He has really good ball skills. He was excellent with his feet that day. That is something that we expect from him, and that is something that he has shown consistently over his time here.”


On most of the Browns’ main targets averaging more than 10 yards per catch:

“We are stretching the field. We have the guys who can do that. We have the speed to stretch it with our vertical pass game and hitting the second and third levels on defenses. We have those guys who can get that done. That is a good thing for us.”


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