Berea (WOIO) - Two days before his team looks to get their first win of the season, Browns head coach Pat Shurmur met with the media to talk about the upcoming game against the Bengals.
(Opening Statement)- "You saw yesterday we had to make a roster move. We had to make room so we let Thad (Lewis) go. We'll do what we can as we move through the weekend and hopefully get him back. There's a chance we have to make another move here, and I'll let that determine itself for us. I'm not going to make any announcements at this point. Other than that practice was good. The guys have had, once again, another good week. I think we're ready to go out and play hard. Now we've just got to go play better."
(On if they've filled Lewis' roster spot yet)- "We haven't made the final moves yet."
(On if they need a third quarterback even if it's on the practice squad)- "I think it's good to have three around, however you do it. I think it's important that you have a guy in here that you're developing, or if you developed them, you have an opportunity to bring them back."
(On how Josh Cooper is coming along)- "Josh had a good week of practice. He's been a guy that's steadily improved since he's been here. He practiced well this week."
(On Travis Benjamin being back at practice and what he will be able to do Sunday)- "He's back out there practicing, which is good. We'll have to just see what his availability is as we get to Sunday."
(On if Cooper and Brandon Weeden's college connection can translate to the NFL)- "We hope so. I think we saw them connect quite a bit when they were both learning the system in the preseason and in the offseason practice. Hopefully that connection is still there."
(On how tough it is when his receiving corps changes every week)- "I've always said that the more they work together, the more they can be on the same page. I think you get enough practice during the week, and then you put the plays together you're going to run, where it helps you, but it isn't the best scenario when you're changing out skill players."
(On how difficult it is from a coaching standpoint with young guys interchanging all the time)- "It's a challenge. I think we all like the challenge of trying to put it all together. It makes us feel real good when they go out and execute well. It's just the challenge of what you go through."
(On if they will wait until Saturday night to decide a roster move)- "I think we have ideas about what we're going to do. We'll just make it official as late as possible."
(On if he notices anything different with Joe Haden)- "I see the same old Joe."
(On if Scott Fujita missing practice has come out of nowhere)- "No, hopefully he'll be available for Sunday."
(On if being one game away from the longest losing streak in franchise history is motivational)- "Our focus is to win the next game. No, it's not a motivator. What's a motivator is going out and winning a division game at home."
(On what kind of lift the defense gets with having Haden back)- "I think when you add a very fine player back to your defense, it helps. Him being out of there, we've had to juggle some things. Now, we're back to more of a lineup that we're used to seeing."
(On if James-Michael Johnson will play more on defense this week)- "I think he's prepared to play outside backer as well as inside linebacker. I would anticipate that he has a pretty darn good shot to play. Last week, we used him pretty much as a special teams player. It was his first game back and he hadn't had a great opportunity to work in scrimmage downs. This week he's much more ready."
(On how similar Cooper and Jordan Norwood's styles are)- "Very similar. I think they kind of set themselves apart as slot receivers. They're quick. They find a way to wiggle free. I think they're similar in more ways than just height."
(On how much time he spends planning for the return of Phil Taylor and having Johnson groomed more and having Haden back)- "We groom them to play when they're out here, and then we play the best guys. That process is going on all the time. We're doing as much as we can with Phil, getting him ready to come out here and compete. When he's out there, then you just see how it all fits together."
(On his philosophy on having four running backs)- "There're a couple ways to look at it. You want to fill your roster with NFL players, guys that you think are good players. Every once in a while your roster will have one or two more players at a position, even though you might look at the whole roster and say, ‘Boy, it would help to have this guy or that guy.' I think that's fair to say. I think we went through a process last year where it would've been nice to have a healthy running back. Now, I think it's fair to say, we have a little bit of a surplus there. You don't think too much about it. I think it's important that we have guys here that we know can play. We obviously have to make decisions. That's what the roster moves this week are for, making changes with guys that we wanted here in the first place, and now because of injury you've got to make changes. You balance all that."
(On wanting all of his players to do well and if he has a soft spot for a player Josh Cooper who has worked his way up from being undrafted)- "The first part of your question is right, you want them all to do well. Then, anytime you add a guy to a roster, potentially, and he goes out there, you would like to see him have success. I think that's fair."
(On if it's a possibility that Phil Taylor could play next week)- "It really is too early for me to answer that question."
(On if it's conceivable that Taylor could play next week)- "Yeah, it's conceivable. Anything is possible once they're active and on the roster. That's for sure."
(On what hope he has on being able to make a second half run with Johnson, Haden and Taylor all back)- "We're going to try to make a run starting with this game, with the guys that we have in there. I think when you add back players that have started in the NFL, I think it helps when you inject healthy talent into the lineup. Hope or whatever you want to call it, it's good for your football team."
(On what he has noticed with Haden being back)- "I think his presence is felt when you see him out there, when you watch him challenge balls and challenge receivers in practice. He got his hand on a couple balls and picked one off today, which you guys didn't see. When you add a good player to the lineup, it's obvious just watching him play. I think the other players around him feel that. I think you build from there."
(On if he thinks the ownership change has been a distraction since finding out in the summer)- "No, I don't. I think I stress that. We talked about it as a team. It was pretty well determined that we were going to have a new owner back then. Now, we're just going through the steps to make that happen, and they're more issues of the day as they go through the process of changing ownership. We're getting ready to play the Bengals. I think our guys have handled it in a very professional way. I'm proud of the way my team battles. Now, I want to be proud of them because we won a football game. That's where we're at."
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