Browns head coach Pat Shurmur spoke with reporters after Monday's practice in Berea. Here's what he had to say.
(Opening statement)- "First day in pads, it's always a little bit sloppier. Some of these guys haven't carried their pads in competitive situations since the middle of last year. For the most part, the work was good, we got some good runs. We got a run drill in, in pads, which is always the starting point. Then we got some good runs in team to move the ball. Then the backed up in four minute situations, which are typically run laden periods. Also, for the quarterbacks getting use to throwing in shoulder pads, I thought it was good. Some of the receiver's stepped up. I thought there was good competition. There were periods where I thought the defense looked very, very good. Then there were also some bigger plays on offense as well, got a couple long gains. It appeared like, without knowing much, we pulled through it physically okay, which is a little bit of a concern. I'm getting a pretty good feel now for where they're at physically, but not knowing totally, I think they held up decent."
(On tempering Montario Hardesty's workload)- "Today we made him just a little bit limited. We wanted him to get use to carrying his pads before we get him in there with all of his reps. He did a good job. I thought he looked good when he was in there."
(On the Brodrick Bunkley deal)- "There's really nothing to talk about right now. I can tell you that we obviously traded for (John) Greco and that's done. He'll be out here when the rest of the free agents are."
(On coaching Greco in St. Louis)- "John is a versatile guy. He's played left guard. He's played right guard. Two years ago he played left tackle for us with a club on his hand. I think he's a very good pass protector. Big guy, so he's good when you're running the football. I think of him as a somewhat versatile guy who can come in and compete for a spot. But, if he's not the guy that's playing, he has the experience to be that sixth or seventh guy."
(On if the elimination of two-a-days hinders practice)- "I don't know about hindering it, we just had to adjust it. I think the morning practice, all around the league I think everybody is getting what they want out of the big morning practice. Or if you choose to do it in the afternoon, the afternoon practice. It's the other stuff that we've had to adjust. Our 10-10-10s and our special teams which are now walk-through pace. We did our first walk-through yesterday and I think we got a lot out of it and we'll come back this afternoon do the same thing."
(On if two-a-days being gone will benefit players)- "I don't know. I think it will take a year to see the affect. I think the way we're trying to practice where we're trying to get them their work. This is kind of the dog days of our season right now. They're all tired, they're all sore, they're all a little bit chippy, but that's natural. The key is we have to be conscious this year of where they were physically when they came in."
(On Jarrett Brown's big arm)- "Pleasant surprise from that standpoint. He's got a big arm. He's a big, solid, sturdy guy. Good athlete. He's shown up well. He's had limited reps, but he's shown up pretty well so far in these three days. He's a guy that's intriguing."
(On some linebackers from last season working with the defensive ends and Marcus Benard's size)- "Defensive ends come in different sizes, but they fit our model of the pass rusher type guys. They were end of the line linebackers. They're use to playing on the end of the line of scrimmage. All we're telling them now is to put your hand down all the time. That's the philosophy. They'll be dropping some in fire zone situations. We feel they have a chance to pass rush as much as play their own."
(On Ahtyba Rubin fitting into the new defense)- "He's done a good job. Obviously we play tackles, but we'll shade the guard, shade the center. He's pretty comfortable where ever we put him. Looks like he's getting a pretty good feel for how we want him to play. There's times where he'll be on the center and a majority of the time where he'll be playing on the guard."
(On Rubin as a pass rusher)- "I've seen in the last few one-on-one drills where he's cranked it up and really made a couple good rushes. I think Dwaine (Board) and Dick (Jauron) are working with him and they'll get him going so he can get a little push."
(On it being a priority to bring back Jayme Mitchell)- "I kind of went on Tom's (Heckert) recommendation and the defense. He didn't play much last year, coming over from the Vikings. I hadn't seen him in person. When he signed, I walked in, he was sitting down and he stood up and I said, ‘Oh my goodness,' he just kept getting taller. He's a terrific looking guy. He's got range, he's tall. We're glad he's here. We feel like he can pass rush and that he's sturdy enough to play the run as well."
(On Joshua Cribbs and Carlton Mitchell's injuries)- "Josh has a little knee thing. We just kept him out, just to get it settled down. Joe (Sheehan) and the doctors are working with that, but we feel that's something that we can work with. Carlton had a shoulder deal. Again, we are just letting him settle that down as well. At this point, there is really nothing to report there. We feel like that they will be back very soon."
(On other teams being aggressive with big name signings and trades)- "I think philosophically we are trying to make our team better and make moves that fit for us. Whether it's signing back our own guys, playing with draft picks and we are meeting twice a day talking about players that are available. I think that is an on-going process. Whether we are aggressive or not, I try not to focus on that."
(On taking it slow with Jabaal Sheard)- "I wouldn't say that. He is getting quite a few reps in there."
(On if Sheard took less individual reps)- "I don't know. That may hay have been in a drill or two, but no, he is taking his full load on team drills for sure."
(On what he's seen from Greg Little)- "I like what I have seen. Until today and again I haven't had a chance to review the film from this morning, but until today a lot of what we saw from him was in the individual drills. He's got the skill and ability that we saw when we drafted him. We feel like he's got a chance to be a starter."
(On what he wants out of the free safety position)- "This is a defense where the free safety, in conjunction with the strong safety position, they kind of a captain from the ship in the back end. Obviously, D'Qwell (Jackson) handles it at the second level. From that guy, we are looking for a guy that can help manage and really ultimately get everybody lined up in the back end. Really whoever that guy is, as well as T.J. in there, they really have to be able to work together, take charge, communicate well and then you typically play on the weak side so you have got to be able to come up and support the run. That is typically what we are looking for."
(On Usama Young being the free safety)- "We feel like he can do that. We were impressed with him watching him play. He was a guy that he had targeted. We feel good that he's here."
(On if Hardesty had a setback)- "No setback, we feel good about his progress. We felt like we were going to have to manage him. Anybody that comes back from an injury, even though they are out there practicing full, we do what we can to try to manage them as they get their sea legs back under them."
(On if Steinbach's injury is significant enough that he will miss preseason games)- "No, we think he will be back out there in a couple days."
(On what happened to Jordan Cameron at the end of practice)- "He just cramped up. The one thing about tight ends and it always happens, especially on padded practices, because you are running the ball, you typically use two tight end sets. Then you are always doing your route work so they run a lot. They took they added pounding of the blocking today. With Ben (Watson) being out, those guy's work load kind of increased a little bit. But he did a nice job today."
(On Cribbs projecting as a receiver in this system)- "I think he's got a chance to be. Really the first couple days, until we sat him down, he did some good things. He can catch the football, he knows how to separate. Obviously, because of his return skills, he's good with the ball in his hands after he catches it. Those are all three really good attributes."
(On if Cribbs has untapped potential as a receiver)- "I think he's a very, very fine football player. He obviously burst on the scene as a returner and I know last year they made an effort to develop him as a receiver. We're going to line him up at receiver and try and teach him to play the position and see where it goes."