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Shurmur press conf. transcript - 12/17

Posted Dec 17, 2012

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

Browns Head Coach Pat Shurmur Press Conference 12-17-12

(Opening Statement) – “I think I said everything about yesterday’s game. After watching it, I don’t have any new feelings other than the fact that we didn’t do anything really well enough to win the football game. I give credit to them. They did a good job. We went to halftime 14-10. We came out and made a couple mistakes that led to the interceptions. Really, it amounted to three turnovers when you talk about the two interceptions and then the missed fourth down opportunity. When we went for it on fourth down, we then got the ball back without them getting any points. The two turnovers turned into 14 points, which we can’t do that. The games that we won previous, to that in the last three weeks, we didn’t do that. We did it this week and it bit us. We did not do enough to overcome those mistakes. We lost a football game, plain and simple. There’s no big picture view of that, other than the fact that we made too many mistakes, and we did not make enough plays to win the football game. That’s the situation. I’m sure you’ve got some specific questions about players and situations, which I’ll be willing to answer. There were a couple of good things that happened in the game, but when you lose a game, there’s no point in talking about it.”

(On how he evaluates Brandon Weeden and if his big picture view will change) – “I evaluate him based on every throw. I’ve said it all along, when he has the opportunity to throw the football, it comes down to decision-making, timing, accuracy and all those things. You grade him plus or minus in all that. Just like my conversations with the player remain private, my grades of the player remain private. I think what’s important is we all try to do what we can to play winning football and we didn’t. I think the same can be said for a lot of the team.”

(On if he thinks Weeden is still the right guy long term) – “I’m looking forward to him having a better game this week against Denver. I think that’s where the focus needs to be.”

(On what is going through Weeden’s mind when time is expiring for him to throw the football) – “What I would say is this, I know what’s going through his mind. He’s going through his progressions trying to throw the football. I think he does a pretty good job of getting rid of the football. We don’t take many sacks and that’s partly because he will get rid of it. I will say this, there are times when all quarterbacks make poor decisions or don’t get the ball off on time. What’s going through his mind, is he’s going through his progression, looking at the receivers.”

(On if he thought about changing quarterbacks in the middle of the game and if he’s been anywhere that did that) – “I’ve been places where it has happened. I did not think about it yesterday, no.”

(On what he saw on film from the two interceptions) – “I think on the first interception we got fire zone pressure. Initially the receiver was open and then a defender from the backside got underneath the throw. That’s what I saw. On the second interception, he tried to put the ball over the linebacker, and the ball didn’t go where he wanted it to.”

(On what happened on the missed fourth down and three) – “He scrambled out. It was a drop- back pass. They did a nice job of covering us. They played man-to-man and we had a man route. We didn’t wiggle free, and then he tried to scramble and make a play and it didn’t work out.”

(On what happened with the defense in the second half) – “They got it going pretty well. Again, I think we were prepared for their style of offense. It’s an off tackle zone running game and off of that comes the boots and the nakeds. We prepared for it all week. They did a nice job with it. Then they found a way to stay on the field making some third down conversions. They were effective on first down throwing the football. When all that adds up and then we spot them field position with turnovers, then it can spin out on you, which it did.”

(On Kirk Cousins having seams wide open) – “What I would say is this, they did a good job. Now, when they run play action naked game like they were doing, it takes one guy or two guys that are responsible for the backside of the area, either contain it or defend it initially. Once he’s outside the pocket, then it’s important that we cover well. Each play is a different scenario and it wasn’t the same play all the time. We just have to do a better job of defending.”

(On if it’s a challenge to motivate the guys after the loss) – “I don’t have a problem with that, because we’ve got a locker room full of guys that understand how important it is to go out and play hard, play meaningful and try to do what we can to get a win. I’m not worried about that. If the locker room was different I would be, but I don’t think that’s the case.”

(On Trent Richardson saying he wants to use the same running style as in college and if he needs to rethink this) – “I wouldn’t define his running style yet. He’s pretty new in the league and he’s learning how to play running back in this league. Somebody theorized last week that I was upset with him. I’m not upset with him. Here’s a rookie grinding through an NFL season. He’s far less than a hundred percent. I think we handed him the ball twice yesterday and he scored touchdowns. He’s getting in the end zone. He’s one of our leading receivers. He’s got a lot on his plate and he’s battling. Would I agree that yards per rush should be better? Yeah, but I’m not disappointed. I think as time goes on you’ll see him develop a running style whatever it might be. I think there are times when, just like a quarterback can have a bad decision, or somebody can miss an assignment. I think there are some runs that could be better. I just think that’s part of playing the game.”

(On Richardson only having two carries in the second half) – “I think what happened is, when you watch it, they were doing a pretty good job of defending the run on first down, so we tried to throw the football on first down. When you don’t have success throwing the ball on first down, then you get a little bit behind. Part of the problem is we only had 52 plays or 50 something plays on offense, which it doesn’t allow you to do all the things you want to do when you have that few plays.”

(On how he feels about Richardson saying he got out of the game plan) – “I don’t know what he meant by that. We would like to be able to run the football consistently throughout on first, second and third down and involve him as a runner, running the football. At some point there in the game, the score stretched out there a little bit. We were having success throwing the ball a little bit, and then we hurt ourselves on interceptions.”

(On what he can do to beat the batted passes) – “I explained them yesterday I think, didn’t I, about throwing shallow crosses. There are times when they are batted down. I think Brandon addressed it as well. I think what’s important is that we just keep looking to throw the ball in lanes. It’s very hard to throw over guys. It happens at times, but we just keep working on it and try to eliminate it.”

(On how many of the batted balls were on short passes) – “I’m thinking of yesterday. One was on an intermediate throw. The other one was we were trying to throw a quick screen where (Ryan) Kerrigan batted it down. Those happen where the defender is unblocked. Then there are times, you kind of rob Peter to pay Paul a little bit. We’ve done a decent job of getting rid of the football, so what happens is there are times when the rush just stops and puts their hands up. That happens. We have to do a good job of making sure the ball gets through. There are many reasons why balls get batted down and we’ve tipped balls as well.”

(On if he has an update on T.J. Ward or Frostee Rucker) – “We’re still evaluating those injuries, T.J. and Frostee. No I don’t.”

(On the offense struggling on first downs) – “I just think it comes down to general efficiency. We have to do a better job of when we choose to throw the football. I’m assuming because you are talking about Brandon, you are talking about throwing the ball on first down right? None of that’s good, no, because then you’ve got second and long, we don’t want that. We’ve got to have better efficiency on first down on just sheer numbers. If you get an average amount of yards on second down, your third down distance is shorter, or you get the first down on second down. We need to be better there, I don’t disagree with that.”

(On if he would rather Richardson didn’t criticize the game plan) – “I think what’s important, and I talked to Trent. I talked to Trent. I explained to him, that after a game he will be asked questions. I think it’s very important, and I asked him what he meant by what he said. I said it’s very important that when we’re all in a state of being disappointed that we lost, that we keep our focus on number one, regrouping and getting ready to play the next game.”

(On if the Redskins defense did something differently to take away some of Richardson’s success) – “They were committing on early downs. They were committing. The safety was down real close. We had some decently blocked runs that there was an extra defender there. That’s why we got away from, at times, running the ball on first down and combat that by throwing it. Now, when you do that, you’ve got to be efficient.”

(On if he thinks about Weeden being 30 next year) – “I haven’t thought about his age once this year. No. That makes sense though, he’s 29 now right? (jokingly)”

(On if Weeden is too old to develop) – “No, I don’t think that’s the case. I think of him as a rookie. I think he’ll be much better in his second year.”

(On what it would take for him to switch quarterbacks) – “I think you always consider whatever you do in a ball game gives you the best chance to win the football game. As I mentioned, we were 14-10 at halftime. I don’t think we as a team played our best football. We came out and we were getting the football with the idea that we’re starting over with a four point lead. Then, things happen in the game of course that made it not so. Everything that happens in the game and as time goes on in the game; there are all kinds of conversation and all kinds of thoughts being bounced around. I’m not saying you never go to your backup quarterback, but I didn’t consider it yesterday.”

(On if the early interception changed the momentum) – “The early interception, yeah, that happens. You throw an interception, they score. Now we’re down by three, so you just keep playing ball. I think that’s the case.”