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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 9, 2011

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

(Opening statement)- “I’ll start out with the injuries.  Josh Cribbs left the game with a groin strain. He had good strength today, but he’ll be reevaluated on Monday.  Owen Marecic left the game with a concussion. He’s being evaluated and we’ll follow the protocol there.  Ben Watson left the game also with a concussion.  He mentioned the symptoms so we’re going through that process with him.  Colt McCoy, postgame he began to exhibit symptoms of a concussion so we’re evaluating him as we speak.  I’m sure you’ll have questions about that and I’ll be happy to answer them.  In terms of Shawn Lauvao, he had an ankle sprain and Tony Pashos, a sore left ankle. The rest of the guys made it through alright.  It was a tough AFC North game, a very physical game and we came out on the short end of it. The guys played extremely hard, it was a tough fought game. I’m proud of everybody’s effort and we just have to find a way to come out on the winning end the next time we play them.”

(On describing the play when McCoy was hit by James Harrison and if he was tested for a concussion on the sideline)- “It was a pass play, he scrambled and got hit by Harrison. On the field, he actually was talking about his hand. We go through the strict protocol to evaluate whether there is concussion like symptoms.  Seneca (Wallace) was in the game for two plays. I was told that Colt could go back in the game.  He came up right next to me and said, ‘I’m ready to roll,’ so he went back in.”

(On if had been assured by his medical staff that they went through the proper procedures)- “Absolutely, we follow the guidelines strictly.  I’m very confident that that happened.”

(On if it’s typical for a guy to be okay and then show symptoms postgame)- “I think these concussions or concussion like symptoms they’re different.  It could happen immediately, it could happen hours, it could be a day later.”

(On if McCoy being hit by Harrison affected his decision making later in the game)- “I don’t think so, no. Based on what I saw, he was out there battling through the game like he did prior to the hit.”

(On when McCoy starting showing symptoms)- “When we were leaving the locker room is when I was made aware of it. I’m usually one of the last people to leave.”

(On what the diagnosis was for McCoy’s hand injury)- “It’s a bruise.”

(On how McCoy is doing today and if he has seen him)- “I went down there and checked on him today when he was being evaluated and then I called and left him a message.  Once he was done being evaluated we were then in meetings.  I was given the report of how he felt and then I called him and left a message to check on him.  I’ll get him here as soon as we’re done.”

(On if McCoy is in the building)- “He’s not here right now, no.”

(On if he’s not ready to call it a full concussion)- “He’s got the symptoms and we’re proceeding like that’s the case.”

(On if he thought the Harrison hit was a cheap shot)- “I think it was rightly penalized.”

(On if there should have been an ejection for Harrison’s hit)- “That tends to be league business, but the fact that it was penalized I think was proper.”

(On if he gave any consideration to staying with Wallace at quarterback)- “If Colt wasn’t able to go then absolutely we would have stayed with Seneca.”

(On if concussions are tricky in that they’re in the heat of the game and the fact that you need to trust your medical staff with only a short amount of time to do a comprehensive diagnosis)- “I think that’s important, you follow the protocol. When something like that happens, there’s interaction with the player.  If he says, ‘Hey, I’m fine’ and you go through it and he’s fine then you move on.”

(On if he would do anything different if he could replay the scenario)- “If he would have shown symptoms of a concussion then I wouldn’t have put him back in the game. It would have been out of my hands anyways because I would have been told he can’t go back in the game, but with the way it happens, listen that was a tough physical game.  Everybody got knocked around.  If he had the symptoms, he wouldn’t have gone back in the game, absolutely not.”

(On what the procedure is and how he could be back in the game after two plays)- “There was also a timeout there so there was a longer stretch of time then just say two plays.  That’s for our medical staff to talk about.”

(On what McCoy said to him when standing next time him on the sideline)- “He just said, “Hey, I’m ready to go.”  But, I was told he was ready to go too.”

(On if he might look at this type of situation differently in the future)- “I think there are procedures and protocols and we fight to follow them as closely as possible. I think that’s what we need to hang our hat on.  I definitely don’t want to put a player out there that’s putting himself at risk if we know it.  I think that’s the important piece.”

(On how he thinks McCoy played overall)- “There were some things in the game I thought he did extremely well. I really did.  He had a couple of other deep balls and really short and intermediate throws that he executed well that we didn’t hit on.  As I said, he’s a battler and he’s a tough guy and you need to be that to play in this league and especially this division.  That was not a game for the weary last night.  That was a tough, physical game.”

(On if McCoy’s hand injury could limit him from playing in Arizona)- “It was his left hand so he should be fine.”

(On if it’s too early to think about if injured players will be ready for Arizona)- “What we’re doing right now is we’re talking about stuff that happened last night so all these guys I’ve talked about, this has got to settle for a couple days before we start making predictions on next Sunday.”

(On when there’s a hit like Harrison’s, would he like to see a reaction out of his player’s like getting in the opposing player’s face)- “No, I think there was plenty of response from our team.  But, to go out and compound and do something silly, we don’t want that.  The fact that it happened and it was penalized, that’s what happens during a game.  The rest of the stuff is league business and I have strong feelings about that that I’m not going to share.”

(On the intercepted pass intended for Mohamed Massaquoi)- “He was one-on-one in the end zone and the ball was thrown short.  But, when the ball is thrown short, we’ve got to defend it.”

(On if noticed a higher intensity level from his players yesterday)- “I enjoyed coaching in that game because that to me is what football is all about.  There were two teams that were battling play-to-play and I’m disappointed we came out on the short end of the score, but that’s what football is all about right there.”

(On if McCoy told him that he couldn’t remember the play where he threw the interception)- “I didn’t have that conversation with him, no.  As you might expect, when the game is going on, that’s stuff that happens behind me when I’m working the game.”

(On if McCoy mentioned anything about not remembering things when they were leaving the stadium)- “No, I checked on him and asked how he was doing and then we just visited.  I didn’t start talking about specifics of the game.  That’s typically what you wait for today to do.”

(On if he would have do anything differently on the two drives inside the five yard line)- “We’ve got to get in.  I think once you get to the five you don’t want to go backwards.  That’s number one, that would be on the second trip.  Then the first series, I thought we were in.  Colt did a nice job of scrambling and then he chose to run the football.  One of our favorite goal-line style runs and then we didn’t execute very well and we got knocked back and that’s why I chose to take the points that early in the game.  I felt like it was important there.”

(On not going with a quarterback sneak on third down from the one yard line)- “I think it’s a little different there than it is like when you saw we snuck the ball twice in short yardage situations where things are a little looser.  I think that’s more of when you would do it.  I think it’s a good call to quarterback sneak it.  We handed the ball to Peyton (Hillis) and we ran the ball to our left.  We felt like we had a play call that if we executed well, would have worked.  I think that’s also an effective way to score.”

(On if Montario Hardesty played more throughout the rest of the game because Hillis did not get into the end zone on that first drive)- “No, none of that happened.  I think for the most part they’re a very, very good team in terms of stopping the run.  I think all the way around we could’ve been more efficient running it.  We had one long run on a third and 20, otherwise we were battling for every inch with whoever was carrying the ball.”

(On Colt McCoy’s dad saying Colt shouldn’t have gone back in the game because his symptoms should have been easy to spot and if that is what happened)- “No, it wasn’t. I can understand a dad’s feeling in this matter, I’m the father of a son who plays quarterback.  I get it and I wouldn’t my son in harm’s way if he was showing those symptoms.  I understand that.  We were not aware of that at the time.  As far as us evaluating him, we didn’t see that.  I understand the thoughts.  I understand it extremely well.  The McCoy’s are terrific people who love their son and want the best for him.  I get that.”

(On if McCoy could have lied his way back onto the field)- “I don’t know that.  I know he’s a competitor and wants to play.  I feel very confident that if he wasn’t able to play, we would’ve stopped him.”

(On if McCoy went to the bench at all to be evaluated)- “Quite frankly, my focus went right to Seneca, ‘Get the cape off you’re in.’  My focus goes there and really my back was to all that so I didn’t see that.”

(On if Wallace was frustrated about being taken out)- “I haven’t had that conversation with him.  I don’t know.  He’s a competitive guy, too.  He made a nice throw by the way.  It was a nice throw.”

(On how much trust they need to have with the medical staff)- “A lot of trust and if you’ve learned anything about me I’m a trusting soul.  I do it for a reason because they’re very professional, high class people that do things the right way and that’s why I trust them.  So yeah, I do.”

(On if teams are attacking Joe Haden more in recent games and if he isn’t playing as well as he was at the beginning of the season)- “I don’t think they’re attacking him more. The one last night, he was in tight coverage and that can be a very difficult play to defend, the back shoulder throw.  I think what’s important there is you just get him on the ground.  I think that will be the deal.  They made a nice play and once you break the tackle it breaks out on you.  We had a lot of guys committed to stopping the run at that time.  You’ve got a guy with the ball in his hands who is pretty good in the open field.  In terms of Joe (Haden) and his level of play, I think he’s competing and playing as hard as he did.  He’s as effective as he’s been throughout.”

(On if he would reach out to Brad McCoy to let him know they did everything they were supposed to do)- “At some point I think that would be something that I would do.  I get the emotion of all this, I really do.  I can assure everyone that we followed the protocol.  At one point during the game I told Colt I said, ‘I talk to you like I talk to my son.’  In fact I said that.  I have a lot of compassion for our players.”

(On if he has seen enough of McCoy this year to make an evaluation in the offseason)- “That’s probably a question better for the offseason.  We’ve seen him do a lot of good things this year.  We really have and we’ve seen him play tough and battle.  I would characterize all of his games as he battled through them. You’ve got to do that.  As far as the offseason discussion, we’ve got three games to go starting with Arizona in a week or so.”

(On what he learned about his football team after last night’s performance)- “I’m proud of their effort.  I just want to make sure that we help them get on the right side of the score.  They battled. I down played it some in the media, but not behind the scenes.  They were very well aware of what this rivalry means.  They went out there with the idea that they were going to do what they had to do to try to win the game and at least from my viewpoint on the sideline, it showed up that way.”

(On if he had any doubt that McCoy was still his best chance to win even after the hit)- “No, there was no doubt in my mind and that doesn’t mean I don’t have confidence in Seneca if he is in there playing. He went in there and executed a couple good plays.”

(On if other players were in the facility today)- “No, they’re not here today.  With getting home late and then with the short week, I gave them today to get some sleep.  We have a holiday party tonight so they will all be back here tonight.”

(On sending players home due to injury)- “None of them are here. Anybody who had an injury situation, obviously has to be here so that’s why they were here.”

(On being successful with goal-line stands this year)- “The goal-line stand itself, those were four terrific snaps.  It started with a challenge to keep them out of the end zone.  The official that made the call said, ‘I don’t think his knee was down.’  We were seeing replays so I said, ‘I don’t know.’  It was out of our hands anyways and it was fortunate that it was because it gave us a chance to bow up on them and keep them out of the end zone.  There was some physical play in those four snaps there that probably were an indication of what this rivalry is all about.”

(On Chris Gocong’s performance during the goal-line stand)- “He made a couple plays in there that were outstanding in terms of tackling the runner.  It’s a hard thing to do four times in a row right there in that short of space.  If you’re going to get it done, there is one guy that typically makes the tackle, but there are a whole lot of other guys that are disrupting things.  I think that was outstanding team defense right there.”

(On if Gocong is best suited at strong side)- “He’s had some good games over there filling in for Scott (Fujita).  He’s played well there.  We’ll have to see as we move forward if he’s going to stay there or go back to WILL.”

(On if Massaquoi could have done anything differently on the intercepted pass)- “When the ball is thrown short you’ve got to try to break it up. You become a defender and try to break it up.”

(On Greg Little having a few more drops yesterday and his performance)- “He didn’t have as many opportunities yesterday.  On one scramble, he made a catch along the sideline.  He needs to catch that ball especially the one backed when we threw him the slant.  He played hard.  I think everybody will say they’ve got to play better.”

(On how tough it is to juggle who is going to play at running back)- “Peyton’s our starter.  We’ve just got to find a way to spell him.  I don’t think any of them at this point can go the whole game.  That’s where we’ll be.”

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