Todd Haley meets with the Cleveland media on Thursdays during a normal NFL game week. The week six Haley media availability produced some interesting reactions.
So how often does an NFL coach begin a press conference discussing about a legendary rap artist. It happened in the home of the dawg pound.
“Dawg Pound, you better turn up this week!”
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) October 10, 2018
Rapper Snoop Dogg paid a visit to Browns practice on Wednesday. The Snoop D double g is a known fan of the rival Pittsburgh Steelers, Haley’s former team. Now the offensive coordinator in Cleveland, Haley addressed the relationship between him and the rap star. This after Snoop said during an interview on Cleveland television station WJW Fox-8, he’s not a Haley fan.
“Snoop, I got to meet him,” Haley said. “I got to make sure that he and I were all good. We had a couple of rough years there (laughter). It got smoother over the last few and then him being out there and saying that he is a part of the Dawg Pound, we are good now. So now I can go back to listening to West Coast rap(laughter).”
Now onto some serious issues Haley addressed. The Browns offense will feature three rookies at wide receiver for Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers. Antonio Callaway, Derrick Willies and Damion Ratley all have to be prepared to replace Rashard Higgins.
“I think the preparation has been going on,” Haley said. “We had a very young group and we had injuries and all kinds of things going on through the spring and training camp. That preparation is not going on last minute. It has been an ongoing process of trying to develop your young players. I think I said it my first time in this room, the key in this business to being a good team and a consistently good team is that you better develop your young guys. It is the player’s job to be ready. They need to step up this week.”
Running Back Duke Johnson is seeing less playing time so far in Haley’s offense. Is that going to change beginning Sunday. How about lining Johnson up as a receiver and use his pass catching talents.
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“You want all of your players involved,” Haley said. “At running back, sometimes that is a little tougher than others. You can’t just run him out there. We have been heavy pass with him in there. We have to make sure that we are running the ball with him and throwing it to him. I think he played more plays than normal. We were in third down a bunch and two-minute, and at the end of the game two-minute, we had a lot of situations that got him in there, but I thought he made the most of his opportunities.”
What about the questionable decision to run a reverse deep inside your own territory in overtime? As a result, the play ended in a big loss.
“Dumb call. Dumb call (laughter). When they don’t work, they are dumb, and that was a dumb call. I heard from (Pro Football Hall of Famer Bill) Parcells immediately. You just have to stick the knife in again. I get it.”
Fortunately, Haley’s rookie quarterback in addition to a rookie wide receiver bailed him out. Baker Mayfield and Willies connected on a huge pass play. Consequently, it was the play of game and the Browns beat their division rivals, the Baltimore Ravens.
“That gives us big opportunities,” Haley said. “In games, you have to count on two, three or four times that there is probably going to be an opportunity for a scramble pass. Guys’ awareness of getting open spot, keeping their eyes on the quarterback, and those are big field-flipping type plays like you saw. So I think it illustrates a lot of what gives him a chance to be a good player.”
So how is the evaluation process going with the number one overall pick?
“I was encouraged. Everything was not as perfect,” Haley said. “There are areas he has to continue to improve, but he can make plays. Even with a lot of the negativity that was going on at different times for different reasons, I never felt like we did not have a chance to make a play. His attitude is tremendous. He is into the game on the sideline in between and during timeouts, whatever it is. So there is never a time where you are looking into his eye and feeling like we have a chance. Those are all positives. For us a group, we have to eliminate the minus plays, and a lot of those come through mental errors. We just have to be smarter.”
In conclusion, lets hope Haley is able to out smart Anthony Lynn and his Chargers defense this Sunday.
“Anthony and I are very good friends, very close,” Haley said. “We had time together in Dallas and a couple of unique moments together. Somebody that I really care about. They are a well-coached group. I am proud of Anthony and what he is doing. He has gone out there, and it is clear when you watch the tape that the group is well coached, trying to do what they are supposed to be doing, playing physical and playing hard. I would just like to beat him (laughter). There will not be any hugs and kisses before the game.”
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