Cleveland Browns head coach Pat Shurmur met with the media after Day 22 of training camp to talk about the structure of Friday's practice, what he saw from QB Brandon Weeden after watching the tape, and more. After the jump, Shurmur's news conference is organized by topic. Don't forget to check out our report on Day 22 of training camp.
Structure of Friday's Practice
(Opening statement)- "In terms of the game last night I don’t have much to add. The guys came in today and we got through the tape. We got to look at it in great detail; offense, defense, special teams. Half of the practice was corrections from yesterday and half the practice was specific areas that we wanted to work on in all three phases. The guys handled it well. as you probably noticed, we got some guys back that hadn’t been back in a while and there were a couple of guys who weren’t out here that are sore from the game. I don’t think there’s much of a story there."
Evaluating Brandon Weeden After Seeing the Tape
(On what he saw from Brandon Weeden after watching the tape)- "I think it was a combination of things. I talked to our guys, there were a few gimmes in the game or layups so to speak that we didn’t take advantage of. The drops, there were a couple of progressions there that I think Brandon could be better with which would have even added to the success of our offensive day. Those are the things that you talk about today and some of the situations were the first time for Brandon, going through it, plays we’ve been running in practice as they related to a new defense. He’ll be better with that the next time, but for the most part he led us on a touchdown drive and did some other things better than he did in the first game. As you work your way through the preseason, training camp and the games, you just want to see steady improvement and I think I saw that from him."
(On how Brandon Weeden felt after taking a shot to the chest last night)- "He’s alright, he’s fine."
(On if that hit on Weeden was a penalty)- "Nah, I don’t know. There was a lot of stuff that was going on that may or may not."
(On what has he seen from Brandon Weeden in regards when he is pressured)- "I think he sees the field well. I think he understands what he’s looking at. I think the biggest thing for him is getting used to our progressions. We can provide a lot of different looks out here, whatever the route is that we call or whatever the protection scheme. We can provide a lot of looks in practice, but now when they match up against a different style of defense, different coverage, different part on the field where it’s either bigger or smaller or condensed, that’s where the experience of going through it helps him. I think he’s learning and doing a good job."
(On why Oniel Cousins did not practice today)- "He’s sore from the game."
(On Trevin Wade exiting the game last night on a cart)- "He was out here today. He was sore. He’s okay."
Being Ready for the Opener, and General Team Improvements
(On if he feels like his team is over the hump and if he’s looking to the season opener yet)- "I don’t feel like we’re over the hump. I feel like we’ve got three work weeks left. I think there’s a lot we need to get done. We’ve got to get a lot better in my opinion to be where we need to be. In terms of the hump, I think the training camp practices will change a little bit, but it’s a steady amount of work, more than a hump."
(On where he feels the team improved the most last night)- "To be able to go into a storied football environment and win a game, it’s a preseason game I get that, but that’s an important thing. That’s a great place to play, that’s a fun place to play, but I saw a lot of young guys on the sideline that were playing fast and playing hard and enjoying the experience. I think that’s important for the team. I saw individual players play a lot of plays and have some success. I think on our offense we had 40 plays in the first half which is great, you want that. Unfortunately, because of that you can’t work in four quarterbacks when one takes half the game. I saw some of the young defensive players, there were three very young linebackers that showed up well. JMJ (James-Michael Johnson) showed up well, (Craig) Robertson showed up well, (L.J.) Fort showed up well, Ben Jacobs played well. Then our two young defensive tackles (John) Hughes and (Billy) Winn did a nice job, not to mention all the other guys I thought competed. I don’t want to over evaluate that, but the fact that they competed and had fun doing it and had a little bit of success, I think is a good thing."
Player Evaluations and Roster Spots
(On if the bulk of player evaluation done in regards to the roster)- "No, I think it’s continual. That goes side by side with working on our schemes, our communication, how we function as a team, all that runs side by side. There are some spots still there to be won or lost in my opinion. Hopefully, we’ll get this team to where we have a lot of tough decisions every year, where there’s great competition at every spot."
(On if he was talking about backup roster spots when he said there were still positions to be won or lost)- "When it comes down to just a pure 53 man roster, we have some decisions to be made. I’ll kind of keep private what those are, but we’ve got more players at each position than we can keep. I think that goes without saying. It’s one of those Captain Obvious comments, but I think there are some tight little battles in there that we’ve got to get sorted out in the next three weeks."
Comments on Offensive Players
(On how Montario Hardesty responded from his early fumble)- "Individually I think he responded well, he ran very hard. There were some times when there wasn’t much daylight and he got us four yards. ‘Okay, there’s not much here,’ so he kind of sliced it up in there. He had some good hard runs. He seemed like he handled the pounding pretty well. From a team standpoint, it was two bad plays. We got tackled inside the 20 and we came right out and fumbled then they came back and took two shots at the end zone. The first one they overthrew and the second one they completed on so it was kind of a team developed adversity and then beyond that point I think we kind of stopped the bleeding and just started to play football. From a team standpoint, I thought it was good."
(On how Mitchell Schwartz performed at Green Bay)- "I think he made improvements. We obviously were able to run the ball more and we did it by design, and I thought it helped us. I think he can be a fine run blocker, so that helped him. The pass-rush was a little different scheme than we saw against the Lions. The Lions scheme is somewhat similar to the Eagles, which we’ll see here. Andy (Reid) might as well just leave the equipment here after the preseason game, because they’ll be back. Leave the truck (joking). The style of defense was a little bit different, so I think he made improvements, but he got to see different things and that was good too."
(On Brad Smelley)- "He’s somewhat multiple or can be. He can play on the line of scrimmage, he can play on the backfield. You saw him yesterday line-up at tight end as well as full back. That helps him, if he can be efficient doing it. When you go in there and ask him, I’m sure he’s going to tell you that he could have played better. He did have a little bit of production, but again he’s a young player that although he played at Alabama and it was big time football in front of big crowds, there is a little bit to get used to here in the NFL. I think he’ll be the first one to tell you he’s looking forward to getting out there against Philadelphia and improving."
Comments on the Defensive Effort
(On the defense forcing six turnovers in two games)- "Number one, I think our defensive coaches have done a nice job of emphasizing when the ball is in the air, don’t deflect it, pick it. I think they’ve done a good job with that. We recovered fumbles and there’s nothing more devastating than obviously sacking the quarterback or turning the ball over. Those are real big boosts for a team and I think our defense has done an outstanding job of getting turnovers. Regardless of the type of game, preseason or regular season, when that shows up it shows me that the players are working on it."
(On John Hughes’ first two preseason games)- "I think he’s improving. I think he’s having a very good camp. I saw a young guy out there playing hard and kind of enjoying the experience. I think he’s getting better. We’re seeing the things we saw when we drafted him."
Challenge Rule, and Being Conservative Against Philadelphia
(On if he told the official that Green Bay couldn’t challenge after a turnover)- "We had a lot of conversations. In my opinion, they got that one right. That’s a hard rule because as a coach you want to respond to something you see. I’ve been warned a few times. I tend to be a little bit impulsive. I’ve been warned a few times, don’t do it. Listen, I’m not critical of anything another coach does, because I know sometimes how difficult it can be."
(On if the officials were aware of the rule and if he pointed it out to them)- "The officials did a nice job with that."
(On if he will dial back play selection against Philadelphia)- "I think it will be more of a lack of scheme thing more than anything. In terms of the guys out there playing, our guys need work. It’s the third preseason game so I’ll withhold the details of that. We have it pretty much planned out based on who’s so sore from this game they can’t go on to next game."