Pat Shurmur Won’t Announce When He’s Naming His Starting Quarterback
Pat Shurmur’s first season as a head coach in the NFL was brutal. The Browns were 4-12, lost their last six games, and with 218 points they scored the third least points in the NFL. Shurmur came in to Cleveland with an offensive background, but quite honestly he was short of weapons in his first year in Cleveland. Mike Holmgren and the Browns are hoping the drafting of stud running back Trent Richardson and 28 year-old quarterback Brandon Weeden will help them put some points up on the board. They’re in arguably the toughest division in football with the Ravens, Steelers, and Bengals all making the playoffs last season. If the Browns don’t show marked improvement, Shurmur and Holmgren could be on the way out.
Pat Shurmur joined ESPN 850 WKNR in Cleveland with 3 Deep to talk about how excited he is for the start of training camp, if he cringes when he gets asked about the quarterback situation, when he plans on naming a starting quarterback, on his message to his team prior to training camp, how much research they did before drafting Josh Gordon in the supplemental draft and what he makes of the pessimistic view of the Browns this season.
How excited he is for the start of training camp:
“I’m excited. This is the time of year that coaches look forward being able to work with the players and the players have obviously gone through a normal offseason and gotten themselves mentally and physically right and I really like the team that we have assembled with the new players, a couple of free agents and of course the guys that we all know from a year ago. I’m looking forward to getting these guys going in the right direction, putting in the work that is necessary in training camp and you really have to practice to have a chance to get good and put the new players together and go do it.”
If he cringes when he gets asked about the quarterback:
“No I don’t. I’ve learned not to cringe at any question because I’ve received quite a few that I tend to have to answer time and time again. Here’s the thing that’s great about Cleveland and I have mentioned it before, I’m as impatient as anyone to start winning. I really am and that’s the truth and I get the passion that this town has, we have a town that cares and going with that I haven’t lived here since ’99 or before and although I know the history now a little bit more than I did a year ago of this organization I’ve got a bunch of coaches and players that are very prideful guys and want to win football games, want to win the division, want to compete in the playoffs so you can play in the biggest game of them all and then win it. That’s what we are trying to do. We’ve got a lot of very professional guys here doing it but all that being said I understand better now the emotions that swirl around this town and their passion for the team. I get that, I get that. It’s a process and it’s a journey. Now my journey with this team is going into our second season without a first offseason so I think it’s exciting. I’m looking forward to being a much improved team.”
When he plans on naming his starting quarterback:
“You’re contractually obligated to ask it but I’m not contractually obligated to answer. I have a plan for how I think this thing will work out and I’ve been through this before when you’re trying to get a starter and a backup and a third quarterback ready to go and so it will happen in a timely fashion. There’s so much good work that happens here and the most important thing is of course is that the quarterback is getting work with the receivers he’s going to play with and we’re working in new receivers and what you would consider the first and second group. They’re getting the work they need, they’re getting the chance to call the plays and execute with the guys they’re going to play with and as we move forward it will get done right.”
On his message to his team prior to training camp:
“The meeting is really between the head coach and the players and I really do think they should hear it first but my big message of course is last year is last year and what we did wasn’t good enough. We all understand that. We’ve done things to improve this football team and now we have to go do it. There’s a certain amount of work that needs to get done and we all live with a short time horizon being the end of the season. It’s time now that we dive in and get to work.”
How much research they did with Josh Gordon:
“We looked at everything about the player. As a coach I first weigh in on watching the tape and seeing whether we think he is good enough and we think he is. Then there’s lots of phone calls that are made behind the scenes to people that he knows and he has worked with and been around. We’ve developed relationships with a lot of the people he has worked with. You get information where we feel like here is a young man that has developed some adversity for himself on his own and we feel as though those issues are behind him, we don’t anticipate it’s going to happen again and we felt like I don’t want to say the risk is worth the reward but we feel like he understands what is at stake and we feel like he can be a fine player. Just like all of our players we’re going to work with them and we’re going to constantly keep talking to him about what it takes to be a good pro and if he’s going to be a good pro then he has to avoid some of the things he has done in his past. He understands that and we’re going to help him.”
What he makes of the predictions being made by people nationally about the Browns:
“Obviously as coaches we don’t predict, we just go out and work with the players. Again that’s not something I concern myself with, what other people think. We can all look at what people say about us and use it as a motivating factor. I think what we need to focus on here and what I trust in is we have a lot of very, very prideful and professional guys that have done a lot of winning and I think, unless I’m really mistaken here that these guys will so what it takes to put a good team on the field and give us a chance to win way more games than a lot of people think.”