Shurmur press conf. transcript - 12/13

Posted Dec 13, 2012

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

Browns Head Coach Pat Shurmur Press Conference 12-13-12

(Opening statement)- “I’ve got nothing really to add from yesterday other than the fact I’m glad the weather is reasonable. In the middle of December to be able to go outside, it’s been good. I think it’s always best for the players to be outside if, obviously, weather and temperatures permit.”

(On if he sees a growing sense of confidence in the young team)- “Yeah, I think there’s some confidence that you develop when you find a way to finish games. It only helps you though, if you continue to go through the process and use that confidence to remember that there were plenty of mistakes in the game and we’re all striving to play a perfect game. You’ve got to keep working at it.”

(On if the team has yet to play their best game)- “I hope we continue to play better each week. As a coach, that’s what you want. Yeah, I’m hopeful.”

(On why the special teams units are better this year than last year especially in coverage)- “I think their unit is a little bit symbolic of our whole team. It’s their second year in the system. I thought our guys worked extremely hard with them last year. We’ve added some new players to the coverage units that make them better. You’re getting outstanding consistency from Phil Dawson and the punt game as well. Reggie Hodges has done a nice job. I think they’re just working better together. I think that’s what you get the second year into it if you’re working on the right things, you add some new players that help and you just generally work better.”

(On if he breathes easier because special teams have been more consistent)- “I don’t know if anything helps my breathing. Not to mention the fact that I want to go back on our returners. We’ve added some speed at returner and we’ve got obviously, experience there. It’s like anything, as you see them perform at a higher level than they did last year, as a coach, I feel confident that we’re going to continue to do that.”

(On what the secret is to containing Robert Griffin III)- “I don’t know, there are a lot of teams that have tried and had limited success. When you talk about the running game it’s about playing team defense and everybody’s got to be aggressive, they’ve got to address their gaps, defeat their blocks and then go chase the football. That’s important. We’ve got to have a guy in every gap. It sounds cliché but that’s the way it works. Of course, now you add to it the element of the play action, which they do extremely well. Then we’ve got to be able to, in our preparation, read our keys and get where we need to be. When they choose to drop back and throw the football, whether we’re playing man or zone, we’ve got to be in the right spots. It’s going to take a consistent effort from everyone on the field.”

(On how vital it is to put together a good staff of assistant coaches)- “I knew this, and I believe in it still, when you become a head coach, the first important thing you do is assemble your staff. I assembled a bunch of guys that I knew to put this staff together. I’ve talked about it. One of the things I would have done differently is last year I would have hired an offensive coordinator, which would have made my staff complete a year ago. Now, it’s important when you hire coordinators, you hire guys you trust. Dick Jauron for instance, I’ve known Dick a long time. I’ve followed Dick. When I got this job, the first phone call I made was to Philadelphia to see if Dick was available because I knew he was coaching on the staff. I asked Andy (Reid) and when that became the case, then I was fortunately able to hire him, and so on and so forth with all the guys. There were only a couple of guys on this staff that I didn’t know a great deal about. Ultimately, I made the call on that.”

(On if he thinks Mike Shanahan would play both Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins)- “We’re playing the ‘what if’ game. I don’t know. I believe in my mind that he’ll commit to one. I do believe that, whoever it may be. I think he’ll commit, and then the other guy will be available for whatever the situations dictate. I guess it’s a possibility he could play both.”

(On if the Redskins might use Griffin in spots)- “We’re going to have to assume, to answer that question. I don’t know. It’s hard to tell. Because there’s no way for us to know here in Berea, we just get ready to play against their offense when it comes to the quarterbacks.”

(On if he has been influenced at all by the reports of Griffin practicing yesterday)- “No, because I see how I do things around here, number one. You guys [the media] have got a really tight net, but every once in a while some stuff slips through. I don’t know what to think. I saw you guys yesterday, you had to look into the sun to see who was out there. When you’re squinting sometimes you might miss a number. You might have thought 46 was out there. (joking).”

(On what he thought the first time he saw Griffin’s injury)- “I don’t know what I thought. When I saw it I was sitting in my living room after the game watching the highlights. I don’t know what I was thinking then. I was excited that we had won our game. That’s kind of where I was at. It’s hard to tell. We’ve all seen it before where you see something that looks devastating on the field, you say, ‘My gosh,’ and then they are out there playing. Then there’s other times when you see something that looks extremely harmless where it’s a major injury. Our eyes can deceive us sometimes. You’re talking about a guy that’s a highly conditioned, very limber guy. I’m not going to try to predict on this. I think it’s a waste of good thought.”

(On if he thinks the defense is in its best possible shape to face Griffin)- “I think we’re as good as we’ve been to this point in the season. I think that’s fair to say. We’ve got our defensive tackles back. They’ve been playing quite a while now. Dimitri Patterson is back as the nickel player. He has a game under his belt after being back from injury. We’re dealing with all the bumps and bruises that everybody deals with, but that gives us the best opportunity I think to go out and have a successful game on defense.”

(On why London Fletcher is still successful)- “He’s amazing isn’t he? I think he’s a pro. When you look around the league, every roster has those guys that just keep going and finding a way to keep doing it. He’s obviously got a lot of great stuff at his core because he’s been there for a very long time, and of course, St. Louis and Buffalo. I admire him for a lot of reasons. Believe it or not, he’s kind of flown under the radar as a middle linebacker in this league. I’ve played against him enough to know that’s not the case.”

(On why Dick Jauron was the first guy he called when he was looking for a defensive coordinator)- “I’ve always admired Dick. You become a fan of the league so you watch how people do things. We were in Philadelphia when he built a playoff caliber team in Chicago. I knew a lot about him from his days working with my uncle. I admired him first off as a person, as a teacher and then of course, his knowledge and what he’d accomplished. I thought he would be an outstanding guy to inspire our guys on defense.”

(On if we are now seeing Jauron’s vision of the 4-3 defense this season because he has the players he needs)- “I think we’ve got to get better in a lot of areas, but I think when we talk about why the special teams is better this year, I think the same could be said about the defense. The coaches and the players have worked together longer, we’ve added some more talented players to the roster and you just tend to function better the longer you do something. Of course, the leadership that Dick provides is just outstanding. I like that quiet confidence in a person and I lean on that. Just like I do with Brad (Childress) and Chris Tabor. I called Dave Toub, who I worked with, when I was looking for a special teams coach. He said, ‘Listen, I have a guy here who’s going to be outstanding.’ He said, ‘Now, you’ve just got to trust me on that.’ And I trusted him and I think we got a really fine coach there.”

(On what is says about the coaches and the young linebackers that have been able to step in and contribute with two starters being out with injuries)- “I think the coaching has been good there. I think Billy Davis does a fine job. Billy and I were basically graduate assistants together at Michigan State. That’s how I knew Billy. Then he went on and kind of got into the NFL ranks way before I did. I think he does an outstanding job with those guys. I think the young players, the youthfulness and let’s not underestimate Kaluka (Maiava). We don’t talk about Kaluka much, but he’s been in there and done a really good job. They’re just playing better.”

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