MIKE PETTINE FRIDAY OCTOBER 10TH PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT

Mike Pettine Head Set PhotoOn LB Paul Kruger’s injury:

“He just has an issue with his lower back. (We) just gave him the day. We’ll see if he can go on Sunday.”

 

On if it happened during practice:

“No.”

 

On if it happened during weightlifting:

“(He’s) just having an issue with his back.”

 

On if he’s glad to have DB Joe Haden back out there today:

“It was good. He got a little bit of work off to the side. He was limited, very limited. That’s a decision we’re going to have to…hopefully he has a good day tomorrow getting some treatment. We’re hopeful. It’s a game time decision, but we hope he’ll be able to go obviously.”

 

On who will start in that spot if he can’t play:

“It’ll be (DB Justin) Gilbert.”

 

On if he needs to make a move on the d-line with DLs Ahtyba Rubin, Billy Winn and Phil Taylor all injured:

“I mean, we have (DL) Jacobbi McDaniel. That’s something (GM) Ray (Farmer) and I have to talk about. We need to get a little more of an update from (head athletic trainer) Joe (Sheehan) about ‘Rube’ (Rubin) before we make that decision. We have (DLs) ‘Kitch’ (Ishmaa’ily Kitchen) and John (Hughes) who have been down, so those guys are naturals to be active. We’ll see if we have to go more than that.”

 

On if Rubin’s injury occurred today:

“No, it was yesterday.”

 

On what Gilbert showed in practice this week:

“He came out and did his job. He had a great attitude, competed, made some plays. (He) just raised his level of consistency. He still made some mistakes, but I would say it was his best week of practice.”

 

On what playing at home means to him and what kind of factor the fans can be:

“It’s just something from the day I got the job I was most pleased about. Having been here as a visitor and getting the feel for the Dawg Pound and just the passion, the loyalty – it was just something you admired from a far. Here’s a team that’s not experiencing much success, yet these fans come out in droves and are very supportive. That was proven, as I said the other day, on the road down in Tennessee. It was shocking to say the least to our guys when we pulled up to the hotel and when we got to the stadium. At home they’ve been great for us. Unfortunately, we came up short against Baltimore. The crowd was a huge part, huge part of our win against New Orleans. We’re looking for more of the same. It’s a situation where we tell our guys, ‘We control the volume.’ When we’re making plays and doing good things, that place will be rocking.”

 

On how coaches learn how players will take coaching by interviewing players before the draft:

“That’s not something you necessarily ask them. You talk to the people that have coached them. You can go as far back to their high school days, but certainly their college coordinator, college position coach, college head coach. You should be able to get that information.”

 

On if Browns LB Eric Martin would play if Browns LB Paul Kruger was not able to play on Sunday or if it would just be more time for Browns LBs Barkevious Mingo and Jabaal Sheard:

“Eric would see more of a role. I think Eric only got two plays against Tennessee, and he had two really good rushes. So, it was already the plan to get him more reps. That’s something that if Krug is limited or can’t go, then he’s going to get those reps anyway.”

 

On if he saw something in the first half of the Tennessee game that caused Mingo to get fewer reps in the second half:

“No, it’s just we were in a little bit less of that personnel grouping that he was in. He’ll get his reps. Sometimes, the guys that are in certain packages their reps will vary based on what the opponent’s doing, and he was a little bit of a victim of that.”

 

On how big this division game is:

“That’s an understatement. It’s huge. You can’t fall to 0-3 in the division. As we said, the path to our goal is through the division. This is one – like you said – it’s only one, but this is a pretty big one.”

 

On if he sees a correlation between the AFC North teams all being .500 or better and all being able to run the ball:

“I just know when you’re looking…I was with (Bengals offensive coordinator) Hue Jackson. I know he has a commitment to want to run the ball. Pittsburgh had talked about wanting to get back to more balance on offense and then, (Ravens offensive coordinator Gary) Kubiak goes to Baltimore. I just think it was a natural thing there, him and (Browns offensive coordinator) Kyle (Shanahan) coming from that same system. I think it’s really a product of the mentality change in Pittsburgh of wanting to balance it out and take advantage of the backs that they have, particularly (Steelers RB Le’Veon) Bell. Then, I think the coordinator changes at the other three, I think, firmed that up.”

 

On if the Browns and Ravens’ commitment to the wide-zone running scheme makes the defenses in the division more familiar to it when going against it:

“I think so because if you’re Pittsburgh or your Cincinnati preparing for a division game, preparing for us or for Baltimore, I would say the pass games are different as I said during Baltimore week, but the run games are very similar. It does water that down a little bit, you’d like to be the only one, but just that’s the way it is.”

 

On what the message was in the team circle before practice:

“Team building.”

 

On how he looks at the injuries on defense when going against an offense like Pittsburgh:

“We have to be ready to play. Hopefully we can get the guys that are listed out there. I know we have some guys already listed as out. We talked about next man up. As big of a cliché as it is, it’s very true. I always talked to the coaches don’t be that coach who’s starters are the only ones that are ready. To me, the true measure of a coach is how his backups play when they’re in there, and this week will be a good test to that.”

 

 

On the defense needing to create more turnovers:

“Yeah, I think that’s one of the reasons we are where we are. We’ve done a good job protecting it, but we need to do a better job of taking it away. It’s something that we emphasize and just like sacks, in turnovers they come in bunches; you’d like to get on that roll where you’re getting a lot of them but where hoping that will come. Our guys are very mindful of it. They’ve (been) given the percentages of it: if you’re even, the turnover percentage is this plus-one and plus-two. It is pretty much the number one indicator of wins and losses.”

 

On LB Paul Kruger play:

“He’s played well. I think he was a little bit anxious against Baltimore and tried to do a little more than what he needed to. But other than that, I think that he’s been real solid for us.”

 

On the pressure upfront provided by Kruger leading to DB Tashaun Gipson’s interception versus New Orleans:

“Yeah that was the play of the game against New Orleans but if he’s not getting sack production he’s at least causing the ball to get out earlier. Teams are aware of him and – he can beat guys on the edge and he can also power them which is a good combination.”

 

On his confidence in DL Ishmaa’ily Kitchen ability:

“To me he’s just a guy that, going back to when we started, fills his grade sheet with pluses. He’s not a flash guy, he’s not going to fill up the stat sheet, have a tone of tackles or sack production or anything like that but he’ll keep the linebackers clean, he’ll be where he’s supposed to be. He’s very dependable when it comes to, when we talk about ‘doing your job and things will happen.’ He’s very dependable that way.”

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