Cleveland Browns head coach Pat Shurmur met with the local media on Monday, a day after the team's 41-27 loss to the New York Giants. He talked about the return of Joe Haden, Brandon Weeden's mistakes from the game, and more. Shurmur's news conference transcript is organized by topic below.
Opening Statement, Turning Point in the Game, and Injury Updates
(Opening Statement) – "After watching the game in detail, I’ll go back on a little bit of what I said yesterday. I thought we came out and we started fast, 14-0 start is pretty good. We were running the football. We hit a couple big passes against them. We caused a turnover. We created field position with the kicking game, so we had a good start. I felt like going into the second quarter, we were continuing to play that way. Then we hit a three minute period there that at least initially changed the course of the game. (It’s) safe to say, when you talk about the opportunity lost of not scoring points. It was about a 21-point swing in my mind. The challenge there is going in at half time is to come back out and restart your motor. We came out and I thought we were playing hard and we just didn’t overcome it. That’s what happens in the game. It’s very important, no matter how hard you play, the results are important and that’s winning. We can’t let a three minute period wreck a performance against the Super Bowl champs. (We) can’t do it. They took advantage of what we gave them and we didn’t overcome it. That’s where it’s at. We’re moving forward. (We’re) looking forward to playing the Bengals this week. The fellas are just finishing up the corrections from yesterday. We’re playing a team that we know pretty well. They’re coming off a tough loss and (we’re) looking forward to playing them here at home."
(On Ahtyba Rubin, D’Qwell Jackson and Dimitri Patterson’s injuries from Sunday) – "We’ll have to just see as the week progresses. No updates on them."
(On if D’Qwell Jackson is in the building and feeling okay) – "Yes, he’s around. There’re a lot of guys in there that are game sore."
(On Jackson’s injury being a head injury) – "We’ll see how he’s doing. There’s a process as we know. He’s been around."
(On if Alex Smith has been around) – "He’s still here. Yes, he’s around. He was here today. I talked to him at length actually. He’s here."
(On not using missing players as justification for performance) – "It’s a good question but I’m not wired that way. I’m not. We’re going to put 46 guys active in orange helmets with white and brown stripes and we’re going to play. That’s it. That’s the mindset of everybody in that locker room. We’re just going to do that. No, there are no excuses. There really isn’t. We have a very proud team and you just keep pushing."
The Return of Joe Haden & His Talk With Him
(On if he has talked to Joe Haden) – "I did, early this morning."
(On his message to Haden and if he conveyed disappointment or anger to him) – "No, this is the first Joe could be in the building. So the first stop he made this morning, he came in early. I don’t know if it was the first stop, but it was early this morning, he came in and we visited. We just talked about what we’re going to do as we progress. Beyond that, I’ll keep it private."
(On what having Haden back means for the defense) – "He’s one of our better defensive players, so we’re glad to have him back."
(On Haden’s absence having a domino effect on the secondary) – "We have Joe Haden back. We’re going to put him in the lineup. We’re getting ready to play the Bengals. Moving forward, that’s where we’re at."
(On if Haden has to go through a conditioning test) – "No, he’s back. I’m sure you guys will get a chance to see him here in a few minutes. I’m sure you got a few questions for him."
(On if Haden apologized directly to him) – "Joe and I had a good talk. Period."
Brandon Weeden's Costly Interceptions & His Development
(On how the interception on third and one looked when he saw it on tape) – "It was an interception each time I saw it. It looked the same every time. We need to execute it better."
(On if Jordan Norwood was open early on that particular out route) – "I think so."
(On if he thinks Brandon Weeden is learning from the interceptions he’s throwing) – "I know he is. Part of being a pro is when things don’t go the way you want it being hard on yourself. That’s part of it. It’s fair to say that the head coach and the quarterback tend to be very hard on themselves."
(On where Weeden is in terms of his development) – "I still think he made progress yesterday. I think he stood in the pocket yesterday and threw the ball to number two and number three in the progression a few times. He hit on a deep ball early in the game to a receiver he’s just been working with for a few weeks. There was some general efficiency there. There were a couple bad plays that he’d love to have back. How he responds to all that, that’s this week’s challenge as we get ready to play the Bengals."
(On Weeden saying he needs to ‘take chances’ and how difficult it is to change that mentality) – "Take chances? Being aggressive is probably a better way to phrase that, but you got to have a general respect for the football. On the third and short play, I think it was guy trying to make a play. You can learn from that, at the 25-yard line, third and one. If it doesn’t play out the way it should on time, and you’re outside the pocket, I think we all know what you could and should do with the football. Then it gives us the decision to either go for it on fourth and one or kick a field goal and take some points. I think there’s a fine line between being aggressive and that football’s important, making sure that you play smart as well."
(On if he has second guessed himself on the third and one play calling where Weeden threw an interception) – "I want us to execute the play we call better and then we’re always looking at better ways to do things. I’ll let you guys second guess it and we’ll work on getting everything better."
The Play Where Weeden Threw the Ball Twice
(On the ball that got batted back to Weeden that he threw again for a penalty) – "Yes, that’s just a bad reaction on his part."
(On if he was surprised that Weeden did not know the rule about not being able to throw the ball if it is batted back to him) – "He knew it. He knows it. We know it. I was yelling run it, run it, run it in my mind. I was just too far away. We practice batting it down and we practice batting it down with one hand. The one you don’t throw with, so we drill all of that stuff. Then all of a sudden boom, the ball flashes, you catch the football and there are just certain things you react to. He can’t do that. I’m not justifying it in anyway and he won’t either. It wasn’t smart."
The Utilization of Trent Richardson
(On Trent Richardson’s progression from Week 1) – "I think he’s getting better. I think Trent’s improving. I think he’s getting more confident in what he’s doing. Not that confidence is an issue. I think he had 130 yards of production yesterday. He left a couple things out there. He’ll be the first one to tell you, but no, I think he’s a very competitive guy. As we all know with him, his future is very bright. You like to get the game to the point where, you can overdo it on the run in the third quarter. I think that’s important. We were going that direction until we had what happened before that."
(On if he would like to see Richardson do anything different on the third and one where he lost a couple of yards) – "Get the first."
(On if Richardson could have bounced outside on that play) – "Everybody’s mindset, and they all know its third and one when they are in the huddle, and everybody’s mindset is you get the first, first, then everything else is extra. We ran a lead play that I think they’ll all watch it and see how we could have gotten at least a yard."
(On his reaction to Carl Banks statement that taking Richardson off of the field in the red zone does the defense a favor) – "That was Carl that said that? Maybe yes, maybe no. I don’t know. I don’t necessarily think that’s the case."
(On why he does not necessarily think that is the case) – "Because I think whoever you put out on the field has a chance to be involved in a pass play or a run play. I think what you have to think about it what’s important for the defense is knowing if you are running or passing. It would make sense to keep Trent on the field the whole game, right? Would you agree? Keep him on the field the whole game if he can handle it and at some point he will be able to."
(On if he is trying to say that Richardson is not ready to play every down) – "No, I’m not saying that, but I think it’s important that there are other guys that play. I don’t think you see any running back in the NFL play every single snap. If there is one out there I’d be curious to hear. Somebody know of a team that does that?"
(On Ray Rice playing every snap against them) – "Every snap? Maybe not. I don’t think so because their second back (Bernard Pierce) had about 50 yards rushing against us. That one I now you’re wrong on."
Evaluating Jordan Norwood, Josh Gordon, and Greg Little
(On if Norwood will play as much when everyone is healthy) – "He played 37 plays yesterday and he had very good production. Again, I think some of those young receivers were coached extra hard, and they responded in a way that you like to see them. I talked about how they all had great weeks of practice. As far as the receivers that we have, we’ll use them all. Those that are out there will play."
(On Greg Little being targeted twice) – "He was in the game quite a bit, and I wouldn’t say there’s any significant to it. He battled. I’ll tell you what; Greg’s making progress in my mind. I asked him to do some things in the game that he did. I asked him to do some things in practice specifically that he did. That’s between Greg and I. I saw him in there fighting. He didn’t get any production, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t contribute. I think that’s an important thing to remember when you’re talking about receivers."
(On if he saw consistency with Josh Gordon) – "I saw some things from him that were an upgrade in my mind. I saw him blocking and doing some things in the run game. When you have screen plays that pop out like they did, we had a couple long runs. I think you’ll all have a chance to go back and watch the coach’s copy of this stuff. You see good blocks down the field, and I think some of those blocks were made by Josh and Greg. I think he did some things in there that I said ‘Okay, he’s starting to get it’."
(On the short pass to Gordon down near the end zone and if the throw was where it was suppose to be, if Gordon would have scored on that play and how easy or how tough of a catch that would have been) – "Did you know what that play was? That was a called run play that had a built-in slant on the backside. They took away the run play on the front side and we tried to make the throw. I think the throw could have been a little better and then we need to catch that ball. So the coach, me, said it was an inaccuracy. I also said he should catch it. The quarterback coach said, ‘Yeah, you’re right it was an inaccuracy.’ and the receiver coach said, ‘Yeah, you’re right. He should have caught it.’"
(On if Gordon would have scored on that play) – "I think so. He could have. You’re right on point."
Praise for the Offensive Line & Stopping the Bleeding
(On how his offensive line looked Sunday) – "I thought they battled pretty well. I saw Brandon get hit twice only. (That’s) pretty good. We talked about all week how that’s a pretty darn good front. I thought they battled pretty well. That being said, not well enough for us to win."
(On the Giants defense batting several passes down yesterday) – "Yes, they did bat a few and they’ve been a team that does bat balls. There was a team they played last year that (they) batted down seven balls. What they have is they have some defensive tackles that are long and big. What happens is there are times when they don’t get pushed so they can see and then they get a hand on it. That happens sometimes, but quarterbacks have to throw in lanes. Even the tallest of guys can’t throw over guys all of the time."
(On how they settle down the game after an interception like where in basketball they call time out) – "The clock was stopped at certain points in that game where we were talking about all that. Let’s make the next play the best. I talked to the team about when something bad happens, rise up and stop the bleeding. There could be something to be learned from that. If you throw an interception or there’s a turnover, then you need to rise up and get them stopped. They’re in scoring zone, either get a turnover or make them kick a field goal. Then you get the ball back, you can’t fumble. I think that’s where it comes from within, coaches and players alike, ‘alright, a bad play happened.’ Let’s not reel, let’s not everybody freak out. Let’s get the bleeding stopped and start playing good football again. Those are the conversations you have. I didn’t need to have a time out and call them all up and make it about me. Those stoppages of the clock, that’s what the coaches were getting to their players."
(On if that is with a young team) – "Nope, that’s any team. I think we’ve seen it. In basketball, it’s obvious, because you got guys running all over the place, you go, ‘time out.’ ‘Okay let’s sit here and talk about it.’ In football, you have stoppages of the clock, but their all coming to the sideline which is different, but I understand your question."
(On his third down offense) – "I think you just try to find and do the things you do well. We converted a couple of fourth downs I think, which are important. I think you go back and you look at it. We look at all the situations all the time. We try to put together and do the things we do well, and the things that we do well, that attack the opponent we’re playing. We have to just keep going back to it."
Giants Beating the Secondary & Bradshaw's Success
(On what he sees as the issue with the secondary) – "I think there’s some situational football that we can do better, short yardage on offense of course. I thought we gave up some plays in the red zone in coverage I think that we need to get better on."
(On why Ahmad Bradshaw had so much room to run) – "I think they blocked us pretty well. They hit us on a couple of schemes where the scheme was going to get them six or eight yards, then we got to just minimize the damage and get them on the ground. I think that’s important. If you pop a couple long ones, which they did, and you can’t let the runner do that, then that’s how you get a 200-yard game."