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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: May 11, 2012

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

(Opening statement)- “You were just like me, you got a chance to watch our rookies perform for the first time. These rookie minicamps there is, for a lot of these guys, a lot of anxiety. They’re minds are racing a mile a minute, they want to be perfect so there are a few mistakes out there, but a lot of good teaching, a lot of good learning and we’re trying this weekend to give them special attention. You saw a lot of individual work and try to teach them how we do things, the processes, the procedures, how you meet, how you practice, how you transition between one thing and the other and I think the guys did a good job for the first one. We’ll go in now, they will get a chance to have lunch and we will have another meeting, then we’ll come out and do this again this afternoon.”

(On how big of a blow it is to lose Phil Taylor)- “I think anytime you lose a starter, I think it provides opportunity for other guys to fill in. We never want to lose a player. Unfortunately, at this point, Phil has to deal with what professional athletes have to deal with sometime and that’s going through a surgery, going through a rehab and then coming back stronger than ever. I talked to him yesterday and today. His mood is good, he understands it and we’ll get him fixed up and get him back.”

(On how to accommodate the loss of Taylor)- “We’re going to find a guy to fill in. What we will do is work with the players that we have and try to find a guy that can play in his spot until he comes back.”

(On if Taylor is out for the year)- “It’s too early to speculate. Typically with these surgeries, the rehab is months so I don’t want to say exactly. I don’t want to cancel him out for the year, no.”

(On how long they will hold a roster spot for him)- “Those are decisions we’ll make once we get to training camp. I think we are getting way ahead of this right now in terms of predicting where he’s going to be midseason or the end of the season. I think right now you let it play out. Phil is in great hands and we’ll get him back.”

(On if it was a full tear or partial tear)- “He tore his pec. I said I was going to med school, but I didn’t have time (joking).”

(On if Taylor was bench pressing when he was injured)- “He was bench-pressing, yeah, lifting weights.”

(On what he saw out of Brandon Weeden today)- “I thought he actually operated pretty well, especially for our first time through it. I saw all of the same things that we saw when we drafted him. He’s just like the rest of the guys, I think he’s going to learn from some of the things we did today and come out and be a little bit better. He is working through it and I think he did well.”

(On how much communication there has been between the quarterbacks so far)- “I can’t tell you that at this point. I know they know each other and unfortunately, we have to really separate the veterans and the rookies for this camp, so I would say not much at this point.”

(On who gets the first opportunity to fill in for Taylor)- “We’re going to play the best guy whether he is a guy on our roster or one of the new guys. We’ll fill that spot, until Phil comes back, with the best guy.”

(On if they drafted Billy Winn to be a pass rusher or run stopper)- “We think he can stop the run, but he can also generate pass rush from inside. I think he can do both.”

(On if injuries during the pre-season alter coaching strategies)- “No, I think what’s important is you react to injuries, you just react to them. You do what you can to put the best team on the field whenever it occurs. You never want a player to get hurt and I don’t think there ever is a good time, but we’ll just use the practices that we have and the training that we have to get a guy ready to play there.”

(On if Frostee Rucker or Juqua Parker can play defensive tackle)- “They have played inside a little bit. Juqua is a defensive end. Frostee is primarily a defense end, but in nickel situations he has rushed inside.”

(On if the team has any interest in Plaxico Burress)- “We haven’t talked about Plax right now.”

(On if there is an implication about Weeden from the clay pigeon video)- “I think accuracy is very special and for him to be able to hit clay pigeons, I think it’s pretty impressive. It speaks to timing and accuracy, which I think does correlate.”

(On if Weeden’s arm strength will allow the offense to open up more)- “He does have a strong arm, so we will be able to do some things, maybe, that we didn’t do a year ago. But I do think that the quarterbacks that we do have on our roster have enough arm, Colt (McCoy), Seneca (Wallace) and Thad (Lewis), to throw any ball.”

(On his impressions of the quarterback-center exchanges today)- “It was good. He did fine.”

(On how quickly he would like to see James-Michael Johnson and Emmanuel Acho adapt to the defense)- “We hope they come along quickly. As a linebacker, you are trying to learn the defense and be involved in special teams so there is a lot going on. It’s probably too early to tell with one practice, but it looked like they were matched up pretty well today and did a good job. Our hope is that they come along quickly.”

(On if he learned anything about Weeden today he did not know before)- “I think he responded in a way that I thought he would. Again, we just had a little more than an hour on the field with him and the way that he operated in the meetings and in practice is what I would expect.”

(On if you can gage a running back without pads on)- “We taught a lot of plays and he executed them well. He executed his ball handling well. We threw him the ball and he caught it. All pretty good stuff.”

(On Travis Benjamin dropping a couple of balls today)- “Let’s not go there yet. I think they are all getting used to it. No, I think he catches the ball fine and he’s fast-fast. In my opinion, for the most part the guys caught the ball pretty well. I think he’s got good hands and he will show it.”

(On what he expects to be the biggest advantage going into his second year as a head coach)- “I know all of you now to start (joking). I think going through it now, I have a very good feel for what our team is. I have a pretty good idea of how the new players will fit in. I know the coaching staff, I know the administration and I know how the building works. I have a good feel for the importance of what we do to the community and I just know a lot more about the surroundings and I think that will help.”

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