Offensive Coordinator Alex Van Pelt (9.8.22)


On how much confidence the Browns offense has now from an operational standpoint entering Year 3 of the system:

“I think as a staff, we are definitely in-tune with how we operate here. That has been the easiest transition, just knowing how each other works, knowing what to expect and knowing the rhythm and the key. A work week, that has been a good feeling to not have to ask, ‘Hey, what do we do on Thursdays? Hey, what does Wednesday look like?’ We have a good feel for how we operate now in Year 3.”


On the top concern for Week 1:

“When you have a lot of time to compare, it is a lot of things really. Not really concerned, just excited to play. I know we are prepared. We worked hard to get ready for these guys. A big challenge for us. A very good defense – do a lot of good things schematically. There is a lot of defense on tape. They play a lot of different things. Just having to prepare for a lot of different scenarios. Obviously, I do not think we will see everything they have done in the last season in one game, but when you have that extra time, it makes you dig a little deeper in your preparation. Really excited for the challenge. Obviously, I have concerns, but a giddy coach, you are always going to be concerned. We feel good about where we are. We have a good feel for who these guys are on defense. We have a lot of respect for them, as well.”


On what he has learned about QB Jacoby Brissett since the signing:

“The type of leader he is. He has been exceptional. He is vocal. He leads by example, as well, as by putting in a leadership role and using his voice. A very hard worker. Those are two things that stand out the most to me. There is never a time when he is on the field where he is not working. He is on the field after guys come off the field continuing to work. Great work ethic in the classroom and on the field, as well as great leadership skills.”


On if Brissett’s leadership and work ethic as the starting QB provide a sense of peace of mind, particularly with new players in the Browns offense:

“For sure. I know he has been through this before. He has started plenty of games in the NFL where I think he will comfortable going in and we will feel comfortable with him, as well.”


On WR Amari Cooper commenting about expecting fireworks from the Browns offense and the potential for the unit:

“I feel good about it. I did look at Amari’s comments. I feel the same. We are a good group on offense. I really like our men that we have. They work hard. A bunch of smart guys, talented guys. It is hard to come out and predict where we will be, but we feel pretty good about who we have in the room and where we are headed and what direction we are in. We obviously established that we are a team that can run the football. We know that is something we can hang our hat on, and it all starts with the run game.”


On if people are underestimating Brissett’s ability to throw deep passes:

“I hope so.”


On having four RBs on the active roster:

“That is fireworks to me – 20-yard plus runs, I think we led the league in that. Those are pretty cool fireworks. Maybe sparklers, but they are still fireworks (laughter).”


On if he has ever been around a RB room and OL room that can create as many big runs as the Browns have done:

“I have not. It is a great group. I think the closest would have been in Buffalo. I had (former NFL RB) Marshawn Lynch and (former NFL RB) Fred Jackson. Behind that, there were not two more runners that can produce for you, as well. It is a very deep group. (Run game coordinator/running backs coach) Stump (Mitchell) does a great job getting those guys ready, and of course, Coach (offensive line coach Bill) Callahan and Coach (assistant offensive line coach Scott) Peters upfront in the run game and those guys, it is something we are excited to get going this year.”


On how to ensure the run game is successful while developing the pass game and young WRs:

“I think we have done it. I think it is something we expect to continue to do. We have been a successful team in the run game, and we continue to stay on that course.”


On QB Joshua Dobbs possibly having a package or plays in the Browns offense:

“We will always try to put our best players on the field. In situations, a lot of teams have guys who come in in certain roles, and Josh Dobbs can definitely fill that role.”


On excitement around Dobbs’ skillset:

“With Josh, obviously it starts with his athleticism. He can make plays on the perimeter using his legs, whether it is scrambling out of the pocket or designed QB runs and the intelligence that comes with it, making sure he gets into the right play if we use him in those scenarios.”


On C Ethan Pocic since C Nick Harris sustained an injury:

“Really just stepped in and next man up mentality. Did not really miss a beat. Really was impressed by him. Even back to that game where we lost Nick, he stepped right in and the first thing we said as a staff after the game was, ‘Wow. Ethan stepped up and played.’ We are really excited about having him as a backup and now as a starter.”


On T Jack Conklin’s performance in practice:

“He looks good. He looks really good. I know he has been here the whole time. He is grinding through the rehab. Now he is back out on the field, looking good in practice, doing some good things and had a really good practice yesterday.”


On if Conklin will play this week:

“Not sure where that is going right now, but I know that he is progressing each week. We will see how it goes at the end of the week, but really happy and pleased with where he is.”


On how the coaching staff is able to help receivers like WR Anthony Schwartz maintain confidence when experiencing ups and downs:

“We know he can. Even in the last 10 days of practice, he has turned it around. He has not put a ball on the ground. He has caught the ball extremely well with confidence. Sometimes you go through little slumps in your career. We have to find a way to get him out of it, and I think he has found a way to get himself out of it, as well.”


On if the Browns can use RB Kareem Hunt more as a WR in the pass game:

“I think we always as an offense try to put our players in the best position, put our best players on the field and find ways to have them contribute. We love him as a runner. 1 and 1A really in the backfield (Hunt and RB Nick Chubb). Both guys are great, great runners in the backfield, but he brings a skillset that you can use elsewhere, as well. We will find a way to put the best 11 guys on the field each time. It may not be all the time and it may not be at all this week, but we will find ways to get those guys involved.”


On TE Jesse James recently joining the Browns:

“The good thing about Jesse is he has played a lot of football in the league, made a lot of plays in the league and caught a lot of touchdowns. He has been productive. The other thing is he is a smart guy so as soon as he comes in, already you can tell he is going to be able to have a feel for what we are trying to do. May not use him a ton, but he will definitely be available. Feel good about him knowing what to do and how to do it.”


On using heavy TE sets in recent years and having fewer TEs on the roster and if the team’s philoslophy regarding the position has changed:

“Again, it always goes back to using your best personnel. Whoever those groups are, it could be five receivers, it could be four tight ends or whoever we determine gives us the best chance to win that game that week versus that defense, we are going to put them out there. Maybe not as much trio with (former Browns and Titans TE Austin) Hooper leaving, but definitely part of our package. As those guys, Jesse goes into our system here and we get more comfortable, maybe we see a lot more of it.”


On RB Demetric Felton Jr.’s potential and versatility on offense and special teams:

“The first thing I would say about Demetric is when you talk about him, you just say he is a football player. The guy can play and makes plays with the football. He has a good skillset as a runner after the catch, as a returner and as a receiver. There are a lot of things he does really well. Just finding ways to enhance his skillset and help him be productive. Real excited about where he has come from a late-round draft pick into a guy who is going to potentially play a lot of snaps for us on offense and on special teams. He is another guy who just comes in and puts the work in and is really very coachable and tries to do everything that we ask him to do.”


On if WR Michael Woods II has had enough time to catch up with the offense after the hamstring injury to contribute:

“I hope so. I like Mike. I think the hamstring hurt him as far as his development, but he is a big guy who creates separation at the top of the route and has really good hands. Hopefully, we get him back and get him into the mix here and then he can be productive for us. We have a good young receiver room so hopefully, he will be able to contribute.”


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