Shurmur Speaks the Day After the Browns Loss in Baltimore

(Opening statement)– “How’s everybody doing? Once again, I’ll just add to what I said last night. Front to back I think our guys play hard, let’s get that once again. We can all play better and I think the results will come. As I go through it, I’ll start with special teams. I think the special teams last night had a positive contribution to our effort, I really do. They had zero return yards from the punt return standpoint. We asked Reggie (Hodges) to put the ball up, which he did. A couple of the punts were short, but we wanted the ball up in the air. We wanted to minimize the effect that a great returner had on the game. I think we did that. I was pleased with heavy balls, a wet environment and old Phil Dawson just keeps going. He’s amazing. He scores from a special team standpoint. I thought our coverage units did a nice job. I think the special teams last night was a positive contribution to our effort. They need to continue to be consistent, as well as better, so that we win our games.

“I thought defensively, when I look at it, we can talk about individual players, but I thought our run defense for the most part was much improved from the last time we played Baltimore, much improved. That’s a team concept, it’s a credit to the guys up front and of course the secondary when they fill their lanes as well. I think that’s good. Craig Robertson, the guy is finding a way to make a play. (Joshua) Cribbs gets knocked around, we lose the ball, they drive down, getting ready to score and we pick them off. It’s a big turnaround and it’s a big play. It’s a credit to him because that’s not the first time he’s done that. I though even though we tangled with Anquan Boldin, who had an outstanding night, the guys covering him challenged him. He made some great catches in contested areas. Joe Flacco made some great throws. Our guys battled and we can build on that from a defensive standpoint. Again, it’s about the score. You knock the pick six out of there, you just look at points and I think that’s what this league’s about.

“Offensively, there were flashes of good play. I do think we gave away some gimmes early in the game. When you give away gimmes early in the game where it keeps you from moving the football, then what happens is late in the game, you get a couple scores separating you from a victory, then Trent’s (Richardson) not quite as involved. There are certain things that happen. You can point to things that happened at the end of the game that were contributed to by things that happened near the beginning of the game. I think that’s the important thing of our guys putting lots of good plays together throughout. Those are the things we create. We can’t give away gimmes. We had some drops, not acceptable. There’s a zero tolerance for that. I will say this, we have some tough guys out there playing that are not catching the ball efficiently enough, and we just need to keep working with them. That’s the reality of it. In the passing game, of course, there were some inaccurate throws, there were times when he got pressured. We played an outstanding defense, and I think our guys battled. I think that’s kind of how it goes.”

(On how Joshua Cribbs is doing today)– “Josh is doing well today, much better than you might expect.”

(On if Cribbs came home with the team)– “[Yes], I talked to him at length on the plane last night, and he’s doing better than you might expect.”

(On what areas Weeden is making progress)- “I think a quarterback needs to battle through the game. The quarterback needs to play his way through stretches in the game where he’s not playing at his best. The reality of it was we had shots at the end zone at the end of the game to tie it. Those are all good. Now, the challenge for him is to play consistently good throughout. I think that is the challenge. That is the efficiency, the accuracy throughout. You have to be able to throw the ball in this league. You have to do it efficiently throughout, that’s just the way it works. Rain, wind, sleet, car crashes, none of that matters, you have to be able to do it. I think we’ve got to be better throughout.”

(On how Weeden is doing going through his progressions)– “He’s good at going through his progressions. I think he’ll get better as time goes on, as he plays with the supporting cast longer and he gets a chance to go through them against all the different coverages that you see.”

(On if he had a problem with the hit on Cribbs)– “It was a good tough hit. I’ll tell you, the officiating last night, they kept me well informed of what was going on. I thought they administered the game terrific. Really what they looked at on replay was whether the helmet popped off and all that business. It was a good hard hit. I don’t know if I have a problem with it. I didn’t like the fact that Josh got hurt, but I’ll leave it at that.”

(On if Billy Winn has performed beyond what they expected)- “We liked him in college and that’s why we picked him. We felt like he could come in and do the things you have to do as a defensive tackle in this league. I think he’s performed well. He’s a starting defensive tackle in the NFL and he’s made some plays and he’s flashed. Like any young player, you want him to continue to play fast and continue to improve.”

(On if Winn could play defensive end)- “I think so. I think he’s got the ability to do that.”

(On what point you go away from the run when you are down by 10)– “I think you do what you have to do to score. I think we got down by two scores there in the fourth quarter. I don’t think we totally got away from it, but I did feel like we had to press a little bit throwing the football. We found our way down the field, which was important. I think each game is different. If you’re down by 10, and it’s a 70-60 game, then you’ve displayed an ability to score a lot of points. It’s a little different than 23-13.”

(On if last night was the closest they’ve come to a complete game this season)– “I don’t know. I’ve thought all year long our guys have played hard. I’ve thought all year long there were patches in the game where we played well. I’ve thought all year long there are things we need to work on. That’s what I came away with.”

(On if they have played smarter in the last couple weeks)- “I think I’m seeing less mistakes being repeated. That shows me that their attention to detail and what we’re trying to inspire them to do is sinking in.”

(On trying to get the guys to make more good plays and hanging on to the ball)– “We’re hard on our guys when it comes to it. Quite frequently, and I’m the judge and jury on it when we write it down. There are times when you don’t complete a pass where it’s a quarterback inaccuracy, he didn’t throw it on time or it’s a flat drop. There are times when all three are involved. I think the passing game is a coordinated effort. It starts with obviously the protection, making a throw and making a catch.”

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