Cleveland Browns head coach Pat Shurmur talked to the media Monday morning before the team's closed practice in the afternoon. He talked about a variety of topics, including some hints as to whether or not Joshua Cribbs and the team's top safeties will be ready to go by the regular season. I have pulled some excerpts after the jump. [Read full Pat Shurmur transcript here]
(On if he is comfortable using Josh Cribbs in the regular season opener for returns)- "Absolutely, he is our kickoff and punt returner. It’s not uncommon that your guy doesn’t get a bunch of reps in the preseason. We were planning to give him a couple last week and then he obviously wasn’t able to perform. You can’t really worry about that, can’t deal with it. He has displayed the ability to do it and if he’s on the gameday roster ready to go, he will do it."
(On if he is concerned at the safety position)- "Any of the positions where guys that we are counting on, are not out there competing. I think it’s a little bit of a concern, but
Mike Adams has done a good job. Ray Ventrone has done a good job. T.J. Ward is increasing his work load behind the scenes here quite a bit and we’re anticipating that he will be out there full tilt pretty soon. Usama (Young) will be back. Eric Haag is doing tremendous. He’s a fast healer, so I am happy about that."
Usama Young’s situation is more difficult because he has not been a full time starter before)- "I don’t know if it’s more difficult for him. He is one the guys, and I think I have I mentioned it, that I need to learn more about. He kind of came here and was out of action quickly. The key thing for him is to get healthy and get out there. We can make our decisions after that."
(On Adams possibly starting over Young)- "Until more guys get out there and compete with him and I don’t mean to be funny about it, but I think that’s the case. We have to make those decisions once you have all of the healthy bodies back."
(On if they have made a decision on
Eric Steinbach)- "We haven’t yet, but we are getting close to one soon."
Marcus Benard has gotten his weight down)- "He is bigger than he was a year ago, but I think he is getting himself more and more into playing shape, which is good."
(On the starter’s playing time for Thursday)- "Again, we’re kind of running down a couple of paths here. We’re getting ready for Chicago, we’re training our guys to mentally and physically deal with a week’s preparation and as I mentioned yesterday in the back of our minds we’re preparing for Cincinnati. We’re a little bit all over there, but I think the general feeling and what I want our guys to accomplish is maybe some of the guys that won’t play as much Thursday night, they’re getting a heck of a lot work this week to keep them going. That’s why it’s a revised Thursday so to speak."