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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 16, 2011

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

(Opening statement)- “We’re going to make one roster move today.  We’re going to put Ben Watson on IR and we’re going to bump up Eddie Williams.  That’ll be a roster move that we’ll make here today.  In other news, Colt McCoy and Owen Marecic will not be traveling with us so that means, of course that Seneca Wallace will start the game. He’ll be backed up by Thad Lewis.  That’s injury news of note.  Those guys will be staying home.”

(On if he’s spoken with Watson)- “I mentioned earlier in the week he was getting further tests and I’ve spoken to him every day this week. He’s been through.  I just spoke to him before we came out on the field, he’s disappointed but it’s the right course of action right now.  I think he wishes he could still be with us, but we’ll make this move now and hopefully get him back next year.”

(On if it came up that Watson might consider not playing again)- “Not in our conversations.  I don’t know what guys think about in their quiet time, but we were talking more about getting ready for next season in his case.  My mind hasn’t gone there in anything else, but with Ben of course.”

(On if he’s ever been around a guy that has had three concussions in one season)- “I think it just kind of strung together on him.  I think injuries sometimes come in bunches and it’s unfortunate that he’s sustained three concussions, but hopefully we can get through it where he can come back next season.”

(On if McCoy is still having headaches)- “I saw him this morning. He’s still having some symptoms and that’s why we sent him home.  I wouldn’t know exactly how to characterize it, but we’ll talk about him, obviously, next week when we get back.”

(On if McCoy is a possible IR candidate)- “We have not discussed that at all.”

(On Eddie Williams)- “Eddie, he’s been around, he’s been working and he’s really showed up and done some good things. He’ll play in the game.  He’s going to play fullback for us and he catches the ball well.  We haven’t been in pads a lot in practice, but he can drop his weight and block and he’s displayed that he knows what he’s doing so he’ll be out there.”

(On Williams making the pads pop during practice)- “He can drop his weight and block a guy so he’ll get a chance to do it live on Sunday.”

(On if Wallace might look more efficient in this offense than McCoy because of his past history with it)- “I don’t know that.  I’m anticipating that Seneca’s going to go out and execute efficiently and I think we saw Colt do that at times this year.  As a quarterback, you’re trying to go out and do everything right all the time. Every once in awhile you’ll make a bad throw or a poor decision and then you get right back on the horse and try to correct it.  I would anticipate, based on what I saw in practice, he had a good practice, Seneca will do a good job.”

(On seeing a lot of backup quarterbacks having to play during his career and if Wallace looks different than the other backups)- “You’re right, I’ve been around a lot of backup situations, guys coming in, A.J. Feeley and then Jeff Garcia and then we had the same thing happen in St. Louis two years ago.  What happens is they come in the game, they’re eager to play and you just try to tailor the offense just a little bit for them based on the things that you’re doing. I anticipate he’ll go in and do a good job.”

(On if it would create a sticky situation at quarterback if Wallace plays lights out)- “At this point, you become very narrow minded.  He’s our quarterback, we’re going out to Arizona to try and win a game and we’ll deal with that next week.  Maybe that’s what we’ll talk about next week (joking).”

(On if Peyton Hillis is to the point where he can carry the load for an entire game)- “He had a good week of practice. I’m looking forward to him playing a full game and doing a good job.”

(On what T.J. Ward’s level of participation was today and his probability for Sunday’s game)- “He’ll go with us.  He hasn’t done a lot in practice this week so I’ll just leave it at that.”

(On Montario Hardesty being limited and not taking reps in team today)- “He did, he was in there today.”

(On if Hardesty is struggling with the calf)- “He’s doing fine.  He’s a little bit sore, but he’ll be active and be able to play.  He’s probably like a lot of guys now this time of year that are a little bit sore.”

(On if it’s been tough not seeing Hardesty healthy all year)- “My experience with Montario is what we’ve seen this year, but I remember what he was like in college. We’re hopeful that he can come back and be 100% through the end of this year and into next.”

(On what impact Wallace can have on the offense with helping to get guys lined up)- “I think Colt was able to do that for us.  Colt learned what to do and knew what to do, but I think Seneca will be able to do that as well. If there is a guy that’s having an issue, he can help.”

(On if McCoy is the starting quarterback when he returns from his concussion)- “Yeah, he’s our starting quarterback at this point.  We can try and create whatever from that, but at this point he’s not playing and Seneca is.”

(On if seeing another quarterback in the offense can help when they are evaluating McCoy at the end of the season)- “I think you make a good point.  To see another quarterback execute and operate with the players on the field may help us learn something about everybody involved.  It’ll help us learn something about Seneca at his stage in his career.  It’s part of what you put together and that’s why it’s so important to wait and evaluate everything at the end.  We have three games to play, three games that we’re going to fight our tails off to win and there’s going to be, what I hope to be, a lot of very fine performances.  Hopefully, one from Seneca this week.”

(On if they’re making any changes this week in how their medical staff handles things)- “I would say that what happened last weekend, obviously, made an impression on us.  Anytime you go through what we did, the talks and the conversations and what not, it puts you a little bit more aware of what’s going on.  I wouldn’t say anything in general.”

(On if those talks might improve or change things)- “Exactly.”

(On what the strategy will be in terms of dealing with Patrick Peterson on returns)- “You asked a good question that I won’t answer, it’s called strategy.  I think what we need to be very aware of is that he’s had a chance to score four times with the ball in his hands so we’re going to do what we can to try to minimize his effect of the game.  There are ways to do that, got to have a few secrets (joking).”


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