OBR Daily Blog Aug. 29-Sept. 4

Ready or not, Browns wrap up the 2011 NFL preseason this week in Chicago.

OBR Newswire updates for September 2nd through September 5th
OBR Newswire on September 5th, 2011 AT 9:00 AM

These are links from the OBR Newswire for September 2nd through September 5th:

9:55 PM

Smith Is Browns Third RB: UDFA Armond Smith earns 3rd RB spot. GM Tom Heckert answers Q & A about others roster … http://t.co/yU9XoY5

4:53 PM

RT @FredGreethamOBR Sign Shaw alford clutts porter windsor to practice squad.

4:48 PM

RT @FredGreethamOBR Browns cut jacobs d Robinson and english for 3 claims.

4:44 PM

RT @FredGreethamOBR Besides signing Lewis and spears signed de emmanuel Stephens from falcons.

4:25 PM

RT @FredGreethamOBR Browns sign Quintin spears lb and qb thad Lewis.

4:23 PM

RT @FredGreethamOBR Heckert said browns released austin english.

11:52 PM

Browns cut Brown; Move Jackson to IR: Team makes the final cuts down to 53, including LB Brian Smith http://t.co/Hntx7oW

9:48 PM

Browns place Brandon Jackson on IR, cut to 53 players: Hot News for FO Cleveland Browns Organization http://t.co/pdG1bqA

7:31 PM

Browns, Redskins discussed trade for OG Hicks http://ow.ly/6kPOP

5:49 PM

RT @FredGreethamOBR Browns keeping these final moves top secret.

5:02 PM

Surprises coming?

4:47 PM

Currently 15 rookies left of 63 players.

4:25 PM

RT @FredGreethamOBR Waiting for roster cuts…anytime.

Shurmur Press Conference Transcript, Sept. 3
Don Delco on September 3rd, 2011 AT 2:32 PM

(Opening statement)- "The first day after a major cut down of the roster is a hard time for coaches, it's hard time for players, but they came out here today and I think we got a lot accomplished. We went in pads, I felt like it was important that we carry the pads. We had what we call 10-10-10 practice, where we work through the general principles and concepts that we've been running as we approach the Bengal game. I felt like we got great work. There are a lot of new faces out here in terms of guys that have been a little bit hampered by injuries during training camp so it was good. I think we all got good work. I'm glad that it's a very hot day, very humid day. I think the players will benefit from that."

(On why they cut some guys before today's practice with other cuts still needed later in the day)- "We've got to get to a number at a certain time so we're continuing to work and evaluate. That's why we do that."

(On if he talked to each guy individual after they were cut)- "I talked to some of them. There's a process that we go through when we release a player and it's hard on coaches. It's hard on the position coaches, it's hard on me, but we have a process that we go through. Most of the process involves the guys in scouting, the guys that work with Tom (Heckert). That's how that works."

(On if he tries to make it a positive talk)- "The message is that they did a fine job while they were here. Unfortunately, we can't keep everybody so keep working hard and keep the dream alive because there are a lot of players around the league that have been cut before they either went to a team where they fit or there's a potential that somebody that we've released could be back with us here within days. I think that's the message, continue to work and continue to be ready so when you get a phone call, you're ready to go."

(On Evan Moore's contract extension)- "He's displayed himself as a playmaker at the tight end position. We made the decision that we wanted to try and extend him and we got that done. Much like we did with Joe Thomas, we're glad that he's going to be here for an extended period of time."

(On if Brandon Jackson will be on the 53-man roster or put on injured reserve)- "I don't know that. We've yet to make that call here coming up. That may happen this afternoon one way or the other. I can't say yes or no right now, but there is a chance he could go to IR. There's a chance."

(On Eric Hagg being put on injured reserve)- "There's a chance anybody can, but at this point we're going to see how he comes back from injury here."

(On if he anticipates Tom Heckert being active on the waiver wire)- "We're combing the wire and we have been. It doesn't start now. We've foreshadowed this by looking at rosters and seeing where guys fit. We have a list of guys that we would highlight to bring in even though maybe their fate hasn't been finally sealed wherever they're at."

(On why Branndon Braxton and Phil Trautwein were cut after getting a lot of reps with the ones and twos)- "I think they're guys that competed hard and when we put the roster together you first look at setting up the 53-man roster and the practice squad. That's the first level. Then the next level is when you start structuring, ‘What's our 46-man roster look like?' There's a lot of decisions that go into who we keep and why. I would say just because a guy gets a lot of reps, doesn't necessarily mean you can look out and say he's the guy that will be here. That's kind of the deal."

(On how close Chris Gocong is to returning)- "I think very close. I think the reports the last couple weeks have been that he's getting better so we'll see."

(On if Titus Browns ankle injury impacts the roster at all)- "Some, I think he's done a good job in terms of competing and doing what he has to do to make this team. We'll see. With his injury, we're anticipating there's a chance he could be back soon."

(On the preseason concluding the next game being for real)- "Again, they've all been for real, but the first regular season game, I think there's an intensity that's probably a little bit different. You go into the preseason games trying to see specific things and seeing players compete. Even though the score might be close, you're slated to put the next group in. Where in this game you play it to watch your guys compete, be efficient and play it to do what you can to win it by one point. That becomes the focus."

(On if he's geared up more for this game)- "Trust me, we're geared up. I've been trying to do a good job of controlling my emotions. A few times during the games, I'll let it go a little bit. That's really not for effect, that's real. I'm looking forward to it and I think it will be an exciting time. Again, when we opened camp I said it, practicing, playing and coaching, that's what we do as coaches and players. It's going to be fun to take this unit into a regular season game."

(On what his biggest concern is now that training camp and the preseason have concluded)- "What I'm going to have for lunch (joking). I'm trying not to be concerned, I'm trying to take the roster and the team that we have and our big focus is to make sure we put them in the best position we can, as coaches, to be successful. We want to play solid, aggressive team defense, we're want to try to create turnovers, get them off the field on third down, prevent them from scoring in the red zone and then we want to do the opposite on offense. We want to be efficient, explosive, score points and control the football. That's what we're trying to get done and that's the task."

(On if Mohamed Massaquoi will be ready for Cincinnati and if he'll be ready to play a whole game)- "I think based on what I saw today, he'll be available and we'll play him. Everybody that is suited up needs to be ready to play every snap."

(On if there is anything he can do to help the safeties that they missed so much time from injuries)- "Behind the scenes, they've been practicing what they need to practice. I think those guys look after one another. I think now as you're going through teaching your system, you don't spend as much time working on the opponent as you do in the regular season. As they zero in on what the Bengals do then that will ramp it up some."

(On how his coach-quarterback relationship with Colt McCoy has grown the last few weeks)- "I think it's natural. I think we have a relationship where we work together well. The reason I say that is we've been teaching him things and he's been doing it. When he has a mistake, he quickly knows it and we're able to talk about it. That's really what you want. It's not anything more than that. It's a working relationship and he's bought in and I feel like it's been good."

(On working with quarterbacks in the past and how important the relationship is)- "The relationship is important because what you have to do is continue to communicate. That's the thing you're always working on. There's times where I'm angry, there's times where either he's angry at himself or he may be angry at me or whatever. All those emotions are there, but for those of us that are married and have a spouse, it's the same thing. You develop how you communicate and get things done. I think that's what it is. You've got to continue to communicate no matter where you are emotionally."

(On Benjamin Watson's status)- "My understanding is he'll be out here. He wasn't today. Again, today and Monday, and Monday's practice will look a lot like this, the only difference is it will be an open locker room for the media. But, my understanding is he'll be back out here, hopefully Monday."

(On if Scott Paxson having a big preseason and if he is undersized at defensive tackle)- "I think he looks big enough to me. You're right, he has had a good preseason, that's why he's still here."

(On if Paxson helped himself against Chicago with his two sacks)- "I think so. Anytime a guy produces in a game it's to his benefit."

(On Marcus Benard making plays against the run and his position with the team)- "I think he's steadily improved through camp. He made some plays the other night, he actually got pressure on the quarterback. The tight end was blocking him on one of those. He did a better job in the run game. I think he's improved."

Browns Player Quotes, Sept. 3
Don Delco on September 3rd, 2011 AT 2:32 PM

Colt McCoy

(On if it is nice that the head coach is also the player caller on offense)- "Yeah, it's nice. It's nice to have your head coach as an offensive guy too. You spend more time with him you know what he wants, and know what he is looking for. He kind of puts a lot on you. For me, I like that and I think like I said as we start game planning, we will really get a feel for each other. In practice coach Whipple has been calling the plays through the head set or on the sideline reading off the script. In the games, coach Shurmur calls the plays through my headphones, so that's a little bit different. I think we just have to continue to get a feel for each other, but, everything has been great so far."

(On his relationship with the receiving core)- "It's been good. We have been up and down with injuries, which you can't control. You can only control what happens with guys that are out there. I am happy to have Mo (Mohamed Massaquoi) back. Today, Mo was out there cutting, planting and in the swing of things. I thought he did well. It's important for all of us to understand how this offense works and in this offense you have to have the right spacing and you have to catch the football. We are going to throw it a lot and for me, as many reps as you can get with the guys and that's what you have to do. We have been doing that every day, we are staying after it a little bit. If we miss a throw in practice, I will grab the guy and we will throw two or three of them, that same route, ‘Here is what we are looking for, let's get on the same page.' Practice has been where we have gotten better. You spend a lot of time on those things and hopefully when game time comes we will be sharp."

(On Evan Moore's extension)- "I am very happy for Evan. He is a big target for us. We can use him in a lot of different ways. We are excited that he is going to be here for a while."

(On his chemistry with Moore)- "It's been good. He's a big target. He is a guy that can do a lot of different things. You can spread him out wide or he can get down with his hand in the dirt and block. I think him, Alex (Smith) and Ben (Watson) have had tremendous camps. They have all worked really hard. They all kind of know their things. To have Evan adds an extra dimension to our offense and I am excited that he is going to be here for a while."

Evan Moore

(On how it feels to get a contract extension and to know that he will be around for a while)- "Just like you'd think, it feels really good. It honestly seems like yesterday I was sitting at home going undrafted wondering if I was going to get a shot to play in this league. About a year after that, leaving Green Bay and wondering the same thing, who is going to give me my next chance. It is truly a blessing to be here talking about this today, a lot of hard work, and good will in my direction. I am very excited about it and happy for my family that gets to experience it as well."

(On signing the extension instead of testing free agency)- "I think it's the best thing for me at this point. I feel very comfortable here. I like playing for coach Shurmur, I like my teammates, I like this organization. I felt like this was the best time to get something done."

(On the empathy of guys being cut)- "There's really not a whole lot that is fair about the whole process, but that's the thing about the NFL, it's not fair. I have been cut a couple of times as well and I hope these guys can look at themselves in the mirror and realize the only person that is going to stop them is themselves if they choose to let it go. From the time I came into this league I made decision, ‘Hey, no matter what happens you are going to have to carry me off the field to stop me from trying to make it.' It's still a work in progress, but like I said it's an honor to be standing here even talking about this today."

11:44 AM

RT @FredGreethamOBR Cuts announced were no real surprises. Holding back some to see who else is cut.

11:27 AM

Discussion of the Browns cuts on the infamous OBR Football forum: http://ow.ly/6kFvG

11:18 AM

Scout.com’s Aaron Wilson reports that the Chicago Bears will cut RB Chester Taylor.

10:53 AM

Browns cut 17 players: Hot News for FO Cleveland Browns Organization http://t.co/LH9Js8Y

10:53 AM

Browns cut 17 players: Team’s roster stands at 63 as of 11AM on Saturday, with more cuts to come… http://t.co/Dt3NoyA

10:53 AM

Browns cut 17 players: Team’s roster stands at 63 as of 11AM on Saturday, with more cuts to come… http://t.co/Dt3NoyA

9:49 PM

Browns sign TE Evan Moore: Hot News for TE Evan Moore http://t.co/7xde4zZ

9:49 PM

Our 53-Man Roster Predictions: Fred, DK, Don, and Barry fire off some guesses about the final roster. http://t.co/NOBlwdP

10:47 PM

Bears Beat Browns 24-14: Cleveland ends preseason on three-game losing streak after losing to Dane Sanzenbacher … http://t.co/wWIhYhq

9:10 PM

Peyton Hillis in line for new deal: Cleveland Browns star running back Peyton Hillis is in line for a new contra… http://t.co/v3HZo6k

7:00 PM

RT @FredGreethamOBR Browns must trim 27 players from the roster by saturday at 4.

6:13 PM

Live Chat: Browns vs. Bears: Careers will be started. Careers will be lost. Join us at 8PM on Thursday. http://t.co/G6GAHCC

3:37 PM

RT @FredGreethamOBR Browns off friday. Cuts due by sat.

7:59 AM

(Subscriber) Lane Adkins’ Twitterverse: OBR’s Lane Adkins offers the latest inside info on the Cleveland Browns … http://t.co/LKUCLhm

7:43 AM

Browns-Bears Preview: Browns' backups have a final chance to turn heads in Chi-town in the year’s final preseason game. http://t.co/GIFTSie

1:20 PM

Peyton Hillis in line for new deal: Hot News for FB Peyton Hillis http://t.co/pGbJnnF

Latest Links from the OBR Newswire
OBR Newswire on August 31st, 2011 AT 11:00 AM

These are links from the OBR Newswire for August 31st from 10:32 to 10:33:

9:10 AM

The Joe Thomas Paradox: Joe Thomas’ quiet $84 million contract extension last week contains many layers, writes … http://t.co/igrv9il

9:10 AM

The Joe Thomas Paradox: Joe Thomas’ quiet $84 million contract extension last week contains many layers, writes … http://t.co/igrv9il

12:16 AM

Browns claim Oniel Cousins: The Cleveland Browns claimed former third-round offensive tackle Oniel Cousins off w… http://t.co/DwrFN4P

2:36 PM

Steinbach Placed on IR: Browns starting left guard Eric Steinbach will be lost for the entire 2011 season. http://t.co/HGbNXAL

2:36 PM

Eric Steinbach heading to IR with back injury: Hot News for OG Eric Steinbach http://t.co/Wuzz0N9

1:40 PM

Steinbach placed on ir.

1:21 PM

Steinbach Having Back Surgery: Browns left guard Eric Steinbach having “disk issue” fixed in back. http://t.co/aVOukJh

1:21 PM

Steinbach Having Back Surgery: Browns left guard Eric Steinbach having “disk issue” fixed in back. http://t.co/aVOukJh

12:19 PM

RT @FredGreethamOBR Steinbach not known if surgery is season ending.

12:19 PM

RT @FredGreethamOBR Steinbach not known if surgery is season ending.

11:05 AM

Cousins wearing 68 in first practice.

10:58 AM

Browns practicing in shorts and helmets.

10:54 AM

Watson ivey c mitchell on bikes. Gocong was went inside with trainer.

Browns Make Cousins Move Official
Don Delco on August 30th, 2011 AT 9:32 AM

From the Browns media relations department:

The Cleveland Browns were awarded offensive lineman Oniel Cousins off waivers from Baltimore, the team announced today.

Originally drafted by the Ravens in the third round (99th overall) of the 2008 NFL Draft, Cousins has appeared in 25 games with four starts.

A four-year letterman at the University of Texas-El Paso (2004-07), Cousins started in 24 career games at both left and right tackle for the Miners. As a junior, he was a member of an offensive unit that led Conference USA in passing offense, ranking fifth in the nation with 312.8 yards per game. During his collegiate career at the tackle position, UTEP set a school record with 5,074 yards of offense. A native of Fullerton, Calif., the 6-4, 315-pound Cousins attended Eastside Christian High School.

He will wear uniform number 68.

8:05 AM

Once In a Generation: It may only be a video game, but Browns running back Peyton Hillis being on the cover of E… http://t.co/ATD8Emy

Latest Links from the OBR Newswire
OBR Newswire on August 30th, 2011 AT 8:00 AM

These are links from the OBR Newswire for August 30th from 07:47 to 07:49:

Browns Claim OT Cousins
Fred Greetham on August 29th, 2011 AT 7:44 PM

According to Scout's Aaron Wilson, the Browns claimed OT Oneil Cousins from the Ravens. The third-year lineman started the season as the Ravens' starting right tackle. The 6-4, 315 pound former UTEP player was a third-round draft choice of the Ravens.

7:31 PM

RT @FredGreethamOBR Browns claim ol oneil cousins from the ravens per aaron wilson.

Browns Player Quotes, Aug. 29
Don Delco on August 29th, 2011 AT 6:08 PM

Peyton Hillis

(On if he has any new feelings with Madden being released tonight)- "No, just because we are in the middle of football now and the regular season is in a couple of weeks. We have our last preseason game. I am more focused on that right now instead of the game."

(On seeing his face on the Madden cover)- "It's exciting. I've been very blessed and I am kind of speechless at times, but you never can lose focus. You never can stay enough humbled. You just have to go out there and do what you can. I am very grateful for the opportunity that I had, but it's time to move on and get focused on more important things."

(On if him and Montario Hardesty will be in the backfield at the same time)- "You know I don't. I just know both of us will do the best we can if we are healthy. Whatever playing time that means for any of us, we will go out there and do our best. If that means spliting carries or more carries for one or the other then that's what it has to be, but whatever helps the team win ball games."

(On coach Shurmur believing in the running game already)- "You know it's great because coach Shurmur is a great man, good coach and definitely a player's coach. We respond really well to him and just because he says that doesn't mean anything to us. I know me and the offensive line are really focusing on this running game. We always have to. We are in the toughest division in the NFL, so we will take that standpoint and we have to work ahead and do the best we can."

T.J. Ward

(On his level of confidence for playing in the opener)- "I am completely confident I will be ready for the opener, no doubt. The way that my rehab has been progressing and how I felt today doing some of the things I did. The game is a week and a half away, so the way I have been improving tells me I will be ready for next week."

(On the defensive backs performing well today in practice with him and Usama Young returning)- "I think we have been doing really well this last week or so. Like I said, we are just trying to ease it back with me and Usama both having hamstring injuries. You don't want to rush something like that because you can easily re-injure it. We are just easing back into practice and every day we will do a little bit more."

(On being worried about getting rhythm down with Usama Young)- "It's going to be one of our main goals, to get that continuity down, but you still have Mike (Adams) out there. So, we are really not completely sure on what two safeties will be out there. Between the three of us, we just have to make sure our cohesion is down and our communication is good."

Usama Young

(On being cautious coming back)- "Yeah, that's the one thing with a hamstring you don't want to go out there and just go full speed ahead. I have to take several precautions beforehand. I need to get a good warm up and make sure I do take it slow, because if I do go out there and go all out, it will be even worse. That's one of the things I am trying to do going out and getting the warm ups going through the individual drills. It's just a startup and I probably could of done a little bit more today, but I said let me put the brakes on and be smart with it."

(On if it's difficult trying to get a starting job while being injured)- "It is, it's very difficult. I have to take as many mental reps as possible and go through the walk-through and try to make the adjustments going through a walk-through speed and jog-through speed. But, at the same time, I know that once I get out there I am just going to have to go all out like I always do."

(On being ready for Cincinnati)- "I am pretty confident. I make sure I have a positive attitude about it because if I don't that is going in the negative already. I am already putting myself behind the curve. But, yeah I think will be alright. Like I said, I could have done a little more today, but you have to smart with the injury."

Shurmur Press Conference Transcript, Aug. 29
Don Delco on August 29th, 2011 AT 1:36 PM

(Opening statement)- "I guess it's still morning so good morning. Today in the Browns' world, it's Thursday. I realize it's Monday, but it's Thursday as we prepare our team for a game on Thursday, which is Sunday. The focus today, although we will be doing a lot of competitive work Browns verses Browns, is short yardage, goal line and third down like we would typically work on on a Thursday's practice. That's the focus of the day, again, special teams as well. Again, we'll have a half hour of special teams practice that runs right into the 1:00 team practice. That's the focus of the day and that's the feel I want the players to get as they learn their weekly schedule. We're kind of mocking this up before we get to the regular season."

(On how long it for him to realize that Peyton Hillis fit he wanted for a running back)- "It doesn't take many snaps to see that he's a terrific runner. He's also a physical blocker just by his shear physique. I think he does a good job of catching the ball. It didn't take long. He's one of the guys last year that got a lot of touches a year ago so it was easy to see him perform."

(On if it is still a possibility for Hillis and Montario Hardesty to play in the backfield at the same time)- "Absolutely. I think we've put in packages of plays that we can either run with a fullback and a traditional tailback, two tailbacks or two fullbacks. How we use those guys would be based on who's healthy and available each week. If we have a roster where we're going in and playing a game where Montario and Peyton are both available I think it makes sense to put them in there a small percentage of the time."

(On if he's worried about the wear-and-tear from Hillis' style of running)- "I don't know about the length of his career, but he is a physical style guy. That's what makes him a little bit unique for a runner. A lot of times runners are trying hit a guy on the edge and try and gain yards that way. He doesn't shy away from a straight on blow. I don't know about terms of his durability, but we're anticipating that he's in good shape and that's his style so we'll try to utilize it."

(On if he got a copy of Madden 12)- "I did, yes."

(On if he had seen it yet)- "I haven't seen it yet. I've actually never played the game. My son, I would consider him somewhat of an expert. He (Hillis) gave me a copy of the game, but it wasn't compatible to his system so he hasn't been able to see it yet. I think he's interested to see what I look like in the game too (joking). But, yeah, I have a copy. It was nice of him."

(On the starter's playing time for Thursday)- "Again, we're kind of running down a couple of paths here. We're getting ready for Chicago, we're training our guys to mentally and physically deal with a week's preparation and as I mentioned yesterday in the back of our minds we're preparing for Cincinnati. We're a little bit all over there, but I think the general feeling and what I want our guys to accomplish is maybe some of the guys that won't play as much Thursday night, they're getting a heck of a lot work this week to keep them going. That's why it's a revised Thursday so to speak."

(On the defensive line being ready for the regular season)- "I think some of the young guys need some more reps, which is an important thing. We talked about the offensive line and needing reps and I think you can speak to the defensive line the same way. We'll get them a few more reps, try to determine some of the guys that are going to be the role players and backup players. Whether they're here on our roster or somewhere else. Those types of things."

(On how the top two picks Phil Taylor and Jabaal Sheard are doing)- "We drafted them and we expected them to be good players, but we do realize they're rookies. I feel like they've held up pretty well. Much has been made about no two-a-days during training camp, but the rigors of training camp are still there with the longer practice in the morning. I think they've held up fairly well. I still think they're in a mode where they need to improve continually and I'll say that probably throughout this year, next off season and into next training camp. There has to be that type of improvement. I think when you look at those guys and defensive linemen, you want to see explosive plays, you want to see sack-fumbles, but then you're also looking for consistent hard play down-to-down. That's what I look for."

(On how the team has ranked poorly defensively against the run in the past)- "We don't want that. We want to be better."

(On if they can rank better against the run)- "In terms of rankings and we'll discuss rankings and things throughout the year. I think what's important is we have to do what we have to do to win the game. Now I think what's important is you never totally just stop the run where the team gets zero yardage. You need to control the run, you need to stop it when you know they're going to run it and I think those are the things that you look for because if a team can run the football on you it's going to be a long afternoon. We realize that."

(On choosing Dick Jauron as his defensive coordinator)- "First, I knew he had the experience and expertise to be the defensive coordinator. That's number one, so put that aside, he's got what it takes to do that. Aside from being a terrific coach, he's even a finer person. I admire him from what he did as a player. I've always admired him as a teacher and a coach. The people that have worked with him or played for him, it's very hard to find someone who will say something negative about Dick. Aside from that, I like the way he goes about his business. He keeps his composure. Defensive guys, mentally sometimes the players they're all over the place, it's just the nature of the position. To have a steady force there in the position of leadership I think is very important. I think he blends well. He's taken a staff of defensive coaches in my opinion with a lot of experience. We have two guys on defense that have been head coaches, at more than one place. We've got Billy Davis who's just come off of being a coordinator. Dwaine Board a great player in this league and then defensive line coach. Jerome Henderson who is a fantastic coach. Chuck Bullough, there's a mixture of guys there. Experience wise and personnel wise and I think Dick can kind of control and direct that in a way that I think we can be successful."

(On Dick Jauron's influence on the young players)- "I think schematically, he can put them in a position where they can be successful. The experience that he brings, he's had a chance to watch defenses from a lot of different seats as the head coach, the coordinator and a position coach in a lot of different places. I think the wealth of experience that he has, it may be a small point here or there, but it can be very helpful."

(On how they will use Keith Gilbertson and Ray Rhodes)- "Well they don't have specific position groups, but they have tasks of the day. They have defined things they do. That's how we use them. I consider them valuable assistants and I am very glad and thankful that they're both here. Again, you are looking at guys that have been head coaches. They are guys that have a great deal of experience. I am glad they are here."

(On if he is comfortable using Josh Cribbs in the regular season opener for returns)- "Absolutely, he is our kickoff and punt returner. It's not uncommon that your guy doesn't get a bunch of reps in the preseason. We were planning to give him a couple last week and then he obviously wasn't able to perform. You can't really worry about that, can't deal with it. He has displayed the ability to do it and if he's on the gameday roster ready to go, he will do it."

(On when guys will return that are still hurt)- "I have to get the final word on that. We've got guys in and out quite a bit. We will see and I am not trying to dodge you."

(On if 45 spots are pretty much safe on the 53-man roster)- "Forty Five? I don't know about that. I think there are still some decisions to be made as we move forward here."

(On Brandon Jackson being down and how it affects their plan for a third down back)- "With Brandon, we will have to see. It's uncertain how quickly he will be back, so we will have to make a decision as to what we are going to do to get another runner ready to go or another runner in here."

(On if he is concerned at the safety position)- "Any of the positions where guys that we are counting on, are not out there competing. I think it's a little bit of a concern, but Mike Adams has done a good job. Ray Ventrone has done a good job. T.J. Ward is increasing his work load behind the scenes here quite a bit and we're anticipating that he will be out there full tilt pretty soon. Usama (Young) will be back. Eric Haag is doing tremendous. He's a fast healer, so I am happy about that."

(On if there are key guys on defense that can help stop the run)- "I think team defense is the way you stop the run. Number one everybody has to obviously defeat their blockers and maintain gap security, because the ball carrier can cut back. But, I think that's what you are looking for when you defend the run, is a team concept. I always think on defense D'Qwell (Jackson) as the leader of that group with Scott Fujita. In the back end you have Sheldon Brown and, even though T.J. hasn't practiced much, T.J. There is leadership now leaking out of a lot of guys back there, which I think is a good thing. When you stop the run it has to be a team concept."

(On if there are a few guys that can play the run well)- "I think for the most part you want your defensive tackles to do it. I think (Ahtyba) Rubin and obviously Taylor do a good job with that. We have linebackers that I think fit the run real well and our safeties are physical guys. Those are where you need to be."

(On if it is a challenge playing a lot of rookies)- "It is. I think they are excited. I have seen steady improvement. We are going to see how good we are here soon when we play a regular season game. Rookies tend to have fresh legs and I think that's something we will build on. I think they have taken to the schemes pretty well. You just have to go out there and do it. If I made a list of all the things I am worried about it would be two pages. So, you don't do that. You go out there, we take them through the process. We take them through the meetings. We go through the process and get them ready to play, and you know what guys, "Go out there and do it." You encourage them and empower them to play and you put them out there and let's roll. I think that's got to be the approach. I don't think that's any different whether you have rookies or you are playing with a team full of veterans."

(On if they have made a decision on Eric Steinbach)- "We haven't yet, but we are getting close to one soon."

(On Usama Young's situation is more difficult because he has not been a full time starter before)- "I don't know if it's more difficult for him. He is one the guys, and I think I have I mentioned it, that I need to learn more about. He kind of came here and was out of action quickly. The key thing for him is to get healthy and get out there. We can make our decisions after that."

(On if Marcus Benard has gotten his weight down)- "He is bigger than he was a year ago, but I think he is getting himself more and more into playing shape, which is good."

(On Jayme Mitchell and Jabaal Sheard and their role in the defense)- "I think both of those guys are kind of long angular type players. I think both can play the run as well as pass rush. I think they are three down players. I think that's where the scheme and everything you do to fit the runs is important. There are gaps out there and we need a guy in each one."

(On what he has learned about Mike Adams)- "I think he is taking advantage of the extra reps that he has gotten. He has played in there much like you would expect from a starter. I've learned that about him. I think he's more in my mind than just a backup-type player right now. To me, until the other guys come back, he is our starter and he may still be."

(On Adams possibly starting over Young)- "Until more guys get out there and compete with him and I don't mean to be funny about it, but I think that's the case. We have to make those decisions once you have all of the healthy bodies back."

12:31 PM

Pinkston Up for Challenge: Browns rookie offensive lineman, Pitt’s Jason Pinkston, may start at right guard for … http://t.co/fZVcdKa

12:12 PM

RT @FredGreethamOBR Watson steinbach b jackson not on field.

12:08 PM

RT @FredGreethamOBR Usama young and ward practicing.

12:07 PM

Gocong and ivey on bikes.

11:17 AM

RT @FredGreethamOBR Shurmur plans on using hillis and hardesty together in some packages.

11:00 AM

Decision on steinbach coming soon.

Shurmur Press Conference Transcript, Aug. 28
Don Delco on August 29th, 2011 AT 7:57 AM

(Opening statement)- "We just had our walk-through. I really don't have anything to add. We had a chance to visit the day before yesterday so there's not much to add from that standpoint. As the media you can get use to this, this would be a Wednesday in your mind. I'm not sure what day this is but in my mind it's Wednesday. We'll have meetings in the morning. We'll have a walk-through or a jog-through at 11:15 which will go to about 11:45, on Wednesday's I'll come in here and give you what you need. We'll have a 12:30 practice which will be special teams for a half hour. It's a dedicated half hour special teams practice and then we'll start the main practice at 1:00 which will also include special teams. Then after practice, during the year, we'll have the open locker room. Well this week what we'll do is you can just get the guys coming off the field today after 1:00, if you're interested in them. Then we'll go onto meetings and the rest of our day. That's what they're learning, the players and the weekly schedule. As we prepare for Chicago, obviously I think every team has their first regular season opponent kind of in the back of their mind, but I think we'll focus here for the next couple of days on Chicago as we teach the players the process and the urgency of the meetings and the practices and what not."

(On if the special team practice will just be on Wednesdays)- "No, it's every day, well Wednesday, Thursday and actually Friday too. It's a half hour dedicated special teams practice which kind of ties into the other practice but it's at the beginning of it."

(On the durability and depth at running back with Brandon Jackson out and Montario Hardesty returning from injury)- "I don't know what to think in terms of the durability there right now. We've got a guy coming back from injury and one that's banged up right now. We're keeping our eyes open at a lot of positions to possibly help bolster the roster. We'll see how that goes as we finish our fourth preseason game."

(On Quinn Porter and Armond Smith and Smith's troubles with ball security)- "You read my mind on that one, ball security is very important no matter what your skill set is as a runner, you must secure the football. There were a couple of instances where he didn't do that and we've worked on it. In terms of them, they're competing, I think they're doing a good job. As we move forward here the final roster will become obvious when it happens."

(On Owen Marecic)- "I'm happy with Owen. We had a situation this past week where we were ready to play two fullbacks. We got good work out of Peyton (Hillis), we got good work out of (Montario) Hardesty. I'm happy with his progress."

(On Marecic's dropped pass against the Lions)- "That was what a couple weeks ago? No, he's doing a good job of catching the football."

(On Richmond McGee)- "I think he had a nice game last week and we're hopeful that he'll have a nice game this week. I feel like he's doing some things that can help this team. He's a fine holder and he punted the ball much more consistently last week in Philadelphia, better than he did against Detroit."

(On if McGee's regular season inexperience is a source of worry for him)- "Source of worry? You know I've got a lot of things on my mind quite frankly (joking). I try not to worry about things. I really do believe the players on our roster are pros and if we put him out there we expect that he's going to do a good job. No, I'm not worried. What happens is if you watch a guy perform and if he does well you feel good. If he doesn't do well you grit your teeth and coach him up. In the case of the punter, I'm looking for him to have a good game this week."

(On Jason Pinkston's performance against Philadelphia compared to the Detroit game)- "He played more and he started the game. Again, I keep talking about ‘firsts' and for a rookie to come in, he played and that was a first in the first couple games and now this was his first start and against a good team. I think he handled it pretty well. There were a couple of plays where he needs to be better and he knows why. He's like anybody in training camp now, he's working through the mistakes, but I think he's got an upside to him that I feel good about."

(On if Pinkston's strong enough for the position)- "Absolutely. He's got a very strong lower body and I think he's strong enough."

(On if it's difficult for rookie linemen to adjust compared to a rookie skill player)- "There's a lot going on in there. I'm very aware of the fact that offensive linemen, Doug's (Dieken) sitting here and he'll attest to this, offensive linemen they need the engagement. It's easy to watch guys run around and do that, but that feel of a guy that they're blocking, working with somebody, when I come off when I stick on and those types of things. There are a lot of different scenarios in there depending on how we're protecting, who we're blocking and so it's really important. Those guys need the reps, they need the reps. When I compare it to the wide outs, if they play off on us just run up six yards and stop. You can get away with that. For a lineman, if you run up six yards up and stop there's a lot of other stuff that could happen in terms of protecting the quarterback. I'm aware of that. The thing that's helping Jason is he's getting many, many reps in there with the ones next to a number one center and a number one left tackle. That's the other piece of being a lineman, not only are you doing your individual assignment, but then how you work in unison with those other four guys. It's been good."

(On Montario Hardesty looking like the guy they drafted a year ago)- "I know why Tom (Heckert) drafted him because I evaluated him when he came out. I just had a different mailing address. I think we're starting to see what he is and was in college. I'm hopeful that he's going to get to that level."

(On what Hardesty was in college)- "I think he's quick. I think he's got excellent vision. Again, much like a lineman blocking in there, the holes and creases aren't always large and you've got to be able to press it and jump through it. I think he can do that well. He has the instinct to run to day light. I think he's a solid guy in terms of his physique where he can be a good pass protector and I think he also catches the ball well. That's what we expect to see."

(On if they will be conservative with Hardesty's reps in a game)- "I think he's going to go into the game as a guy that's- if Peyton Hillis is our running back than he's not going to have the same kind of reps as if he were starting the game. It may be a natural assumption, but I don't think that's the case. When we start playing these for real, its all hands on deck. Let me back up now, the preseason games are for real, but when we start the regular season, don't misinterpret that."

(On Eric Steinbach's status)- "He hasn't been out there and it's been documented that he's dealing with a back issue. There is nothing that's been finally decided on his status yet. When his status is determined and when he's back or not back, we'll make it known."

(On if they are trying to get Pinkston going forward)- "Again, we're in the process of the fourth preseason game where he will get a bunch of reps. In the next couple of weeks here, we'll make the decision on who finally makes the roster and who plays at that left guard spot."

(On if John Greco can play left guard)- "Greco is a guy who really is a five spot guy. He's played both tackles, both guards and he's snapped. We have other guys that can swing around in there. We have a couple tough decisions here."

(On if it would be too much for a backup at tackle to also be the backup at guard)- "No, I don't think so. I think offensive linemen know when you go into a game and you determine the roster for game day, you have five starters and you have typically a guy that can back up a tackle. Or maybe one of your five starters is a guy that can jump out to tackle and you put in a guard. There are a lot of different combinations. It's a long answer for guys that are not starting need to be somewhat flexible or to be able to play tackle-guard or guard-center."

(On if Greco is better suited for right guard than left guard)- "I wouldn't say there is a distinction either way. He could do both."

(On Pinkston reps against the Bears)- "Jason is going to play."

(On Shawn Lauvao's progress)- "I've mentioned it a couple of times, I think Shawn is having an outstanding camp. I knew about Shawn coming out of college, but he's a guy who is good. When the game got a little chippy against Philadelphia – which happens, boys will be boys - he was right in there which I have an appreciation for. He doesn't say much, but when stuff breaks out he tends to be there."

(On if Mohamed Massaquoi will practice today)- "He is going to be out there today running, but in terms of practicing I think we are still going to hold him another day or so.”

(On the pass interference call on Brian Robiskie)- "I observed it."

(On people saying Robiskie doesn't get enough separation)- "He's had moments in games where he has done a good job with that. I like what Brian has done to this point in training camp so I wouldn't second what maybe somebody is saying."

(On how much the starters will play in the last preseason game)- "We haven't determined all that. We are going to go into this game and try to win it. So we'll see."

(On if Colt McCoy will play)- "We'll talk about that as we approach the game."

(On if it means anything that the deep pass to Robiskie came when he was against Nnamdi Asomugha)- "I think he probably feels good about that and he should. Nnamdi is a terrific player, but I anticipate that each one of those guys regardless of the matchup is going out there to win it. We expect them to."

(On if the horse collar called on Titus Brown during the Detroit game and if it was a horse collar)- "I don't know. They called it. My understanding is you have to grab them by the back of the neck. That's my understanding of the rule."

(On D'Qwell Jackson's roughing the passer penalty and if they will coach him to do anything differently)- "I think that he made an effort there. Now, things happen in the game. I want him to play hard and I want him to make sure that he plays within the rules. That's what we are going to coach him to do. In the case of sacking the quarterback, you can't hit him the head with your head so that's what we are coaching him to do."

Browns Player Quotes, Aug. 28
Don Delco on August 29th, 2011 AT 7:56 AM

Mohamed Massaquoi

(On returning to practice)- "It feels good. I'm excited to be back out here with the guys. I wish I could have started a little bit earlier. Now I'm playing a little bit of catch up to make sure I get in shape and do the things that I need to do to be ready."

(On the challenge of possibly playing Week 1 without playing in any prior preseason games)- "The thing that I've been fortunate to do was from a mental aspect to just learn everything and see everything standing away from the game. That's been helpful. From that aspect, I've been able to slow the game down, but there's nothing like getting in football shape, getting the reps, being out here with your teammates, learning and getting the timing back."

(On his take on the offense)- "I love the offense. Everybody's picking up on it. I know the offense very well and I'm excited just to get in it and get use to it now."

(On what he has to do to take the next step as a receiver in the NFL)- "Just come out here and work and just hone in on my skills. I've been fortunate just to see guys like Larry (Fitzgerald), Chad (Ochocinco) and Wes (Welker) work. Just being able to see those guys working and what they do to make themselves successful. Just try and come out here every day and apply those little things to my game so hopefully I can take that step."

Colt McCoy

(On Mohamed Massaquoi returning and what role he might have)- "It was good to have Mo back in a few drills, to throw the ball to him a little bit, to get his feet back under him. I think we will slowly kind of work him in as we go. I think we are all excited to have him back and Carlton (Mitchell) was back today as well. Those are two guys that can help us."

(On what he can take from the Eagles game)- "You take a lot. I think for us as a team that's kind of growing and figuring out who we are on both sides of the ball, I thought there was some good things and I thought there were a lot of things that are easily correctable. I think for offensive purposes, for us, we just have to take advantage of some little things. We didn't do the little things as good as we could of. We didn't execute as well. We had too many penalties and little mistakes that really hurt us. We will be okay. We watched the film, we corrected it and now we are moving on. That's important for us and we will be alright."

(On if Peyton Hillis instills confidence in his when they are on the field together)- "He's great. I think we all love when Peyton is out there. Peyton is just a solid football player. He has good hands out of the backfield. He runs hard and gives you all he's got. There is definitely a good boost when he is in the game."

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