Offensive line coach Andy Dickerson (6.13.24)

As a big fan of the former Browns running game. We know that (Bill) Callahan had a lot to do with creating that. So how would you ease concerns that you’re going away from that? 

“Well, you know, the head coach is still Kevin Stefanski. So, the offense will start with him and then, you know, just bringing in a combination. You got Ken Dorsey, you got Roy Istvan from Philadelphia. So just a lot of different ideas. And so again, every week it’s, ‘Hey, what’s the best thing for this week for the opponent that we’re going against, how they’re playing, the techniques.’ I mean, you only have so many zone systems. You have zone, you got gap, you got pin and pull, gap, trap. So, the number of runs that you have are not finite, but there’s certain schemes. So again, everything’s at our disposal. Whatever. That week is going to be the best thing for us to win.”


Is it safe to say the running game will look different in this new system?

“I mean, I don’t think it’s going to look that much different. Maybe there’s some people could see some nuances, but, I mean, there’s plenty of success here. For the last couple years, I worked for coach Callahan when I was at the Jets and worked with him as his assistant at the Jets in 2011. And, I mean, an amazing coach took so much from him and learned. So, there’s a lot of carryover and stuff that’s familiar to me and to the players. And again, it’s what our guys do best and using their skills, their strengths to get everything done the right way, we need to.”


What does Dawand Jones have to do to continue the progress he made as a rookie?

“To come out here and work like he’s been doing in the classroom, you know, he’s asking good questions and he’s engaged. You see him out here going and just, again, taking the different techniques. There’s some stuff that’s, you know, it’s not broke, you don’t fix it, but there’s nuances in different things. But again, you see him, and you can see his feel, his charisma and all that. So again, he’s just like everybody else who’s been here in the off-season, just working and learning and just continue to ask questions and, you know, get out on the field and work through the techniques and just continue to get that work. And that’s going to lead to the continued growth if you’re consistent with those things.”


When you talk about the technique. I was curious because, you know, a lot offensive linemen say that when they get an off-position coach, sometimes they want them to do certain things with the technique need. How do you kind of have that balance between making sure guys feel comfortable, but also having certain talking points and teaching points? 

“That’s a good question. So, when you think about it, there are different techniques, but there’s maybe a variation. But again, if everybody’s built differently, like Dawand’s different than Jack (Conklin), then Jed(rick Wills), you have the different guards. Everybody’s different. Joel (Bitonio), again, guys who have success and have done things that worked, then you can work with them because everybody’s a little different. Try not to be like, ‘Hey, here’s a starting point. Here’s what we’re trying to get done with it.’ But again, if some people can go near leg with something and some people have to open up a hip and then get vertical, then you work with the guys to help them be successful. Everybody’s a little different. So as long as the job’s getting done, the techniques getting executed, it may look a little different by person, but again, the scheme and the technique and those things that’ll go together, that work. So, it’s just a matter of trying to work with the guys who, you know, everybody moves and bends a little differently. So, it’s just not, to me, it’s not a cookie cutter. You got to work with guys to get them to get the best out of themselves.”


Do you enjoy walking into a room that’s experienced as guys like Joel and Wyatt (Teller)? 

“Yeah, it’s great because you can learn from them. Again, I worked Joel out a million years ago when he was coming out, but I’ve also been in a room where I’ve seen Andrew Whitworth, who is the same age as me, and he was playing, and so when he talked, there’s volumes that come with that. So if Joel starts to make a point, or Jack or Jed, if anybody makes one of those points and they’re talking to a young guy, I’ve been giving them ownership and listening to their thoughts and ideas. I get to work with the players. I don’t say, ‘Hey guys, we just work together,’ so just learning from those guys, and you can learn something from all those guys because they’re doing it week in and week out. And so, it’s actually a blessing to learn from those guys. I have been a part of younger rooms, older rooms, so it’s the diversity within the room, so just trying to learn as much as you can from everybody and again, put the best product together possible.”


So many of you guys have mentioned the fact that you did work with Bill Callahan. Has it sort of eased the transition for them? Do you think that’s probably one of the biggest selling points as you move into a where Bill Callahan is on a pedestal, big shoes to fill? But I mean, do you feel like that really helps you a lot that these guys know that you’re sort of a disciple of Bill?

“Yeah, I’m a big flip flop guy to start, so I don’t really want to get into Bill’s shoes. That’s a whole other world. But again, I’ve worked for Aaron Kromer, I’ve worked for Bill, and again, Krom used to work for Bill and drew runs for Bill a million years ago with the Raiders. There’s a lot of carryover. And again, I would watch the Cleveland Browns since Bill’s been here to see what schemes and see what they were doing against common opponents or just different ideas. Like Bill’s one of the best in the game. And that’s, you know, and the good thing is I was brought here to be Andy Dickerson, not to be Bill. And again, like I said, I’m a flip flop guy, not a shoe guy. So, there’s no point even trying to slide into those things. But yeah, there’s some carryover. And I talked to the guys and it’s like, ‘Oh, I remember we used to call it this and, hey, I want to call it this. And they’re like, okay, cool. Hey, this means this now.’ So, it’s just a translation game because again, you’re still getting, it’s still a zone, it’s still a gap trap. So different techniques, different styles, but they’ve done a lot of good things here. So, I’m learning from these guys different techniques and different things and trying to figure out the best way to incorporate everything.”


You did actually interview for offensive coordinator here. So, did you know at the time plan B was to end up here anyways? 

“You never know what’s going to happen. Again, this is my first, probably in a while, offseason where it was like I didn’t know what building I was going to be in. And it was scary, for sure. Part of it, because whenever you’re not around football, and, I mean, that’s my passion, that’s what I love. But again, when I got to meet, you know, the Haslams and AB (Andrew Berry) and coach Stefanski, it was a great experience. It was a great interview process, and I learned a lot about myself. Just having them, having the preparation for it, and then being in that room, that’s really my first, like, big boy interview that I’ve ever had in my life. So, I was very appreciative of them reaching out and just to get the experience. And then again, knowing that, ‘Okay, you know, you get the rumors going around, okay, maybe if Brian does go to Tennessee and all these things,’ but again, the whole time, you gotta plan for yourself and, you know, plan for your family and figure out what the best thing for you is. So, I know I was happy when they called and offered me the job. And, I mean, like you said, with a room like this, with the culture that they’ve built here and the winning that they’ve been doing, I’m just trying to jump on and help them as much as I can.”

What are the nerves like?
 Before the first big boy interview?

“Cool thing was I didn’t have a lot of time. You know, I thought I was gonna get a computer at the airport, which they don’t sell them there. I don’t know why I thought that. And, you know, I was told that I should get a computer. I just didn’t do it. But so, I went old school style, note cards, and just was writing the cards. So, on the flight over, just had no time and just, hey, just, this is who you are. It helped to be myself, I think, a little bit more and not worry so much about it, because, again, there’s, you know, everybody’s not going to be for you, and you’re not going to be for everybody. But I had such a great experience and just being able to talk ball with Kevin, with AB, and just talk with everybody and just be myself and have a conversation, be organic, and just say what I believe and just be myself. So, it’s a really cool process, actually.”



You mentioned being yourself a couple of times here. As someone who’s worked with Bill in the past, how do Andy and Bill approach coaching differently and similarly? 

“I haven’t been around Bill in a while, but I was part of the interview process here, just sitting down with him and Coach (Jim) Schwartz, and that was fun. I don’t even, like, really think about it like that. I just go in and every day, like, how? What did I do to get myself in this position and just go back to my training? And again, there are 24 hours in a day, so you max out the prep that you can do to be prepared for all the guys. And I just let my personality be me. I just want to have football conversations with the guys and give them – let them have their voice and their input. And so there’s gonna be something that they’re gonna teach me and I’m gonna learn. So, I don’t really worry about the comparisons as much. I just go in and try to be detailed and positive and just have fun, it’s football. And you get to be in a room with all those guys and learn. I mean, it’s a blessing to be out here in any capacity.”


Are there any thing you picked up from Bill when you guys were together with the jets that you’ve carried throughout your career. 

“I think it was more that when getting back with the Rams, with Aaron Kromer that the stuff, the continuity of different things and techniques because you watch it like, ‘Oh, there’s the feed technique or here’s this and maybe a word’s different here or there.’ But again, with everybody, like just the carryover of different things that you’ve been a part of and so you’re just trying to translate and get everybody on the same page. Nothing that I can pinpoint exactly, but it’s still football at the end of the day, it’s still o-line play. So, you got somebody usually across from you that’s trying to move you and you’re trying to move them. So just trying to get everybody in the best position possible to execute the block, be detailed with it and understanding the preciseness and how specific the details can be and just try to get that out of the players as much as possible, consistently.”


The pin-pull game has been a staple here with both Bitonio and Wyatt. Even the center has gotten in on the action. Just what’s your feeling on that? Is that something that you look to continue? 

“Again, they’ve had some great success with it. I haven’t been a part of a pin and pull in a long time. It’s something you always dabble with and talk about and if you ever get it executed and call it on a game day or two, different things. But so again, that’s one of the cool things I’ve been able to learn because, you know, Coach Stefanski has been around for a while. You know, Roy Istvan has been a part of it for a while. And the cool thing is learning from Coach (Ken) Dorsey. So the cool thing about every day, you get to still learn from all these guys. So again, whatever the plan is, whatever those, the calls or the schemes that we’re going to need for that week to execute, then, you know, I’m all for it. It’s all just, you know, when you’re in education, which, you know, we’re teachers, so you’re constantly learning. So that’s the cool part about it. You’re around all this, you know, new information or stuff that you haven’t been around for a while, and you just get to continually grow and just learn and get those things out. Pretty cool.”


Quarterbacks in this room like to scramble a little bit. I’m just curious, how do you coach lineman to block for a guy? 

“Block them. How long? Till they throw the ball. That’s the intent, right? There’s timing, there’s rhythm. There’s all these things that go into the past game. And so again, you got your slide side, you have your man side. There are stunts, there are different things. So, you try to empower them and give them all the tools that they need to execute their job. So, hey, I’ve been around quarterbacks who like to scramble in my recent history in Seattle. So how long do you block until they throw the ball? That’s the intent. You have to have ugly strain, you have to work, and you have to just give it your all until the ball is gone.”


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