Cleveland Browns head coach Pat Shurmur talked with the media on Wednesday afternoon, mostly about linebacker Marcus Benard. The stuff about Benard was pretty bland, so I'm not going to highlight any of that. Shurmur did talk about what Auston English can bring to the table, what the cornerback situation could look like without Joe Haden, and some stuff about the Oakland Raiders. [Read full Shurmur press conference transcript here].
(On if English will get some serious playing time)- "I think he will. I think you’ll see him immediately on special teams. He’s a big athlete, a guy that can run and he’s been a guy that’s showed up on the practice field in special teams situations and then we’ll try and get him in there and get him some snaps. He had production in the preseason, which speaks well for him. Again, it’s like replacing any player that gets injured, you put the next one in and let’s roll. For him unfortunately, it’s a situation where he’s filling in for Marcus who’s injured. I’m happy for him to have an opportunity and as the coach I’m looking forward to him going out there and playing and being productive."
(On if he knew how sick Mack was before the Tennessee game and what it says about his toughness)- "I knew that he came to the stadium and that he saw his breakfast again so I knew some. I’m aware of a lot of things that go on and I knew he wasn’t feeling well. Again, that happens to a lot of guys where they get sick and they play. I do know he’s a very tough guy, he’s a very fine center and we need to be strong up the middle here to be good and I’m really glad that he’s our center. I’ve got a strong appreciation for what he is as a player."
(On if Mack needs to practice before he can play)- "The best situation for Alex would be to be able to practice, but all the way up until the game we’ll make that decision."
(On if he’s still hopeful Haden will be ready to play Sunday)- "Until I can sit up here and tell you he’s not available then I’m hopeful."
(On who will be the third cornerback if Haden is out)- "Buster (Skrine)."
(On if there is any thought to using Usama Young or Mike Adams at corner)- "It will all be all hands on deck. If for some reason you don’t have a starter then the next guys move up and then the guys behind have to fill in on different packages. There’s a possibility, but yeah, Buster would be the third."
(On how they compensate for the Raiders defensive line leading the NFL in batted balls when they have a shorter quarterback and possibly a backup center)- "I think they had seven last week which is a huge number. They do a good job of getting their hands up and they’re so tall there’s not a lot of jumping going on either, it’s just hands going up. It’s important we throw in lanes, it’s important that when we throw the ball inside that we do a good job of getting their hands down and change up how we pass set them, then you move the quarterback at little bit as well."
(On what the Raiders do well)- "Offensively, they’re very explosive, they’ve got good players that are playing well. On defense, I think they’re a team that likes to play man-to-man, that’s been documented for years although they do play some zone and they’ve pressured. They’re a little bit more multiple than I think you would have seen from them in past years although the signature man-to-man coverage is still there. They’re very good at just rushing one-on-one. Big, physical, good looking guys and they’re playing well. Then the kicking game is outstanding because of Sebastian Janikowski and (Shane) Lechler, two fantastic punters and kickers. Talent on the defensive side of the ball then usually translates into a good special team units in terms of coverage and blocking so they’re a very talented team and they’re playing well. I’ll tell you what, they won an emotional game. We’ve all been involved, reported on or coached in games that are emotional for a lot of reasons and they went out and won a game last week on the road against a very good Houston team and found a way to do it at the end. That’s a good thing for their team and I’m sure they’ll build on that."
(On if the weather factors any their offensive game plans at all)- "No, I am glad it will be a nice day. Is it supposed to be? If the weather’s good it normally allows you to do whatever you want to do. Typically when the weather gets to be extremes than every once in a while you got to think about how you’re going to do certain things. But, when the weather is good typically everything is at your disposal."