ROMEO CRENNEL: “Eric is a good young player for us. He is still learning and making progress. We hope that he continues to make progress but we think that he can be a good player. He fits well as far as the running game goes for us, in terms of trying to run on the edge particularly. We feel like that helps us and he is consciences about his run responsibilities so that is all positive.”
Q: What happened between him and CB
CRENNEL: “Miscommunication, yes.”
Q: Browns coach Eric Mangini has been telling us interesting things. Can you talk about staying up late, watching football and eating snacks with him back in your days together?
CRENNEL: “Nachos with cheese you know? That is football, it is late hours and you are over there and it is good to have somebody else over there with you. He was learning about our system and so I tried to explain what I knew about it, not knowing everything, but I was able to explain some things to him and he was able to get a better understanding of the system. Eric is a very smart young man himself and he picks up things really quickly. I didn’t have to explain a whole lot.”
Q: He said that nobody helped him more than you. How does that make you feel?
CRENNEL: “I’m glad I was able to help and I hope he forgets a bit of it this Sunday.”
Q: Are you excited to be going back?
CRENNEL: “I am excited that we won a game last week and we have an opportunity to try and win another one. That is what is exciting. We are looking forward to going out there and try to improve and play better because we were not perfect the other night. We have to try and eliminate some of those mistakes we made in the game Monday night.”
Q: Are you pleased with the amount of pressure you are getting out of the quarterback?
CRENNEL: “So far, it is early and the season is long. If we can continue to get what we got Monday night I think that we will have a chance to affect the quarterback.”
Q: What did you see from the game film last year that allowed them to break off so many rushing yards?
CRENNEL: “The runner is a good runner. The offensive line did a good job as well so they were able to get some things going and they kept them going. It resulted in a big game for Jerome (Harrison) and a big game for Cleveland. Hopefully that won’t happen this time around, but we are going to line up and try to put our best foot forward.”
Q: Was it anything the Chiefs were doing wrong that allowed them that many yards?
CRENNEL: “Anytime you give up that much yardage you are not doing everything right. It isn’t for me to say what they were doing right or what they were doing wrong. I just try to get these guys on this team ready and put those guys in position. Hopefully we can make plays and slow the run down.”
Q: I know you have a lot of friends in Cleveland. Do you look forward to that or is your focus 100 percent on Cleveland?
CRENNEL: “You have to focus on your job and what that entails. Generally that entails a lot of late nights and so I don’t have time to answer my phone. My daughter got a message to me that my phone was full and she couldn’t leave a message. That is the way it goes and you really don’t have time to think about acquaintance and things like that because you are focused on the game plan and how your players are practicing and what they are doing. Maybe after the game you might be able to say, ‘hey, I remember Joe Smith’ or something like that. Leading up to the game you are focused on getting your guys ready to play.”
Q: How do you handle last year’s bad loss with your defense?
CRENNEL: “I think you have to remind them of it. Hopefully that doesn’t sit well with them and they will want to do something about it. You point it out to them and you show them and hopefully they will do a lot better this time.”
Q: Is it your sense that they carry some sort of embarrassment about them from that game?
CRENNEL: “I hope they do, because it was embarrassing. I don’t want to be embarrassed on Sunday.”
Q: What types of challenges does QB Seneca Wallace bring that QB Jake Delhomme doesn’t?
CRENNEL: “Seneca has more running ability. He has played wide receiver in games so you have to be concerned about your rush lanes and how you are going to contain him as a result of that. He is a pro quarterback and he has played quarterback in games and won games in this league. So you have to respect what he has been able to do. Like I said, we have to be cognoscente of our rush lanes and not take chances and things like that.”
Q: Do you have a different game plan for Seneca than you do for Delhomme?
CRENNEL: “No, because Eric and his offense are going to do certain things and I don’t think it makes much difference who the quarterback is. Now they might have a special play that they have for Seneca that they wouldn’t for Jake but I doubt it would be a whole game plan.”
Q: Did any of your guys really impress you in game one that you were not expecting?
CRENNEL: “Well, you know I have said all along during camp that this defense has been improving each game and getting a little bit better. I think the whole unit played decently in the game and it is hard to single out anybody. D.J. (
Q: Is it exciting to go back to Cleveland and coach against a team you were once a part of?
CRENNEL: “Like I was just saying, I am kind of focused on the job at hand trying to get these guys to play better and get better. That has been the main focus, game plan stuff and all of that. We have won one and we want to try and win another one so that is what we have talked to them about all week.”
Q: How do you carry momentum from the first win into game two?
CRENNEL: “I think when the team has momentum it kind of carries itself. The thing you have to fight against is these guys believing they are any good because they won a game. You have to fight against that to keep them grounded because when you go on the road in this league, it is hard to win on the road. We now know that we are going to be in for a dog fight and Cleveland is going to give us their best shot and we need to be ready for it.”
Q: Do you feel you have enough depth with the injuries?
CRENNEL: “Our system is not a complicated system so the guys that we have been working understand the system and where they need to fit. We are confident that when they go into the game, they will be able to perform and do the job for us.”
Q: How do you stop a guy like RB Jerome Harrison?
CRENNEL: “It involves everyone on the defense doing their job first and then helping out. If you fit properly and be sure tacklers, maybe we can hold him down.”
Q: He only had nine carries last week. Are you expecting more than that from Harrison?
CRENNEL: “Well, Eric game plans and whatever game plan he puts together, I think that is what he is going to do. The number of carries that Harrison has, it doesn’t matter to Eric. If his game plan is to throw the ball, he will throw the ball. If his game plan is to give Harrison the ball, he is going to give Harrison the ball. Whatever game plan he has for us, we will find out on Sunday and hopefully it does not work.”
Q: What do you like about this young defense?
CRENNEL: “Well one is that they are young and they are willing workers. They pay attention, they listen and they try to do what you tell them to do so that is encouraging to have a young team that can do that. Some of the rookies that we have are able to make a contribution so that is possible.”
Q: Is LB
CRENNEL: “No, he is a player but he does have a lot of experience in the system and has the ability to help his teammates a lot out there on the field.”
Q: Coach Haley said Vrabel talks too much sometimes…
CRENNEL: “Not at all.”
Q: How do you and Coach Haley make it work on the sideline being such different personalities?
CRENNEL: “You mean I get calmer on Sundays? Your personality is your personality and you have had it all along. People have to adapt to it and the players have to understand what my personality is and how that affects them. Just like the offense has to understand Charlie’s (Weis) personality and how that impacts them. I think you be yourself and that gives you the best chance to be a winner.”