Cleveland Browns head coach Pat Shurmur met with the media after Day 11 of training camp to talk about naming Brandon Weeden the starting quarterback, if there's any chance he'll end up going with another guy at some point, his thoughts on replacement officials, and more. After the jump, Shurmur's news conference is organized by topic. Don't forget to check out our report on Day 11 of training camp.
Thoughts on Garrett Reid and Attending His Funeral
(Opening statement) – "Well, we got a lot of work done today. This was one of our longer practices of the year. I wanted to go this week, because we had the off day yesterday, it fit nicely that we had such a good afternoon. So we got a lot done, we got a lot of banging and we got a lot of situation work. I was originally going to go tomorrow morning, but we adjusted the schedule and we’ll do practice in the afternoon. That will allow a group of us here from the Browns to attend Garrett Reid’s services in Philadelphia. We’ll race there for that, pay our respects and then come back. I know I released a statement yesterday. It’s hard to even think about what Andy (Reid) and Tammy (Reid) and the family are going through losing a child. I can’t even imagine. As a father, it’s got to be tough and for those of us who knew Garrett, it’s even tougher. We remember training camps when all our boys were out there as ball boys and helping out and being around. So, if you know someone of course you have more memories and you just wish them the best."
Brandon Weeden Being Named the Starter & His Performance
(Opening statement, continued) "That being said, I know you all have been waiting for this, but Brandon Weeden will start the Detroit game and he’ll be our starter as we go forward here. The number two position will be determined based on how things play out here in training camp. We have five weeks to go before we play our first regular season game. Brandon, as you know, has been getting most of the work with the ones so this isn’t like we’re just starting a development. We’re just ramping it up now. So that’s that and I’m sure you’ll have some follow ups with that. So I’ll let you ask away."
(On what Brandon Weeden has shown him to win the starting job) – "Well, we’ve watched him compete now through all the offseason, now through training camp, for more than a week here in training camp. I’ve seen him get a pretty good handle on what we’re doing, although it’s important to remember he is still a rookie. There will be some things that have to get cleaned up as we go and I would say the same thing for Colt (McCoy), Seneca (Wallace) and Thad (Lewis). I’ve seen them improve tremendously as guys that were here a year ago, so I feel better about our quarterback position and now I’m going to tell you he’s the starter."
(On Brandon Weeden’s skill set that set him apart from the other quarterbacks) – "I think he’s an outstanding thrower, he knows how to play the position, he’s a good decision maker and he’s working through the progressions and understanding where the ball goes. He’s accurate and I think when he gets in the huddle, he’s wired right to play the position. So, he’s going to be our guy right now."
(On how excited he is to see what Brandon Weeden can do) – "I’m excited to see him and all of our other young players compete. It’ll be a good test because Detroit has a very aggressive defense and they take pride in rushing the passer. They are a playoff team from a year ago that has things that they want to get accomplished that would go beyond just being in the playoffs, much like the rest of us. It will be a good test."
(On if this was the time he expected to name a starter) – "I thought so. Along the way, as you kind of plan on what and how you’re going to do this thing, you have to see it kind of unfold that way. I’ve seen Brandon and the other quarterbacks improve and I’ve seen enough now, he’s going to be our starter and we’re moving forward."
(On if Brandon Weeden was surprised by the news of being named the starter) – "No, I don’t think he was surprised. We just had a very professional conversation and I told him that he was going to be the starter, and I expected him to act that way. It’s nothing new for him, being in this position. It’s just new for him here with the Cleveland Browns."
(On when he talked to Brandon Weeden about being the starter) – "I talked to him this morning. We talked this morning."
(On if there is no going back after naming Brandon Weeden the starter) – "Brandon is the starter and we’re moving forward. I think that’s the important thing. I’m not looking back. We’re committed and we’re rolling. We anticipate he’s going to do a great job. "
QB Playing Time Against Detroit & The Backup QB's
(On if Brandon Weeden and the starters will see one quarter of action on Friday) – "I think we’ll stay with that for the most part with the ones, one quarter or so. Then within that, you kind of get a feel for how many plays they are out there. You can go through a quarter sometimes and maybe just get a couple of series and not many plays so we’ll get a feel for that. The guys will come in behind the ones and play the rest of it."
(On if he will leave Brandon Weeden in the preseason games longer because he is a rookie) – "No, I think we’ll play him with the ones and then how it plays out it plays out. We’ll have to manage it a little bit. Typically in your third preseason game, you play your ones into the third quarter, but of course we all know that’s our opener (against) Philadelphia. It may play out this preseason just a little bit differently because of that in terms of playing time. It feels like we’ve had so much time to practice now because we’ve had an offseason and then the way the practices are now structured we’re still getting a heck of a lot of work out here."
(On if there was any significance to Seneca Wallace working with the twos today) – "No, nothing significant. We’re going to just keep mixing it up. I wouldn’t read into that in any way. I spoke to all three guys separately and they are well aware of the situation. It has been a very open and honest in terms of communicating through this and they understand their roles right now and they’re going to all continue to compete."
(On if Colt has told him he would like a fresh start somewhere else) – "Nope. All Colt has told me is that he wants to compete and get better and help this team win. That’s what he has told me and I’m sure you guys will ask him."
(On what will determine who the number two quarterback will be) – "I think we have two guys here who could be our number two quarterback. So for me, it’s a win-win at this point, when you’re comparing those two guys."
(On who would come in as the second quarterback in Detroit) – "Probably Colt at this point will come in second."
(On if he appreciated how Colt handled the news of Brandon Weeden being the starter) – "Every conversation I had with all the quarterbacks was very professional. As you might expect, he was disappointed, but very professional. I think that’s what you can expect from Colt. He has handled this all very well. That’s how it went."
Seeing Schwartz & Gordon Against Detroit & Benjamin Fighting for the Ball
(On if Mitchell Schwartz and Josh Gordon will play with the ones as well) – "Schwartz will be in there and the receivers, we’ll rotate them in. You’ll see numerous guys in there at one with Gordon and Mo (Mohamed Massaquoi) and (Greg) Little and (Jordan) Norwood will be in there of course. I’m forgetting a couple."
(On the way Travis Benjamin fights for the football) – "I think he’s very aggressive to the ball, and he’s done a nice job of catching the ball in traffic. Even when you’re really fast, there are times when you are going to have to catch the ball around a defender. He does that very well. Just by the nature of his build you might think that might not be his strong suit, but right now he’s done a good job of aggressively attacking the football."
Finding Carries for Both Hardesty and Jackson Behind Richardson
(On if there is enough time for Montario and Brandon Jackson in a game situation) – "Sure, absolutely. I think we’re going to be able to see what we need to see from both of those players. Guys that have played in games and guys that look different to me. Montario’s changed his body, he’s healthy. Brandon Jackson’s got a year in our system and he looks healthy. They’ll get their opportunities to carry the football for sure."
(On if it’s hard for Montario taking a beating coming back from injury) – "I don’t know about taking a beating, I hope he avoids some of it. I think it’s important that he gets in live action. Of course, the runners in preseason don’t get near the carries and live action that they’ll get during the year. The ones he gets need to be good physical runs, which he has displayed out here that he is ready to do."
Maiava Stepping in as the Replacement for Gocong
(On Kaluka Maiava stepping in with Chris Gocong out and what does he bring to the defense) – "He stepped in and played last year. He’s very quick, he’s very instinctive. He brings to the defense all those things that make him a good special team’s player. He’s a good tackler, he’s quick and he’s good in coverage. I think he’ll be able to fill in and do a good job."
Trusting the Replacement Officials
(On if the referees being there changed the practice) – "No, actually it was good. I should have mentioned that. We had the referees in town. They’ll be here today, tomorrow and then the stadium practice on Wednesday. It’s the traditional three day visit. They are just replacement officials, so they’re just like us, this is training camp for them. They are trying to get their game right and I thought it was good today. Their presence out there was good. We had them call the fouls and then not mark them off. They’re working on their mechanics. They’re getting it all right so that they can work together as a team. It was good for them to be out here, because our guys need that."
(On if it will be a big difference if replacement referees are there week 1) – "I trust that whoever’s officiating the game is going to do an outstanding job. I really do. It’s like anything you deal with the situations as they’re dealt. I think they’ll do a good job."