OBR Daily Blog Aug. 22-28

Browns' third preseason game (the dress rehearsal game) is on the horizon. Can McCoy keep it up?

2:04 AM

Browns receiver returns to practice: Cleveland Browns wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi began practicing today, re… http://t.co/HYFj5Vv

9:12 PM

Massaquoi returns to practice: Hot News for WR Mohamed Massaquoi http://t.co/xuf2525

12:24 PM

Upon Further Review: Browns-Eagles: It's hard to fully evaluate a half-empty Browns roster. http://t.co/E31WB1E

12:12 PM

(Subscriber) Wolfert released: Hot News for K Jeff Wolfert http://t.co/3hWQ0xW

11:53 AM

Browns release DL Nunez: Hot News for WR Juan Nunez http://t.co/DCcbKMH

11:53 AM

Hillsdale College QB released by Browns: Hot News for QB Troy Weatherhead http://t.co/XfDdPZd

11:53 AM

Appalachian St DL released by the Browns: Hot News for DE Jabari Fletcher http://t.co/5leS30T

11:53 AM

Browns release DB Darian Hagan: Hot News for CB Darian Hagan http://t.co/VqXofBV

11:53 AM

Browns drop second-year WR: Hot News for WR Johnathan Haggerty http://t.co/Q1p0bwV

10:52 AM

Browns make eight roster cuts: Hot News for FO Cleveland Browns Organization http://t.co/Wh00qIy

Latest Links from the OBR Newswire
OBR Newswire on August 28th, 2011 AT 8:00 AM

These are links from the OBR Newswire for August 28th from 07:32 to 07:34:

Steinbach and Jackson Out Indefinitely
Fred Greetham on August 26th, 2011 AT 7:49 PM

Pat Shurmur said today that Eric Steinbach has a disc issue with his back and said there is no timetable for his return. Running back Brandon Jackson is in a cast and he will be out ‘for a while' according to Shurmur. Adam Schefter said that Jackson will be out a maximum of six weeks. Both Steinbach and Jackson are in jeopardy of being ready for the season opener on Sept. 11 against the Bengals. Steinbach has been replaced at left guard by rookie Jason Pinkston. Jackson was brought in to be the third down running back to take the load off of Peyton Hillis and Montario Hardesty.

7:44 PM

RT @FredGreethamOBR Brandon jackson in cast. Shurmur said will be out sometime.

7:42 PM

RT @FredGreethamOBR Shurmur said steinbach has disc issue with his back. Surgery could be season ending.

5:30 PM

Taylor Making Big Strides: Browns rookie DT Phil Taylor showed why he was a first-round pick Thursday night. http://t.co/h03GYc2

Shurmur Press Conference Transcript, Aug. 26
Don Delco on August 26th, 2011 AT 4:44 PM

(Opening statement)- "I don't have much to add from last night. I think I'll stick with my comments after the game after watching the tape. In certain instances in the game, there are things in there better than I thought and in certain spots you can see errors that were made that are killers. We were out here today getting rid of it. Part of a process of a game win, lose or draw its 24-hours. You come in, you correct the mistakes and in the case of today, we came out and did some physical work with the idea that we're still in training camp mode. The players were great. The guys that made errors really absorbed it and we did a very good job of going through the corrections. Now we're moving on to the Chicago Bears and the first regular season game."

(On Titus Brown's injury status)- "I think he has a high ankle sprain. We'll have to just see. They're still fully evaluating it, but he may be out for some time."

(On Brandon Jackson's injury status)- "It's hard to say with that. He's in a cast. He's around the building so he's not avoiding you. I know he's here, I saw him. He'll be out for an extended period as well."

(On if turf toe is still the diagnosis)- "He has a toe injury. I don't know the actual term for it. He does not have a broken toe, but it's going to take some time to settle down."

(On if their amount of injuries are normal or abnormal compared to the rest of the league)- "The coaches that I interact with behind the scenes, I think we're all dealing with the same types of issues. Everybody here, we deal with them on a day-to-day basis so we're aware of the ones that we have. Again, I think everybody's dealing with the same issues in terms of injuries."

(On Usama Young's return)- "I think he's improving. The reports that I'm getting are that he's getting better and that it'll be very, very soon before he's out here. It won't be long."

(On making roster decisions and if certain injuries affect making those decisions)- "In some situations it'll affect the roster. On the other hand we know a lot about some of the players that are injured or I would say are not practicing. I guess I would say it would be a case-by-case basis. We may end up on our 53-man roster having some guys that haven't competed much."

(On if last night's struggles surprised him)- "I don't expect it. When you look back on it, there were some things last night that we didn't do well. There were some easy ones we didn't take advantage of and most of the errors that we had were because of the Browns not the Eagles. I'll go back and say that they played a good game and they're a tremendous team. When you walk in that stadium you sense that confidence of winning that, ‘I want to develop with this team.' I feel good that we can correct the errors we made last night."

(On if it was a real game situation would they being able to stabilize the game by running the ball)- "There were times in the game where we ran the ball for decent chunks of yardage. Believe me, there's reason for doing what I'm doing. I think that we have the ability to run the football here. I'm trying to use the preseason as a way to develop the team, you really need to develop the pass game as much as the run game. That's important in the preseason. Especially for a bunch of guys that have only been together for less than a month."

(On Phil Taylor's performance)- "I'll tell you what, there were flashes of what you want from a defensive tackle in this league and then again, there were some areas in the game where he needed to be a little more explosive and consistent. Generally, like I said last night, he's making steady progress and that's good."

(On Taylor working inside with Ahtyba Rubin)- "Very well. Rubin's one of those guys that goes hard all the time. He's a true pro. For a young guy like Phil that's got so much ability, that's a good pair. In fact, there they are together right there. They're working well together. Rubin, leaders are guys that kind of take care of their own business and have enough strength and will to help out with the other and I think that's where Rubin is at."

(On Taylor making steady progress verses a giant leap)- "Yeah, I think so. Again, I'm comparing the games. You see him in practice and guys have good days and bad days, but I think his game each game has picked up. That's where I'm going with that."

(On the offensive line meshing together as a unit)- "I think you can point to some guys that played extremely well. We had a rookie playing in there at left guard. I'll tell you what, Jason Pinkston has made huge, huge strides in three plus weeks. It's one thing to be out on the perimeter running routes as a rookie and doing it, but when you're in there in the thick of it, it's very challenging for those big guys. It really takes development and seasoning and I think he's making huge progress a lot like Phil, who's a rookie. Then I think you have pretty much steady play from the other guys that are vets in there. If you ask them, they'll all say, ‘Gosh darn it. I had a handful of plays that I just wasn't very good.'"

(On keeping cuts to a minimum or bringing in guys)- "You'd like to think that you're going to comprise your team of the guys that are here minus the guys you can't keep. The reality of it is I think every roster may have a new face when it comes to the 53. That's a reality."

(On Eric Steinbach's injury status)- "He's dealing with a back issue – disc. At this point, he's going through some treatments that we're hoping we'll get him back. There's no real final call on when he'll be back or not."

(On if the starters will play against the Bears)- "My plan is that we're going to go in there and do what we have to do to win the game. In terms of the starters, we haven't decided yet on who's playing. There are some positions where we're trying to find a starter. I'm not trying to be evasive, but we haven't really decided yet how we're going to do that.”

(On Jordan Norwood's injury)- "His knee flared up a little bit on the punt return when he ran into Sheldon (Brown) and the gunner. He obviously played through it and then he woke up this morning and it was a little bit sore. He got a little bit of a knock on his knee on that play."

(On how you avoid that situation from happening)- "It's rare. Like I mentioned last night, that's one of those things that you'll see happen around the league five times a year. You'd like to see that not happen, but there is communication that's going on that he's fair catching it and for guys to stay away. Sheldon was just blocking his fanny off. It was a freak"

(On if the special teams break downs were a function of this offseason)- "I'm concerned about it. I don't know if it's a function of the offseason and how we're practicing. Again, the first one which was kind of a freak deal. We had the blocked field goal which was a break down on the edge. Then we obviously muffed the punt. Here you can break those down into individual tasks. We've got to get better there."

(On if they spend more time working on those issues)- "I think you get what you emphasize. In areas that you see errors then you go back and put a little more emphasis. A week ago, we had an issue with ball security so we spent three days over emphasizing it. Aside from the one punt, I think it was pretty good."

(On if he's concerned with depth at wide receiver with the injuries)- "I'm not as concerned as if we were starting training camp and there's a certain amount of work that needs to get done. As we get closer to our first game week, so to speak, we can manage that better."

(On Mohamed Massaquoi playing against Chicago)- "I don't know. My understanding is that he'll be out here practicing this week. We'll see how well he does. Much like Montario, we brought him back and tried to give him a week plus before we put him in the game. We'll have to evaluate it that way."

(On Marcus Benard)- "I think he came in this morning with a sore shoulder so he went to get it checked out. I don't know any more on that yet. I'm going to get some more updates as I go in today."

Taylor Quotes, Aug. 26
Don Delco on August 26th, 2011 AT 4:35 PM

Phil Taylor

(On if things are clicking for him now)- "I am just getting better in practice each week. It showed a lot more this week. I'm just doing the extra things in practice and I got a lot better this game."

(On what extra things he has been doing)- "Just working hard on every play, running to the ball and extra conditioning after practice."

(On if he has been working on using his hands more in moves)- "You have to use your hands a lot more at this level. In college you can get by with just bull rushing a guy and things like that. At this level, guys have more technique so you have to use your hands better."

(On defensive linemen not getting a lot of tackles but still playing well)- "If I am drawing a double team on every play and not getting tackles, then the linebackers should be making all the tackles. A good game for me is to just going out there and doing whatever I need to do for the team."

(On Ahtyba Rubin helping him out)- "He's helping me out a lot because he is a veteran. In the game, he is just helping me out with things to look for from offensive linemen and things like that."

2:05 PM

RT @FredGreethamOBR Cmitchell momass young patterson Cribbs benard ward Norwood on bikes. T brown not at practice field.

11:13 AM

RT @foxsportsoh: Browns fail, but Taylor earns the respect – Michael Vick spent time praising Browns DL Phil Taylor … http://t.co/TDmlMzD

9:11 PM

@ceisenstat Browns haven’t provided any official word on Titus Brown.

9:11 PM

@ceisenstat Browns haven’t provided any official word on Titus Brown.

9:02 PM

First Half Recap: All Eagles: Browns’ first-teamers have a poor first half at Philadelphia http://t.co/57ke7rE

7:37 PM

For unfiltered analysis of tonight’s Browns-Eagles game, and a non-trivial amount of Phil Taylor mancrushing, follow @PatMcManamon. Now.

6:29 PM

Browns – Eagles kicking off soon. Join us in the chat room! http://ow.ly/6d77k

6:00 PM

Five draft choices from 2011 are expected to start v. Eagles.

5:47 PM

RT @FredGreethamOBR 12 not playing. Cribbs momass c mitchell patterson hagg young ward b jackson steinbach fletcher and octavien.

Latest Links from the OBR Newswire
OBR Newswire on August 25th, 2011 AT 3:00 PM

These are links from the OBR Newswire for August 25th from 14:04 to 14:17:

Latest Links from the OBR Newswire
OBR Newswire on August 25th, 2011 AT 3:00 PM

These are links from the OBR Newswire for August 25th from 14:04 to 14:17:

8:07 AM

Browns-Eagles Preview: Browns get one of the best (on paper) teams for third preseason game http://t.co/MZqpFla

7:04 AM

(Subscriber) Vinny the Fly; A Return to Order: While everybody was chasing down the name of the head coach Mike … http://t.co/7o5CqpB

7:04 AM

(Subscriber) Vinny the Fly; Da Buzz: You’ve been asking for him and he has returned. Vinny the Fly drops in to d… http://t.co/mOEJ4hf

6:50 AM

As It Stands Now: Mid-Preseason Edition: The Browns face some critical concerns heading into the second half of … http://t.co/lOICfNN

3:27 PM

Around The NFL: News, Notes & Rumors: DeSean Jackson doesn’t want to be compared to Larry Fitzgerald, the Steele… http://t.co/EXjMqHQ

Browns Player Quotes, Aug. 23
Don Delco on August 23rd, 2011 AT 1:52 PM

Evan Moore

(On if the red zone is his zone)- "I feel like it should be. That's kind of one of my roles here. I need to take advantage of the time we have in the red zone and I think Colt (McCoy) trusts me as well. If he throws it up there I have to make a play. That's kind of my role, so it should be."

(On McCoy having confidence in the tight ends)- "We are bigger bodies and I think he realizes that. He knows he can put it places where we can use our bodies to make plays. It's a mismatch and I am happy he takes advantage of it."

(On Joe Thomas not making a big deal about his extension)- "It's typical Joe. Joe is the ultimate professional in my eyes. As a tight end, I try to use him as well for some blocking techniques and all that and he is more willingly to help me out. Joe is just so consistent. I don't think he has even missed a practice let alone a game. He is always out here working on his body in the weight room and working on staying healthy. Now you see him get rewarded like that and, to me, he just really sets the example of this is how you do it. He is just a steady presence and I am not surprised in the least bit that they wanted him here for the next seven years."

Joe Thomas

(On his contract extension and wanting to be on a winning team)- "Being on a winning team is obviously extremely important for me. The things that I have seen here in the last couple years, the type of coaches that we are bringing in here, the type of players we are bringing in, the staff that we put together, it's really exciting for me to see the direction that this franchise is headed. That was the main reason that I wanted to stay here, that I wanted to sign a long term extension and continue to work on this journey."

(On if signing a long term deal sends a message to the other guys on team)- "I think so. I think the type of guys that Tom Heckert's drafting and bringing in here. He's putting together a great franchise with really good people. It's something I really wanted to be a part of and I know other people will want to be a part of. As we are winning more games here going forward, it's going to be a fun thing to be part of. That was a big reason why I decided that I wanted to sign a long term deal."

(On if there was a time where he questioned if he wanted to be here long term)- "Certainly, a couple years ago. There were a lot of questions about the future of this franchise, a lot of in-stability not only in front office, the coaching staff and players. I think right now the vision that everybody has, the way that everybody is on the same page, we are all rowing the boat the same direction. There is nothing but success in the future here and I wouldn't have stayed here if I didn't see those things moving forward."

(On if he could have turned down the money that was on the table to him)-"No question, to me it's all about winning and that's why I wanted stay here. I could of tried to go to free agency, but I really wanted to be here because I love being in Cleveland and I love this organization from the day I walked out here. Even more importantly I feel this going to be a heck of a franchise here going forward. With the things I have seen here in the first couple years since coach Holmgren has been here and since he's started to put things together. I want to be part of it. I don't want to go anywhere else."

(On the direction of the offense)- "I think it's awesome. We have only been together for four weeks, not even what a normal off season would be and I am already seeing great strides. The players that we've got on offense are young, but you can see their potential. The way Colt (McCoy) has been playing, the way he leads this offense. It's just exciting to be around."

(On having more of an aggressive mentality offensively this year)- "Certainly, we are not conservative game plan wise. We are going to throw the ball. We are going to attack that defense and the things that Coach Shurmur has brought in, his philosophy is very offensive minded. It's very exciting to be part of and I really like having an offensive head coach and that's another reason why I wanted to be here because I think Coach Shurmur is an awesome person. I think he is a great coach. He is a hands on coach and that's something I haven't had because we have had defensive coaches here. To have him in every game plan meeting running the offensive strategy meetings, that's fun. It's fun to be around."

(On feeling a greater responsibility toward helping the younger guys)- "I have always felt kind of a leadership role over the last few years here on offense. That's only going to continue and grow as I get older and as the players seem to get younger. That's the way it's going to be moving forward. I kind of relish in that challenge because now I am not only talking to the young offensive linemen, I am talking to the younger receivers, young tight ends, guys we have trying to impart any wisdom I have on them and try to do everything I can to help them get better so that we can win as an offense and as a team."

Shurmur Press Conference Transcript, Aug. 23
Don Delco on August 23rd, 2011 AT 1:08 PM

(Opening statement)- "Injury wise, nothing of note today. Peyton (Hillis) didn't practice, he had a little bit of a sore back this morning. We don't anticipate that it's a big deal. To start out, this will be the last opportunity for the fans to come watch us practice. I think the players and coaches are really embracing the fans that here and we're very lucky to have such great fan base. I know our players appreciate the efforts that our fans make to come watch practice and it's always fun when there's people watching you do what you do. I know they're doing that now and it happened to be a beautiful day. Much like every other second day before a preseason game we worked on a lot of red zone today, which again was good. There was some excellent competition. The defense did a nice job, they were tight to the routes. We made some plays offensively, which was good. Then there were some great plays of course on defense. I thought there was some excellent competition there."

(On if Hillis will play Thursday)- "I'm assuming so. I don't know much other than when I came out this morning, I was told he had a sore lower back."

(On if he assumes Hillis will play)- "I think so, yeah. I'm assuming so, but I don't know. Again, we'll have to see how that works."

(On Montario Hardesty's progress)- "Good, he had a really good day today. We're going to play him Thursday."

(On how much Hardesty will be involved in the offense)- "He's going to get some snaps. I think it's important that his process of coming back from this knee injury has been pretty, in my opinion, on pace with that I expected. Part of that is playing in the preseason games. We'll get him some work and see how he holds up. I do think too much sometimes is as bad as not enough."

(On if there is a set number of snaps for Hardesty)- "Not really. We'll feel it out. He'll probably appear in the first half at some point."

(On Joe Thomas signing long-term deal)- "The Joe Thomas signing, I think that's terrific for the Cleveland Browns, it's terrific for Cleveland. You're talking about a guy that's been to Pro Bowls, knock-on-wood, he's been at every practice and game. He's done great things for this city and our organization and we're glad he's going to be with us."

(On how much the starters will play on Thursday)- "I'm shooting for at least a half and then we'll see how it goes from there."

(On Sheldon Brown's performance)- "He's done a good job. Sheldon's a pro. What I appreciate about him is he comes out here and works every day. I really appreciate his leadership in the back end. I think you need that. It gets crazy back there sometimes. It's win or lose on every play if you're in the secondary and he has a stabilizing personality for the guys and I appreciate that."

(On if Sheldon Brown is too good of a corner to move to safety)- "I don't know if that's the case about moving him to safety, but he can definitely play corner in this league. I'm really pleased to see how he's progressed coming off of his shoulder surgery and he's doing a good job. He's a bright light. He enjoys practicing, he enjoys playing, the game is very important to him and he expresses that to the guys on defense."

(On Sheldon Brown's hands)- "He can catch and that's important. It's really important for a corner. You want takeaways. It's important when the balls in the air I want it to be the Cleveland Browns' ball. When we're on offense it's the receiver and if we're on defense we want those defenders to go get it. You have to be able to catch the ball to be a really, really good player in this league. "

(On Evan's Moore return and using him in the red zone)- "He's such a big target and I think it's only natural to assume that we'll throw him the ball. But, we have some other tall guys as well. I like what he brings to the table in terms of a target down there so maybe."

(On the mismatch Moore creates for defenses being more prevalent in the red zone)- "No question because the size. It's not so much about catch and run. It's just the ability to put a ball where you can catch it and sometimes a big target, you can put the ball away from a guy that maybe he's taller than."

(On viewing Joe Thomas from the eyes of the offensive linemen)- "I think he's proved durability, he plays the premiere offensive line position when you're playing with right-handed quarterbacks, he's a good run blocker, he's a good pass blocker, he's a terrific leader and he's a consistent steady guy that performs his job extremely well. I'll tell you what for a coach, that's what you're looking for."

(On if Thomas' work ethic trickles down to other players)- "I think so. When rookies come into the league, as coaches we tell them what we expect and we set standards and we do all those things. But, when you can say as a coach, ‘Watch how he does it.' I think that's when you've got something. When you have guys on your team that are like that, it helps bring the younger guys along quicker, in my opinion."

(On if he thinks about contracts as a coach and if he has to manage anything with Thomas now that he is set financially)- "I don't really think about it. I think all that takes care of its self. When you're dealing with contracts and guys that are professionals, he understands how important it is for him to perform well. Not only for himself, but for his teammates, this organization and this city. Certain guys just have pride in their work and Joe's one of those guys. I guess you have to look at each case differently but in terms of Joe, not at all."

(On players battling for roster spots)- "I think there's still competition at some spots. Whether it be to make the team as a backup or role player. I think there's still some of that going on."

(On the team's first road game and matchup against Philadelphia)- "It's the first road game for the new coaching staff and the players so we've laid out a way that we want to travel. That's the first part and we're going through that for the first time. A lot of the players have already done this. I think it's important that as a team you focus on your fundamentals and doing what you have to do and wherever you play you play. That's part of the message. You're just aware of the fact that when you're playing away that some things could be more difficult. Communicating because of the noise, you're not sleeping in your own bed, those types of things. You make them aware of it and then they deal with it."

(On the similarities of coaching style now compared to when he was in Philadelphia)- "The process of training camp? Very similar very similar. Of course, the practice, the way we wanted to practice changed a little bit because of the new rules, but when we meet, how we meet, the types of things we practice in practice, the length of the day and the tempo of practices. A lot of that mimics what I learned in Philadelphia. Then you add to that some of the things we did in St. Louis as well."

(On if the new rules with practice will lengthens careers and if it makes it more difficult to do his job)- "In terms of lengthening careers, I don't know. I think this is going to take a while to evaluate. We're going to have to do a year's cycle here to see how it fits. As far as making it more difficult to do our jobs, again, it's our first time through it. We're trying to teach at a fast pace and we're expecting the players to learn it. I think we've adjusted some things just because we have a new team and that's probably more of a function of having a new team and new coaches than it is of the system."

(On if Brandon Jackon's injury will increase Hardesty's reps on Thursday)- "Montario's workload is going to be the same regardless of who's in there with him. If we have to put two fullbacks in the game, we'll do it. In terms on Montario, his workload is independent right now of other guys at that position."

(On the positives/concerns of training camp)- "I think the positive part was, although the players were tired and sore, and this is not over yet, the style of how we practice will change a little bit, but they fought through it pretty well. Some of the nagging injuries, guys that we're hopeful to get back, as a coach, you just wish they were out here because each training camp practice is a valuable experience. They're coaching moments in there that they're tough to get back. But, that's the reality of it. I think every camp that you visit or talk about has guys that are nicked a little bit. As I've talked about it in the past, it just lets you work the younger guys more."

12:11 PM

Thomas Excited for Future: Browns left tackle convinced Browns headed in right direction. http://t.co/tRtw7Jg

12:11 PM

Thomas Excited for Future: Browns left tackle convinced Browns headed in right direction. http://t.co/tRtw7Jg

9:28 AM

Francies picks off for score.

9:20 AM

Browns in shorts and shells for last day of camp.

9:18 AM

RT @FredGreethamOBR Moore tips ball up with left hand catches with right from McCoy in endzone for td in 7 on 7.

8:04 PM

Browns lock up Joe Thomas to $84 million extension: Hot News for OT Joe Thomas http://t.co/fgE5ZgC

4:20 PM

Marecic Striving to Excel: Browns rookie fullback is looking to overcome his rocky start. http://t.co/nlc8NvN

Browns Player Quotes, Aug. 22
Don Delco on August 22nd, 2011 AT 2:47 PM

Scott Fujita

(On how D'Qwell Jackson is looking)-"Outstanding. I felt like this was going to be the right system for him. Seeing see all the plays that he can make, shooting gaps, using his athleticism, and making plays on the ball. It is definitely tailor-made for a guy like him.”

(On the impressions of Coach Shurmur)- "He's great. He is extremely professional and his one emphasis is about being efficient and being professional. Being on time for the things, he doesn't have a whole lot of rules, but he wants you to follow those rules. You see the guys with the tempo from drill to drill, tempo getting out of the huddle, being on time for meetings. It is just a couple small things that he asks of you, but he wants it done the right way. Again, it's about being a professional and doing things the right way."

(On the linebacker core)- "I think it's going to be strong, but again it's still early to say. We have been together now in this system for just three weeks. I feel good about it, but we still have a long way to go."

Colt McCoy

(On preparing for Thursday)- "We haven't done that much for Philly. These last two days have been in full pads, Browns versus Browns. Really focusing on correcting some things that we messed up the first two games and the things we have been messing up in practice. We have really just been trying to focus in on those things and really be sharp with what we are doing. I think tonight maybe getting into tomorrow we will start talking about that, but they haven't told us anything. We put in some new plays today, so really just finishing up the last bits of install and then trying to really correct the things that we haven't been as sharp on."

(On being on the road this week)- "It's the first time on the road. We just have to go play and I think that's the message every week. Obviously, it's a huge challenge with Philadelphia. They are a good football team. We all know who is on their team. We have our hands full for sure. I think tonight, like I said, as we move into tomorrow we will start focusing on that and kind of looking at some things there. But, so far these last two days have really been about us and fixing and correcting some things that we need to get fixed."

(On being aggressive in the red zone)- "You just have to be smart in the red zone. In the red zone the game is faster, less field, defenses can cover more, smaller windows to get the ball in, and it is a touchdown or check down mentality. That is kind of what you have to have, but we work it a lot in practice and so far we have been pretty successful down there."

(On if he has his favorite plays or if he is still going through the learning process)- "I think I am still going through the process. There are obviously ones that I feel I have got down, that I really like and we communicate that way. There are plays that they want me to like and I need to know and those are all things that as we move forward, will continue to grow and we'll continue to get on the same page with what we want. Right now, we are still running a lot of stuff. We are doing a lot of different things and really trying to figure out what we like best and really who we are as an offense, what we do best. I think that's what preseason is for. We still have two more weeks of it. We are gradually growing and gradually getting there."

Shurmur Press Conference Transcript, Aug. 22
Don Delco on August 22nd, 2011 AT 2:46 PM

(Opening statement)- "Good morning. There's really nothing new to report this morning other than Brett Johnson, the safety we picked up, I think he has a little thigh bruise. He hurt it in practice so I think that'll just be a day-to-day thing. You're well aware of the other list of guys that have been out. There's nothing new to add, just a typical morning practice. I thought there was some good competition today, we put in some new things. We had a little bit of an installation last night so we put in some new things. We're out here kind of adding to our list of plays. I thought it was a good competition, good practice. I can tell that the guys are in the dog days of training camp now in terms of you don't hear much talk on the field. You hear just a bunch of guys doing their work and I commend them for that. There working through it. This is the time of training camp, of course, where guys are typically sore and tired and they're pushing through it."

(On if Chris Gocong's injury may be a little more serious than he first thought)- "He has a stinger so were getting him rehabbed to get him back."

(On Owen Marecic missing a lateral in the first preseason game)- "He didn't throw the lateral, he was surprised by that. He was surprised by it of course. I think he's generally done a good job catching the ball. I don't have any issues with that."

(On if Marecic has shown up on special teams)- "He's shown up on special teams and really in everything he does, he's shown up very well."

(On if they will keep three quarterbacks this year)- "I don't know that yet, but that's always a point of discussion. Whether you keep three active or you have two active and one somewhere else, typically the practice squad. We'll see."

(On Mike Adams getting reps at safety and if they are going to rely on him)- "We're going to rely on him, I don't know as a starter or the backup. But, he sure has done a nice job through camp here. With the injuries we've had at safety, that have kept guys out, I think he's really benefitted from it. He's done a good job with the reps he's getting. From that stand point, he's somewhat lucky there. It's hard to get reps sometimes and he's gotten a bunch of them."

(On how all four tight ends would get playing time)- "We have formation groups and personnel groups where we can put combinations of one, two or three tight ends on the field. I think it's very important though that you keep receivers on the field. We'll use them, there are certain things they each do well. We'll try to scheme and formulate the plays where we take advantage of their abilities. You've seen, at least through the preseason, we've lined up Evan (Moore) in traditional wide receiver type spots and he's also lined up next to the tight end. We feel really good about Ben Watson being a three-down tight end in location so to speak. Jordan Cameron is probably a hybrid of the two where he can play both spots. Alex Smith has had a very fine camp. Heck, he's a guy that can play on the line of scrimmage, he can play in the back field. As you remember, I think he played in the Chicago game a year ago in the preseason where he played the whole game at fullback. He has some flexibility there as well."

(On Shawn Lauvao's performance Friday and his match up against Ndamukong Suh)- "He did well. He did very well. I challenged them and they challenged themselves to make sure they knew how sturdy that front was. I think Shawn did a nice job in there. Shawn's a very consistent steady player and I think he showed up well Friday night."

(On being aggressive with the play calling in the red zone during the preseason)- "I think you've got to be aggressive everywhere and that doesn't mean you're always throwing it. You could be aggressive running the ball as well. I think if you're going to be a team that's going to score points, you have to be able to throw it and throw it efficiently. I don't know if I'm answering your question, but I will throw the ball in the red zone for sure."

(On if he is more aggressive now that he is the head coach than if he was deferring the call)- "I don't know that. I really don't have to ask for permission for anything if that's what you're asking about."

(On if he had to ask permission about plays in the past)- "No, no that wasn't the case. I wouldn't say that. In the places that I've been, its usually pretty natural for the coordinator to call the plays."

(On if it is important to get the injured players back)- "You always want the guys that are injured to come back quickly. That's important, but I will say, it's just like the approach when we went into last week's game. The guys that are there and are playing to begin with are the starters next week. I think those guys will benefit from the reps they get."

(On Buster Skrine and James Dockery playing in this week's game)- "Dockery is going to get a lot of reps. He'll play quite a bit. I think again, he'll benefit from it. Philadelphia is a very explosive team, very talented, they have an aggressive scheme. It'll be a challenge for our defense and I think they'll be up to it."

(On Buster Skrine's injury)- "I think he has a pull of some sort."

(On if Dockery could return kicks)- "Yeah, absolutely."

(On his defense against Detroit)- "I thought they played solid and steady. I think they challenged the receivers, which was good. I thought they did a good job of at least controlling the run in certain situations. We'll just try and play our brand of ball and match up."

(On red zone being a focal point in each of his practices)- "Not every practice, but we do practice it within a one week period, probably during training camp, twice a week. Obviously, during the season you devote primarily Fridays to red zone. We feel it's important once you get down there you score. We do spend a lot of time on it."

(On how much more he knows now about his best players and skill guys)- "A lot more, after having worked with them in practice settings and now two games. I feel very confident in what we know about the players on this team. The constant challenge is always to try and put them in the best position possible to make plays the right matchups and then run plays that are successful for us."

(On if anyone has made a noticeable jump)- "I would say a lot of guys, in my mind, have improved their status in terms of being playmakers. We have to deal with specifics of course, because I think all the guys were playing with have things that they do well."

(On if Jarrett Brown's reps in practicing are dwindling)- "When you're the third quarterback, naturally you get few reps. He probably gets more in this camp than he would if he was the third someplace else. I've learned a lot about him. He's got a lot of skill and ability and he's made improvements during training camp. I feel good about some of the progress he's made. He obviously has a long way to go, but he's eager. Everything we do every night, getting ready for the practice the next day, he's right in tune with. Unfortunately, for the third string guy, he's got to get a lot of mental reps when its team time."

(On Brown's 0 for 4 night against Detroit)- "I'm not discouraged by an 0 for 4 night. Obviously, you don't want that. Again, there's reasons for it. He's like any young player going through this for the first time. He's working through it."

(On if he's still confident after not pursuing any free agents wide receivers)- "I am. I like the guys on our roster. It's more than just a standard answer. We have pro football players and I really like the guys we have. That being said, we're always looking for guys that can help improve us. Part of that process is knowing our guys very well. I'll go back to the first thing I said, I like the guys we have."

(On the level of comfort he has with the team after the lockout and missed time together and how things are rarely comfortable)- "That's a good point. We're rarely comfortable. I think the game is to try not to show it. I think we're always concerned about everything. When you come to work in the morning you're looking at the weather, how the fields are, an injury that popped up. We're always thinking about things. What I am comfortable about is everything we've tried to do with this team, the players have embraced. That being said, I feel like if there's something along the road here that comes up unexpected I think our guys will react well to it and I'm very confident of that.”

(On not being able to get that missed time back)- "True and I think that's the part you've got to get over. Those days are gone. The part that I sleep a little easier with is that we were 1 of 32 teams that just fell away. I feel good in our teachers our coaches, I feel good in what we're trying to do scheme wise and we just have to try and put it all together."

(On his philosophy dealing with players)- "I philosophically believe that as coaches we set a direction, we set a way to do business, we set standards of excellence and then we know that we're trying to achieve them. Instead of dealing with payers, I've always looked at it as we're working together to get there. I do believe in the word professionalism, and I think as professionals they know what that is. As professionals we need to communicate, players and coaches. We need to be upfront with one another. If I don't like a performance I will say it, if I do like one I'll say it and I expect the players to be man enough to accept when they make mistakes so that we can look for ways to correct them. I think then you'll continue improve. All that being said, the players are giving great effort and trying to do what we ask them to do. That's in a nutshell the general philosophy. I have a great deal of respect for what they try to do, the players. I have a great deal of respect of how hard it is for my coaches to do their jobs. I understand from time to time there's going to be a mistake, there's going to be an error. But, as long as guys are giving great effort and they're fighting their fanny off to know what they're supposed to do, we'll get to a point where we won't repeat those errors and we can move forward."

(On Phil Taylor not being visibly disruptive in games thus far)- "I think there are signs that he's improving through camp here. A defensive tackle at times can be very disruptive and get no stats. That's something we'll need to consider as we move forward with Phil. Obviously, you want him in there tackling the back in the backfield and sacking the quarterback. Those are the ideal things. There have been some times in there where he's been very disruptive. There's other times where I think he's learning how to play at this level. He's made some errors and I think Pee Wee (Dwaine Board) works very hard with him and Dick (Jauron). I know Ray Rhodes has spent some time with him. He's working through it, just like any young player going through a pro training camp for the first time. I'm pleased with his progress."

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Shurmur Press Conference Transcript, Aug. 21
Don Delco on August 21st, 2011 AT 4:06 PM

(Opening statement)- "I know who (Mike Holmgren) the boss is (joking). I'm well aware of it, I'm glad he is by the way. Coach, for the record, he's been a huge, huge help to me on a lot of different topics. From things that happen game day to how we do things. I've got a lot of respect for that and I appreciate everything he does. Today, nothing knew really to add to the injury list from Friday. Today, Josh Cribbs tweeked his hamstring just a little. He finished up his day when he felt that hamstring tweek so we'll see where he is with that. Other than that there wasn't anything to report from the other night. If you have specific questions I'll answer them. Practice was good, just like the last two games we put them in pads and I felt like they responded well. We did some good work, ended with a couple two-minute drills. Which are good because it makes them think and respond to the quarterback and I thought we had good competition."

(On if he is concerned that Greg Little is going to become a high maintenance situation)- "No, not at all. We talked about that during the game and we've talked about it since. You get in a situation, I think he's a guy that can be a playmaker for us. He loves to play the game. When the lights are the brightest he's one of those guys that just gets into it. We as coaches will help him in those situations that cropped up Friday night. No, I don't have any concern and I thoroughly enjoy him. He's working hard, he's practicing hard and when he gets in the game he loves to play. We'll just help him with the other stuff."

(On if Little has knocked off all the rust from his one year layoff)- "I tend to think as a young player he's got a lot of growth to make. I don't know in terms of the rust, but there are still some things that he needs to work on that I think he can get better at. That's what we're working on here in practice. When the games start and he gets going, he does some good things."

(On if Evan Moore has a concussion)- "Evan has what I think is considered a mild concussion."

(On injury updates with Eric Steinbach and Brandon Jackson)- "Eric's feeling better. We're hopeful that he'll be back here real soon and then Brandon Jackson is having his toe evaluated at this point."

(On being concerned with guys having injuries as we get closer to the regular season)- "The injuries and they are coming in spots now, I think some guys were a little bit knicked up and then they came back and then we've got a couple other guys. I think we're just going to have to see how it plays out. The one's that we have for the most part now won't keep some of these guys from being there Week 1. We just have to deal with the injuries day-to-day in most of these situations. That's part of it, unfortunately that's the reality of training a team to get ready for the season. You just hope the ones that you get are not season ending."

(On if he is looking forward to having Montario Hardesty back)- "I am. I'm looking forward to it. Each day we've talked about him a great deal. Each day he looks better and better. He took a lot of reps today, you saw him working after practice as well. He's anxious to get back. I'm looking for him to compete."

(On Hardesty trusting in his knee)- "I think so. We put him in there and he was in the 9 on 7 drill, he did some things in team where he was running in traffic as well as catching the ball out on the perimeter. It appears to me like he's getting more and more comfortable with the knee."

(On how Jason Pinkston played against Detroit)- "He did a good job. He stepped in, he didn't start the game, but I want to say he played 47 snaps. He played most of the first half and into the third (quarter). I think he showed up pretty well. Really, for a first big load of work I think he handled it pretty well."

(On D'Qwell Jackson putting his injury in the past)- "I don't know. Again, I wasn't here a year ago. I think he's playing really, really good football right now. He's the leader of that defense. He's been very productive. I don't know about injury in the past, but I feel like he's doing a good job. He's playing a healthy brand of ball right now."

(On Jackson being made for the 4-3 defense)- "I think so. He's a guy that can move real well. He's very instinctive. He can slip a block as well as take one on. He's nifty enough to match up in pass coverage. I feel like he's a terrific fit for the way we play."

(On Colt McCoy's performance against the Lions compared to the Packers game)- "I think he made some improvements in some areas. Each game is different either how we're trying to attack a team or how a team is trying to defend us. There were some things he did in that game that I thought were good. There were some mistakes that he made that were either new mistakes or ones that we felt like were very correctable."

(On how close Mohamed Massaquoi is to returning)- "I think he's very close. My understanding is that he'll be out there running here in the next couple of days."

(On if he needs to see more of Massaquoi before he can play Thursday)- "I would say he's probably not going to play Thursday."

(On Dimitri Patterson's performance and the competition at his position)- "I think that group of corners is very competitive. All of those guys, you see them at practice, and they're a fun group to watch. I think Dimitri challenges well. He's obviously got more playing time under his belt than Buster (Skrine). But in terms of competing, I think they're very comparable. There's good competition there. As you know, you have to have multiple corners to play in this league. I feel good about at least the direction we're going with that group."

(On if Moore might not be ready for this game)- "My understanding is he's feeling fine today. I don't know exactly. I haven't heard anything to say he's not."

(On Joe Thomas)- "Joe is a steady guy, which you need from an offensive lineman. He's a guy that comes out here every day and works. Every once in a while he can be vocal, I wouldn't say that's his nature to just be exerting himself verbally. There's time within a practice or within a day when something needs to get said and he'll step right to the front and say it. I have a great appreciation for what he is as a player and a man."

(On if experimenting with James Dockery at safety is a thing of the past)- "No, I think he's a guy that will probably get some reps there as we go. With our situation in the game, we needed him there. We had three safeties that weren't playing. He did a fairly good job."

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