Browns' Shurmur defends decision

Associated Press  |  Last updated December 24, 2012
Though two of his star players got hurt, Browns coach Pat Shurmur defended playing his regulars late in a blowout loss in Denver. Shurmur said he was just trying to win when prized rookies Trent Richardson and Brandon Weeden were injured in the second half of the 34-12 loss. ''What do we do, just stop playing?'' Shurmur said Monday. ''So you just run the ball and get out of there, warm up the buses? Is that what? We're trying to do what we can to move the football. At that time it was a three-score game. Typically that means throw it.'' Facing a defense that knew he had to pass, backup Colt McCoy was sacked four times during his brief relief appearance for Weeden. ''I was just trying to not get knocked out,'' said McCoy, whose 2011 season ended when he sustained a concussion in Pittsburgh. He hadn't thrown a pass since then in a regular-season game until a wobbly Weeden went out Sunday. ''We were pretty far behind at that point when I got in, so I assumed we would start throwing,'' McCoy said. ''It took a couple series getting used to the pocket - hadn't had any reps, hadn't sat back there in a while - so getting a feel for how those guys were playing, I maybe missed a couple throws early. ''A couple times I just threw the ball in the dirt to let those guys (teammates) rest. We were throwing the ball down the field and those guys were tired.'' Shurmur said he was unaware of McCoy's comments. He did know about kick returner Josh Cribbs' profane postgame tweet to fans and did not approve. ''That's not acceptable,'' Shurmur said. ''I don't like that and he shouldn't do that. I think he's remorseful. But he shouldn't be reading tweets after a game. Emotions are raw when you don't win. It is important we use good judgment.'' Bitter fans have questioned Shurmur's decisions all year. Their latest outburst came after Weeden was hurt on a third-quarter sack and Richardson went down when McCoy rolled up on the back of his leg after being hit on Cleveland's second-to-last offensive play. ''We don't want to get anybody hurt,'' Shurmur. ''Anybody on the field is exposed to injury.'' Shurmur remains hopeful Weeden and Richardson can play in Pittsburgh on Sunday. ''I wouldn't rule them out yet,'' he said. ''We're still evaluating those injuries. In the case of Trent, it involved his ankle. The X-rays didn't show a break. He was actually feeling better today. Brandon, it was his right shoulder. At this point it's a sprain. ''I think it's important if guys are physically able to play, they play. That's the competitive nature of this game.'' Richardson has set Browns rookie rushing records of 950 yards and 11 touchdowns. Though Weeden has 17 interceptions to 14 touchdown passes, his 3,385 yards are 10th in team history. The Browns (5-10) probably need a good game from both of their ailing first-round draft picks to beat the Steelers (7-8) and avoid going 5-11 for the third time in four years. A victory would put them two games ahead of Shurmur's first season in Cleveland a year ago - but might not be enough to guarantee him a third chance. New owner Jimmy Haslam and CEO Joe Banner have said only that they are evaluating all aspects of the organization. Sweeping changes are expected after Cleveland's 12th losing season in 14 years. Having so many injuries hasn't helped. Still, Shurmur expects his young replacements to battle. ''Those are excuses,'' Shurmur said of utilizing second- and third-stringers. ''The next guy up has to play well.'' Shurmur believes rookies getting thrown into the fray has helped the young Browns become more competitive. He termed the loss in Denver disappointing but not discouraging, and sees progress. ''I feel like we're much improved,'' Shurmur said. ''I believe we're a better football team, more ready to make the next jump than we were last year.'' NOTES: WR Mohamed Massaquoi, who missed Sunday's game with a knee injury, was placed on injured reserve. The Browns also promoted QB Thad Lewis from the practice squad. He could serve as McCoy's backup if Weeden sits against the Steelers. Massaquoi had 17 catches for 245 yards and made five starts. His contract expires in March and this may have been the former second-round pick's final season in Cleveland. ... DB Sheldon Brown sustained a concussion when hit by Broncos WR Brandon Stokley, who was penalized for an illegal hit. Shurmur didn't think Stokley was intentionally trying to hurt Brown, but that the penalty was warranted. ... Shurmur thinks OL John Greco (thumb), ''will be OK.'' ... Cribbs called out fans only a few days after thanking them for voting for him for the Pro Bowl.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Judge ‘pleased with progress’ of Johnny Manziel

Vikings decline Peterson's 2017 option, making him free agent

NFL players react to Mark Ingram, Saints being turned away from London club

Draymond Green: 76ers are going to be ‘really, really, really good’

Bill Polian wouldn't put Terrell Owens or Randy Moss in Hall Of Fame

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Free agent wide receivers want to play with Carson Wentz

NFL has plans to put microchips in footballs in 2017

A San Diego storm has turned Petco Park into a lake

Top eight storylines for NFL Scouting Combine

Mike D’Antoni calls out Rockets for being ‘soft’ again

WATCH: Dwight Howard ejected for hanging on rim

Box Score 2/28: Fat Tuesday means athletes on floats.

It's time for Satchel Paige Day in Major League Baseball

The best sports movies available to stream right now

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Biggest surprises and disappointments of the NBA season

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Box Score 2/24: A night of NBA disrespect

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

It's time for Satchel Paige Day in MLB

The best sports movies available to stream right now

Biggest surprises and disappointments of the NBA season

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher to win 20 or more games in a season since 2000

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker