Browns Head Coach Pat Shurmur met with the media on Friday. He talked about Trent Richardson, Brandon Weeden, Scott Fujita and others. Here's the transcript of the Q & A.
(Opening Statement)- "I didn't want to come in today, but the guys that do the weather assured me it would rain, and it did rain hard. I think the practice was good. I think the preparation this week has been good. I felt like our guys have done what they can to this point to go out and try to get a victory. That's where we're at."
(On how much more Trent Richardson has his legs under him this week)- "I think it's fair to say he'll be better ready to play this week than last. I watch it every time he comes out here, he looks a little bit crisper and smoother."
(On if Richardson has been more explosive this week)- "I think that's fair to say. I think running backs do need to get their legs underneath them. Him having missed practice at the outset probably hurt him a little bit. Now, he's had a chance to practice two weeks fully, I think he'll start to get back on track."
(On if they are working on getting Richardson out in the space more)- "I think we have all different types of balls. We'll run the ball inside, we'll run off tackle and then we do have runs to attack the perimeter. Each week you've got to try to decide where your focus is and then use the other runs as kind of a counter. We'll just wait to see how it works on Sunday."
(On if Richardson will be involved with the passing game)- "He'll be involved in the passing game. We threw him a screen pass last week. Of course, anytime we throw the ball, if he's not designed to go down the field, he's available as a check down. He'll be involved. Running backs have to be. I think that's one of his strengths, he catches the ball extremely well."
(On what he likes about Richardson's personality)- "I think he's a very competitive guy. There's kind of a quiet confidence there, I think that you probably all feel. I like that about a guy. I kind of like that understated-ness. I think it's safe to say I'm not very flamboyant, so I kind of appreciate that. I think I appreciate that in a player that has a confidence about him, then just goes out and tries to do a good job."
(On if Scott Fujita is healthy enough to start)- "Yeah, he had a good week of practice. Barring anything happening here in the next couple of days, he'll play."
(On if Ray Ventrone will be out for a while)- "I don't know. We'll have to see. I think his situation is going to be day-to-day. You've just got to see how those things recover."
(On Joe Thomas being limited in practice this week)- "Joe's there, he's playing. There's nothing there."
(On if it means anything that the Browns are the shortest and lightest team in the AFC)- "Not really. That was a new category of stats. It was fun to look at. I think you've got to look at the players that are playing, not just the rosters. Let's say for an example, you have a really big, tall guy that doesn't play. Or you have a really short, little guy like let's say DeSean Jackson, who plays. I don't know what to make of that. That will be a fun thing to do here in the offseason. Maybe Marty (Gitlin) can work on wins per pound, or wins per inch or whatever (joking). It's interesting though, it is."
(On how important it is to get Brandon Weeden off to a good start this week)- "I think we always try to do that. There are some days when it's a little bit of a struggle and you constantly are trying to move the football and get your quarterback back in rhythm. Hopefully we don't have one of those days."
(On if the offense needs a check down receiver)- "We have that. Typically, you have routes regardless of whether you're throwing it short, intermediate or long, the routes are always layered up where you have a check down of some sort."
(On if Weeden throwing half of his passes in shotgun was part of the game plan)- "I think that's typical of any plan you will see from any team in the league. I think that's another fun fact for a lot of people to chart - his gun snaps. I think you'll see kind of a seamless use of the shotgun. Whether you're backed up or going in. That's just the way football is these days. The important thing is, if you use the shotgun in a timing type offense is making sure everything gets timed up right. That's why we practice."
(On if it's tough running a no huddle offense with so many young guys)- "I don't think so. Again, that's another component to everybody's offense. Everybody has it. I think when you talk about no huddle, there are reasons why it works. I also think you can create tempo and put pressure on the defense by getting the play called quickly and getting out of the huddle to the line of scrimmage. There are advantages to it. It works extremely well for some teams most of the time, but I think you've got to be able to do other things."
(On the offensive line becoming more effective run blockers)- "They've just got to play better. I think that's safe to say. I anticipate that we'll be improved from week one."
(On if he tweaks his game plan if a starter is missing from the other team to help exploit that)- "Yeah, you always keep in mind the match-ups that the team that you're playing presents. You keep that in mind, for sure."