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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 14, 2011
Cleveland Browns head coach Pat Shurmur works the sidelines against the Tennessee Titans in the first quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 2, 2011, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

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

(Opening statement)- “The updates would be that Alex Mack did some work out here today. He looks good, he’s getting better every day.  Joe Haden did his work inside, but again, we feel like he’s getting better.  Again, I wouldn’t make any comments yet as to their availability, but they’re both improving.  With that we’ll get ready, we’ll get on a flight here in a couple hours, get out there and then have a normal Saturday tomorrow in the Bay Area.”

(On if Mack and Haden will make the trip to Oakland)- “Yeah, everybody that has a chance to play in the game will go, including Alex and Joe.”

(On how Mack held up in practice today)- “He’s been steadily improving and for him to be out here practicing is good.  He did a good job.”

(On why he thinks it’s better to travel to the West Coast on Friday instead of Saturday morning)- “I think it’s where you.  It’s a three hour time change and a five hour flight. From my days in Philadelphia I think I’m use to this.  I think it helps the players get acclimated to the time of the game and that’s why we do it.  When we were in St. Louis we were one hour, we were Central Time and we were a little closer flight so we went the day of.  I think it’s just what you’re use to and what you feel works. I think with the three hour time change, I think it’s the way to go.”

(On what his level of optimism is that they will have a strong performance on Sunday)- “I’m very optimistic, the practices have been good, the guys have been focused, their energy level was good. They practiced hard, I saw very few mistakes and again, as I tell them every week, good practices don’t guarantee good performances in the game. All it does is give you the best opportunity, but I feel very confident that we’ll go out and play well.”

(On how important it is to eliminate mistakes after a their bye week)- “That’s what we’re looking for and it’s something that’s been emphasized.  I’m looking for us to come out of the gate and play efficient, play hard and play the kind of ball that we expect to see for the whole game and try and do it early in the game.”

(On if there is greater expectation on the staff coming off a bye week)- “No, every game you prepare the same way.  We’ve talked about it for two weeks now because we’ve had the bye.”

(On Oakland’s running game statistically being good)- “They’ve got a terrific running game, they’ve got a couple great backs and they run the ball well.  I feel like we have the ability to be a good running team as well.  We’re going to try and go out there and do what we do and then again, we’ll worry about the statistics at the end.”

(On if he’s excited to see some of the changes they’ve implemented into the offense)- “I think when you make changes and you do work, you want to see it pay off so we’re looking for that, sure.”

(On what Haden is actually doing inside)- “He’s getting himself better, he’s going through his rehab just like Alex does. He’s got conditioning, rehab, anything you would do when you’re not out here.”

(On if Haden is able to run)- “I don’t know that.  I wouldn’t say that he’s running right now.”

(On if Mack is a little closer to getting on the field than Haden)- “I think that’s a fair thing to say, although both could play, neither could play.  I think that’s where we’re at.  Who’s closer? I don’t know.”

(On how Colt McCoy has matured from the first week to now)- “I notice a big difference in his understanding of the offense, his being able to execute, he has a better feel for his skill players that he’s throwing to and I think he’s made great improvements.  Now, we’ve got to transfer it to the field.”

(On if statistics are deceiving when seeing that Oakland’s defense is ranked 30th against the pass)- “I think so.  I think a five game sample size, you’ve got to be a little careful about statistics.  As coaches you watch the tapes and there’s reason why they give up yards or don’t give up yards and it’s how we compare playing them, that’s the important thing.  They’re very talented and I’m sure there a team that’s looking to improve in all areas as well.  You’ve got two teams that are looking to improve that come together and I think statistics sometimes can be deceiving.”

(On Gary Brown mentioning he was nervous about Montario Hardesty psychologically getting into the flow of things before he played against Miami)- “Gary said he was nervous, huh?  Gary doesn’t strike me as a nervous guy (joking).”

(On if Hardesty’s knee situation enters his mind at this point)- “It doesn’t.  I think prior to the Miami game, I watched him work and I was watching him and how he worked with his knee.  Since that game I’ve kind of looked beyond that.  I don’t think I’ve quite focused on that as much because he basically showed he can play a whole game and he came back the next week and wasn’t really sore.  I feel like he’s progressing and I don’t really worry about that right now.  I’ll tell Gary not to be nervous (joking).”

(On if Hardesty or Peyton Hillis can pop a long run)- “I hope to see each one of them pop long ones.  You’ve got to create some big plays in the running game and you try like heck to get everybody blocked, but at times you’ve got to make a guy miss or break a tackle.  I’m looking for both of those guys to be able to do that and create an explosive play in the running game, much like Oakland does with their backs.”

(On if Titus Brown will be active for the first time this season)- “There’s a good chance that he’ll be active.  He’s had a really good week of practice and we’re going to take him out there with the idea that there’s a good chance he can play.”

(On if Greg Little could also help the running game with his blocking)- “He is a big physical guy and he’s one of those young guys where he’s excited to play whether we’re throwing it or running it. I’m looking for him to be a physical presence out there.”

(On if Little’s run blocking factored into the decision to start him)- “You look at everything, but typically for a receivers first and foremost, you’re looking for production. Then you’re looking at guys that will do everything in terms of blocking and he’s done a nice job with that.  That had something to do with it.”

(On what they’ll do Saturday on the West Coast)- “The way I try to do it is recreate it just like we’re working here.  Our morning will be very similar, we’ll go and do our walkthrough.  The meetings all the way through the walkthrough will be the same.  Typically, when the players then leave our facility, that time when they leave the morning and then go to the night meeting is the same we’ll just happen to be in California.  The structure, the feel when they wake up in the morning will be much like it is here, they just don’t have to commute.”

(On what he will do tonight in San Francisco)- “What am I going to do tonight?  I haven’t really thought much about it.  We’re going to arrive there at 6:30 p.m., I think we’ll be at the hotel by 7:00 p.m., which is about 10:00 p.m. my time so I’m close to bed time.  I don’t think I’ll be doing too much.”


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