Cleveland Browns head coach Pat Shurmur met with the media after Day 27 of training camp to talk about the final day of practice, if Frostee Rucker could play against the Eagles, if there was anything left unresolved after camp ended, and more. After the jump, Shurmur's news conference is organized by topic. Don't forget to check out our report on Day 27 of training camp.
Summarizing Training Camp, and Players Moving Out of Hotels
(Opening Statement)- "This is a great day. I’ll tell you, our fans this training camp - I know we had more out here this year than we did a year ago. We have a very passionate group of fans that come out every single day. Unfortunately for them, this is the last day it will be open to the public. I mentioned it earlier in the week, but the players will be out of the hotel here after tonight. They will go back to their primary residences and we’ll get ready to play the Eagles. Then next week the next phase of training camp kind of kicks in, where we’ll try to mock up a week in what the schedule feels like for that week during the season. The fans have been outstanding. I know it motivates our guys to come out here on days like today.
This was practice 21, so you have 21 practices and 21 walk-throughs. They’ve been on the field quite a bit. As you might expect, none of us have had enough sleep in the last month. We get very emotional and we are out here working hard. For the fans to be here to inspire the players, I think it is just outstanding. I’ve been a couple of places for practices, the other places I’ve been, you don’t get near the turnout that we do here. I’m just a little disappointed they can’t see us do more work. Now the season will be here quickly. Today was about the red zone. Today was about the fans. We’ll move on and get ready to play Philadelphia here."
Pat Shurmur Isn't Discussing Haden Incident; "Find it on Twitter"
(On what happened during practice between him and Joe Haden)- "I’m not going to talk about it. That’s between me and the player. I’ve got a great deal of respect for Joe. If you want details, you’re going to have to find it on twitter. My only apology is that I used bad language, and the fans were here to see it. That’s between me and the player. Joe is a great competitor and I appreciate what he does and who he is. That’s the last you will hear me talk about it."
(On the Haden situation)- "Don’t ask, because I’m not talking about it anymore. You have to go somewhere else to find out."
(On issue of tackling in practice and if it is not something he wants to see)- "I think it’s important that we practice smart. I think that is what’s important. I think that you have to be able to practice at game speed. You win and lose in practice. I think it’s important that guys understand that. I want all of our guys to make it to the horse race. Safety - everything I do I think about these players and this team. I told them that. All my thoughts revolve around our players and our team. I think it’s very important that we practice fast and we’re smart."
(On if he has heard anything from the NFL about a possible suspension for Joe Haden)- "I haven’t heard anything and if I did I couldn’t talk about it so no."
(On what kind of camp Haden has had)- "I think Joe’s had a great camp. Joe’s been challenging receivers, he came in in shape and I think he’s done an outstanding job to this point."
(On if Haden is stepping up into a leadership role)- "Like I told Joe, ‘You’ve got to become the best Joe you can be.’ I think I’m seeing him out here working everyday and as guys get more comfortable with what they’re doing they have a chance to vocalize which I’ve seen him do a little bit more."
Unresolved Things Still Needing Practice
(On if there is anything he wanted to get done in camp that did not get done)- "I think we’ve got a little bit more to go here. We’ve gotten through a lot of situations. For the most part, we’ve had an opportunity, at least to this point, to see what these players can do. As I mentioned, there are going to be some tough decisions. I think when you become a good team there are tough decisions in terms of what 53 you keep."
(On if he accomplished everything he wanted to in training camp)- "We’re on track to do that. I still like to think we’re in training camp mode even though they’re moving out of the hotel, but we’re progressing in a way that I visualized. I think what’s important now is we play these preseason games with great energy, great passion and try to put a bunch of good plays together. I think the guys in the game are charged with winning the game and if we put enough good plays together that will happen. If we play sloppy or we don’t do the things we need to do as players and coaches then you lose a game so that’s part of the message as we go forward as well."
Throwing Deep, and Brandon Weeden Finishing String
(On if they didn’t call for many deep passes last week with Brandon Weeden and if there was an issue with protection)- "No, I think he actually had two close to 20-yard gains. He hit (Josh) Gordon on a couple of deep balls. We didn’t throw just as many pure go routes as we did the week before, but there were other things we were trying to focus on. I’ve seen no issue with the protection and I see no issue with him being able to throw the ball deep."
(On Weeden having a good practice today)- "First of all, I thought it was great competition. It gets very spirited in the red zone, because it comes down to kicking a field goal or scoring a touchdown. It was great competition. He made some very good throws though, I’ll agree with you."
(On if Weeden is ready for the regular season)- "All of our guys need a couple more weeks to be ready in my opinion, but he’s doing a great job."
Trent Richardson's Progress, Struggling on Screen Passes
(On Trent Richardson’s progress)- "He’s progressing very well. As I mentioned, I’d like to think he’s ahead of schedule on his rehab. He’ll be out here soon."
(On if he anticipates that Richardson will play in the last preseason game)- "I can’t say that at this point. I don’t know that."
(On if Trent Richardson will be ready for the start of the regular season)- "He’s progressing very well so we’ll see. He’ll be out here soon."
(On what the key to running a good screen pass is)- "There needs to be some deception to it. There are a lot of components to the screen. Typically, screens are drop-back or some form of a play or situation where they think you might be passing so you get the d-line to rush. You get the most separation when you get an outstanding pass rush really thinking it’s a pass and then you see the linebackers kind of drop into cover, there’s room in there where you can get the ball completed and the blockers out to block the second level. Strategically most good screens, unless you trick them in some way with a play-action, most good screens are executed by teams where they think you’re going to throw it."
(On why the screen passes hasn’t connected a few times in the first two preseason games)- "I think every once in a while they’ll play man coverage where the coverage will snuggle up on the back. If you don’t get them picked off, in this league, you have to ground the ball quickly because with the linemen downfield it becomes a penalty so I don’t want to say screens are feast or famine, as we practice them we need to do a better job of executing them against man coverage. I think that’s just part of what you go through."
(On if the increased speed on the team will allow him to feel more comfortable calling more screens)- "I really believe in screens. I was brought up on them in this league. Back in Philadelphia we were a great screen team, but we were also a team that threw the ball quite a bit so I think some of it goes hand-in-hand. I think there are backs that are better screen runners than other backs, where they have that knack of deception with the way they set up to make it look like pass. We’ve got guys that can run screens and as you know I like to throw the ball so at some point we need to make them go."
Josh Gordon Bouncing Back & The Backups QB's
(On if it is apparent to him that Josh Gordon will bounce back from a slow period in camp)- "I think he’s making a steady climb through this training camp. When he came into camp, he had to kind of run himself into wide receiver shape. That runs parallel with learning the offense and then the details of it. Then the great amount of challenge you get from our defense in practice and he had really he had three, gameday environments - the scrimmage in the stadium and then of course the Detroit and Green Bay game. I think he responded well by improving in each setting."
(On his impressions of Seneca Wallace and Colt McCoy)- "They’re both guys here who are fighting. They’re trying to develop themselves to be the starter and when it all settles out, we’ll see where they line up, but I think they’re both guys that have gotten better in our system over the last year. When they’ve gotten in games, they’ve both had a chance to have some limited success so they’re similar in a lot of ways."
Looking at the Waiver Wire & Not Citing Players Specifically
(On if he thinks they will be looking at the waiver wire as heavily this year as they have in the past)- "We always look at the waiver wire. We’re very well aware of who gets released. We’re always looking for ways to make our team better. I think that’s just something that we do regardless of the year. In the situation where we picked up Ronnie (Cameron), the defensive tackle from Chicago (Bears), we knew what he was before he went to Chicago. Then he was available and our guys did a great job and jumped on him."
(On which young players have stood out to him as having an excellent camp)- "I don’t really want to say at this point. I think there’s a lot of guys in that group that did a good job. If you have got somebody specifically, I can answer any questions about them specifically."
The Chances of Frostee Rucker Playing Friday & Lack of Team Sacks
(On what jumped out to them about Frostee Rucker when they watched his film from Cincinnati last year)- "I thought he was a three-down defensive end. He can stand in there against the run, but then I also feel as though he can still generate pass rush. We felt like when we got to know him that he would be a great teammate as well."
(On how Rucker has been as a leader so far)- "I think he’s done a good job. He vocal, he’s obviously proven he can play in this league and he’s fighting to get back on the field on a consistent basis."
(On if Rucker will play on Friday)- "There’s a chance."
(On if he is concerned about the lack of sacks over the first two preseason games)- "I don’t know, I think it’s a little too early to start talking about that statistic here in the preseason. I’m not concerned."