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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 16, 2011

Browns coach Pat Shurmur met with reporters today after the 13th practice of training camp. Here is a transcript from the news conference:

(Opening statement)- “As usual, I’ll start with the injuries.  Jabari Fletcher wasn’t out there and Chris Gocong as you know he had the stinger.  Scott Fujita has a bruised thigh.  It’s going to take a little bit of time to settle down.  Eric Hagg had surgery yesterday, as far as we know it went well, cleaned up some cartilage in there to the best of my knowledge.  Mo (Mohamed Massaquoi) was out here in a shoe today.  He’s been running in the pool and he’s making progress. Carlton Mitchell, we talked about the finger.  Ben Watson and Usama Young, Ben has a hamstring issue and we’re just settling down, the same with Usama.  Guys that you saw practicing were (Montario) Hardesty.  He got a pretty good load of reps today, which was good.  Everybody else, there’s really nothing really to report.  It was a spirited day.  We had a couple move the ball periods.  I thought the guys competed well.  I told them after practice there were plays being made on both sides.  They were challenging and it was fun.  On another note, I would say we had a lot of celebrities here today.  Jim Tressel was here with Dave Adolph, a former Browns assistant.  Then you have Lloyd Carr.  We had the former Ohio State and former Michigan coaches here.  Then we had Chris Grant and a big contingent from the Cavs were here as well.  It was fun.  I enjoyed visiting with Lloyd Carr and Jim Tressel. They are guys that I’ve admired in coaching.  Actually, Lloyd tried to recruit me out of high school so I’ve known him for a long time.  It was good to see them.  I’m glad they came out and enjoyed practice.”

(On why Tressel and Carr visited today)- “They picked a good day.  No special reason I think it’s by coincidence.  We like to see coaches come watch us practice.”

(On if Michigan had any chances in recruiting him coming out of high school)- “Yeah they did.  I actually was born on campus there.  My dad was a student when I was born.  You could say they had a chance.  It’s a great place, I just chose Michigan State. I kind of liked it better.”

(On the experience of offensive line)- “I would say there’s a mixture of experience there.  We’ve got guys on all sides of their career.  We’ve got older veterans, we’ve got some younger guys fitting in and I think he key to the offensive line is that they get to play together.  Which, fortunately we’ve done for a few weeks now.  I feel like I see progress there.  There are a lot of very talented guys that seem to be working well together.”

(On Jordan Norwood performance Saturday)- “He kind of showed up like I thought he might after being around him.  He finds a way to get open and he can make guys miss.  I think he showed that the other night.”

(On if Norwood has an edge to make the roster based on his body type)- “I wouldn’t say it’s because of his body type.  As a receiving core here, we have a set of big guys.  He ends ups sticking out because he’s a little bit leaner.  But, he’s quick and finds a way to separate.  I wouldn’t necessarily say you’re looking for a different body type.  You’re just looking for guys that can beat bump-and-run, get open and catch the ball.  He’s found a way to do that.”

(On how much Norwood’s punt return ability helps him)- “First, as a punt returner, you have to have great courage which he’s displayed.  Then you have to have the talent to be able to catch a punt.  That is a hard task which he can do.  Then he has the skill and ability to make people miss.  I think all of those things are important for a punt returner.”

(On if Jim Tressel installed the virtues of the punting game with him)- “We were talking more about quarterback play.  It was fun.  I’ve known Coach Tressel for a long time.  Funny, I relayed a story to him.  When I first got here to town, I went to a restaurant and they really didn’t recognize me.  Well, somebody in the kitchen said it’s the coach out in the restaurant.  So the waitress came up, embarrassed, and said, ‘Oh my gosh. I didn’t know you were here.  It’s nice to meet you Coach Tressel.’  That being said, I’ve worked very closely with a couple of assistants that worked for him that are great friends of mine.  We had a nice conversation.”

(On if he enjoyed being able to pick Tressel’s brain)- “I do.  I’m not the smartest guy in the world, but I know how to ask questions.  I really do love to interact with other coaches.  There’s a natural wisdom that a lot of guys have.  When you visit with them, it may not be obvious, but you learn things.”

(On if Norwood will be able to relieve Joshua Cribbs of his return abilities)- “I don’t know about giving guys breaks.  I will say this, we’re going to put the best guys on the field.  There may be situations where Jordan’s a returner, but right now Josh Cribbs is our returner.  But, you’re always developing guys that can do things and do them well and I think Jordan’s a guy that can return some kicks.”

(On Colt McCoy meeting up with Brett Favre during the offseason)- “I just think that speaks to what Colt is.  He puts two and two together. In an offense where you had a player that was tremendously successful, he took it upon himself to go see him and I think that’s great.  I’ve got a lot of respect for Brett. I consider him a friend of sorts.  I’ve always followed him and admired what he’s done.  First of all, I’m thankful that Brett would spend time with him and then I think it’s great on Colt’s part that he would take the initiative to go do it.”

(On Titus Brown being a fun guy to be around)- “He goes in that category of guys like Joe Haden, when they’re out there practicing and no matter how gritty the day is, no matter how tough the drill, he’s got a smile on his face and he’s got a little something to say.  He’s got one of those fun personalities that you hate to see just total drudgery.  Even though that’s what they’re feeling, he finds a way to not express it.”

(On if Brown is a little bigger than D’Qwell Jackson)- “Yes, I think he is.”

(On if there is a preference at linebacker for bigger players)- “I think they’re two different body types and I think they can be equally successful.  Titus is a guy who’s kind of a run-stopper type body type and he still does a fine job in coverage.”

(On how Jason Pinkston has done thus far)- “It’s been understated and really not talked about, but he’s a guy that’s got a chance to be a good player. He’s working through training camp.  He’s done some things that you need to see in an offensive lineman as far as coming off the ball, finishing blocks.  He’s a real heavy body, lower body guy, he’s got an anchor.  He knows how to play the game.  We’re pleased with his progress.  We’d like to see it keep going.”

(On if he likes Pinkston at the guard spot)- “Yeah, he’s doing a nice job at guard.  He’s playing mostly at left guard right now.”

(On if he eased of Hardesty today with his amount of reps)- “No, not intentionally.  We had some two verses one and one versus two.  We had a pretty steady rotation in there.  But, no I wouldn’t say that. It looked like to me that he was in there pretty steady throughout the practice.”

(On if Hardesty responded well)- “Yeah, he responded well I thought.  There was a little bit of banging and knocking around and I think he handled it pretty well.”

(On if Hardesty will be able to play Friday)- “I can’t say that yet.  I wouldn’t be able to say that yet.”

(On how Jabaal Sheard looked)- “Good, I though he did a good job.  He’s an explosive type player.  Again, he’s also working himself through training camp and what it does to your body.  I think he’s doing a good job.”

(On what he sees in Brian Smith)- “I think he’s another, he’s kind of a heavy handed linebacker, a big guy.  He’s had some really good reps on special teams as well.  I’m pretty certain he’s going to get more work this coming week.  He did a nice job Saturday and we’re hoping that he can build on that.”

(On if James Dockery is an undrafted guy that has caught his attention)- “No question, he’s a player that right now has flashed.  Which, you need to have happen at corner.  He’s got some size.  He’s got what I would consider to be a really good start to this training camp.”

(On how vital their roles are on specials team is in order to make the roster)- “I think a position like corner, being involved in special teams and being one of the core guys is important.  We’ve seen him do that as well.”

(On Branndon Braxton)- “He’s battling.  The advantage he has in some regard, he can play tackle.  He’s primarily a tackle.  He’s done a good job.  Again, these next three preseason games, we’ll talk about it tomorrow, but the ones kind of play a half.  The two’s and three’s go in there during the second half.  He’s still going to get a bunch of reps, which are going to be important.”

(On if Armond Smith’s skill set intrigues him)- “I think really fast guys have a place on the field and that’s what he’s displayed.  He can run, he’s a fast sucker, he can get going.  He seems to be able to hold his speed throughout practice when guys tend to get tired.  He’s done a nice job and he’s getting a chance to play quite a bit.  I think he’s making the most of it.”

(On the defense in the passing drills today)- “As I mentioned, they challenged some things today, which was good.  I saw some plays made on defense.”

(On if he would miss camp enough to where he were to visit someone else’s camp when he’s older)- “Football is a passion for me.  Hopefully I’m working, so I don’t have to, but I would go visit camps.  It’s a great way to see old friends. I would imagine that most of us as coaches know people on almost every staff.  To hit a nice day like this and come out and watch us practice is fun for them.”

(On if he had any follow up talks with Billy Yates)- “No, not after yesterday morning.  We went through the process of making the move roster wise.  I will have some follow up here as we go.  I think it’s important.  As I mentioned yesterday, I like Billy.  I think he’s a fine man.  He was a good, good player for a long time.  For a guy that really wasn’t a high pick.  He was a guy who was undrafted and he fought it out in this league for 8-plus years.  That’s a lot to be said for a guy.”

(On if any of the guys who have missed practice have been ruled out for Friday’s game)- “We haven’t officially ruled anybody out.  I’ll have more information on that tomorrow.”


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