What Pat Shurmur Should Have Said…

Every now and then I like to help people out by telling them what they could say. Nobody says everything perfectly (as I know all too well,) and hindsight is especially nice when figuring out what you could have said that would have been superior to what you did say. Considering the last few days of press that Pat Shurmur has done, it appears that he might need a bit of help. I went ahead and put some answers together to the questions that might have better defused some of the controversy that Shurmur is facing today. Keep in mind, these aren’t my defenses for the coach, necessarily. These are just what I would consider to be better answers than some of the sarcastic, combative things that coach did choose to say.

(On his third down offense) –“I think you just try to find and do the things you do well. We converted a couple of fourth downs I think, which are important. I think you go back and you look at it. We look at all the situations all the time. We try to put together and do the things we do well, and the things that we do well, that attack the opponent we’re playing. We have to just keep going back to it.”

What Pat Shurmur should have said… On third down, you’re trying to mix in different looks all throughout the game. The first time we ran third and one in that area of the field, we went big and they got us for a two yard loss. The third and long before, Chris Ogbonnaya caught a 38-yard pass and the two plays leading up to the third and one Trent Richardson ran for four and five yards. So, I thought putting Ogbonnaya on the field would give them something to consider with Jordan Norwood being the first option on that play.

(On his reaction to Carl Banks statement that taking Richardson off of the field in the red zone does the defense a favor) – “That was Carl that said that? Maybe yes, maybe no. I don’t know. I don’t necessarily think that’s the case.”

What Pat Shurmur should have said… (Joking) Ogbonnaya just ripped off 38 yards. If putting him in is doing them a favor, then I’m happy to do it…. Look, I know better than anyone how good Trent Richardson is. He’s the kind of guy that you’d like to give the ball as many times as possible. I called a play that I thought could work and even if it didn’t, should have given us a chance to consider putting Trent back in and going for it on fourth down or just kicking a field goal. We preach ball security and nobody wants that play back more than Brandon Weeden. (Joking) He probably wants it back even more than I do.

(On if he is trying to say that Richardson is not ready to play every down) – “No, I’m not saying that, but I think it’s important that there are other guys that play. I don’t think you see any running back in the NFL play every single snap. If there is one out there I’d be curious to hear. Somebody know of a team that does that?”

What Pat Shurmur should have said… I think Trent Richardson can and will play almost every down of every game. Certainly most any time we consider going for it on fourth and one, he’ll be in there. He’ll also be in there on some third downs. We think we raise his value just that much more by giving the defense a few other looks throughout the game. That’s nothing against Trent. That’s the chess match of coaching in the NFL.

(On if he has second guessed himself on the third and one play calling where Weeden threw an interception) – “I want us to execute the play we call better and then we’re always looking at better ways to do things. I’ll let you guys second guess it and we’ll work on getting everything better.”

What Pat Shurmur should have said… I wouldn’t say I second-guess everything, but I certainly look at every game – win or lose – to see what I could have done better and what our team can do better. As we keep adding knowledge of these players and they add knowledge of our system, the more decisive we can be calling the plays and they can be executing them. It’s taking longer than I hoped because we haven’t won yet, but we still feel like we’re on the right track and our best football is ahead of us.

And … Scene…

Shurmur is under fire because his team hasn’t won yet. It’s predictable if not justified considering Mike Holmgren predicted a “big jump” this year. I also realize that Shurmur seems to have been left hanging out to dry for a second straight season with nobody else talking about the roster or anything else. Still, it is amazing to me that the strategy he’s come up with for his media relations only seems to be making things worse. That’s some serious misjudgment.

  • Clown Baby


  • mgbode

    well written Craig. it’s amazing how simple some of these things can be that people make so complicated.

  • markn95

    This isn’t directly related to the infamous pass-instead-of-run on 3rd down & 1 but it does say a lot about our head coach/playcaller. I checked ESPN’s 2012 quarterback rankings and found two very interesting items:

    1. Brandon Weeden is #10 in the NFL in passing yards. A rookie QB in the top 10. Not bad!

    2. Brandon Weeden is #29 in yards per attempt. That’s 29 of 33, fourth worst in the league.

    Huh? This didn’t make sense until I played with ESPN’s excel-type tools and discovered that, except for Drew Brees, Brandon Weeden has MORE passing attempts than ANY OTHER QB in the NFL in 2012. Really? I know we run a West Coast offense and that we’re almost always behind on the scoreboard, but a ROOKIE QB almost leads the league in passing attempts??? When he shares a backfield with one of the most promising rookie RB’s in years? And when the guys he’s throwing the ball to make up the NFL’s worst WR corps? Is there any real surprise that this team is 0-5?

  • mgbode

    take out wk1 vs. Philly though and Weeden has a 7.0YPA. that is pretty darn good.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I always thought Shurmur was a puppet anyways! 😉

  • Bryan

    I may be in the minority, but Shrumur’s pressers are the only thing I like about the guy. He clearly gets annoyed with stupid repetitive questions, which I respect. Plus he shows a lot of fire and passion. I like it. They made me realize I like him as a man. As a coach, not a big fan. As a man – good dude.

  • humboldt

    The Shurmur make-believe rhetoric would benefit from at least one ‘Firing Big Bird’ reference.

  • Garry_Owen

    In case anyone was wondering if Cleveland is anything but a Browns town, it’s after 5:00 on the Tuesday after another Browns loss, and we’re still talking about what the Browns coach said (or didn’t say) after a meaningless post-game press conference and how he didn’t prepare (prepare!!) for said press conference after his team lost.

  • Bryan

    We are losing every game. So was New Orleans until this Sunday. That is why our QBs throw so much – they are always behind late in games.

  • dan

    What Shurmur really should have said:

    “Thank you. We’re all glad to have gotten a victory today against the defending Super Bowl champs. We’re happy with our start to the season, 3 wins in the first five games is a good start, although obviously there’s still work to be done. Any questions?”

    “Yes, Coach, can you tell us a bit about your decision to call a draw play on fourth and seventeen on your own thirty-five yard line while up by six in the fourth quarter?”

    “Well, that was a difficult call, fortunately we had noticed their defense out of alignment and we thought Trent [Richardson] could pick up the yards, and fortunately we were proven right. Next?”

    “Coach, about the second touchdown pass –”

    “Yes, well, all the credit goes to [Error – File Not Found] for making a spectacular grab on that one. I’ve always believed that the one thing any group of receivers needs is one sure-handed, veteran receiver, someone who can step up and make a big play in crunch time, and [Error – File Not Found] has been a great addition to the club.”

    “Coach, supposing you had lost this game, the Bengals game, and the Bills game, what do you think you’d be saying now?”

    “Tony, that’s the dumbest question I ever heard. If I were 0 and 5, it wouldn’t matter what I said, I’d be out of here.”

  • MGBode, ready to concede on our bet?

  • “Shurmur is under fire because the team hasn’t won yet.”

    That’s just part of the story, Craig. He is also under fire for every other bonehead, moronic and stupid thing he has said/done. Lest we forget.

  • subadai

    What Pat Shurmur should have said:

    “I quit.”

  • Mike Zelina

    What Shurmur should have simply said “The QB screwed up and threw an interception. For all you old Cleveland fans, it was Red Right 88 all over again. Throw the damn thing away. That said, maybe picking someone who NOBODY else would have drafted wasn’t the best idea.”

  • Pat Shurmur

    I’m soon-to-be single, ladies!

  • Pat Shurmur

    I like passing. Running is so 2004.

  • NoVA Buckeye

    Sadly, we can’t erase games on the W/L record.

  • “Execution” – never mind the irony – considering his dwindling prospects – but he seems glaringly aware that “execution” is a big factor on this years team. So why call a play in what is essentially an elementary football situation that requires “heightened” execution not less? Why? Because he’s not up to the job.

  • Hopwin

    What Craig said:
    Keep in mind, these aren’t my defenses for the coach, necessarily.
    What Craig should have said:
    Here is an entire Shurmur apologist posting.

  • mgbode

    how is it an apologist posting when Craig called him out for completely botching the press conference?

    he isn’t even saying he believes his “shurmur said” angles just that they would be the easier route to go against the media. anyways, carry on.

  • mgbode

    no we cannot, but we can look at the progression of our team, no?

  • mgbode

    i have not forgotten it. and no. i don’t concede until the total losses make the win count impossible.

  • Hopwin

    The entire article is “here is what Shurmur said” followed by “here is what Shurmur meant by that”
    Taken in conjunction with the “criticism” that Craig has levelled previously it seems apologist to me but YMMV.
    To be clear, you don’t have to be Chuck Booms hyperbolic critical of Shurmur but Bull & Fox do an excellent job of being balanced in their criticisms whereas WFNY seems to live up to the moniker of “Patience, Wait For Next Year, He/We/They are Getting Better!”

  • mgbode

    ok, we read it differently. it wasn’t “here is what Shurmur meant” it was “what Shurmur SHOULD have said”

    if he didn’t say what he should have said, then he was wrong in what he said and obviously botched the press conference.

  • It’s probably the misleading title and unclear setup that are throwing him. TRY TO BE MORE CLEAR NEXT TIME, CRAIG!!

  • I agree, if he showed that fire on the sideline I would be on board with the guy. But he continually looks lost, or like he is talking about dinner on his headset. I think that it was the Buffalo game where we needed a 3 and out from the D, and he comes out on the field to pump the guys up, and he looks like he is asking for the time… “Hey guys (tone drops), anyone have the time?” What he really said was, “Let’s get the ball back here.” notice the punctuation. This example is bad, because they actually did get the 3 and out, but I don’t think the HC motivated them by asking them to, if its not too much trouble, would you guys, maybe, be able to get a stop, or something, so we can trot the Offense out here, thanks…

  • Hopwin

    If what he should have said was had been presented as humorous…

  • mgbode

    but it was not a joke. it was simply a “if Pat Shurmur had any PR sense, then he would have answered these questions this way”

  • hopwin

    In other words, here is how he should’ve spun it (what he meant to say). Aka apologism.

  • NoVA Buckeye

    That Eagles secondary was the best we’ve played so far. An uphill climb was predetermined.