Pass game coordinator/DBs coach Jeff Howard (10.2.20)

Pass game coordinator/defensive backs coach Jeff Howard:

On if the Browns are expecting a shootout with the Cowboys, given their offensive potential:

“They are a very talented team. I think they have some good pieces. They have obviously been able to move the ball well at the beginning of the season. Leading the league in points, yardage and all that stuff. It is going to be a challenge for us and we know that going into it, but we are excited for the challenge. That is what we have been talking about all week.”


On if S Ronnie Harrison Jr. is progressing and closer to being able to contribute more regularly on defense:

“Yeah, it has been great to get Ronnie here. What I think about Ronnie is you can tell he really loves football. He has been a winner. He knows how to win with his time in Alabama. What is striking to me is how much effort and time he puts into his craft, and it is meaningful to him. We are going to continue to work with him and kind of work with that piece week to week to week, but I am encouraged with his development and glad he is here.”


On working through various injuries to DBs since the start of training camp:

“Right, it has been a little bit unique going into it with all those guys facing all those problems. We really have just been trying to work with it day by day, trying to put the guys in situations that they can be successful in and using them practicing whenever we can and just having that next man up mentality. I think the group as a whole is extremely competitive, which is the environment that I hope to foster within them in that when we get our chances and when we get our opportunities, we need to go out there and be successful and be productive. Whoever is playing, I think, has really bought into that. We need to continue to improve, but I am encouraged that we are getting some of those guys back.”


On CB Terrance Mitchell’s performance with CBs Denzel Ward and Greedy Williams working through injuries:

“Terrance has done a really good job start the season and really taken the opportunity that he has had and made the most of it, which I really love. I am excited about his development and how he has been doing. It has been helpful for the group to have an experienced guy that can go in there. It is really good for all the younger guys to see just the way he has performed, the way he studies and the way he is focused. He uses those opportunities on the field, and when they go at him, he has done a good job for the most part of holding up.”


On the challenges Cowboys QB Dak Prescott presents:

“Just watching, I played Dak a few times back in back in 2016 and last year in Minnesota. He is a very good operator. He stands back there in the pocket and is able to deliver the ball to all parts of the field. It is not just inside the numbers. He is as good as anybody I have seen at throwing the ball to the field outside the numbers or to the boundary. He sees the picture very well, can decipher coverages and then puts the ball into tight spaces. I think Dak Prescott is a good quarterback.”

On the key to defending Cowboys WR Amari Cooper:

“I think the challenge that Dallas poses is that they march out really three really good receivers in Amari and (Cowboys WR) CeeDee Lamb, and even last week with the emergence of (Cowboys WR) Cedrick Wilson making all those catches. I think the group helps him, and they distribute the ball so it is not like he has to go out and make every catch. They do a nice job of that. He is a good receiver. He does a good job of getting in and out of his routes. He is good at the line of scrimmage against press coverage. He does present a challenge on all parts of the field. You look at his route tree, he runs a lot of different concepts and does it pretty well.”

On the Browns in retrospect would have preferred to not play Ward last week:

“I thought Denzel came in and fought, and that is something that I really give him a lot of credit for. That is something that as we talk about our culture and how we want to do things, we understand that our roles and each and every individual’s role is important for the success of each other. I feel like Denzel understands that, and it is important to him. I feel like that is probably why he came out and played, and I thought he did a good job. I appreciated the effort that he came out and played with. I thought he played well for his time in the field.”

On the Browns celebrating interceptions as a team last week:

“We encourage our guys to celebrate together. From Pop Warner to high school to college to the NFL, I feel like football is fun. When you have the opportunity when good things happen, I feel like you should celebrate those successes with one another. I feel like that is a sign of a team that is focused on the right things. If you see teams that are not celebrating with one another, you kind of question what are their intentions and how close is that group. I was extremely excited to see those guys celebrate with one another.”

On expectations for CB Kevin Johnson this week and Johnson’s potential matchup with Lamb:

“Things have not gone the way that Kevin was hoping with his start and obviously the freak injury. We have been slowly trying to incorporate him into our plan. I think he is understanding conceptually what we are trying to do on defense, as well as the schemes and techniques that we are trying to ask him to do. I think practice is important. I do not know how everybody feels about that, but practice is important, and getting those reps in has been really good for him. It is hard when you do not have an offseason and you do not have training camp to be thrown in those situations, but I thought his performance for what he has been through as far as practice has been good, and I am excited for where he is going.”

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