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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 20, 2011
Cleveland Browns head coach Pat Shurmur talks with officials during an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals Sunday, Dec. 18, 2011, in Glendale, Ariz. The Cardinals defeated the Browns 20-17 in overtime. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Browns coach Pat Shurmur met with reporters Monday following his team's 20-17 loss in overtime to the Arizona Cardinals. Here is a transcript from the news conference:

(Opening statement) - “I’ll start off by talking about some of the injuries we had yesterday.  Titus Brown, he’s got a significant knee injury, we’ll have to see what we’re going to do about him as we move forward.  Benjamin Jacobs was better this morning.  Colt McCoy is day-to-day and he’s improving.  Jordan Norwood, as we talked about last night, sustained a concussion.  He’ll be day-to-day.  Alex Smith has a significant shoulder sprain so we’ll have to see as we move forward with him and then T.J. Ward will progress.  There are some other guys that played and are nicked up and we don’t have full knowledge of the extent of their injuries so I don’t want to say as we move forward.

“Another tough game that we fell on the short side of the score again and we’ve just got to do what we have to do as a team.  It was a team thing to get ahead, offense, defense and kicking game.  Then, it was a team thing to fall behind, so that’s the deal.  We’ve got to find a way to finish games and I’ll leave it at that.”

(On if McCoy has been medically cleared) - “No. Colt’s progressing right now so he’s day-to-day.  He’s going along the same process to recovery that he was last week.”

(On if McCoy was in the facility today) - “Yeah, he was in today. He’s day-to-day and he’s better.  He’s improving.”

(On if it’s too early to tell if McCoy will practice this week) - “It’s still too early to tell, but we’ll get more information.  We’ve got a little bit of a compressed week so we’ll know more tomorrow.  I’ll have more information on all the players tomorrow.”

(On if McCoy came in and was checked during the weekend) - “Well he didn’t travel with us, of course, but we looked after him and we communicate with him all weekend.”

(On if they’ll look to sign another linebacker) - “We’re going to make some moves and if they haven’t become public yet, we’re looking at making some roster moves this week.  You’ll get that information as it becomes public.  There’s stuff working behind the scenes.”

(On if there were certain things Seneca Wallace did better than McCoy on Sunday given his experience in this offense) - “No. I thought for the most part, especially early in the game, Seneca executed well and got us in the end zone twice.  First drive was really good, we found a way to mix it up with the run and the pass, we had some possession throws and then a deep ball and then we had some good explosive runs.  That’s what you want it to look like the whole game.  I don’t think it’s an indication necessarily of one or the other, but that’s what you want it to look like and he did a good job in that first drive.  Throughout the game for the most part, Seneca did a lot of good things. But again I mentioned it earlier, we got ahead as a team thing and then we got behind and didn’t finish the game and that was a team thing as well.”

(On why he was so conservative with 1:10 left in regulation) - “Well, we were backed up for one thing and the situation is there that they had three timeouts. You have to consider where you’re at and if you’re doing things throwing the football and you incomplete the ball and then you have to punt. Then, they’re going to have a situation where they can put themselves in position to kick the field goal.  So what you try to do is get a first down, but you try to do it with a couple of your best run plays as well so if you don’t (get the first down) the clocks running and then they are using their timeouts as well.”

(On having two great opening drives the last two weeks and why hasn’t the offense sustained the momentum from the opening drives) - “I think we continued to do the same things throughout the game.  In the NFL, you can’t repeat things too much, then they’ll start jumping it. So, you move on to other things, but we had other drives in the game that I thought we had some success with.  During the middle part of the game on third down, I think that’s more of the issue.”

(On how you learn to finish games) - “You get it done.  You do it, so that whether you’re behind and you have to come back, which we did a couple times this year.  Or you’re ahead, and then you just have to find a way to keep making plays, and eliminate them from doing the same.  At the end of the game, Patrick Peterson, and then of course, they made a play to get down there and kick a field goal.  We’ve just got to eliminate and we’ve got to make our own. So if you have the opportunity to do it you’ve got to it.”

(On what missing that’s allowing that not to happen) - “The players we have are pro players and I trust them to go out and do it and we do our very best to put them in position to make plays. As coaches, we’ve just got to give them a better chance I would say.”

(On if playmakers show up more in the fourth quarter) - “No, I think good players show up throughout.”

(On the run game being effective in the first half and not in the second and if Hillis is wearing down) - “No, we were effective running the ball early and we continued to run the football. I think we found a way to be over four yards a carry when you consider Peyton’s runs and then, of course, Seneca’s scrambles.  Those are primarily our ball carriers last night and Peyton had a nice game.  He did a good job of running the football.  Later in the game, they were committing more defenders to stop the run and that’s why as the game goes on you start to see that tighten up just a little bit.”

(On if McCoy were cleared would there be any debate about if he would play) - “I’m going to cross that bridge when they are both healthy.  Right now until Colt’s healthy we’re going to go with Seneca.”

(On if he’d hold McCoy out because he feels he’s played enough) - “Get all our players back and then decide who plays.  That’s how we do it.”

(On if McCoy is okay does he start Saturday) - “When Colt’s okay we’ll talk about that.”

(On if he would err on the side of caution and not play McCoy because of the shortened week) - “Everyone that I mentioned that for some reason can’t play we’re going to try get them all back and then will decide how the roster looks for Saturday.”

(On if he had a chance to look at Wallace’s fumble on tape and if he thought it was a fumble) - “I looked at the game a bunch of times already. No. No comment.”

(On Wallace being hit out of bounds) - “No comment.  I think I’ve said before those are league issues.”

(On if there was a breakdown on the Fitzgerald catch that set up the field goal) - “We were in man coverage and they did a good job of popping him free.  We need to be tighter in coverage.”

(On if he wanted Dimitri Patterson covering Fitzgerald) - “We wanted him covered.”

(On if he felt Patrick Peterson waived for a fair catch) - “It’s hard to see on the copies I’ve seen.  But still, all that being said we’ve got to get him tackled. We had a chance to do that and we didn’t.”

(On if it was hard to see a fair catch) - “Yeah, I haven’t seen the T.V. copy.  That was just the conversation.  I saw it kind of like you see things and then other things show up.”

(On if Brad Maynard kicked it where he wanted it) - “We wanted to do what we were doing the whole game.  Either not let him touch it or really compress the field and that’s what we were trying to do.”

(On if it’s hard to take when you do it so well except for one time) - “We have to stop him from making a play.”

(On if Sheldon Brown was hurt during the game or if he wanted to look at other guys) - “No, I think Sheldon competed quite a bit, but there was a little bit of a rotation in there just for us to see some other guys do some things.  I thought Sheldon battled and did a good job.”

(On Buster Skrine’s performance) - “He’s a battler.  As you saw on that last return, he’s got a little zip to him.  He had a chance to compete and he showed up.”

(On if it’s important for McCoy to finish the season) - “I think it’s important for all your players to make it through the year and compete up to the end.  I think all teams at this time are dealing with these types of issues in terms of injuries.  You want your guys, especially the guys that made the opening day roster, to make it all the way through.”

(On Wallace driving the ball down the field and Coach Shurmur saying ‘that’s what it’s supposed to look like’) - “Colt’s done the same thing.  In the last few weeks we’ve done that where we drive the ball down the field.  I wouldn’t say that’s just significant to Seneca.  When you call a play you are supposed to get yards.  When you get close you are supposed to score.  If I can expound on what that’s supposed to look like.  When you have a chance to make big plays, my thoughts right go back to the first drive.  That drive reminds me of the first drive we had against the Bengals. We were effective running it. We got a couple big plays within the drive and then I think we had a long touchdown pass to finish it.  That’s what you want your first drive to look like, to get points right off the bat.”

(On what happened to the offense after the touchdown pass to Greg Little) - “We didn’t do the things we needed to do to stay on the field.  That’s what happened.”

(On if anything jumped out at him on third downs) - “I wouldn’t say there is anything significant.  I think last night we had what I characterized as one drop.  That wasn’t the issue.  They did a good job in coverage a couple times.  They pressured us a couple times.  We just have to flat execute a little better in some other situations.”

(On if he learned anything different about his wide receivers with Wallace at quarterback) - “I don’t know about him in there compared to Colt.  I think I am constantly evaluating our players as we try to put together a plan to win games.  I don’t know, there were some guys that probably showed up and flashed a little better then they have in the last couple of weeks. Guys that made some plays, I was glad to see.  Greg made some plays this week, didn’t drop the ball. So I think that’s a step forward.  Peyton Hillis ran the ball extremely hard.  Played the whole game and is no worse for wear.  I think that’s good.  Under the covers, there were some good things that happened.  But again, I caution myself about talking about that when you don’t win the game.  Just keep moving forward.”

(On if there was a point that he felt defeated) - “I was never defeated until the clock hit zero.  For whatever the situation and I could’ve been discussing something.  Until the clock runs out you’re not defeated.”

(On what is missing in the offense that doesn’t continue throughout the game) - “It’s important that you stay on the field and execute on third down.  That keeps drives alive.  It’s really good when you’re getting first downs on second down.  I think we need to continue to do the things we did in the first drive and I think the third drive.”

(On if Seneca ran the offense efficiently because of his knowledge of it) - “I think there’s some insight there.  I think the longer you are involved with anything the better you get a feel for what you are doing.  I think that’s fair.”

(On Hillis being open and out going on the sidelines) - “I think the games that he has played he’s been that way.  I had numerous conversations with him during the game.  There was one where he ran the ball and he had some air and he slipped.  I think that might have been when he was talking to me where he was just like, ‘Hey man I had some big yardage.  I slipped.’  It was just one of those things coaches and players talk about.”

(On if Hillis is starting to feel like the old Peyton Hillis) - “Without being here last year and just seeing it on tape he ran probably like you folks are used to seeing from a year ago, which is good.  He went in that game feeling pretty good physically.”


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