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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 5, 2011
Cleveland Browns head coach Pat Shurmur reacts in an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens Sunday, Dec. 4, 2011, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

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

(Opening statement) - “Two guys I’ll rule out this week, Quinton Spears and T.J. Ward.  They will not be ready to play on Thursday.  From the game yesterday, Peyton Hillis sustained a left hip strain and I’m going to list him as day-to-day.  He is a little bit sore today.  Mike Adams, no worse for wear.  Chris Gocong, oblique strain, day-to-day, he’ll be fine for Thursday.  Colt (McCoy), knee sprain, no structural damage, a little bit sore but he’ll be day-to-day.  Tony Pashos, elbow strain, but he’ll be fine.  The rest of the guy’s will be full go.”

“As I mentioned yesterday, you’ve got to have a short memory when it comes to a day like that.  When we win it’s a team win that was a team loss.  We didn’t do anything well enough, we didn’t score enough points, we didn’t control the run.  The two missed field goals and the turnover, those end up being ways to get them stopped, which kept the score relatively close, but we didn’t and then we gave up a punt return for a touchdown.  You win together, you lose together and we as coaches have to do a better job of getting our guys in the right spot so they can perform.  That’s where it’s at we’re on to Pittsburgh.  It’s a short week as we know.  Basically, get a couple of walk-throughs and a big day of practice and then go play against an opponent.  We know what they are on offense, with Ben Roethlisberger, outstanding running game and they’re first (overall) on defense.  Another terrific team that we’re going to face, they’re coming off a victory, a division victory and we’ve got to get ready to go. So that’s where we’re at.”

(On if there’s any chance McCoy does not play on Thursday) - “At this point we’ll just have to see.  I think he got hit on a screen pass.  It was kind of a glancing shot and then he played the whole game so I think he’s probably just sore.  I wouldn’t say that he would miss the game.”

(On if he saw any progress yesterday) - “I saw some things we did well.  We certainly didn’t do enough things well enough to win the game though.  There were some things we got better at, but not enough.”

(On what he saw progress wise) - “I’ll keep that for a further conversation as we move forward.  When you lose the game you didn’t do anything well enough.”

(On how involved he is with the special teams units and if he will look to make a change in coordinators) - “Well, I think we’ve had things happen during special teams.  I think Chris (Tabor) is a fine coach and our guys are working extremely hard at it.  We just need to find a way to be more productive and more consistent.”

(On what jumped out about the run defense from yesterday) - “We let them have some explosive runs, which you can’t have.  There’s going to be times when the runners going to break through the linebacker level and you’ve got to get them on the ground. Then there are other times when they just picked away at us.  There’s a mixture of things there that we need to cleanup.”

(On if it’s tougher when a division opponent beats you in a specific way) - “Well, the one game at a time scenario comes to mind right now and we’ll get a chance to play these guys again here at the end of the year. So, it’s one game at a time right now.”

(On if yesterday showed that the team has a long way to go to match up with Baltimore and Pittsburgh) - “Based on last night’s performance against Baltimore, yes.  I like to think that you’re never as bad or never as good after a performance.”

(On how disconcerting was it for the Ravens to run the ball and not be able to stop them) - “Well, we just need to do a better job.  I don’t know what word I’ll use other than we need to do a better job at stopping the run and you have to keep teams from scoring points.  We found a way, basically, it was two touchdowns and a field goal.  That’s the important thing, eliminating scores and the important thing is to score.”

(On if it was an odd game defensively) - “Like I said, it’s about eliminating the score.  When you give up yardage and that’s why the raw yardage numbers aren’t always an indicator.  Now, it was last night in some ways, but when you get them stopped that’s the important thing.  Get them stopped and disallow them from scoring.”

(On his mindset and his message to the team at this point) - “You just keep pushing.  I think that’s the important thing.  If this were a real easy thing then everybody could do it and so I think you just keep pushing, you just keep pushing. You might get tired of me saying that, but that’s what you do and try and find a way to win a game.”

(On if he feels that he and his staff are putting players in the best position to succeed or does he not have enough talent to succeed) - “Coaches and players, we’ve all got to do a better job, that’s what I’ll say.”

(On if he’s still excited to be a head coach after two thirds of the season) - “I’m still excited to lead these guys and help pull through what it takes to win games.  I’m excited and energized by the challenge that we have ahead and I’m not discouraged, not one bit.  I’m not discouraged. Disappointed when we lose.  When we win, I’m not so much happy for me when we win.  I’m happy for the players, I’m happy for the coaches, I’m happy for the fans, I’m happy for everyone that follows us, fights for us and the guys in that locker room that actually do it.  That’s what I’m happiest for and I want them to have that feeling.”

(On how Hillis got hurt) - “Just in general, running the football.”

(On if Hillis will practice) - “He’s sore today, so we’ll just see how he does through the week here.  It’ll be a short week.  This see how he does through the week thing is a few hours I think.”

(On his message to the fans who may have lost faith and if he saw the empty seats in the stands) - “I don’t know.  I was pretty much concerned about what was going on, on the field.  I understand why that happens.  It was raining, it was cold, and we were down. I understand why that happens.  I don’t lose faith on things. I would hope and I would think that the fans won’t as well.  We’re busting our fanny to get this thing right and it will get right.”

(On why teams like San Francisco and Carolina have been able to make progress in ‘wins’ and why he keeps saying they’re making progress, but they don’t see it in ‘wins’) - “I don’t want to compare our teams to those teams.  I think we got beat by the 49ers and they’ve had a nice year.  We haven’t played the Carolina Panthers, so I wouldn’t compare us to them.”

(On if it’s still tough to evaluate McCoy) - “I have a pretty good feel for what our players are and how they’re competing through things.  We have four more games here to help do that as well.”

(On how he feels McCoy played this past week) - “He battled. He battled.”

(On if he envisioned making some strides and then taking any step backs down the road) - “You want constant progress and you want it to show up as victories.  We didn’t play well enough last night to win.  I think that’s what happened.”

(On what McCoy needs to do to play better) - “I think every player that plays, you see good and bad things.  I think every player just needs to be more consistent and every coach needs to be more consistent.  There just needs to be more consistency from the first snap to the last.  That comes basically by eliminating your errors.  He’s no different.  When we ask the questions about Colt I think it can refer to everybody.”

(On what kind of identity he wants from the offense) - “We want an offense that’s an efficient, physical offense that finds a way to score points. Enough points to win, that’s what we want.”

(On what the West Coast offense passing game is designed to look like) - “You want to get completions obviously and you want to put the ball in the end zone.  That’s what you want to do.  That’s a quick question and there could be a long answer, but you need to get completions.  You got to find a way to get big plays and you have to put the ball in the end zone.  That’s what we want to do.”

(On if he finds himself saying ‘we got a long way to go’) - “No, I don’t know if I’ve said that.  I think we’ve got progress to make.  When you’re at this point in the season and you don’t have as many victories as you want to have, then yeah, we got progress to make.  I don’t know if I would use the phrase ‘long way to go’.”

(On if it was disturbing to see dropped passes and if he could attribute them to the weather) - “Can’t drop balls.  Can’t drop balls.  You just can’t do it, especially when they’re catchable.  We talk about it all the time and the players would tell you.  Any ball in the air is ours.  If it’s thrown by our quarterback or there’s, that needs to be the mentality and we’ve got to get that done.”

(On the Browns leading the league in dropped passes) - “We can’t drop balls and that’s unacceptable.  We keep working to correct it.  We’ll make a special emphasis as we go.”

(On if it’s discouraging that it seems the team is not fixing any of the mistakes that were made earlier in the season) - “You can’t drop balls, I made that statement.  I’ve seen things improve in areas.  We’ll talk about them at a later time.  We don’t want to drop balls, we got that.  We need to do the things necessary to win games. Whether it started early or it’s finishing late, we just need to keep getting better.”

(On the schedule for a Thursday night game) - “We’re meeting today.  Really there’s not much you can do on the cleanup from Baltimore, so we just move right on to Pittsburgh.  We’ve planned ahead on off days, not so much last week, but we’ve got a jump on what we need to get done.  We will have meetings, a walk-through, because it’s also important that we try to get their bodies right for a short turnaround.  We will practice tomorrow and then have more practice on Wednesday, get on a plane and go down there.  It’s quick, but I’m used to it.  I know how the schedule is supposed to look.  We did it in Philadelphia a couple of times.  I’m aware of how to do it.”

(On if they are flying to Pittsburgh) - “Yeah.”

(On if he has to coach differently when it comes to managing timeouts regardless of a team’s record) - “No, I wouldn’t go back on that.  I think it’s important if you have the field and you have the timeouts, and you have an opportunity to get the ball back before the half, then you certainly use them.  I don’t care what your record is.  I think that’s important.  You do what you can.  Now when the field flips then you don’t want to help them.  They made a play on us.  You don’t want to help them.  You never know what can happen.  You force them to punt, you block a punt.  They’re all kinds of things.  You don’t try to characterize it based on, in my opinion, how you think your guys are doing.”

(On why the team hasn’t been able to make big plays) - “There have been games when it has happened, but there have been games when it hasn’t on both sides.  We‘ve found a way to get some big plays.  The idea is to score enough points to win and to keep them from scoring.  That’s the important thing.  When you don’t win you don’t do that and that’s what we need to do.”

(On his message to fans) - “I think it’s just like everything you do.  You just keep plugging ahead and this thing will turn when we least expect it.  We just keep pushing.  You just keep pushing.  Again, I saw some eyes roll in here, so I can tell that maybe doesn’t sink in real well.  But, I will say this all you do is keep pushing.  I don’t have the memory of what’s happened before.  I do know this though, I’ve been around teams that have won and have built winners.  You just be patient.”

(On if this is the core and foundation moving forward of a good football team) - “Yeah, I think we’ve got some good young players that are doing some things well.  Without talking about Jabaal Sheard again, played well again yesterday.  Phil (Taylor) battled.  You have a lot of rookies out there and a lot of first and second year players getting a lot of important playing time.  I think that’s important.  We’ll build on it.”

(On what the mood and confidence level within the locker room is right now) - “I think these guys want to win a game and they want to do what it takes to win.  I think they’re forging forward just like I am.”


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