Browns coach Pat Shurmur met with reporters today before his team practiced in preparation for the Baltimore Ravens. Here are some of the highlights from the news conference:
After the Browns' 23-20 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, wide receiver Josh Cribbs expressed his frustration about losing and told reporters he had to stop talking before he got himself in trouble. On Wednesday, Cribbs was asked if he's happy with the way he's being used and the number of opportunities he has received in the offense. "Uh. I just won’t answer that," Cribbs said. Shurmur said today that Cribbs has not told him he's frustrated. "I didn't hear the questions, so I don't know what their response should or should not be," Shurmur said. "But I know this: You have guys that want to contribute to winning. His role is heavy on special teams. In the case of Josh, who you just brought up, we use him quite a bit. I think he had the second-most reps of the receivers. I think I mentioned it yesterday, he's got more catches and more yards at this point in the season than he had all of last year, so that's that. But in terms of my process and the way we deal with (players who are frustrated with their roles), we handle it man to man behind closed doors. And if I see something, then I'll call them in. If they have an issue, then they'll come see me."
Shurmur said he thinks running back Peyton Hillis (hamstring) is just about 100 percent healthy. "I felt like he was at full speed or game speed (against the Bengals)," Shurmur said. ... "He looked great yesterday in practice. In my conversations with him, he's told me that he feels fine."
Strong safety T.J. Ward (foot) and linebacker Quinton Spears (hamstring) won't practice today, Shurmur said.
Browns defensive coordinator Dick Jauron said Brian Schaefering, Auston English and Jayme Mitchell are in the mix at right defensive end. Schaefering worked at right end with the first-team defense on Wednesday. Starting right end Emmanuel Stephens (pectoral) was placed on injured reserve earlier this week.
Former Browns long snapper Ryan Pontbriand, who was waived Tuesday, issued the following statement through his agent: "I'm proud to have worn a Browns jersey for nine seasons, and I will miss being part of the organization and the city of Cleveland. However, I am confident in my ability and look forward to a fresh start with another team."