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Shurmur press conf. transcript - 11/29

Posted Nov 29, 2012

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

Browns Head Coach Pat Shurmur Press Conference 11-29-12

(Opening statement)- “I’ve got nothing really new to add relative to our conversation yesterday so I’ll just take your questions.”

(On how Brandon Weeden looked yesterday)- “Good. He went through practice, did everything and he looked fine. He looked good.”

(On if he ended up giving Colt McCoy extra snaps in practice)- “Nope, Colt handled all of the scout team work like he normally does. Nothing different.”

(On why Weeden was listed as limited on the injury report)- “There are rules regarding it and we want to make sure we follow them. We tend to overdo it sometimes, but he’s coming back from an injury that he suffered on Sunday. We need to make note of the fact that he’s been injured.”

(On if Joshua Cribbs will be at practice today)- “I don’t know, we’ll see.”

(On if Trent Richardson can have a big game against Oakland’s run defense)- “Well, that’s your first assumption. You have a running back that has put up some games close to 100 yards or so. So your first assumption is, ‘Well, yeah.” But I think each game is different and each situation is different. I think they’re probably getting better in some areas and we’re going to do what we have to do to score points. Hopefully that involves keeping Trent involved throughout the game.”

(On if they are aware of the weather reports for Oakland this weekend)- “Absolutely, it’s supposed to be rainy.”

(On the reports calling for torrential rain in Oakland this weekend)- “Yeah, what are they calling it? Pineapple Express? I guess there’s a fancy name for the storm.”

(On how the storm got its name)- “I don’t know. I think it started in the Hawaiian Islands. I’m not a meteorologist, I’m going to handle that in the offseason (joking). The reports are that it’s supposed to rain throughout the week so we’ll prepare for it. Our guys do a pretty good job of holding onto the football. The challenge will be the same for both teams and then we’ll just see what the field conditions are like.”

(On what makes Joe Thomas one of the better left tackles in the league)- “I think he’s an outstanding pass blocker which is important in this league and then of course, he’s a very efficient run blocker. He’s done if for a long, long time - game after game, year after year. He’a a good player that’s consistent and that’s why he’s good.”

(On the offensive line’s confidence)- “They’ve played together now for a long time. Offensive linemen have to work together and the longer they play together the smoother it goes. I think kind of adding John Greco to the mix there midway through the season has been good. John’s done a pretty good job for us and I think the challenge for them is just to continue. Although statistically there were some things that we did well last week, there were some plays in there when they watched the tape they said, ‘Gosh darn we can’t…’ They’re a unit that works well together, they’re very critical of their mistakes and they take great pride in having a runner that’s efficient and a quarterback that stays on his feet.”

(On what he likes about Tashaun Gipson and him getting back in the lineup following his injury)- “There are a couple things you need to be as a free safety. Number one, you’ve got to somewhat verbal, you’ve got to be able to communicate and help get things changed and then we feel like he’s a good athlete. He can react and play the ball in the deep part of the field and then of course, we feel like he can come up and tackle. Those are the things that we saw in him. He’s a young player that’s developing and we got him back in the game and he’s done a pretty good job for us.”

(On how valuable Dimitri Patterson is as the nickel)- “He’s valuable when he’s healthy and he’s out there. We haven’t had him for a better part of six weeks now. The challenge for him now is to get healthy so he can on the field and play. That’s the challenge and I will say this, nobody at this time of year is 100%. I think he’s trying to get himself going as best he can to get close to that.”

(On Patterson preparing to play)- “He did some things. He’s going to more today so we’ll see. It’s too early to tell.”

(On how much of the defense playing well the past two weeks can be attributed to Phil Taylor being back)- “I think there’s synergy when you get Phil back, but we also got (Ahtyba) Rubin back. Having Ahtyba and Phil back is important. It allowed us to use Billy Winn at end a little bit. Yeah, I think it helps. The more good defensive linemen you can put on the field, the better you’re going to be run and pass because you get fresh snaps out of those big bodies. I think that’s what we shoot for.”

(On if they are starting to scratch the surface of the potential of this defensive group)- “I think what’s important is that we what we can to keep teams off the scoreboard however that works. I know nothing in the back end works unless you’re either controlling the line of scrimmage in the run game or putting pressure on the quarterback in the passing game. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing offensively and defensively if you can’t block them or you can’t defeat blocks and put pressure on the quarterback everything gets much tougher, much tougher.”

(On playing in adverse wind and rainy conditions)- “I feel like we’ve already practiced in one of those. We remember back to the Chargers game, now you add a little bit of cold to it. Those conditions were less than ideal to play a game. You saw it did affect some of the play selection. It was a little bit tighter, closer to the vest by both teams. I’m not saying that’s what’s going to happen, but when you add rain and wind, it changes some of what teams do naturally.”

(On if they prepare two game plans for different weather situations)- “No, you put together a game plan to attack how they play defense, if you’re talking about defensively. The wind and rain don’t change that much. We have enough run plays and pass plays to do what we want to do.”

(On if they would have to change the game plan if the weather leads to receivers not being able to hold on the ball or having good footing)- “You don’t ever count on that. You might have to lean more on shorter throws, which we have a menu of all that. You may have lean more on the run game. Sometimes the conditions dictate that, but you go into it being ready to play like it’s going to be sunny and 70.”

(On if he feels his youthful team is stronger for the final stretch of the season than other teams)- “I like to think that’s going to be the case. I see our young players getting better each week. Typically, when a bunch of men are getting better together, I feel like the results can be better. We’ve talked about this, there are a lot of hard days when you’re building something. We’re building something by getting rookies better and putting them in there and playing them. I think we’re functioning smoother in a lot of ways. The challenge each week is to go out there and do it in a way where it’s a winning performance. There are no perfect games. There are no perfect players. Everybody’s got to play hard, no anxiety, eliminate their mistakes and just keep going. Some of the young players, in reference to the rookie wall, I don’t know. It’d be hard for me to say.”

(On what Josh Gordon and Greg Little need to add to their game to become better receivers)- “I think it just comes back to the details of the route running. Understanding coverage, just all the things you learn as time goes on. They don’t have a lot of time under their belt in this league. I see improvement in the areas I just mentioned, and they just need to continue to do that.”

(On if Little and Gordon have the ability to be in the upper tier of NFL receivers)- “Time will tell, but I like where they’re going. I like how they’re improving. I like how they’re having an impact on the game. There have been some games where Greg didn’t catch a bunch of balls but he had an impact on the game by the way he blocked, how he fit in combinations of routes. I like the direction that they’re going. I think they’re both very talented guys, so time will tell.”

(On how T.J. Ward has evolved)- “I think he’s made improvements. I think when he came here a year ago, he had to learn a new system. We were asking the safeties to do some things a little bit different than Rob Ryan and Eric (Mangini), nothing too out of the box there. He played through this year with a thumb injury, which for a guy coming up and tackling people, you’ve got to fight through that. He’s getting some of that out of the way. I thought he played very fast last week. I just want him to build on it.”

(On Raiders defense)- “I think they’re big talented guys. I think it’s fair to say that they are playing a little bit more zone this year than they did a year ago. There are some new faces, although there are some guys on that defense that are very recognizable. I think for the most part, they don’t line up too much different than they did last year. Some of their coverage concepts are just a little bit different.”

(On why the Raiders have a lot of touchdown passes this year)- “I think each game is different. I think it’s the first year in their new system. I think back to what we went through last year, we were employing a new defensive system, a new offensive system. Everything was new. I think back to how that was a challenge without an offseason. I’m sure even though they had an offseason, first year new stuff, it takes a while to kind of get your rhythm.”

(On what he’s seen from Billy Winn since Ahtyba Rubin and Phil Taylor have returned as starters)- “I think he’s being productive. We use him inside and out. He’s a very athletic guy. He loves to play the game. He finds a way to make plays. That was a pretty athletic interception he made the other night. He’s another one of those guys. He’s got a chance to become really good because he’s got talent. He’s a good athlete. He just needs to keep his foot on the gas and keep getting better each day. Then we’ll see where it goes. Just like when I’m talking about the receivers, how good he can be? Time will tell.”

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