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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 28, 2011

Browns coach Pat Shurmur met with reporters this morning before practice. Here is a transcript from the news conference:

(Opening statement)- “We just had our walk-through. I really don’t have anything to add.  We had a chance to visit the day before yesterday so there’s not much to add from that standpoint.  As the media you can get use to this, this would be a Wednesday in your mind.  I’m not sure what day this is but in my mind it’s Wednesday.  We’ll have meetings in the morning.  We’ll have a walk-through or a jog-through at 11:15 which will go to about 11:45, on Wednesday’s I’ll come in here and give you what you need.  We’ll have a 12:30 practice which will be special teams for a half hour.  It’s a dedicated half hour special teams practice and then we’ll start the main practice at 1:00 which will also include special teams.  Then after practice, during the year, we’ll have the open locker room.  Well this week what we’ll do is you can just get the guys coming off the field today after 1:00, if you’re interested in them.  Then we’ll go onto meetings and the rest of our day.  That’s what they’re learning, the players and the weekly schedule.  As we prepare for Chicago, obviously I think every team has their first regular season opponent kind of in the back of their mind, but I think we’ll focus here for the next couple of days on Chicago as we teach the players the process and the urgency of the meetings and the practices and what not.”

(On if the special team practice will just be on Wednesdays)- “No, it’s every day, well Wednesday, Thursday and actually Friday too.  It’s a half hour dedicated special teams practice which kind of ties into the other practice but it’s at the beginning of it.”

(On the durability and depth at running back with Brandon Jackson out and Montario Hardesty returning from injury)- “I don’t know what to think in terms of the durability there right now.  We’ve got a guy coming back from injury and one that’s banged up right now.  We’re keeping our eyes open at a lot of positions to possibly help bolster the roster.  We’ll see how that goes as we finish our fourth preseason game.”

(On Quinn Porter and Armond Smith and Smith’s troubles with ball security)- “You read my mind on that one, ball security is very important no matter what your skill set is as a runner, you must secure the football.  There were a couple of instances where he didn’t do that and we’ve worked on it.  In terms of them, they’re competing, I think they’re doing a good job.  As we move forward here the final roster will become obvious when it happens.”

(On Owen Marecic)- “I’m happy with Owen.  We had a situation this past week where we were ready to play two fullbacks.  We got good work out of Peyton (Hillis), we got good work out of (Montario) Hardesty.  I’m happy with his progress.”

(On Marecic’s dropped pass against the Lions)- “That was what a couple weeks ago?  No, he’s doing a good job of catching the football.”

(On Richmond McGee)- “I think he had a nice game last week and we’re hopeful that he’ll have a nice game this week.  I feel like he’s doing some things that can help this team.  He’s a fine holder and he punted the ball much more consistently last week in Philadelphia, better than he did against Detroit.”

(On if McGee’s regular season inexperience is a source of worry for him)- “Source of worry? You know I’ve got a lot of things on my mind quite frankly (joking).  I try not to worry about things.  I really do believe the players on our roster are pros and if we put him out there we expect that he’s going to do a good job.  No, I’m not worried.  What happens is if you watch a guy perform and if he does well you feel good.  If he doesn’t do well you grit your teeth and coach him up.  In the case of the punter, I’m looking for him to have a good game this week.”

(On Jason Pinkston’s performance against Philadelphia compared to the Detroit game)- “He played more and he started the game.  Again, I keep talking about ‘firsts’ and for a rookie to come in, he played and that was a first in the first couple games and now this was his first start and against a good team.  I think he handled it pretty well.  There were a couple of plays where he needs to be better and he knows why.  He’s like anybody in training camp now, he’s working through the mistakes, but I think he’s got an upside to him that I feel good about.”

(On if Pinkston’s strong enough for the position)- “Absolutely.  He’s got a very strong lower body and I think he’s strong enough.”

(On if it’s difficult for rookie linemen to adjust compared to a rookie skill player)- “There’s a lot going on in there.  I’m very aware of the fact that offensive linemen, Doug’s (Dieken) sitting here and he’ll attest to this, offensive linemen they need the engagement.  It’s easy to watch guys run around and do that, but that feel of a guy that they’re blocking, working with somebody, when I come off when I stick on and those types of things.  There are a lot of different scenarios in there depending on how we’re protecting, who we’re blocking and so it’s really important.  Those guys need the reps, they need the reps.  When I compare it to the wide outs, if they play off on us just run up six yards and stop.  You can get away with that.  For a lineman, if you run up six yards up and stop there’s a lot of other stuff that could happen in terms of protecting the quarterback.  I’m aware of that.  The thing that’s helping Jason is he’s getting many, many reps in there with the ones next to a number one center and a number one left tackle.  That’s the other piece of being a lineman, not only are you doing your individual assignment, but then how you work in unison with those other four guys.  It’s been good.”

(On Montario Hardesty looking like the guy they drafted a year ago)- “I know why Tom (Heckert) drafted him because I evaluated him when he came out.  I just had a different mailing address.  I think we’re starting to see what he is and was in college.  I’m hopeful that he’s going to get to that level.”

(On what Hardesty was in college)- “I think he’s quick.  I think he’s got excellent vision.  Again, much like a lineman blocking in there, the holes and creases aren’t always large and you’ve got to be able to press it and jump through it.  I think he can do that well.  He has the instinct to run to day light. I think he’s a solid guy in terms of his physique where he can be a good pass protector and I think he also catches the ball well. That’s what we expect to see.”

(On if they will be conservative with Hardesty’s reps in a game)- “I think he’s going to go into the game as a guy that’s- if Peyton Hillis is our running back than he’s not going to have the same kind of reps as if he were starting the game.  It may be a natural assumption, but I don’t think that’s the case.  When we start playing these for real, its all hands on deck.  Let me back up now, the preseason games are for real, but when we start the regular season, don’t misinterpret that.”

(On Eric Steinbach’s status)- “He hasn’t been out there and it’s been documented that he’s dealing with a back issue.  There is nothing that’s been finally decided on his status yet.  When his status is determined and when he’s back or not back, we’ll make it known.”

(On if they are trying to get Pinkston going forward)- “Again, we’re in the process of the fourth preseason game where he will get a bunch of reps.  In the next couple of weeks here, we’ll make the decision on who finally makes the roster and who plays at that left guard spot.”

(On if John Greco can play left guard)- “Greco is a guy who really is a five spot guy.  He’s played both tackles, both guards and he’s snapped.  We have other guys that can swing around in there.  We have a couple tough decisions here.”

(On if it would be too much for a backup at tackle to also be the backup at guard)- “No, I don’t think so.  I think offensive linemen know when you go into a game and you determine the roster for game day, you have five starters and you have typically a guy that can back up a tackle. Or maybe one of your five starters is a guy that can jump out to tackle and you put in a guard.  There are a lot of different combinations. It’s a long answer for guys that are not starting need to be somewhat flexible or to be able to play tackle-guard or guard-center.”

(On if Greco is better suited for right guard than left guard)- “I wouldn’t say there is a distinction either way.  He could do both.”

(On Pinkston reps against the Bears)- “Jason is going to play.”

(On Shawn Lauvao’s progress)- “I’ve mentioned it a couple of times, I think Shawn is having an outstanding camp.  I knew about Shawn coming out of college, but he’s a guy who is good. When the game got a little chippy against Philadelphia - which happens, boys will be boys -  he was right in there which I have an appreciation for. He doesn’t say much, but when stuff breaks out he tends to be there.”

(On if Mohamed Massaquoi will practice today)- “He is going to be out there today running, but in terms of practicing I think we are still going to hold him another day or so.”

(On the pass interference call on Brian Robiskie)- “I observed it.”

(On people saying Robiskie doesn’t get enough separation)- “He’s had moments in games where he has done a good job with that.  I like what Brian has done to this point in training camp so I wouldn’t second what maybe somebody is saying.”

(On how much the starters will play in the last preseason game)- “We haven’t determined all that.  We are going to go into this game and try to win it.  So we’ll see.”

(On if Colt McCoy will play)- “We’ll talk about that as we approach the game.”

(On if it means anything that the deep pass to Robiskie came when he was against Nnamdi Asomugha)- “I think he probably feels good about that and he should.  Nnamdi is a terrific player, but I anticipate that each one of those guys regardless of the matchup is going out there to win it.  We expect them to.”

(On if the horse collar called on Titus Brown during the Detroit game and if it was a horse collar)- “I don’t know.  They called it.  My understanding is you have to grab them by the back of the neck.  That’s my understanding of the rule.”

(On D’Qwell Jackson’s roughing the passer penalty and if they will coach him to do anything differently)- “I think that he made an effort there.  Now, things happen in the game.  I want him to play hard and I want him to make sure that he plays within the rules.  That’s what we are going to coach him to do.  In the case of sacking the quarterback, you can’t hit him the head with your head so that’s what we are coaching him to do.”


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