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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 30, 2011

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

(Opening statement)- “We’ve been talking about it all week, this is a Friday in our world.  That was a typical Friday practice.  Before I get going, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, Eric Steinbach is having surgery this morning.  He’s having surgery on his back.  I think the surgery started around 10:00 and we’ve been trying to get a call and get an update, but we haven’t heard anything yet.  I hate to speculate as to what’s going to happen with that. We kind of made decision yesterday, late in the day, that he was finally going to have the surgery.  He tried to do some treatments to see if it would rectify itself, it didn’t so that was the next action.  We’ll find out about that.”

(On if Steinbach is out for the year)- “I don’t know. Until we know what’s happened from the surgery, it’s hard to say, but we should know that very soon.  We won’t keep that information from you and if he is out for the year then we’ll put him on IR (injured reserve).”

(On if there’s a minimal timetable for Steinbach’s return)- “I don’t know.  When you go in there they think they know what they’re looking at and there may be something less or more and I really would hate to speculate.  I do know that he is having surgery which would mean he’ll miss some time and if they go in there and find he’s got an issue that may require a longer term then there’s a chance we could put him on IR.”

(On if Steinbach has a bulging disc)- “I think it’s a disc issue.  I’m so far from being a doctor that I’d hate to speculate.”

(On what affect it had on the offensive line by losing a player that good)- “If he’s not with us then we will make decisions that are based on replacing him.  That’s what will do.”

(On Tony Pashos not practicing)- “He’s fine.  He was out here today.  We just made a decision that we were going to limit some reps on him.  That’s all. He was out here and he practiced.”

(On Benjamin Watson’s status)- “We evaluated his hip situation yesterday.  He’s going to be fine.  He’ll be out here very quickly.”

(On Carlton Mitchell’s status)- “I think this was normal.  We wanted to get him some reps yesterday, but we just let that finger settle down a little bit.”

(On if there are certain positions where the competition for roster spots is the heaviest)- “I don’t know that.  I think there’s numerous positions where we still need to see guys compete.  It would be unfair to say right now.  We just have to see how it plays out.  I’d like to hold judgment on that.”

(On keeping a certain number of players at skill positions)- “When you talk about skill players, you’re talking about the combination of receivers, tight ends and backs.  There are times where you’d keep six wide receivers or seven, you could keep four tight ends, two fullbacks or three running backs.  We’ll try to structure the roster the best way we can to maximize the amount of playmakers we have on our team.”

(On if they will look out in-house to replace Steinbach or bring someone in)- “I think there are guys here that can play left guard and then we’ll always be looking for players that can help our roster.  Not that it has anything to do with Eric, but we picked up Oniel Cousins today who’s a guy who has some experience. He’s played in the league and we got him in him here right away.  He was physical this morning, we put him right into practice.”

(On if he is worried about depth at this point)- “I’m not worried about it at this point.  We have to find a way to line up 11 guys on offense and defense and then we’ll see.  We’ve got a game to play here and a few decisions to make on our final roster and then from there we’ll be ready to go.”

(On how much the starters will play on Thursday)- “We’re formulating that opinion. We’re meeting here later today and we’ll talk about it.  Typically, in the fourth preseason game, guys that we have slated to be major contributors don’t play as much.”

(On Brandon Jackson’s status and if he’ll require surgery)- “No, he’s in a cast. He has a toe injury, he’s in a cast and it’s settling down.”

(On where Cousins will play)- “I think he’s a little bit flexible, but we worked him at right tackle. We’ll try to get him some time in the game on Thursday.”

(On mentioning the acquisition of Cousins had nothing to do with Steinbach’s injury)- “We made the decision that we we’re going to claim him when we saw that he was released.”

(On if it is now Jason Pinkston’s job to lose)- “He’s lined up right now as the starter so I wouldn’t call it that.  Everybody that’s in there, it’s their job to lose.  It doesn’t matter if you’re a rookie or not.”

(On if it’s easier for a new guy to play guard)- “I think as you go towards the middle of the formation with the center being the most, that’s where the most goes on.  As you go away, as a guard, you can get some help and give some help.  It doesn’t matter what position you play, you have to know what you’re doing.”

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