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WR Taivon Jacobs leaning towards Maryland?

He declared for Ohio State earlier this year, but an article in today’s Washington Post sure makes it sound like he’s reconsidering:

Jacobs orally committed to Ohio State in July, but he said he has been reconsidering that decision in recent weeks for a variety of factors, including his desire to be close to his one-year-old daughter, Bailey.

“I’ve discussed it over with my family,” Jacobs said. “I want to make the best choice for me. I have a child. I want to make sure I’m a great father and a great player.”

Good reading as this one heads down to the wire.

 

Bell, Elliot set announcement times

As Signing Day becomes a bigger and bigger event, recruits set the times when they will be making announcements:

 

Browns Head Coach Pat Shurmur Press Conference_9-3-12

Browns Head Coach Pat Shurmur Press Conference 9-3-12

(Opening Statement) – “(Today was the) first real preparation for Philadelphia. The way this week is structured, of course, kind of practice then off, practice then off, then Wednesday we’ll get into the normal routine. (I’m) glad there was some heat out here today. It could be this hot at one o’clock on Sunday. It was good for the guys to get out here and run around. It has been good. I think we had the most guys at practice that we’ve had in a while. Other than a couple guys, I think we had most everybody out here, which is good. We’ll see where we go from there.”

(On how Trent Richardson looked at practice today) – “Trent, as you know, was out here today. He looked good. I knew he’d be out here today and he did a good job.”

(On if he had to limit Trent today) – “(It’s) his first day back at practice, so we just did what we could do.”

(On if Trent participated in team drills) – “Yes, he was in team.”

(On if Trent was running in a way where you wouldn’t know he’d been hurt) – “Trent looked healthy running around today.”

(On when he thinks he’ll make a decision if Trent will play Sunday) – “I think each person is different when they come back from injury and you handle each injury separately. We’ll see as we go. All along I’ve been hopeful that he’d be there.”

(On how Dimitri Patterson looked today) – “He looked good. Again, he was running around fast. I’ll go in and watch the tape. Again, some of these guys are just getting back into it. You haven’t been aware of it, but they’ve been doing lots of work behind the scenes. It doesn’t surprise me to see them out there running around.”

(On if he uses the film from the preseason game to study Philadelphia) – “Yes, we watch everything that the Eagles do and the preseason is no exception.”

(On if Wednesday will be the only day they wear pads every week) – “I’m going to do pads on Thursday. It’s Thursday because that’s when we do short yardage and goal-lines. I’ll elect to use the weeks that I can wear pads. As you know, we only get 14 of them. It doesn’t add up, but the weeks that I can wear pads, typically, I’ll do it on Thursday.”

(On Eric Haag missing practice today) – “He’s just had a little stomach flu, so we just sent him home precautionary.”

(On Dimitri’s overall importance to the secondary) – “Dimitri and Buster (Skrine) are both (important). I see them the same. They challenge and they have speed and that allows them to play the slot as well as play outside when they’re running down the field on you. I think it’s important. It’s really important.”

(On if there is any additional information on Joe Haden’s situation) – “I couldn’t talk about it if I knew. At this point, we’re moving forward with him. We’ll just see what happens on gameday.”

(On how Mike Holmgren has been since the ownership change) – “Mike’s the president and I’ve seen him do the things that he’s done as president since I got here 18 months ago.”

(On what Trent does for the offense when he’s healthy) – “I think when you have a dynamic running back, there’s synergy. When you hand the ball off, you’re going to get yards. Then of course, they’ve got to decide how they want to defend him. Then of course, the passing game is obviously involved there as well. You’d like to be able to run it and pass it on any down. If you got a guy that’s a runner that can make guys miss or break tackles, I think that’s important.”

(On if the pressure to win was sped up with ownership change) – “No, I have that tension I put on myself to win every year. This is the team we have. I love our team. We have certain games we’re going to go play and I can’t wait for us to go out and do it. Throughout, you guys have been asking me these questions, coaches live with that tension that you have to win. We all live with that. When you get involved with this profession, you just know that’s the most important thing. Everybody else tries to predict what kind of hand you got dealt or what the match-ups look like, but coaches are not in the prediction business. We’re out here to educate, encourage and inspire our players to go win.”

(On how he feels with most of his team present for the first day of Eagles preparation) – “There were some guys out here in new numbers. Did you get that Nate (Ulrich)? (jokingly) I knew that of course, I okayed the number changes, but when you see it for the first time you’re like, ‘Wow, that’s a big guy.’ You know? It’s fun. You want all your guys out. You’d like to be able to go into a game deciding who your guys are having healthy scratches. Hopefully, that’s where we’ll get to.”

(On if Billy Winn has done enough to earn a starting position) – “Billy has had an outstanding camp. We saw a lot of good football from him. You will see him in there on Sunday for sure.”

(On if Jordan Cameron will be back for Sunday) – “We’re hopeful.”

(On if he has decided on a starter for Phil Taylor’s spot) – “We’ll talk about that when we release it. What I think you’ll see is a rotation there. Just like you will see at receiver, just like you will at tight end, linebacker and of course, when they go to nickel. That dictates some match-ups because you put a fifth DB (defensive back) on the field. You’ll see the guys that we have that are up and playing will all be in there.”

(On previously saying he felt more comfortable with John Hughes against the run and Billy Winn against the pass) – “Did I say that? I think what I said was that Billy Winn has shown the ability to pass-rush inside, but I still think he can defend the run. I think they’ll both play on all downs. I don’t mean to do that on your questions, but I do remember my words and I don’t want you to infer something about my words. That’s why, I just want to get it straight, that’s all.”

(On if he felt the team got used to Philadelphia’s speed in the preseason game) – “We saw how fast they were for sure. Some of our guys have learned something. Typically, you like to see improvement between the first and second time you do anything.”

(On if he thinks the offensive line got an attitude because they were criticized against Philadelphia) – “I don’t know. I think our offensive line has an attitude. I’m not sure where the criticism came. Like I said pressure on the quarterback, sacks and scheme. I’m thinking of the first one, where he got hit on the screen pass. There are reasons why things happen, so where the criticism comes, I’m not concerned. I do know our guys are tough physical guys. I think their attitude is there, always has been.”

(On if he expects to start Trent this game) – “If he’s ready to go, he will be our starter.”

Transcript: Browns Head Coach Pat Shurmur Press Conference 8-3-12

(Opening statement)- “Good morning. I’ll tell you before you ask the question, I had a chance to meet the Haslam’s. It was brief, it was just before practice. What I found out, and it was just a brief meeting, and when you get to know the Haslam’s, you are going to find them to be very passionate people, very excited to own the Cleveland Browns. It’s going to be a great mix for our team, our fan-base and the city. Again, I don’t know much more than that because we just met briefly. After these press conferences here – I guess they are going to meet with the media a little later – I’ll have a chance to sit down and talk more, but I this point, I saw passion in their faces. I felt passion in their handshakes, and that’s about what I can say about that at this point. They had an opportunity to watch practice which was great. I felt good about the work that we got done today. I told the players, don’t let anything stop the train, the train is moving. That was more of a comment about the heat, training camp and what you go through. I think our guys again handled it very well. Today was a work day on the calendar. tomorrow’s another work day, and then Sunday will be an off day. Our players understand the process, and they’re going through it in a very, very professional way. With that being said I’ll take your questions.”

(On the players being pumped for practice and if he if he said something to them)- “No, I think they understood what we were practicing today. We had some new plays, and new coverages in, some things that they were excited to get better at. I just think that it’s an indication that our guys know how to work. I think it will show on Sundays.”

(On if the players were trying to put on a show for the Haslam’s)- “I don’t know that. I think they were trying to put on a show for me.”

(On Brandon Weeden’s comfort level increasing throughout camp and him being more in sync with the receivers)- “I think all along he’s been working with the guys he’s going to throw to. You kind of said it in your question, the more you work with guys the better you get a feel for one another and I think that’s starting to show because he is not throwing the ball any better or worse, he is just getting used to the guys he is playing with and I think its showed up the last couple of days.”

(On what point in training camp will he narrow down the reps for all of the wide receiver groups)- “Inside of all that you’ve got guys, one’s and two’s, rotating in and we’re getting certain guys ready to play two or three positions. Then we got certain guys that are really going to primarily play one position, typically your younger guys so they can get up and running and function at a high level. I think they’re all getting an opportunity to work together enough at this point.”

(On how the depth at the wide receiver position will help Greg Little)- “Skill players, in their nature there’s this thing about being selfish and they want the ball and that’s a good thing. Now, we don’t ever want it to manifest itself in a bad way when they don’t get the ball so when there’s competition and there’s guys out there making plays, it makes them all better. If that’s what is happening with Greg great. I’ve said all along I think he’s made great strides from a year ago and I would agree with you I thought he had a good day this morning.”

(On Scott Paxson missing practice today)- “He was out there today. He’ll be back tomorrow. He just had to leave practice. He’ll be fine.”

(On if Billy Winn’s quickness is only important in the pass rush)- “No, I think it’s important in the run game too because when you have quickness, of course you have to always defeat the block, address your gap and then separate and find the ball so that quickness allows him to those things as well in the run game.”

(On if he sees Montario Hardesty’s confidence growing)- “I think so. When you return from injury, and I can speak from experience I had an ACL repair, when you return from injury there is a point where everybody says you’re healthy in that first year or so and technically you are, but it takes a little bit of time before you are healthy and confident. I think he is more at that place now.”

Transcript: Browns President Mike Holmgren Media Availability 7-27-12

Browns President Mike Holmgren Media Availability 7-27-12

(Opening statement)- “I think anything I would say has probably already been written. The club is in negotiations with a buyer, an investor, and it’s an ongoing thing right now. Randy’s (Lerner) number one concern, in our meetings in the last couple of days has been that it not become a distraction, if possible, for the coaching staff and the players. They have a hugely important job to do. We’re in the business of winning football games and we have a good young team that I think is on the verge of becoming what you all wanted and what we all wanted. That’s his number one concern. Moving forward, things will be written, things will be said and I would ask you to go through Neal (Gulkis) and we will try to sort it out and try to answer as many things as we go along. Obviously there are some things that we can’t talk about right now. The league has certain protocols that you all know about where they have to vote on any sort of change and those types of things. We’re following those rules, we’re in contact with the league and doing what we have to do that way, but the number one thing I think our owner wanted me to pass along to you was that this is a great community that deserves a fine football team. I think we’re getting close and he just does not want any of this to disrupt that for the coaches or the players. If there are a couple of questions I will try to answer them to the best of my ability and then I am going to watch practice.”

(On his future)- “My future is bright. Tony (Grossi), that will be answered probably down the road and you control the things you can control and do the best you can. I think we’ve done a lot of great things here in getting to this point, but we will see.”

(On if he was surprised to learn the team was for sale and when he first found out)- “I was in California this summer and Randy contacted me and gave me preliminary reports. Since that point, we have been in constant contact. He’s kept me abreast of every single thing that has been going on and he has been more than fair that way. Clearly there had to be some confidentiality involved in this thing, but I appreciate that he involved me in this. I think you are always a little bit surprised when something of this magnitude comes up I think, but it happens. This stuff happens.”

(On if it will be a complete sale)- “What I can say is that he is giving up a controlling interest in the team. That’s what I can say. As details come out we can elaborate a little bit more, but it is a controlling interest.”

(On if this changes his plan to fulfill his contract)- “To me, a contract is a contract. I have said that before and I try to be honest with you about that. We’ll deal with those things as we go down the road. Right now I am the President of the team and that’s how I am operating.”

(On if there is a guarantee that the team is not moving)- “It’s my understanding that from the get-go that’s been one of the stipulations and both principles understand that. The Cleveland Browns are not going anywhere. The Cleveland Browns are the Cleveland Browns and they’re going to stay.”

(On if he told the players about this)- “Pat (Shurmur) talked to the players this morning. We had an email that went around to the folks in the building and I plan to talk to them as a group next week. I don’t want people off balance. This goes on on occasion in professional sports, as you know, but Pat talked to the coaches and players this morning.”

(On if there is a timetable for when this will get done)- “I can’t answer that. Honestly, I really can’t answer that right now. All I go by is league protocols and what has to happen there. I know nothing is finalized until the league votes on it.”

(On if Joe Banner is a part of this)- “I don’t know. I honestly don’t know.”

(On the report that this deal is close to being done)- “Like I said, sometimes you guys have a little more knowledge than I do. I don’t know. I can’t comment on that.”

(On if he has spoken with the prospective new owner)- “No, I have not. He is a very impressive man when you read about him and people that I have talked to who know him say he is a tremendous guy.”

(On if Randy Lerner said why he going forward this way)- “Well of course he and I had a lot of discussions about this and he has a deep love for this team. He’s been with the franchise since his father passed away, as you know, and running it and trying his best to do the right things. I think as his kids have gotten older and his life has changed a little bit and he was very concerned with and interested in the right person stepping forward if he was going to sell the football team. Apparently, all the stars aligned in the last few months.”

(On if this would be a Lerner family decision)- “You would have to ask them. I am staying out of that one, but I would think so. It’s a family business.”

Transcript: Pat Shurmur, 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: 7/25/12

Trent Richardson:
(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.”

Brandon Weeden:
(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. ”

Josh Gordon:
(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.”

(On how he would characterize himself as a receiver) – “I wouldn’t like to just throw myself into one category and just say possession or just say deep threat. If I could, I want to just label myself as a playmaker, another body out there to help utilize the offense and get plays going. Help maximize what we can do.”

Transcript: Tom Heckert Press Conference

Browns General Manager Tom Heckert Conference Call 7-12-12

(On their reaction to getting Josh Gordon)- “We are obviously really excited. He is a guy that we saw back when he was playing in 2010. He is a guy that we targeted and we really felt good about. We are happy we had the chance to get him.”

(On if it was risky to take Gordon in the second round)- “I don’t know if it’s risky. That’s where we thought he was as a player. He is a guy that can come in here and be an eventual starter for us and make plays for us. I think anytime you draft a guy there is always some risk involved, but we think we got a good football player and we were able to get him in the second round.”

(On if Gordon’s past concerns him)- “It’s something that we really did our homework on, there’s no question about it. We brought the kid in and met with him here then I talked to a zillion guys at both Baylor and Utah. To be honest with you, I couldn’t find anybody to say one bad thing about the kid. I really enjoyed meeting with him. It’s something that is out there that we think we have done our homework on. But to say we’re 100%, we’re not 100% on anybody in the draft, but we felt good enough that we think he is going to be a positive influence on our team.”

(On if he thought Buffalo would take Gordon in the third round)- “I don’t really know who was involved in the whole thing. We didn’t worry about it. We were going to take him in the second round and whatever happened, happened, no matter where we were picking. That’s where we thought he was going to go. We weren’t real concerned about who else was interested.”

(On if they decided they were going to take Gordon in the second round before the draft order was set)- “Yes. Obviously we were hoping to get an earlier pick and we did, which was nice. We were going to take him in the second no matter what.”

(On what stood out about Gordon when he came for his visit)- “When you guys see him, that will be your first clue. He’s a big kid. He is a little over 6-3 and he is 225. He can run and he has huge hands and long arms. He is an impressive looking kid. Like you said, there were some concerns about him, so I drilled him pretty hard when I was with him. He didn’t back down and he told me everything that I thought I needed to hear from him. He promised that he would be a guy that we are going to love having in Cleveland. To me, he seemed pretty fired up about being a Brown. When he left he said he hoped we were the team that picked him.”

(On comparing Gordon’s situation to Greg Little’s last year with both of them having not played the previous year)- “It’s almost exactly the same. This guy has what a couple weeks on Greg (joking)? But it is very similar, it is kind of strange. Now, this kid did practice, so it’s a little different in that aspect. He practiced with Utah the entire time so he has been doing something. That’s the difference, but he hasn’t played in a real game in a while. That’s something he is going to have to get back used to, but at least he practiced with them.”

(On if he would describe Gordon’s attributes as elite)- “It’s hard, but anybody that is that size, yeah I would say so. He has a long way to go before he is elite as a player, but his size, athletic ability and speed are up there pretty good.”

(On how much this pick had to do with what they would need next year)- “First and foremost we think the guy is a good player, but if he wasn’t available it wasn’t a big deal. We just think he is a good player. As you said, we did look at the guys who are supposedly coming out in the draft next year and kind of compared Josh to those guys, which you have to do. Where we got Josh, I think it was good value and we get him a year early.”

(On if Gordon can contribute right away)- “I don’t know if we can answer that right now. We hope he comes in and plays right away. That’s the goal. Obviously we will see him here in a couple weeks. A lot of it will depend on how he picks things up and all that stuff, but we expect him to play.”

(On giving up an early pick)- “Anytime you pick somebody that early you are hoping he is a good football player. That’s what we think Josh is. Just because it’s the supplemental draft I think it’s a little different and most years there is not a player of Josh’s caliber in the supplemental draft so you don’t hear about it very much. Like I said, we look at it as a positive. We are getting a really good football player and we are getting him a year early. I think next year we will be sitting there going, ‘Wow,’ if he plays like we think he is going to play this year, I think it will obviously be a good decision.”

(On having a rookie quarterback, running back and wide receiver and if they are the foundation for the future)- “We hope so, that’s the idea. We made a conscious effort, like we did in the last two drafts where we said we were going to make our defense better. From a stat perspective and in our mind, we think our defense got a lot better in those two years. Now we have kind of loaded up on the offense like you said. They are young, but we think we have gotten a lot better on offense in one draft, now you add Josh in the mix too. We knew this was going to be a process but we think we have gotten a lot better just in the last few months.”

(On Gordon’s ability in the red zone and being able to score for them)- “Obviously his speed is something. He averaged 17 yards a catch and he gets by people, but he is so big, his hands are so big and his arms are so long. To say he was a red zone threat, he caught seven touchdowns, but those weren’t really on red zone types of things. Those were really deep balls, most of them. It’s not that he can’t do the red zone stuff, he just wasn’t a big part of their deal down there. The biggest thing is, I think the kid has great hands, has the ability to adjust to the ball and he is big. Those are some good qualities to have. Does he need some route work? Sure, but I think his other stuff outweighs some things. We think his ability is untapped and he will get a lot better as he picks up our offense and being around our team. We think he is going to be real good.”

(On if Gordon can start right away)- “I don’t know what’s going to happen. We will just have to wait and see how training camp goes.”

(On if he talked with Mike Holmgren about Gordon)- “Yeah, I’ve talked to him. I talked to him a few times even before we left. We knew it was a pretty good possibility that this kid was coming out in the supplemental draft because of the situation so we talked about it even before vacation started. We have been onboard with this for a long time. Everybody was on the same page, Randy (Lerner) included. We all felt comfortable with him and we thought it was the right move for us.”

(On if Gordon has the makings to be a No. 1)- “Yeah, but I never really bought into that a whole lot. You have two starting receivers, I don’t know why one is a 1 and the other is a 2. I never got that part, but he can start in the NFL. That’s obviously what we thought and still think.”

(On if they can get an update on the contracts for Brandon Weeden and Trent Richardson)- “You can, but there is really nothing to talk about. I haven’t talked to either guy in a while so there is nothing new to report.”

(On if he expects that both Weeden and Richardson will be in camp on time)- “Yeah, I am sure they will. I don’t know how many guys are left unsigned but there is a lot. They will start falling into place here pretty soon, right before camp starts. But yeah, they will both be here.”

(On if it was an anxious night for him after hearing about Washington’s interest in Gordon)- “This is kind of worse than the regular draft. The regular draft we kind of have an idea where somebody may go. In the supplemental draft you have no idea because you don’t have a whole lot of time to prepare for it. You just don’t know because there are obviously reasons why these guys are in the supplemental draft. You can’t worry about it too much. I will say I was happy with where we were picking in the lottery. I didn’t want to get put at the very end of our slot. I am not quite sure why we have the lottery instead of the regular draft positions, but whatever, it worked out for us I think.”

(On if he talked to Brian Norwood or Phil Taylor about Gordon)- “Yes, both of them. Coach (Art) Briles, I talked to him for a long time. I talked to a lot of people and everybody loves this kid. They think he is a really good person and a great football player. Everybody was on board with it so it was good to hear.”

Transcript: Browns Player Quotes (Hardesty, Little, Weeden) 5-30-12

Browns Player Quotes (Hardesty, Little, Weeden) 5-30-12

Montario Hardesty

(On if things are different now than when he first joined the Brown)- “I was hurt. I missed a year and last year I was hurt. I’m not going to go into that at all. It was something that I had to go through, I got through it and now I’m healthy. I’m ready to come here and compete for a spot on this team.”

(On if there is plenty of work for two backs)- “There is plenty of work for two backs in this league, especially in our conference, the way the teams pound the ball. You can look at every team from top to bottom and see that. It’s good for our team and our running back situation. I think Trent (Richardson) is a good back. There’s going to be competition and I think competition brings out the best in everyone. We’re going to have a competition in our backfield and that’s only going to make our team better. I’m excited about it actually.”

(On if NFL teams have to have two key running backs now)- “I think we have a lot of good backs. We have guys that can do different things and you need that in this league. You saw last year, we had two or three running backs down before the season started. It’s always good to have depth at running back and have a lot of guys that can run the ball. That’s going to be great for our team. Our offensive line, we had young guys so that is going to be improved too. We are going to have an improved running game, so it’s going to be fun.”

Greg Little

(On if his physical shape had an affecting on his first season)- “I guess so. Once you think about it, it does have a direct reflect on your performance on and off the field as well. If you are not as heavy or as light as you need to be, you’re not going to be as swift on the field as you need to be as well.”

(On how much weight he has lost and if he feels better)- “11 pounds. I feel just as strong, even faster, and I feel better on my feet as well.”

(On his goals for his second season)- “Just to get better. Just to get better in every aspect as a player and every aspect as a team as well. Just try to win as many games as we can. That’s always going to be the ultimate goal.”

(On if he thought he had a good rookie season)- “I am always going to be my biggest critic. When I look at things hindsight, maybe not. When you say that you have arrived, that’s when you fall off as well.” 

Brandon Weeden

(On what has been the smoothest thing about his transition from Oklahoma State to Cleveland)- “I think that just overall throwing the football. We did so much of that at Oklahoma State, I’m not afraid of throwing the ball down the field. I’m not afraid of squeezing it in tight windows. I think that it’s something that I’ve always had a lot of confidence in, so it’s been an easier transition.”

(On if there are similarities between Greg Little and Justin Blackmon)- “There are a lot of similarities. They are big body guys, big hands and strong. You can tell when Greg catches it he’s strong with the football and that’s the way that Justin was. I haven’t really thrown much with Greg, we’ve been in two different groups, but the more I see him, I’ll tell you what, he can play. He can really, really go get it. He’s going to be a fun guy to throw to.”

(On Brad Childress)- “He’s been in this league for a long time. He has a great knowledge of offensive schemes and calling plays and doing things as a coordinator. He is a great coach and great teacher. He is always coaching and giving ideas. If he sees something, he is the first person there to tell you. He has been great so far. He has been a great resource. Whenever he tells me something, I try to be a sponge.”

(On reading into him taking snaps with the first team today)- “I don’t think you can really read too much about it. Colt’s (McCoy) has been doing it for the first week and I think they just kind of wanted to switch things up and see how we respond. It’s just new guys and you are trying to gain confidence with different guys you are on the field with. I don’t read into it. I just have to go out, whether it’s ones, twos, threes, it doesn’t matter, just continue to execute and make plays and the rest will take care of itself.”

(On thoughts on Cleveland being a football town)- “It’s great. That’s the way it should be. I’ve really enjoyed my time so far in Cleveland. I haven’t even found a place to live yet and I enjoy it, so that’s a good thing. I like it here so far, obviously the people are great. I was back in Tulsa playing in a golf tournament on Monday, a Pro-Am type deal, and there were about four or five people in Browns jerseys. There were about 20 -25 people who came up to me and said they were Browns fans back in Tulsa. They are everywhere, which is good. It’s exciting to be a part of that. What a great community and city.”

Transcript: Browns Head Coach Pat Shurmur Press Conference 5-30-12

Browns Head Coach Pat Shurmur Press Conference 5-30-12

(Opening Statement)- “It’s week two of the OTA process here and I think the guys worked well. We’re trying to introduce one phase of situational football each day and we did some two-minute at the end of practice, which I think the guys handled well. I’m more interested in going through the mechanics of it from calling the plays and getting the defense lined up and whatnot and I thought they functioned well. One thing I would caution you against is looking out there and trying to decide who is a starter and who is a backup. I think right now we’re just out there, at most positions, competing and trying to get better. I feel good about the work we got done today and we’ll try to back it up tomorrow and Friday with two more practices with this structure. Next week we will have a minicamp structure, which is our mandatory minicamp, so the players will have technically a travel day on Monday and then Tuesday and Wednesday will feel like an in-season Wednesday practice because the two-a-days, as we know, are gone which will be a walk-through and a practice. Thursday then would feel like an in-season Friday practice, which would be a practice just minus the walk-through. That’s what the minicamp should feel like and then we’ll try to go back and review the things we did in the first six OTA’s and through the minicamp structure and then finish up the next week of course with four OTA’s. That’s where we’re at, it’s a beautiful day, I think we got a lot of work done.”

(On if it meant anything that Brandon Weeden took first team reps today)- “I don’t think you can read into that. I think last week Colt (McCoy) started all of the team drills. This week, or at least today and it will change throughout the week, we had Brandon start the drill, but they all got similar amount of reps with guys that are competing at the skill positions to be starters. I wouldn’t read into that, no.”

(On how Greg Little’s leaner physical appearance is translating on the field)- “I’ve seen him look a lot quicker, a lot more sudden and I think to this point he has caught the ball at a much more consistent rate and he just looks like a different guy to me. A guy that’s been through it once and to his credit, and again let’s not tell him I said this, but to his credit he has done a really nice job of getting his body into the right kind of shape he needs to be in to be a receiver in this league.”

(On if Little was encouraged by the organization to be in better shape)- “Greg and I, we spoke often throughout the year and of course just trying to counsel him on how to be a pro and part of it is taking care of your body. I think he did reshape his body in some ways and it’s a credit to him.”

(On how much confidence they have in the receiving corps)- “I think the players that are here and their development is what we are hopeful will make a receiving corps that we need. Then you add the new players, of course, a couple of whom have showed up and then you put it all together. Then you get better play from all of the positions around them and I think it is going to be what we think it should be.”

(On how much Nolan Cromwell will help the receivers)- “I think Mike Wilson did a nice job with them last year, but again I had Nolan on the radar because I worked with Nolan in St. Louis. He’s just a fine teacher and I think when you add a fine teacher to the group it helps. Nolan has done a nice job. He and Mike work extremely well with the receivers and we have a good situation because in team drills, they can work sides and the guys can get immediate attention. I think that works out well and Nolan is a great addition.”

(On the play of the running backs compared to midseason last year)- “I think they are all out here healthy and they are all here competing and they are getting they’re reps, but the reps that they are getting, they can be fresh because there is a lot of them right now and they all look quick. I think Montario looks good. I’m getting used to watching the new number. Brandon Jackson’s healthy, he looked quick to me. Chris Ogbonnaya is very consistent and he also looked like he gave himself a chance to compete because he is in good shape, not to mention Trent (Richardson).”

(On if he had a conversation with Hardesty after they drafted Richardson)- “I think it’s part of the business. The players are aware that you’re going to draft players at their position at some time in their career, so when we are out here competing, determining who’s going to be the starter and who’s going to be the roll players, they know what’s up. These are pro players, they are used to competing, and they’re used to being in these team situations where they have had to fight for everything. I think Montario is handling it very well.”

(On if he ever saw Hardesty at 100% last year)- “I thought I saw him play very well against Miami. I think that was his high watermark for me and he did a nice job. I’m hopeful that he will come back in great shape for training camp when we put the pads on and start getting banged around.”

(On if there are any rookie or young defensive backs that are standing out)- “I think that in the secondary, (Tashaun) Gipson has flashed a little bit at safety. I think Trevin (Wade) has done a nice job at corner. Young players, I still look at T.J. Ward and Eric Hagg as young players in my mind. Weeden is older than them, right (joking)? I am teasing of course, but I think they are doing a nice job. For the defensive backs, there are certain things that they can’t do that will make some of our guys stand out more. We’re not allowed to bump-and-run out here, we’re obviously not running the ball out here so you’re not seeing guys tackle. So there are some facets to their game that we’re going to have to wait and see once we put the pads on.”

(On if the offensive line is restricted during OTAs)- “Yeah it is, but I think the NFL way is you practice without pads on quite frequently, even during the year. They get used to coming off, using their hands and their pad level. What you can see it their body position, their pad level, when they get off and their finish. We can see a lot of what we need to see, but again, the whole team needs to be involved in the physicalness of training camp and the preseason games.”

(On how much of Little’s transition to the NFL was delayed because he did not have a senior season at UNC)- “That may have delayed it some. I think he also did not have a traditional offseason. He got hit with a double-whammy, so to speak. I know he worked out extremely hard on his own, but it’s hard to get the same kind of work that you get when you are here working with the guys.”

(On if he knew Little would need extra care when he was drafted)- “I think when you look at his history and the reason why he didn’t play his senior year, we obviously wanted to take that into account when we drafted him. We feel like he’s got skill and ability and we want to work with him. Just like I’ve talked you about numerous times, I’ve talked to Greg quite frequently. When you coach him he is very coachable. You can whisper at him or yell at him. It’s not his first rodeo, he’s been coached before, and he takes it and I think he has been listening. When I had my exit interview with him in January, I basically told him that he needed to do everything he can in this offseason to make a huge jump for his second year. I think he’s got a good start on that.”

(On how good he thinks Little can be)- “I don’t know. We drafted him with the idea that he could be a starter in this league and be very productive.”

(On if Little has already done that)- “He has already done that, but I think we can all agree and he would be the first one to tell you that he needs to be more consistent. I think that being in better shape, having a better understanding of what he has to do, that will help him with that consistency. A lot of these guys can do it once, the key is over the grind of the season, being able to do it over and over and over consistently well. I think that’s what him being in better shape will give him a chance to do.”

(On what Little did to improve himself)- “I know he worked on his nutrition and weight lifting. He’s always been a guy that’s kind of a very dense guy that’s got a lot of muscle tone.”

(On what a receiver can to do to improve dropping the ball)- “You work on the fundamentals of catching the football. We try to avoid saying, when a ball is dropped, ‘Hey, catch the ball.’ It’s about focusing on a small point, it’s about your eyes and your fingers and catching the tip and all of those things. We have an increased number of drills that we do and I think you’ll find in coaching and teaching that you get what you emphasize and we’ve emphasized it a great deal. He’s (Little) embraced working at it and we’re hopeful it will show up that way once we start playing for real.”

(On evaluating Little’s hands)- “I think he has very good hands. I think he’s got NFL hands.”

(On if it is a little more complicated than just the fundamentals of catching a football)- “Most skills in football are a little more complicated than just saying, ‘Hey, block the guy,’ or ‘Hey, catch the ball,’ and those are the things we try to zero in on when we coach players, to hit them on the details and the fine points of it.”

(On what catching the tip means)- “When the ball spins at you, what you see is the tip and so then you try to catch the tip.”

(On what he has seen from Marcus Bernard)- “He looks like a different guy, physically, to me as well. He’s much leaner, he looks much more fit and he’s flashed just in the little bit you can see from defensive linemen. He looks to me like he is putting himself in position to have a good camp and that’s good.”

(On if he is impressed that Bernard is able to be here after what happened)- “I am glad he’s here and I think we all go through things in life that refocus us on doing things the right way and allowing us to be able to continue to do the things that are important to us. He’s done that, he looks like he is in good shape and I am glad he is here to help compete and make this team.”

(On if Scott Fujita is at his appeal hearing today)- “Yes, you probably know more details about that, but that’s where he is at.”

(On updates on Brian Schaefering and Eddie Williams)- “Schaefering is doing great. I wouldn’t say he is ahead of schedule, but initially we thought he would be here for training camp, but he’s looking and feeling very good so we might be able to get something out of him the last week here of the offseason. We will wait and see, but he is doing very well. Then Eddie Williams, his back is a little stiff, but he is okay.”

(On what was wrong with Schaefering)- “He had groin surgery, a sports hernia.”