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Press Conf. Transcript - 4/28

Posted Apr 28, 2011

The transcript of GM Tom Heckert and Coach Pat Shurmur's joint press conference after the team's first round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.

Browns Head Coach Pat Shurmur and General Manager Tom Heckert

press conference 4-28-11

Tom Heckert

(On why the team decided to trade down from the number six pick)- “Like we talked about before, if we thought something was really, really intriguing to us where we could add more players, then we were going to do it. We’re not saying that we are one player away, even though there were some good players there, we just thought that what we got for the pick was just too much to turn down. We felt really good about it.”

Tom Heckert

(On why the team selected Phil Taylor over Da’Quan Bowers)- “We really like Phil Taylor and we think he is a really good football player.  He obviously is a huge man and we think with him and (Ahtyba) Rubin inside we are going to be tough inside.  We just thought Phil Taylor was a really good player and that’s why we picked him.”

Tom Heckert

(On why the team traded up to draft Taylor)- “There were a lot of different things that were going into it.  It was how our board felt and how high we had Phil on our board.  We just thought he was such a good player where we had him that it was too risky for us to not get him.”

Pat Shurmur

(On if Taylor could start as a rookie)- “There is absolutely no question that he can.  He’s got size, he can play the run and he has pass-rush ability inside.  When you are putting together a 4-3 line, to have two big bodies like we now have, I think is going to be good for us.”

Tom Heckert

(On how confident he is that Taylor will not have character problems)- “100%.  Obviously Jordan Norwood’s dad coached him and I think Phil brought Jordan’s dad to the draft with him.  We spent a lot of time with him and he was with him at Penn State and brought him to Baylor so we did a lot of things.  We brought Phil in here and spent a lot of time with him.  Yes, we think Phil is a great young man and he admits that he made a mistake.  I think it was a bunch of guys involved in the same thing, we are not condoning that, but we have no reservations what so ever.”

Pat Shurmur

(On where Taylor will play on the defensive line)- “There is a chance that he can play right or left. He can play on the nose as well as on the guard.”

Pat Shurmur

(On if Taylor fits the mold as a pass-rushing defensive tackle)- “Absolutely, he is a giant man and we feel as though, as I mentioned, play the run, but he can get that push in the middle that is really disruptive for quarterbacks.”

Tom Heckert

(On the threat of another team taking Taylor)- “He was so high on our board that we just figured that somebody else might do the same thing.  We had a chance to get him so we did, but we thought there was a chance that he might go whether that is true or not, I guess we will never know.”

Tom Heckert

(On what the decision to trade down from the sixth pick ultimately was)- “I have been talking to Thomas (Dimitroff) for probably two weeks about this deal, things have changed and finally we worked out a deal.  About two days ago, I thought it was probably going to happen and last night and this morning we talked, and we have been talking about this a lot, so I thought there was a pretty good chance that it was going to happen.”

Tom Heckert

(On the possibility that there might not be a draft next year)- “We obviously talked about it, but there has been a draft forever so it would be quite a bit of difference if there wasn’t.  Obviously we had to talk about it, but I think there is going to be a draft.”

Pat Shurmur

(On concern over a weight issue with Taylor)- “I am not concerned about that.  We did our background work on him and we feel like he will be able to manage and control his weight and play at the weight that he is going to be most productive.  We feel very confident that it is not going to be an issue.”

Tom Heckert

It was actually kind of funny.  We brought him and Da’Quan Bowers in at the same time and went out to dinner.  I was talking to Da’Quan and I asked, ‘How much did you eat?’ and he said ‘Oh, I ate more than Phil.’ Phil was eating salmon.  Phil is really conscientious about it, he really is and he feels good at this weight and I think he realizes that he has got to do it and he has been great.  He is actually one of the guys, where some guys drop weight at the all-star games or the combine, he keeps losing weight.  When he was here I think he was 335 or something so he has been going the right direction.  We don’t want him too light, he’s good right now, so when you see him tomorrow we will have to tell him that.” 

Pat Shurmur

“If you have not seen him he is a big guy and I think that is a good thing.”

Tom Heckert

(On the reason for trading away the sixth pick)- “It was probably more so the multiple picks because there were guys there that we would have felt very comfortable with.  I wasn’t lying.  I thought if we stayed we were going to get a good player and it came true.  There was going to be a good player there so it was more the amount of picks that we got.”

Pat Shurmur

(On if there are a number of holes that still need to be filled with extra picks)- “I don’t know if we want to call them ‘holes.’  I think we have an opportunity in this draft to get more good players and I think that is the approach we are looking at.  We are one more player better as of picking Phil, so I think that is the approach as we go into this.  If you don’t sense excitement in my voice it’s there.  I feel really good about this pick.”

Tom Heckert

(On rumors about Taylor’s feet having problems and if he checked out okay)- “There was absolutely nothing with it. I would have to check on this and I’ll tell you tomorrow, but something showed up like a false-negative on one of the things, so they did a CAT scan, but he’s fine. There are no problems at all, no issues what so ever.”

Pat Shurmur

(On if it was tough to not take an offensive player with the first pick)- “I have a little broader view as the head coach. Obviously, we spent a lot of time looking at the defensive players as well.”

Tom Heckert

(On what set Taylor apart)- “I think just his size is something. It was kind of intriguing where he and Danny Watkins, who I think Philadelphia took him, in the Senior Bowl, they got to play against each other. They moved Watkins inside to guard, so here are two really good football players playing against each other and he did a nice job. It’s just the whole package. He’s a big man, like Pat said, he can push the pocket as a pass rusher. If your guards or center are little undersized, he’s going to run right over top of you and that’s intriguing for us.”

Pat Shurmur

(On if Taylor has versatility)- “I think he does, you know we’ll see when we get him in there together, but we feel as though he can possibly play that way.”

Tom Heckert

(On Taylor liking the Browns coaches and their input on him)- “Oh they liked him,  there is no question about it, they were overjoyed when we took him. We talked about this when we brought the guys in here, obviously it’s more important for us to get to know the players and everything, but the way we kind of run it, there’s some things that especially with their position coaches that are kind of hard and thy are going over our defense and showing them tape, but there’s also the time when you need to just sit around and talk with the kids. We got a lot of feedback from the players that we brought in here that they wanted to be a part of the Browns. They really did and that’s an intriguing thing for us. If a guy wants to play here and you really like him, it can’t be a better fit.”

Tom Heckert

(On Taylor rotating in and out because of size)- “I’ll tell you what, he didn’t rotate at all at Baylor. If you watch him, he’s playing 80 plays, as a 340 pound defensive lineman he never came out. I think it was the Oklahoma game and they are getting schalached and he’s playing hard, he’s tired there’s no questions he’s tired but he’s playing every snap and he’s running to the ball and this kid’s effort is not a problem whatsoever.”

Pat Shurmur

“College football has changed a little bit. Teams try and run as many plays as they can at you and that’s a little difficult for a defensive lineman. Trust me, we’d all get tired playing a game where you’re going to play 90 snaps and so I think he’s been trained for this level.”

Tom Heckert

(On Bowers)- “We like Da’Quan and the injury stuff for us is not a concern and he was still on the board. He’s a good football player.”

Tom Heckert

(On drop off point after the fifth pick)- “No, we were talking about this trade and really it was getting to be and I don’t want to get into exactly who but there was probably one guy that we might have at least talked about not doing the trade but honestly we thought it was going to fall almost like it did. We really did. Like I said, last night and this morning Thomas and I both talked and he thought his guy was going to be there, I thought our guys weren’t going to be there, so we knew it was going to happen, unless something crazy happened up top.”

Pat Shurmur

(On stopping the run)- “I wouldn’t say specifically stopping the run, I think it’s important we construct a defense with players that fit the characteristics that we’re looking for. I think we’re pretty much moving forward, there was a lot of good things that happened here last year, but as we’re building it as we go forward, we felt like Phil would be a great fit.”

Tom Heckert

(On Taylor’s weaknesses)- “It’s hard for me to  answer, obviously we took him, where we took him so obviously we don’t think he has a lot of weaknesses. I don’t know. I might be the wrong guy to answer that, we like him.”

Pat Shurmur

(On starting off-season workouts)- “We conversations based on what we received from the league today all the coaches actually called the players and we will start the off- season program on Monday. If the players wanted to come in and work out tomorrow unless something has changed in the last few minutes that I don’t know about but we’ll start the off-season program on Monday.”

Pat Shurmur

(On a rookie minicamp)- “It will be soon to come. Actually it won’t be a rookie minicamp. The way we’re going to structure it, it’s the extra minicamp that a new head coach gets. I’m going to bring the whole crowd in.”

Pat Shurmur

(On if minicamp will be next weekend)- “Not next weekend, but soon.”

Pat Shurmur

(On if he will meet with players tomorrow and give them playbooks)- “As of 8 a.m. tomorrow, the one’s that show up, we will be able to provide them with coaching materials.”

Pat Shurmur

(On if the courts could shut the doors again)- “I don’t know. I don’t know what to think. It’s kind of a head up, knees bent type scenario here. I’d like to think we’re going to move forward and I tell you what, we’re going to deal with things as they come. Right now I’m just excited about where we’re headed with this draft and then we’ll wake up in the morning and we’ll see what players are here. The ones that are here, we’ll be able to work with as of 8 a.m. Then, if we don’t hear anything different, then we’ll start the offseason program Monday.”

Tom Heckert

(On direction for their second round pick and if it will be offense-defense)- “No, we’re really not going to go offense-defense. We got a can’t miss deal, whoever the best player up there, we’ll try to take. But really were not thinking offense or defense.”

Tom Heckert

(On if his past relationships influencing trades)- “I tell you what it was funny, I was talking to obviously Tom about that and then I talked to Scott Pioli today who’s also good friends with me and Thomas. It helps, you know no one is trying to screw anybody else and its’ just it is what it is. If you don’t agree with it, you can talk about it and it just makes it a lot easier, it really does.”

Tom Heckert

(On where Taylor was on the Browns’ draft board and if he was the top player when they picked him)- “When we took? Yes. Overall, I don’t know. He was higher than obviously when we took him.”

Tom Heckert

(On who was number one the Browns’ draft board)- “I can’t tell you that.”