OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR TODD HALEY**
What did you think of Brian Hoyer when he was here and what do you think of what he is doing now?
We really got kind of excited about Brian while he was here. He is a really smart guy. He was well prepared. He brought a lot to the meetings and out on the field. He has real good football intellect as far as the feel and what was going on. I am not real surprised by what he has done. He was driven and he wanted to prove that he was pretty good. I am happy to see that, but hopefully not Sunday (smiles).
Re: Martavis Bryant's progress and could he get a helmet this Sunday:
He is making progress, no doubt about it. From an offensive standpoint, when you start talking about those guys you are talking about big picture, special teams and where they fit in. Some of those things are also factors in it. Ultimately that will come down to Coach Tomlin.
Do you think Bryant's injury has slowed him down a little bit?
Any missed time for a rookie is going to be a setback. But I wouldn't say it was any one thing. This is a highly competitive situation when you are talking about those fours, fives and sixes at positions like receiver. Our saying is "The more you can do." So the more you can have the special teams coach need you or the offense need you, whether it's in situations or we just need you in general, those are all going to be factors that help you get a helmet on Sundays.
Is Dri Archer back to full health?
You'd have to ask him how he feels, but he looks good. He looks like he is moving around good. Unfortunately last week he had a couple of opportunities and we had a couple of breakdowns. What looked like maybe a chance to be a couple or at least two pretty explosive plays didn't come to fruition. But we have a real good back in Le'Veon Bell and a big dog in LeGarrette Blount. They are fighting for snaps. So Dri is going to have to fight and take advantage of his opportunities.
Has that been a challenge then to find a role for Archer?
It's a good challenge because he is a talented kid. But at the same time it is a good challenge because you have number-one, you don't really want Le'Veon off the field a whole bunch. At the same time you have a big, workhorse back in LeGarrette that is averaging 6.3 yards per carry. I think Le'Veon is up over 5.0 per carry, and LeGarrette is in the 6.0 range. We would like to see at least see if those averages will go down or not.
Re: Getting away from running the ball in the red zone:
I wouldn't say we've gotten away from it. We really have kind of went in with the approach of how we were going to play. There are some run to pass checks that come into play there that are a factor but at the same time I think we approach the games with what we feel gives us the best chance to succeed. We didn't execute. Bottom line, we need to do a better job of executing whether it's run or pass, and I think we will feel better about what we are doing.
Re: Justin Brown last game:
He bounced back and played real good, specifically in the run game. He was an integral part of running the football successfully, having to block not only a bunch of safeties in a bunch of different looks but he also had to block a couple of linebackers. He did a very good job. He was physical and he helped get the runners 3-4 yards multiple times. I thought he did a real good job in that and made a couple of tough catches when called upon. I thought he played good.
Do you have to lobby for a player on special teams to Coach Tomlin?
I wouldn't say lobby. I would say there are a lot of open discussions going on amongst the staff with Coach Tomlin. There are open lines of communication. All we can do is report the news and say whether guys are making progress. Having been in his seat, it's a tough job because you only get so many helmets, and special teams are obviously a critical part of winning and losing on Sundays.
Re: Talking to Archer about getting for sure yards versus trying to make something extra happen:
I think he is a good runner and that includes inside. I don't think he can carry it 25 times per game if he were the feature guy, but he is a good runner inside and outside. I think he has very good vision. He is putting the ball where it is supposed to go. I haven't seen any issues there. We had a couple of breakdowns from a blocking standpoint that really kept the couple of touches he had from turning into big plays.
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR DICK LEBEAU**
How big is run defense this week against Cleveland's three running backs?
They have three excellent backs. I think they're fourth in the league right now in rushing offense. They rushed the ball well against us in the first game. We'll have to do better than that. But really every week rushing defense is very, very critical. People can pound you running then they have the play-action pass, they're controlling the ball (and) they're controlling the clock. It's not a pretty picture. You don't want to be giving up a lot of runs.
Re: The Browns offensive line:
Their line play is excellent (and) as good as anybody we've seen. They do a good job. I think it's indicative in how they come back in their games. They're fighters and they just keep competing and you can see it. I think it starts with their offensive line.
Re: The offensive line being able to keep Brian Hoyer clean:
Well he helps them. He's quick and he's smart and it's a good combination. I think they have only allowed one sack or something like that.
Is Hoyer a player that can make plays if the offensive line breaks down or is he a product of a good line and running attack?
Well I think they complement one another. He's very good at avoiding pressure. He's very good at keeping the play alive. He's a guy that looks to throw it when he gets one but if he's got room to run he's smart. He knows how much he needs and he'll get it. He's a good, smart player. You can't put the numbers up that they've been putting up without a good line and a good quarterback.
What are the factors in Stephon Tuitt not seeing more playing time?
Well I think if you ask the same question (in) a couple weeks we'll be answering it differently. He's coming along really good. We're looking to get him in there and get some action.
Is Daniel McCullers getting any closer to playing on Sundays?
Well again you'll have to ask Mike (Tomlin) about that but I'm pleased with his development. He's got size and strength and he's working hard and he's another guy you can see on the field (on) any given Sunday.
Is there any rhyme or reason for when Cleveland goes up-tempo or is it a crapshoot?
I'm just going from video observation, it's that they are in the situation in the game that it might benefit them with getting some extra snaps. And if they get a pretty productive play on first-down you're going to get it. You're probably going to get it sustained for several snaps (and) maybe several series. But as far as saying, 'Oh I think they're going to do it this next down,' I don't think there's a rhyme or reason on that.
Re: His thoughts of Cortez Allen's play the past few weeks and what he wants to see from him on a week-in, week-out basis:
Well we want to see productivity and performance from all of our players. I think that Cortez has done a good job particularly in Jacksonville. (He had a) big interception the last couple of weeks and a lot of tackles. Corner is a position you know you either look either pretty good or you can look pretty bad. You're stuck out there on the edge. (You) try to keep an even keel on those guys and just get them better and better every week. I think he's getting better.
Do you have any hard feelings over being cut by the Browns in 1959?
(Laughing) Was anybody alive in 1959? No, actually when I grew up there was only one team in Ohio and it was Cleveland. So we all rooted for the Browns. It would've been nice to have been there but things turned out pretty good for me going to Detroit and ending up in Pittsburgh.
Re: The rivalry with the Browns and if it is nice to see that Cleveland is a more competitive team now:
I think they've been competitive. They've had a lot of good players. Even though the win-loss total may not be indicative of really close competition, if you look at those games (and) if you're in those games and on the sideline for those games you know that 99 percent of them were hard-fought, tough contests because there really isn't much love lost between these two teams. And that always leads to a very close, hard-fought game. There's no question that they're much better and going to get better yet.