Cleveland Browns head coach Pat Shurmur talked to the media after Day 2 of training camp. You can find news and notes from Day 2 of training camp here. After the jump is a transcript of Shurmur's news conference, organized by topic. He talked about the status of Ahtyba Rubin and Evan Moore, how wide receiver Josh Gordon has been doing, the leadership that T.J. Ward and D'Qwell Jackson bring, the tight end situation, and more.
Opening Statement, and Keeping Practice Open for the Fans
(Opening statement)- "I thought that was a pretty good practice. We didn’t have the pads on but they tend to get after it once they get the helmet and the protective gear. I thought we competed well. I’m just seeing a huge difference this year from last year and I’m really excited to keep moving through this. Every day is a new day and we got a lot of good stuff done, a lot of competitive work. I saw Josh Gordon play a little faster today which was good, some of the other young players I’m sure you’ve got interest in. I saw our young defensive tackles that made some plays in there and showed some quickness because, of course, we ran the ball more in these drill which I thought was outstanding. We need to see that and they did a good job. Some of the things that I am noticing now I feel good about as we move forward."
(On having the fans out at practice)- "I’ve always been impressed by our fans. They braved the weather. We had to back off the opening of the gates, so hopefully nobody was fighting out there, because of the weather. I was out here early this morning and was concerned we would have to go inside. I hate to go inside, I really do. The best place to practice is out here. I knew this was one of those days that if we did go inside, it would have impacted a bunch of people trying to watch their team. I really appreciate the passion that this town has for our club. That’s why I’m feeling this thing, when we get it turned it’s going to be a lot of fun."
Injury Report on Ahtyba Rubin and Evan Moore
(On Ahtyba Rubin and Evan Moore)- "You saw that Rubin, Evan and Phil Taylor are PUP. Phil, of course, will be extended. Rubin and Evan will be back quickly. They will be back quickly. Carlton Mitchell was not out there [and Trevin Wade]. They are just leg things, they will be back out there soon."
(On Evan Moore’s injury)- "I am going to try and stay away from talking about specific injuries, but he will be back quickly. It is just part of what he was doing training and its going to take him a couple more days."
(On a report that Ahtyba Rubin had surgery)- "You know what, he’s going to be back here real soon. I’d rather not comment on that. He’s going to be fine. It’ll be a couple of days. In fact the day he practices, I will text you first. I am going to wake up in the morning and I’ll text you. If you get the word to everybody I’ll appreciate it (joking)."
Review After Seeing Josh Gordon for Two Days
(On seeing Josh Gordon practice for a few days)- "He’s got great size. When receivers come to this league, what most of them don’t have to do in college is bump-and-run where the corners are up. Most of the time in college, defenses just stand there and take it. In this league, of course, they get challenged. There were a couple of situations out there where Joe Haden was bumping-and-running Gordon and Joe came back and said ‘Wow, this is a big sucker.’ And on one of the routes he did a good job of getting separation so that’s what you kind of need to see. I know he can catch the football, I know he can really run when he gets going and now in this camp, because really previous to training camp, bump-and-run was not allowed in the practices so this is where you start to see the receivers being challenged and it’s what’s important about training camp."
(On if Gordon has any past conception of the West Coast offense)- "Yeah, Norm’s (Chow) terminology mirrors a lot of the plays. I can’t tell you exactly what will sound familiar to him. Now, that being said, I have been around Josh long enough to know that he is a really fine learner. He picks this stuff up pretty well and that’s an added bonus to his game."
Injury/Suspension Replacements at DT and LB
(On Brian Schaefering and Scott Paxson)- "Schaef and Pax, they are veteran guys. They are guys that you like to have around because they are doing everything right. They work extremely hard and I think those are two guys, if they are healthy and they play their roles, will have a chance to make plays. Right now, until we get the full unit out there, their role is expanded and I think that’s where them being veterans, it will help them."
(On working guys with the first team to fill in for Scott Fujita)- "Quietly we’re doing that already. We know that’s going to happen. We’re going to lose Scott for the first three games, we know that so we’ve already decided on a plan. Although it may not be obvious the way we we’re rotating the linebackers in there, that’s getting done already."
Importance of T.J. Ward and D'Qwell Jackson to the Defense
(On T.J. Ward being healthy and his importance to the defense) - "I need him to be healthy and we need him to be out there making plays. As we all know, he’s a feisty guy and that shows up in practice where you’re allowed to knock each other around a little bit. It’s very important that he’s back and healthy and it’s fun to watch him out there working."
(On what D’Qwell Jackson means to the team)- "We talked about him a lot last year, of course, but he’s one of those guys when I walk through the locker room every day, for whatever reason, he must just be on my path. I tend to visit with him and he has something to say that’s got a little thought behind it regarding the team. I won’t get into any specifics, but there is a leadership quality to him that I appreciate, not to mention he is an outstanding football player. He’s really thinking about how we are going to make this team what we want it to be. I appreciate that about him."
Development of Young Defensive Backs and Mitchell Schwartz
(On Buster Skrine and Eric Hagg developing faster than what people may have expected)- "I think you’re right. Number one, they’re going to have to develop quickly. We thought Hagg was developing last year and Buster got a chance to play. I’ve seen an improvement in both their games just through practices and here in camp so we’re encouraged by that. They are obviously guys that need to fill their roles until they become starters and then when they’re starters, they’ve got to carry their load and I think they’re working toward that."
(On the development of Mitchell Schwartz)- "He’s coming along well and we anticipate and expect that he’s going to be our starter there so he’s getting plenty of reps there. I’ve kind of made an evaluation of him. He’s very smart, he knows what to do and now as we get into the grind of this thing and he puts the pads on, that’s the next kind of little area that we will evaluate his progress. To this point he hasn’t disappointed us."
The Tight End Situation - Watson, Cameron, and Smelley
(On how things will shape out with Benjamin Watson and Jordan Cameron)- "Ben’s our starter. Ben’s our starting tight end. He is an outstanding pass receiver, he’s a very fine blocker in terms of setting his hands and using the right footwork and all that. He’s got a veteran component to his game much like D’Qwell and he works extremely hard. He’s out starter and then Jordan’s developing. Jordan has got to go through that little bit of pounding phase that I just talked about with Mitchell. He needs to get banged around a little bit."
(On if Cameron put on some weight this year)- "Yeah, I think he’s really kind of reshaped his body a little bit where he’s much more muscular in my mind. He’s ready for training camp."
(On if Cameron can earn some playing time)- "Absolutely. All those tight ends, because I like to use multiple tight ends where it fits and typically tight ends get banged around a little bit, get nicked. There is a good chance that those guys will be in the game. We put (Brad) Smelley in there a little bit at tight end a little bit and got him some reps and he showed up well. You need to use multiple tight ends much like you kind of slip a running back in there or use three receivers. That’s a key position in our offense because you have to learn to function one, on the end of the line of scrimmage, then you have to learn how to function in space and then you also have to function in kind of backfield type settings as well. A couple of the guys you talked about can do those things."
(On if they will Smelley at tight end or fullback)- "Both. I think just like I answered this past question, I think he can do those things. He’s played in the backfield and he’s not uncomfortable there and he’s got the athletic ability to be a blocker on the line of scrimmage so again, we will need to see him do it as well."
(On Watson’s past concussions and if there is concern about that)- "Yeah it’s in the back of my mind. Anybody that’s had multiple concussions, you just move forward and you develop a guy to play and get him his reps and if guys get injured you put the next ones in there."
The Goal to Win the Division, and a Little on Randy Lerner
(On why he can openly and confidently say this year that the goal for the team is to win the division)- "Because I think quite frankly that is the goal for every team, every year, that’s number one. Number two, at this time when I was standing in this tent last year, at this point in the season, I was watching numbers walk by. Now as I watch a guy walk by, I know his wife. I talked to him this morning. I know what he did last year. I know how to push his buttons. I know how he responds to adversity. It’s a whole different year from that standpoint and I feel more confident about how they function together. I’ve added some coaches that I’ve worked with in the past that I trust so I feel like our operation is smoother and you know I’m kind of a positive hopeful guy. I am kind of a prick, but I do try to keep that from you (joking). I will probably get in trouble for saying that but I really don’t care."
(On if Randy Lerner has tried reassure him at all after yesterday’s news)- "I think he was out here watching practice and we haven’t talked about really anything beyond being informed of what’s going to happen so now it’s a process. He was out here watching practice and there was really nothing more to it than that."