Pat Shurmur Talks Richardson, Chargers and Taylor

(Opening statement)- “As I do every week, the fourth captain this week will be Brandon Weeden. I think it’s a good choice. I know you’ve been asking questions about it, but our intention here is to put Scott Fujita on IR so we’re going to do that. Again because I’m sure you’ll ask, Phil Taylor will be out there practicing today so those are probably the significant things involving the players at this point. Aside from that I’ll kind of let the injury report speak for the rest of the guys and get ready for the Chargers. We had a good walk-through, good meetings, the energy level is high, these guys understand that the process is most important – that we get ourselves as good as we can be individually, as a unit and then as a team to compete against the Chargers at 1:00 on Sunday. That’s where we’re at and that’s the mindset of the players and it’s been a good morning.”

(On if Trent Richardson participated in the walk-through)- “He did, yeah.”

(On if it would have been wiser to have Richardson sit last week)- “No, we wanted him to compete and he competed in there for about a half. I was watching him every step of the way and I don’t think it was wise to keep himself out. He didn’t re-injure himself. Had he re-injured himself or set himself back then I would have had second thoughts, but that wasn’t the case.”

(On if there is value in resting Richardson until after the bye)- “I think what’s important is if he’s healthy to play, he plays. If they tell me he is at no risk to hurt if further then we’re playing ball. As I watch him in practice, just like we watched him in the game, if we feel like that’s something that we can and should do we’ll do it otherwise we’re getting ready to play.”

(On if Scott Fujita plans on retiring)- “I don’t know that. I spoke with him this morning and I don’t know that.”

(On if there will be a corresponding roster for Fujita)- “Phil (Taylor) will be practicing and then depending on what happens, we may make another one.”

(On what chance Taylor has to play on Sunday)- “Very low. He’s got to get out there and start doing his thing.”

(On if Taylor counts against the roster yet)- “No. I’ve got all this flexibility.”

(On what a reasonable time is for Taylor to come back considering his position)- “This is not unique for a guy to come back at this point in the season and we’ve just got to watch him work. We’ve got to get him out there and let him practice, get him first into the swing of things and then step up the workload and see how he handles it. We’ll see. It’s reasonable to think maybe next week or the week after, of course we’ve got a bye in there so we’ll see.”

(On how things evolve on defense with Fujita out)- “The guys in there have got to play good ball and they’ve got to get each other lined up. The MIKE linebacker, D’Qwell (Jackson), is ultimately responsible for that and all the guys in there have got to play. That’s how we do it, just like they did when Scott wasn’t playing the last couple of weeks.”

(On his comparison of the offensive line’s run blocking versus the pass blocking)- “It’s easy to talk about production, we haven’t given up any sacks, but again I think there’s a combination of reasons why. I think they’ve battled in the pass protection area. I do think as a team we need to run the ball better and each week we look at the opponent we playing, the types of runs that we like, the runner that’s in the game and then making sure we get them blocked properly. Speaking specifically on the offensive line and tying it to the team, we need to do a better job of making yards when we run the football.”

(On how the defense is different with Fujita out)- “Just from a roster standpoint we’ve got younger guys playing those positions. When you’ve got a guy that has experience there are things that he can add to the mix. Then on the other side of it, some of the youth and enthusiasm and the fresher legs add another little dimension.”

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