OBR Blog - Week One

The opener is here as the Browns welcome Carson Pa... uh, Andy Dalton and the Bengals to town.

5:54 PM

Mixed Day for Colt: A bad first and a bad fourth turn into another home loss. http://t.co/Zj7jVvl

5:21 PM

Opening Day Doldrums: The latest occurred in simply the long list of opening day disappointments. http://t.co/YQwJL4W

4:48 PM

VOTE! Gameballs and Goats: It’s a new season and everything, uh, has changed. Right? http://t.co/fl209e4

4:48 PM

VOTE! Gameballs and Goats: It’s a new season and everything, uh, has changed. Right? http://t.co/fl209e4

2:03 PM

Dawson slams though the short field goal, and the Browns get three from their good field position: BROWNS 14, BENGALS 13.

2:03 PM

Dawson slams though the short field goal, and the Browns get three from their good field position: BROWNS 14, BENGALS 13.

11:12 AM

1PM: Live Chat during Browns-Bengals: Join the OBR and FOX Sports Ohio as we kick off the 2011 season! http://t.co/U4AjcZ2

OBR Newswire updates for September 8th through September 10th
OBR Newswire on September 10th, 2011 AT 10:00 AM

These are links from the OBR Newswire for September 8th through September 10th:

9:35 AM

Lane’s 5 Concerns Entering 2011: OBR’s Lane Adkins issues his top five concerns for the 2011 Cleveland Browns. http://t.co/Ttxhhv7

Shurmur Press Conference Transcript, Sept. 9
Don Delco on September 9th, 2011 AT 5:28 PM

(Opening statement)- "It's a Friday practice and I think the players ran around pretty good. We got a lot done today. As you know, today is the big emphasis on the red zone and then we review all the other phases. They have the plan in hand and now it's important that they review and prepare and do all the things that they need to get ready for Sunday. We will have a good day tomorrow and then we will tee it up."

(On if Tony Pashos is ready to go)- "Tony practiced today so we will see. It's hard to say right now, but we are hopeful he will be there. I don't have anything new from yesterday though."

(On how much of a rotation they will use on the offensive line)- "We will react to whoever is in there, but we feel there are some guys in there that would do a good job if they have to play, whether it's at left guard or right tackle."

(On if any questions remain about the team heading into the first game)-"No, not really. In terms of how they are going to respond, I think we will see that on Sunday, but as far as questions, no. I feel good about the process this week. I feel good about their attention to detail and how they approach preparing for the game. I've felt good about the practices. I feel like there was good energy. They've practiced fast. The mistakes that showed up maybe yesterday were repeated today and were corrected. I feel god about that. After we play this thing out on Sunday then we will sit back like we always do on Monday and re-evaluate it and move forward."

(On if he might not be able to sleep Saturday night or feel different Sunday morning)- "Well there is a chance I think. I am looking forward to the experience. The preseason games no matter how often you do this, the preseason games get the whole league refocused, whether you are a coach, a player, the officials doing it for the first time in a while, the stadium operations people so those are good lead ups to the season from the how you feel standpoint. The game is a little faster and the ones are in the longer so some of those things will change, but I will definitely be excited."

(On if the team now is as healthy as it has been)- "I think I have been places before where we weren't as healthy as what we are here now. You would like to be able to take everybody that you practiced training camp with to the first game. Unfortunately that is not the case, but yeah, I feel good about the guys we are going to put out there."

(On if Jason Pinkston will start at left guard)- "I won't say at this point, but there is a good chance he could be, a good chance."

(On how players would rotate if Pinkston starts)- "Typically the starter plays and as you go through the game if you have in this case a young starter, you just kind of watch how he plays and then do what you can to help him."

(On if he watched the Green Bay-New Orleans game last night)- "I saw a few clips this morning. I was actually on the treadmill this morning and I saw the recap. I heard some of it driving home last night, but I didn't get a chance to watch the game."

(On if his offense will look like the game last night)- "Which one, the winning team or the losing team (joking)? We want to score as many points as it takes to win games. It's hard to say. Teams can't really model themselves after other teams. You are looking at two teams last night that are at the top of their game right now and they have been doing it for a few years. We would love to be a team that is going to score 42 points and 34 points every game, that's what we would all wish for."

(On if the game tape from last year's Bengals game is no good because of all of the changes)- "No, we watched it. In fact we watched the two games last year. There is a lot you can take from games even though the systems are different. You can watch the matchups of the players. There are some concepts that are similar. You can try to get a feel for the personality of the coordinator and the guys calling the games. There is a lot to be learned even though it's a different system."

(On his impressions of that game tape)- "I watched them both and what I took away from it was they are a pretty darn good football team. I also took away from it that they are going to be a good challenge for us and that's where it's at."

(On Mike Holmgren saying the team is trying to sign Peyton Hillis to a contract extension and his thoughts on that)- "Right now my total focus as the head coach is Sunday and he is our starting tailback on Sunday. I am looking forward to him competing. All that contract business, I will let Mike and Tom (Heckert) comment on that. I don't mean to avoid your question really, I will just let that go there."

(On it being important to secure young talent like Hillis and Ahtyba Rubin for a long period of time)- "We are making an effort and Mike confirmed it. We are making an effort to try to tie up guys for a long term that we feel really good about. Again, it's no different with Rubin's situation, I'd rather not comment on it."

(On Mohamed Massaquoi's performance in practice this week)- "He's looked really good and I have enjoyed this week because we're getting to work with him in his role as a receiver. I like Mo. I think he's got some stuff there and I'm looking forward to seeing him do his thing."

(On what kind of a coach Mark Whipple is and what's it like working with him)- "I think he's a fine coach that's why I hired him. Mark and I had a chance to work together for a year in Philadelphia. When you work with somebody you get a feel for who they are and I feel like he's done a good job with the quarterbacks and getting them up to speed. The important thing is everybody's speaking the same language. In the case of an offensive head coach, the quarterback coach and the quarterbacks, you all have to be on the same page. I think because Mark spends a lot of time with the quarterbacks and drills them and work them, they talk about things and constantly he'll come back to me and say Colt (McCoy) likes this, let's get another rep of this. That relationship I think is good and it needs to be natural and we all have to be on the same page."

(On the playing time for the receivers)- "I think Sunday, and I've made this point, the receivers that are active will all play. We have a role for all of them. When you see them play and the lights are on and they're doing their thing, typically the guys that end up producing are the ones that you'll see out there the most. That's the case at all positions. If you're playing in the game and you're asked to produce and you can't produce then we either have to get you better or get you out. That's the reality of it."

(On how T.J. Ward looked after coming back from injury)- "He moved around well this week. I'm obviously keeping a close eye on those guys that are recently back full and I thought he moved around well."

11:48 AM

Hillis, Hardesty Could be Dynamic Duo: Browns plan to use both backs to their benefit in 2011. http://t.co/Arwhjrk

8:33 AM

OBR’s 2011 Season Predictions: Part Five: Keep It Simple: What is the Browns’ 2011 Record? http://t.co/5h4oLhS

8:33 AM

Browns-Bengals Preview: Is this finally the year that marks the beginning of the end of the Browns struggles? http://t.co/wS3rG7W

8:33 AM

OBR’s 2011 Season Predictions: Part Four: Describe Level of Optimism After Browns’ Horrible Season Ending Stretch http://t.co/bxb1qkI

Jauron Press Conference Transcript, Sept. 8
Don Delco on September 9th, 2011 AT 6:59 AM

(On the rookies' progression on the defensive line)- "They are obviously further along than they were about five and a half six weeks ago. It's hard to play in there and I think it's a little bit easier maybe for Jabaal (Sheard) to play outside, not that it's ever easy, but inside Phil's (Taylor) got people on both sides of him. A lot of things are going on in there, but they are both doing fine. We are really happy with both of their progress. They have a lot to learn obviously. I think they are quick studies, I believe that they are. They work at it, they like it and they are serious about it. So here we go, it will be a great learning experience for them and I believe they will do a good job."

(On if Taylor can be a third down player)- "At times, maybe not all the time, but at times."

(On if they have a small personnel package in the sub defense)- "We can rush with defensive ends inside if that's what you are referring to, yes."

(On if Ahtyba Rubin would be a part of the small package)- "We believe Rubin will be part of most everything we do. We really like Rub. Obviously for the big guys, it's hard to play every snap of the football game. We are going to need to have a rotation to play at our best. Rub is a part of all the packages whether if he will be in their all the time, I would say no hopefully nobody will be in there every snap off the line."

(On if Marcus Benard made a push in camp towards competing with Sheard)- "I would say that Benard because of his injury, his physical situation, really in camp never got to make a push because he was very seldom out there completely healthy. At this point, he appears to have regained what he had in the past. He is moving pretty well. He is moving well, but in training camp he just wasn't. He didn't have the opportunity to let it go and compete."

(On what kind of coach Pat Shurmur is)- "Coach Shurmur has been really great for us. In every way he is organized. He is an offensive coach, but he is certainly concerned about us. I feel like he has given us all the opportunities in terms of personnel. I think our organization has done a good job kind of retooling because of the difference in the 3-4 and the 4-3 and certainly Coach Pat has been a huge part of that."

(On Shurmur bouncing ideas off of him and if it is nice having that open line of communication)- "It definitely is for me and I certainly appreciate it."

(On Sheard being a little too aggressive and over pursuing and if they need to temper his attacking style)- "I don't think we want to temper his attacking style. They are going to make errors and what Peewee (Dwaine Board) and I tell them is that you are assigned a certain gap or responsibility on a play and just because you're there it doesn't mean that you have accomplished your job. At times a guy may get out of his gap and he may get beat. Somebody may get behind him, but he can't be so cautious that he just stays in his gap and the play goes away and he feels like it's done. Occasionally a guy will get out of that gap or believes he sees something and not be right. I tend to believe that you have to live with some of that stuff. It's going to happen on the field unless you want to slow him down and we don't want to do that. We don't want him to let him go and he is a rookie also, so he is learning a lot of things about the game at this level and the speed people play at. He hasn't seen it yet at top speed yet, he has not. It's a lot different when you start this Sunday so he may not be perfect all the time but as long as he keeps playing hard like he does and like he has through college and there is no reason to believe he won't do that. I think he will be fine and we will be fine."

(On Jayme Mitchell is what he hoped and how important it is for him to be a consistent pass rusher)- "Going through the whole sort of offseason thing that occurred, Jayme was a guy we identified in our scheme and with our personnel as a guy we need to get back here just to be able to have enough qualified people up to play. He is a serious player. I like Jayme's attitude. He wants to do it right and will ask questions about it a lot. If he doesn't feel like he is exactly where he wants to be with it, he wants to know and that's a good thing. It's important to us. Obviously it's important to us to have everyone perform at a high level, but our defensive ends we are going to need pass rush from them. We are kind of leaning on Jayme and hoping he comes through and produces and I believe he will."

(On his scouting report on Andy Dalton)- "He is smart and steady. He's a guy that has a proven track record in the highest level at the college ranks. He looks like he doesn't rattle. They have a formidable team around him. They can do things to help him and they look like they have and are doing things to help him. He's been fairly impressive."

(On the rational for playing the cornerbacks left and right instead of putting their best corner on the best receiver)- "You can match corners at times. I have been in a number of situations where what you would consider your best corner does not want to go over to the other side. He's very, very comfortable on one side or the other and not that comfortable on the other side whether it's in press or off, they just aren't. Then you find the opposite, there are guys that will travel all over the field and it doesn't bother them. That's really the only rational for not matching because you can match in all phases of the game. You could match in pressure. You can match in pure man. You can match in zone, so the offense wouldn't have any idea. It would be hard to disguise certain things if a certain receiver you were matching went inside. It would depend on coverage then what you wanted to do with that. Usually it's a comfort level of the defender as opposed to the scheme."

(On if Joe Haden will matchup or just play one side)- "I wouldn't think there is a good reason to answer that today (joking)."

(On if Haden and T.J. Ward and playing like veterans or still make young mistakes)- "There are some young mistakes, but I am really happy with them. We believe they are both really good players and just going to develop further. Again, playing inside is a little bit more demanding, a little more difficult. I shouldn't say difficult because obviously the challenges outside can be as difficult as you can get. There's maybe a little more thinking involved inside and adjustments involved inside. T.J. and Joe I think are outstanding picks and they have great futures for us."

(On if this system is similar to the one with the Bears)- "Not similar, so I would say no.”

(On who has been a pleasant surprise so far)- "I would say there are a number of them, I would hate to leave somebody out. In terms of draft picks, take a guy like Buster Skrine, he wasn't drafted awfully high. He doesn't come from I what people I would say is the highest level of college football, but Buster has had a really good camp and I believe in the long run, he is going to be an outstanding addition to this football team. Is it a surprise? You would say no because you drafted him, if you drafted him you clearly saw anything in him. He has done an outstanding job. I think Scott Paxson, you don't really here a lot about him. He is just a tough guy, a conscientious guy. He does his job all the time, all the time. There are a number of them, but like I said I fear I have left a lot of them out, but there are two examples. We obviously didn't know anything about any of the guys that were not on tape a year ago and only what we saw on tape from those guys a year ago. It's been a really interesting five or six week period here."

(On how he continues to relate to young players)- "I suspect you will probably have to ask them because I think I relate to them, but they may not think that (joking). I never felt like it was very different ever. I don't know if that answer makes any sense. I guess I don't try to, I try not to, I just love being around a team. I have been around a team all my life and I like it. I feel pretty comfortable with it and I like most of the guys. I guess I like most people. I don't know the answer to the young people thing. I'd like to think I'm one of them, but we're not that close in age. I do know that."

(On how the defense can defend better against the run)- "We favor a bigger front than most people do. I've always like to be big inside. You'd like to be big everywhere if your athletes could do it obviously. It's kind of a big man's game to a certain degree and certainly in that part of the game. We have pretty good size inside and now we have to develop their feel for it and Phil's got to start experiencing the game. Once again, even though he's played in the preseason, it's not going to be anything like what's going to happen."

(On D'Qwell Jackson)- "There are certain things you can do to take advantage of his skills too and we'll try and do them. The more we learn about our players, the more I think we can help them. Primarily, you have to have size, be disciplined and tough up front."

(On if he would describe himself as aggressive or conservative with blitzing)- "I wouldn't describe myself, I've never seen a reason to do that (joking). We'll blitz. We'd like to think we're going to be varied enough to keep people off balance. If people would say, ‘What ideally would you like to do?' I would say most people in the league they would say about 33-40 percent pressure depending on what you're doing, how good you are at it and who your people are. The better your people the more you're going to pressure, the better the combination of people. You'd like to be varied enough to keep people off balance."

(On if you automatically try to pressure a rookie quarterback more)- "I would say no. I don't know that anything automatically happens anytime in the league. You have plans, you see what's happening, see where the game is going, what direction its taking, what's working and what's not. You certainly have plans going in, but it all kind of takes on its own life every game. Maybe that's one of the best things about it all, you can do all the planning, all the research, look all the stats and then the game starts. Then you see what's happening and the game kind of takes on its own life."

(On his linebackers)- "I really feel good about them. I wish they were all healthy, that's our issue now. D'Qwell, Scott (Fujita), Chris (Gocong), Kaluka (Maiava) and then Titus (Brown), that's a pretty solid group. If we can just keep them healthy, but we haven't been able to do that in training camp and obviously in the past they've struggled to. They are very smart, very aware guys and they have experience. They know how to play in the league. They appear to be and I've been around them enough now to be able to say they're very team oriented guys. They care about this team. They think it's more important to them that the team succeeds than it is for their own personal stuff and that's a good thing. We have a good group, we just have to get them all healthy and practicing enough to feel comfortable with the deal."

(On Joe Haden becoming more of a pro and if he got that from working with a coach or/or other players such as Sheldon Brown)- "I really have a lot of respect and confidence in Jerome (Henderson) and with the addition to Ray (Rhodes) in the secondary, you have a great combination of guys there in terms of coaches to help Joe advance. Then on the squad, as you mentioned, Sheldon is a great resource for Joe. Sheldon is a pro. He knows how to play and it is important to him. He's not a real loud guy, but he doesn't tolerate a lot of foolishness and I think that's to of had a positive effect of Joe as a young player."

Browns Player Quotes, Sept. 8
Don Delco on September 9th, 2011 AT 6:57 AM

Peyton Hillis

(On how having Montario Hardesty back will help him)- "It will help me a whole lot. Montario is a very gifted running back. He is a guy who is very dependable and can go in there and get those tough yards for you when he needs to and can give me a breather every now and then so that is always a good thing."

(On how good the team is)- "We are as good as we want to be. It just depends on how we execute on Sundays. If we come with the right mindset and that we practice really hard. This week has been a good week of practice, so I am really looking forward to see great things on Sunday."

(On how he likes the West Coast offense compared to the other offenses he has been in)- "I was in the West Coast with coach (Mike) Shanahan my first year. It is very player friendly and I think it gives the players time to regroup. As far as the physicality goes, your body is rested, I feel a lot better than I did at this time last year. I think that's a big positive heading into the season."

Phil Taylor

(On how much he has improved)- "I think I am getting better every day. I just need to keep playing hard every down, keep going and do what I have to do."

(On his improvement from the first day of camp to now)- "Adjusting to the style of play in the NFL like the speed and things like that. How the offenses run it the NFL, being able to recognize formations better and things like that."

(On what he's learned from Ahtyba Rubin)- "I've learned a lot. He's a great player and he told me a lot of the tricks of the trade for defensive tackles."

4:10 PM

OBR founder Barry McBride picks out tweets every morning for #FSOLastNight and annoys people. We’re not sure why: http://ow.ly/6phUn

Shurmur Press Conference Transcript, Sept. 8
Don Delco on September 8th, 2011 AT 3:51 PM

(Opening statement)- "Today is goal line, short yardage, third down day and then review of the base. We're just adding to the plan here getting ready to play. There's nothing really new to add. I think everything injury wise is made official and so there's nothing there. I answer specific questions if you have them."

(On Tony Pashos' status and if he is out of the boot)- "He's actually out of the boot and he competed in the walk-through today. They made something for his shoe so hopefully that'll help him settle that foot down. He was actually out at the walk-through and we intend to practice him today and see how he's doing."

(On if he's made a decision on who will start at left guard)- "I don't want to say definitively, but right now Jason Pinkston's taking most of if not all of the reps there. The way we practice now, the one's basically take all the reps when we're working the Browns' stuff and then really a lot of the reps that the backups get are when they're working the cards against our defense and vice versa."

(On Artis Hicks playing at left guard)- "Artis is working there as well. As I mentioned yesterday, we've got three guys working at left guard and three guys working at right tackle. We feel like we're going to need that flexibility. You've got Jason, you've got Artis and you've got (John) Greco working at left guard. Then at right tackle you've got Oniel Cousins, Artis Hicks and then you've got Greco. We'll work them there and see what happens."

(On how fast Cousins is picking up the offense)- "He's picked it up fine. He actually came in here with about two days notice and played in the last preseason game. Again, he's got experience in this league starting, he's not a rookie and I think we've kind of gone down this road a few times – offensive line come in and if you're playing those positions you've practiced at other spots. I think that's part of the training camp experience, unless you're Joe Thomas and you're playing left tackle or you're Alex Mack and you're playing center, those couple of guys or right now for us Shawn Lauvao who's playing right guard. Those other guys behind it, those three in this case, play a lot of different spots."

(On Pashos shaking off the rust and his progression this far)- "I thought he was doing a good job. I wasn't with him the last couple years so I guess I didn't see the rust. I felt like he was competing and doing well, playing like a right tackle in this league plays. Then he developed that foot soreness."

(On if Montario Hardesty's workload will be limited)- "There's no pitch counts on anybody Sunday. We're out there to win the game. He will play, he will get some carries but as you know Peyton Hillis is our starting tailback."

(On how Hillis affects the defense and his play calling)- "I think he's a fine runner. What I've seen in the preseason is that he does a good job of catching the football as well. The key when you have a halfback that you want to get the ball to, it really doesn't matter if you hand it to him or throw it to him as long as he gets it and that's kind of the way I look at it. I think of those as when they get their touches."

(On if running the West Coast offense will affect how teams try to defend against Hillis)- "I don't know, that's probably not a fair question for me. I think we see ourselves one way and then the teams that defend us may see us another. They really determine which playmakers they're going to try to take away. Hopefully we'll create enough balance where we can play football and spread the ball around. That's the little game that we all play. At the end of the day I think if all the skill players that are out there get their touches, we find a way to run the ball efficiently and then find a way to put points on the board then that's what you're looking for."

(On how the transition to the 4-3 defense is going)- "Again, I don't have anything to compare it to because I wasn't here coaching when we were lined up in a 3-4. It's the front that I'm use to seeing, it's the front that we played 10 years in Philadelphia and then two years in St. Louis. I'm use to seeing it. If you just want to talk about our team, the 2011 Browns, I've seen the guys improve in the last six weeks."

(On if he remembers what he was doing on September 11, 2001)- "Absolutely, it's one of those event in life, it's such a devastating tragedy and I do remember it. I was actually in Philadelphia. I was sitting at my desk and we we're getting ready at the time to play Tampa Bay in Tampa Bay. At the time I was a tight end coach so I had to do a lot of computer work and I was actually drawing up runs for the scouting report. I had a little TV on the end of my counter and our secretary, Carol Wilson, walked in and she said, ‘Turn on the TV.' She had thought at the time, and I think it was first reported, that a small airplane had crashed into the tower. I'll never forget it because when she walked into my office to tell me, we turned on the TV and then Carol Wilson and I actually saw the second plane on TV hit the second tower. It was very real for us in Philadelphia being so close to New York City. We had people in the organization that had loved ones in the tower working in New York City. It was just a very tough day for all of us, especially for those of us who were not only in New York City, but on the east coast. Then I think what happened there was, as the information started to trickle out, that it was a very devastating attack, then our thoughts kind of drifted away from game planning for Tampa Bay, the players were coming around and then the information spread that the game was going to be canceled that week. I'll never forget it."

(On if it's hard to believe that some players were only in grade school at the time of the attacks)- "I think as we get older, if we were able to experience it, I have children that probably don't know much about it as well. I know they're being educated on it now I'm sure this week in school. But, it's one of those events in life that you'll never forget and it'll be something that we'll educate the people that come after us about."

(On if he can put into words what this game means to him as a first time head coach)- "I don't know about words. I'm excited. I feel like the players have been kind of jumping over the hurdles that they need to jump over. I think organizationally we're doing the same thing. You go through the process of the offseason, the draft and getting ready for the season. It was a little bit non-traditional. I shouldn't say a little bit, it was a lot non-traditional. What started to feel normal to me was when training camp started. I think then you get about six weeks of work here where you get yourself refocused on what you think it should look like. I got a good vision of what practice today should look like and I know what tomorrow should look like and how Saturday should feel. I think it's just general excitement, I'm looking forward to seeing our guys compete."

(On if he knows how he would the game look like)- "I know how I'd like to see it look. I don't know what the games going to come out like, but I like to be able to visualize the scoreboard at the end of course."

(On what sets him off because so many players yesterday talked about how composed he is)- "Oh there's a lot of things (joking), there really is and kudos to those players that you talked to for keeping our secrets. I guess I have a low tolerance for guys that don't try to do the right thing. I have low tolerance for guys who don't compete hard, those types of things. I probably have a low tolerance for guys who repeat mistakes. Disrespect, at least I know in our house you respect your elders and you never lie, just some of those primary things."

(On what his captain situation is)- "We're going to have game captains which means we'll have three new captains that'll go for the coins toss each week. Typically when we're playing scrimmage downs and we're on offense of course Colt (McCoy) will handle it on the field and on defense typically D'Qwell (Jackson) in terms of the penalties. In the special team situations, Phil's (Dawson) out there. We'll have game captains and this week its Colt McCoy, Scott Fujita and Phil Dawson. I do have this though, I have what I consider a group of guys that I would consider to be the leaders on this team. We're constantly talking about things like you would if you had two or three set captains."

(On how many guys are in this leadership group)- "We have a group of 15 guys."

(On how he thinks the 4-3 will be against the run)- "If we play it well, I think it should work. I don't have any concerns there."

(On what it is in this system that'll work against the run)- "I just think if we play sound in our gaps, if we attack the line of scrimmage. Defending the run is a team thing. Typically, teams will run zone plays and they'll run it to the right and the thing can cut back to the left or it can spill out. I think there needs to be discipline, you need to have guys on the line of scrimmage defeating their blocks and you need linebackers that are filling in the right spots as well as the third level, the safeties. Stopping the run is a team thing and we cover the gaps a little bit different than you do in the 3-4, but if executed properly we should be able to do the same thing."

(On adjusting his play calling without Eric Steinbach in the lineup)- "You typically don't change you're play calls based on the replacement of a left guard. We look each week at if it's better to run right or left, in the middle or outside. We're always evaluating that. Again, the one thing I feel good about if it ends up being Jason, which it probably will be, is he's surrounded there by Alex Mack and Joe Thomas. Good centers are usually getting help or giving help and I think that's something I know Jason can count on."

(On if he expects Chris Gocong to start)- "I expect him to. He practiced yesterday and did well so he'll be out there again today. That's kind of the litmus test for guys being in the game."

(On if Pashos is expect to start)- "If practice goes well and the reports are that he'll be ready to go then absolutely he'll be the starter."

(On Usama Young being caught up mentally in terms of this defense)- "He did a good job when he was out with his hamstring learning. He's gotten many more reps here in the last few days because he's practicing. I think he's caught up. He's ready to go."

(On how much he is depending on his group of leaders to take the young guys through a new offense and a new defense)- "That was one of the first things we talked about was these guys that have established themselves as leaders, you could probably make up the list yourself if you want, but I'll keep that between the players and the coach here. I basically told them that we're going to have some young ones in there and part of being a young one is this first time out even though they may have done a good job, their emotions are going to go a little bit. Just keep it calm, settle them down and do what guys have been through it before do. I think they're aware of that."

(On if Usama Young will start at safety)- "We haven't determined that at this point."

(On if he would play Mike Adams and Usama Young at the same time)- "Sure, I think there's a chance they could both play."

(On if he, Mike Holmgren and Tom Heckert were all on the same page during the roster cuts)- "I would say this, there were no knock down drag out arguments about who we cut or keep if that's what you're alluding to. Yes, I would say we're on the same page, absolutely."

(On how it has been to work with Holmgren and Heckert)- "In terms of working together, I think it's been terrific. I think there's a natural interaction. Tom Heckert's office is just one door down from mine and I can travel behind the scenes and not out in the hallway. We bounce back and forth all the time. When I'm going from meetings I'll bounce through the training room and go see Tom. It's very rare I don't see Tom about every couple hours. I see coach Holmgren quite frequently during the day as well. If things come up, we talk about them and if I have something that we need to discuss, we bring it up, we discuss, we execute it and move on. Again, maybe it's a better question for Mike and Tom, I feel as though it's been natural. In fact, I've kind of enjoyed the process so far."

(On if his relationship with Holmgren is similar to his relationship with Andy Reid was)- "I think it's similar in a lot of ways. The structure of how I was an assistant coach working for a head coach so that's probably a little bit different. As the head coach and the president we probably talk about things that are a little bit different. That probably makes that relationship the same, but different. I don't know if I'm saying that the right way."

(On if Holmgren and Reid have the same type of knowledge set)- "My interaction with Andy was mostly football and relating it to the quarterback. My interaction with Mike is some football, but then there are other things from an organizational now sitting here as the head coach. That's why I say it's the same and different. I wouldn't have normally talked to Andy Reid about how we're going to schedule a training camp, these are my thoughts. I just executed what he said. They're different types on conversations, but very similar."

(On the importance of starting the season 1-0 because teams that start 1-0 are more likely to have a good season)- "I think it's important. It's important if you're going to string some victories together that you get the first one. I do know a loss in the first game is only fatal if you let it be because it's a long season, but I do get your statement about it's much easier to have a good season if you win the first one. I'm aware of all that and we're doing what we can to put a team out there that can compete and give ourselves a chance to win that game."

Latest Links from the OBR Newswire
OBR Newswire on September 8th, 2011 AT 2:00 PM

These are links from the OBR Newswire for September 8th from 12:57 to 13:02:

1:42 PM

Haden ‘Excited’ for Sophomore Season: Browns’ first-round pick in 2010 much more relaxed in his second season. http://t.co/KV6Ahi4

10:48 AM

RT @FredGreethamOBR Pashas out of boot. Slated to practice Thursday.

9:23 AM

OBR’s 2011 Season Predictions: Part Three: Which overblown offseason/preseason story will eventually prove meaningless? http://t.co/Zny2Baj

7:06 AM

(Subscriber) WWBT: Thursday News & Notes: With two positions along the offensive in question, the Browns looked … http://t.co/3UcBHCS

2:04 PM

McCoy Passing the Tests: Berea Report: Browns coach Pat Shurmur looks for Colt McCoy to build off his preseason … http://t.co/kjruyrX

Shurmur Press Conference Transcript, Sept. 7
Don Delco on September 7th, 2011 AT 1:46 PM

(Opening statement)- "It is game week and we just had our first walk-through of the week, although we've basically had two other practices where we've had a chance to work on things somewhat specific to the Bengals. I don't think we are any different than most teams in terms of the time we've spent since we've finalized our team. We've had one last change, Tyler Clutts went to the Chicago Bears on their 53-man roster and we signed a fullback, Eddie Williams, to replace him on the practice squad."

(On how Colt McCoy has come along and how he has grasped this offense)- "Where it began was obviously in the offseason, him being curious about what things were going to look like. We watched in his offseason how he tried to lead the team with very little information, which I thought was terrific. He took the initiative to go see Brett Favre. What you saw was a guy eager to learn. It continued and really started once we started training camp where I felt like he met us more than half way. He was trying to gobble it all up the best he could. Each little stage then, you saw him in practice, a little bit rusty and then he'd fix some errors. Then he got an opportunity to go in be pretty efficient in the first preseason game and then he went through the process of training camp and basically did what we wanted. Now, the next step is to do it for 60 minutes in a regular season game. He's kind of been passing the tests in my mind as we've gone along and so Sunday will be the next test."

(On what kind of progress he expects McCoy to make in his second year)- "For me it's his first year. I know he got some experience a year ago and he was kind of thrown into the fire playing for guys that were injured and he battled and found a way to win some games. That's the way he is. If you track his career all the way back to grade school, he's won a whole bunch of games. He doesn't do it alone, but I think when you have a guy who has that innate ability to be involved with winning then you hope it continues to transfer."

(On if he's learned anything new about McCoy as a coach compared to just scouting him a year ago)- "You think you know when you're scouting him, but I think what I've learned the most being around him in the last six weeks is that he wants to do everything right and he puts a lot of pressure on himself to make sure he's right. If he makes an error, he's quick to recognize it and it's very rare he'll make the same mistake twice. Those are the things you need to be around the player to see and I think I've seen that."

(On if McCoy put too much on his shoulders in the offseason)- "I don't know about too much, but you're curious about how things are going to be so you grab little bit of information and run with it. You think you know, but you don't know. I don't know, I was a student once. I can remember, you get ready for a test and you just know a little bit and that's dangerous. That's really dangerous because you get in and you don't know what direction to go as opposed to when you've had an opportunity to go through the system, go through the process. Now you can anticipate what's really important and what's not. I think that's probably where in his mind in the offseason there was some anxiety. There was always that conversation about we're going to be behind, does he know enough and I'm sure he challenged himself mentally through the offseason, but, I think he's handled it well."

(On how long it will take for Joshua Cribbs to get used to the rest of the guys on the return team since he hasn't been out there with them)- "Well he hasn't done it games. He's fielded a heck of a lot of punts in practice and I think that's the important part and he's worked the returns full speed. He's got a lot of experience returning kicks and from that stand point, I don't anticipate there'll be any drop off in his return game."

(On how many new guys there are on the kickoff return team compared to last year)- "They're all new for me. Every year your primary backup role players are on special teams. There's a chance we could have six rookies playing a major role so there's a lot of newness and that would kind of carry over into special teams as well."

(On if there's a cutoff point for how deep into the end zone they will return kicks)- "Yeah, we'll have that conversation with him."

(On if there could be 109 yard returns)- "You know, it's like a homerun hitter, are you going to make him take on a 3-0 count? I don't know. He's a competitor, he's a play maker and the one thing about Josh that I appreciate is when he gets in the ball games, he loves to play the game. He doesn't mind it thick which means he doesn't mind blocking, he doesn't mind catching the ball in the middle of the field. It takes a great amount of courage to return those kicks. It would be like catching the ball up here and running through you folks (joking). There's a lot going on. I've got a lot of respect for him for those reasons."

(On getting the ball in Cribbs' hands more often on offense because of his ability to make plays)- "Yeah, we're going to play him at receiver. He's going to lineup and play receiver quite a bit and then he's going to return punts and he's going to return kicks. We're going to do what we can to try and get him the football. I'm anticipating that every kick won't be a touchback so he'll get his shots."

(On McCoy's ability to extend plays with his mobility and if he has done that at the right times)- "He's learning and there's a learning curve to extending a play or knowing the timing in the pocket and going through your progression, after your second or third hitch now you're into a scramble. Once you scramble, then there's decision making to be done while you're scrambling. If you're out around the boundary and there's nobody open and you can't get yards you throw it away. If you push up in the pocket and start to scramble and then you start getting running amongst you folks then before you get hit you go down. There are a lot of things that happen and that takes practice as well. To know when time is running out and I've pushed up through the pocket and I've got to get going. We drill that quite a bit. I know he and Mark (Whipple) spend a lot of time talking about it. When we watch the tape, if there's a certain coverage where guys are running around covering man to man and he can push up into the pocket. There's a strategy, technique and fundamental to that as well."

(On how much the organization liked A.J. Green)- "We liked him quite a bit. We felt like he was going to be like a top flight receiver. We liked him a lot."

(On what makes Green standout) – "He was pretty refined as a receiver coming out of college. He's got size, he can run and he can catch. He had, in our opinion, what you need to have skill and ability wise to have success. He's already showing up as a guy that's going to be a playmaker for Cincinnati."

(On people being nervous about how they will balance being a pass-first offense and have a power running game)- "First, I'll say this, in the NFL it's about scoring points whether its pass first, run first. I think we'll do what we have to do to try to score points. I think it's important you establish a physical run game regardless of how much you throw the football. I don't know who's nervous, but I'm just looking forward to playing the game. We're going to try to do what we have to do to win this game. That really starts by, offensively within the scheme and the system, by getting the ball to the guys that can make plays, whether you hand it to them or throw it to them, those guys have to touch it."

(On Steven Jackson having more carries than Peyton Hillis last year)- "You have to look at the situation of the team as well. When we went to St. Louis we were, I wouldn't call it rebuilding, but there was work to be done. When you look at your roster and the players that you have available and you have a guy like Steven Jackson, who has been a tremendous player for them for a long time and still is, it makes sense to get him the ball."

(On Andy Dalton)- "We liked him as well on tape. We had a chance to fully evaluate most players that we'll talk about all year. He's very accurate, I think he's a tough guy, I think he works well from the pocket, I think he's mobile enough to make plays outside the pocket and extend the play and we liked him a great deal. He was a guy, much like A.J. Green, once he learns the system and gets up and running, I think he's going to be a good quarterback in this league."

(On if they have decided who will start at left guard)- "We haven't finished deciding, but right now we have Jason (Pinkston) in there working. We also have Artis Hicks and John Greco so we have a little bit of a rotation there."

(On going into a game having not seen his full offense together as a unit during the preseason)- "I don't know what to say about that, you like to see them all working together. I feel like I've seen a lot of them in practice. Unfortunately through the training camp, it's very rare you have all 11 of them out there all at one time for whatever reason. I think we've got a lot of good players on this team. I think we've got a lot of players that work well together and so I'm looking forward to that Sunday."

(On his expectations for Mohamed Massaquoi)- "I think he has done a terrific job of staying mentally into it, in terms of his route conversions depending on the coverage, the depth of his routes and understanding when we are going to be taking a gimmie or an easy one. He is a natural route runner in my opinion. I think I have seen him get up to speed here pretty quickly. I don't have any concern there."

(On Tony Pashos' foot)- "He is still in the boot. They are trying to get that foot to settle down a little bit. We will kind of diagnose where he is at probably tomorrow and see where we go."

(On who else will miss practice today)- "(Chris) Gocong will be out there. That's probably one you were asking about. Ben Watson will be out there and Usama Young will be out there. Right now, probably Tony. I might be missing somebody, but I think that's it."

(On if Gocong will be able to play)- "He is practicing today and that's the first step, so we will see how he responds to today's practice as we go through tomorrow and then Friday."

(On guy's gravitating towards McCoy as a leader)- "I think I see that. When you watch the interaction, the play starts in the huddle. When he gets in the huddle and he is terrific at calling the play, mixes up the cadence. The things we have asked him to do at the line a scrimmage he has handled well. I think the players have responded to him pretty well. That's a natural part of his personality to take charge, but you can't take charge unless you know what you are doing. I think he has displayed to his teammates that he knows what he is doing and I think that's where the confidence continues to build."

(On if he needed to take a refresher course to what the AFC North is like after being in the NFC for so many years)- "We spent a lot of time in the offseason looking at the teams in the division. We obviously studied the players, schemes and the coaches. We have some guys on this staff that have played them so I leaned on their intimate knowledge of the players. I've played against this division a few times in the past. It's a gritty division. You have some teams that are top notch. Really every team in this league has a chance to win games, Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Cincinnati. I think if you look at a team like Cincinnati, they are a very talented team. They have made the statement that they want to get back to running the football and being physical. You can see that in the preseason. I have always been impressed with them defensively. We played them was in the preseason when I was at St. Louis, but when I was with Philadelphia we played them in 2008. They have the same style, they are very physical on defense. They have a defensive coordinator that keeps the pressure on you and they have guys that can cover. I think that's kind of the team we are going to face this week. I think it's probably a good initial look at what this division is all about."

(On if he has a a team meeting and got the sense of what the mood is like)- "We have had team meetings every day that we've practice. I had one this morning. My first one this week was this morning at 9:00 and I just pretty much set the table of what to expect. I told the players that the opponent is very important that we are playing, but it's also important that we try to eliminate mistakes and take care of the football, and really all the other things that are important when you play winning football. I thought the mood was good. I think there is anticipation. They did a nice job at the first walk-through. I didn't see many mistakes. They have a specific game plan for first and second down now on offense, defense and special teams. We are just moving forward and then we will add to it here as we go through the week and tie it all together on Saturday and go play."

(On coming into a new team and implementing new rules to make it positive for the players)- "I don't know about rules. I do know this though, I believe in a professional approach, which means when you talk about the coaches and the players, they are professional men working together to put a team on the field that has a chance to win football games. That's the underline theme. I believe in human dignity, which means everybody's job is important whether you are talking to the media or you might be on two phases of special teams. Everybody's job is important and you do your job, and that's the other part of it. The rules, in terms of whether they like them or not, what we demand of the players has been thought out. We just don't have rules to have rules, and every time I do mention that, ‘We are going to do it this way or I am used to doing it this and I want you guys to do it this way,' I will tell them and here's why. We tuck our jerseys in and our undershirts in at practice because first of all it looks good. Second of all, it's a safety concern. Nobody that is trying to tackle you will grab the back of your jersey even if they want to, they can't get it. That's pretty much the approach and we take it from there. The rules I do I have I stick by them. If you have a rule you have to be willing to enforce it."

(On Greg Little being named the most outstanding rookie in camp by the media)- "I think he has developed too. Greg is a fun guy to be around, he really is. I say that because he is a guy I look for every day. He really has been doing a good job. We talked earlier in camp how he would drop a few balls one day or the next, but he is working at it and he's got a lot of talent. He is another guy and he is much like Josh in a lot of ways as a receiver. I think he loves to play the game and Sunday's are probably his favorite days."

Press Release: Browns Practice Squad Moves
Barry McBride on September 7th, 2011 AT 12:06 PM

For Immediate Release
September 7, 2011


The Cleveland Browns today signed fullback Eddie Williams to the practice squad, the team announced. Williams replaces fullback Tyler Clutts, who was signed to the Bears' 53-man roster.

Originally drafted by Washington in the seventh round (221st overall) of the 2009 NFL Draft, Williams spent the first seven weeks of the season on the Redskins' practice squad before being elevated to the 53-man roster on November 2, 2009. He was inactive for three games before being placed on injured reserve on November 24. Waived by Washington on March 5, 2010, Williams was signed by Chicago on March 10 and spent the entire 2010 season on the Bears' practice squad. He was with the Bears through training camp this season.

A four-year letterman at the University of Idaho (2005-08), Williams recorded 100 receptions for 1,205 yards and 11 touchdowns as a wide receiver. He also amassed 195 rushing yards and three scores on 19 attempts. As a senior, he earned first-team All-Western Athletic Conference honors after leading the team in receptions, receiving yards and touchdown receptions. A native of San Mateo, Calif., the 6-1, 242-pound Williams attended Aragon High School.

10:43 AM

RT @FredGreethamOBR Little wins basset award.

6:22 AM

(Subscriber) WWBT: To Cut Or Not To Cut: OBR’s Lane Adkins offers insight on team’s cut-day thought process http://t.co/bCKWAL5

6:05 AM

OBR’s 2011 Season Predictions: Part Two: But Really… Worst Case Scenario for the 2011 Browns http://t.co/bfT8rfK

OBR Newswire updates for September 5th through September 6th
OBR Newswire on September 6th, 2011 AT 8:00 PM

These are links from the OBR Newswire for September 5th through September 6th:

11:07 AM

Browns sign guard Hicks, cut Murray: Hot News for OT Artis Hicks http://t.co/kVWebZK

11:07 AM

Browns sign guard Artis Hicks, cut Pat Murray: Hot News for OT Artis Hicks http://t.co/gCdrcXu

8:58 AM

Browns Managing Multiple O-Line Issues: Injuries, adjustments surround Browns’ front five entering the opener. http://t.co/K0YnVnB

8:58 AM

TSX: Preseason Grades: The Sports Xchange hands out its preseason grades to Shurmur, Browns. http://t.co/ebsRKV8

8:58 AM

OBR’s 2011 Season Predictions: The staff at the Orange and Brown Report break down the 2011 season predictions t… http://t.co/tHDqyXM

8:38 AM

(Subscriber) WWBT: Season Opening Edition: OBR’s Lane Adkins checks the team’s temperature entering Week One. http://t.co/8vQHjCn

11:46 AM

Browns sign guard Artis Hicks, cut Pat Murray: Hot News for OL Artis Hicks http://t.co/IwVLqSU

10:11 AM

OBR Blog – Week One: The opener is here as the Browns welcome Carson Pa… uh, Andy Dalton and the Bengals to town. http://t.co/OliwEHO

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:

The OBR Top Stories