Shurmur focuses on mistakes, improvements

Posted Dec 17, 2012

Browns coach Pat Shurmur broke down the team’s mistakes in the loss to the Washington Redskins and how he expects the players to bounce back this week.

On Monday morning, the Cleveland Browns gathered at the team’s Berea training facility to break down the film from Sunday’s 38-21 loss to the Washington Redskins in the final home game of the 2012 season.

After going over the film and making the necessary corrections, Browns coach Pat Shurmur spoke with the media and quickly credited the Redskins for overcoming a 14-10 halftime deficit by scoring 28 of the game’s final 35 points.

“They got it going pretty well,” Shurmur said. “We were prepared for their style of offense. It’s an off-tackle zone running game. Off of that come the boots and the nakeds. We prepared for it all week. They did a nice job with it and then, they found a way to stay on the field, make some third-down conversions and they were effective on first down throwing the football. When all that adds up and we spot them field position with turnovers, then, it can spin out on you, which it did.”

Prior to Brandon Weeden’s two interceptions in Sunday’s loss to the Redskins, the Browns had only one turnover during the three-game winning streak over the Pittsburgh Steelers, Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs.

“We didn’t do anything really well enough to win the football game,” Shurmur said. “I give credit to them. They did a good job. We went to halftime, 14-10. We came out and made a couple mistakes that led to the interceptions. It amounted to three turnovers when you talk about the two interceptions and the missed fourth-down opportunity. When we went for it on fourth down, we then got the ball back without them getting any points, but the two turnovers turned into 14 points. We can’t do that.

“We did it this week and it bit us. We did not do enough to overcome those mistakes and we lost the football game. There’s no big-picture view of that other than we made too many mistakes and we did not make enough plays to win the football game.”

After completing the home portion of the schedule, the Browns will play their final two games at the Denver Broncos and Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Broncos (11-3) have clinched the AFC West Division championship and are in the hunt for a first-round bye in the playoffs. They have the second-best record in the AFC, one game behind the 12-2 Houston Texans, and one ahead of the New England Patriots, who fell to the San Francisco 49ers, 41-34, on Sunday evening.

The Steelers are 7-7 with games left against the Cincinnati Bengals (Dec. 23) and Browns to end the season. With two wins, the Steelers could find themselves in the playoffs with a Wildcard berth.

Even though the playoffs are no longer a consideration for the Browns, Shurmur is expecting the players to continue working hard to close out the season.

“We’ve got a locker room full of guys who understand how important it is to go out and play hard, play meaningful and try to do what we can to get a win,” Shurmur said. “I’m not worried about that. If the locker room was different, I would be, but I don’t think that’s the case.”


In the loss to Washington, Weeden completed 21 of 35 attempts (60 percent) for 244 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. He was sacked only twice and completed a 69-yard touchdown pass to rookie wide receiver Travis Benjamin.

The pass to Benjamin was the third-longest touchdown throw by a Browns rookie.

“I evaluate him based on every throw,” Shurmur said. “When he has the opportunity to throw the football, it comes down to decision-making, timing, accuracy and all those things. You grade him plus or minus in all that. What’s important is we all try to do what we can to play winning football and we didn’t. I think the same can be said for a lot of the team.

“I’m looking forward to him having a much better game this week against Denver. I think that’s where the focus needs to be.”


Browns running back Trent Richardson ran for two touchdowns on 11 carries in Sunday’s game. On the season, he has rushed for 897 yards and 11 touchdowns on 258 carries. He has the most receptions on the team, 48, which he turned into 352 yards and one touchdown this year.

Richardson’s 72 points are second on the team and his 11 rushing touchdowns and 12 overall scores are both Browns rookie records.

“He’s learning how to play running back in this league,” Shurmur said. “Here’s a rookie grinding through an NFL season. He’s far less than 100 percent. We handed the ball to him and he scored (two) touchdowns. He’s getting into the end zone. He’s one of our leading receivers and he’s got a lot on his plate. He’s battling. As time goes on, you’ll see him develop a running style.”

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