BEREA: Browns coach Pat Shurmur spoke to receiver/returner Josh Cribbs about his profanity-laced, post-game tweet after a 34-12 loss at Denver and called Cribbs’ remarks “not acceptable.”
Cribbs, who muffed a punt in the fourth quarter that the Broncos turned into their final touchdown, felt the wrath from fans on Twitter.
“I see all the negativity on Twitter after I gave my life to this [crap],” Cribbs wrote. “So [to] all [you] who are against me [screw] y’all! I’m still gonna do me!” Cribbs’ tweet was later deleted, but he followed with more to try to explain himself.
“We battle like gladiators on the field every week [and] we put our all out there,” he wrote. “So [to] come off the field to the BS [people] put on twitter ... ” In another, he said, “Yeah, I had a moment. [Shaking my head] … I [forgot] each day there are a new breed of haters out there disguised as fans!”
Shurmur was not pleased.
“We had a little conversation about why I don’t like that, how he shouldn’t do that and I think he’s remorseful,” Shurmur said Monday. “I added to that he shouldn’t be reading tweets after the game as well.
“I think [from] the outside looking in on a locker room, you folks report on it, but emotions are raw when you don’t win a game. I think he understands that, and it’s very important that you try to gather yourself and gain composure. We’re all competitive people, but it’s also important that we use good judgment. I think part of using good judgment is don’t read that stuff. You just don’t because that [will] infuriate you more.”
Shurmur has said in the past that he doesn’t use Twitter. Asked how he knew what Cribbs wrote, he said: “I was informed. There are people around here that are [on Twitter] and that’s something I needed to know, of course.”
Shurmur would not comment when asked if Cribbs would be fined, saying it is “a team issue.”
With a 5-10 mark going into Sunday’s season finale at Pittsburgh, the Browns have suffered double-digit losses in nine of the past 10 seasons. With the arrival of new owner Jimmy Haslam and CEO Joe Banner, there will be major changes after the season ends, with Shurmur and General Manager Tom Heckert probably fired. But Shurmur believes the Browns are on track to become a playoff team.
“I do think we are building a team that is relevant and you have to be relevant before you become a playoff team,” Shurmur said. “Once you’re in the playoffs, anything can happen.
“It’s somewhat of a journey. We’ve had to make this journey this year with looming change, so that’s what you push through. What I look at is these individual players getting better, working together and fighting through injuries ... As we push through this, we’ve got to keep making decisions based on making this team better, and unfortunately that involves change, too.”
Shurmur said cornerback Sheldon Brown returned to Cleveland with the team after suffering a concussion on what Brown’s teammates thought was a questionable hit from Broncos receiver Brandon Stokley.
Stokley leveled Brown with his shoulder as he ran across the field with 3:26 left in the second quarter, drawing a penalty for offensive pass interference.
Browns cornerback Joe Haden said he expected the league to review the play, but Shurmur saw no malice.
“In third-down situations, they’re not picks, they’re rubs, and sometimes there’s contact like that,” Shurmur said. Asked it he thought it looked excessive, Shurmur added: “No. Properly called a foul, but I don’t think anybody was trying to hurt somebody.”
Steelers tight end Heath Miller suffered a season-ending right knee injury Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals. He tore ligaments, including the anterior cruciate, and will need surgery, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin told reporters Monday.
Miller had six receptions for 63 yards in the Browns’ 20-14 win over the Steelers on Nov. 25. He compiled 71 catches for 816 yards and eight touchdowns this season.
Steelers backup running back Baron Batch had surgery Monday to repair the broken right arm he suffered against the Bengals, Tomlin said.
Shurmur said left guard John Greco suffered a thumb injury, but should be “OK.” … Shurmur called a flag for pass interference on nickel back Buster Skrine and one for illegal use of hands that was declined “aggressive penalties.” … Players were unavailable to the media Monday, and Shurmur pushed up his press conference 45 minutes because of the holiday.
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