CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 13: Head coach Pat Shurmur of the Cleveland Browns watches his team from the sidelines during the second quarter against the St. Louis Rams at Cleveland Browns Stadium on November 13, 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Rams defeated the Browns 13-12. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Cleveland Browns head coach Pat Shurmur spoke with the local media on Monday. He was asked about the creativity of the offense on Sunday, the ways that Seneca Wallace was used, whether Alex Smith has actually practiced getting a handoff, and more. [Read full press conference transcript here]
(On if they have ever practiced the play where Alex Smith takes the handoff) – "We run it all the time. Not always to him, he’s practiced it, not of late. But, you know what’s interesting is, you run a lot of plays in the game that the backup has to execute, that he may not have done."
(On if he used Seneca Wallace as a receiver strictly for Wildcat purposes) – "No, I thought there we some things in the game, we were down receivers, just trying to freshen it up a little bit. We used him in a way that I’m sure they weren’t expecting it. He was used a couple of times without any running backs in there. He was actually the running back in a situation. We lined up in empty and that has an effect on teams that give you an opportunity to do something with the football, that’s all."
(On if he will continue to be creative with his play calling going forward) – "I think we’ve been creative to this point, it just hasn’t been within the boundaries of what some people think is creative. Yeah, we’ll continue to be creative. We’re going to do everything we can to try and score points. With the players that we have, try to score points and win games."
(On utilizing several trick plays against the Rams) – "When you run the football there are ways to give the defense misdirection. The (end) around’s and reverses, I think were effective for us. I think we had two explosive plays. One that was called back because of a hold that were effective. As hard as it is to write articles, it’s a challenge sometimes to move the football and you just try to do what you can to do both."
(On his thoughts of how successful the Wildcat was yesterday) – "Josh (Cribbs) carried the ball twice I think for six or eight yards. It was moderately successful."
(On if the offense is pressing too much in the red zone) – "No, I think yesterday was a poor performance in the red zone. Prior to that, we had a couple games where we didn’t get down there much and then prior to that, we did a good job of scoring in the red zone. No, I don’t think there’s pressure. There’s always urgency in the red zone to score."
(On what they could have done better in the red zone) – "Score. There were times when we got down there before the half and threw it and we didn’t make it. We took a shot to Evan (Moore) and he got a facemask, which backed us up and made the field goal. All those things that happen during the game that plays into a little bit to what the strategy is at the end as well. I thought they did a nice job, let’s give them credit, they did a nice job in the red zone of defending us and that was it. There were some sequences in there where I ran the football, then there were other ones, as you saw, where I threw it and we had limited success."
(On if he wishes he had thrown into the end zone once on the last possession) – "No. I’ll go to the well with what I did. I’ll go to the well lining up to kick the field goal, making them use timeouts and leaving them nearing two-minutes to try to drive and beat us. I’ll do that again."
(On Mohamed Massaquoi’s injury status) – "He’s feeling better. He’s been asymptomatic for a couple days now, so we’ll just see. Again, we’re going to be very careful with that."
(On how he evaluates himself through nine games) – "I’m a 3-6 coach right now. That’s how I evaluate myself. I need to get better."
At least that one was straight and to the point.