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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Jason Lloyd Published: August 22, 2011

Browns coach Pat Shurmur met with reporters today after the 16th practice of training camp. Here is the transcript from the news conference:

(Opening statement)- “Good morning. There’s really nothing new to report this morning other than Brett Johnson, the safety we picked up, I think he has a little thigh bruise.  He hurt it in practice so I think that’ll just be a day-to-day thing.  You’re well aware of the other list of guys that have been out.  There’s nothing new to add, just a typical morning practice. I thought there was some good competition today, we put in some new things.  We had a little bit of an installation last night so we put in some new things.  We’re out here kind of adding to our list of plays.  I thought it was a good competition, good practice.  I can tell that the guys are in the dog days of training camp now in terms of you don’t hear much talk on the field.  You hear just a bunch of guys doing their work and I commend them for that.  There working through it.  This is the time of training camp, of course, where guys are typically sore and tired and they’re pushing through it.”

(On if Chris Gocong’s injury may be a little more serious than he first thought)- “He has a stinger so were getting him rehabbed to get him back.”

(On Owen Marecic missing a lateral in the first preseason game)- “He didn’t throw the lateral, he was surprised by that.  He was surprised by it of course.  I think he’s generally done a good job catching the ball.  I don’t have any issues with that.”

(On if Marecic has shown up on special teams)- “He’s shown up on special teams and really in everything he does, he’s shown up very well.”

(On if they will keep three quarterbacks this year)- “I don’t know that yet, but that’s always a point of discussion.  Whether you keep three active or you have two active and one somewhere else, typically the practice squad. We’ll see.”

(On Mike Adams getting reps at safety and if they are going to rely on him)- “We’re going to rely on him, I don’t know as a starter or the backup.  But, he sure has done a nice job through camp here. With the injuries we’ve had at safety, that have kept guys out, I think he’s really benefitted from it.  He’s done a good job with the reps he’s getting.  From that stand point, he’s somewhat lucky there.  It’s hard to get reps sometimes and he’s gotten a bunch of them.”

(On how all four tight ends would get playing time)- “We have formation groups and personnel groups where we can put combinations of one, two or three tight ends on the field.  I think it’s very important though that you keep receivers on the field.  We’ll use them, there are certain things they each do well.  We’ll try to scheme and formulate the plays where we take advantage of their abilities.  You’ve seen, at least through the preseason, we’ve lined up Evan (Moore) in traditional wide receiver type spots and he’s also lined up next to the tight end.  We feel really good about Ben Watson being a three-down tight end in location so to speak.  Jordan Cameron is probably a hybrid of the two where he can play both spots.  Alex Smith has had a very fine camp.  Heck, he’s a guy that can play on the line of scrimmage, he can play in the back field.  As you remember, I think he played in the Chicago game a year ago in the preseason where he played the whole game at fullback.  He has some flexibility there as well.”

(On Shawn Lauvao’s performance Friday and his match up against Ndamukong Suh)- “He did well.  He did very well.  I challenged them and they challenged themselves to make sure they knew how sturdy that front was.  I think Shawn did a nice job in there.  Shawn’s a very consistent steady player and I think he showed up well Friday night.”

(On being aggressive with the play calling in the red zone during the preseason)- “I think you’ve got to be aggressive everywhere and that doesn’t mean you’re always throwing it.  You could be aggressive running the ball as well.  I think if you’re going to be a team that’s going to score points, you have to be able to throw it and throw it efficiently.  I don’t know if I’m answering your question, but I will throw the ball in the red zone for sure.”

(On if he is more aggressive now that he is the head coach than if he was deferring the call)- “I don’t know that.  I really don’t have to ask for permission for anything if that’s what you’re asking about.”

(On if he had to ask permission about plays in the past)- “No, no that wasn’t the case.  I wouldn’t say that. In the places that I’ve been, its usually pretty natural for the coordinator to call the plays.”

(On if it is important to get the injured players back)- “You always want the guys that are injured to come back quickly.  That’s important, but I will say, it’s just like the approach when we went into last week’s game.  The guys that are there and are playing to begin with are the starters next week.  I think those guys will benefit from the reps they get.”

(On Buster Skrine and James Dockery playing in this week’s game)- “Dockery is going to get a lot of reps.  He’ll play quite a bit.  I think again, he’ll benefit from it.  Philadelphia is a very explosive team, very talented, they have an aggressive scheme.  It’ll be a challenge for our defense and I think they’ll be up to it.”

(On Buster Skrine’s injury)- “I think he has a pull of some sort.”

(On if Dockery could return kicks)- “Yeah, absolutely.”

(On his defense against Detroit)- “I thought they played solid and steady.  I think they challenged the receivers, which was good.  I thought they did a good job of at least controlling the run in certain situations.  We’ll just try and play our brand of ball and match up.”

(On red zone being a focal point in each of his practices)- “Not every practice, but we do practice it within a one week period, probably during training camp, twice a week.  Obviously, during the season you devote primarily Fridays to red zone.  We feel it’s important once you get down there you score.  We do spend a lot of time on it.”

(On how much more he knows now about his best players and skill guys)- “A lot more, after having worked with them in practice settings and now two games.  I feel very confident in what we know about the players on this team.  The constant challenge is always to try and put them in the best position possible to make plays the right matchups and then run plays that are successful for us.”

(On if anyone has made a noticeable jump)- “I would say a lot of guys, in my mind, have improved their status in terms of being playmakers.  We have to deal with specifics of course, because I think all the guys were playing with have things that they do well.”

(On if Jarrett Brown’s reps in practicing are dwindling)- “When you’re the third quarterback, naturally you get few reps.  He probably gets more in this camp than he would if he was the third someplace else.  I’ve learned a lot about him.  He’s got a lot of skill and ability and he’s made improvements during training camp.  I feel good about some of the progress he’s made.  He obviously has a long way to go, but he’s eager.  Everything we do every night, getting ready for the practice the next day, he’s right in tune with.  Unfortunately, for the third string guy, he’s got to get a lot of mental reps when its team time.”

(On Brown’s 0 for 4 night against Detroit)- “I’m not discouraged by an 0 for 4 night.  Obviously, you don’t want that.  Again, there’s reasons for it.  He’s like any young player going through this for the first time.  He’s working through it.”

(On if he’s still confident after not pursuing any free agents wide receivers)- “I am.  I like the guys on our roster.  It’s more than just a standard answer.  We have pro football players and I really like the guys we have. That being said, we’re always looking for guys that can help improve us.  Part of that process is knowing our guys very well.  I’ll go back to the first thing I said, I like the guys we have.”

(On the level of comfort he has with the team after the lockout and missed time together and how things are rarely comfortable)- “That’s a good point.  We’re rarely comfortable.  I think the game is to try not to show it.  I think we’re always concerned about everything.  When you come to work in the morning you’re looking at the weather, how the fields are, an injury that popped up.  We’re always thinking about things.  What I am comfortable about is everything we’ve tried to do with this team, the players have embraced.  That being said, I feel like if there’s something along the road here that comes up unexpected I think our guys will react well to it and I’m very confident of that.”

(On not being able to get that missed time back)- “True and I think that’s the part you’ve got to get over.  Those days are gone.  The part that I sleep a little easier with is that we were 1 of 32 teams that just fell away.  I feel good in our teachers our coaches, I feel good in what we’re trying to do scheme wise and we just have to try and put it all together.”

(On his philosophy dealing with players)- “I philosophically believe that as coaches we set a direction, we set a way to do business, we set standards of excellence and then we know that we’re trying to achieve them. Instead of dealing with payers, I’ve always looked at it as we’re working together to get there. I do believe in the word professionalism, and I think as professionals they know what that is.  As professionals we need to communicate, players and coaches.  We need to be upfront with one another.  If I don’t like a performance I will say it, if I do like one I’ll say it and I expect the players to be man enough to accept when they make mistakes so that we can look for ways to correct them.  I think then you’ll continue improve.  All that being said, the players are giving great effort and trying to do what we ask them to do.  That’s in a nutshell the general philosophy.  I have a great deal of respect for what they try to do, the players.  I have a great deal of respect of how hard it is for my coaches to do their jobs.  I understand from time to time there’s going to be a mistake, there’s going to be an error.  But, as long as guys are giving great effort and they’re fighting their fanny off to know what they’re supposed to do, we’ll get to a point where we won’t repeat those errors and we can move forward.”

(On Phil Taylor not being visibly disruptive in games thus far)- “I think there are signs that he’s improving through camp here.  A defensive tackle at times can be very disruptive and get no stats.  That’s something we’ll need to consider as we move forward with Phil.  Obviously, you want him in there tackling the back in the backfield and sacking the quarterback.  Those are the ideal things.  There have been some times in there where he’s been very disruptive.  There’s other times where I think he’s learning how to play at this level.  He’s made some errors and I think Pee Wee (Dwaine Board) works very hard with him and Dick (Jauron). I know Ray Rhodes has spent some time with him.  He’s working through it, just like any young player going through a pro training camp for the first time. I’m pleased with his progress.”


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