The Cleveland Browns will soon find out what life will be like without star cornerback Joe Haden, but that doesn't mean head coach Pat Shurmur will be crossing his fingers in hopes that his secondary doesn't fall apart over the next month. The second-year coach made it fully clear at his Wednesday press conference that he remains intrigued by his crop of defensive backs going forward despite the loss of Haden.
"I’m very confident that the players we have on this team will go in and challenge and play extremely well," Shurmur said. "That’s just the way it goes and we’re all aware of the rules so we move forward."
The Browns did manage to pick up a bit of good news as injured cornerback Sheldon Brown suited up for a full practice on Wednesday, but it's clear that the trio of Trevin Wade, Dimitri Patterson and Buster Skrine will have to step up in Haden's absence in order for the team to keep its defensive identity.
Shurmur acknowledged plans to utilize both Patterson and Skrine in starting roles opposite Brown depending on the offensive personnel, but still does not believe his approach will be any different without his lockdown corner around to cut down half of the field. "I think defensively scheme-wise you’re always flexible," Shurmur said.
"If you have a guy who you think is your number one corner you can put him on their number one receiver, it’s all perceived or you can play it right and left. You’re always ready defensively to do either and I think we’ll just see how it unfolds."
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