Shurmur press conf. transcript - 11/26

Posted Nov 26, 2012

The transcript of coach Pat Shurmur's Monday afternoon press conference.

Browns Head Coach Pat Shurmur Press Conference 11-26-12

(Opening statement) – “Let me backtrack on some of the things I said yesterday. Again, I don’t feel like adding much more after the time we spent after the game, but I’m truly happy for our players and I’m happy for our coaches. We’ve got to find a way to win division games at home and we’ve got to try to do that. That’s the big picture of this, winning division games at home. The challenge this week is, of course, is to go on the road and win two in a row. Each week presents a new challenge. Of course we know and I reminded some of the guys that weren’t on our team last year, we’re all aware of the history of the rivalry of the Cleveland Browns and the Pittsburgh Steelers. (We) haven’t done very well against them in recent years and so there’s maybe a little bit added there. As I sit here right now, I can tell you we’re fast approaching our preparation and guys upstairs are already working on playing the Oakland Raiders. Although that may sound a little crazy, that’s where we’re at. That’s how we as coaches approach it. I think it was an outstanding performance by the defense. Again, I guess there were some records broken in terms of turnovers. Anytime there is a turnover, both teams are involved. Of course, I know Mike’s (Tomlin) probably talking about securing the football. A lot of the cases, I felt like we tackled and did the right things in terms of knocking the ball off them. I credit our guys for that. The interceptions, that part’s good. I just felt generally speaking our guys played hard. At the end of the day, we just made enough plays to beat them, where the two previous weeks we didn’t. Maybe we got over a little hurdle there against an outstanding opponent. Let’s not forget that the Pittsburgh Steelers are an outstanding team. They’ve got an outstanding organization and I’ve got a great deal of respect for what they are. I’m happy for our guys that we won. I think on offense we did enough to win. We spot them a touchdown, which is never good. I felt like our guys fought. It wasn’t always pretty, but we had a touchdown pass, and of course a touchdown run. It’s easy to say, ‘Well you should have more points with that many turnovers’, and I would agree we should. We did what we had to do to win. Once again, I thought special teams contributed positively to, in this case was a winning performance. With that all being said again, I’m looking forward to the preparation here as we get ready to play the Raiders.”

(On Brandon Weeden’s health status) – “Brandon’s fine.”

(On if he was here today) – “Yes. He was here.”

(On what the protocol is with Weeden’s concussion) – “It’s very strict protocol when it comes to concussions. We’ll go through the process and we’ll know way more on Wednesday.”

(On if there’s a chance Weeden won’t play in Oakland) – “We’ve got to go through the process. I’m not making any predictions at this point.”

(On how much work Colt McCoy gets with the first team offense) – “Very little. That could be said about all backup quarterbacks on every team. Very little.”

(On if Weeden wanting to continue to play after concussion is typical in these situations) – “I don’t think anybody wants to leave the game, especially a game that’s in the balance like that one was. I think that’s typical of what I see and feel from guys that are on the sideline. Of course, we know there’s protocol. We’re well aware of that right?”

(On if he’ll treat Weeden’s concussion differently because he’s the quarterback) – “No. I think we’re going to treat the players like we have to, number one for their safety and then of course by league standards. Each player’s treated in those situations.”

(On Weeden’s performance overall yesterday) – “I think he contributed to the win. Of course the first pass, the tipped ball, there are many reasons why balls get tipped. Typically had it not gotten tipped, it would have been a first down. It got tipped and it was an interception for a touchdown. He did some good things in that football game. As we move forward and get ready to play the Raiders, there are some things that he can clean up that will help us have a better performance next week.”

(On if Weeden needs to practice all week to feel comfortable to play him Sunday) – “I think each player is different. I’ll know way more about this on Wednesday when we start actually practicing. I think each situation this time of year is different. There are guys that can practice throughout the week and really still not be ready to go. Then there are guys that do very little early in the week, a little bit at the end and are ready to go. We’ll just have to see.”

(On if Weeden did anything physical today) – “He was here. I really don’t want to talk about that, but he’s going through the process of getting cleared from his concussion.”

(On if he has to head into practice on Wednesday thinking McCoy will play) – “We’ll do what we have to do. We’ll put a plan together. Our quarterback’s styles are pretty similar, so you put the plan together on how to attack Oakland. We’ll see who shows up to play. If for some reason, we have a quarterback that doesn’t go, then we’ll make some kind of a move to get another one in here. That’s typical.”

(On how long it would take McCoy to be ready to play) – “A week.”

(On what it takes to beat the Steelers) – “I told the players in the pregame talk to expect this thing to be toe to toe from the first snap to the last, and that’s the way it was. At field level against the Steelers, that’s a big man’s game out there. It’s a very physical game. I’ve got a lot of guys that are sore, and I’m sure the Steelers are the same way. That’s real football. I was proud of our guys for how they battled throughout.”

(On if the defense is carrying the team) – “I think you see a couple of components that are taking shape now that we didn’t have earlier. We have more defensive linemen that are healthy. When you have that, it all starts up front there. Then we had Joe Haden back in the lineup. We’ve got some young players at the second level at the safety position and the linebacker position that are getting more time and are getting more comfortable with playing the game. I feel like based on what I saw earlier in the year when we were out there playing defense, I see things coming together like you would have visualized it starting training camp if everybody was healthy and out there.”

(On turnovers being up this year from last year) – “I think when you watch, each turnover is a different story regarding how it happens. We went into the year saying, ‘If we just caught the ball better offensively and defensively, we’d have more completions and then more interceptions.’ We’ve done that, talking from a defensive perspective. Of course, if you do a better job of addressing your gap and defeating your blocks and all the things you need to do in the run game. Then in theory, you have more guys around the football, so if you knock the ball off him, you can recover more fumbles. My uncle wrote a book on coaching team defense, and he said, ‘It just makes sense to me, that if there’s a ball on the ground, and we’ve got more guys around the ball then they do, then we’ve got a better chance of picking it up.’ That’s what was written, the simplicity of it. As we get better playing together and doing all the right things, then when those kinds of things happen, you’ve got a better chance of getting turnovers.”

(On if the team is looking at the turnovers for the next opponent) – “We do know, we all know, I think everybody in here knows, sacks and then of course turnovers, it hurts the team you’re playing. You’re trying to do those things. I think what’s important is that we just play good team defense. Everybody that’s out there gets lined up right and does what they’re supposed to do. When the ball is in the air, you try to disrupt it, and when the runner is running with the ball you first want to get him tackled. Along the way, if you can knock the ball off him it’s great.”

(On if the win is evidence that the offense and defense is creating a physical identity) – “I know we played a physical team. Again, I don’t want to overstate it. Its one football game, but we played a physical team and we found a way to finish. I think that’s something I think our young guys can build on. I don’t think there’s any question there. I saw some veterans in the locker room yesterday that were as excited as the young guys because there are a lot of guys around here that haven’t had great success against Pittsburgh.”

(On if the scouting report is accurate and saying the Weeden can make all the throws) – “I would say this, if you’re going back from a scouting perspective when they say he can make all the throws, that means he can get the ball in all the places that you want. He can throw the comeback. He can throw the post. He can throw the dig, all those things, which I think he can do. He’s like all quarterbacks, he misses on some throws. I think he’s making improvements there. Yeah, I still think he can make all the throws.”

(On if the defense has found its identity but the offense isn’t quite there) – “I wouldn’t characterize it. What I would say is we found a way to win a football game yesterday. We had an outstanding performance from our defense. We did in other areas enough to win. I don’t want to paint it all that way. I think each game presents a different situation. When you learn how to win games, there are different reasons why, but for the most part you all have to play. I think that’s what we want to do.”

(On the influence of Ahtyba Rubin and Phil Taylor returning to the line in the run defense) – “You need to be strong. It’s like baseball. You need to be strong up the middle. I think when you have two big sturdy guys in there that can play the run on first and second down, and then get push when it’s time to throw the football, I think that definitely helps your run game. Not to diminish the efforts of the young guys that were in there early in the year.”

(On what he has seen from McCoy that makes him believe he’s more efficient than last year) – “I watched Colt function through the offseason, and of course training camp. I see him in practice. He just knows way more about what’s going on with our offense this year than last year.”

(On if he notices anything different with McCoy’s arm strength) – “If Colt goes in the game, I expect that he’s going to function fine and help us win games. I’ve got all the confidence in the world in Colt. As I mentioned early, Colt’s handled his situation this year in a very professional way. I don’t see any reason why he can’t go in and function well.”

(On if the line judge signaled him down on the Chris Rainey touchdown in the first half) – “I don’t know. Again, there are certain things in the game where I see it just a little bit differently. I’ll leave that between him and I.”

(On if he thought there should have been a penalty on the play that Weeden got hurt) – “He got flipped around. He actually hit his helmet on our guy. I would say no not on that situation.”

(On what a win does for a young team moving forward) – “I think when you beat a fine opponent, however you do it, and it’s a physical contest like that, then you develop the confidence that you can do it again. Now the challenge is now to be consistent. That’ll be the challenge for this week to get back to work here and get ready to play the next team.”

(On what it takes for the guys to have a game like yesterday with the veterans having little to no success against Pittsburgh in the past) – “I think we’ve said this all along, these guys just keep playing. They keep playing hard. I think the people in Cleveland, the people that follow our team should be proud of the fact that they’re playing hard. They’re young and they’re getting better and all those things. That’s the challenge as you go through a long season. You just keep battling and you just keep fighting. You don’t worry about what people are saying, and you just keep playing the game. If you’re always there and you’re always fighting, at some point you find a way to finish. At least in this situation, yesterday we found a way to finish. Now, once you do it once then you try to recreate it a bunch of times.”

(On the team hanging in two divisional games against two tough opponents) – “I think there were a lot of games this year where we did that and we didn’t find a way to finish. That has been the challenge. You can look back through the season and everybody can decide why the outcomes were the way they were, but we just didn’t make enough plays to win. It’s not like we weren’t ready to play or we didn’t play hard from start to finish, but there’s a process that you have to go through. You find that good teams, there were teams yesterday one comes to mind (Baltimore), where their back was against the wall and they found a way to tie it and then win it. When you get to that point, that’s when you know you’ve built a team that’s a consistent winner. That’s what we’re trying to do here.”

(On if he will talk to his players this week any differently than he did the past two weeks because they won) – “I’m hitting the reset button. Just like you probably roll your eyes and get tired of me saying here every Monday. That’s the process, you hit the reset button and you go back to work and you try to recreate the process that you went through leading up to last week’s game. Then you put together a plan that attacks your opponent, get them hydrated, get them rested and go play. I wish I could come in here and give you some new answer every week, but that’s how it happens. Then you just put it out there and you play your fanny off and then you try to make more plays than the other team.”

(On the team being 3-3 in games that Joe Haden has played and 0-5 in games he has missed) – “No, I don’t look back. Unless something crazy happens he should be here this week. I’m trying to answer your question in a very short and honest way, but you don’t look back. Can’t do that.”

(On if Josh Cooper was a healthy scratch and if there is a need for a receiver to emerge as a possession receiver) – “Number one, he was a healthy scratch. We had Mo (Mohamed Massaquoi) back healthy. In my opinion healthy for the first time in a long time. With the roster the way it was I had to make a call there. You would like to be able to develop a situation where you have two starting receivers. When you go to three wide outs it’s pretty defined, here’s your third guy and when you go to four wide outs here’s your fourth guy. I think we have a receiving corps right now where we’re still getting everybody where they need to be. I think that’s why you see some of what’s going on there.”

(On how Mike Holmgren leaving impacts him) – “I’m sure you’re going to get a chance to ask Mike how he feels about all of it. I’m appreciative to Mike. I never worked for Mike and for him to have enough trust in me to give me this opportunity so I’m very appreciative of that. I can’t imagine doing anything else at my age and so I can’t even imagine or I wouldn’t want to try to think about what he’s going to do. I’ve enjoyed our time that we spent here together. I think we all know there has been a lot of change here in the last few months. Unfortunately, that’s part of what happens in this business, things change all the time. I’m sure he’s going to be able to tell you how he feels.”

(On if he thinks his situation here changes with Holmgren gone) – “Not worried about that. Oakland Raiders. We’re getting ready to play the Oakland Raiders.”

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