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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 2, 2011

Browns coach Pat Shurmur met with reporters this morning following the fourth practice of training camp. Here is a transcript from the news conference:

(Opening statement)- “Today’s practice was a really key one.  In the progression of training camp, today is the day you typically do short yardage and goal line.  It’s also the day when two-minute gets installed for the first time.  It’s situational.  Goal line and short yardage are physical drills.  I think we got a lot out of those today.  I feel good about the progress we made there.  Then we had a chance at the end to work some two-minute situations.  I felt the general competition was good. You saw that we held Montario (Hardesty) out. Jabaal (Sheard), you saw left, I think he has a little bit of a hamstring, but I’ll know more here as we go.  Josh Cribbs again did not participate, Carlton Mitchell, Ben Watson and Reggie Hodges at the end there.  He has an issue with his left foot, so they’re getting that evaluated.  I don’t know anything more about that at this point. As I mentioned yesterday, the guys are tired and sore.  They do sustain at times little pulls and nicks.  That’s part of the process as we get ready to play our first preseason game and our first regular season game.”

(On Reggie Hodges’ injury)-“I saw what happened.  He just reached up and the snap was about head high.  He did something he’s done a million times.  We’ll just have to see.  I don’t know quite yet.”

(On if they have another punter is in camp)- “We don’t.”

(On the number of drops during practice)- “I think there were some dropped balls and that’s part of it.  I felt yesterday was a day where there was only a couple balls on the ground.  We emphasize it quite a bit, until I sit down and look at the tape here in a couple minutes, I don’t know how many there were.  You can’t drop the football.  The critical part of throwing and catching, is catching.”

(On if the amount of on-field coaching is more or less than anticipated)- “I don’t know if it was more or less, but there is a lot of coaching going on.  That’s the way we want it at this point.  We’re working with the players, we’re getting use to their mannerisms and how we have to communicate with them.  They’re getting use to use us, especially if we’re getting a little anxious, a little uptight.  It’s been good, I think the key part to coaching is that there is a solid interaction.  I feel like that’s going on and I’m seeing guys improving.”

(On Buster Skrine’s interception of Colt McCoy)- “As a head coach, you like to see pick-sixes.  As a head coach, you don’t want to throw picks.  That’s a very important thing, especially in key situations.  The play that we ran, we’ll be able to learn from it.  There was a little miss communication between the receiver and the quarterback and it was a very nice play by Buster.  That’s part of what happens during practice here.”

(On if the defense has an edge on the offense)- “I don’t know about ahead or behind.  Today, we had a blitz period in there which was good because you get to see the speed of the pressure.  There was some good stuff and our defense did a good job flying around.  I thought for the most part we generally blocked the pressures and had a hat on them.  But, there were some guys that got some pressure on the quarterback.  All that’s good to see.   This was really the first day in a team situation, more than a group install, where we ran those pressures against one another.  I thought for the most part it was a very efficient drill.”

(On Jordan Norwood)- “Jordan’s got quickness.  He’s a guy that can separate.  He’s made a lot of plays so far in this camp.  Very bright eyed guy.  You can see in the short time that we’ve been together that he gets it.  That ‘it’ factor.  I think he understands how to play the game.  It’s just a matter of him now learning the terminology.  He came in with a pretty good foundation, having been to the camps.  I’m looking forward to him even getting better.”

(On Norwood’s size as a receiver)- “He’s quick, fast and he knows how to separate.  Much like we talked about the defensive ends yesterday, they come in different sizes.  We have a lot of very big receivers that can be very effective.  Then guys like Jordan have other ways to play.  We can use them all.”

(On Jordan Cameron consistently making plays)- “He’s done a really fine job. I wouldn’t say he’s a pleasant surprise, we kind of expected that from him.  We’re glad to see that he has some playmaking ability.”

(On Greg Little thus far)- “He’s done well.  He’s a bigger body guy.  Low body fat percentage, big, thick guy.  He finds a way to make a play.  He’s taken to this pretty well and he’s made steady improvements through the practices.”

(On Tony Pashos working his way back from injury)- “He’s a giant.  You like to have big people that know what they’re doing.  The communication is good.  With the linemen that we have back, a lot of them worked together a year ago with George Warhop, our offensive line coach.  They’re kind of picking up where they may have left off a year ago.  Even though we call certain things differently, their coach George Warhop has a way of converting the terminology for them.  I feel good about where Tony (Pashos) is coming back from his foot.”

(On allotting time for special teams during practice)- “We’ve always allotted a lot of special teams time.  In the old system, we had a dedicated period to it every other afternoon.  With that model in mind, I’ve tried to swell up the reps in practice.  Part of our walk through, in the afternoon, is special teams and then we have a great deal of meeting time.  We put a big emphasis on it, with emphasis meaning that we’ve spent a lot of time on it.”

(On the value of Reggie Hodges)- “I think he had a nice year last year.  Again, I’m not going to jump to any conclusions until we see and hear what the actual injury is.”

(On holding Montario Hardesty out)- “Precautionary, that’s kind of a day-to-day thing.  After every practice we revisit it.  We’ll see, hopefully we’ll get him out here soon as possible.”

(On if it’s just a full pads issue with Hardesty)- “I don’t know.  I think each injury or each return from injury is different.  Every guy handles it  a little bit differently.  We have to do what we have to do to make sure we get him out there, get his work, and not create another setback.”

(On Reggie Hodges’ injury)- “I don’t know yet.  I know he had an episode with I think it’s his left foot so he’s in there getting evaluated.”

(On Branndon Braxton thus far)- “He’s a big guy and he has the ability to play tackle, which you’re always looking for in this league.  He also has made steady progress these first couple of practices.  He’s playing on the left side which is difficult.  I know last year he was somewhat of a developmental guy.  Those guys that are developmental practice squad, once training camp is over and they’re on the team, their live work or real work kind of stops.  He’s kind of picking up where he left off last training camp.  We’ll just have to see.  There will be plenty of reps for him in there and we’ll get a good judge on how much he’s improved.”

(On if Demetrius Williams has caught his eye)- “He has.  He had a terrific day yesterday, made a couple plays today.  He’s a receiver who has some size.  For the most part, he’s caught the ball very well.  We have hopes that he’ll pan out well.”

(On Peyton Hillis learning a new offence)- “He’s a pro and pros, especially at running back, it’s very important for them to hear it, see it and feel it.  He’s done a good job of getting in there and getting his reps.  Make sure he’s getting his work, try to eliminate any kind of little injury in there and then give him the ball. I think that’s the important thing.”

(On Shawn Lauvao making improvements)- “My improvement barometer is based on what I’ve heard from George (Warhop) and the film I’ve watch.  He is a guy who has caught my eye because he’s a good athlete.  Very good athlete.  He’s very physical.  He’s one of those players that doesn’t say much, but you know he’s in there.  He’s had a good couple of days, really good.”

(On Jordan Cameron benefitting from Benjamin Watson and Evan Moore not practicing)- “It’s terrific for young guys with fresh legs to get a lot of reps.  Huge benefit.  That’s why you start to see him show up because he’s in there more.”

(On what percentage of the offense has been installed)- “That’s hard to say.  We are on install four. New things go in each night depending on the situation.  We have a long way to go.”

(On the second day in pads)- “I thought they handled it very well.  It’s always a concern.  They came in this morning a lot sorer than the last couple because of the banging.  They went out there and usual practices will dip somewhere, a little bit of a lull.  They pushed through it and they did a good job all the way to the end.  All the parts of practice today were very competitive.  As a head coach, what I’m looking for is good solid competition, guys showing up and making plays and at the end of the day saying the Cleveland Browns got better.  I told the team after practice, there were plenty of mistakes, a seasonful but every one of those mistakes is correctible.”

(On if Phil Taylor’s chances of becoming a week one starter decrease because he’s not out here)- “We’re working on that.  We’ll get him here and he’ll be here soon I hope.  Again, I haven’t talked to Tom (Heckert) since I’ve been out at practice.  I’m sure there have been things that have happened that I don’t know about yet.”

(On if Taylor would have to wait before practicing)- “He’s going to get in there.  When he gets in town he’s going to get in there, that’s for sure.”

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