Browns coach Rob Chudzinski met with the media on Tuesday morning. While the session took place before the flurry of roster moves later that day, there was still plenty to discuss. Among the issues talked about: playing time in Chicago, a Barkevious Mingo upate, his thoughts on receiver David Nelson, the right guard situation and more.
"Good morning. We're back to work getting ready for Chicago on a short week. Players came back and were really focused and open to coaching and some of the improvements and corrections that we made. We had a good day at work yesterday and have another good day of work today. We're going to continue to coach them hard and we are going to continue to improve and make progress.
"The Chicago game will give us an opportunity again to see some more guys play. It'll give us one last opportunity to assess them. We're looking forward to that. I'll get into a little more detail tomorrow as far as the plan for going forward with playing time and all of those things. Generally, the guys who were with the ones would get 10 to 12 reps, but there are a number of situations that need to play out in terms of specifics of who is going to play and those types of things. I will get into more detail on that tomorrow.
"We have announced a number of our roster moves. We will continue to update you until four o'clock today. That's when the final moves have to be made. It's a busy time. We are evaluating not only our own players but also the players from other teams who may have been released. It's a fluid situation. I know that (General Manager) Mike Lombardi and our scouting staff are working tirelessly on evaluating and looking into all of the other potential different situations we have out there."
On starters playing limited reps in the final preseason game:
"Some of that will be worked out and I will get into more detail on that tomorrow."
On the difficulty cutting players, particularly those who have sustained injuries and did not play throughout the preseason:
"You have to consider it. It's a tough decision, especially considering there were new systems is in place and a lot of guys who don't have a lot of experience that are first-, second-, third-year type guys that need to play. You have to weigh those things; we will weigh those. Then there's all of those other situations in terms of guys who are nicked up that you would like to hold. We'll factor all of that together, and I'll give you a little more detail on that tomorrow."
On rookie LB Barkevious Mingo's status and if the team may place him on designated-to-return IR:
"No. He's doing better. He continues to be monitored. He is actually going to run a little bit today, so we're looking forward to seeing that."
On players wanting to play in final preseason game:
"That's a good sign. That speaks a lot about their understanding of the value of the preparation and continuing to get reps and improve and get those opportunities to go out and play. We are approaching it this week and those guys are all preparing to play. I think that's important in the process. I like that attitude."
On roster spots to be determined after the last preseason game:
"There are. It is not as easy as saying it's between ‘this guy' and ‘this guy' a lot of times. For one thing, there are other positions so you are balancing a player at one position to a player at another position; sometimes, they're not even on the same side of the ball. Then there are always things that happen. If you look two weeks ago at what you thought the roster was going to be, things change really quickly in games. Injuries and those things play a part in that. I mentioned back then that I have been around where you did all those things then, but really you can't do it until all of the dust settles. As I mentioned before, there are guys who are getting released from other teams, too, that potentially that play into the mix."
On preparing for the regular-season opener while not revealing everything in the preseason:
"You hope you always have something in your bag of tricks. The philosophy I have always followed was in the preseason you want to build a base. You are trying to evaluate specific guys so sometimes you may do more of something at other times than what you plan on doing during the year, but you want combine building a base with the evaluation of players. Sometimes, you may show things that you want to show on purpose that you may not necessarily be doing a lot of and vice versa. As you are studying the preseason and looking at an opponent, you always have to take those things into consideration, as well."
On who is taking the kicking reps:
"We'll work the guys that we have right now."
On DL Billy Winn:
"Just watching Billy, he is an athletic, active guy. He fits right in with the demeanor and the way that the defensive line plays. He's a high-energy player. I think he's really improved from a technique standpoint. He had the opportunity to start the other night against Indianapolis. He's gotten a lot more reps and that has helped him. I'm looking forward to his continued progress."
On if Winn could start as a defensive lineman on other teams:
"It would probably depend on the team. I feel like we have a number of guys that I feel really good about that we can rotate and be able to roll and there's not going to be a big drop off. Keeping those guys fresh, from my experience, in the league is a key to good defensive line play, having enough guys that can stay fresh and continue to play the way that our guys have played in attacking, running and chasing the ball and high-energy defensive line play."
On WR David Nelson's progress:
"He has practiced the last week or so. We just wanted to be careful. He hasn't been in a real game situation for over a year. Getting him out there on Thursday, we're excited about it. I'm excited to see him. He's looked good in practice. He's taken every step along the way to get better. He has a good understanding from a mental standpoint. He stayed involved in knowing what to do. I'm excited about seeing him out there."
On if OL Oniel Cousins will start at right guard in the season opener:
"He has the edge right now. I have been pleased with how quickly he has made the transition. It's not been perfect by any means, and he is still working and still need to continue to work, but it has been relatively smooth."
On acquiring another guard:
"I feel better about the situation with Oniel and what he has done and what he has shown what he can do. We just have to keep working. We do have a couple different options. That's the thing you always want to have is some options. Oniel moving from tackle to guard was one of the things we discussed. As it came time to it, that was the thing that became the forefront that we needed to do. We weren't sure how it would all work out, but it seems like it's going as well as we could have expected."
On DB Chris Owen's status:
"He's day-to-day. I wouldn't expect him to be very long at all."
On Owens' playing time and a young secondary:
"Chris has done it enough and played enough from an experience standpoint that I don't have any concerns with him. I know this morning he felt great. We will get him back in practice pretty quickly. It's only another day of practice before the game. Tomorrow will be more of a walkthough-type tempo. Anyhow, we'll have the game and then after that we'll be back on the weekend. I expect him back at practice before too long."
On WR Josh Gordon playing against Chicago:
"Josh will play some. I will get into all the details tomorrow and make sure that you get the details tomorrow."
On if QB Brandon Weeden will be a starter who gets 10-12 reps on Thursday:
"I will let you know tomorrow on that."
On certain players he wants to see play against Chicago:
"For the most part, the guys that are going to play and get significant amount of time in that game are going to be guys that we really want to look at and give them the opportunity to play three quarters in that game and get a chance to see them."
On special-teams play helping young linebackers and defensive backs making the roster:
"A lot of it does tie to special teams as you are talking about that group with what they're able to do, their value on special teams, as well as playing on offense and defense. That all goes into it. It'll be an important game from an evaluation standpoint. A lot of people don't think of the fourth preseason game as important, but it is from an evaluation standpoint of that group of guys on the roster."
On WR Josh Cooper:
"Josh has really improved. Going back to last season and watching tape on him, he has really become dependable and is catching the ball. He has been able to work to get open. He has had a really good training camp."
On Cooper's improvements:
"Catching and being reliable as a receiver and catching the ball. He has really improved and worked to improve that part of his game."
On having to cut players as a first-year Head Coach:
"It's difficult. I recognize that a lot of these guys, this is their dream to play. I take that seriously, sitting down with them and talking through things. The crazy thing about this business is that you just never know. For some of them, it is the last time they play. For some of them, they will play somewhere else. For some of them, we may pick them up later on down the road. You just never know. I appreciate everything that they have done. You talk about coming into a new coaching staff and bringing in a whole new approach to things and a different approach to things, these guys were all part of that and part of the process and putting in the work. I appreciate all of the efforts that they made. I take it very seriously when I sit down with them."
On if Mingo will play in the opener:
"We have no timetable. We will just have to see how he progresses and how he heals. It's really just an individual thing, from individual to individual, on how they heal."
On starting TE Jordan Cameron's injury:
"He has a slight groin problem. I don't anticipate any issues from it, but we will hold him from practice today."
On starting DL Desmond Bryant's injury:
"He is progressing, as well. I don't anticipate any issues with Desmond either."
On RB Brandon Jackson as the backup running back:
"Brandon is a reliable guy. I have no issues with Brandon. Obviously (RB) Trent (Richardson) will be in there, and he will be the guy that we are counting on in a lot of different ways. We have to do a good job of keeping him fresh throughout the course of the season, not just one game but through the course of the season. That will bring opportunities for other guys. I'm looking forward to seeing how Brandon in the game how he runs the ball and then some of the other younger guys who will have the chance to do it, as well."
On Jackson's rushing yards per carry:
"Sometimes you just have to look at the blocking and some of those things. As I have looked at it, a lot of times there hasn't been a lot there for him."