Weekly Presser -- Shanahan and Cutler


On injuries

“(RB) Michael Pittman was put on IR. A spinal cord (injury)—He had some numbness in his hands and doctors recommended that he stay out. (LB) D.J. Williams has a third-degree MCL (injury). Four weeks of (missed) participation there. (RB) Andre Hall (has a) broken hand. (S) Marlon McCree (has a) high-ankle sprain—three to four weeks (he will be out) in that area. (TE) Tony Scheffler and (RB) Selvin Young, we will get a chance to evaluate a little bit later today.”

On RB Michael Pittman’s injury

“I knew something was wrong just looking into his eyes. I knew he was hurting, but I didn’t know what it was. I think it was the third play he got some numbness. He continued to gut it out and obviously the rest is history. Any time you have numbness 24-48 hours later like he has, it’s not a good sign.”

On CB Champ Bailey and LB D.J. Williams both being injured

“Any time you lose your two (defensive) captains, obviously it’s a setback, but we have a lot of confidence in the guys we have replacing them.”

On the running back situation

“We are going to take a look at (RB) Selvin (Young) and see how he is doing. (RB) Ryan (Torain) got some practice time and a few plays during the (Miami) game, so I have a lot of confidence in him. Hopefully there are no setbacks with those two guys. We have (RB) P.J. Pope who has been on our practice squad, so we brought him up and he will get a chance to possibly get some playing time as well.”

On whether RB Ryan Torain could carry the ball 20 times against Cleveland

“Possibly. If he is the only guy out there, he has a good chance. I’m not sure where we are at right now with the health of those guys but I wouldn’t want to put him in that situation so quickly (after) being out for about three months.”

On LB D.J. Williams

“He has been a great leader. He leads by example. He is not a big talker, but he practices and plays the same way—full speed all the time. He’s a playmaker, he has great speed and great tackling ability and he is just a guy who has been very consistent for us. It’s one of the reasons we signed him long term.”

On the running game only producing 14 yards against Miami

“The bottom line is you either get it done or you don’t. We didn’t get it done. That’s really embarrassing to rush for 14 yards. We will work on that and obviously improve it.”

On whether he has ever had so many significant injuries on a team he has coached

“I don’t know that I’ve ever had both captains out on defense before, so that’s a little bit different. But that happens during the season and there is no reason to use that as an excuse. That’s why you have depth on your football team. We are going to have (LB Wesley) Woodyard and (LB Louis) Green (to replace LB D.J. Williams). Woodyard doesn’t have a lot of experience, obviously, but he has played well on special teams. Lou Green has a lot of experience. We will take a look at those two guys and make a decision on which direction we are going to go. Then you take a look at (CB) Karl Paymah—I think he played well during the game (in place of CB Champ Bailey).”

On QB Jay Cutler’s state of mind

“What’s wrong with his state of mind? That’s the nature of this game. You are going to have your highs and your lows and you have to be tough enough mentally to get through it. If you have a poor game or a game you are not happy with you get back to the grind and find a way to play extremely well. He’s tough. He’s been through this before and it’s not easy.”

On preparing for Cleveland QB Brady Quinn

“You get ready just like any other quarterback. You just think of the quarterback (Derek Anderson) going down on the first play of the game and he (Quinn) comes in. There is no difference. All quarterbacks in this league are capable of making plays—We know that. We know what Brady Quinn has done relative to his collegiate career and how he played against us in the preseason a year ago. He’s very talented, and now he gets his opportunity to play.”

On what the team does after a rough stretch

“You work to get better. You work on the things you are doing poorly. We worked on our run defense and I felt we got much better. I thought we played very hard on defense, giving up 2.6 yards per rushing attempt (against Miami). It wasn’t but a week ago when we said ‘Hey, is there any chance for us to slow down the run?’ We did slow down the run because we worked on it and we got better. I felt we got better in the passing game as well. 

“It’s a challenge right now. Any time you lose a couple guys like we have lost it’s a great challenge to our coaches and to our players. Guys have to step up. We talked about it before the year started—that you are going to lose people sometimes—and guys have to step up and play. That’s how you get an opportunity to start in this league.”

On the quick turnaround preceding a Thursday game

“I just look at it for both teams. It’s hard on us and them—it’s the same. Even though we are traveling—everybody makes a big deal about traveling—I don’t think it’s too tough anymore relative to how you travel. Things usually work out pretty smoothly so it’s more mental than it is physical. On the other side, when you are done with the game you have a few days to recover and kind of heal up a little bit. We knew this was coming and we got a chance to prepare mentally during the bye week knowing that this was going to occur. It’s not like we got in here Monday and just started working.”



On having a short week with Thursday’s game in Cleveland

“It is hard, especially coming off of the game that we are coming off of. We have to forget it and watch a lot of film in a short amount of time. Two years in a row we have had to go away on Thursday night game. Tomorrow we leave by 12, so there is not a lot of time. It is difficult.”

On Browns QB Brady Quinn getting his first start

“This is his second year. He has been in the system a long time, and he knows what is going on. I am sure he will be fine.”

On being the veteran quarterback in Thursday’s game

“It is all right. We can’t really worry about what they are going to do. We have to take care of ourselves and fix our problems. We have to get our game plan down in a short amount of time and squeeze things in. We have to do two days worth of work today and two days worth tomorrow.”

On RBs Michael Pittman and Andre Hall being placed on injured reserve

“It hurts. We are down to just a few guys at running back. We have (FB) Peyton (Hillis) and he can kind of go both ways. We will see if (RB) Selvin (Young) can get back, but we also have (RB) Ryan (Torain). He is going to have to cram and it is going to be difficult for him not only being a rookie, but just coming back and having two days to prepare. It is going to be a challenge.”

On if he is thinking too much after losing the past three games

“No, I am good. I am excited about this game, and it is going to be fun. I am looking forward to it.”

On getting the offense going after the running game stalls

“It is hard. They started dropping a lot of guys and just kind of playing Cover-2 daring us to run. We couldn’t get it going and there weren’t a lot of holes out there. We tried to move the ball and tried to make plays and bad things happen when you try to do that. Everyone knows that if you can’t stop the run or you can’t run the ball, it is going to be hard to win.”

On how defenses have adjusted since the first three games of the season

“We have seen everything. A lot of teams are coming in and throwing all types of different coverage at us and making up coverage for Brandon (Marshall). They (Dolphins) were doing some crazy stuff, rolling down playing 1-on-1 on one side and a three deep, safety over the top of Brandon (Marshall). The time they rolled down to single coverage on him we caught a big one but it was called back. As a quarterback, I just have to be aware of what they are doing and know that I am going to see some different stuff out there.”

On if they see different coverages in film or if it is a surprise

“We expect a lot of it coming into the game. With Brandon (Marshall), we expect them to do some stuff and the other guys we have to take advantage of on the other side. Some of it is new stuff, some of it is stuff we have seen.”

On getting WR Brandon Marshall the ball more

“Brandon is good. We talked about it. I think he is as equally excited about this game as I am. We are looking forward to it and it is going to be fun.”

On what he attributes his mistakes to

“It is a combination of stuff. It is in the past. We talked about it offensively and the guys that were involved with it. We are moving on. It is my fault. The ball comes out of my hands, so I have to make better decisions.”

On if the game plan is scaled back because of the short week

“I think this offense is very smart. We can do a lot of different things. We can do a lot of different stuff with the run, especially with the receivers and the tight ends. We are going to have a full game plan for this one. We are going to do exactly what we have been doing the last eight weeks as far as game plan wise.”

On FB Peyton Hillis

“He is extremely good out of the backfield. He is good at catching the ball and making plays. I think as for the running game, he is getting there as far as a fullback. We just have to find ways to get packages for him to get the ball. We had a few designed plays for him last game. This game, we will see if the opportunity presents itself.”

On his impressions of Browns QB Brady Quinn

“I have watched Brady a lot. I was a huge Notre Dame fan growing up, so I definitely watched him in college. He has all the physical tools. He is strong, has a big arm, can run and he is smart. As a quarterback, you have to go through a growing phase and get over the curve. He is going to struggle at times. Sometimes he is going to see things great and other times it is going to be cloudy. We will see what happens this game. He might come out and light it up or he may struggle. It is just one of those things you go through as a quarterback.”

On what his hurdle was adjusting to the NFL

“It wasn’t so much speed. Like I said, he (Quinn) has been in the system longer than I was when I first started. I was still learning the language and our offense. I tried to picture it in my head, where everyone is going to be at and it is totally different. I think he (Quinn) is going to be ahead of me for his first start. He understands their offense and what they are trying to do. It is just a matter of figuring out what is going on defensively and applying it.”

On the team’s struggles being beyond injuries

“There are a lot of factors. This game is tricky, especially as a quarterback because there are a lot of things that have to happen to be successful. I think what it boils down to is we just have to play better.”


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