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Highlights from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 19, 2012

Browns coach Pat Shurmur met with reporters today before practice. Here are some of the highlights:

Every-down back

Shurmur suggested the workload of rookie running back Trent Richardson could increase when the Browns (0-2) host the Buffalo Bills (1-1) Sunday.

Richardson had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Aug. 9, missed the entire preseason and had a disappointing NFL debut in the season opener before breaking out Sunday with two touchdowns and 109 rushing yards in the Browns’ 34-27 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

Richardson had 23 touches (19 carries and four catches) Sunday and played 48 of the Browns’ 67 snaps (72 percent). Although Chris Ogbonnaya served as the team’s third-down running back and played 20 snaps, Shurmur said Richardson is more than capable of playing on third down.

“Trent’s an every-down back,” Shurmur said. … “For a second game, it was smart for us to do that, take a little bit more off his plate. That’s not to say that Trent won’t be out there in some third-down situations because I think he can catch the ball and he knows how to block.”

Shurmur acknowledged Richardson’s impact on rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden. After throwing four interceptions and posting a passer rating of 5.1 in the opener, Weeden completed 26-of-37 passes for 322 yards and two touchdowns and finished with a rating of 114.9.

“I’ve always thought that a quarterback’s best friend is a good running game,” Shurmur said. “I think it all fits together.”

More playing time

Cornerback Sheldon Brown suffered a neck stinger in Week 1 and only played one snap Sunday as he dealt with the effects of the injury. Shurmur, though, said Brown will play more against the Bills.

“Sheldon will be in there,” Shurmur said. “Most of the time [the Bills] play with three wide-receiver sets. Without giving away any strategy, most of the time we’ll be playing with three corners. You’ll see Sheldon in there quite a bit.”

Injury updates

Rookie defensive tackle Billy Winn (concussion) and defensive end Juqua Parker (sprained foot) practiced today after suffering injuries Sunday.

Safety Ray Ventrone returned to practice today after sitting out Sunday with an injured left hand. He had the hand wrapped today.

Tight end Alex Smith (suffered concussion Sunday) and rookie linebacker James-Michael Johnson (ribs/oblique) did not practice today.

Big boss

Soon-to-be Browns owner Jimmy Haslam III attended practice after meeting with Cleveland City Council this morning.

“He is around quite a bit," Shurmur said of Haslam. "He just spent a lot of money for a football team, and he wants to get to know us. I admire that, and I think that’s good. I encourage him ‘cause I’m very proud of our operation, and I want him to be able to see it. I feel like we’ve established a relationship where we can communicate freely, which I think is good.”

Extra points

Center Alex Mack will serve as the Browns’ game captain against the Bills, Shurmur said. ... The Bills' defensive line is a force to be reckoned with, Shurmur said. “As a unit up front, that’s one of the best D-line’s we’ll face all year,” he said.


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