OBR Daily Blog Week Seven

OK, so the Raiders game was gross. Next up, Seahawks. Will it get better? Worse?

9:02 PM

Browns out-kick Seattle, extend Niners’ lead: In 13 turbulent seasons with the Browns, kicker Phil Dawson has le… http://t.co/1APoqzVc

9:02 PM

VOTE!! Gameballs and Goats!: Yeah, it was a win. Really. You can celebrate the Browns crushing victory with your… http://t.co/vBxyrT4n

7:24 PM

Browns find way to win an ugly game: The only good thing about winning 6-3 is the obvious thing. http://t.co/D08N7hgP

5:48 PM

Browns Defense Stellar: Despite inept offense, Browns defense plays another solid game http://t.co/9TmlstSt

4:11 PM

Well, It Was a Win: Browns play bad, but not as bad as Seahawks, to return to .500 http://t.co/H1ZsLmhe

12:28 PM

Follow FSO web guy @BarryMcBride for live tweeting of this game, accompanied by a rapid decrease in his follower count.

11:55 AM

The OBR/FSO chat is also on Facebook. You’re forced to “like” FSO on Facebook, but right-thinking people would anyway. http://t.co/mrMMfChW

11:39 AM

RT @barrymcbride: I will be snarktweeting the Browns game. Watch & see how the @TheOBR / @FoxSportsOH webdork loses his remaining followers!

10:36 AM

RT @FredGreethamOBR Haden active and starting.

10:36 AM

RT @FredGreethamOBR Hillis inactive and Hardesty starts

10:36 AM

RT @FredGreethamOBR other inactives: Lewis, C. Mitchell, Hagg, Vallos, Hicks and Fujita.

11:31 PM

1PM: Live Browns-Seahawks Chat!: Join the gang from the OBR and FOX Sports Ohio to see if the Browns can back on track! http://t.co/jSsXW1UV

1:57 PM

Bills work out Travis Ivey, Jay Ross: Hot News for DT Travis Ivey http://t.co/A2Qhw59e

1:57 PM

Bills work out Travis Ivey, Jay Ross: Hot News for DT Travis Ivey http://t.co/A2Qhw59e

8:36 AM

Browns-Seahawks Preview: An average but beatable Seattle squad comes to town, as the Browns need a win in the wo… http://t.co/PJZSaxgU

8:36 AM

Fun With Quotes: President-Speak Edition: It's not often we hear from Mike Holmgren. Let's find out what he real… http://t.co/M9HfA8x4

OBR Newswire updates for October 21st through October 22nd
OBR Newswire on October 22nd, 2011 AT 1:00 AM

These are links from the OBR Newswire for October 21st through October 22nd:

Shurmur Press Conference Transcript, Oct. 21
Don Delco on October 21st, 2011 AT 4:58 PM

(Opening statement)- "You didn't notice three guys out there, Peyton Hillis, Ray Ventrone and Scott Fujita. At this point the only one I'm ruling out is Fujita. Everybody else on this team is available and we'll decide later."

(On how Joe Haden looked in practice)- "He looked good, he practiced throughout. I thought he looked great."

(On if Haden is a go for Sunday)- "As I said, I'm not ruling anybody out at this point. He practiced and he's available."

(On if Haden would start or be brought back slowly)- "If Joe's a go, he'll be available the whole game and we'll play him as much as we need him and we feel is right."

(On if Montario Hardesty fills in for Hillis does he feel better about it knowing Hardesty has the Miami game under his belt)- "Yeah, I'm glad Montario has had an opportunity to get experience, I think that'll help him. Then, Chris Ogbonnaya will be up as well and that would be how we would go with it."

(On Hardesty dropping a pass today in practice and what is going on with that)- "He dropped the ball and we don't want him to drop the ball. We work on catching. You get what you emphasize and we've worked on him catching the football, that's what's going on."

(On establishing the running game early)- "I think it's important that we maintain balance and a balance in my mind is efficiency running and throwing throughout the game. I think it's fair to say we need to be able to run and pass early."

(On how he can check the progress with the guards in practice)- "I've talked about everybody on offense playing better and so in terms of charting progress, it's important that we watch every play. We always grade every play and it's important whether they're run blocking or pass blocking that they get better. I don't want to point out just the guards, but I think it's important that they, like everybody and we've talked a lot about the quarterback. He as well as everybody on this team needs to improve and we chart it, we work on it and we emphasize it."

(On if Hardesty get most of the carries or if he would split carries with Ogbonnaya if Hillis is not able to go)- "We have plays for all the backs so we'll use them in the ways we see fit."

(On what Hillis did today)- "He wasn't at practice and he's been working with the trainers inside."

(On if Fujita is at home)- "I'll have to check with that, I did not see him this morning. I think so

(On if practice did not go smoothly today because it looked like he was fired up)- "No, I thought it was an excellent practice. There's a lot of practice that you folks don't see. I think my demeanor was very similar to a lot of practices."

(On if he could explain the difference between a no-huddle offense and a two-minute offense)- "The difference between in the two-minute you're racing the clock as well as trying to get the ball down the field. In the no huddle there's no time issue that you need to deal with. That would be the difference."

(On how Jabaal Sheard has been playing since switching sides)- "I think Jabaal's done a nice job and I think his steady improvement really took a jump when we moved him over to the left side. I'm pleased with where he's going."

OBR Newswire updates for October 20th through October 21st
OBR Newswire on October 21st, 2011 AT 2:00 PM

These are links from the OBR Newswire for October 20th through October 21st:

Holmgren Press Conference Transcript, Oct. 20
Don Delco on October 21st, 2011 AT 7:18 AM

(Opening statement)- "Well this is fun, I haven't been able to do this is awhile so why don't we just fire away. I think last year about the half way point or at some point we did have a discussion and it was my first year and all those things. I hadn't intended for it to be quite this formal, I was going to come in and talk to you like we do on occasion. This year, purposefully, I've really tried to back away from those types of things and allow Tom (Heckert) and Pat (Shurmur) to speak for the football team and that was just what I thought was the right thing to do and moving forward it should be more like that. The head coach is the spokesman for the football team and he's good at it and that's the way it should be done, but I was going to talk to you kind of informally so this is the next best thing I guess. I couldn't get down to you soon enough I had other things going on so that's why we are here so fire away."

(On the Peyton Hillis situation)- "First of all and you guys know this and I know you can appreciate it, we're not going to talk about the contract negotiation per say publicly ever with the details certainly with anybody about any player. Peyton along with a couple other fellow's in the league who had very productive years last year and are in the last year of their contract and have not signed extensions, Matt Forte as an example being one in Chicago. I think you know this already, we tried to sign an extension. There was a difference of opinion as is the case, those who have been around this business for a long time, it happens and so there we were. Now, was everyone trying? Yes. From their point of view, we were all trying to get something done, but it hasn't happened so there you are. I've always encouraged players in this situation, I've had any numbers of players in this type of category. Now, what has to happen is you have to have a great year to reach these goals, it's to your benefit, it's to the clubs benefit and there we are. Unfortunately, the added drama of the sickness and injuries and all that other stuff and really I'm serious about this, a lot of things have been written and said that are so far from the truth and it really presents road blocks for the development of our team. I'm not placing blame here, I'm just saying that it's kind of the nature of the beast at times. Peyton was sick in that first game and couldn't play, okay. All sorts of stuff was said about that and in this day in age there's a lot of activity where there's talk radio, there's just a lot of activity. He couldn't play, he was sick and then most recently he pulled a hamstring and I found out that everyone was concerned during the football game on Sunday, ‘What's happening he's not in there.' It's not this major conspiracy deal going on, it's just he had an injury, he tried to go again, he couldn't go and it's something that happens every Sunday with any number of teams all the time, but because of the previous stuff that had happened with Peyton I suppose it became more newsworthy, but that's where it sits. No one has called off negotiations, no one has said, ‘Let's wait until the end.' It's still kind of in that floating area where you're waiting for a phone call or you're going to make a phone call or whatever. In the meantime, in fact, I talked with Peyton yesterday. We talk weekly and I said look it's important that you kind of go out there and do the best that you can do once you get healthy and I'm rooting for you and selfishly for the team certainly and then I like him, he's a good guy. That's where it is."

(On if Hillis has a future with this team)- "With the trading deadline I saw, the trading deadline is another interesting thing. You get all sorts of names floating around at the trading deadline. There's no way I'm trading Peyton Hillis. There's just no way that was ever going to happen. Why would I do that? Why would I trade one of our best players? I wouldn't do it. Now, because of the nature of these types of negotiations and if Peyton has a good year he'll have opportunities now because you enter into free agency, legitimate free agency. Are we going to be a player in there to try and keep him here? Absolutely, I told him that yesterday."

(On the national reports such as there being grumblings in the locker room and if he wishes some of that stuff would be filtered if it is indeed coming from someone within in the organization)- "Well certainly, if it's coming from someone in the organization and I find out who it's coming from then they're not going to be part of the organization for very long. I think the nature of the beast is it's an emotional business and everyone has their pain tolerance, everyone has their levels and I'm not talking about Peyton Hillis, I'm talking about anybody. I've seen this many, many, many times where a guy will play with a broken leg. I had a guy in San Francisco play with a torn ACL for about two quarters so everyone's different, but that's not the point. The point is and to answer your question, absolutely. It really bothers me when I get these, ‘unnamed source' or however that's phrased. We're trying to put together a good organization and a good football team and all those things, all that is, is distracting us from what we're trying to do. All that is and it's too bad. I don't like it either."

(On how big of a hinder it is when players speak out on their role in the offense after a loss)- "Well I played quarterback a few years ago, I'm an old man now. But, I played quarterback for a long time starting back in junior high, through college, a little thing in the pros, coached quarterbacks. I've been around quarterbacks, I've been a quarterback and I have never, ever talked to a receiver that wasn't open in the huddle, ever. ‘Hey, I was open.' Then you look at the film and he wasn't open. You have to tell them to just shut up and if you're open then I'll throw you the ball and if I throw it to you, catch it. I think at the end of a ball game and look, there are a lot of veterans in here. If you go up to Josh Cribbs or Evan Moore or Mo (Mohamed Massaquoi) or any receiver and go, ‘You know you didn't see the ball too much, how do you feel about that?' ‘Oh, I'm happy, that's really good, I don't want to see the ball.' They're not going to say that. What are they going to say? No, I'd like to see the ball more. It happens. Jerry Rice after every game, he'd come into my office and say, ‘Mike you've got to get me the ball more.' I had a little strip on my call sheet, plays for Jerry Rice and I'd check them off and I'd explain it, I'd talk to him, we didn't go there because you had four guys covering you. This is where he went. At the end of the session he'd go, ‘Okay thanks.' But, did that prevent him from doing it the next week or the week after that, no. It's just how it is. I'm not bothered by the fact that they want the ball, in fact, I like that. However, I think there's a way to do that and sometimes players just get caught in the emotion after a game. It just happens. I would prefer that those kinds of discussions take place in our locker room, in our offices, because then they don't get blown out of proportion and then cause a distraction."

(On how he riled up fans by saying he wouldn't be in Cleveland for 10 years and what he wants to see happen here before he moves on)- "First of all, did they say I was leaving Monday after the game (joking)? Holy smokes, let me comment on the first thing first of all because apparently this thing is starting to swell. Not that it has one bit of anything to do with how we're playing football. First of all, I did a show for those of you who didn't know, I did a radio thing with a guy I use to do radio with in Seattle. They had asked for this because we are playing the Seahawks. I did the show and he's kind of a wise guy and we joke around. Most of our give-and-take is tongue and cheek with us and I don't remember the exact words, but he said are you going to be there 10 years? I said well, I'm 63 years old at 73 I probably won't be here, I don't think I will be. My kids are in Seattle and all likelihood when I'm done where ever, here, I'll be back there. That was it and I didn't think much of it. This is important to me and I've told you this and I mean this, is that getting the Cleveland Browns to a point that first of all, that our fans are very proud of the football team, how we're playing, become a playoff caliber team with a chance to get to the Super Bowl, building it properly. I'm all in, I am all in. Kathy and I are living here, we're involved in community, that's how we do it wherever we are. I don't know why they would anyway, but people shouldn't think too much about that. That's my commitment. How long will it take? Tough question, tough question. I've always said as an example in my two previous in Green Bay, we came in 1992 and we were in the Super Bowl five years later, won the Super Bowl. Seattle, came in, we were in the Super Bowl seven years later, but it took me two more years to find the quarterback. We've been able to do it, but I don't say I've been able to do it, but my group has been able to do it in five years but a couple things that were important there, you have to have good drafts. I have the utmost confidence in Tom Heckert to do a good job in the draft so I think we'll do things properly there. The quarterback, you have to find the quarterback that can get you there, that's as big as anything. Colt this year, he's still a pup and he's out there playing, getting banged around and playing pretty well actually. Then at times he's playing kind of young too. He will play this season and lord willing he stays healthy and at the end of the year we'll look back and evaluate that and he knows that, we know that and I think what he does and how he performs will speak for itself. That's an important part of success. If you look at the last two drafts in the guys, (Joe) Haden, (T.J.) Ward, and we like the job (Jason) Pinkston's doing at guard this year, he's a rookie. Our defensive linemen, the two rookies we're playing on the defensive line, we've got young people playing and gaining valuable experience, who appear to be solid, if not, solid plus starters. Really pretty good players and that's how you build it. I'm optimistic, but it takes some time, it takes some time and you guys know that and I know the frustration. I know all that, but building it properly it takes some time."

(On if the organization is committed to McCoy past this year or if he's on an 11 game trial basis)- "I wouldn't say either one of those things. Now, I'm so aware of pronouns and adverbs (joking). He is going to play this year, he's our starting quarterback and in essence he's a rookie because how many games did he play last year? He played a few games last year and then you throw into the mix the fact that he's handling a new system with a new head coach, new signal caller so really it's his rookie year, really, without an offseason. Now, you can say that doesn't affect Tom Brady well it didn't appear to affect Tom Brady, but for young people trying to learn a new system I think that's real, that's part of it. I would say the same thing when Joe Montana when we were together in San Francisco, he came in every year believing he had to prove himself and the good players think that way. I'll just say wait and let's see how he plays. Colt's going to play. Are we committed to Colt? Absolutely. Will we be committed to him after the season is over? I will always be committed to our players on this team. Does it guarantee him the starting quarterback position for the next however many years? Well seeing how I'm leaving Monday who cares (joking), but we'll see. He's doing everything we're asking him to do and I want him to do well. Everyone's rooting for him because it's important and I know he's trying real hard."

(On what he thinks of McCoy's strength and accuracy and how much of it becomes a mental issue and how much of it is other things surrounding the offense)- "I think that's overstated a little bit. He's missed a couple throws and every quarterback in the league misses a couple throws. From a technical standpoint when a quarterback, Colt's no different, when that has happened to him, two things. One, either pressure forces feet or his mechanics into a little different thing so he misses the throw or his footwork caused the ball to be delivered a certain way. You can't point to too many times when he's got a guy open and he miss fires on them. We run a lot of crossing routes and it's one of the tougher balls to throw right on the money, particularly if you're getting pressured at all. That is not a worry for me. His strength and accuracy I think are just fine."

(On if negotiations with Peyton Hillis are ongoing or if they are going to wait until the end of the season)- "I think with Tom and Matt Thomas who is our negotiator and Kennard McGuire who is his agent, I don't think anybody pushed anybody against the wall on timeline on this. Right now it's kind of quiet, it seems to be kind of quiet, let's let Peyton play, just let him play, let the dust settle a little bit and see what happens. That's where it is."

(On how he thinks Shurmur has handled his five games and if he remembers when he was a first-time head coach if there was ever this much scrutiny)- "Well my first seven games I was 2-5 in Green Bay, that I do remember. One of those wins was just a miracle so it could've been 1-6. I think if you're in this business and you become a head coach it shouldn't surprise you or shock you that you're going to be scrutinized and every little thing is going to be looked at. I think Pat's doing a great job, I really do. I think he communicates well with the players. He's kind of weathered, in my opinion pretty well, this storm cloud that's kind of hit the team early. He didn't have an offseason like I did. I was able to work with and establish some things before we came to training camp when I was a rookie head coach. The players are listening I can tell, I can see. We met on Tuesday, we meet every week and we had a pretty good session on Tuesday. We both kind of vented a little bit and it was real healthy. I really like him a lot. I told him two things, when you're the signal caller, as I was all those years, one of the first things I would every Monday morning was I would come in and I wasn't one of those guys that would look at the game Sunday night. We played the game, I was shot, and I'd wait until Monday. You come in and you look at every call you made, every call if you lost a football game I particular. Could that have been better? Would I have done something different? Did I do the right thing here? You kind of go through that and you're very hard on yourself because calling the game is very, very important. It's important that if you did, in your opinion, make an error or it's reasonable that you correct it, that's why you do that. It's a self-study. I also told him, don't beat himself up so much. Heck, it's football, you know you're a good coach, stuff happens, you're doing the best you can and you've got another game next week. That was my counsel to him on Tuesday. He's doing fine. We're the type of team that will probably be in a lot of close games this year. That's my feeling and certainly you could look at the Oakland game and the Cincinnati game, you could, and say shoot well if this could have gone here, you can do that. But, you lost so it's hard and I think that's what he's going through right now. I'll tell you what, he's a solid guy. I believe in him 100%. I'm not aware and I've told you, as much as I like all of you, I don't read you that much. I'm not aware of the criticism's that much and I don't really care, it's just important that he and I understand one another."

(On why he thinks the offense gets off to such slow starts and Shurmur saying they need to get off to a better start)- "I would agree with what he said I think you all would agree with what he said. You work so hard on your openers and he will continue to stress that I'm sure. I think because we're so young, my thought is that statistic and all the measurables as we go through the season, and I'm not talking about win-loss record here, but all those measurables should improve because we have gotten off to slow starts. It's funny though, you look back there as to why, a guy misses a block, or you drop a ball or you miss a third and one on the first series so you're three and out. There are all sorts of stuff. That's a very tough statistical thing to analyze particularly after only five games. Do we have to start quicker? Absolutely, to be successful. I would venture to say we will. That'll get better."

(On how he evaluates a quarterback if linemen are missing blocks and receivers aren't doing their job)- "You bring up a very, very good point. I think when you're evaluating, every coach grades every player on every play. Then they come in and they meet and I'm not in those meetings. It's the way I use to do it and I'm sure Pat does it the same way. Then the head coach in essence is his own offensive coordinator. He's part of that. You look at the film and then you get the grades from your assistants. Mark Whipple as an example says Colt executed properly on this play, but the play wasn't successful, why wasn't it if it was a pass? Well, because he was pressured, this guy missed his block, this guy dropped the ball and then they get a grade. You get a grade and the point being as a coaching staff you must be brutally honest as to what happened and why it happened. You can't protect your player, you can't protect in your own mind yourself because all of a sudden if your player keeps being the guy that messes up then you're on thin ice, you can't do that. You just have to honest, that's the only way you have any chance of fixing anything and I think our guys do a good job of that. There's a pretty veteran presence in that offensive room. They will know if it's a quarterback error, what happened, did he do the best anyone could do, they'll know those things so while on the surface it might seem it might be a little bit tricky, it's not that tricky, they'll know."

(On after being five games in if he thinks having Shurmur call his own plays is too much)- "No, I don't think so. I think he wanted to do that and he's done that. I totally understand it. There's no way he's ready to relinquish that type of control in his first job. What I think he is learning, again we did not hire an offensive coordinator because we didn't think the right person was there or the fit was right. But, I think now as he goes through this season, I don't expect him to change calling the game, but in all likelihood we'll hire an offensive coordinator next year because that frees the head coach up and his preparation and how he can prepare for the game during the week. A lot of the nuts and bolts that he's doing now, he can kick to somebody else and still oversee that, that's how I think it's going to. We'll sit down at the end of the season and evaluate that, he and I, but I kind of think that's where we're going to go with it."

(On if Shurmur would still call plays in that scenario)- "I would think, we'll evaluate it at the end of the year. I would think he'd want to, I always wanted to. No one was as good as me (joking). It's part of the fun and I would think he'd want to."

(On what it's like to work with Randy Lerner)- "He's tremendous, in fact, now that he's in Cleveland more we're together more and it's about as good as it can get for someone in my position. He is really helpful, he's really intuitive on certain things and he's gotten to know me and kind of how I react to things, he's good to talk to. I can't say enough about him, he's been a man of his word, he cares about the Browns, but he hasn't interfered, he's stayed with the plan. Do we talk about a lot of things? Absolutely, but I'm a very lucky man that way to have an owner like Randy Lerner."

(On there being empty seats at games and how business for the Browns has been)- "I think business is good considering how the team has functioned in the last few years. I think our fans are very loyal. The business part of it, take away the ticket thing for just a second, if there are empty seats that doesn't mean we didn't sell the ticket. It's unlikely, I don't anticipate any blackouts this year. The other indicators in our business model are on the upswing. Jim Ross who heads our business side in sales and marketing area is doing a great job along with his people. I'm very pleased with the service we are giving our customers and I'm watching that very carefully. I think as the team gets better that will also give a little boost to our business model. But, given the lockout and all that kind of stuff, it's going okay."

(On the wide receiving core being scrutinized and reaffirming why they made the decision with what they have)- "Going into the season, I didn't think we had a fair enough evaluation of the receiver core based off last year's games. They were not emphasized very much, it was the structure of the offense, they weren't the focus necessarily. I said do we really know who we have first of all? We had a strategy in the offseason to deal with and use our money for extensions for five or six players, you guys have followed that and we were able to get that done for the most part. We also went in with the idea that there we a couple free agents that we were going to extend ourselves to in that first wave and we lost out on one and then after that we were going to go approach free agency a different way. We drafted Greg Little and thought he could help us right away. We like our receivers, but again, they're all kind of young. It's a young group and if they can mature together, this is our hope, then we'll have something going. They're learning a new offense, they're learning we're not at the playground where you just go out and throw me a long one, they have to be very precise in this offense and so it's going to take some time, but I kind of like our group. I think they're okay. They're big guys for the most part, Jordan Norwood's not so big, but most of them are pretty big guys and that's what you need in this system and now we just have to get them the ball, sustain drives and those types of things and I think we'll be okay."

(On if it means a lot to him going up against Seattle)- "For me, personally, after I was with a team, whether the 49ers, the Packers, Seattle and I with those teams for a relatively long period of time. Now, the first time you play against them, yeah there's a little extra in there then that starts to wear off. The thing is there's not that many players left on the Seahawks that were there when I was there. But, you want to have a good showing against your old team, sure."

(On how imperative it is to push for McCoy to be the man as opposed to starting over)- "Until you find the man that you think can be the man, you might make changes every year. I'm not opposed to that. You have to find that person, you have to find that person. These artificial constraints, ‘Well it's not healthy to change quarterbacks.' I know it's not healthy. Might it be necessary? Perhaps, I don't want to do that. You have to find that person. To use the word push, again I'm breaking it down word by word, push, we're not pushing him anywhere. We're developing him as a young quarterback. He does a lot of things very well. You've talked to him, what's not to like? He's a great kid, he's smart, he wants it. Now, let's let him play. Let's let him play and see how he performs. I think that's the fairest way to do this and at the end of the year we'll evaluate it."

(On how hands-on he is with developing McCoy)- "I'm not coaching anymore, you know that. Do I grab him every once in a while and talk about his release, his footwork or whatever? I do that. Pat's given me permission to do that. I do that. If something I think is real haywire I might just grab him. I do that with Cribbs, I do it with anybody. I do it with Joe Thomas. I do it with anybody out there and I told the coaches at the beginning don't get flustered if I grab a player and just say that. I'm not in the meetings with them. I am not coaching the football team. Mark Whipple is an outstanding coach. Pat's an outstanding coach who has had experience with quarterbacks. That's the best way to go. If they allow me to go in there and cherry pick a little bit, I will do that."

(On building a foundation in the draft and how much he has held back on free agency and trades so far and when they will delve more heavily into that)- "At the end of the season that kind of develops its own life. This year as I mentioned we're focused in on handling our own guys, key guys, Joe Thomas and guys like that. I know that's the way we're going to do it. What you've said, you build a foundation and I think stability for your franchise through the draft. I believe in that. After every offseason how you dive into free agency is determined, one, by whose available and, two, your needs, your immediate needs. Of course there's a money element to that as well. There have not been any constrictions about money, so then it's just decision making. It's been my experience and I think probably Tom's as well, is that I think maybe we signed maybe the greatest free agent of all-time in Reggie White, the greatest free agent of all-time in Reggie White in Green Bay. At the time we paid him more money than anyone thought you should pay anybody. Now, looking back on it, it seems like beer money. You've also seen and you've also reported on and you've also read about free agents that just go, ‘My goodness,' it didn't work. You're really rolling the dice a little bit. The grass always looks greener. That player always looks better than the player you have. You've got to be real careful with that. I think our philosophy will be, build through the draft, evaluate our needs and if there's a man available we'll go after him. We'll be as competitive in free agency as anybody. Are we just going to go off the charts every offseason doing that? No, I suspect that it will be different each year based on our needs."

(On if the West Coast offense looks he wants it to and where he would want it to go)- "There's room for improvement. I think part of that had to do with the offseason not being able to use it. I think some of the things we do are okay. Are we all a little frustrated by our offense right now? Yeah, I think so, but am I surprised? No, it did take some time to really time this thing out. As I mentioned earlier, because we're young I suspect as the season goes along and every time they get one more game under their belt, one more game under their belt, listen to this, practice this, same plays and all that, that you should see a little bit more of an offense with a little more timing, a little more fluidness to it. You've seen this system work before and it works. It just takes some time to get on the same page. I think we were hurt just a little bit by what happened in the offseason, like a lot of teams. You can see it every once in a while out there."

(On what his definition is when he said he wants to feel good about the football team)- "Well my own personal definition, wherever I was, is that you develop a football team who is a playoff-caliber team every year. You've got a shot to be in the playoffs every year. If you get into the playoffs you need a little luck, you need something going your way, you're quarterback has to be healthy. Then some other things happen, but to get into the tournament, to be there every year that is I think a realistic, healthy goal. To say, ‘Okay we're going to win the Super Bowl every year.' Well, that'd be wonderful, but what's real. Give me a chance to compete for the Super Bowl and to do that you've got to get in the playoffs. This is Pat's first year. I really can't give you what the record is going to be at the end, but you keep building it. If we can reach those levels or the level I just described to you then I'd feel good and I think our fans should feel good about that."

(On if he would consider staying with the Browns for all five years of his contract)- "Yeah absolutely. I'm in and I told you what I'd like to see. One, I want to feel like I'm doing a good job. I don't want to waste anybody's time. I think we have a plan and to realize our goals and our plans, I think it takes some time. I've said that. I don't know what the future holds that way, but absolutely, I want to be here. We love Cleveland. I'm not that excited about the weather right now (joking), but we like it here. We made home for ourselves here, my wife and I. I have kids and grandkids flying in all the time. There's a couple in for this game. It's good, I signed up to do something here and that's what I plan to do."

(On if he's got any speeding tickets in Bratenahl)- "I gave a helmet to the Chief of Police to Bratenahl (joking). It's all good."

(Closing statement)- "Let me conclude with this and then you've got more important things to do. This is not rocket science. They're not giant conspiracy theories. Those of you that have been at this a long time, it's kind of cut and dry. You need good players who are coached well, you need a little luck with injuries and you can get this thing done. That's where we're headed. I believe that with all my heart. That's where we're headed and I'm not talking about me, I'm talking about the team. We have a good coach, we have a good coaching staff, we are getting better players, we've got young people that I think will be here a while. There's a good feeling in the locker room. The business side of it is going okay. I think the owner's feeling pretty good, which helps me. What I would ask is that is to kind of spread the word a little. I think distractions are created and some of them are unnecessary. They just are. It's not helping anything and I understand everyone has a job to do. I get all that. Some of it, the distraction causes us to be less than our best at times because you are dealing with young people, immature at times, and they kind of don't understand the big picture. People can write that I'm leaving town Monday. It doesn't bother me all that much. We joked about it today because I kind of get it. If you write that about our starting quarterback, ‘What do you mean I didn't tell anybody that.' They don't get it. I know you want us to do well, I know everybody wants the team to come back to their former glory. You can help with the formula, I guess that's what I'm saying. I appreciate it. Thanks for your time today."

Shurmur Press Conference Transcript, Oct. 20
Don Delco on October 21st, 2011 AT 7:16 AM

(Opening statement)- "I'll start with injuries. Scott Fujita is improving, but we did send him home again like we did yesterday. I felt like that was the best course for now. Joe Haden, I would consider him day-to-day. He ran yesterday and he's going to do the same today. Peyton Hillis is day-to-day, he did not run yesterday and he's going to run in the pool today so that's the course that we are going to take with him. Bubba, Ray Ventrone, is day-to-day. I would say he's improving and unless something changes here I think he's going to run in the pool also. Buster Skrine was dealing with a hip issue yesterday. He'll be at practice today, consider him day-to-day as well. Artis Hicks missed practice, he had back spasms and he's feeling better today, but he'll be somewhat limited."

(On the symptoms Fujita is dealing with)- "The specifics of it are probably symptoms of what would be related to his concussion. We've just felt like it's been best to send him home the last couple days."

(On if Fujita has any past history with concussions)- "I would say no, that I know of."

(On if Fujita has been ruled out for Sunday)- "None of these guys I'm going to rule out yet. We can get a feel as we go along here, there's a time frame that has to pass when you don't have symptoms."

(On if it's more difficult for Haden to return at less than 100% knowing that speed is a big part of playing cornerback)- "I think at this time of year, guys at all positions are less than 100%. Of course, he's always out there on the perimeter covering guys that have speed so if he's out there he'll be ready to go. Guys that have dealt with a leg injury that are playing inside, they've got to drop their weight and use power and when you're playing outside it's more about speed and quickness. It's no more one than the other I don't think."

(On if it's problematic not knowing if Tarvaris Jackson or Charlie Whitehurst will start Sunday for the Seahawks)- "Well we don't feel like it's going to be a problem. We know what both quarterbacks are good at and it starts with them being able to execute their offense from the pocket and the no huddle type of system that they have now, which they both do extremely well so we prepare for that. Other than that we're well aware of the fact that Tarvaris Jackson when he breaks the pocket is a little bit more elusive as a runner, that's natural. In terms of having two separate game plans, that's not the case."

(On the cornerback situation is Haden and Skrine are unable to play)- "At this point my feelings are that they'll both be there and we have contingency plans if they're not. But, right now (James) Dockery will slide down and play and then you always have contingency plans with the possibility of one of the safety type players having to drop down so we always go into games with that. Some of its strategy I'll just leave for Sunday."

(On what his relationship is like with Mike Holmgren)- "I think our relationship has been the same since it has been from day one. There are times when we talk about football and then there are other times when we talk about everything from what things are like as a head coach. ‘How do you handle this?' I'll have questions about that. ‘Coach, think back when you had this situation, how did you handle that? Coach, after a victory? Coach, after a loss?' I talk to coach Holmgren and I call him coach because that's what he is, that's what he always will be and I think that's how he sees himself and I think that's a term of respect as well. I talk to him about lots of things all the time, from an interaction on the field to whether we sit in his office of mine. I think there's just a natural, normal interaction of a guy that's been there done that trying to help and assist a guy that's going through it for the first time."

(On if Holmgren gives him advice on how to handle tough times)-"I think there are conversations like that. I try to keep my cool, but I was a linebacker/center so I'm at peace with all those other emotions. I think we're all extremely competitive and we all don't like to lose. Unfortunately, as the guy that's the face of the organization in these situations, you've got to keep your composure. I've talked about it in the past, it sure would feel good to just run in a room and start throwing furniture, but that's not the way you react. The reality of it is we win the next game now you're talking about how you handle a victory. You have to keep it together. I think that's part of the advice you get. I don't know other people, but I can tell you this nobody's more excited when we win then I am and nobody's more disappointed when we lose then I am. Being able to try and control those emotions and keep an organization moving forward I think that's something you have to deal with as well. If you're an assistant or a guy that doesn't speak to the press or you're working with a smaller group of players, it's very easy to deal with your week as you go forward. It's different when you're the head coach and I'm aware of that."

(On Greg Little saying he could have played better against Oakland and what he thinks Little could have done better)- "Even though he's played a lot of football, he didn't play last year. They learn what do to and to the naked eye what they're doing is generally right. When you know the details of what we're trying to get done, when he says he needs to play better, he's talking about is it a 12-yard split when I should've been at a 14-yard split. Was the route depth at 12 when I ran 10. Now he may have caught the ball and made a play, but in his mind and in my mind it was kind of good and I think that's what he's talking about. As they get more and more playing together, the quarterback and receivers, playing together and they end up coaching themselves and that's what you want. When the offense becomes theirs and they come back and they're self-correcting each other, but you can only do that if you keep repping the plays and I think that may be a little bit of what he's talking about."

(On what aspect of the running game needs to get better for Montario Hardesty)- "I think everything from the types of schemes to the making sure we block them properly and then as a ball carrier, we could all run up into a hole that's perfectly blocked, but ball carriers know that they need to break an arm tackle, make a guy miss and all that to get those explosive runs so that's what we're looking for. Every play is designed to have success and we've got to carve out those four to six yards and from his standpoint if he can make a guy miss and turn six into 20 then that's what we're looking for."

(On if there is a way to have the game slow down for Colt McCoy)- "Well we're going to call (Seattle) and see if they'll play the game at half speed, I doubt it (joking). But, you've heard people talk about for the quarterback where the game slows down, the process of making corrections that always goes fast. You run a play time and time again and you execute it well and then all of a sudden you're throwing it to one or two in the progression. Then all of a sudden the defense sees it, they take away one or two and you get back to three, those types of things. That's what we see and that's what I'm sure some it he's looking at.”

(On seeing the little victories and how tough it is to stay patient with a young team)- "The little victories you're talking about, we talk about those as we encourage and empower the guys to improve. I think it's important that's part of the process. For me to sit up here and talk about it, I'm sitting here and talking about what we have to do to improve and win and so behind the scenes we're trying to get that done. As I mentioned, ex-players typically aren't very patient and that's what most of us are as coaches and so we've got to try and balance that. I think the thing that's nice about this team is we've talked about our youth. You get a chance to watch part of practice, but the practices have been fast, the guys are playing fast, they're making mistakes granted , but I think what they're seeing is they're now able to help correct those mistakes. I'm sure there weren't any perfect games this past week. We've got to do a better job of making them more perfect and so that's where I think we're at."

(On if he's surprised at how well the defense is playing)- "I'm not. You obviously come into this for the first year, some of the things you know how to expect, some of the things you don't. But, when I watched our guys develop during training camp I feel very good about the talent level of the guys that are playing and we've talked about specifics of guys and what they've done so far. I'm not and then I think our coaches on defense do a very nice job of making sure they keep them going."

(On what he would have liked to have seen on the deep pass during the game from McCoy to Little and who should have made the adjustment on that play)- "It was just called all go and Greg had, it was DVD (Demarcus Van Dyke) right? He had him beat down the sideline and we just missed the throw. My view of it is he was out in front of the defender and he had to dive to catch the football, that's how I viewed it. Is that the one you're talking about?"

(On the fourth quarter play between McCoy and Little with the jump ball near the pylon)- "That was a slant and go and he had jumped the slant before and this was a longer yarded situation. He ran a sluggo and he was deep on him and the ball was up in the air and it's just a matter of him going and getting the ball."

(On if it's natural to think the defense is ahead of the offense because of how Tom Heckert has spent early draft picks on defensive players)- "When the team gets put together I don't think of that. Now, if that's the case that's good because we're doing some good things on defense. But, I feel good about the picks that we've made on offense here the least year, at least in the last year since I've been here, the guys that are out there competing and contributing. We have a left guard that's a rookie. Typically, if you're not talking about linemen sometimes that means they're doing some things right. We've got a receiver, two guys in there starting, and we've got some other players in there developing that are doing a good job. You want the whole team to play well and I'm extremely happy that our defense is having success."

(On if there are any disadvantages to having Holmgren above him such as people always wondering what he think about situations)- "Not in my mind. I guess if you're a guy that is looking over your shoulder worrying about what people think that might be an issue. If you're a guy that's not a good listener or you're a guy that's maybe not insightful enough to have a guy in your building that's been there done that and won Super Bowls. To not think that's a great resource then maybe, but not for me."

2:37 PM

Holmgren Speaks: Team President addresses Hillis, Shurmur, and more… http://t.co/ctZpzpb1

12:46 PM

Secondary Concern: Injuries in the defensive backfield could force the Browns to scheme differently on Sunday wh… http://t.co/znQpICgP

12:08 PM

Holmgren addresses his long-term plans: Team president Mike Holmgren acknowledges the Browns are an improving yo… http://t.co/IlVU5FZy

OBR Newswire updates for October 18th through October 19th
OBR Newswire on October 19th, 2011 AT 10:00 PM

These are links from the OBR Newswire for October 18th through October 19th:

6:14 PM

Shurmur; "Colt has to get Better": The offense has to improve. Check. QB Colt McCoy has to improve. Check. And, … http://t.co/F8y0F6ur

11:23 AM

RT @FredGreethamOBR Fujita sent home with symptoms related to concussion.

11:23 AM

RT @FredGreethamOBR Shurmur said Hillis will do light running to test his hamstring Wednesday.

11:22 AM

RT @FredGreethamOBR Haden is making steady progress, but uncertain about Sunday.

7:48 AM

Another (Literally) Pee'd Off Sunday: Frustration for Browns fans continues, but with a tinge of hope http://t.co/M7XqjiLg

11:50 PM

Patriots work out eight players: Hot News for OT Phil Trautwein http://t.co/m4rjUSMw

8:25 PM

RT @FredGreethamOBR Join me on “Munch in the Morning” on KNR2 AM1540 at 8:15 am Wed. am.

6:12 PM

Browns sign Ogbonnaya, cut Armond Smith: Hot News for RB Armond Smith http://t.co/kMpdEd0G

2:21 PM

Source: Patriots working out Phil Trautwein: Hot News for OT Phil Trautwein http://t.co/KgsJd6iK

Latest Links from the OBR Newswire
OBR Newswire on October 18th, 2011 AT 9:00 AM

These are links from the OBR Newswire for October 18th from 08:00 to 08:03:

8:15 AM

The Madden Curse Revisited: Calling Peyton Hillis a victim of a curse is just too easy. http://t.co/ePFgIXUO

8:15 AM

The Madden Curse Revisited: Calling Peyton Hillis a victim of a curse is just too easy. http://t.co/ePFgIXUO

3:05 PM

Frustrations Mounting in Berea: Browns players, coaches react after disappointing loss to Oakland on Sunday. http://t.co/Qxp0I533

Latest Links from the OBR Newswire
OBR Newswire on October 17th, 2011 AT 11:00 AM

These are links from the OBR Newswire for October 17th from 10:48 to 10:51:

8:45 PM

Not Very Special: The Browns had been known to excel on special teams, but on Sunday in Oakland, it was the Raid… http://t.co/hlTgyyx5

8:22 PM

Raiders honor Davis with 24-17 win over Brown: The Browns, a team of special teams excellence in the past loses … http://t.co/rq30rxsN

7:09 PM

VOTE!! Gameballs and Goats!: Just a beautiful day in tourist-friendly Oakland. Vote for your favorite Browns pla… http://t.co/0U83kRJh

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