Head coach Pat Shurmur and general manager Tom Heckert met with the media following the conclusion of round three of the 2012 NFL Draft Friday night. They talked about the selections of offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz and defensive tackle John Hughes, the status of quarterback Colt McCoy, and the decision not to take a wide receiver. The entire transcript, re-ordered by topic, is after the jump.
Drafting RT Mitchell Schwartz
Tom Heckert - (On why they passed on wide receivers at No. 37)- "There were some guys that we liked, but we obviously liked Mitchell (Schwartz) better, so we decided to go in that direction."
Tom Heckert - (On what they liked about Schwartz)- "We was just thought he was a better football player. Obviously, that is what we thought or we would have taken the other guy. He is a big kid, he’s athletic, he played left tackle, he has played right tackle in the past. He is a very solid guy. He played well at the senior bowl. He is just a good player."
Pat Shurmur - (On if Schwartz projects to be the day one starter)- "We are going to play him on the right side, bring him along, put him in there and see what he can do. We are projecting that he will be a right tackle for us."
Tom Heckert - (On analysts saying that Schwartz could start right away)- "That is kind of how we felt. Some of these guys maybe had a little bit better athletic ability but this guy, just playing both sides. He comes and he plays. He is a very smart player. I think he is going to be a good player for us."
Tom Heckert - (On if it is a nice option that Schwartz could also play left tackle)- "Yeah, it is always nice to do that. We didn’t draft him because he has played left tackle before. We thought he would be the best right tackle for us."
Tom Heckert - (On if they talked to Alex Mack about Schwartz)- "Yeah we did, he was all fired up. Mitchell was talking to us a lot more about Alex than Alex was talking about Mitchell. They are good friends and they talk whenever Alex goes back there. Obviously, he had very good things to say about him."
Pat Shurmur - (On if they have a solid line for the future)- "I believe that. We all know the players that we have here and when you add a good, young player that can play tackle, right and left tackle. It all goes hand in hand. A good line that works together, a running back that is explosive and skill players that are efficient and hopefully explosive, I think it all works together. What you try to do is get as many pieces in place so that you can be an offense that is efficient and explosive. The end result is scoring points and winning games. That is what we are trying to do. When you add three pieces like we have in the first two days here, we feel like we are making strides."
The Trade With Denver / Fear of Losing John Hughes
Tom Heckert - (On making the trade with Denver)- "There were a couple of guys on the board that we liked, and we just thought they would be there later on, so we decided to get another fourth round pick. We do have some other positions that we think are pretty stacked up well for us in the fourth round, and we can get a couple of players, so we were trying to get another fourth round pick. To be honest, we were holding our breath there a little bit with this last one. I was getting a little concerned that I shouldn’t have made the trade, but it came down that John (Hughes) was still there and we did that."
Pat Shurmur - "It ended up working out in our favor. It was good because we got a fourth round pick out of the aggravation we had waiting."
Tom Heckert - "I was questioning myself there."
Tom Heckert - (On what they like about Hughes)- "John is a big, powerful, tough guy. I think he’s really good. I think it’s the same with the offensive line, you can’t have enough defensive linemen. The more you can get, the better off you’re going to be. He’ll come in and compete, and he can take some of the reps away from Phil (Taylor) and Rubes (Ahtyba Rubin)."
Pat Shurmur - "We ended up drafting today two big, physical, tough guys I think that are going to help us up front. Nothing that you do in the back end works unless you address the offense and defense line, so we feel good about that."
Tom Heckert - (On what they liked about Hughes to take him so early)- "We debated on whether staying there and taking him. He was the guy we were going to take if we stayed, but we thought, and we got lucky, that we could get him later on. He is a big, physical guy. You read in the draft books that this guy can stack and shed. Well this guy can stack and shed. He makes plays for a defensive tackle. Some guys can hold the point and just be big bodies in there. But, this guy gets off and he makes tackle. He is not a great pass rusher yet, I think he had five or six sacks this year. he is not a great pass rusher, but I think he can get better there. He is a really good run player."
Tom Heckert - (On why analysts had Hughes being projected later in the draft)- "I really don’t know. It is funny because everyone was talking about (Derek) Wolfe, the other kid. We liked him. I haven’t talked to anybody about him yet, I will talk to somebody tonight. I don’t know where other scouts had him or where other teams had him, I really don’t."
Not Drafting a Wide Receiver
Tom Heckert - (On coming out of the draft without a wide receiver)- "We still have some picks left. There are some guys that we do like. We’ll see what happens after tomorrow and then we can discuss if we don’t have any."
Tom Heckert - (On if there are frustrations of not taking a receiver)- "No, there is not frustration. We could have taken a receiver. We don’t want to take a receiver just to take a receiver. No, there is not a frustration, we think that we got really good players. If we didn’t get a receiver and we didn’t get a good player we might be, but we are happy with the guys we took, we really are."
Tom Heckert - (On if Brandon Weeden can make the receivers better)- "He is a quarterback that his accuracy has been proven on the college level. Hopefully that is the case."
The Colt McCoy Situation
Tom Heckert - (On if there talks about trading Colt McCoy)- "Nope."
Tom Heckert - (On whether or not talks occurred about trading McCoy)- "We haven’t had any other talks. I haven’t talked to one person about it. There is nothing else to talk about."
Pat Shurmur - (On if McCoy will be around for minicamps)- "I plan on Colt being here on Monday as a part of the offseason program. There is really no story there right now, there really isn’t. We have drafted a quarterback to come in and compete with him at this point, and that is where it’s at. As I mentioned earlier when I came in here, I spoke with Colt today. He had planned to go back to Texas this weekend. He had a function that he was doing on his way down. He got his four workouts in Monday through Thursday, so there is nothing to it. He is not here this weekend and I expect to see him back Monday."
Pat Shurmur - (On if anyone in the organization told McCoy that the Browns would not draft a quarterback in the first round)- "That is absolutely false."
Tom Heckert - "Completely false. Never happened."
Pat Shurmur - "And these are two of the three people that would be able to say that and I think you spoke to the other one."
Tom Heckert - "We don’t talk to our players a whole lot about who we are picking."
Pat Shurmur - "For the record, we don’t consult our players about what we are doing in the draft. I think it’s ridiculous to assume that we would say those things. I just want to be strong about the, ‘No.’"
The Possibility of Bringing OG Eric Steinbach Back
Tom Heckert - (On it is still possible to bring Eric Steinbach back)- "I haven’t thought about that in a while. I haven’t talked to Eric or his agent in a couple weeks. You never say never, but I don’t know exactly where he’s at or what his deal is. We really haven’t made a decision on that either way but I have not talked to him either. We will wait and see how that goes."
General Positional Questions
Pat Shurmur - (On what degree the offense has improved)- "I think that we have added three players that are going to come in and we expect them to come in and compete, to start and contribute what we hope to be immediately. We will see how it plays out, but we’ve got a running back, a quarterback and a right tackle. I think with some of the changes that were made up front this year, we felt like we needed to address the right tackle situation. It’s easy to say you are going to plug him in and play him, but he’s got to go over there and learn to play right tackle in this league. We think he can do it. We all know what Trent Richardson brings to the table as a runner and we’re really impressed with what we saw with Brandon Weeden. We feel like we got three players that are going to be there for us."
Tom Heckert - (On if they thought other positions like right tackle were more important than wide receiver)- "I don’t think we came in and said either. He was the best guy. That is what we did. We didn’t come in and say right tackle was more of a need than a wide receiver or really anything. We know what our needs our, but we don’t kind of sit there and prioritize them like, ‘We have to get this position.’ We just don’t do it that way. We set our board how they are as players, we don’t set them by need."
Tom Heckert - (On if he saw this as a draft class that was top heavy with receivers)- "To be honest with you, no. We had three guys that we thought were legitimate guys and could come in and play. We are not saying that we didn’t like some guys. There are still guys that we think we have a chance of getting tomorrow that can come in and help us. We thought it was the normal type of thing, you always have three or four guys that everyone has a consensus that these guys are good players. After that you are going to get different opinions, but I think everyone else is kind of just wait and see on these guys."
Tom Heckert - (On much better the team is after day two)- "We feel a lot better. We think Mitch is going to be a really good player for us and that we will improve at that position. John is a guy, whether he comes in and starts, we obviously have two really good players playing defensive tackle. Anytime, especially on the defensive line, you need three or four guys that can rotate. We talked about this last year where our defensive line was playing a lot of snaps last year. I don’t know if we want that, necessarily, so now we have a couple extra guys at the end position and now at tackle that we can do a nice rotation."