TC: Good morning. We're back to work, glad of it. Don't be misled by Cleveland's record. They're a good, young team. They have some 15 players that are rookies, 11 second-year players. But they play hard, they battle hard. You saw the Thursday Night Game against Baltimore. Very close game, it was 23-16. If the linebacker catches the ball in the end zone, they beat the Eagles. They play tough in all of their games. Cincinnati game is another indicator, 34-27, when Cincinnati has a punt return of 81 yards for a touchdown. So, they have played tough, they have a young quarterback, they have a rookie quarterback. He's 28 years old, they're putting more on his plate each week. He's throwing the ball over 40 times a game. They have an outstanding rusher in Richardson. He's very physical, that's where the starting point is. They have a lot of skilled people in their receiver corps; the defense is very, very good. Very aggressive. Jackson being the middle backer, he's done an outstanding job in that role as a leader of that defensive team. They've risen up against, certainly, the teams in their division. Of course, even the Eagles on opening day, played very, very well. So, their special teams feature an outstanding return game, and they've done a very, very good job of creating field position. So, we have our work cut out for us, and we're back to work today, looking ahead towards the Cleveland Browns.
Q: When did Barden sustain the concussion?
A: He complained of a headache. He asked that he could be evaluated, and they sent him for the evaluation yesterday. I think a lot of the symptoms were okay, but there was enough there for them to slow him down.
Q: He won't practice today?
A: No. He's on the (concussion) protocol.
Q: Did Barden say when the concussion was sustained.
A: Yeah. He did. It was one of those plays at the end of the game. He said that he got a blow to the back of the head.
Q: Is it possible that he's out for this week?
A: Anything's possible. Everything's possible.
Q: With the disappointment of last week, how do you guard against not letting them lose focus going into next week?
A: Got to move on. We've got to move on. It's over. It's done with. We've spent a couple of days lamenting and we move on. We've got to get going here today, and have a good work day, and have a good session out there, in our meetings, and feel like we're taking a step forward in our preparation for a good, young team.
Q: Will Stevie Brown start at safety?
A: We'll see. We'll see.
Q: Any progress with Hakeem?
A: No. He's not going to practice today.
Q: Is the knee still swollen?
A: I'm not sure if it's swollen. I think it's not so as to inhibit him when he walks. He looks pretty good walking.
Q: The doctors told you that it's not anything structural?
A: You asked me that the other day. It's a swollen knee. That's what I've been told.
Q: Usually, there's a reason for the swelling.
A: Could be the weather change. I mean, who knows?
Q: His plan has been to practice once a week on Thursdays. Do you think he'll try to practice tomorrow?
A: I'd like to think about today, if you don't mind. Last week, although the plan was intact, he could not do it. The medical people have that under control, and we all just react according to their beck and call. If he can practice, he'll practice. Hopefully, we'll get enough indication, so we can plan for it.
Q: Is there such a thing as a good 2-2 record, or a bad 2-2 record? If so, where does this one fall to you?
A: It's 2-2 to me. I mean, I don't know whether...it's not what you hoped for.
Q: Will you get David Diehl back today?
A: He's going to do individuals, and a little bit more. Thanks for asking about David Diehl.
Q: Have you seen Eli? With your message about ‘moving on,' how has he been?
A: Well, he's good. I mean, he was in here yesterday. He gets in that room, in there, and he stays in there. He comes out and has his lunch, he gets a workout in, and that's him every Tuesday. He'll move on, he'll move on. We all have to move on. I mean, you can't go backwards; we can't live in the past. We've analyzed and analyzed again. I've gotten in the confession box, the other day, and you didn't buy that either. So, I don't know what I'm going to do next.
Q: Have you ever talked about confession box and things like that? Have you ever talked to Eli about the blame game?
A: Naturally. We don't pull any punches. He'll volunteer. We try to be that way with everybody on our team. Usually, when I start a meeting, typically after a loss, I'll tell them what I felt like I didn't do well so they can understand that it's okay to acknowledge and make corrections. That's what we're trying to do, to get it right. Not interested in who or whatever, we know what the issues are, we all do. We want to get it right, we want to learn from it and move on.
Q: So you always felt that it's always important for a quarterback not to go public, sometimes as quarterbacks do? Like, ‘he ran the wrong route?'
A: No. No. He's never done that. We don't do that. It's no one person to blame. It's our team.
Q: Now, you have a week to prepare to go into a game without Kenny (Phillips). What kind of adjustments might you guys try to make without him back there?
A: Well, we'd like to settle in and make sure that however we decide we're going to play the game, that the individual who hasn't had that much experience back there does understand how to communicate, and exactly what we want from him in his position, and what his responsibilities are. It's no different.
Q: When you started today about not being misled by Cleveland's record. Assuming that's the message that you're going to deliver to your players, is that a week-long theme for you so that on Sunday they're not in any way overlooking? How do you handle that?
A: That was the initial thought today. I didn't put it that way. What you have to understand is we don't know this team, and therefore, everyone needs to share with me the attitude that I have about trying to study these people throughout the week and getting to know them better. I think that's where it comes from. It didn't take you long, if you look at the tape, you'll know what I'm talking about.
RE: Regarding Rueben Randle's work ethic being questioned by the team:
A: He's trying, he's working hard. I'm not paying attention to someone else's opinion. He's a young guy that wants to do well.
Q: David Baas? Is he making progress with his hand?
Q: Will he work today?
Q: It appeared that the running game was going in the right direction and then it went south against Philly. Do you think it was something they did? Or was it something that you need to work on, to get it going?
A: Well, it's a combination. We can always take it apart from our standpoint. They played well, too. So, it was a combination. We've got to be better.
Q: Last time you played Cleveland, I know it was four years ago, but weren't you undefeated? They went in there and kind of kicked you around a little bit? Is that something that you kind of draw on?
A: I do. I remember.
Q: You make sure that your players remember?
A: There are a lot of them in the room who don't remember, they don't have any recall of that. I mention it to those that were here. Along with the fact that at one point we were 11-1 and we only had the one blemish.
Q: How do you judge or decide when it's time to get in the public and second guess?
A: As I've said 1,000 times, when we win, the players win, and the coaches win. When we lose, I lose. That's just the way it is.
Q: Always, for you?
Q: Did that come naturally for you, or did it develop over time?
A: I'm sure it developed over time. That's my position.
RE: if Keith Rivers or Jayron Hosley will practice today:
A: Hosley's going to do individuals, and hopefully, more. Rivers, no.
Q: Michael (Boley)?
A: Boley? No.
Q: (Chris) Snee?
Q: Finish up with Rocky (Bernard)?
A: No. I was going to say, if you're going to go down the roster, I'm going to have a little trouble making practice.