The Browns were back on the practice field today with a few defensive players going in different directions. Here are a few notes from the day in Berea.
-The Browns will use QB Brandon Weeden as the teams 4th captain this week. This makes Weeden the 2nd rookie to get the opportunity to be a captain this season as earlier this year against the Bengals Trent Richardson was voted into a captain role as well.
-The team had Phil Taylor back on the practice field today as the big man from Baylor is still in the process of returning from a pectoral injury that he sustained during minicamp. As he rounds back into shape he is not expected to play this week against the Chargers.
-When Shurmur was asked how he will rotate Taylor in here is what he had to say, This is not unique for a guy to come back at this point in the season and we’ve just got to watch him work.
We’ve got to get him out there and let him practice, get him first into the swing of things and then step up the workload and see how he handles it. We’ll see. It’s reasonable to think maybe next week or the week after, of course we’ve got a bye in there so we’ll see.”
-Scott Fujita has had an adventurous 2012 season and it will end without him truly having a chance to play as he was placed on the Injured Reserve today with a shoulder/neck injury.
He ends the season with 14 tackles in 4 games. When Coach Shurmur was asked if Fujita would be retiring he said that, that is a personal thing for Scott to deal with, but that “we all want to be in control of our own situations, but most of us aren’t.”
-With the Browns preparing for the Chargers the tough question for Shurmur is how do you stop Antonio Gates? “That’s a good question and I think he’s playing, in terms of Antonio Gates, I think he’s playing as well as he’s played recently, in my mind. He looks healthy, on tape he looks big,
(Philip) Rivers is throwing to him a lot and he’s making a lot of catches. I haven’t seen a lot of the teams that we’ve watched on tape defend him all that effectively. I think it’s important that we get pressure on the passer, I think it’s important that we challenge all the throws and whoever’s covering him, whether it is a safety or a linebacker or he’s running through a zone, we’ve got to do a good job of trying to disrupt the throws.”
-Shurmur continues to get questions about Trent Richardson playing hurt. Today he was asked is Richardson being honest when he says he’s ok, “He’s being honest and trying to be convincing at the same time. I get that. That’s not the first time that we’ve encountered a player that’s tried to do that.
That’s where the relationship is where you know the player and you watch the player and you know what he looks like when he’s feeling great regardless of what he tells you. That’s where that relationship is. I’m more able to do it this year knowing the players where last year coming off of a lockout I was still getting a feel for some of that.
In the case of Trent, what I do know is this, he’s a competitor, and he wants to be out there and no matter how he feels he’s going to try to convince me to go out there. I just know that when I go into that decision making about whether he should be or shouldn’t be.”