Browns Head Coach Pat Shurmur Press Conference 12-7-12
(Opening Statement)- "You guys have the release, Reggie Hodges, is our Ed Block Courage Award winner. Coming back from that Achilles, he's done a nice job for us this year."
(On the commissioner talking about eliminating kickoffs)- "It sounds like that's a conversation already. Those tend to be offseason issues and I'll put a little thought into that. Obviously, by moving the kickoff up, it's eliminated quite a few balls being brought out. In fact, you're seeing lots of the returners playing with their back foot on the back line just trying to get an opportunity to come out. It's changed things already. I'm assuming it has made the game safer in some ways. It will be something we'll discuss here in the offseason."
(On Joshua Cribbs returning a kickoff from nine yards deep)- "I think what happens is they get very few opportunities to come out and they are playmakers. You see it across the league now where guys are trying to advance the football from almost near the back of the end line. You can't score a touchdown if you don't give it a shot. I would say if you get tackled inside the 20, that's not good. Those guys that are returning those kicks need to use good judgment."
(On if it's Cribbs' call to return kickoffs)- "It's good judgment, yeah. He's a playmaker. He's a guy that we want to see if he can do something with the ball in his hands."
(On if he had a problem with Cribbs' decision)- "No, not at all."
(On if the wedge rule helped with the safety)- "Over the last couple of years, they've been tweaking the rules to try to make it a safer play. I guess the results are that it is becoming safer. I would say that's good."
(On if kickoff returns are the most dangerous play)- "I know there are quite a few high speed collisions. They are really putting an emphasis on player safety. You could see some dangerous things happening."
(On the challenges of the Chiefs' linebackers)- "They are a classic 3-4 linebacking corps. They've got two outstanding pass rushers standing on the line of scrimmage, then their inside linebackers. All of the guys that have played are very, very active. Those are the guys that kind of make it go when they line up in their base front. They've got two very good pass rushers and two active middle linebackers. They have the ability with that scheme to naturally rush three, four, five or six and then be able to drop as many as eight. That's what makes the 3-4 scheme a challenge."
(On if Montario Hardesty had to show that he could hold on to the ball)- "I think it's important that when he goes in there I trust him. No matter how many snaps he gets, I trust the fact that he's going to go in there and execute like an NFL running back. That means get positive yardage and secure the football. I don't want to jinx him, but he's doing a nice job of it so far."
(On finding a way to win at home)- "I think it's important to establish a home field advantage in this league. We know when we go on the road that crowd noise can be a big distraction when you're trying to move the football. Plus it's fun to be able to put a good performance on the field in front of our home crowd. We understand that. We'd like to be able to establish that. We want to be able to establish a lot of things as you move forward and try to build a team that's going to be a consistent winner. Being able to win at home is obviously the starting point."
(On the vibe of the team in practice after back to back wins)- "I think the preparation has been good. They come out here and they practice in a meaningful way. We've got more guys that practiced this week than we did preparing for Oakland. Typically, when you have more guys, some of the guys that are doing the look squad stuff, you get a little bit fresher look because you've got more guys out there."
(On if he senses a boost in the team's confidence)- "I think we're practicing with a purpose. That's the first step in this process of trying to build. No matter how well you practice, you've got to go out on Sunday and do it."
(On if you can get a read for how the team will play Sunday by how they practice)- "That's a hard thing to judge. I've been around teams that practice horribly and played well. I've been around teams that have practiced extremely well and didn't play well. I've been on teams where you watch warm-ups and you say, ‘Holy smokes, are we ever going be able to get out of the huddle?' It's really hard to predict. All I know is this, you maximize your chances to play well if you prepare well. That's pretty much how far I take it."
(On if they had a good week of practice)- "I felt good about what we did, yes."
(On if he anticipates a buzz from the crowd this week coming off back to back wins)- "I would anticipate it. We've got a great fan base. I've said it all week, let's not look at the record, this is a good football team. We've got to play our best football to find a way to win the game. I anticipate there will be a great crowd. They will be ready to go."