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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: November 3, 2011

Browns coach Pat Shurmur met with reporters today before his team practiced in preparation for its game Sunday against the Houston Texans. Here is a transcript from the news conference:

(Opening statement)- “As we get started here, Auston English, Montario Hardesty, Dimitri Patterson won’t be at practice today.  English and Hardesty I would say are out.  Patterson we’ll just have to wait and see.  Everybody else will be out there and do something.  They’ll all be involved in practice some more limited than others and we’ll just let the official report stand, but I’ll answer any questions you have.”

(On what Peyton Hillis will do in practice)- “Well I think he’ll be out there.  He was in the walk-through again like he was yesterday.  My anticipation is that he’ll be out there practicing and getting some of the team reps.”

(On if Tony Pashos’ ankle is still bothering him)- “Tony’s fighting through it.  I think he’s like anybody this time of year.  He’s a little sore, but he’s fighting through it.”

(On if he expects Pashos to start)- “At this point, yeah.”

(On Artis Hicks taking reps with the first team yesterday)- “We normally limit Pashos on Wednesday.  That’s the way it’s been really a lot of the weeks as well.  That’s nothing too new, but Artis Hicks and Oniel Cousins, we get a little rotation in there so they all work it.”

(On if that means Hicks could start Sunday)- “No, I wouldn’t read into that.  I don’t have any plans there to make a change at this point.”

(On Owen Marecic’s season so far)- “I think he’s performing well.  He gets anywhere from 12-20 snaps a game and he’s right on point with his assignments. He’s done a good job blocking and the couple of times we’ve thrown him the ball he’s done a nice job of catching it.  I feel like he’s doing a good job.”

(On if he’s noticed any trends on film about the offense struggling to get into the red zone)- “The challenge was the last couple of games.  I think when we’ve gotten into the red zone, we’ve done a good job of putting it into the end zone.  I think we’ve done a fairly decent job of staying on the field on third down, those are two critical areas.  But, if you’re going to score points and you’re not scoring from a long way away, its trips in the red zone that are important and we need to get down there more.  But, I don’t see any trends, two bad games in terms of getting into the red zone.”

(On if Mohamed Massaquoi will be involved with practice today)- “Mo will be out there as well.  He was in the walk-through and participated in the walk-through and then I anticipate he’ll be out there as well doing team reps.”

(On if a guy is usually good to go after he’s been cleared from a concussion)- “He’s out there practicing so he’s been cleared to practice. We’ll move forward with that.”

(On if anything happened between the walk-through and practice as to why Hillis wasn’t out at practice yesterday)- “Nope, nothing there.  He was at the walk-through, we intended to run him and then get him out there and we found out after the run that wasn’t the case.  He was still at practice, but he just didn’t compete.”

(On if Hillis is still sore from his hamstring injury)- “Yeah, we’re bringing him back from his hamstring injury.”

(On if Hillis has alienated himself from his teammates and how his teammates view him)- “That’s a better question for the players I think.  The way I see it as the head coach is the team kind of takes care of that.  I think the team wants all of the guys to be in there playing all the time and I think the team understands as the season goes on, things happen and I don’t see there being any problems between Peyton and his teammates.”

(On Alex Smith’s versatility)- “Alex is a multiple tight end in my opinion.  He can play in the backfield, he can play really what looks like a traditional fullback position by moving him around.  To a defense, it appears them like you’re in a one-back set and he can create a two-back set. That’s probably what you saw him do most of the time. He’s done a good job, he lines up in a lot of different positions. We’ve used two tight end and three tight end sets quite a bit and he’s been good for us. He’s done a good job.”

(On if Joshua Cribbs is the only true threat for opposing defenses)- “That’s probably a better question for the defenses we face, but I think you’ve just got to look at the guys that are getting production.  I know when we game plan other people you take a broad look at who’s getting production, who’s catching balls and you make a decision to shut them down.  The ball has been spread around and I feel like Josh has made some big plays, I think of him as a guy that can make plays and a playmaker. I would anticipate that defenses do the same thing.  But, I wouldn’t say that’s the only guy that they’re going to feel like they have to defend.”

(On how Greg Little is coming along with picking up the little things)- “I think he’s making progress each week.  You start out by generally knowing where to line up and what to do and after you run the plays more and more and more and it’s not always the same play.  It could be the same play different formation in your line up, but as you run the concepts and the plays more and more and more then you can zero in on the details of how I work a defender and get myself open, what the rest of the defense looks like, the triangle, all those things and I think I’m seeing the detail of his work starting to improve.”

(On if Carlton Mitchell is going to be active Sunday)- “Yes.”

(On what Mitchell’s next step needs to be in order to be productive in the offense)- “Well the first step was getting active, which he was last week and we played him seven or eight snaps and he did what he was supposed to do.  He wasn’t targeted in anyway, but he was in there.  He just needs to continue to prove each week and he’s active and he’s going to play so that’s the start.”

(On if there’s any certain thing Mitchell can do better to become more of a contributor)- “Well when we throw him the ball he’s got to catch it, I think that’s the starting point. He’ll get opportunities and he’s on the field now.  He’s active and he’s on the field so now he has his opportunity to make plays when they come his way.  But, in terms of what he has to work on, he is just like anybody else running routes, blocking and catching.”

(On if he’s looking at more ways to get Cribbs the ball such a Wild Cat)- “Josh will play on special teams and then he will play at receiver.  By the nature of being on the field, he’s going to have his touches. He’s going to be targeted and we’re going to throw him the football.  How many times? We’ll see.  I think he’s had a bigger role on special teams now so he’ll be out there and he’s going to be competing. What happens from there, we’ll see at the end.”

(On if Jordan Norwood will get more production in the offense)- “I think he had good production so he’ll be out there and again he’ll be competing as well.  We’re talking about all these guys and I’d love to have them more, more, more so we want more catches for Carlton, we want more for Josh, we want to make sure the runners get their touches. What happens is you put them out there, you have plays and progressions where they’re one, two or three in a progression and then you play it out.  Everybody we’re talking about will be out there.  How little and how much we’ll have to see how it plays out, but he’ll have his opportunities.  I was impressed with what he did and how he showed up and I’m hoping to see him continue to produce.  Now, if it’s more or less each game I don’t know, but at the end of the season if he’s getting production each game he plays, I think that’s good.”

(On if Thomas Clayton was full go in practice yesterday or if he just watched)- “He was in there.  He’s up and he’ll play and I thought he did a nice job yesterday.  I thought Gary Brown did a nice job of getting him going, knowing what the game plan is and I felt like watching him, both in practice and then on tape, that he competed well.  He’ll be ready to play and he will play.

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