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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 3, 2011

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

(Opening statement)- “The first day after a major cut down of the roster is a hard time for coaches, it’s hard time for players, but they came out here today and I think we got a lot accomplished.  We went in pads, I felt like it was important that we carry the pads.  We had what we call 10-10-10 practice, where we work through the general principles and concepts that we’ve been running as we approach the Bengal game.  I felt like we got great work.  There are a lot of new faces out here in terms of guys that have been a little bit hampered by injuries during training camp so it was good.  I think we all got good work.  I’m glad that it’s a very hot day, very humid day.  I think the players will benefit from that.”

(On why they cut some guys before today’s practice with other cuts still needed later in the day)- “We’ve got to get to a number at a certain time so we’re continuing to work and evaluate.  That’s why we do that.”

(On if he talked to each guy individual after they were cut)- “I talked to some of them.  There’s a process that we go through when we release a player and it’s hard on coaches.  It’s hard on the position coaches, it’s hard on me, but we have a process that we go through.  Most of the process involves the guys in scouting, the guys that work with Tom (Heckert).  That’s how that works.”

(On if he tries to make it a positive talk)- “The message is that they did a fine job while they were here.  Unfortunately, we can’t keep everybody so keep working hard and keep the dream alive because there are a lot of players around the league that have been cut before they either went to a team where they fit or there’s a potential that somebody that we’ve released could be back with us here within days.  I think that’s the message, continue to work and continue to be ready so when you get a phone call, you’re ready to go.”

(On Evan Moore’s contract extension)- “He’s displayed himself as a playmaker at the tight end position.  We made the decision that we wanted to try and extend him and we got that done.  Much like we did with Joe Thomas, we’re glad that he’s going to be here for an extended period of time.”

(On if Brandon Jackson will be on the 53-man roster or put on injured reserve)- “I don’t know that.  We’ve yet to make that call here coming up.  That may happen this afternoon one way or the other.  I can’t say yes or no right now, but there is a chance he could go to IR.  There’s a chance.”

(On Eric Hagg being put on injured reserve)- “There’s a chance anybody can, but at this point we’re going to see how he comes back from injury here.”

(On if he anticipates Tom Heckert being active on the waiver wire)- “We’re combing the wire and we have been.  It doesn’t start now.  We’ve foreshadowed this by looking at rosters and seeing where guys fit.  We have a list of guys that we would highlight to bring in even though maybe their fate hasn’t been finally sealed wherever they’re at.”

(On why Branndon Braxton and Phil Trautwein were cut after getting a lot of reps with the ones and twos)- “I think they’re guys that competed hard and when we put the roster together you first look at setting up the 53-man roster and the practice squad.  That’s the first level.  Then the next level is when you start structuring, ‘What’s our 46-man roster look like?’  There’s a lot of decisions that go into who we keep and why.  I would say just because a guy gets a lot of reps, doesn’t necessarily mean you can look out and say he’s the guy that will be here. That’s kind of the deal.”

(On how close Chris Gocong is to returning)- “I think very close.  I think the reports the last couple weeks have been that he’s getting better so we’ll see.”

(On if Titus Browns ankle injury impacts the roster at all)- “Some, I think he’s done a good job in terms of competing and doing what he has to do to make this team.  We’ll see.  With his injury, we’re anticipating there’s a chance he could be back soon.”

(On the preseason concluding the next game being for real)- “Again, they’ve all been for real, but the first regular season game, I think there’s an intensity that’s probably a little bit different.  You go into the preseason games trying to see specific things and seeing players compete.  Even though the score might be close, you’re slated to put the next group in.  Where in this game you play it to watch your guys compete, be efficient and play it to do what you can to win it by one point.  That becomes the focus.”

(On if he’s geared up more for this game)- “Trust me, we’re geared up.  I’ve been trying to do a good job of controlling my emotions.  A few times during the games, I’ll let it go a little bit.  That’s really not for effect, that’s real.  I’m looking forward to it and I think it will be an exciting time.  Again, when we opened camp I said it, practicing, playing and coaching, that’s what we do as coaches and players.  It’s going to be fun to take this unit into a regular season game.”

(On what his biggest concern is now that training camp and the preseason have concluded)- “What I’m going to have for lunch (joking). I’m trying not to be concerned, I’m trying to take the roster and the team that we have and our big focus is to make sure we put them in the best position we can, as coaches, to be successful.  We want to play solid, aggressive team defense, we’re want to try to create turnovers, get them off the field on third down, prevent them from scoring in the red zone and then we want to do the opposite on offense.  We want to be efficient, explosive, score points and control the football.  That’s what we’re trying to get done and that’s the task.”

(On if Mohamed Massaquoi will be ready for Cincinnati and if he’ll be ready to play a whole game)- “I think based on what I saw today, he’ll be available and we’ll play him.  Everybody that is suited up needs to be ready to play every snap.”

(On if there is anything he can do to help the safeties that they missed so much time from injuries)- “Behind the scenes, they’ve been practicing what they need to practice.  I think those guys look after one another.  I think now as you’re going through teaching your system, you don’t spend as much time working on the opponent as you do in the regular season.  As they zero in on what the Bengals do then that will ramp it up some.”

(On how his coach-quarterback relationship with Colt McCoy has grown the last few weeks)- “I think it’s natural.  I think we have a relationship where we work together well.  The reason I say that is we’ve been teaching him things and he’s been doing it. When he has a mistake, he quickly knows it and we’re able to talk about it.  That’s really what you want.  It’s not anything more than that.  It’s a working relationship and he’s bought in and I feel like it’s been good.”

(On working with quarterbacks in the past and how important the relationship is)- “The relationship is important because what you have to do is continue to communicate.  That’s the thing you’re always working on.  There’s times where I’m angry, there’s times where either he’s angry at himself or he may be angry at me or whatever.  All those emotions are there, but for those of us that are married and have a spouse, it’s the same thing.  You develop how you communicate and get things done. I think that’s what it is.  You’ve got to continue to communicate no matter where you are emotionally.”

(On Benjamin Watson’s status)- “My understanding is he’ll be out here. He wasn’t today.  Again, today and Monday, and Monday’s practice will look a lot like this, the only difference is it will be an open locker room for the media.  But, my understanding is he’ll be back out here, hopefully Monday.”

(On if Scott Paxson having a big preseason and if he is undersized at defensive tackle)- “I think he looks big enough to me.  You’re right, he has had a good preseason, that’s why he’s still here.”

(On if Paxson helped himself against Chicago with his two sacks)- “I think so.  Anytime a guy produces in a game it’s to his benefit.”

(On Marcus Benard making plays against the run and his position with the team)- “I think he’s steadily improved through camp.  He made some plays the other night, he actually got pressure on the quarterback.  The tight end was blocking him on one of those.  He did a better job in the run game.  I think he’s improved.”


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