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Pat Shurmur News Conference (9/25): Ventrone is the Fourth Captain

US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Cleveland Browns head coach Pat Shurmur spoke with the media on Tuesday in preparation of the team's game this Thursday against the Baltimore Ravens. Some of the things Shurmur talked about included S Ray Ventrone being a captain this week, how the Ravens' offense and defense looks this season, and getting through to WR Greg Little so he stops his Usain Bolt celebrations. Shurmur's news conference transcript is organized by topic below.

Ray Ventrone is Fourth Captain Against Baltimore

(Opening statement)- “We’ve got a lot to do today still. It’s a Friday schedule, but it’s also a Wednesday and Thursday schedule. We had a good walk-through, the meetings have been great and we’ll go out and really get the main practice in for the preparation. A bit of housekeeping, Ray Ventrone will be our fourth captain, which I think is fitting. He’s a tough guy, a special teams guy. He had a hand injury, fought back, played last week and I think it’s a good choice.”

Scouting the Ravens - Joe Flacco and Offensive Scheme

(On what differences he’s seen in the Ravens offense this season)- “I think they’ve always been an outstanding offense. Someone was trying to kind of council me up about Joe Flacco, if he’s taken the next step? I mean you’re looking at a quarterback that’s led his team to the playoffs the last four years. Ray Rice, they’ve got a veteran receiver in Anquan Boldin and then Torrey Smith. They’ve got some outstanding players and they’re playing extremely well. When you watch them play I think they’ve made an effort to become more explosive as an offense and I think that’s showed up in the first three weeks.”

(On if he is seeing Joe Flacco play better this year because he has more experience)- “I’ve always been a Joe Flacco fan. I thought he’s always been a good quarterback, a top-level quarterback in this league. There are times when I don’t understand the criticism and I don’t coach the man.”

(On if Joe Flacco is throwing the ball deeper this year)- “They take their shots much like most teams they take their shots and they show up throughout the game. I think it’s safe to say they get at least a deep ball a quarter.”

(On if he has ever had to deal with a play that was dealing with the adversity that Torrey Smith was dealing with Sunday night)- “I’ve got a great deal of respect for what he accomplished. He had an outstanding game and he obviously played that game with a heavy heart. I can’t imagine, I haven’t lost a sibling, thank goodness, haven’t lost a spouse or a child. I just can’t even begin to imagine what the thoughts are when that happens. I did lose a father so I do know that feeling. I’m sure it would have been tough for me to function on the day that my father passed.”

Scouting the Ravens - Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs, and the Defense

(On Ray Lewis)- “I think you want players on your team that, number one, have passion, are productive and are durable. We all know how passionate he is. I haven’t coached the Ravens. I’m assuming and it’s been talked about how he’s a big time leader on their team and I see that. He’s been productive and if you play for 17 years you obviously display durability. Those are the things you’re looking for in a player. I’ve got a great deal of respect for what he’s accomplished.”

(On how much different the Ravens defense is without Terrell Suggs)- “He’s an outstanding player. He’s a superstar in this league. I’ve mentioned it before, it’s team defense so they’re doing a good job. They’re winning and I’m sure they’re looking forward to him coming back, but they guys playing in his place are doing a good job.”

(On if the Ravens are still getting pressure on the quarterback)- “That’s safe to say, yeah.”

(On what he tells Brandon Weeden about facing Ed Reed)- “You’re always aware of where No. 20 is. You just always are. He lurks in the middle of the field. He’s as good a ball-hawk as there is in this league. He gets his hands on balls and when he does that it can wreck a game for you. You’re always aware of him.”

Getting Through to WR Greg Little

(On if he was glad to hear that Greg Little was going to drop the Usain Bolt pose)- “It got talked about because he talked about it. What I say to Greg stays between me and him.”

(On if he thinks the conversations he is having with Little are sinking in)- “You would have to ask him.”

(On if Mohamed Massaquoi will practice today)- “I’m not talking about lineup changes or injuries.”

Reaction to the Situation Involving Replacement Officials

(On if he coaches his players differently due to the replacement officials)- “Nope, we obviously coach a very aggressive style and it doesn’t matter who’s officiating the game.”

(On what his reaction to the end of the Monday Night Football game was)- “I’ve got a lot of thoughts, no comments. I didn’t see the whole game. We were here working and I just happened to catch the end of it.”

(On if he has a reaction to the last play of the Monday Night Football game)- “I’ve got no comments on it.”

(On if the players have had any reaction to the call)- “You’re going to have to ask them. We don’t worry about all that just like we don’t worry about playing on the road. There are distractions playing on the road, there are distractions everywhere you go. Playing at home there are distractions at times so you don’t worry about it. You worry about your play, you worry about what you have to do to win the game regardless of the surroundings. You have to insulate yourself from that and go play. I think that’s what’s important about what you try to do with those 53 guys and the coaches. I think it’s safe to say we can create some distractions, but they can’t worry about that regardless of how it’s perceived outside this building. Go play.”

(On if he has seen more aggressive play with the ‘substitute teacher’ theory and possibly being able to get away with a little bit more)- “I remember the substitute teacher. I don’t know if that’s the case with the officials, I don’t see it that way. I do remember the substitute teacher thing though pretty well, but I wouldn’t characterize them as the same.”

Young Players Facing the Ravens' Defense, Prime Time

(On how big of a test the Ravens are for his younger players)- “Every game is a big test. The new challenge this week of course is it’s a short week and our guys have an opportunity to play at night on national TV, but other than that each week is tough. We can talk about how good they are and I think you can go position by position and talk about how good they are. I think we are too so we’re going to go down there and battle it out.”

(On what he will stress the most to Brandon Weeden about the Ravens defense)- “I think what’s important is he’s got to play an efficient game and if we have shots that show up, we’ve got to hit on them.”

(On if it makes it easier playing a team they know personnel and scheme-wise when dealing with a short week)- “Yeah, there’s some familiarity with the Ravens and most of their players are the same as a year ago. Their schemes are very similar to what we played against last year, there are obviously wrinkles each year and again their offense is a little bit more wide open, I think that’s fair to say.”

(On what he will tell his players about their first prime time game)- “All I talk about is them being efficient. You try to shut out the distractions and you just try to focus on what you’re doing each play. Getting lined up right, execute your assignment, play with passion, aggressiveness and emotion and then try to add up a bunch of good plays. I think that’s the best way to get the results you want.”

Evaluating the Rookie DT's and the Defense

(On how the rookie defensive tackles are coming along)- “I think they’re playing hard. I think you see Billy Winn flash his athleticism. He shows up and he finds a way to make plays. I think John Hughes has done a good job too. He’s had some really good snaps in there so I think those guys are giving us good play.”

(On what the toughest thing is for the rookie defensive tackles to learn due to their lack of experience)- “You get a feel for the blocking schemes and some of the way players try to block you, but they’ve been through it. They’ve played the game long enough to know all the little things you get from playing the game - reading the lineman’s stance, knowing by the formation what the play is, knowing if it’s going to be run or pass based on the down and distance and field position, those types of things. I think that can only come by playing.”

(On not getting what they have wanted out of the defense so far and then having to face such a high-powered offense)- “I think when you play defense - that is the type of defense that you want to play - it’s team defense so we’ve got to all do what we do better. You’re not going to devise any magical schemes. It comes down to making sure that we execute and play our defense well against what the Ravens do. I think that’s what you try to get done.”

Weeden Needing to Mimic Tom Brady

(On if he wants Weeden to go through the tape of the Ravens-Patriots game and read the mind of Tom Brady)- “I don’t think you read their mind. I think when you watch the tape, you watch what they were trying to do schematically and they’re smart coaches in New England. They were trying to attack them in a certain way. We’ll choose to attack them in some of the same ways and then you just go through the progression of how you would throw the football. I don’t think you do into mind reading.”