Run Game Coordinator Ben Bloom (12.22.22)


On if the expectation is Saturday will be an ‘old-school, run-dominant’ game due to the weather forecast:

“We prepare to play in any type of weather every week. Of course, the forecast indicates that we could be getting some wind and maybe some snow. We understand in our stadium and other outdoor stadiums in the NFL when you get wind that can affect the way the offense approaches the game. We are certainly ready to defend whatever they present to us, whether they run or they pass. Those are their two options on offense to run or pass. If I tis more of a run game, we will be ready to go. If they throw the ball, we have to defend that, too.”


On how inclement weather affects a defense:

“We do what we do. Our job on defense as coaches is to present the players with a plan, with a scheme and with the techniques to have success to defend the run and the pass. As soon as the forward pass was invented, offenses have had two choices. Are you going to run or are you going to pass? Are we going to choose to run or are we going to choose to pass? We have to be sound in both areas. Again, in our scheme and how everyone works together run and pass and the techniques that we teach to defend both in terms of defending the pass and covering, in the run game, getting off of blocks, tackling, individual tackle techniques, group pursuit and vice tackle techniques and concepts. Those are the things that we focus on, and then once they decide run or pass, we go play and we finish.”


On LB Sione Takitaki sustaining a season-ending injury:

“First, for Sione it is tough. From my perspective, having been around him for three seasons now, he is such an impressive human being. He is one of the most consistent guys I have ever been around in terms of his approach to the game as a student of the game and then just the toughness and physicality he plays. He was a good player when we got here, but wow, he has improved so much. That is a testament to him. He has played all three positions – SAM, WILL and MIKE – in base defense and nickel defense in our system. He has shown the ability to do them at a high level. I think we have all seen that. I was so excited for him this season when he got to play more and more, play different positions and continue to prove himself to the people in the league on what he can do and what he is capable of, and he did it. That is the first thing for me is that he is not getting the opportunity to play right now, and I miss him as a human and as a person everyday out on the field. Now obviously, you would like to have him on the field for the benefit of the team – those things are important, too – but first, it is unfortunate for him because he works hard, he has fun out there and he brings a lot of toughness, juice and leadership to our defense.”


On the Browns losing four LBs – Takitaki, Anthony Walker Jr., Jacob Phillips and Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah – to injuries this season:

“The same things I said about Sione on the previous question, you can apply those to Jacob, to A-Walk and to Jeremiah. My first feeling is those guys love playing the game and they had a huge impact on our team and our room, and for them not to have the opportunity to play, to me that is the hardest thing first because they deserve to be out there. You are right, it is football. People get hurt. It is the next man up mentality. To have all four guys go down is probably unusual. I think that room has responded really well. First, (linebackers) Coach (Jason) Tarver has been terrific in terms of his leadership, how he coaches, the consistency he brings every day and how he is demanding and upbeat. That is special. We are fortunate to have that as a defense. The guys who have come in who weren’t here in camp – guys like Debo (LB Deion Jones) and now (LB) Reggie (Ragland) and J.C. (LB Jermaine Carter Jr) – really proud of how they have they’ve worked, how they have integrated themselves and how they have learned our system. I am proud of them. Then guys like (LB) Jordan (Kunaszyk) and (LB) Tony (Fields II) who may have not had the opportunities early in the season to get more opportunities now, it is cool to see everyone is  working together and stepping up.”


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