OBR Blog: Week 12

Have a Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours from The OBR.


11/27
8:08 PM

(Subscriber) Thoughts of a Rambling Mind: The 2011 season has been a difficult one to sit back and watch develop… http://t.co/9PAdbdRP


11/27
8:08 PM

(Subscriber) Thoughts of a Rambling Mind: The 2011 season has been a difficult one to sit back and watch develop… http://t.co/9PAdbdRP


11/27
6:18 PM

Cleveland Browns Post-Game Notes: It’s game-day and the Browns ultimately disappointed. Blowing a 10-point lead … http://t.co/rWMzBE8U


11/27
6:18 PM

Cleveland Browns Post-Game Notes: It’s game-day and the Browns ultimately disappointed. Blowing a 10-point lead … http://t.co/rWMzBE8U


11/27
5:45 PM

Defense Lets Browns Down: The Browns run defense is rather porous by the numbers and Sunday in Cincinnati was no… http://t.co/C5wNu3gz


11/27
5:45 PM

Defense Lets Browns Down: The Browns run defense is rather porous by the numbers and Sunday in Cincinnati was no… http://t.co/C5wNu3gz


11/27
5:13 PM

Big Plays Doom Browns 23-20: Once again the Browns hung tough, only to lose in the closing moments. After anothe… http://t.co/c2l0PT8J


11/27
5:13 PM

Big Plays Doom Browns 23-20: Once again the Browns hung tough, only to lose in the closing moments. After anothe… http://t.co/c2l0PT8J


11/27
5:13 PM

Big Plays Doom Browns 23-20: Once again the Browns hung tough, only to lose in the closing moments. After anothe… http://t.co/c2l0PT8J


11/27
5:13 PM

Big Plays Doom Browns 23-20: Once again the Browns hung tough, only to lose in the closing moments. After anothe… http://t.co/c2l0PT8J


11/27
5:13 PM

Big Plays Doom Browns 23-20: Once again the Browns hung tough, only to lose in the closing moments. After anothe… http://t.co/c2l0PT8J


11/27
12:39 PM

RT @FredGreethamOBR Hillis and Hardesty Active.


11/27
12:39 PM

RT @FredGreethamOBR Hillis and Hardesty Active.


11/27
12:39 PM

RT @FredGreethamOBR Inactives: Marecic, Lewis J Mitchell, Spears, Cousins, Vallos and Ward for Browns.


11/27
12:39 PM

RT @FredGreethamOBR Inactives: Marecic, Lewis J Mitchell, Spears, Cousins, Vallos and Ward for Browns.


11/25
5:30 PM

Browns cut Thomas Clayton, promote Kiante Tripp: Hot News for RB Thomas Clayton http://t.co/W639x4LE


11/25
9:02 AM

Browns-Bengals Preview: Simple formula could bolster Browns' chances on Sunday against Cincinnati. http://t.co/jOCl9mOH


11/25
8:36 AM

As It Stands Now: AFC North Tour Edition: We should learn a lot about the 4-6 Browns over the next three weekends. http://t.co/i7Zg85mb


11/24
6:56 AM

Tough Test for Ground Game: Bengals’ defense third best in NFL against the run. http://t.co/XTuareHw


11/24
6:56 AM

Tough Test for Ground Game: Bengals’ defense third best in NFL against the run. http://t.co/XTuareHw

Browns Player Quotes, Nov. 23
Don Delco on November 24th, 2011 AT 6:40 AM

Joshua Cribbs

(On competing in the AFC North)- "We've got one of the toughest divisions in football. It's tough when the road to the Super Bowl leads through our division. We have to compete and it starts this week and we've got to see what we can do. We've got to get a win, got to get a win to keep this thing rolling."

(On if it's hard not to look ahead at the remaining schedule)- "Not really, we know what we have to do, we're pretty focused. Even in coming out of that game last week, we know what it takes and it takes focus so we have to just gear up, play this game and then go on to the next.”

(On if there is a bitter taste in their mouth after the last time they played Cincinnati)- "Not bitter, anxious. Anxiety, we're ready to get out there and show what we can do. Show how we've improved and both teams have improved, but we feel like we've improved a lot and we know they've improved, but we'll see on Sunday who improved the most."

(On how the offense seems to be clicking better these last couple weeks, especially in the passing game)- "I feel like he's Colt's coming to his own. Coach has opened up the playbook for him a little bit and allowed him to spread the ball around to different receivers and Colt loves it. He's fitting well in to the system and it's kind of getting to the point to where he knows what the coaches want to see, the looks they want and the guys they want to have the ball so it's pretty good for him."

Scott Fujita

(On defending against Cedric Benson and Bernard Scott)- "They're both different styles of runner. You've got Benson who's more of an inside the tackles type of guy. The other guy is more of a bounce out, he gets to the edges type of guy. It gives you a lot to prepare for. They're both really good at what they do. This is a team that's committed to running the ball so it's no different than any other division game we've just got to be ready for 30-35 carries on the ground. That's just the way it's been for us."

(On if they could make a run in these final games)- "I'm not even looking that far ahead right now. I don't think we have the luxury to look that far ahead. Right now, I'm concerned about the Cincinnati Bengals and trying to get this win. We win that game then we've got two in a row and you're feeling a little better about yourself. I would call that a little bit of momentum so I'm just taking things one day at a time, one game at a time."

Colt McCoy

(On playing five divisional opponents in their last six weeks and if playing them is a nice way to see where they're at)- "Yeah, for us our focus is completely on Cincinnati right now. We can't focus on anything other than that and for us as group we're excited coming off a win heading into Cincinnati, heading into our division and this will be a good test for us. We're excited and we had a great practice today."

(On Cincinnati having an aggressive defense and how much more confident he is now in the offensive line picking up blitzes)- "I think we've done a pretty good job of picking up pressures and blitzes. Cincinnati does have a really good defense. They do a lot of different things. If you watch all their games, every week they have a little change up or something they do different. I know when we played them in Week One they were able to get to us several times. We understand how big of a challenge we have, especially going to their place and they do a lot of unique stuff and we've got to certainly be able to handle that if we want to have a chance. I know we'll be prepared going in, we've just got to go execute."

(On if he feels they've been turning a corner these last two games)- "Things are coming together for us a little bit. I think we talk week-to-week what do we have to do, what are the things we've been working on. I just think everyone is becoming a little bit more comfortable, not happy or not settling in, but just a little bit more comfortable with where we are. We're doing some things better, we're getting lined up better, we're running routes better, we're running the football a little better and I think all those things when you put those together it allows you to play and feel more comfortable out there. I think just overall for our offense, that's kind of where we're at right now."

(On if he relies more on memory or film when playing an opponent for the second time in a season)- "The film doesn't lie so you watch a lot of tape. You go back and watch some of the things they did to us last year, what they did to us the first game this year, kind of get a feel there. You've also got to know their players, some guys are injured that were there the first week that aren't there now, there's a lot of different things. I'll go back and look at all my notes that I took the first week when we played them and compare it to what we're seeing now. Anything that you can gather extra always helps so lots of film study, lots of time spent working on them and seeing what they're going to do to us."

(On what he means when he said they do unique things)- "Unique pressures. They come after you, they play a lot of different coverages behind their pressures. Really have to do a good job myself of having my eyes right, knowing where the traps are, knowing where the coverages are going to be because it's never the same. They're very well coached and they're always in the right spot and they've gotten home a lot. You look at the last two games, their defense has really done a nice job."

(On if he feels like he has to prove he can beat the teams in this division)- "I want to win every game, certainly in the division. I think this will be a good test for us offensively, a good test for our team to see where we are from Week One until now. I know that everyone in here is looking forward to it."


Jauron Press Conference Transcript, Nov. 23
Don Delco on November 24th, 2011 AT 6:39 AM

(On Emmanuel Stephens working his way into the starting lineup)- "Emmanuel was a really good pick up for us and he's a hard working young man. He's a tough guy, plays hard and explosive off the line of scrimmage. He's very young in his career and learning how to play, but he really has given us solid games and has played well. I'm really happy we got him and I think there's a very good deal of upside to him too. I think he'll just continue to improve."

(On if Jayme Mitchell lost his starting job because of the move to right end and if he wasn't producing there)- "No, like any decision that we make, we make it on what we think is in the best interest of the football team. When we moved Jabaal to left, Jabaal just turns out to be better at the left than he is at the right. He's a really good defensive end. We moved Jayme over to the right side and eventually we felt Emmanuel was playing better than Jayme so we made the switch at that that side. That's really all there is to it."

(On Mitchell getting some reps at left end last game, how he performed and if he is more comfortable on the left side)- "He did okay. I think he's definitely more comfortable on that side. He likes playing over there better. They'll all play. As what we said all year, we'd like to play them in a rotation. We're falling into a better rotation the more we learn about our guys and how to play them so everybody will play. Everybody that's up should up. Last week Auston (English) didn't play much just because we wanted to make sure that leg was okay. He played maybe five or six plays. We just felt he might need another week. That was the reason he wasn't in the rotation too."

(On how Usama Young has played filling in for T.J. Ward)- "Usama's done a nice job particularly against the run game. He's a very tough guy and that's obviously a huge part of this game. He's physically tough. He comes in and he tackles people. He tackles big people and he hits with authority. He really has a great presence for us particularly in the run game. He does a decent job against the pass also, I've been really happy with him."

(On how Andy Dalton has matured from the first game to now)- "I thought he was pretty good coming into that first game. He's certainly more experienced. It seems to me this guy has been a good player throughout his whole career. I'm sure he was probably a really good player in high school, but he did a tremendous job in college. He's got a presence about him and he still shows pretty much the same thing. He's got 10 games under his belt and he's got good experience in the NFL now. He's really doing a very good job with their offense."

(On how Usama Young did on Marcedes Lewis and what makes Jermaine Gresham tough)- "Both of those guys you're talking about, these tight ends are very athletic and they're big. It's hard to defend. They have a lot of advantages. They can box you out down the field size wise, speed wise they can run. They have the advantage of no contact after five yards. There are a lot of things that they have working for them in their favor. They're rare athletes, big rare athletes.”

(On the team getting a lot of pressure but not finishing it off with sacks and if he is satisfied with the pass rush)- "I think our guys do a good job generally. I think Pee-Wee (Dwaine Board) does a great job of working with them. They are a young group. I do believe over time we're just going to get better and better in that area. You'd like to see lots and lots of sacks obviously, but the main thing is pressure. If you can get constant pressure and hits on the quarterback, they're more important than sacks. You'd take a lot of pressures over a normal number of sacks. You'd love to get both. You'd love to get a lot of pressures and a whole lot of sacks. That's the deal. We're okay. We've got to improve in a lot of areas and that's one of them."

(On if it's a good thing that the team is playing AFC North teams in five of its next six games)- "Yeah, it's a great thing. It gives us an opportunity. We have a great opportunity in front of us. These games are huge games. This game coming up is a huge game for both teams. They're coming off two tough losses in the division. We have one loss in the division that was to them and we're starting our division play. It's really very exciting and really important."

(On Bengals having eight defensive linemen with at least one sack and if that is their objective for the defense)- "You need it in this league. I think we've talked in here about it from the very first time we met. We need to play in waves up front. You need to be able to do that and not fall off as you substitute. That way you can keep them fresh for the whole year. You can imagine, it's a real grind in there. You've got 340 pound men every snap and they are battling each other. It takes a toll on you. That's the goal."

(On Phil Taylor's progress)- "He's improving. He's starting to step back up and climb again. He leveled off for a while, which is understandable for a rookie. I think he's getting a lot more comfortable in the one technique. He's played in the little three also, but mostly in the one technique now. He's doing a much better job and has a much better feel. He's clearly got skills. He gets around the ball. He had a number of tackles last week. I know there's always a discrepancy there, everybody has different stats, but he did a nice job. He got around the football. He's getting better and is a good player. We need him, clearly we need him. In this six game schedule in front of us which is our chance, we need him to play really well for us to have any chance at all."

(On the final play against Jacksonville and if he felt Maurice Jones-Drew would get the ball)- "When you have a running back like that and clearly they know they have a running back like that, they know we're playing for the run. Our front was stacked. I think decision wise, I think they probably did the right thing. That guy is really good, Dirk Koetter, and has been for a long time. We anticipated he would have the ball and I'm sure they anticipated we were going to stack the front, try not to let him in the end zone running the ball."

(On what went well on the last play of the game)- "We got the breaks. We played well. The guys did a good job, but you've got to get a little bit lucky too. On the last play, D'Qwell (Jackson) made a real nice play. That's a tough down because he ends up playing on a wide receiver inside. The quarterback has some time because we've got to clear run first before we get on our way to the quarterback. D'Qwell did a nice job. Clearly there's a time clock in the quarterback's head. He's got to get it out. He can't take a sack. He delivers the ball and D'Qwell's right there on the receiver. It was a good down for us."

(On if his heart skipped a beat when he saw a linebacker on their best receiver)- "There's lots of things that make your heart skip beats (joking). It was fun. It's unbelievable what four seconds or where a pass goes or if they catch it or don't catch it. It makes your Sunday or breaks your Sunday."

(On the Bengals losing Leon Hall and where losing your top corner ranks in terms of losing a guy that can damage your defense)- "I think you said it earlier, you don't want to lose anybody. They all hurt. I don't know where it ranks. I suspect it depends on who the guy is and at what position. Every position has exceptional players. You don't have a lot of them. You don't have a lot of playmakers that decide games on Sunday and when you lose them it hurts. You don't generally replace them. The guy that's behind him is behind him for a reason, he may or may not make as many plays as that guy makes."

(On how well Joe Haden has been playing this season)- "Joe is really a good player. I do believe he's going to get better. There are things he does exceptionally well, things you can't teach him. He's very tough. He's a very tough guy, a very competitive guy. Jerome (Henderson) does a terrific job with him. As he gets more and more into technique, he's just going to improve. You can help a guy with some things. You certainly can't teach speed and Joe can run. He can change direction. He's got a unique ability to reach the ball. He's got a long reach and a temperament that's really good for that position. He's got a short memory. He'll come back the next down and just battle you. We're lucky to have Joe."

(On if they can do anything to help Haden's hands)- "He's got good hands. That one was just too bad. The ball gets on you so fast on the field and you're not alone, occasionally you are, when you're trying to catch one of those. You're usually in traffic, which doesn't make it any easier. It's just one of those things. I'm sure he'll catch a lot of them before he's done."

(On Haden's penalties last Sunday and if he is attracting the official because of he's so physical)- "Probably and again technique wise, he's just going to get better and better over time. Those other guys are really good too. There's nobody out there that's a slouch. Everybody in the league can beat you in some way or another. The offenses are more and more sophisticated. They're all double moves and triple moves, and they'll pump and you can't touch them after five. It's hard. It's a difficult position to play."

(On if he thinks Sheldon Brown will be challenged more in the upcoming game and if he is up for that challenge)- "I definitely do. He certainly has been to this point. He hasn't given up a lot of plays. Everybody we play knows Joe is out there. Sheldon is no slouch. He knows how to play in this league. He's played for a long time and he's a real pro. Like I said, this an interesting six game span."

(On a player like A.J. Green does to a defensive coordinator's preparation)- "You have to be aware of him, very aware of him. If he was by himself it would make it easier. Unfortunately, they are a very talented football team. If you have statistics that bend one way or the other in situations you can use them, you can double him at times, you can do certain things, but you just can't neglect the rest of them because they are awfully good all around him."

(On how Green fits against other receivers they have faced and would Haden play him one on one)- "Obviously, he's a very good receiver. He's a top receiver in the league and he's got great speed. We'll have to see what his status is. Coming in we are going to assume that he's going to play. You can do a lot of different things. You can match in specific instances, you can not match other times, you can do a lot of things with the corner and with that situation in terms of matching or not matching. You don't have to have match on every down. You probably just have to match enough to mix it up so you don't only match in a certain defense because they will certainly pick that up in a hurry. If you only match in man to man, it's probably not a good idea, but you can do a number of different things."

(On the five yard rule and how different it is now than when he played)- "Oh it's a lot different now. The ball just couldn't be in the air. Everybody was fair game until that ball was in the air. It was a lot different."

(On if that was easier to defend a receiver compared to now)- "I'm a defensive coach but I think this is a better rule. There were some issues in those days. There was some unfairness maybe tilted towards the defense. Now, almost all the unfairness is tilted towards the defense. There was a little bit of unfairness tilted towards the offense in those days, but not much."

(On if Paul Brown had any influence in his career when he was with the Bengals)- "Oh yeah. First of all it was just a great thrill to meet him. Paul Brown was a huge name in football anywhere. To be on a field talking with the man was a huge thrill for me. He wasn't coaching at the time when I played there. He was running the team. I really enjoyed him. Now, I didn't play for him and maybe that's why (joking). I knew a lot of guys that did play for him. He was a very tough, a very demanding guy to play for. It was a part of history. I have fond memories of thinking back and feeling very fortunate to have met some of the people that were part of a great history, professional football, any football in general and this is one of them. Paul was one of them."


Shurmur Press Conference Transcript, Nov. 23
Don Delco on November 24th, 2011 AT 6:38 AM

(Opening statement)- "In terms of injury information of note, Montario (Hardesty) will practice today and Owen Marecic won't. He's still feeling some of the effects of his concussion so he won't be out there. The rest of the guys if you have interest I'll let you know. Other than that that's where we're at. The walk-through was good. Unfortunately, we got so much rain, I don't like to go inside if we don't have to, but the fields are pretty soggy so we'll stay inside."

(On if likes that five of the six remaining games are divisional games)- "We're going to find out how good we are because we know how competitive our division is. It's been well documented how good the teams in this division are so in the next few weeks we're going to find out where we're at. I'm looking forward to the challenge. When the schedule comes out, people outside the building probably say tough schedule, light schedule, boy this is a tough stretch. We really do take a one week at a time approach and it just so happens I think we have three games in 15 days. I might be wrong there a little bit, but it's pretty close so that's just the way it is and then you go and play them out. If you're in the profession long enough, you coach enough years, it all balances itself out. We obviously know how good our next opponent is, the Bengals having played them the first time and I think in a lot of ways both teams are the same, but there's a whole lot of improvement that's been made by both teams so we'll see how it matches up."

(On if he addresses the team about the end of the schedule and that five out of six are division opponents)- "I think that's a dangerous trap and I know it may be in the head coach's hand book, but I really do believe in that you take it one game at a time and you never know how it's going to play out. You might look at a season and say boy these are teams we're going to beat and these ones, no, you can't do that. You put your best foot forward, you put your healthy guys out there and you go after each game one at a time. Again, it's probably cliché then you add them up at the end and I think that's where we're at. It just so happens that we're playing five of our six division opponents here in a short stretch."

(On who would start at tailback if Hardesty can play)- "If Montario can go he'll start, but you'll see Chris Ogbonnaya in there quite a bit."

(On if they throw out their fullback package if Marecic is out)- "No, we don't. We have guys that will fill that position so we can call two-back type plays. We have a pretty good stable of tight ends that are used to playing in the backfield so that could be the case."

(On how much of an improvement the offensive line has had over the last few weeks and how much of that is attributed to Shawn Lauvao and Jason Pinkston)- "I think young guys who are learning how to play make greater improvements then say older guys that have gotten to the point where they're pretty good players. I think some of that's true and they're really benefitting from a lot of playing time. At the end of the year when they look back on this season, we all kind of take inventory when the season is over, they're going to look back and say, ‘Wow, that was a little more than I expected.' I'm sure Pinkston will, he may not admit it, but he comes here thinking he's going to develop and he's in there playing and that's fine, that's good because that's what you want. You want guys that are going to get in there, be good players, improve and then hopefully have long productive careers."

(On if Jayme Mitchell was not able to adapt when switching defensive end spots)- "I don't think so, I don't think it would be because of the move although Jayme, of course, had played most of his career on the other side. Jayme's done a good job for us and he battled back from injury a week ago. We just felt like with Jabaal, there was a marked difference in his play on one side and I think when you factor it all together that's part of the reason we did it. Not part of it, but really the driving force."

(On why Emmanuel Stephens is now starting at right defensive end)- "We felt like he's been productive and again, it was a coach's choice to start Stephens. Much like a lot of positions, especially at the defensive line, all those guys will be in there playing, but we will start Stephens like I mentioned on Monday."

(On if Mitchell graded better at left end than at right end)- "We'll hold the grades on that, but he got in there and did a good. You can expect to see him probably playing on both sides at some point during the game."

(On Mitchell being a little grumpy to reporters last week and if that was related to the pending move)- "I don't know. I didn't see the questions."

(On if there's been an attitude difference in Mitchell)- "No, he's been great with me. I talked to him last week quite a bit and he's been great. He was grumpy, huh (joking)?"

(On if the NFL could do more with technology to review field goals so that there are not just two guys standing under the goal posts)- "Like a light in hockey? Maybe? I don't know. If it was good I sure wish it would have been said good, but I don't know. I think guys standing under the uprights, that's probably the closest you can get to being right or wrong. The ability to challenge it if it goes below the flags, I think that's good. I don't know, that's probably something for me to sit down and really think about maybe in the offseason. I do believe my kicker and he felt like it was good, but on the other hand they called it no good so you move on."

(On if there have been times where field goals looked good and it wasn't or vice versa)- "This year is the first extremely close one we've had to deal with. I think there have been times in probably all levels of ball where there's been some argument, I think that's part of it. It's a human game officiated by humans. I think the league is the same way, we make an attempt to get things right and it might get looked at. I don't know."

(On what he thinks about Andy Dalton up to this point)- "I think he's probably about where they maybe thought he'd be. I think he's doing a very good job. When you look at a young quarterback, I mentioned it I think Monday, I think they're doing what fits for their team. They're very good at running the football, they're very physical upfront, they've got some outstanding playmakers and they've got a young quarterback they're developing. They keep him out of harms way in some ways because they can run the football and they don't ask him to do a lot of very heroic things, but you can see his playmaking abilities show up in the stuff they're asking him to do and I think that's a credit to them. I think he's developed well, regardless of his year, he's having probably one of the finer years for quarterbacks."

(On how he will split up the playing time among the receivers)- "We have packages that we will utilize all of them whether we're in three receiver sets, two receiver sets. We have a way to get them on the field and play different spots and then we practice the plays that way and then we get them in there. We try to get them to run the routes we feel like they're good at and so it's part of what we do. That's some of the things we do while we're here most of the day."

(On Joshua Cribbs having three touchdowns in the last four weeks and if he's just getting better or if it's his play making shining through)- "I think he's getting better just like everybody. He is getting better. This is a new system for him. We're really trying to demand detail from him in his route running and really everything he does. I think he'd be the first one to tell you that he's made some mistakes this year that may have hurt us, but he's also found a way to help us and make some plays. That's just what we try to keep working on."

(On what Jordan Norwood did to earn his spot in the receiver rotation)- "I think you're starting to see some of the things he does well. He finds a way to get open, he can separate in a short area, he's got quickness and just watching the guy work. He was able to play because of injury and he showed up well. When that happens then you try to keep him going."

(On how critical these next six weeks for McCoy and what they're expecting out of him)- "I'm looking for him to lead the charge for our team in terms of, I'll keep going back to it, let's show improvement and win the game. Show improvement and win the game and I think that's what we're looking for as we go forward. I'm trying not to, I have to think about things that I don't talk about, but the way I look at it, we're 4-6 and we're trying to win this game as we push into the second half of this season beyond January 1 and then hopefully beyond that this year. Hopefully we get on a roll here and then we can do something beyond January 1, that's what we're focusing on. Then, when somebody say's you're done playing then we change gears and start thinking about what coaches do in the offseason and as you make decisions for the next season. I'm really trying to be narrow minded in terms of its one game at a time and we're going to try and put all our efforts into beating the Bengals and Colt is no different."

(On what the difference is for him comfort wise going into this game as compared to going into Week One in his first game as a head coach and maybe feeling like the world is closing in on him)- "I feel like I'm 10 games better in my own mind. There are things I've learned through this season. I think our team is 10 games better and from that standpoint that's about where I'll leave my evaluation of it. I don't feel like the world is closing in around me, I really don't."

(On comparing this game to the opener)- "As you do things more and more and you get used to the rhythm of it, I think it get smoother. Just like anything, the second time through it you kind of know what to expect a little bit more and you know where to put your mental energy. Maybe that's something."

(On the development of A.J. Green over the season)- "He's done a terrific job and that's no surprise. We thought he was an outstanding player when we evaluated him this year. We're not surprised by it and when the Bengals picked him we we're like, ‘Darn, we've got to see him twice a year.' That was kind of what we thought and he's proven us right, but like most pros, part of the process of being a pro is fighting back from injury, which I'm sure he's trying to race back and help his team. That's something that he's dealing with. We're watching the reports of course, but I don't know of his availability yet for Sunday."

(On if he can quantify how having a rookie quarterback and a rookie receiver helps each other grow together)- "I guess we have a situation here. We have a semi-rookie quarterback and a rookie receiver and I see how their interaction is and I'm sure it's the same there. They're getting used to playing quarterback and receiver in this league, they're getting used to one another, they're getting used to everything and I assume, because I see it happening here, that they'll develop kind of a special bond because of that. Because they're going through it together for the first time."

(On if Hardesty will participate in team drills today)- "He'll practice today. He'll be out there."

(On if Hardesty will do more this week then he did last week)- "Oh yeah, he'll be out there. He'll practice."

(On what makes the Bengals' run defense so challenging)- "The scheme number one, but they've got some outstanding players. I think they're a very good defense for a reason. Their scheme is outstanding, they're very solid against the run, they make a commitment to stop the run and then when they know you're going to pass it they try to get pressure on the quarterback. To me that makes for a good defense and when they get matched up one-on-one whether it's the rusher on the blocker or the cover man on the receiver, they can hold their own and I think that's why they're good."

(On what kind of comfort level he has when he's preparing for a team with an aggressive pass rush)- "I don't know about a comfort level. Like I said, each week I see a defense that's playing better and better. I haven't found one yet. This is Week 11 where we're playing a team that's got a good defense. You're usually not as you get ready for a game. The only thing comforting is we generally know how they're going to line up. They're good players and we've got to block them and when we run our routes, we've got to defeat them. There's a reason they're a good defense for all the reasons I just mentioned."

(On if McCoy's shoulder is still sore and if he'll be limited at all during practice)- "I don't know if it's sore or not, but he's going to do everything in practice today and he seemed energetic. The throws I watched him make already today looked normal. He's ready to roll."

(On if in terms of quality and balance, is the AFC North is the best division in the NFL)- "It's hard to say, it's a real good one though. It's a real good one for a lot of reasons. It's a physical brand of football, you're looking at teams in the division that all have, I'd like to say outstanding quarterbacks. You're looking at teams that are all way up in there in the rankings in terms of how they play defense. You're looking at teams that historically have won lots of games. I think for those reasons, it's fun. I'm looking forward to the game, I really am. I'm proud of the way our guys have fought. I think in some areas we're starting to get healthier than we've been in the last four to six weeks so let's go do it."

(Closing statement)- "Happy Thanksgiving everybody. Enjoy your day."



11/23
11:59 AM

RT @FredGreethamOBR Norwood finds a way to get open and has shown up.


11/23
11:53 AM

RT @FredGreethamOBR If Hardesty can go he will start Shurmur said.


11/23
11:53 AM

RT @FredGreethamOBR Hardesty will practice. Marecic will not.


11/23
8:42 AM

Demands of a Browns Fan: “Anonymous Season Ticket Holder” unleashes frustrations expressed by few, shared by many. http://t.co/jzjIRs1C


11/23
8:42 AM

Demands of a Browns Fan: “Anonymous Season Ticket Holder” unleashes frustrations expressed by few, shared by many. http://t.co/jzjIRs1C


11/23
8:17 AM

(Subscriber) Upon Further Review: Back to Basics: The Browns' offense used something far more effective than tri… http://t.co/ztQ51QGG


11/22
8:57 AM

@barrymcbride We don’t care what you want. We’re not going to tweet out #VicksMDFClevelandFan Forget it. Dweeb.


11/22
8:52 AM

(Mutter) People thinkin’ that we’ll whore out our twitter feed and say #VicksMDFClevelandFan to help out some Browns fan. Sheesh. (Mutter).


11/22
8:50 AM

@twitderek So if you’re expecting a bunch of tweets containing #VicksMDFClevelandFan you just need to re-adjust your expectations. Harumph.


11/22
8:49 AM

@twitderek No way are we using the awesome power of our twitter feed to tweet #VicksMDFClevelandFan so a Browns fan wins a contest. No way.


11/22
7:44 AM

(Subscriber) Tales from the Inbox: As the inbox overflows with questions and comments following the Browns victo… http://t.co/7M8CzeWU

Shurmur Press Conference Transcript, Nov. 22
Don Delco on November 22nd, 2011 AT 6:37 AM

(Opening statement) – "Alright, as we get started here. Peyton Hillis once again will be out this week, (I'll) just give you that right up front. Injuries from the game, Owen Marecic sustained a concussion and we'll see how he progresses this week. We obviously follow the guidelines and the standards returning from those injuries very strictly so we'll see how he does. I can't tell you yet his availability for Sunday. Quinton Spears has a hamstring injury and we'll have to see how he does. It's somewhat significant so we'll have to see how he progresses through the week. T.J. Ward will be out as well, as he recovers from his foot sprain, so we'll know more as we go. Other guys, based on what I see here unless someone becomes more or less sore, just game soreness. I feel like the rest of the guys will have a very good chance of being there on Sunday."

"Not much to add to yesterday's comments. I felt like, starting on defense, we did what we had to do to do to get them stopped. I felt like there were guys in there making plays. We went up against Maurice Jones-Drew, who's a terrific runner. I felt like we did a much better job of controlling the effect he had on the game, which as I talked about yesterday kind of opens up some other things, but you have to make a decision of what you want to stop. I thought we kept him from having a huge impact, although he did get some production. I think that's important. When you look at it, we eliminated a lot of scoring on their part, which is what you need to do."

"On offense, we were generally pretty efficient. I thought the offensive line did a nice job, they worked well together. I think there were some guys in there that played their best games. I think the tight ends got their production, they did well. There were some things I saw from the receivers that I would mark as improvements and they got their production. I'm kind of leaving the backs for last here, well second to last we'll always talk about Colt (McCoy) of course. Owen Marecic has been a steady performer the whole season and I thought he did some really, really good things. A lot of what a fullback does goes unnoticed and I thought he did a very fine job. We'll hopefully get him back soon. Then, Chris Ogbonnaya, gosh, he had great production again, couple of long runs and he was a steady performer. I feel good for his performance and he really is holding it together until we get a couple of those guys back, I think that's good. Colt, a wise man told me it's never as good or it's never as bad as it seems after the game is played. A good night's sleep kind of changes your views. I thought he did well, I thought he played well, but then as a coach you go back and look at every single play and there were a handful of plays in there that could have made the game better. I thought he did a lot of good things. The nice thing is we won the game and so there are a few things in there that they are going over right now that will even make it a better performance if he gets it cleaned up."

"The special teams competed and I think what you get from this team is they do play hard. I would challenge anybody that says they don't. These guys battle, they're all in and I'm really impressed with how they try to perform in a way that we ask. I think that's what you want from a team and that's what you build on."

(On players bouncing back after making mistakes) – "I think you're right and there's a lot of good information within that question. I feel like you're exactly right. You cannot throw the ball late over the middle and the throw was late. I think there were a couple other problems with that play. The route could have been better, but the important thing is through the course of the game the quarterback is going to have a bad play or two and that's the ones we tend to focus on. Now, when it happens within the game and there's a lot of game left to play, how does he respond to that? And I think that's what you're looking for and that's the nature of the guy that we're trying to evaluate, just like everyone else. I thought he responded well."

(On quarterbacks being like a tea bag and you don't know what you've got till you put it in hot water) – "That's a good analogy. Yeah, and the water gets a little bit hot for us around here and he seems to respond. I'm gaining a very strong appreciation for how tough he is and that really is the cornerstone of what makes a good football player. All the other stuff we'll either congratulate or debate and I think that's part of it."

(On if McCoy checked out fine medically) – "Yeah, Colt's fine."

(On if McCoy has a shoulder injury) – "He's fine. There's nothing to add. He got banged around a little bit and yeah, it was his shoulder, but he's fine. We didn't go through any major evaluation of him so he's fine."

(On if there was no need to evaluate him) – "Don't ask about the MRI, I don't think he had one. I don't think he needs one."

(On if Mohamed Massaquoi came out of the game okay after taking a big hit) – "Mo's fine. The ball, I think he caught a little out route on the right and it was a good catch. He actually got hit, but it wasn't necessarily in the head so he's fine."

(On how close Montario Hardesty was to playing yesterday) – "We felt like he was close. I would probably approach this week much like we did last week. I'm hopeful and so as he goes through the week we'll get him (going). You have to be a little bit careful with this one, being it's a calf on a runner. For those of as that walk a calf injury might not be a big deal, but for a runner we've just got to make sure he right."

(On how tough it is to deal with games coming down to one play) – "Well, I think that's the reality. I didn't look it up, darn it, I was going to, how many games come down to the last drive and how many come down to the last play? You watch the clips every week and my goodness its fourth-and-six and a drive to win the game and you get it or you don't. That's just the reality of it. I think we just get used to dealing with that."

(On if he thinks how different it would be today if Jacksonville score's on the last play of the game) – "It would feel like last Monday (joking). I'm well aware of how it would feel. You always think of whatever we do in this profession you try to make the right decision and then you live with the consequences. Unfortunately, once in a while you lose and we know how bad it feels and so that's what you think about."

(On his thoughts about the missed field goal) – "Yeah, he should, he's the kicker and he put a good kick on it. I'm not going to dispute it. I wanted to challenge it and had the ball tracked lower than the top of the flags I could have challenged it and I would have. They reminded me that once it goes above the iron it's nothing they can do. Then, it's just based on what they see. There's a guy standing right under the goal post. I believe Phil I really do, I believe Phil, like I trust our players, but they were in a good position to make the call."

(On McCoy having two games in-a-row of 70% or better completion percentage) – "That's good, that's good."

(On if McCoy is more comfortable with the offense) – "I think they're getting more and more comfortable with each other, the receivers. I think we had a good week of practice. It's important the timing and where they are going to be, getting used to seeing where they are going to be and being able to make those throws. I think the practices have been good. The guys that are in the game are being able to practice, so they get used to working together, which was good last week. The practices were generally efficient, so you like to think that's going to help Sunday's performance."

(On if he was frustrated by Ogbonnaya running out of bounds during his 40-yard run) – "Well, that was a very long gain and at that point, I wouldn't say we were dead into four-minute yet. We had changed the field there. You instruct the quarterback, he's in with 20 (seconds on play clock), makes the play call, out with 12 and then try to snap it as close to one (second) as possible. At that point, it was such a long run and I was worried he pulled his hamstring. My understanding is he didn't. The players are aware, when we're in four-minute, which means we're trying to move the ball, get first downs, stay in bounds, that is the one time when you're killing clock when unless the guy is extremely wide open you can take a sack. The situation that dictates that, then you want to stay in bounds. At the end of the day, should he have probably stayed in bounds there? Probably, but at that point I didn't tell them in the huddle yet it was four-minute."

(On the possibility of Ogbonnaya becoming the featured back) – "I think you play the best players and the guys that have produced you put them on the field. I think Chris has been very productive. He's done things for our team that will warrant him playing, at least some, when our other guys come back. We'll just see how it goes when they come back. I'm not concerned about that. That's a good problem to have, when you have a line of guys that you feel good about."

(On if he feels Hillis will come back this year) – "I'm hopeful that he will. Based on how he's rehabbing his hamstring I would anticipate that he'll be back soon. I can't tell you yet exactly, that's the thing. Each guy is different."

(On Joe Haden's defensive pass interference on the last drive) – "I'm not going to dispute penalties. There are a lot of things that happen during the game. Quite frankly, during the game, whether you're watching the monitor or a TV copy I don't have that view of things and then the coach's copy. I haven't watched the TV copy yet. Joe is typically tight in coverage and there's a lot of bumping and jostling going on. Supposedly there was a PI (pass interference) on both sides. That happens. What you coach Joe to do is be aggressive and he understands the rules about when he can jam him and when he can't. You keep practicing that."

(On the rotation at defensive end) – "There were just a couple of plays when Jabaal (Sheard) went. Jayme (Mitchell) came in and we were using Jayme as a sub. When they get into a situation we get a rotation that sometimes looks a little different than we plan, just getting guys in there, fresh bodies to rush. There was no design. Jayme is playing on both sides. I felt like (Emmanuel) Stephens did a good job. Emmanuel did a good job on the right and then Jabaal on the left."

(On if Stephens started because of Mitchell being a little banged up) – "No, it was a coach's decision. We started Emmanuel."

(On if Stephens will be starting for the foreseeable future) – "Stephens is the starter."

(On if he sneaked a Hail Mary in during the Jaguars' last drive) – "No, I do the Hail Mary's before the game and hope they last throughout."

(On if there was any consideration to keeping the three points and not accepting the penalty) – "Nope. No consideration. When we got the first down I said, ‘Offense you're up. Try to score touchdowns.' We were in the red zone too weren't we? That's right (jokingly). In that situation, we wanted to push it forward because you have to trust the way you play. Let's say for instance, and I trust the fact we put the field goal team back out there, let's say we go three and out. We'll go kick it again. I'm trusting we got three points, now let's try to get seven. That's that situation. The situation last week at the end of the game, we're talking about a little different scenario. If we had not gotten points there, then we would all be talking about a different thing, but that's part of it."

(On the ability of McCoy to put two 85 yard drives together and the offense's progress) – "I think long drives, that's to be commended. Let's not forget though that this game is about scoring. When you've got the ball they don't. You want to finish long drives with touchdowns hopefully. What it does is it says that there were a lot of players doing a lot of things right. I think that's what you build on."

(On if it's helpful for the team to know who the main group of players will be early in the week during preparation) – "That's a very good question and it is because the guys have to get used to working together. We talk frequently about the O-line working together. I think that's important. When you have the skill guys in there that are playing together I think you have a chance to be better on Sunday when they work together all week. The reality of this league is we've got some guys with game soreness that may not do much on Wednesday and then you got to get them up to speed on Thursday. Every once in a while a guy will only show up (practice) on Friday and then play Sunday. That's the challenge and I think as pro's they find a way to make it work. It's always better when guys have a chance to work for a longer period of time together. It always helps on Sunday."

(On if he has noticed a change in McCoy the last couple weeks) – "That's another good question and I would agree with what you are saying. I think there are some areas where he's exerting himself more. I thought starting the year that Colt was a rookie. This is going into week 12 and I think he's had the benefit of those other games he has played. There are some areas where I see he's getting it. Then there are other areas where we're still working."

(On if the pinch nerve he suffered in his right shoulder in college affected him and if the trainers feel it is affecting him presently) – "I don't know that. He's got a little bit of a sore shoulder. I don't know how it relates to his old injury."

(On if McCoy will practice at all this week) – "Oh yeah."

(On if he was told at any point yesterday that McCoy may not go back into the game) – "Joe (Sheehan) never came to me and said ‘Colt's down.' No."

(On the offensive line's performance) – "I felt like Shawn Lauvao did a nice job. In our opinion I think he played his best game. That's one guy. Tony Pashos played very hard. I thought we had a good performance really out of all of them. If I had to single one guy out, probably Shawn Lauvao. Again, amongst the guys I thought they all played pretty well together."

(On his approach to watching the last play of the game) – "No, I had to watch it. Again, it was winner take all right there. I said it last night, I have a lot of confidence in our defense and we made a nice play on it. I was watching it. The Hail Mary's held up."

(On if his confidence in the offense has grown the last two weeks) – "Yes, and I like to when it comes to timeouts. There will be games when it doesn't go this way. If you have an opportunity to stop them with a reasonable amount of time, and a reasonable field position or starting point then you try to do that, so you can get a two minute drive. That's always what I'm thinking near the end of the half. Initially during that drive if we use the timeouts right that we could do that. That's what we're trying. I think it's just general philosophy. I have confidence in our guys. I don't think it's because we're playing better or worse. I just think that's what you want to try to do. If you can use them smartly it makes sense to use your timeouts if they can help you strategically, especially before the half."

(On the importance of picking up blitz packages) – "I think it's important. Defenses can smell blood in the water. If you're a team that cannot block the blitz you are going to get it time and time again. Teams blitz more or less depending on their scheme. We are going to play a team this week that's going to come after us, the Bengals. We're aware of that and then we try to call plays structured to attack that. It's very, very important to block the blitz. If you don't do it, and especially in a way that's structured right, then you'll continue to get pressure."

(On starting Stephens over Mitchell) – "Coach's choice, we felt like he played well the week before. We felt like he warranted being the starter. That's it."

(On if there is an issue with Mitchell against the run) – "Nope, no issue. Coach's choice."



11/22
6:11 AM

Around the Browns: The win on Sunday wasn’t decisive, nor was it pretty. In Cleveland, the win was another step … http://t.co/YixMJ8ie

Hillis out for Sunday’s game in Cincinnati
Don Delco on November 21st, 2011 AT 4:11 PM

Another week, another game with Browns running back Peyton Hillis standing on the sidelines in Browns NFL Team Shop gear.

According to reports Monday, Hillis will miss his sixth consecutive game with a hamstring injury. He has not played since Oct. 16 at Oakland.

Last Sunday in the 14-10 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Browns running back Chris Ogbannaya rushed for 115 yards and a touchdown.



11/21
3:16 PM

Offense Getting Better: Pat Shurmur saw an “efficient” performance by Browns offense Sunday. http://t.co/kx0HyzzX

Browns-Ravens Dec. 4 moved to 4 p.m.
Don Delco on November 21st, 2011 AT 2:04 PM

From the Cleveland Browns:

As a result of NFL flex scheduling, the Browns game against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, December 4, at Cleveland Browns Stadium has been changed to a 4:05 p.m. kickoff. The game was originally scheduled for 1:00 p.m.


Latest Links from the OBR Newswire
OBR Newswire on November 21st, 2011 AT 9:00 AM

These are links from the OBR Newswire for November 21st from 07:57 to 08:00:



11/21
8:27 AM

OBR Blog: Week 12: Have a Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours from The OBR. http://t.co/x5aj3KNV


11/20
6:58 PM

Browns Defense Holds: Jaguars offense can’t find end zone on game’s final drive as Browns escape with four-point… http://t.co/2ed34oHM


11/20
4:51 PM

Browns Edge Jaguars 14-10: The Browns defense bent, but didn’t break as penalties help Jacksonville drive inside… http://t.co/0MgJ9S31


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