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Shurmur press conf. transcript - 11/1

Posted Nov 1, 2012

The transcript of coach Pat Shurmur's Thursday morning press conference.

Browns Head Coach Pat Shurmur Press Conference 11-1-12

(Opening statement)- “In terms of our preparation for Baltimore, I don’t have much to add to get us going here. The preparation was good yesterday and we just keep forging ahead here. Guys are focused and working hard so we’ll do what we can to get as good as we can get for Sunday.”

(On if he agrees with Haloti Ngata who said Alex Mack is the best center in the division)- “That’s high praise from Haloti. I would flip it around and say he’s probably one of the best defensive tackles in the league for sure, but that’s good. They get to go against each other, they’ve gone against each other quite a few times and I know we’ve got a lot of respect for their players. To hear that it’s good. It will be a good battle for sure.”

(On how Mack is playing this year)- “I think he’s doing a good job. I think there’s a lot going on for a center. I tend to lean on him quite a bit. I know anytime you have a young quarterback - the center gets the ball rolling and gets all the calls made and of course the quarterback can trump him. He’s a very smart guy, he studies very hard and I think he’s an outstanding player. I think he’s having a good year.”

(On if the Ravens defense is giving up a lot of yards this year because of injuries or if there is more to it)- “I don’t know that. I watch them on tape and I watch the games for what they are and I see a very dynamic and explosive defense. It’s a challenge to play against them which we saw the last time we played and then numbers can be deceiving. You’ve got to ultimately look at wins and losses and there are times where you’re giving up yards and you’re not giving up points. I don’t put much stock in that. I think they’re a good defense.”

(On when he ends the grace period for young players especially rookies in terms of making mistakes)- “There are no grace periods. You keep working with the players and we’ve got a very low, almost no tolerance for mistakes, but you can’t trade out the players. You can’t get rid of all the players so you just keep working with them and try to get them better. The big thing is you don’t want to see repeatable errors and I think that’s the important thing. As long as that’s not happening and each guy does what they can to minimize his mistakes then we’re going in the right direction.”

(On if this seems to be a group that has minimized their mistakes quicker than other groups he’s been around)- “I think we’re getting better which means we’re making less mistakes. Now, we’ve got to turn them into wins.”

(On if he has to monitor how long Phil Taylor plays on Sunday)- “Yeah, we’re going to watch him play. I’ll keep my eye on him just like I watched Trent (Richardson). We’ll keep an eye on him, see how he’s doing and we have enough coaches where we can keep track of how he’s playing, how much he’s playing and how’s he’s feeling.”

(On how Mohamed Massaquoi looked yesterday in his first full practice since his injury)- “He looked good. It’s true he was out there start to finish. He did a good job.”

(On how he determines which receivers will be up Sunday and how he factors in Massaquoi’s time away even though he had a good start)- “I did think that Mo got off to a good start this season and then of course the injury set him back. It’s a good thing if you’ve got to make guys inactive or have healthy scratches so we’ll decide here as we go.”

(On if he liked the way he was able to pound it last week with Trent Richardson and if that might change his offensive philosophy)- “I would love to pound it. I would love to be able to pound it and score points. To be able to do that I think is great and we’re all sitting in our kitchen by 5:00. You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do to score points. I’ve said this often that Trent needs to be involved. That means you can throw it to him, you can hand it to him and you’ve got to do what you think is best to move the football. We all know that involves some sort of balance which means you run the football some and sometimes more than others, sometimes less than others, but you’ve got to try what you can to score points.”

(On the matchup between Joe Thomas and Terrell Suggs)- “Two fiery, very fine players and as I mentioned yesterday, I thought Suggs played fine last week. He looked like the old Suggs to me and I’m sure they’re glad to have him back. It’s a good battle. I remember when I was in Philly we had the (Jon) Runyan and (Michael) Strahan thing going which was fun. It is kind of a little game within the game and those are two really good players going after each other. Now Suggs can appear on the other side as well, but there’s a good chance we won’t put Joe on the other side.”

(On how the rookies are holding up halfway through the season)- “I’m keeping an eye on them. I think they’re all pushing through whatever it might be. Then you look at their performance, you look at how they’re working in practice and you try to encourage them to get their rest. You make sure they’re taking care of their bodies, all of the things that we can control and see on a daily basis. Then just encourage them to do the right things and develop that professional routine away from the building so that they can come back each Sunday and perform at a high level and better than the Sunday before.”

(On if veterans like D’Qwell Jackson are mentoring the younger players through those types of things)- “Yeah, definitely. I think guys in the locker room that have been through it more than one season, I guarantee that they’re trying to encourage and inspire their teammates to be the best they can be. We’re all counting on each other to do the right thing and be ready to roll, and if that’s an issue for somebody then we try to help them.”

(On if the younger players would be able to see everything paying off if the team gets on a roll)- “Yeah, I think so. I think the preparation during the week is always better when you’re trying to repeat a victory from the Sunday before. I think that goes without saying. I think we all grind and then mentally you’ve just got to put it all aside and just keep going, but it does help when you’re winning.”

(On if he worries about the chemistry between a quarterback and receiver when a guy has been out for a while)- “No, I don’t worry about the chemistry. I think Brandon (Weeden) and Mo (Massaquoi) have a pretty good feel for each other. I’ve watched in practice here where they really haven’t lost that feel even though Mo hasn’t been part of the gameday so to speak. I see there’s a pretty good connection there.”

(On if he is looking forward to the bye week)- “I’m staying in the moment. That would be a better question for Sunday night or Monday. I think there are certain things we do as coaches on a daily basis and then there is a certain routine we go through in a bye week whether it’s Week Three or week whatever. Right now, we’re just staying in the moment with our eye on the ball getting ready to play the Ravens.”

(On if he noticed an improved practice yesterday compared when they won their first game)- “Yeah, I did. There were some little reminders in there that helped them. The practice was good though. The guys had good energy, there were minimal mistakes and they practiced hard. Our guys always practice hard. I think sometimes just tweaking the focus is what’s important and they did a good job.”

(On if he attributes the good practice yesterday to the team coming in on Monday)- “Maybe.”

(On if Ahtyba Rubin will be back this weekend)- “We’ll see. I don’t know.”

(On if Rubin tore his calf in the Indianapolis game)- “No, he didn’t re-injure it. When you get yourself ready to play there are certain things you do in the game - bursting and whatnot. Each injury is different and we’ve just got to get him right so we can get him out there.”

(On if he thinks this is better than a 2-6 football team even though he can’t take games back)- “You’re right, you can’t have games back so that’s why you push forward. I think I talked about it yesterday - coaches look at quarters and halves and we’ve got a half a season left. I want to make it as good as we can make it and I’ve been on teams that have started fast and finished slow. I’ve been on teams that started slow in terms of victories and finished fast. It all rolls right now as we get ready to play the Ravens and then we’ll add them all up. I’m sure you’ll do it for me, we’ll add them all up as we go.”

(On if the bye week falls at a good time for his young guys)- “I don’t know. I think when the bye week comes out we as coaches back in the spring say, ‘Oh, that’s a great time for the bye,’ regardless of when it is. You’re just kind of told when it is so you just play them out. You kind of handle the bye week like you do your next opponent. There are certain things you want to get done, the players are supposed to have their time away. You just kind of plan it a lot like you do just another game, it just so happens you’re not playing another game.”

(On if Sheldon Brown is having a better year this year)- “I think overall on defense we’re doing a better job of taking balls away. I think when you can force turnovers it affects you in a great way. He’s been involved in some turnovers, which is good. I think I’ve seen his play be pretty consistent. We’ll compare it all at the end.”