Browns coach Pat Shurmur spoke to reporters today after the team's first practice of organized team activities. Here is a transcript from the news conference:
(Opening statement)- “The first OTA is down. I mentioned to the team, what we are trying to get out of these OTAs is, everybody on this team has things that they do well and other things they don’t do well. You try to fine tune the areas where you have a strength and try to really improve on the things that we need to get better. If each guy does that individually then collectively we get better and essentially become a better team. That’s what we tried to do. I felt like the guys practiced fast. We will try to reload it and do it again tomorrow and Thursday.”
(On if he is deferring to veterans such as Oniel Cousins and Colt McCoy because they took the first snap today)- “It’s easy to look out there and say, ‘This guy is doing this so he must be the starter and he must be the backup.’ There were a lot of combinations out there today and I think what’s important is in some of the areas that we have touched on all winter, we are watching guys compete. I wouldn’t say we are deferring to anybody at this point.”
(On Phil Dawson)- “He is not here right now. He is not here for the OTAs. He will be here for the minicamp.”
(On how the quarterbacks looked)- “I think they did some good things. I think they practiced fast and they made some good throws although there were some errors in there. We will go in there and correct them when we see the tape.”
(On Colt McCoy’s demeanor)- “Colt’s been fine. He’s competing just like the rest of the guys. Colt’s doing fine.”
(On if the dynamic in the quarterback room is different than other positions)- “I have a room full of quarterbacks that are great competitors and very fine players. The room is fine, it’s fine.”
(On if today was Scott Fujita’s first day back with the team)- “Yes, he came in yesterday.”
(On if Fujita will be with the team for the duration of the offseason program)- “He will be here, yeah.”
(On if Darron Thomas, a tryout player from last weekend, was not invited back)- “He didn’t get re-invited back, no.”
(On how Brandon Weeden handled his reads and check downs)- “I thought he handled it well. I thought he was generally efficient. He missed a couple of throws, but I think all of the quarterbacks did. I thought he executed pretty well. As you saw, most of what we did today was under center and I know that is a question that will come up.”
(On Tom Heckert saying yesterday that Sheldon Brown will stay at corner)- “Sheldon is a corner. I think the answer was regarding a question of moving Sheldon to safety, which we are not going to do.”
(On if Phil Taylor could be a candidate for the new rule regarding bringing players off injured reserve)- “I would say based on how I understand that rule, he would be a candidate for that depending on where he is at in his recovery process when we have to make that decision. Phil is doing fine. I have seen him around. He is recovering.”
(On if there is any concern that if having the quarterbacks compete could be disruptive to Weeden’s development)- “No, I am not concerned about any of that because I think they are all out here trying to do the most with the reps that they are getting. This is a game for professionals and they will handle it in a professional way.”
(On how Weeden compares to other rookie quarterbacks that he has worked with)- “He is older than most rookies. I think there is a maturity level that is probably a little greater than some guys that are just coming out fresh. We will talk about that quite a bit. Let’s see him compete for a while then we will try to compare, but he has done a nice job.”
(On why they aren’t considering moving Sheldon Brown to safety)- “Because Sheldon Brown is a corner. He is an outstanding player at corner and to move him to safety is not something that we are planning to do.”
(On if Dimitri Patterson will compete with Brown for the second corner spot)- “Yeah, they are in there competing to start or play in nickel and do all of those things.”
(On if they like the safeties that they have right now)- “We like the group of corners and safeties that we have. We are going to let them practice, improve and compete.”
(On if Eric Hagg has a leg up on Usama Young because he was with the first team today)- “Again in terms of first and second team, I think they are in there getting there reps. Hagg did a nice job last year prior to being injured in camp. Then when he came back, we felt like he continued to develop. He’s had a nice offseason. We will have to go back and watch the tape, but I think he did a nice job today.”
(On if he has addressed the running backs individually on their roles)- "I think all the players, I've mentioned to them that you don't get caught up in how long the lines are. You are in there for a set number of reps and you try to make the most of those reps and play as well as you can. That's what they know and that's the process whether you are playing running back, linebacker or any position. They understand that they are out there competing and trying to do the best they can with the reps they get."
(On how many starting wide receiver spots are up for grabs)- "They are out there playing. I think Greg Little looked really good to me today. I think he has changed his body, he looks much leaner and he was running around well. Mo (Mohamed Massaquoi) did a nice job out there. I would say it's safe to say that they are our first two right now. As you know though, sometimes you play three receivers and sometimes you play four. There are other guys in there and we could go through the whole list if you like, but I think those other guys are competing and doing well as well."
(On what Little has done this offseason)- "I think it's his first true offseason as a pro and I think what he has done is he has taken good care of his body. He is much leaner looking to me than he was when he came into training camp a year ago. I think he has worked on his diet and nutrition, and has gotten himself in shape to come out here and run a lot, which receivers have to do. I think that will help his development."
(On Carlton Mitchell)- "He flashed a little bit today. I thought he did a couple nice things. Like last year, we tried to give him an opportunity to show us what he could do and then he got nicked in training camp. Hopefully, he'll take advantage of this offseason, stay healthy and continue to flash."
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