TEs coach Drew Petzing (11.20.20)

Tight ends coach Drew Petzing:

On the team learning DE Myles Garrett was out this week: 

“Anytime you lose a player of that caliber, there is always definitely that thought of disappointing No. 1 for his health – obviously, the concern goes there first – and then second to our team. I think one of the things you have seen from our entire team – I know in my room having lost guys at different times throughout the season – it is a next man up mentality. I think guys expect that in one way or another. It happened to be with the illness this week. Guys get hurt, and the next guy has to step in and do his job. I do not think we really see that on the field or in the meeting rooms. There is that initial reaction to anything that happens like this, but then you have to move forward and kind of go out there and compete.”

On if the Browns TEs were fired up that the Browns had two 100-yard rushers last week: 

“Yeah, we take a lot of pride in our blocking. There is no doubt that we feel a major part of the offensive line and the run game’s success. Our matchups from a physical standpoint can be as hard as any up front in the run game. I thought those guys did a really nice job of going out there and competing, fighting and being a big part of that team success. I think they embrace that and they take a lot of pride in that.”

On how often the Browns offense has used the formation with all three TEs lining up on one side: 

“I think probably not in that exact alignment maybe so far this year, but certainly, we have put all three guys on the side of the field. We have motioned out of it. We have stayed in it to run some plays. When you get three bodies like that one side of the field, there is a little bit of a sense of – I do not want to say panic from a defense – but you have a lot of things to contend with. You are creating a lot of extra gaps over there. You have three guys that are pretty dynamic in the pass game staying on one side of the field, not to mention a receiver on the other side. I think it gives us a lot of complexity and a lot of different options on offense, which certainly puts some stress on the defense.”

On if that formation also provides the Browns offense opportunities in the pass game: 

“Certainly, there are a lot of variations to the way we can come out of that set and really attack a defense down the field, short passing game, keeper game or run game. It definitely gives us a lot of options.”

On if spreading the TEs out forces the opposing defense to make matchup decisions: 

“There is no doubt. I think that is the benefit of having three guys and really four guys of that caliber in the tight end room is you can pack it down and load the box and then see if you are going to be sound in the run game or if you want to try and overload the box and overload us, we will spread you out and throw it, and we think we have guys that can go out there and win and create big plays in the passing game, as well. There is no doubt that is a huge part of our process throughout the week.”

On TE David Njoku: 

“I think the great thing that I have seen from him is it does not matter whether it is 10 plays, 15 plays, 30 plays or more, he is the same guy every snap, and he has been that way since I got here. I have a lot of respect for him and the way he has carried himself through this entire process. He goes out and works his tail off. He is making a lot of big plays for us. I think he showed up in a major way in that Cincinnati game. Kind of the question that was hit on earlier, he had some really big blocks in that game against Houston that were a major part of our success and one of the reasons we were able to win that football game. He has been doing a great job for us.”

On how hard is to sell the Browns TEs on being committed to blocking:

“I think that the hardest part is to get over the fact that I think publicly there is not a lot of talk or necessarily respect for that role at times. I think in the building, it is a pretty easy sell. I think they see the success of their teammates and they see that they can execute that at a high-level and the respect that they gain, not only from us as a staff but from their teammates to go in there and really execute those blocks at a high level. I think once they have a little success with it, they certainly embrace it and feel like they are a major part of our success as a team. One of the things that I think and I can’t speak to other tight end rooms around the league, but we have four guys and five guys in that room who are really focused on winning games. If they feel like what they are doing is aiding that process, they embrace it and they really take pride in it.”

On if he feels like the Browns TEs will have to take a bigger role in the passing game without WR Odell Beckham Jr.:
“That is a good question. Ultimately, the ball is going to get spread around. I think that is a big part of what you have seen from us through the first 8-10 games of the year, and that is one of the things that we feel like makes us difficult to defend. I do not necessarily know of like by week to week where it is, ‘Hey, we have to get the ball to the tight ends because Odell is out,’ but I think based on what the defense gives us and kind of what coverages we are looking at and what matchups week to week, we certainly feel like we have guys that can go out there and really aid our process on offense and help us put up points in the passing game, for sure.”

On TE Harrison Bryant being heard talking trash on NFL Films and that not necessarily being the first impression someone may have of Bryant:

“I have the same impression of him as you do, especially as a person. He is a great kid, very humble and works his tail off, but I think you see from a lot of guys in this league, especially good players who are very competitive, when they step between the lines and they are playing the game, you see a different side of them. It was fun, I knew it was there, but you do not quite see it the same way in practice you do on gameday. I would not say that that was the first time I saw it, obviously being around him on gameday all of the time and being close to the field, but it was fun I think for the fans to get that experience because that is very much a part of who he is on gameday and that is one of the reasons he can go out there and play at such a high level.”

On TE Austin Hooper’s performance in the first game back from the appendectomy:

“I thought he played arguably one of his best games. From a physicality standpoint, that is a pretty talented defense, especially the outside linebacker and defensive end position. He was singled up on those guys a number of times, and I thought he did a really nice job. I do not know if you were outdoors at the game on Sunday, but the weather was a little bit unique so I am sure that was necessarily the game we thought we would play had it been 65 degrees and sunny. I was really impressed with the way he came back. Really did not miss a beat, and we had him doing a lot of different jobs in the run and the pass game. I thought he played at a high level.”

On if any Browns TEs took reps at FB this week in preparation for Sunday:

“I do not know, we will have to wait and see until that shows up on tape. I do not know if I want to be talking about that right now (laughter). Our guys are getting ready to do whatever the job is, and we have a number of guys on this roster who can play a lot of different positions, which I think really makes us difficult to defend.”

On the Eagles pass rush and the Browns TEs’ role opposing it:

“This is a talented group. This is a defense we played a number of times in Minnesota over the last couple of years. I have a lot of respect for their coaching staff, for their players and specifically for the front four that you were just talking about. Especially, you look at guys who have been there like (Eagles DT) Fletcher Cox and No. 55 (Eagles DE Brandon Graham) on the right side of the line, they move those guys around and they create a lot of matchup problems. They play probably eight to nine guys on the defensive line, and all of them play at a very high level. In the pass game and running routes but also whether we are helping in protection or in the run game, we are going to have our hands full with that group. We have to really bring our A game if we are going to go out there and be successful.”

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