Berea (WOIO) - Browns head coach Pat Shurmur met with the media to discuss the upcoming game with the Steelers on Sunday. Here's what the coach had to say.
(Opening statement)- "First off, our fourth captain this week will be Jabaal Sheard. I think it's a good choice. He's been playing good ball here for two years and he's going back to Pittsburgh, a place that he played. I think that's a good choice. A couple of roster moves we made, you saw the one that's out there, we put Mo (Mohamed Massaquoi) on IR and then, of course, we just put Usama Young on IR as well with the thumb. He's going to likely have surgery. A couple other roster moves, we moved Thad Lewis up to the active roster and we also signed Josh Johnson to the active roster. Then, Jordan Mabin, a safety from Northwestern, we brought on the practice. I'm sure you've got a lot of interest about the health of a couple guys. I'll just tell you, Brandon Weeden and Trent Richardson were injured in the game and their injuries will not require surgery. They'll be healthy soon. They won't practice today, but I will not rule them out for this weekend. We'll see as the week goes on. Colt McCoy also will not practice today. He's got a sore shoulder from the game. That being the case, Thad Lewis will take the first team reps and Josh Johnson, who's our new quarterback, will run the scout team. Sheldon Brown, as you know, is coming back from the concussion so time will tell there."
(On if Colt McCoy hurt his throwing shoulder)- "Yeah, it would be his right shoulder."
(On what he knows about Weeden and Richardson that he did not know on Monday)- "The injuries were not as severe as you might have thought, but they're still injured. Again, I don't like talking about injuries, but I was just guessing that was going to be the main focal point of your questioning so I figured I'd get that out."
(On if elevating Lewis and signing Johnson is insurance in case Weeden can't play Sunday)- "Yeah, I think so. We'll see how they come back. Each guy is different, but absolutely. Whoever's in there I trust. I've had experience with Thad in the past. He hasn't had a lot of opportunity in regular season games to go in there and play, but if he's in there playing, we definitely trust that he'll do a good job."
(On if he will play Weeden and Richardson if they can play)- "Yeah, if they're healthy and they're able to go then of course they'll play. We'll make that decision though. I think you've got to overlook the fact that it's you're the last and try to make your decisions based on playing this next game. If they're able to go, they will. If they can't then I don't have any problem here at the end of the week ruling them out before Sunday, but we'll see then."
(On if he has ruled McCoy out for Sunday)- "No, none of them yet."
(On if McCoy's injury is as serious as Weeden's)- "We'll see. Time will tell."
(On how they will get Johnson familiar with the offense)- "He's got some familiarity with it having played at San Diego and in the NFL he's crossed path with a lot of our concepts. We felt like he would be a good guy to bring in and see what he can do. We've been working with him for a solid day now and from what I've seen, he's got some familiarity with what we do. If he has to go in, I'm sure we'd have to pare it way down which is the case when you bring in a guy with just a couple of days of preparation. But, we'd be confident that he can go in there and at least execute."
(On possibly going 3-3 in the division and sweeping the Steelers for the first time since 1988)- "I think what's important for this game is we're playing a division opponent. We're well aware of the rivalry between the Browns and the Steelers and it's always good to finish the season with a win. Last year at this time we played a close game and we we're throwing a Hail Mary at the end of the game to win the game, if you remember. It would have ended the season better than if you lose and I think that's important. I asked the players one more time to jump into the process and put all their focus on Sunday and nothing beyond that. I'm very confident that will be the case."
(On if there is any special challenge because it's the last week of the year and guys may be thinking about where they're going to be next week)- "No, I don't think so. I think you ask the guys to reach down and be pros and that's what's important. There are a lot of teams that are in the same situation that the Steelers and the Browns are in right now. Two teams will be playing each other that will not be competing in the postseason. These guys are very competitive guys, they're very professional and they understand that you go out there to play to win. The challenges that we have - aside from the fact that we have a lot of young guys - we're going to have some more new guys in there. We'll just add those guys to the pile."
(On what he sees from Ben Roethlisberger that indicates that he is not on top of his game)- "I wouldn't say he's not on top of his game. I've still seen the same plays that you see him make where it looks like the play is dead, he extends it and finds a receiver. I think that's there. I think they're still an outstanding football team. I think they're committed to running the football and they have explosive receivers outside. I think that's the style of offense we're going to play. Anytime Ben is out there you know he can make a big play and in games, at least the last few games against the Steelers, they've been close in terms of the score. A big play either way could be the difference and he always has that ability to make that play if he's out there."
(On if Ray Ventrone will be the other safety)- "Ventrone, (Eric) Hagg and then (Tashaun) Gipson will practice today."
(On who can play strong safety between Hagg and Gipson)- "They both can play strong or weak safety."
(On the Pro Bowl players being announced tonight)- "I think there are some guys here that I think are worthy and in some ways I've got my fingers crossed for a couple of them. We'll just see how it plays out."
(On if Phil Dawson is one of the players he has his fingers crossed for)- "Yeah, he is."
(On when Colt McCoy got hurt)- "During the game, while he was playing."
(On if he knows what play McCoy got hurt on)- "He came in and he told us he was sore. He came in and got treatment."