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Pat Shurmur the Day After the Win Over the Bengals

(Opening statement) – “Going back on yesterday, I thought it was a good team victory. I thought for the most part in the first five games we gave ourselves a chance to win and didn’t make enough plays to do it. I think we found a way yesterday to make enough big plays, touchdowns and then of course interceptions, fumbles, scoring on defense. We’ve scored twice on defense this year in the first six games which is outstanding. We made enough plays yesterday as a team to get a victory against a good opponent. We all know how good the Bengals are and for us to win a game at home and a division game, I think is a big step for our team. I’d like to talk first about the special teams. We introduced the special teams yesterday, they competed in 37 plays and (Special Teams Coordinator) Chris Tabor, (Special Teams Assistant) Shawn Mennenga, those guys have put together good plans and I think each week, even though we didn’t win prior to this week, our special teams have contributed positively. I think yesterday, aside from a play or two, we did some good stuff. The return game, we’ve got good young talent in the coverage units and of course Phil (Dawson) is still making his kicks. I also think that (Defensive Coordinator) Dick Jauron and (Offensive Coordinator) Brad Childress did an excellent job of putting the plans together. When all that gets put in place and then the players play the way they did you have a chance to win. I’m pleased with that. I think you saw guys on offense step up and make plays. It wasn’t always pretty. We had way too many three-and-outs. I think we can’t have that, but we found a way to score enough points and I’ve said that all along, it’s about points not yards and so that was good. On defense, when you get turnovers and when you take one turnover and make it a score, those are all plays that are hard for the other team to overcome. I thought that was a good thing for us. With that being said, it was fun to win. We’re already working on the Indianapolis Colts. It’s a fast turnaround and once you do something once now you want to build toward consistency and doing it more and more, so that’s where we’re at.”

(On how Trent Richardson is doing today) – “Trent’s fine. Just so I can get it out there, he has a right rib cartilage injury. He’s day-to-day.”

(On Josh Gordon over the last two games) – “Two games ago he played well and made plays and was productive. Once you do it once you want to see consistency and I think he continued his progress. He made plays yesterday as well and so, you look at his progress. Here’s a young man that’s playing as a rookie like a lot of the guys that we have that did not have an offseason. You’re starting to see a certain amount of work starting to take shape and I think he’ll only continue to get better. In my opinion, the lights coming on and when you practice hard and then you can have success in the game, and then they start to say this works. Hopefully that will continue.”

(On if route running is the biggest thing for Josh Gordon to learn) – “I think it’s everything and it all runs parallel. Guys that come from offenses in college that are more advanced probably have a better chance to get up to speed quicker. Route running, learning what we call things, dealing with defenses that challenge you and all that runs parallel. I think he’s just getting more and more comfortable with playing the game.”

(On if Gordon’s long completions open up the running game) – “I think it has an effect. When you can complete deep balls, 62 and 71 yards, it has an effect on the defense for sure. If they know they only have to defend a 10 yard area, the game gets real small for the offense. When they know they’ve got to defend the deep part of the field in the middle and on the outside, then there’s no question that it helps the rest of your offense be more efficient.”

(On what was going on during the stretch of three-and-outs and what the team did to snap out of that stretch) – “We were calling bad plays and we weren’t executing them right and I thought we were playing a pretty salty defense too. I think when you start the second half there were three-and-outs on both sides. They were having their three-and-outs as well and you just kept picking away. Then, we found a combination of plays that work well. You get into a little rhythm and then you’re calling runs when they think you’re going to pass and calling passes when they think you’re going to run and then you have a chance to get yardage. I want to mention Montario Hardesty, I think he stepped in and had 57 yards. He was running hard and he was holding on to the football, he caught the ball and he scored with the ball. All the things you want from a runner whether he’s starting or playing in a backup role. He came in and gave us a spark and I thought that really is a credit to him.”

(On how does the performance of Montario Hardesty change the offense and running game with Trent Richardson coming back healthy) – “You want everybody that’s in there to be productive. When guys come in, in a backup role or you bring them in from the dugout, they’ve got to produce. He stepped up his game and played well. It’s good for me to see and it’s good for our offense to see that a guy that’s serving as a role player can come in and have a big impact on the game. I think that’s the important message here.”

(On if he coached any differently yesterday) – “No, not at all. I had my moments that I enjoyed as you probably could tell. There were moments when I wasn’t enjoying it. I don’t think it was any different. I think it was pretty similar to the way I coached the rest of the games.”

(On D’Qwell Jackson saying that it was a really big win for him) – “I think we needed it. You guys have known me long enough (to know) this isn’t about me. This is about my players, this is about our city, and this is about trying to build a consistent winner. It’s our first win in a long time and I think we’ve been building up to it. I’ve sat here and told you that I think we’re getting better and it’s easy for folks to roll their eyes until you win a game. Now what we’ve won one, I want our players to get greedy with that feeling and go out and try to win this week against the Colts.”

(On if there is any other difference between a supplemental draft pick and a regular draft pick besides being behind) – “I think you have to add up some of the other stuff. He (Josh Gordon) was at two different colleges, he hadn’t really played a lot of football on a consistent basis. I think it’s fair to say guys come in a little bit behind. He kind of came in a little bit like the rookies the year previous, when they were going through a lockout. It’s probably better to judge him based on the rookies that had to compete coming off that lockout year.”

(On if it is possible for the college spread offense to work in the NFL) – “It’s just my opinion, I don’t have any way to quantify it, but you sure don’t see many eight touchdown throwing games in the NFL. You just don’t. The defense is not going to stand there and take that. From a coverage standpoint, you just see a great deal of bump-and-run. In college, you see a lot of situations where you can just drop back and throw a six yard hitch and get away with doing it all the time. They’re going to tackle you and kind of keep it in front of you, but if you throw a couple hitches on people in this league and they get tired of it and they crawl right up on you and challenge you to throw something else. I don’t know. I do know this, the talent in the NFL, there are defenders over there that can challenge and offense players get challenged. I just think that’s the difference between all those points you see in college and then the pro game, where you find ways to score points, but you’ve got to be a little bit more creative with it.”


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