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Shurmur press conf. transcript - 6/5

Posted Jun 5, 2012

Browns Head Coach Pat Shurmur Press Conference 6-5-12

(Opening statement)- “It’s minicamp, we’ve got everybody here and most everybody will compete. It will be a good setting for our guys after having six OTAs. We went back and we we’ll revisit all of the things we’ve done in the six OTAs and try to work on the details and get better. Again, I would encourage you that when you’re watching, the first thing you’re going to want to do is get out there who is starting the drills. I would encourage you to hold off on that. There are just a bunch of guys out here trying to get better.”

(On if Phil Dawson is here)- “Everybody is here.”

(On what he meant when he said most everyone was competing)- “There are a couple of guys that are dealing with their injuries and that is about it. Everybody that is healthy and able to go will be out there.”

(On why he is so optimistic about the receivers)- “I think we got some guys that, number one, that are some good players. I think they have all had a chance now to play a year in the system and then have an offseason to improve their game. Then we have added some young players who I think are going to develop into good players. For all of those reasons I think they will be better and productive. Then I think as you get more efficient quarterback play, I think it all ties together with a good running game, I think that all plays together.”

(On if he still sees the talent in Mohamed Massaquoi)- “I think he has had a great offseason. I am very pleased with where he is. I think he came in healthy this offseason and he is taking advantage of the reps he has gotten and he has made plays out here. I think that’s money in the bank for him as he gets ready for training camp and the season.”

(On how Marcus Benard looks)- “He is doing well. His body looks like I thought it would look a year ago. He has done a nice job of getting himself into shape. That’s the first phase, getting your body right so when it’s time to compete you can come out here and do it at a high level. I think he’s done that and he’s shown up and done some good things.”

(On if he will be able to get enough reps for all of running backs)- “There are plenty of reps when you talk about scrimmage situations in practice and of course the preseason games. There are plenty of reps for everything we need to see.”

(On if all the running backs will get playing time in games)- “They will all play. I am not concerned about them getting their reps.”

(On his philosophy of giving Brandon Weeden the offense)- “I think philosophically you install the offense for all of the players and the benefit of the way we are doing it now is you are getting a chance to install it, add to it and then go back and repeat it. I think he is like every other player on offense. There are things he has to learn and the more he hears it, the better he will get.”

(On how a quarterback can help a receiver get open)- “I don’t know about getting open. I think we all have certain things we have to do. Receivers have got to get open. Quarterbacks have got to throw it to them. Now the better they both do those tasks, the more efficient you’re going to be. I know this, a receiver that finds a way to get open and a quarterback that throws the ball accurately and on time, now you have your best chance to complete passes and run with the football. It goes hand in hand.”

(On what he has seen from Jason Pinkston)- “I have seen a guy who is very focused, very detailed about his preparation. He also, prior to the offseason program phase of things, did a nice job of getting himself in better shape than he was last year. I just see a guy who knows a little bit more about what he is doing and I think that will help him be better next fall.”

(On the biggest thing it takes to get a young quarterback incorporated to a system)- “I think you’ve got to install the system, the things that you like to do well and then as you watch and practice, you kind of fine tune it and let him do the things that he does well within the system. There is no set formula for that, but that is why you practice so that you can watch it all happen and try to give him the best chance. It’s just not young quarterbacks, its all quarterbacks. I think you want them to be able to go out and within the system do what they do well.”

(On Adonis Thomas)- “He was here obviously on a workout basis and we felt good about what he did. He performed well in the rookie minicamp and since that time he has done the same thing. I think he’s quick, he understands how to run the football and when we have thrown him the ball, he has done a nice job of catching it. Those are the things you can see in these camps. He is a very bright, kind of energetic guy that learns well and brings it to the field well so he will have a chance to compete with those other backs.”

(On if there is any more emphasis placed on the minicamp than OTAs)- “To me it’s just another day of playing in the yard. Minicamps, OTAs, the way you practice is the same. We’re wearing the same equipment and the only difference is we put a walk-through in before. Once we blow the horn at 1:00 and start practicing, you don’t know if its spring, fall, winter, you’re just practicing so that’s all the same.”

(On if the offseason drama has affected Scott Fujita)- “No, my interaction with Scott has been good. He is about his business and I don’t see that being a distraction. I think we as people, we all have things happening in the background to our jobs. As professionals we learn how to deal with that so that it doesn’t affect what we do.”

(On bringing Fujita back even though he may miss a few games)- “Scott is a veteran player on our team. He’s an outstanding player in this league and he is dealing with what he is dealing with. It’s a league issue and we support, of course, the league and what it does and when Scott’s back he will play.”

(On if the bar has been raised on rookie quarterbacks in the league in terms of performance and expectations)- “I think you would all agree there is a high bar in this league, period, regardless of who’s playing. I think part of what’s nice about having an offseason when you draft a quarterback is that they get a chance to develop and then start to feel what those expectations are. I wouldn’t call it pressure or anxiety, but there is something to be said for getting a feel for your surroundings.”

(On if he has learned anything new about Brandon Weeden)- “I think we are seeing what we saw prior to drafting him and he is doing a good job of learning what we do. How we call plays, progressions and what we ask him to do, I think he’s done a good job. No, it’s pretty much what we thought.”

(On if there is a sense of urgency to find Fujita’s replacement)- “No, we are going to develop all of the players and then once the season starts, we will put then best one in there. To use your words, ‘Sense of urgency,’ let’s all agree there is a high bar and high expectations. I think that’s just part of what this is all about. We understand that we have to get these guys as good as they can be so that they perform well and ultimately we win games.”

(On how Montario Hardesty and Brandon Jackson have looked coming back from injury)- “I think they have looked good. Knock on wood, right now I think that group is healthy and they are running around fast. You can see there is some carry-over in learning from the guys that were here a year ago. Trent’s doing a good job of picking things up. They look fast and they’re getting their reps and because the lines are a little bit longer, the reps that they are in there for, they look crisp so that’s good.”

(On developing Eric Hagg at free safety)- “We are looking to develop out safeties, period and we want to put the two best guys we can out there. There are some things that the free safety has to do that are a little bit different than the strong in terms of communication and making sure everybody is lined up right. We are going to take a look at him there, but playing safety, you have got to be able to, when you’re called to come down, make tackles. You typically cover tight ends and running backs and then depending on what the coverage scheme is, you have got to be able to play in the middle of the field deep or half the field deep whether its quarters of two-deep. Whether you are playing strong or free, this is a long answer, you have got to be able to do all of those things from either spot so it’s good for him to learn both.”

(On what he likes about Hagg)- “We liked what we saw prior to him being injured in camp last year. I think he’s got very good instincts, I think he can do all of the things we are talking about in terms of covering, playing parts of the field and of course tackling. That’s why we think he will be a good player.”

(On how Hagg’s communication and classroom work translates to the safety position)- “Communication is huge when you play safety and you have to learn it in the classroom first and then be able to come out here and do it. There are players that can learn it in the classroom and it doesn’t transfer. There are players that can’t handle it very well in the classroom, but once they practice they get it. I see there is some transfer of learning and he’s doing well in the classroom and it is showing up out here.”

(On how T.J. Ward has looked this offseason)- “He is looking good. He is running around playing fast and he looks like he is back healthy, to where he was before his injury so just keep working on him getting better. Again, I mentioned a couple times ago that I still think of him as a young player when it comes to the amount of time he’s been on the field so he needs to develop like the rest of the guys.”

(On younger players like Ward, Joe Haden and Chris Gocong taking more of a leadership role)- “You expect the young players to exert themselves more. Typically, leaders are guys that know what they are doing so that they can exert themselves and help other people with what they do. I think that’s what you see when a younger player who typically, the best younger players kind of come in and learn what they are doing and they let their actions speak for them and as they learn more and more and then that leadership starts to come out. We see that in the players you mentioned and we expect that from them.”

(On if he has been able to check more things out during practice with Brad Childress on staff now)- “I think I have the freedom to do that more now. Obviously I tend to watch certain things, but I would say this, Brad does a very, very good job of directing the offensive coaches, the players and he and I are really on the same page on almost everything. Brad being here is very important for us and I think it will help us tremendously this season.”

(On what Nolan Cromwell brings to the coaching staff)- “A couple of things about Nolan, we have talked about this before, but I think he’s an outstanding teacher, he has a good way of explaining it to the players and I think he works extremely well with Mike Wilson who is a fine teacher himself. All those things play into one another. Nolan’s voice is new for you folks so it’s probably the one you hear, but there are a lot of guys out there that are teaching extremely well.”