TEs coach Drew Petzing (10.9.20)

Tight ends coach Drew Petzing:

On how has TE David Njoku looked this week and if Njoku is ready to go for Sunday:

“Yeah, I think he is. He has been really engaged the entire time he has been out in terms of being in the meetings and is as dialed in as much as he was allowed to with the rules. I think he was really excited to get back on the field on Wednesday, be out there with his teammates and go compete against. It has been really good to have him out there.”

On if the Browns offense can take advantage of injuries to the Colts LBs:

“It is a really good defense. Whether those guys are out there or not, I think the system as a whole is really impressive. I think it is really well coached, and those guys play at a very high level. I do not expect much of a drop off, regardless of who is in there, just because of the nature of how they operate. We are going to do what we have to do to try to give our guys a chance to have success, and if that takes advantage of those guys, then so be it.”

On how the Browns will involve all of the TEs with Njoku back:

“I think it is similar to the way you saw it in the first game and we will see it every game. I do not think we pre-determine it. I think that we have a plan, and we go into the game and we have three guys that are really good and belong on the field in a variety of roles. May the best man play and continue to play. I think we are going to use all three of them a lot and really rely on them to have success on offense as we have throughout the season.”

On how impressed he has been with TE Harrison Bryant’s blocking and Bryant having an impact on long runs:

“Yeah, there is no doubt about that. I think one of the things that have been really exciting to see is you finally put the pads on and starting to go play games is how physical he is and how much pride he takes in blocking. You see him out on some of those big blocks kind of really getting excited, and we actually were imitating his flex the other day at practice a little bit there (laughter). It has been great. I think it has really given a lot of room in our offense and identity that we picked that up from the offensive line. I think it is something that as a group we really preach as coaches. That energy is contagious, not only to us as an offense but I think to us as a team.”

On how Bryant has improved during his rookie year as a blocker and receiver:

“I think you see his whole game improved. One of the things that I think we noticed really early is that once he does something once, he learns a ton from it. Even if it is a mistake – alignment, assignment or technique – once he gets that rep, he rarely repeats that mistake. Every rep he gets on the field, he is learning something about how the defense is going to play something about how he can go out there and be successful, not only in the run game but I think in the way he runs routes and the way he carries on after the ball is in his hands. He had a couple of nice catches and runs against Dallas. It has really been fun to see that development and that growth as he has gotten more reps and really taking on that role.”

On what TE Austin Hooper is contributing that does not necessarily show up in the stat line:

“I have been really, really impressed with the way that he has played over these first four games. I think one of the things that has been really impressive is his all-around ability as a tight end, not only in the pass game but as a  run blocker. To me, he is doing both of those things at a really high level, which I think is unique to that position, and it really allows us as an offense to be very dynamic. When you cannot dial in when a certain guy is in the game or in a certain position in terms of ‘Hey, there are just going to try to throw him the ball or he is just going to be the run blocking tight end,’ it really creates some indecision from a defensive standpoint in terms of how you defend that. I think he gives us that, and he is doing it at such a high level that I think you see that in our success in the run game and it also shows up in the pass game because of the things he can do in that regard, as well. I have been really impressed with the way he is playing.”


On what has allowed Head Coach Kevin Stefanski to have success balancing his role as head coach and as a play caller:

“I think the thing that I have always seen from him is he is a goal-oriented guy. ‘Hey, here is the task I have. What is the best way to go attack that?’ I think he has always been very successful in figuring out how to focus on the things that really matter and making sure that those things are taken care of. Then you have a guy like (offensive coordinator) Coach (Alex) Van Pelt there as the offensive coordinator to help organize and bounce ideas off of and really be that rock for him. Just being around Alex for a short amount of time, really impressed with him as a coach and kind of how he organizes and runs the offense. I think it allows Kevin to feel really comfortable that when he does have to do some of those head coaching things or is not always in the room that he knows he has a guy that he trusts and believes in to handle those responsibilities, and he has done a really good job with it.”


On how the Browns decide who to use when the offense goes with two TEs:

“I think it goes back to kind of the question we had earlier is we feel so comfortable with everyone in that room and the belief that they really belong on the field and they bring different things to the table. Sometimes it could be scheme related. Other times, it could be just making sure that we are trying to get all those guys reps because they are good players, they deserve those reps and they have earned those reps in terms of the way they practice and the way they prepared. It is a combination of both. I think there are times where it is, ‘Hey, these plays are designed to be with these two guys,’ but there are also times when I will tell those guys, ‘Hey, you guys are in the game. Make sure you are communicating who is at one spot and let’s go roll because I know you guys can handle whatever jobs are thrown our way and whatever plays are called.’”


On how fired up the Browns TEs were that the Browns offense rushed for 307 yards last week and what that means going forward:

“I think there is a huge level of confidence in that. It is one of those things that I think when you are in the middle of it you do not even notice, and then the game ends and you look up and you say, ‘Wow.’ I think we had a sense that we were getting on the right guys and moving the pile a little bit and hitting some holes, which is great. Anytime that you can go out and have that type of success, I think it gives everyone confidence to say, ‘Hey, we are really good at something,’ and we can emphasize that, but we also know all the things that come off of that.’ I think that is really where you start to develop as an offense and become dangerous on the field on Sunday.”


On what 12,000 fans at FirstEnergy Stadium will sound like on Sunday:

“These fans will find a way to be about that. I do not worry about that. If it is 10 people or 12,000, we have some of the best fans around. We are excited to have them there and really looking forward to being out there on Sunday.”


On working with offensive line coach Bill Callahan:

“I can stand up here for about an hour and a half because that question could go on for hours. As a young coach and first-time tight end coach, to be able to be in a room with him, ask him questions, watch him teach and watch him put together a gameplan, to be a part of that has been nothing short of amazing. He is an extremely impressive coach one-on-one with players, one-on-one with me and in front of the room from a scheme standpoint and from a teaching standpoint. I can’t say enough about how impressive that has been and how much that has helped our offense and our team but also helped me individually as a coach. It is something that I am very lucky to be a part of and be around.”

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