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Shurmur press conf. transcript - 10/23

Posted Oct 23, 2011

The transcript of Coach Pat Shurmur's post game press conference following the team's 6-3 win over the Seattle Seahawks.

CLEVELAND BROWNS COACH PAT SHURMUR

(Opening statement)- “Wow.  I’ll tell you what, let me just cover the injuries first.  Ray Ventrone had a hamstring, he missed most of the game.  Shawn Lauvao has got a right knee and we’ll MRI him tomorrow.  I thought John Greco stepped in and did a nice job.  Mohamed Massaquoi left with a concussion, as did Benjamin Watson.  I guess you can’t start out talking about this game unless you talk about the performance of the defense, my goodness.  They battled, that was tremendous.  When you look at it and you all have the statistics, but when you hold a team in the NFL to three points, that’s outstanding.  Outstanding.  That’s a credit to those players, I think it’s a credit to their coaches, I think it’s a credit to the work they’ve put in, I think it shows that we’re improving there in a lot of ways and they’re producing.  You saw a lot of guys battle, Joe Haden coming back.  I was talking to our medical staff and they said he might be sore tomorrow.  Shoot, I’m sore.  I can’t imagine how he feels and I think he battled.  He did a terrific job.  I think that has a lot to do with how the outcome of the game ended up.  I’d like to think at some point we’re going to win some games by a bunch of points.  At the end of the day, you’ve heard me talk about this in the past, it’s about winning.  You only need one more than they have and we had three more, so there’s something good in that.  Now, on offense the only thing I can say is we held the ball for 42 minutes, we ran 80 plays and how many times we run it?  We ran the ball 44 times so anybody who wants to watch running football, you got a chance.  I think it’s important that we do what we have to do to win the game.  The situation, players in the game, the way it was going on defense, it really dictates certain things and we just felt like it was important to stay with it.  They’re good against the run.  There’s no question they’re good against the run and I think it’s important that we find a way.  Now, we need to get in the end zone more.  I get all that, but I think our guys found a way and I think that’s the message here.  I’d like to think that’s going to be the mark of the team that we have.  One way or the other, find a way to win.  I think this is a game for tough people, I think it’s a game where you have to have a short memory and I told Colt (McCoy) this last week as we go through what we do through the week.  I said, ‘You know what Colt?  It’s never pretty and everything at some point falls on the head coach and quarterback and you’ve got to be able to take a punch and you keep moving on.’  Your next best performance is right on the horizon and you’d like to think it’s going to be the next Sunday and I think that’s the type of team that I would like us to have.  It doesn’t always have to be pretty, but we need to fight to get a victory and just stay the course.  I’m proud of those guys for doing that and now we’ve got to gather up with the guys that we’ve got that are healthy, get on a plane and go out and play San Francisco and try to get our fourth victory.  That’ll be the message and that’s what you’ll hear me say all week.  In terms of the blocked field goals, we had some leakage on the right side and on the middle and we’ve got to get that cleaned up, there’s no mystery to that.  We got pressure in there and that was the reason.  I’ll go back and look at the tape.  I’ve already discussed it with Chris (Tabor) and we’ve just got to do a better job of protecting there and we’ll get that corrected.  I’m proud of the effort that the guys made, I’m proud of the fact that we won and I’m very, very happy that we can move forward at 3-3 and then get back to our preparation and try and get ourselves to 4-3.”

(On what his conversation with McCoy was like during the game and if he had lost any confidence during the game)- “No, I think that’s just what happens when coaches and quarterbacks talk.  The game is over and then there’s a lot of rehash and then you start to build up for the next game and so you start preparing and there are conversations.  I have conversation with him on a daily basis and I think it’s important.  It’s a long season, it’s a long season and I think it’s important that you just keep pushing, battling and keep fighting.  This game is not for the weary of heart.  You watched it, holy smokes.  It gets stressful, right?  But that’s okay because it’s not for everybody.  It’s not for everybody and that locker room of guys, I think they’re a bunch of tough guys and they did a good job.”

(On the Seahawks punt return for a touchdown being called back and if he’s concerned about special teams)- “We’ve got to get that straightened out, yes I’m concerned.  Anytime a big play happens against you in any phase I’m concerned.  You get what you emphasize and then we’ll just structure it next week to make sure we’re not getting field goals blocked and we’re not getting punts returned.  It was a good call.  I don’t know what happened, but it was a good call.  I was very glad to see the yellow flag.”

(On if he senses this offense is regressing)- “No, not at all.  We played and you guys brought it to my attention all week, that was a pretty good defense we played, very good defense.  I don’t feel like we’re regressing.  We found a way to win a game.  Again, I don’t want to talk about statistics now, but we rushed the ball for over 100 yards.  I’m doing something I said I wouldn’t do.  We passed the ball for 159 (yards), we had over 300 yards of offense, now we need to get more points and I mentioned that up front.  I don’t feel like we’re regressing.  Every game is different.  They’re like 16 story problems, you just battle through it.  Would I like to be more explosive and would I like to be up by five scores?  Absolutely.  That’s the goal and we’re going to have games like that here in the future.  We were battling most of the game, we had Mo out of the game, we had Ben Watson out of the game, Peyton Hillis was on the sideline and we lost Shawn Lauvao for most of the game.  No excuses, but credit to the guys who stepped in and helped us win.  Chris Ogbonnaya played a bunch of snaps and he’s just been on campus here for a couple of days and a credit to him.  Montario (Hardesty) battled.  I think he caught the ball well.  Correct me if I’m wrong, did he drop any? No, good job Montario and he ought to feel good about that and that’s what coaches do too.  I made a decision that we’re going to call (pass) plays if Montario’s in there. They were hitting us with a bunch of man coverage so we hit them on those two screens.  We made the decision that who ever was in the game that we were going to throw it to them and you know what you’ve got to catch it and gosh darn it good job.  That’s something he should build on and be confident about.”

(On if there was any hesitation to go for 50 yard field goals after the first one was blocked)- “Not at all, not at all.  Phil’s (Dawson) a stud.  Unfortunately, with the off season not being the way it was, I didn’t get a chance to even talk to him.  What a great player, what a competitor and he makes his kicks.  I’d venture to guess that the ones weren’t blocked would have been makes.  I’ve got a very strong appreciation for what he is and he’s a pro.  That’s why he’s one of the best.”

(On exploiting the Seahawks offensive line and getting multiple sacks)- “We felt like we could get pressure and I think that front four and really all the guys that played, I think they’ve done a good job of getting pressure.  If you disrupt the quarterback you see some errant throws, more than normal.  Lets make this clear, every quarterback makes bad throws.  When they’re under pressure, they make more than usual and I think that’s what our guys were able to do today.”

(On if Hardesty has earned more carries after his performance today even when Hillis comes back)- “Well he has no choice right now.  He played like a starting running back and he battled.  He wasn’t perfect.  I’m sure he’s going to be sore tomorrow, but yes, I think for the time being he’s earned the right to carry the football and we’re going to welcome Peyton back when he’s healthy and hopefully we can keep building on that.”

(On if the decision to play Haden was made after warm-ups)- “No, we had a pretty good feel after Fridays practice, which you guys saw part of, that he had a good practice.  A really good practice.  I’ll stand by what I said too, we had a very good practice and he was part of that.  The only thing that happened there is because he’s coming back from injury, he was twisting and turning and doing things on Friday and we were concerned and we were kind of just holding our breath that he wouldn’t come in on Saturday and be sore and he wasn’t.  Then he went out there (today) and battled.”

(On if it feels like they are really 3-3 after all that has went on so far this season)- “Lets play them out and count them up at the end.  I think that’s the way that this has got to go and we’ll all go home and get a good night’s sleep and we’ll start working on next weeks story problem tomorrow.”

(On the fans point of view on how the offense played today)- “I’ve seen it happen.  I’ve seen it happen and I know it can happen.  The fans don’t have the ability to see the details of what’s right there.  You see it all the time.  They don’t have that ability to see that because we break it down.  Unfortunately, nobody does other than the coaches or the guys that get to see the tape and know what we were trying to get done.  A ball gets batted down could’ve been a 30 yard gain.  If a ball is dropped, it could’ve been a 40 yard gain.  All that stuff.  In the run game, you run the ball 44 times.  If one guy doesn’t slip off his block, it could be a touchdown run.  Those are the things that you work on, and that’s why you repeat and repeat and repeat.  I don’t know what the fans should think.  All I know is I see improvement from this football team.  I saw our football team battle.  I’m proud of the tough guys we have in there.  I know that we’re going to do what we have to do to get better.  Now, is it going to always be pretty? I can assure the fans I don’t think we’ll score 100 points this year in a game.  I just don’t think that will happen.  But, that doesn’t mean that were not going to do everything we can to score enough to win the game, and that’s the key.  That’s the key.  For us to be 3-3, I keep going back to it.  Again, I will never make an excuse for anything.  That’s my nature.  I have a short memory.  It’s my nature and you move forward because the next day is going to be better than the last.  You just keep going and that’s part of it.  That’s what football is all about and you add them up at the end.  We started a year ago in St. Louis.  Who would’ve thought that?  We were playing the last game of the season against this team to win the division.  I don’t know why that can’t happen for any team, any time.  I think that’s the message.  You just keep plugging along.  As I mentioned earlier, this game is not for everyone.”

(On sending T.J. Ward on a blitz to force a fumble)-“That’s just part of what we did.  We felt like we needed to get pressure and T.J. did a good job getting the ball out.  I though Dick (Jauron) called a great game.  I though the defensive coaches did a good job.  I watched them execute all week against that no huddle.  I’ll probably let you guys watch more practice, so you can see what I saw.  But, I thought those guys did a nice job of preparing for that and I thought they handled it pretty well.”

(On if Marshawn Lynch changed the game plan of the game due to his back injury)-“It didn’t matter who the quarterback was and it didn’t matter who the back was, we teach a scheme on defense and they go attack them.  I think they did a good job.  I think that was a tremendous performance.  That’s the storyline, how that defense played.  I’m proud of them.  Gosh darn, I’m proud of them and they’re excited.  There was something in there.  The leadership of D’Qwell (Jackson), the improvement of the young guys, the (performance) of the secondary, the safeties making calls and being on top of things (all were good).  They only hit us on one play.  Basically, I think it was a sluggo seam and they got Titus (Brown).  I think they then did a good job of making sure of not giving up a touchdown.”

(On how Colt McCoy played)-“I thought McCoy battled.  That’s what I think.  I think he battled through this and he may be a little bit of a symbol of the victory.  Wasn’t pretty, but he helped execute and get us where we needed to be to win the game.”

(On Joe Haden being called for pass interference and then making a pass break up)-“Listen, he challenges the whole game.  When you’re around a receiver and the ball comes out, every once in a while you’re going to get a pass interference.  I think he’s awesome.  I think he played his fanny off especially coming back from injury.  I got a chance to see some of those receivers.  They’re big, good looking receivers.  Our guys got right up on them and battled.”

(On if Seattle’s defense surprised him on the different kinds of pressure they brought on Colt McCoy)-“Not really.  I’ve got a lot of respect for their defense and how they do it.  I think they do a good job.  They have a ‘pressure of the week’ that they bring and that you haven’t practiced for.  Once in a while they get you, but they do a nice job.  They’re very good against the run and that’s a great starting point for a defense.  When they get you in obvious third down situations, they’ll dial them up and they did a good job.”

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