Browns Head Coach Pat Shurmur Press Conference 7-25-12
(Opening Statement)- "It was the first day, as you know, with the rookies. I think the rookies really benefit from being out here and I think the coaches benefit from getting back out here and coaching again. From what I could tell, the rookies have come in in very good shape. The benefit of having an offseason, I think we're starting way further ahead this year than we did obviously last year because of the body of work that these guys have put in. They are actually watching cut-ups of things they did in the spring where they didn't have that last year. We've got some good young talent out there. I thought the work was good. Obviously, we can't work on tempo yet until we get a full squad, but I think the guys look good. We got them out running around and then we'll add them tomorrow with the vets when they report, do our running test and then are off to the races."
(On his first impressions of Josh Gordon)- "We did it privately, but we got to know Josh pretty well behind the scenes and for obvious reasons we didn't talk about it much prior to the supplemental draft. But as you can see, he's a very good looking young man. He's over 6-3, 225, he catches the ball extremely well and we're going to bring him along. There was some conversation about his quad so we are going to have to work with that as we go, but he was out here practicing and we'll managed that. The first impressions were that he's got a chance to be a good player."
(On how long it will take Gordon to make up the ground from not having an offseason)- "We'll see. From what I can tell already, he is a quick learner. We've kind of amped it up for him so we could get him going quickly. It's obvious to me that he understands how to play the position. He gets lined up well, understands coverage adjustments. It's just a matter of him getting familiar with our terminology so we'll see. We'll see how quickly he can do it and we'll throw him in with the rest of the guys and I think it will be obvious to all of us."
(On how important it was to have Brandon Weeden in on time)- "I think it's important for all of the guys to be here when camp starts. Yeah, it's very important. I think the structure of the way the draft is now and the way guys are signing, it's going to be very rare for a guy to hold out. I knew all along with some certainty that these contracts would get done and I think our guys did an excellent job of coming to an agreement with them and their agents and Trent (Richardson) and Brandon are obviously here."
(On how soon he expects to name a starting quarterback)- "Good question, I was expecting that one. I have said it all along sooner is better. I want to get all of the guys out here and watch them work again. I have had a chance to go over what everybody did in the spring numerous times and I feel good about what I saw from Brandon, Colt (McCoy) and Seneca (Wallace) so I'll have some form of an announcement soon."
(On if it will help the team to know who the starting quarterback is)- "Sooner is better than later as I have mentioned. What's important when you're practicing is that they're all working together whether it's a one or a two. If you're a guy that's most likely going to make the team and you're working with a quarterback that's going to be the starter, whether it's the first or second rep, it really doesn't quite matter."
(On if Josh Cooper has an advantage because of his familiarity with Weeden)- "It may help him as far as that connection that they have. He is used to looking for him. He's in the progression like the rest of the guys and there are times where we'll call a play where Josh is first in the progression and he will get the football. There's times where he's in the route combination and he's not first and he gets the football so they have a little bit of a feel and that will help him. But, they are both learning a new offense. Where they would be miles ahead of everybody else is if they were executing their offense, but they're both learning something new."
(On how he balances talent with personal issues with players like Gordon)- "I don't know about balancing. We don't expect that to happen again and when we go through the process of deciding that we are going to draft this player, we have to come to the conclusion that we feel like this is behind him. Now, I will say this and it may apply to you, me, everybody, people have things that happen in their background, some adversity and I think it's fair to say that if they can overcome that it makes them stronger in some ways. We anticipate that this will not be an issue, we are going to watch it closely and I think he understands how important it is to be a good teammate and be a good pro. That being said, I hope we don't have to discuss it anymore."
(On how Trent Richardson is different today than in rookie minicamp)- "I think he's in better shape, most definitely. Guys come in when they are drafted that high and as you might expect they are visiting a bunch of clubs, they end up going to New York for the draft, they get caught in that kind of whirlwind of being drafted. So when you see them initially, even though they did a lot of preparation up to the draft, they are a little bit out of shape and I don't sense that now. I think he is in very good shape"
(On if he liked what he saw from the receivers)- "For a first day, I think they did a nice job, again I saw recall from the spring. It looked like for the most part they are in pretty good condition although we didn't challenge them that way because the lines are short, and they did a decent job of catching the football. I feel good about adding this young rookie group to the veterans on this team, and seeing who sticks."
(On if he thinks two playmakers can make a huge difference to a team)- "I think the team has to get better, but it's easy to point to one or two marquee players added to a group, but I do feel like we're a better football team than we were last year, in my opinion, from what I've seen comparing last year to today. We're a lot better. I think we'll function better, and I think we've added some good young talent, not to mention a couple free agents."
(On if he anticipates naming a starting quarterback before preseason games start)- "I think so, I think it makes sense to name the starter well before the start of the season. That's probably what will happen."
(On prognosticators predicting that the team won't do well this year)- "It's not my concern. What I'm concerned about is getting our players ready to play, putting them out there, and watching them perform well. That's what I'm concerned about. If they do that, then I think we'll win games, more than the prognosticators say."
(On possibly having four rookies start and if that is an issue)- "No, I don't think so. I think what we're going to see as time goes on is there's going to be rookies playing for every club. I think the challenge is to teach them your systems quickly and then get them out there and let them do it."
(On if his message to the team will be different than last year because he didn't know them last year)- "I've prepared my message for tomorrow, and that's between me and them, but it is a different message, because I do know them now. Last year, I was seeing these players literally for the first time, most of them, so you say things to people you first meet different than people you've had a chance to work with for a year. That's probably a good question and I'm ready for that."
(On if his expectations are different for training camp this year)- "I think we have standards of excellence that we want to uphold by the way we practice, and then of course we're trying to win every game. I think that's what we're trying to do. We are trying to win our division which secures us a spot in the playoffs, and gives us a chance to win the biggest one, and that's what we're trying to do. Regardless of how we finished last year, that's what we talk about."
(On if he will need to see the quarterbacks in preseason games to determine a starter)- "I think it's fair to say that between now and the first game, anywhere in here, I could possibly name a starter. I don't necessarily need to see so many snaps in a preseason game."
(On how much improvement there will be at the quarterback position this season regardless of who starts)- "I saw improvement today from Seneca (Wallace) and Colt (McCoy) and Thad (Lewis), who were here last year. They made a couple throws today that they wouldn't have been able to make last year just in terms of knowing the progressions. I feel like we've got a better situation at quarterback, most definitely."
Browns Player Quotes (Richardson, Weeden, Gordon) 7-25-12
(On getting his contract signed before camp started) – "I didn't think I was going to miss any time, but I let me agents work it out and let coach and them work it out. They wanted me to be here and I'm here and I'm happy to be here and I wanted to be here as soon as possible. It was a good deal for me and it was a good deal for them. I'm just happy to be here and I'm very happy to be getting paid like I'm getting paid so it's a blessing."
(On what it is like having money he never dreamed about growing up) – "Like I said, it is a blessing and a living dream and it is just surreal. Once you get money it is like 'Ok, what do I do with it?' and now you just have to save and invest and make sure you can live the rest of your life. After football you still have at least forty or fifty years after and you have to live. For me it is just a lot of investing and a lot of saving."
(On if camp will be different once he puts pads on and the fans are out watching) – "Most definitely. It's going to be way different because all of these guys out here are working and when the vets get here they are going to be turned up and so we are going to have to up our tempo just as well. There are going to be a lot more football players out here so we can go faster and get winded more because we have time to rush through all of the different plays. We all have to be turned up and no matter what have to make sure that we are out here doing our job and contributing to a winner this year."
(On if the team will have a learning curve with a rookie running back and quarterback) – "As far as me and Brandon (Weeden), I think there will be a learning curve for us, but for the team I think we are going to fit right in when it comes to being game-ready. Both of our programs we were at in college were at the top and we both worked hard and we still work hard to this day. We are both out there trying to earn our positions and we are out there trying every day. We are doing everything we can as far as studying, watching more film, running through the plays and finishing past the last defender, finishing the throw. We are doing everything we can to make sure that we are professionally ready and ready for this first preseason game and the regular season."
(On if he was afraid he wouldn't be with the team in time for training camp) – "No, I wanted to be here. I told you guys that, I probably shouldn't have told you that but I did. I'm not a guy that's going to sit out and hold out and be that guy. I wanted to be with my teammates. I wanted to be here, compete for this job and help this team win games. I think the only way you can do is show up day one. With that being said, you have to take care of what's there and while you can. I've been through it before in baseball, you have to do it while you can because there's only so many that come through. I wanted to be here from square one. I had a great agent representing me and he did all the right things. We were on the same page the entire time and I think that made it little bit easier on me."
(On what his relationship is like with Colt McCoy) – "It's really good. We have a really good quarterback meeting room and I think that's a positive. I think when you have guys like Seneca (Wallace) that have been in the league for a while, and you got Colt (McCoy) who's a younger quarterback in terms in being in the league, and myself a rookie, so everything is really good. I'm looking forward to competing with Seneca and Colt and all these guys to be the guy, but we're all cordial in everything that we do."
(On how much he has improved since the start of the OTAs until now) – "A ton. I think from day one my head was spinning so fast I couldn't see straight, to the last OTA where I felt in complete control. There's a lot of hard work that goes in off the field as far as studying tape and studying the playbook, but I felt like I got better each and every day. What helped me too when I went home for the offseason is I would go throw with Josh Cooper and other guys. I wouldn't need a playbook I would just call a play without having to look down at a playbook."
(On if he's worried that being in the NFL will be harder than he expects) – "I'm not worried about it. I think I'm anxious. I'm more excited to go out and compete and there's no reason to be worried about anything. I think we're all here for a reason, because we can play football. Like I said, we all have a goal and that's to win a lot of games and do it as a 53-man team. I want to be a part of that 53. "
(On his first impressions of practice) – "Definitely high tempo. It's very different from college, with a faster tempo and a faster pace. I feel like I had a good taste of it coming into it and I feel like I was ready for it. I'm picking up the plays as fast as I can."
(On if he can make an immediate impact) – "I definitely feel like I can knowing the guys that we already have here. (I can) learn from them and what they teach me and watching the guys in front of me. I feel like I can pick it up pretty fast. The playbook, taking notes and stuff like that in meetings, I definitely feel like I can help."
(On what he has done since July 12th) – "I was out here actually the next day. I was working out here, trying to get into the playbook and catching up with the rookies that were already here back in the spring."
(On his reaction to getting picked in the second round) – "I was shocked. Very unexpected, but at the same time it was very humbling and a grateful experience. If anything it was the best day of my life."