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  • Writer's pictureJoey Jarzynka

Browns' OL Coach Bill Callahan Quotes 8.29.20


On how T Jedrick Wills Jr. was impacted by not having an in-person offseason program: 

“I think rookies across the league are behind the curve. I think what our goal has been is to bring him up to speed as fast as we can. We have really inundated him with techniques and walkthroughs. We have gone through several measures in the classroom showing him different players doing the techniques that we are asking of him. I think the progress has been positive, but you just do not know until you go up against live competition. Having the looks that we are getting in practice from No. 54 (DE Olivier Vernon) and No. 95 (DE Myles Garrett) certainly helps that. He has obviously lost a share and he has won a share of his reps, but that experience of getting out against quality and premier pass rushers is invaluable. Every day, it is a learning experience for him, and we are trying to bring him up to speed as fast as we can.”

On if Wills is struggling more than expected: 

“I would not say that. I think I have gauged his rate of improvement. You would love to have it much higher, like a veteran level, but let’s be realistic, that is just not going to happen in this day and age because of the tardiness of techniques of not having the offseason and things of that nature. I do think that the players learn more once they get into the games. They are really more in tune to what is going to occur and what they can expect. That rate of improvement is key. Week in and week out as we move through the schedule and during the season, I just want to see constant improvement, I want to see his technique get better and I want to see him graduate to a level where he can handle just about anything. Now, he is not going to be proficient at everything, but I want him to have good exposure and a good understanding of the things that are going to be facing him.”

On if the Browns’ plan includes not ‘overwhelming’ Wills by having him frequently compete against Garrett: 

“Not necessarily. We have had Myles over Jedrick’s position several times, not only in the one-on-ones but also in team. I can’t speak for the defense, but what I feel and what I sense is that they are just trying to get Myles up and going. He is on a little bit on a pitch count so I am sure they are monitoring his reps and making sure that he is not overdoing it as he is just making his way back in. Watching Myles yesterday, he was really impressive finishing plays, and we highlighted that today as a team to watch him finish. He had great championship effort on the plays that were shown to the team. I was really impressed, as I have always been impressed by Myles. In terms of his one on ones getting matched up on Jedrick, we are trying to give Jedrick as many different looks as possible, whether it is a speed rusher, a power rusher or a combination-type player. We are just trying to get as many different people on him to give him that exposure of the speed, quickness and power that he is going to face.”

On if Wills’ attitude and mentality has been what is needed or if he has been getting too discouraged at times and needs a pick-me-up: 

“I think for all the rookies in our league and especially on our team, they need to learn the cycle of the snap, and they need to get the mindset prior to the play in the pre-snap. Then of course when the snap is over, good bad or indifferent, they need to process that quickly and find out or learn what they did good, what they did bad and what they could do better and then move on to the next play. That ability to change the mindset of the next play and going to the next play is critically important for a young player. Sometimes, they have the tendency to dwell because they want to do so well that it kind of feeds into that cycle of overthinking, paralysis and things of that nature. We have worked really hard at trying to get a mindset for Jedrick and all of our players of getting on and getting forward with the next play.”

On how C Nick Harris has improved during training camp: 

“His development has been interesting, just because of the fact that he was not expected to come in and run the show. He has been impressive in the sense that he can communicate all of the various sequences of communications along the line, whether it is the point system or the call system. He can get us in and out of the protection calls that we need to make. That aspect for a young center has been really impressive. Then of course, trying to bring him up to speed with all the physical fundamental techniques at his position, it has been really challenging, but he is a guy that continues to make strides and improvement. So far, we are really pleased, but until you get him matched up against teams like Baltimore and obviously Cincinnati, you just do not know. He has just come in there with a really good confidence about himself and nice poise, and that is refreshing for a young player. You do not have to worry about him not being able to get up to the line and ID the front or make the right call. He is still learning of course – he is not there yet – but he has really, really made tremendous strides, especially for that position. For a guy to come in and do that, I have been fortunate to have a couple of guys like that in my past, and he has kind of run that same type of flow in terms of communication so that is great to see.”

On if the prospect of potentially having two rookies starting on the OL Week 1 is daunting: 

“We just have to deal with it. We were not expecting (C) JC (Tretter) to have surgery, and of course, he is working hard to make his way back. Of course, I have had so many different combinations over the last few years, it has been fun. It is challenging. It is not what you really want optimally because you do not want two rookies in there, but we have had great veteran leadership with (G) Joel Bitonio just helping those guys out, communicating and putting a calm to them. Overall, I think they are going to get better as time goes on. It will not be perfect, but again, the experience is totally invaluable.”

On how difficult C is for a rookie and how Harris has been impacted by not having an in-person offseason program: 

“Like I said, they all are impacted. I go back in my experience, I look at (Washington Football Team C) Chase Roullier and when we had (former NFL C) Spencer Long in Washington, he was playing in camp and had knee surgery, and Roullier was forced into the lineup and he played as a rookie. (Former Cowboys C)Travis Frederick when we drafted him in Dallas, he was forced into the lineup and he had to play early. I have been in scenarios where I had seven centers hurt during a training camp and we were coaching guards up the night before a preseason game trying to get to those guys ready. I have a little bit more of a comfort level. At least these guys are trainable, they have worked and they have taken snaps and reps, not only in team but also in the one on ones. Then of course, we have not even talked about (C) Evan Brown and some of the progress he is making as a backup. We were really trying to get him situated as a guard, but we cross-trained him and brought him in as a center, and he has done a good job, as well.”

On Wills working out of a three-point stance and two-point stance: 

“For the open-side tackle, generally speaking, it is kind of a general theme across our league is the open side tackle has the ability and the freedom to play in the two-point. We have staggered Jedrick in a two-point and a three-point so he has worked in both. He is punching out of both stances to the close side where the tight end is there positioned next to him. Most of our tackles are down in three-points. We have given a little bit more flexibility to the left tackle to the open side of the formation where there is not a tight end adjacent to him to play from a two-point because that is where their best defensive player is located. To be in that position from the two-point, probably more comfortable for the tackle because he can see a lot more, he can anticipate a little bit better and it does help them when they do pass set.”

On if Wills has been as effective of a run blocker in two-point and three-point stances: 

“Pretty much. Yeah, absolutely. We are still working on getting some of his technique squared away, but yes, yes he has.”

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