Shurmur: Weeden is Our Starter

Browns coach quells any talk of quarterback controversy a day after rookie QB Brandon Weeden struggled in NFL debut in a 17-16 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

BEREA—It didn't take long for a quarterback question to come out regarding Brandon Weeden and Colt McCoy.

Pat Shurmur was asked what he would say to fans that are already clamoring for McCoy?

"Clamoring for Colt?" Shurmur said. "Brandon Weeden is our starter and he's going to get better.

Weeden was just 12-of-35 for 118 yards with four interceptions. His rating of 5.1 was one of the top five worst performances in Browns history.

Shurmur said he's confident that Weeden will be alright.

"He's got to look at this game and needs to make corrections," Shurmur said. "I told the team that every mistake was correctable. That's where he is right now. He's looking at the film and making those corrections, He's obviously got to take care of the ball."

Weeden had several passes that should've been caught, and at least two that could've changed the complexion of the game. Greg Little had a pass hit him in the neck at the goal line when it was 3-3 and after the deflection, the ball was intercepted by Kurt Coleman, the first of his two.

"Yeah it hit him right in the neck," Shurmur said. "It's got to be caught. When the ball hits you in the neck you got to catch it."

Little had no receptions in the game.

Another drop was by Owen Marecic on third-and-2, that allowed the Eagles to get the ball back before the half and resulted in a touchdown by Jeremy Maclin.

"That was just bad execution," Shurmur said. "(Ben)Watson was running wide open and we threw to the fullback and he dropped it. It's important we catch the balls that our contested."

Weeden did miss Watson wide open down the field early in the game, as well as Mohamed Massaquoi and Alex Smith at other times in the end zone.

"The guys wide open you got to make a better throw," Shurmur said. "I don't know if it relates to baseball, but they were high fastballs."

Shurmur said he's not worried about Weeden getting advice from too many different people: quarterbacks coach, offensive coordinator and head coach.

"We're all trying to tell him the same thing," he said. "We all have the same message. All three of us are able to tell him the same thing."

Shurmur said he feels confident that Weeden will bounce back.

"He won't lose his confidence," he said. "We'll go back and work on the fundamentals. That's it."

Shurmur said although a loss in the first game is painful, there's a lot of season left.

"A first game loss is only fatal if you let it be," he said. "It's very simple. You make the corrections and move on."


What About the Run?: The Browns rushed for 99 yards on 22 carries for a 4.5 avg. That might look good, but 60 of the yards came on a reverse to WR Travis Benjamin for 35 yards and a 25-yard run by Weeden on the final play of the first half when the Eagles were defending the end zone.

"There were times when we had enough blockers there, but didn't get enough yards," Shurmur said. "We have to get more out of the run game."

Shurmur did say the run blocking, as a whole, could be better.

"I think we need to block better in the run."

Shurmur was asked about Richardson a day after the game.

"He looked like a guy just back and he's doing great today," he said. "He came out of it fine."

Shurmur said he expects Richardson to be better next week.

"He's hard to keep off the sideline," he said. "He's a competitive guy and I think he'll be sharper in everything he does (next week). I think he'll be sharper."

Going for Two: Shurmur was asked about his decision to not go for the two-point conversion after LB D'Qwell Jackson returned an interception for a touchdown to give the Browns a 15-10 lead early in the fourth quarter. A successful conversion would've made it 17-10 and resulted in at least an overtime opportunity, rather than a one-point loss.

"We were up by five and we discussed it and to make it six," Shurmur said. "Two field goals beat you if you don't make the conversion."

Shurmur said he spent a bit of time thinking about it, but came to the same conclusion.

"I went back and thought about it and would do the same thing if I had to do it again."

Former Browns coach Sam Rutigliano attended the press conference and gave his opinion said he wouldn't hesitate to go for two.

"Absolutely," he said. "Until they make a field goal worth five points."

What Happened to Scott?: After all the turmoil surrounding LB Scott Fujita and his suspension, it seemed a little surprising that he wasn't activated for Sunday's game after the suspension was lifted, at least temporarily.

"Scott hadn't practiced and that was part of it," Shurmur said. "With the game plan, we knew we were going to be in a lot of two linebacker sets."

Rookie LB L.J. Fort and LB Craig Robertson filled in admirably in their first NFL games.

"I thought the young linebackers showed up well," he said. "I was told L.J. was the first rookie with a sack and an interception (in their first game)."

Fort had two tackles, an interception and a sack. Robertson tied T.J. Ward to lead the team with eight tackles, while also picking up an interception.

Injury Update: The only injured player mentioned coming out of the loss to the Eagles was CB Sheldon Brown, who left in the first half with a stinger. Shurmur was asked if he felt Brown would be alright.

"I think he will be."

Brown has started 161 straight NFL games.

Challenging: Shurmur was asked about the way he decides if he's going to challenge a call.

"We have a system where guys help me see it and we get input and at some point, I make a decision," he said. "(The plays) were close, in my opinion, and they involved turnovers. That's why I challenged it."

By the Numbers: After one week the Browns are ranked 28th in total offense. What four teams are worse than the Browns you might ask? The four teams that play on Monday Night Football are all listed tied at 29th because they haven't played yet. They are 14th rushing and 28th passing. Despite a perceived good defensive effort, the defense is ranked 27th overall (23rd rushing, 24th passing).

Third Down Blues: The Browns were 2-of-13 on third down, mostly because they were in bad position. The two conversions were on third-and-one and third-and-4.

On the 11 third downs that weren't converted, six were from nine yards or further. They failed on third-and-one and third-and-2.

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