MIKE PETTINE POST PRACTICE PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT FOR 8-15-14

Mike Pettine Game Sideline Photo

On the fan reaction at training camp so far:

“It’s been tremendous. I came here and the fans had a certain reputation. You kind of sense it from the outside – the passion, the loyalty. They just proved it over the course of training camp. I think we averaged the most fans the Browns have ever had for training camp. You can just sense the enthusiasm. It’s something I think is going to be huge for our guys. We want the Dawg Pound to bring back the days of old when home-field advantage will truly be a home-field advantage. You look at what Seattle has been able to do with the 12th man. If we go out there and are playing good football and give our fans something to cheer about, they’ll be among the loudest in the league.”

On how the ice bath was from participating in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge:

“I got lucky. I’m sure when you review the tape I was braced for it, and I think the buckets, because they were filled with ice, were a little bit heavy for the guys to lift. I got some down the back which was refreshing. It was good. It’s for a great cause. I do want to go ahead and put the challenge out there to the (ESPN) Monday Night (Football) crew, especially (MNF commentator) Mike Tirico and (MNF analyst) Jon Gruden. I know they’ll appreciate it. I was around (Baltimore Ravens senior advisor to play development) O.J. Brigance, who was afflicted with ALS, in Baltimore. He’s just an amazing person, and I just think it’s for a great cause.”

On how he’s going to use the QBs this week:

“It’s hard to say. I know a report came out about how we’re going to use them series-wise. To me, it’s more we want to make sure we get the reps balanced. I think it’s hard to go every other series, so we’ll just have a pretty good feel. If the first drive is a long one, there’s a chance we can go ahead and make the switch, but I don’t want to back myself into any commitment on it’s going to be this or it’s going to be that. The goal is, as I’ve stated, that at the end of the half, we want to have those reps close to equal.”

On why QB Johnny Manziel isn’t starting if the reps are going to be equal:

“Because that’s the decision we made. We’re making our decisions based on the information we have based on the body of work. That’s what we decided to do.”

On if Manziel hasn’t earned the right to start:

“No, it’s just something where there were a lot of factors involved. Ultimately when we hashed it out, that’s the direction we went.”

On if he’d like to see Manziel against the Washington Redskins’ first team defense:

“Yeah, and I’m expecting, it being the second preseason game, that they’re going to extend their starters into the second quarter if not until the half. I know I don’t have control over when their guys are out there, but I’m confident that he’ll get some work against their ones.”

On if he thinks anything can happen in the quarterback competition despite the fact that QB Brian Hoyer is starting this game:

“All of our options are still on the table. I think a lot of people read into what happened. Every option for us is still on the table.”

On how much leadership ability, maturity and off-the-field behavior will weigh into the decision on quarterbacks:

“I don’t know if I can say, ‘Hey, this is the amount,’ but it does. You’re looking for the whole package – the quarterback who’s best suited to take the field and lead this team to a win against the (Pittsburgh) Steelers. That’s the bottom-line decision that we have to make. There will be a lot of things that go into it.”

On if Manziel can still win the job and what does he have to do:

“Sure he can. Like I said, all of our options are still on the table. He just needs to go out and play. That’s the bottom line. They both do. I’ve met with both of them and discussed the situation. They’re both comfortable with it, and they both know it’s going to be up to them when they’re out there to just go out and do their job. You never want a guy to try and do too much and come out of structure in order to accomplish something. We keep preaching to our guys, ‘Do your job and good things will happen.’”

On if he’s disappointed that Hoyer hasn’t separated himself from Manziel and run away with the competition:

“I don’t think so. I think they both started camp at a certain point and they both made improvement. They’ve both made big strides. When you look at it, and I mentioned it last week, we feel like we’re in a good position. We have two quarterbacks who we feel have NFL starter ability. That’s why it’ll be a difficult decision. I don’t see it as a disappointment that one hasn’t distinguished himself over the other.”

On hoping that someone makes the decision easy based on their play:

“You hope. That might not necessarily be the case, but a decision still has to be made.”

On if he thinks, aside from the quarterbacks, that he knows enough to have his 22 starters in place after the second preseason game:

“We’re hopeful. We are hopeful. I think a lot of them are close. That’s always good when you have that depth, but we’ll lean towards one guy or the other. In the position of (DB Justin) Gilbert and (DB Buster) Skrine, I think that that’s a position where you can kind of job-share a little bit, but we’ll have to decide on a starter; same with (LB Craig) Robertson and (LB Chris) Kirksey. We’ve already talked about how they’re both playing well. That adds to their team value if they’re kind of balancing the reps out there or basically going by package.”

On if he anticipates making a decision on quarterback on Tuesday:

“Yeah, that should be the target date. Something unforeseen could come up, but we’re hopeful. I do want to see if I can cut the quarterback questions down by about 90-percent after next week (laughter). The chemistry and the continuity, I think it’s important to establish that.”

On who will make that decision:

“It’ll be a group of us. It’ll be (quarterbacks coach) Dowell (Loggains), (offensive coordinator) Kyle (Shanahan). We might involve (General Manager) Ray (Farmer) just to kind of listen and observe. There might be another guy or two in there.”

On what Owner Jimmy Haslam has said about the quarterbacks:

“We talk about it, but it’s just more of an update. He goes around. He’ll talk to Kyle. He’ll talk to Dowell. He just doesn’t talk to those guys. He kind of gets an assessment at every position. He likes to talk to the coordinators about their side of the ball. Usually, I’m just echoing what the other guys are saying. He’s a big fan. He wants to know. You can tell he’s passionate about his team. He wants to know what’s going on and he asks the right questions.”

On the story about Halsam having something to do with the drafting of Manziel and being the type of guy who would influence this decision:

“That falls into the ‘stories’ category. I think that made for good press on the draft, but even before the draft started, he came in and said ‘Hey, have a great day, and I’ll be behind you whatever pick you make.’ He wanted the information. He wanted to know when we stocked the board, why. He wanted to know about the players, not just the quarterbacks. Then he sat back and let Ray work.”

On if Manziel was late for a meeting and if that’s a big deal:

“That’s internal business. Moving forward, I’m not going to discuss matters and stuff that happens that’s team business. We like to keep stuff in the family. It’s unfortunate that that report came out, but I’m not going to confirm or deny it. I’m also not going to be in the habit of discussing anything internal.”

On if he views the quarterback decision as a long term one or more of a short term starter:

“I think quarterback is different from other positions. You do want to make a commitment. I don’t know if you can necessarily make a permanent commitment. So much could change over the course of an NFL season – the circumstances, but I think that’s the one position where you probably have to have a little bit more patience than maybe some others as far as if a guy isn’t performing to the level you think he can and you’re not getting the results, you would go ahead and make a move. I would say it’s somewhere in between. I don’t want whoever the starter is to feel like, ‘Oh, if I make one mistake I’m out.’ I also don’t want him to feel like, ‘Hey, I’ve achieved something. This is my team for the year.’”

On how close Manziel has come to being a model citizen in terms of committing to football:

“I think his play has demonstrated that – during the break, how he studied the IPad. He’d dial up with the right questions, and then he’s come in much more polished in and out of the huddle. That curve that I’ve already talked about, we feel like he’s a little bit ahead of the learning curve as far as being able to call the play, knowing what that play means, what are the reads on the play, who’s primary, what’s the defense, where do I go with the ball. I think he’s ahead of where we expected him to be.”

On if he knows what happened to Skrine:

“I think it was something with his thumb, but I haven’t gotten the final report yet from (head athletic trainer) Joe (Sheehan).

On who have been out of practice this week will be out for the game:

“(DL) ‘Des’ (Desmond Bryant) will definitely be out. (WR) Josh (Gordon) still has a chance. Who’s the last one? (WR) Nate (Burleson)? It’s not looking good for Nate to go.”

On if Desmond Bryant’s injury is serious:

“No, he’s just waiting – it’s more of a procedural thing – he’s waiting to get another opinion.”

On if TE Jordan Cameron will go on Monday:

“He should be able to go and same with (TE) MarQueis Gray.”

Filed under Blog Posts, Feature Articles

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