When there’s a game between two teams founded by the same guy, there always seems to be some connective tissue.
An interesting one in Sunday’s opener (1 p.m.-Cincinnati’s Local 12) pits Bengals rookie offensive coordinator Jay Gruden against long-time NFL defensive coordinator Dick Jauron calling his first game for the Browns.
It will be recalled that Jauron began his coaching career as an injured Bengal in the 1981 Super Bowl run when he helped secondary coach Dick LeBeau from the press box.
Now 30 years later after two head coaching stints, Jauron is trying to spoil the debut of Bengals rookie quarterback Andy Dalton with the new Browns 4-3 defense.
Jauron met the Cleveland media Thursday and here are some highlights from the transcript sent along by the Browns public relations department:
On Andy Dalton: “He is smart and steady. He’s a guy that has a proven track record in the highest level at the college ranks. He looks like he doesn’t rattle. They have a formidable team around him. They can do things to help him and they look like they have and are doing things to help him. He’s been fairly impressive.”
On automatically blitzing a rookie QB: “I would say no. I don’t know that anything automatically happens anytime in the league. You have plans, you see what’s happening, see where the game is going, what direction its taking, what’s working and what’s not. You certainly have plans going in, but it all kind of takes on its own life every game. Maybe that’s one of the best things about it all, you can do all the planning, all the research, look all the stats and then the game starts. Then you see what’s happening and the game kind of takes on its own life.”
It is also Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green’s first NFL start, but Jauron played it pretty close to the vest with everyone wanting to know if he’ll match up with Browns second-year emerging cornerback Joe Haden. Jauron prefers to leave corners on one side, but when asked if Haden will match up or stay on one side he joked, “I wouldn’t think there is a good reason to answer that today.”
On the rationale for playing the cornerbacks left and right instead of putting their best corner on the best receiver: “You can match corners at times. I have been in a number of situations where what you would consider your best corner does not want to go over to the other side. He’s very, very comfortable on one side or the other and not that comfortable on the other side whether it’s in press or off, they just aren’t. Then you find the opposite, there are guys that will travel all over the field and it doesn’t bother them. That’s really the only rationale for not matching because you can match in all phases of the game. You could match in pressure. You can match in pure man. You can match in zone, so the offense wouldn’t have any idea. It would be hard to disguise certain things if a certain receiver you were matching went inside. It would depend on coverage then what you wanted to do with that. Usually it’s a comfort level of the defender as opposed to the scheme.”
Another huge topic is both teams’ run defenses because both offenses to figure to pound it. Jauron is starting two rookies up front, first-round tackle Phil Taylor and second-round right end Jabaal Sheard.
And there is a history here. Since Cleveland came back into the league in 1999, the Bengals have had nine games in which running backs have rushed for at least 137 yards and five running backs have had 14 100-yard games (Corey Dillon, Rudi Johnson, Kenny Watson, Cedric Benson, Larry Johnson) in the 24 games the teams have played.
On the rookies’ progression on the defensive line: “They are obviously further along than they were about five and a half six weeks ago. It’s hard to play in there and I think it’s a little bit easier maybe for Jabaal to play outside, not that it’s ever easy, but inside Phil’s got people on both sides of him. A lot of things are going on in there, but they are both doing fine. We are really happy with both of their progress. They have a lot to learn obviously. I think they are quick studies, I believe that they are. They work at it, they like it and they are serious about it. So here we go, it will be a great learning experience for them and I believe they will do a good job.”
Tags: Bengals vs. Browns, Browns defensive coordinator Dick Jauron on Bengals in 2011 opener, Dick Jauron
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