Browns coach Pat Shurmur met with reporters this afternoon to discuss the team's 17-16 win over the Miami Dolphins. Here are some of the highlights from the news conference:
Shurmur issued the following injury updates: cornerback Sheldon Brown and linebacker Chris Gocong suffered groin injuries but finished the game. Wide receivers Josh Cribbs (groin) and Mohamed Massaquoi (foot) are "no worse for wear" after playing hurt against the Dolphins. Running back Peyton Hillis, who was inactive Sunday, is continuing to recover from strep throat. Offensive lineman Joe Thomas sprained his knee, but "he'll be fine." Linebacker Titus Brown (ankle) and rookie strong safety Eric Hagg (knee) will continue to do more this week at practice. Offensive lineman Tony Pashos was inactive Sunday with an ankle injury, but he "will make an effort to come back even stronger than he did last week in terms of getting reps earlier in the week." Rookie defensive tackle Phil Taylor, who's pictured to the left, sprained the MCL in his left knee, but "he'll be fine."
When asked what needs to be corrected immediately, Shurmur said, "We've gotta find a way to start fast. We just watched the tape on offense. We were running the same type of plays the second half that we were running in the first half, and it was very clear that we were just executing them better in the second half coming out of the halftime. And so that's the message: 'Listen, guys. Relax. Just execute. Take the gimmes. Get yards on the runs. Get into manageable third downs. Let's move the football and find a way to stay on the field.' What you'll find is all those great things that you want to do, you don't get a chance to do if you don't get enough plays. I think you've gotta start fast to get enough plays on offense, and then the defense doesn't have to play two-thirds of the game as well."
The Browns are ranked third in the NFL in passing defense (187.3 yards per game), but Shurmur said he's not surprised by the secondary's success through three games. "Our secondary doesn't surprise me," he said. "I think they're well coached, and I think we have talented guys. I've watched them in practice play very well together. I mean we have a three safety rotation, and they're all in there making plays and it's working. It's really working. We have corners that we feel we can play in the slot and out on the perimeter. I give the coaches credit for getting them lined up properly and teaching them what they need to see, and I give the players credit for their ability to go out and play."