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Shurmur on the Passing of Modell, Injured Players, Richarson Doing Drills

(Opening statement)- “I thought yesterday’s practice was good. We got a change to get a lot of work done. The heat was there, which was important. This is day two, of course as you know on this day we work on short yardage, goal-line, third downs and then review the base so that’s where we’re at. I can feel the excitement building amongst our players and we’ve got a solid work day today and we’ll come back tomorrow and Saturday and finish the preparation.”

(On if Joe Haden is practicing today)- “Yeah, Joe’s practicing.”

(On if they got word that Scott Fujita could play Sunday is his fitness level high enough for him to play)- “This is all hypothetical and each player and his ability to play will be considered on an individual basis. I think we’ll cross that bridge if we come to it.”

(On the passing of Art Modell and the passion of the fan base and how they might have a hard time reconciling him moving the team)- “I never met Art Modell and I’m sure it’s a very sad day for his family and friends. I understand the passion involved in all situations. All I can think about is I’m sure it’s a sad day for his family and friends and beyond that I really don’t have any other comment.”

(On if there is a number of offensive linemen they have to take to Sunday with John Greco and Oniel Cousins not practicing yesterday)- “Yeah, you usually have your front five and then a couple more as backups. Again, there’s a couple days left before we’ve got to set the roster and some guys are gameday decisions.”

(On what he has seen from Josh Gordon in the last three weeks and if he satisfied with where he is right now)- “I think he’s as far along as you can be as a rookie. I think he’s made tremendous strides from the first day of training camp until now so yeah I’m happy with the progress so far. We got a chance to see him make some plays in preseason games and now it’s important for him to go out and do that in a regular season game so each one of these things I’m talking about is a little hurdle and he’s done a good job of getting himself to this point.”

(On if it is nice for Josh Gordon to have a resource like Greg Little who went through a similar situation last year)- “He’s kind of following the same path that Greg did. Greg came in and in my opinion he had to run himself into shape much like Josh Gordon did. Then he went out and played a long season for a rookie and played a lot of games and fortunately found a way to stay healthy. I’m sure there are things they’re talking about behind the scenes. I’ve seen a time or two where they’ve interacted where I’m sure that’s helping Josh.”

(On if they are in full pads today)- “Yeah, we’re going to be in pads. Shoulder pads and helmets.”

(On how much contact Trent Richardson will have)- “He’ll be involved in the team run drills. Obviously we don’t tackle, everybody stays up so he’ll be involved in a little bit of thumping.”

(On if it is important for Richardson to go through some contact)- “I think so. I think it’s important for all of our guys. It’s 14 and counting now, those are days until the end of the season that we can put our guys in shoulder pads and helmets. Regardless of what you wear on your bottoms and I think that’s insignificant whether you wear shorts, girdles or you wear pants it doesn’t matter. Really, it comes down to there’s 14 days where you can wear a helmet with shoulder pads. Say it for what it is.”

(On if he thinks his special teams coverage will be better this year)- “I anticipate every phase of our game will be better and I expect that they’re going to contribute to victories and I think that’s important just like on offense and defense. Every phase of our operation needs to be better and I’m anticipating that we will be.”

(On what makes him think the coverage units will be better)- “I’ve seen them play better, I’ve seen them practice better, I’ve watched every minute of everything they’ve done in this camp. I feel good about the people we’re putting out there, I feel good about our schemes and we just got to go do it.”

(On what they saw in L.J. Fort)- “We felt like he was a guy that number one could make the team initially as a special teams player and then you get him in the scrimmage snaps on defense, we felt like he did a nice job. We actually worked him outside and inside. Much like a backup offensive lineman, if you’re the fourth, fifth or sixth linebacker, you have to be able to back up inside and out. He’s handled that pretty well mentally and he just found a way to make plays and those are all the things we saw.”

(On what his relationship with Randy Lerner has been like and what is his relationship with Jimmy Haslam is like)- “First my relationship with Randy, I think it’s been very positive and professional. I’ve found him to be very supportive in our efforts. I’ve found him to be very insightful in his comments. I’ve generally enjoyed the time we’ve spent together. As far as Jimmy Haslam, I would say we haven’t spent as much time together just because of the nature of where this thing is at. But it’s same thing, I sense a man that is very passionate. I sense a man that is looking forward to helping build us into a winner. I think that’s important. I feel his strength from top down and I mentioned that yesterday. Somebody was asking me why Philadelphia has had so much success for so long and I think it starts at the top so that’s what I see.”

(On if he spent enough time with Randy Lerner to feel like they interacted plenty)- “Yeah, I felt like he was around quite a bit. There are days when I’m working with the coaches and the players where I don’t see other people in the building and I know they’re there. Then there are other days where there’s interaction. Regardless of our role, we all have jobs to do and we get caught doing our jobs and then you interact. In my opinion, I saw him around quite a bit and I felt like that relationship as I mentioned was very professional.”

(On if it is harder to project a player from the FCS level more than the FBS level)- “I think our scouting department does a good job of sorting through level of competition and seeing skill, ability and production. That’s why you see guys coming from small schools, small leagues and obscure places becoming great players because you’ve got to find what translates into this league. You always consider the level of competition, but then again you’ve got to look at the individual player, what he brings to the table in terms of character, his skill and ability and of course his durability, whether he’s been healthy or not.”

(On why Montario Hardesty is ahead of Brandon Jackson after Jackson outperformed him during the preseason)- “You’re looking at the depth chart, right? You do know this though, that the players that play behind the starter play in the game. How we choose to use those backs if they’re both up, I wouldn’t read into that too much.”

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Ben Dover

    September 6, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    RIP Art Modell, your contribution to the NFL both in its merger with the AFL and the formation of the Super Bowl XXXV Champions, Baltimore Ravens; which gives the Steelers the chance to beat the Clowns four times a year, will never be truly appreciated.

    You were one of the titans of the league.

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