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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 9, 2011

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

(Opening statement)- “I’ll start with injuries.  Chris Gocong with a stinger didn’t practice today.  Ramzee Robinson with a groin.  (Montario) Hardesty, once again, was working on the side with his knee.  Kyle Anderson has an ankle.  (Mohamed) Massaquoi is in the cast with a foot.  Otherwise, another red zone day.  It was really good competition.  Most of the plays we ran today in the red zone, we’re adding to our list of plays.  Some of these were the first time they were running these specific plays and I thought the execution was pretty good.  It was good competition, both the 7-on-7 and the team.  The run drill, I thought, was good.  It looked like the defense, the run fits were proper, there was good banging and I think we got a lot out of that.  There was some good stuff there as well.  It was a good solid practice.  Of course we’ll watch it, do our walk-through and move on.  As we start to approach Green Bay, of course, our thoughts will start drifting that direction as we put together a plan for playing the Packers. ”

(On Jabaal Sheard)- “Sheard’s doing well.  In fact, we were remarking about that yesterday.  Going back and watching the one-on-ones and then the competition in team, we think he’s doing a fine job.  The competition of him against Joe Thomas makes them both better.”

(On if this was the best day offensively thus far)- “I don’t know; I’ll reserve judgment.  You always walk off the field thinking something was really good and you look and it’s ‘ehh’ or it’s bad and you look and it’s actually not so bad.  We got a lot done today.  There were some guys that hadn’t had an opportunity to make plays, show up and do it today.  Carlton Mitchell made a couple nice plays.  The ball got spread around and we got a lot done”

(On what’s he’s seeing from Sheldon Brown and competition for a starting spot)- “I think there’s competition for every job on our team.  Sheldon’s doing a nice job.  His preparation has been very, very good.  I think he’s getting a lot out of this camp and he’s having a good camp.  From that standpoint, I’m pleased with what Sheldon’s doing.  He’s playing the position well, and I really feel knowing him like I do, he lends leadership to that group, which is extremely important.”

(On Usama Young after a couple days in uniform)- “Good.  He’s fighting through it.  Obviously, he missed some time and it takes those guys a little bit to get use to their pads.  I think he’s doing a nice job.  He’s a little bit cleaner with his reads.  He’s a little tighter in coverage.  I thought he was good today fitting the runs in the 9-on-7 period.  He’s doing well. ”

(On Usama splitting reps with Mike Adams and if they are similar type players)- “Yeah, we’re looking for Usama to emerge and be our starter and Mike’s doing a good job of competing there.  That’s what you want.  We want to play the best guy and I think that’s what you’re seeing at that position.”

(On if Montario Hardesty is missing out not getting any reps)- “Anytime you miss reps when you get back in it, you have to get it going again.  He’s physically getting himself right.  Watching him today, he ran better than I’ve seen him run.  When’s he’s ready to get in there we’ll get him in there. ”

(On L.J. Castile showing anything during camp)- “Yeah, he sure did.  He showed up Saturday at the end there when he was playing with Jarrett Brown.  There were a couple scramble situations where he uncovered and made plays.  He’s a big guy and he’s displayed an ability to catch the football, which are two good attributes.  What will be very important for him is when start throwing him in the games, when the lights are bright and they have their nice uniforms on.  That’s where he’ll have a chance to show us what he can do. ”

(On a level of anticipation for the first preseason game)- “I don’t know about the players, but for me it is.  I’m looking forward to the first game because I want to see where we’re at.  That’s an important piece in the preseason, especially, since we had a non-traditional offseason.  That will be an important gauge for me. It’s easy to evaluate these guys in drills, but you really can’t fully evaluate them until they’re in team and game situations. ”

(On if the starters will get more time than normal due to the lockout)- “I’ll reveal that here as we go forward.  I think I’m going to stick with my original plan.”

(On Evan Moore filling more of a receiver type role)- “What you’ll find is if you put him in the game with another tight end, regardless of where you play him, if he’s in a slot on the right side or the left side, he ends up getting a linebacker/safety matchup.  I think of tight ends as somewhat interchangeable pieces.  We teach them to block at the end of the line of scrimmage.  Then they learn to really run the routes that you would run in three receiver sets as that third receiver.  That’s what you’re seeing, but defenses treat it differently.  If you’re lining him up in the slot, they typically leave their regular people in the game which creates a matchup.  If you line a receiver up in there that’s when they start running in their defensive backs.”

(On if Joe Haden’s handling success the right way)- “I think he’s a talented guy who had success as a rookie.  What we try to teach young people is that now it’s important that you display consistency.  We’re expecting him to have the same success in year two.  I think that’s where we go with it.  We coach him just like we do any other player.  We coach them hard and we demand from them.  If a Pro-Bowl player is having success or screwing up we’ll treat them the way we would a first-timer going through it.  We’re keeping a close eye on all our guys and I haven’t seen anything to make me think that Joe’s going to have any let down. ”

(On if there’s extra conditioning because of no two-a-days)- “The reason we’re doing it is because it’s skill specific and it’s a way for them to get just a little bit extra running.  I’m gauging what I saw on Saturday in the scrimmage.  It was a warm day and we, as a staff, felt that they could use a little bit extra running.  Instead of running them around the field we thought we could just do some skill work.  I think it’s been good.”

(On getting away Friday to see Terrelle Pryor work out in person)- “That’s Friday, huh? No, I won’t be able to get away.  I’ll be very well aware what happens there.  I’ll be here, though”

(On with the players having limited access to learning the offense and defense does anyone stand out)- “It’s hard to say who stands out better.  I’m pleased with what I’ve seen.  I feel like the offensive line, that unit as a group, and really there has been a lot of conversation about the defensively line.  The big guys up front, both groups, are working well as units and are competing hard.  I see promise there.  I don’t know if I’m surprised by that.  I guess I was hopeful that we have all great players.  I see those units competing hard and I see those units getting better and that’s what you need from the guys up front. ”

(On D’Qwell Jackson having a great camp)- “I think so.  He has the skill and ability, and he really has the mindset of a guy that you want to be your middle linebacker.  He’s your quarterback on defense, he calls the signals and gets everybody lined up.  I’ve really been impressed with him and his instincts.  That ‘it’ factor when you wake up in the morning and the world just makes sense, I think D’Qwell has that.  It displays itself on the field.  Very rarely, we’ll make a play once in a while around him, but if you run it again from the same formation he’s right there next time.  That tells me that he’s preparing, watching his tape and correcting.  It’s very rare that you see him making a mistake.  He’s doing a fine job”

(On Eric Hagg making plays on Saturday and again today)- “He has flashed [some ability].  He’s a big body guy and he finds a way to be around the ball.  He’s done a good job of knocking the ball out, and that’s good.  It’s really good.  He’s another one of those guys who’s going to get a lot of reps in these preseason games and that will probably tell the story.  ”

(On Eric Steinbach returning to practice and if he’s done anything to impress)- “Yeah he has.  He’s coming back after missing a little bit of time, but he’s right back in the mix.  He’s a veteran guy where we’re getting him his work, but trying not to overwork him too much.  He’s eager and he’s working and I see some improvement.  He’s one of the guys I’m getting to know a little later than some of the other guys.”

(On Mohamed Massaquoi and if he will be with the No. 1 unit when he returns, or if he has lost ground)- “I don’t know about losing ground.  I do know this; we will play our best players. And again, I don’t want it to make it sound like coach-speak.  We will try to get him up and going.  If he can’t handle the load then we will put him in as much as we can, until he can and take it from there.”

(On how Jabaal Sheard can benefit from working against Joe Thomas)- “Well, it’s a daily competition.  When you watch him in just on one on one pass rush, there were days when it looked like he was working his spin move, which was good for Joe to see.  He was working on the “rip” and the “swim” moves.  He was working his different moves and slapping the arms down.  So, you have two good players working together.  Joe knows how to react in game plan as a defensive rusher.  And so, you kind of see a good competition there and every day it’s always good to go against good players.  I think that’s going to really benefit him.  I think that’s what you are seeing.”

(On considering the non-traditional offseason how different is this from what he had in mind)- “We probably had to go back and knock out a couple of things in each installation, which we will get back to.  From the learning standpoint, they are getting the concepts, the players are. I think over the last couple days I have seen less and less mistakes and at some point through the training camp we will go back and add some of the things we may be held off on earlier in camp.  So by the time we are playing we got it all in.”

(On the tight ends appearing to be so dominant over the wide receivers)- “No, I wouldn’t say that.  I think what you do is you look at matchups and you look at what the players are in terms of what they bring to the table.  I am not sure if we talked about the tight ends more than other positions.  But, I think of them in the passing game as receivers.  I think if their matchups are good then we will try to get them the football, not that we are going to avoid to throw the ball to the receivers because you have to do that or the field gets real small.”

(On if you put more tight ends on the field can cause the team to be slower)- “I guess it depends on who the tight end is.  If you put me on the field it would get real slow (joking).  In my opinion when they are on the field the defense covers the tight end a certain way.  They will be in the progression.  Receivers are covered by corners and safeties a particular way.  You run the plays and if the play is called to go to the flanker first, if he is open throw it to him.  If not, the tight end is second and you throw it to him, and then somewhere in there you find your open guy.  What ends up happening a lot of the times is the tight end is two or three in the progression, so if one’s not open you give him the ball.”

(On Evan Moore and Chris Matthews being tall)- “Well, I think obviously Evan Moore has more of a tight end body.  I think you are looking at the receiver type guys who have been used to playing away from the formation their whole life.  They are used to running extended type routes.  Evan, who is used to playing next to the tackle that has the ability to play in extended place.”

(On Chris Matthews)- “He’s pretty good.  He is a big physical guy.  When the ball is thrown and the coverage is tight he finds a way to go get it.  I am looking forward to him competing on Saturday against another team.”

(On Chris Gocong hopefully being ready for Saturday)- “We are hopeful that he will be, but I don’t have any indication he won’t at this point.”

(On Colt McCoy’s learning curve on the West Coast offense)- “I think he has made great strides in one week.  I think he did some things today that show me that he has worked his way through a couple of mistakes and corrected them. I think that’s good.  So, I think he’s progressing and we will see how he shows up Saturday.”


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