Cleveland Browns defensive back Usama Young during a timeout against the Cincinnati Bengals during an an NFL football game on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)
Browns coach Pat Shurmur held a news conference this morning before the team practiced in preparation for its game Sunday against the Miami Dolphins. Here are some of the highlights:
- During training camp, Shurmur said he wanted Usama Young to become the Browns' starting free safety. That hasn't happened yet in part because Young, a former standout at Kent State University, missed most of camp with a hamstring injury, and Mike Adams played well enough to earn the job heading into the regular season. But Young, who's pictured to the left, still might be able to work his way into the starting lineup. When asked if there's a possibility that Young could become the starter in the near future as his health continues to improve, Shurmur said, "It's a real possibility, and he's in there playing all the time. I look at it this way: I feel like at this point we've got three safeties in there playing and doing a nice job. And that's the way I look at it. It's a very long season. We've got Eric Hagg coming back (from a knee injury). We’ve got Ray Ventrone. We've got five safeties and at any point during the game, they could all be in there. We need to put the guys in there that are gonna help us win the game. So there's very few spots where you say you've just got one player that does it, and I think that's what we have there." When asked if he sees Young receiving an opportunity to become the starting free safety, defensive coordinator Dick Jauron said, "We do. I think you'll see it fairly similar to what you saw a week ago. As he gets back into it, he'll get playing time. And then we'll just work from there 'cause we like them both. We like Mike and what he's done, and Usama is getting back into it. But we'll still split time and give them both a chance out there, and once again just see where it goes as we move along."
- Wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi (ankle) was limited Wednesday, but will continue to practice today, Shurmur said. Offensive lineman Tony Pashos (ankle) returned to practice Wednesday and was limited after sitting out last week. Shurmur said a decision on whether Pashos will be able to play Sunday will be made later in the week.