The dog days of camp are defiantly here as even Coach Shurmur stated that he thought that today in his opening statement. Injuries are still in play as well as the same 15 that missed practice on Sunday, missed practice on Monday.
-With both D’Qwell Jackson and Scott Fujita missing practice young LJ Fort has opened eyes in camp as he is constantly around the ball. He even ended 7-7 drills this morning picking off Colt McCoy in a red zone drill. Coach Shurmur has recognized the play of the linebacker from Northern Iowa, “I think he’s had an excellent camp. When we left in June, I was looking forward to him playing well in training camp, because as I’ve said before, when the linebackers put their pads on then they start to separate.
I think when he started wearing his pads and playing the game for real, he showed me more. He did a good job in his scrimmage snaps. He also did an outstanding job on special teams. As you saw today, he ended the drill with an interception. I mentioned it to our defense. I talked about as a team we need to catch the football more and better.
As you’ve seen in practice here, instead of the balls just getting deflected, you’re seeing our guys finish the play if it is a bad throw with an interception. I’d like to think you get what you emphasize.”
-Shurmur also reiterated that he will play his starters at least for an half on Thursday, and he may even let some guys play into the 3rd quarter. -The obvious problem Shurmur is going through is how to prepare for the season with so many injuries, here are his thoughts on that “Some of the guys that aren’t out here are guys that have played in the league a long time so they’ve been through these little gaps where they’ve had injuries so to speak so I’m not so concerned about that.
The ones I’m more concerned about that missed practice time are the young ones, the guys that need to develop. If there’s level of concern, that’s where it goes to, the guys that need to practice because they’re going through this process here for the first or second time. Of course you’re going to ask me, I get concerned about all injuries, but I do think that we still have a long time before we play our first (regular season) game and everybody in the building in there is rushing to get back out here.”
-Shurmur was asked what makes Ahtyba Rubin the player that he is as he is rounding into shape and should play against the Packers. “I think first of all, for a defensive lineman he has very good instincts, he knows how to play blocks. I think being a 3-4 nose tackle, you get used to feeling leverage of one player and now we have him set up in more of a one-gap type alignment.
That helps him feel whether he’s getting down blocked or reached or slipped or double-teamed and that’s first and foremost. Winning those battles in your own little world and then I think he’s also is a guy that once he separates from the block or defeats the block, he can make a play, which is important. Because he’s a good player, even though he doesn’t say much, there is some natural leadership there that I think the rest of the team appreciates.”
-The Browns will practice again at 8:45 am here in Berea on Tuesday then travel to Green Bay on Wednesday.