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Transcript from news conference with Browns coach Pat Shurmur

By Nate Ulrich Published: May 13, 2012

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

(Opening statement)- “First off, happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms and grandmothers. It is an important day and I’m sure all of the moms of players of the Cleveland Browns that were in here are glad to see their sons working and making a living. That is kind of the way I look at it (joking). It was a good practice and it was a good minicamp. I told the players it was a very good start, but we have a long way to go before we are ready to play a game and do the things we want to do. Tomorrow, they will be in the offseason program with our veteran players and we will be one team.”

(On how much rookies can do on the field during the offseason)- “They’ll be just like everybody else now. Soon here, in a week and a half, we’ll be into our OTA’s. They’ll feel like practices, much like the one they just went through. We have 10 of those and then we have three minicamp days. They will be able to do that, plus the offseason program stuff which we have been doing with the vets. They get a chance to do that now.”

(On the competition between Colt McCoy and Brandon Weeden and how much work they will be doing)- “They will all be in there together and they will all be working. Again, we don’t have it lined up yet, but they will be out there as a group getting to know each other, working with the receivers and improving.”

(On if the next step for the rookies is to see them lined up with the veterans)- “Yeah, the way this is structured it’s really, really good because we get to orient them on what they need to be doing. Now, they can take what they have learned, what little bit they have learned, and get themselves up to speed with the other guys.”

(On how much of a base rookie minicamp gives them)- “I think they have a good foundation, number one, of the scheme and then also how we do things, the process, the procedure of how we work.”

(On his impressions of Weeden and Trent Richardson)- “I was pleased with the way that they performed. I was glad to see that they were very professional in the way that they work at things and I think it showed up on the field. Now, the next step as we have just talked about is to put them in with the other guys and see them compete with guys that have already played in the league.”

(On if there was a good energy level during camp)- “Yeah, I think there was. I know I was energetic, I was happy to see our guys compete. This is really my first offseason as a head coach so this is what I remember the offseason to be, it’s just we had a season prior to this. So that’s what I’m excited about and then I was glad to see that a lot of the players performed in a way that we thought they would. I think that adds to everybody’s energy level.”

(On if any undrafted players stood out)- “There were a handful of guys, but until we go further here, I am just going to hold on, but there were some guys that did a nice job.”

(On Weeden’s performance)- “I think he genuinely operated well. Other than a couple of plays, he did almost everything under center and I think he handled that extremely well. He is very accurate. You can see he throws a good ball. You could see that he has a chance to be a very good player.”

(On if it is exciting to see the rookies do well)- “He and the other players we drafted all performed in a way that gives us hope that they are going to move forward and do that when they are mixed in with the rest of the guys.”

(On how Trent Richardson performed)- “It’s hard to see some of the things that a running back is going to do, but he executed his ball handling well. There were a few runs in there where you could see the vision that he has and then when we threw him the football, he caught the ball extremely well and that is always good to see.”

(On how the players responded to the coaching)- “I think the players responded well. This is good for the coaches too because you get back into the rhythm of what you’re saying and what you’re teaching, setting up the drills, so it’s been good for the coaches as well. I think the players and coaches worked well together.”

(On where James-Michael Johnson is best suited to play)- “He played all three positions. I think our guys, because they basically all play off of the line of scrimmage, they have to be able if they are not the starter, to back up at more than one spot. We saw that he could learn because there is a little bit of different learning whether you play the SAM, the MIKE or the WILL. By forcing him to play those spots, we could see that he can learn and I thought he functioned well. We’re excited that as we give him more and more, and you add the physical nature to playing linebacker, that he is going to show up.”

(On if the program is further ahead this year than this at this point last year)- “If you compare the middle of May this year to the middle of may last year, its night and day ahead of where we were at. I’m excited about that. It’s a normal teaching process this year with being able to work with the players individually for a while and then put them out here on the field and watch them compete and be able to teach them the stuff that they’re going to have to execute in the fall. From that standpoint, it’s easier for us to visualize us moving forward.”

(On if Travis Benjamin can compete for a significant role)- “I would say so. I saw a lot of good stuff from Travis this weekend and I feel like he will only continue to get better.”

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