The Cleveland Browns returned to the practice field on Sunday afternoon, two days after the team posted a 19-17 come-from-behind win in its preseason opener against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field.
The Browns have a limited timeframe to prepare for their second preseason game, which is Thursday night against the Green Bay Packers at famed Lambeau Field. Before the team began to prepare for the Packers, the coaches broke down the game film and went over corrections with the players.
“When I went back, this was one of those games where it played out on film a lot like I thought I saw it on game day,” second-year Browns coach Pat Shurmur said. “Sometimes, it’s way different, but there were some good plays. We pointed out the penalties, which is not good. We made an emphasis about catching the football and I’ll just speak to it from a defensive standpoint, we had two opportunities to intercept balls and we did it. I think that’s a plus. For the most part, the guys played hard.”
One thing Shurmur saw on tape was a winning mindset from his players.
Down by a 14-3 count during the third quarter, the Browns outscored the Lions 16-3 over the final 30 minutes of play. After a failed two-point conversion kept the Browns from taking an 18-17 lead with 6:05 remaining in regulation, the team forced Detroit into a punt and capitalized on the change of possession.
“It’s important that you go through the process and we were in a situation where we had to come back and win it at the end,” Shurmur said. “Going through that process, there’s something you learn from that. I talked about the players getting that winning feeling and getting selfish about wanting it every week.
“There’s things you talk about, but as we go forward, as important as anything is seeing how this roster competes and learning about the players, so when it’s time to get this thing whittled down to 53, we pick the right guys. I think that’s as important in the preseason as anything. At the end of the game, you’ve got your backups and roll players in there doing their thing and so, when they go down and win the game, you’re happy for them because they’re competitors and I think that’s important.”
CHANGE IN PLANS
Originally, when the training camp schedule was released, Shurmur scheduled a full pads practice for Sunday. However, he felt it would be better for the team and the work that needed to be done if the players were in shell pads.
“We wanted to work on a couple different phases, so I took the pads off of them so we could get good speed,” Shurmur said. “The guys handled it well. There was plenty to do today to clean up the mistakes from the game. It’s always fun to win the game, but I did feel like there’s some things we have to improve on. We made all our points. I think the guys handled it well. We came out here, did corrections and then, we’ll move forward. We’re into our next week, next phase and with that, our minds will start to drift toward Green Bay as we get toward the middle of the week.”
DOWNING THE BALL
The Browns kicked five punts in the game against Detroit and three landed inside the 20-yard line. However, Shurmur felt as if the team “left two easy ones” on the field, which resulted in touchbacks for the Lions.
“We had a chance to down two punts inside the 20 and we didn’t get it done,” Shurmur said. “Those are two layups you’ve got to take. We had Bubba (
The Browns were without defensive tackles Phil Taylor and
“It’s a good opportunity for them,” Shurmur said. “The lines are shorter, so they’ll play a handful of more reps in each game, which will help them. I think that’s a good thing. I thought they did a good job. I saw some of the things I’ve seen in practice and they’ve got to make huge improvements before they’re at the level that we feel they need to play at, but they had a good start.”
During the first play of the preseason opener, wide receiver
When asked about Massaquoi taking to Twitter and saying he was held out of the remainder of the game for precautionary reasons, Shurmur explained his policy on social media.
“I encourage them not to (tweet) and I think it’s important that they don’t,” Shurmur said. “I don’t think you can harness, totally harness, social media. I’ve come to that realization, but what I can do is encourage and inspire them to be very professional and not talk about Browns business. That’s just my feeling on it. That’s a big thing to harness, social media.”
When asked about possibly banning the use of Twitter like other coaches in the NFL, Shurmur said he would not institute such a policy.
“I don’t want to do that because I want to deal with our guys as professionals,” Shurmur said. “I want to deal with them as men and that’s part of society at this point. I think it’s important that I encourage and inspire them not to do it. If you ask me a question about what happened in the game and I tell you the process, then, that’s how it happened.”