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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: November 18, 2011

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

(Opening statement)- “There’s nothing new to add. The only thing I would say is Montario (Hardesty) will be a game time decision, we’ll see.  He’s increasing his workload and we’ll just see on Sunday if he’s ready to go, otherwise no changes there.”

(On Jayme Mitchell returning to practice today)- “He’s fine.  As we listed yesterday, it was a personal issue. He’s back out here and he’s doing great.”

(On if Mohamed Massaquoi is going to play Sunday)- “I would anticipate he plays, for sure.  I think that’s fair to say.”

(On the offensive line playing their seventh game together as the same unit and if they are showing continuity)- “I think they’re playing better as a unit together and time together is the only way to get that right.  I’m anticipating that as we move forward, assuming that they stay together as a unit, we’ll continue to see improvement.”

(On if it normally takes half a season for a line to come together)- “You’d like to think it would happen quicker than that, but we’ve got a lot of young players in there as well. As an offensive linemen you’ve got to be able to handle your individual matchups then work in unison with the other four guys.  Young players are dealing with all that so it might take a little bit longer.”

(On how important it would be to get a touchdown in the return game)- “We were talking about statistics this week, but statistically if you get a score on a special teams or a pick-six or something, your chance of winning goes up incredibly high.  It’d be great and I know we design everything to be explosive in terms of the return game so hopefully we’ll get those results.”

(On if they have done a good job of protecting the ball)- “It’s always a conscious coaching point to talk about ball security in all phases of the game and you don’t want any turnovers.  We’ve had turnovers although we haven’t had as many as some teams.  We’ve had turnovers that have hurt us so we have to keep working on it and I think our guys understand the importance of taking care of the football and we’ve just got to keep doing it.”

(On if they’ve been aggressive in trying to take the ball away)- “I think when you watch us play I think you see a good deal of stripping going on.  There have been teams that have done a good job of protecting the football and then on the other side when there’s ball in the air that we can intercept, we need to do that.  We’ve got some guys in the back that’ll challenge so we’ll just keep working at it.  It’s just like anything, hopefully they’ll come in bunches.”

(On what kind of upside Phil Taylor has)- “I think his upside is tremendous and when I say that it’s because you’ll see plays within a game where he flashes and it’s kind of like wow.  It’s like anything, when you see guys do it once or twice or a few times then it’s about doing it consistently well. That’s where the upside is, doing it all the time.”

(On if he talked to Colt McCoy about building off his performance from last week’s game)- “Yeah, we talk.  We talk about everything from how the game went and how you build on things.  I think he’s starting to feel a little bit more comfortable with the players he’s throwing to, some of the things we’re trying to get accomplished and I have a better idea of the of the things that he executes well.  I think it’s a mixture of things and I’ve said this all along, it’s important that we improve and he’s a key piece of that, but improve and win. That’s what we’re shooting for.”

(On why they practiced outdoors today after practicing indoors the last two days)- “I’m no meteorologist, but I felt like it was warmer today than it was yesterday.  I walked out for walk-through yesterday and it was chilly so we went in. I would like to practice outside if we could and I felt like today is a beautiful sunny day. The building protects us from some of the wind and I think the guys like being outside.  Weather permitting, I like to be out here.  I do think at some point though in practice you need concentration and when the weather comes to the point where it effects concentration then I think sometimes you’re better off going in.”

(On teams making adjustments for Jabaal Sheard)- “I think that happens all the time.  He’s a young player, I’m not sure they have a total book on him yet. He’s played on the right and the left.  Each tackle that blocks him they have different strengths and weaknesses.  I’m sure they’re starting to get a feel for what he is as a player, his favorite moves, how he attacks the run, if he’ll jump inside on plays, those types of things and he’s aware of that as well.”

(On if Sheard having a high motor is something that serves him well when making counter adjustments)- “Absolutely.  There’s nothing in football bad about having a high motor and the fact that he plays hard is a huge, huge asset of his and he doesn’t want to come off the field.  You’d like to get a rotation with the defensive line, but he’s one of those guys that wants to play every snap.  We’re just going to have to go out there and grab him if we want to get him a break. I think that’s another one of his attributes that’s going to make him an outstanding player.”

(On if they’ll be able to stack the box against Maurice Jones-Drew because Jacksonville doesn’t throw as well as other teams)- “In terms of the skill and ability of the runner, the rest of it you’ve got to factor it in, but you’ve got to make sure that you stop the runner regardless of who’s playing quarterback and who’s playing receiver.  I think they have a way to throw the ball effectively, but it starts with Maurice Jones-Drew and we’ve got to make sure that we minimize his production and his impact on the game.”

(On what Hardesty was able to do today)- “He ran today much like he did the last two days.”

(On if Hardesty participated in any team drills)- “No.”

(On why Evan Moore’s role has not been as prominent lately)- “I don’t think so.  I don’t think his role has been diminished, we threw him a ball last week in the end zone on a fade.  His role is not diminishing, we use him and we plan to use him a bunch in the red zone.  We just need to get down there more and get more plays and you’ll see him more.  Then we use him in the offense as well.  He’s had production in every game and I think the other thing to keep in mind from the tight end position is that Ben Watson does a good job so there’s some tight end production there that you don’t necessarily want to take Ben off the field either.  It’s a good problem to have when you have some guys at tight end that can make plays so we’ll just keep trying to use them.”

(On if anything has changed about Moore being an ideal red zone target)- “No, not at all.  Unfortunately, you don’t get to see the red zone portion of practice.  I don’t let you because then I might not have got that question (joking).  When you look at a lot of what we plan to do in the red zone, a lot of it involves Evan.  Not all of it, but a lot of it.”

(On Moore’s penalty last week)- “It was a penalty and I think we’ve got to be aware.  You’ve got to beat bump and run and you’ve got to do it the right way.  They called it.”

(On evaluating Alex Mack to this point)- “I think he’s done a good job.  You put a lot on the center mentally. He’s had some very strong matchups against some of the inside players that we’ve faced, he’s come back from injury and I enjoy working with him.  He really wants to be perfect, he really wants to be an outstanding player, he’s strong in the middle and I think that’s something you can build on.”

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