• Joey Jarzynka

Browns' Pass Game Coordinator/DBs Coach Jeff Howard Quotes 8.28.20

COURTESY OF CLEVELAND BROWNS MEDIA RELATIONS DEPARTMENT


On how tough it is losing S Grant Delpit for the season and how the Browns can fill that role: 

“That situation was really disappointing for us just because you know what a great player and teammate that Grant is. He just came in here and did a really nice job with opportunities that were given to him, really worker mentality. He came out with a chip on his shoulder and was making some plays. That was hard to see. Moving forward, try to be solution-oriented. I have even talked to him about that, and I think it has been cool to see how he has been putting it into his focus, ‘OK, it happened. I am over it, and now I am moving forward.’ We are trying to do the same thing as a team and as a defensive backfield. Just taking opportunities we get, be solution-oriented and kind of move forward.”

On if S Andrew Sendejo can be and every-down safety at this point in his career: 

“We are in the process of evaluation every single day and kind of seeing what we put on tape. I think that has been a focus for all the guys is our identity is who we are on tape. Just with having a limited amount of time of evaluating these guys, things change every single practice. We are trying to constantly evaluate where we are going to be and who the best pieces are. We are constantly trying to move them around and give different looks at different things to see who our best 11 are.”

On S Sheldrick Redwine and if Redwine can capitalize on an opportunity with Delpit out: 

“It has been good. Sheldrick is getting some more reps and getting more opportunities. Just trying to find a niche for what his skillset is. It is different. It is kind of a position that is unique in that you can insert them in different spots. Just seeing what skillset he is best at, whether playing in the middle of the field, man to man or down on the second level, but it is a unique position, and it is one of the reasons why I love it so much. It is kind of just evaluating it to see which Sheldrick can do and how he competes with the group. I feel like that position group has a bunch of guys that are really competing right now.”

On CBs Greedy Williams and Denzel Ward and their potential as a CB tandem: 

“Really excited about Greedy and Denzel. Just witnessing their work ethic every day and their attention to detail, and any opportunities that they have on the field, they are spending it working on their craft and working on the details of their positions, unique footwork and eye progressions. If you guys are out, you can see anytime we have a special teams period, we are trying to do something where we are working on our game. They have really bought into that. I am excited just to see where they are headed.”

On the team dealing with extraordinary adversity with the injuries at DB during training camp, including multiple DB injuries on the day CB Kevin Johnson sustained a lacerated liver: 

“It is funny you mentioned that day, that was a lot that happened to us. I have spent a lot of time talking to our group about being a good player is bigger than our athletic traits. I feel like football really doesn’t produce character; it really tests character. That situation is one example of that. Especially with our guys, we are going to go into the season, it is going to be tough and we are going to get hit in the mouth, and it is how are you going to handle it. At first when all that went down, you could tell that there was a little bit of, ‘Oh, gees.’ We came back and talked amongst the group and really talk them through the challenge of ‘What are you going to do if this happens to us? If your opportunity is called, are you going to be ready for it?’ In this in this day and age as competitive as this league is, you are going to get one shot, and you have to be ready for your shot. It was cool to see that the next day we came out and really competed and did well. That was fun to be around, and it is something that I feel like for the group was something that they could learn. Hopefully, we can take it with us moving forward.”

On if he is hoping that the Browns DBs ‘took all their lumps’ in the early portion of training camp and won’t have more injuries later this year: 

“Yeah, exactly. No doubt.”

On the number of interceptions during training and the significance of frequent interceptions: 

“I do not have a specific number for you because we track it by the day, but it is almost like next day, next opportunity mentality with the group, and it is like what have you done for me lately. We kind of keep that in the front of their minds that we are always hungry for more. We have done a good job of attacking the ball, and it has been something that we stress. It is something that I have been trying to teach. Looking for opportunities, and the more you search them out and the more you are looking for them, you tend to find them.”

On Ward saying they are working on new technique in press coverage and Ward’s potential:

“With Denzel, he is obviously a good player. He was a Pro Bowler two years ago. A very productive player. As far as his skillset and God-given abilities, he has them and what you are looking for in an elite corner. I always want to try to add value to my players. We kind of just went back and looked. I watched all his targets from last year and really just tried to assess him, tell him where I was at and then come up with a plan of ways that we can feel like he can possibly improve on his game. That growth mindset is something that I can really see in Denzel. Every time he comes out on the field, he is really trying to get better, he is really trying to compete and he does not like to lose. That is really what you like to see in a corner.”

On how Head Coach Kevin Stefanski has handled the adversity from COVID-19 and social and racial injustice:

“It has been obviously unique. Just with so many things that are going on in our world today that not only affect me but our players and you guys, as well, just with COVID, the civil unrest and political unrest. Dealing in that environment, it has been fun to watch Kevin work. Something he always talks about is we need to find a way. Regardless of the situation, find a way to get it done. Really trying to focus on solutions and not problems and not get too bent out of shape when things don’t go our way. Just try to handle it the best that we possibly can and move on. I feel like his leadership has pushed that through the rest of the group and with the team, and that has been fun to watch.”

On if Stefanski has always shown those leadership traits before becoming a head coach:

“Absolutely. I have seen Kevin go through some very challenging situations as an individual coach, also as coordinator or a leader. I have always been impressed with how he handles himself.”

On how Redwine is off the field and Redwine embracing his on the social justice leadership committee:

“Sheldrick is a smart guy. He talked about how he spent his offseason reading and trying to better himself. This summer, he would send me motivational clips in the morning. It was cool. As far as the social justice piece, I think that is something that has been positive for our team. That was something that Kevin initiated. It is good. In our world today, everybody wants leaders. I feel like you have to give them a voice before they can lead, and it is cool to see Kevin give that group of guys that voice for their team and also give them a little bit of range to move and give them some ideas to do so that we can positively affect our community. Hopefully, we can keep building on that and day by day take little bit of chips and improve not only our organization and the people around us but  just the world around us, especially the community of Cleveland.”

On the DBs and WRs working together and ‘iron sharpening iron’:

“I like what you said – iron sharpens iron. It is like the more challenging the situation, it causes you to either rise up to it or you fail. I have enjoyed the challenged of covering those guys. Our guys, they do not take it lightly. Every time I go out there, they are trying to prove themselves. That is kind of the mentality that we want in the group. We want to compete, and we are getting to compete with some really good players.”

On CB Terrance Mitchell and his ability to fill in with Williams out, including if needed to do so in Week 1:

“Terrance has had a good camp. He is one of those guys that was nicked up for a day or two. I think he has really honed in on the techniques that we are trying to teach. He has been very coachable. He is a smart player. In the offseason, he kind of really stood out. We try to continuously assess our guys. In the offseason the way it was, it was a little bit unique, but we would end up quizzing them pretty much daily, and he was one of the leaders in the group. He is an intelligent player. He has taken the things that he has learned during the offseason and really kind of applied it. He has made the most of his reps. He has had some plays on the ball that were impressive. Really excited to continue to work and evaluate him as we keep getting closer to that Week 1 game.”

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