Browns coach Mike Pettine met with reporters Thursday after practice. Below is a transcript provided by the team.
On OL Joe Thomas winning the local PFWA Player of the Year Award and what has impressed about Thomas in his first season with him: “From an NFL player standpoint and beyond that,he’s just the total package, very professional, high character. Sometimes you have superstar players that are top of their game that there’s a sense of entitlement or they don’t practice as hard. He’s the exact opposite of that. We give him a day off, but it’s like we’re protecting him from himself. He’d want to go. To me, you know you’ve got a special guy when one of your best players is also one of your best examples and your best worker. It’s not a surprise to me that you guys saw that too.”
On some examples of guys who’ve played like a Brown and played up to what he had hoped this year: “(WR Andrew) Hawkins is another guy that we have to pull him out at times because he just works so hard. Joe, already mentioned. (OL Joel) Bitonio is a guy that we’ve been very impressed with. Again, if you spend some time around us and don’t have a roster and don’t know who was who you’d never think this was his first year in the NFL, also not coming from a huge program, too. He’s been great for us. (OL John) Greco is another guy I’d put in that category. (TE) Jim Dray just goes out and never says a…You’d think he’s on a budget for words on the year. He says nothing, and all he does is go out and do everything we ask and then some. ‘Kitch’ (DL Ishmaa’ily Kitchen) on defense is a guy, great work ethic, just wants to get better, has shown improvement through the year. Another obvious one is (LB) Craig Robertson. We already talked about that when he received the Man of the Year Award. His level of play this year, a guy that’s bought into what we’re doing and very coachable. You could see the difference – again, I didn’t study him too much from last year’s tape – but you could see just a big improvement in his approach to the game, how hard he works. It’s a lot of guys. (DB) Joe Haden’s been good for us. (DB) Pierre Desir’s a good example. I talked about just kind of given a set of circumstances where it was, ‘Hey, you’re given a redshirt.’ Then all he’s done is work and found himself on the field and found himself being productive. (DB) Jim Leonhard, don’t let the looks fool you. He’s just a guy that’s a consummate professional on and off the field. There’s a bunch more. I could bore you.”
On how the season so far has been a learning experience for him in his first season as a head coach: “It’s tough for me to really reflect back on that now. We’ve got two left, and I said it the other day, none more important than this one. I don’t want to get in the mode where…It’s not time for reflection yet. I have plenty of time when we’re done to do that. We will do a very detailed, whether it’s self-assessment, self-scout, audit when we’re done and just look back evaluate everything with this program from A to Z. I’ll look at myself and ask for feedback from people, as well, that I’m close to, that I trust on, ‘Hey, what did we do well as a program? What did we not do well?’ That’s all stuff for postseason. We’ll be able to pour through that information when we get it and act on it accordingly, but our primary concern now is Carolina.”To read more or comment...
Elected officials from Columbus visited FirstEnergy Stadium this past Sunday to make a pitch for the city to become the new home of Browns training camp, the Columbus Dispatch reported Thursday.
Two sources at City Hall told the newspaper the group, which included Mayor Michael B. Coleman, City Council President Andrew J. Ginther and Franklin County Commissioner John O’Grady, left the recent meeting with the Browns believing it was “a matter of when, not if” the team announces training camp will relocate from its headquarters in Berea to Columbus.
The group from Columbus offered financial incentives of an undisclosed amount to entice Browns owner Jimmy Haslam, according to the report.
When asked to comment, the Browns said no decision has been made.
"We haven’t made any decisions about the location of Browns training camp in 2015," team spokesman Rob McBurnett said Thursday. "We are still evaluating various options, including our facility in Berea."To read more or comment...
The local chapter of the Pro Football Writers of America unanimously selected Browns left offensive tackle Joe Thomas as the PFWA Player of the Year. The writers also voted Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer the PFWA Dino Lucarelli “Good Guy Award” winner.
The results were released Thursday.
The players will be honored at the 35th annual Akron Browns Backers banquet in May at the Tangier restaurant.
Thomas has made the Pro Bowl in each of his first seven NFL seasons. He has been selected first-team All Pro four times and second-team All Pro twice.To read more or comment...
Browns coach Mike Pettine met with reporters Wednesday before practice. Below is a transcript from the news conference provided by the team.
Opening statement: “The message to the team this morning was pretty simple. This week represents another opportunity to get a win in the National Football League. Those opportunities you don’t get that many of them. You train for a long time for 16 opportunities in a regular season, and this is one that is just as important as any other. There’s no better feeling than winning, and that’s something that we need to get that feeling back. In the Panthers, we’re playing a team…They’re, despite their record, in the thick of the race in the NFC South. We all know that’s well documented. Offensively, they do a lot of different things – a very unique running game. They do a real nice job. They have three backs that are very capable. They involve the quarterback in the run game a lot, very aware of (Panthers QB) Cam’s (Newton) situation, his unfortunate accident last week. We do expect him to play. I know there’s still a little gray about that, but we do fully expect him to play. That’s a big part of our prep. Defensively, it’s a good group led by (Panthers LB) Luke Kuechly who, to me, is one of the best linebackers in football. We’re going to have to be on point in what we do in all phases, whether it’s setting the edge in the run game, whether it’s us on offense being physical at the point of attack. It’s emphasizing the little stuff this week. It’s not about the call. I would think that we are not going to try to reinvent the wheel scheme wise. We need to go out and play great fundamental football. I talked to the team about their focus this week. We’re kind of sandwiched in between a very disheartening loss, and we also have the end of the season is on the horizon. That’s a difficult spot to be in because your focus can tend to stray. That’s a big part for us this week is we are in the moment of this week. I cautioned them about looking back and cautioned them about looking forward because I have a feeling that they’re going to be asked questions about last week and the end of the year. That’s something we have to guard against. These opportunities, like I said before, are few and far between. It’s something that we need to put our full focus on. We’ve got a real bad taste in our mouth. We’ve had it now for a month, and we need to get rid of it.”
On if he has a better idea of why the team lost its edge on Sunday against the Bengals: “I don’t because I just think it is hard to predict, and especially when a team is as young as we are. That is very difficult to kind of see. You look for the tell-tale signs, and it’s even more puzzling when they’re not there when you have a good week of prep. You kind of look at how many times did we have to repeat a play in practice or how many times did you have to go back over something in a meeting? How many missed assignments did we have? Those are all indicators that the focus isn’t there, and that hasn’t been there. I said this before, if we could figure out, as coaches, how to control that and how to guarantee that that edge will be there and put it in a bottle we’d make a lot of money.”
On if the QB change played a part in the team losing its edge: “That’s a theory. It could have, but I don’t have any definitive proof that that would be the case.”To read more or comment...
Browns Pro Bowl cornerback Joe Haden sat out practice Wednesday with a bruised rotator cuff he suffered Sunday in the second quarter of a 30-0 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.
Haden worked out on a stationary bike during the 20-minute portion of practice open to the media.
His status for Sunday's game between the Browns (7-7) and Carolina Panthers (5-8-1) at Bank of America Stadium will be determined later this week.
"Joe, we'll know late in the week," Browns coach Mike Pettine said. "He truly is day-to-day."To read more or comment...
BEREA: While saying that he had a lot of respect for former Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar, coach Mike Pettine said that his remarks stating his beliefs on why the team doesn’t win, may have been “a little dramatic.”
“The issue is systemically from a culture in Berea,” Kosar said Monday during an interview on the Mike Trivisonno Show on WTAM (1100-AM). “They’ve got to get it together because I don’t know of anyone who can be consistently successful within this culture, within this organization right now.”
Kosar took the Browns front office to task during the interview for not showing patience with quarterbacks and coaches.
“I know I've talked about that before. Sometimes guys will make comments that are a little bit over the top,” Pettine said when asked about Kosar’s remarks.To read more or comment...
The Browns claimed backup offensive tackle and cancer survivor Andrew McDonald off waivers from the Indianapolis Colts, the team announced Tuesday.
The Browns waived backup inside linebacker Zac Diles to make room for McDonald, whom the Colts cut Monday.
The 6-foot-6, 310-pound McDonald, 26, appeared in two games this season with the Seattle Seahawks. It was the first regular-season action of his NFL career.
According to the Colts' website, McDonald was diagnosed with testicular cancer in May while participating in the Carolina Panthers’ offseason program. The mass was surgically removed the day after doctors discovered it.
"It was obviously surprising," McDonald said in June, according to ESPN.com. "I just kind of made up my mind not to get down, not to let it affect me, as much as I could.To read more or comment...
Browns coach Mike Pettine met with reporters Monday. Below is a transcript from the news conference provided by the team.
Opening statement: “As with every loss, we carry disappointment into the next day, and even more so with this one just because of the magnitude, the circumstances. We just had a great opportunity yesterday to come out in our last home game and leave our fans with a very positive feeling. Ultimately, last chance to play in front of the Dawg Pound, and we fell way short. That doesn’t sit well with anyone. After watching the tape, it’s still difficult to understand why our performance was what it was. I talked about that edge, that ‘it’ factor that you have to have in order to be successful. It wasn’t there, and the atmosphere was intense. I thought our fans were as they always have been. They were jacked up ready to go. As I said, we control the volume, and we found a way yesterday to turn the volume down to zero. These last two games we still have a lot to accomplish. It’s been a theme for the last month but as coaches, we’re still tasked with getting our offense to play better. We made the decision to go with (QB) Johnny (Manziel). He’ll be a big part of that, but it’s not all on him after watching the tape. We need to be much more consistent on defense and on special teams. Took a step backwards yesterday in our run defense. To me, moving forward, again, I talked about people will say that these games aren’t meaningful. They’re certainly meaningful to us, this one in particular. Like I said, we still have a lot to accomplish. We look forward to having a great week of prep and go down to Carolina and get this bad taste out of our mouth.”
On if the type of performance Manziel had yesterday was part of his hesitation in making Manziel the starter earlier in the season: “What I’ve said all along is that we felt each week leading up to this week that (QB) Brian (Hoyer) gave us the best chance, but part of the evaluation is the great unknown with playing a rookie and knowing that there are going to be rookie mistakes made. I think that just was always built into that discussion.”
On why he thinks Manziel gives the Browns the best chance to win in the last two weeks of the season: “That we know we’ll get better. A big part of it too is, as we’ve said all along, we have to play better around him. The unfortunate thing of yesterday, we had some guys that played well, but the mistakes they made were at critical times. We had guys that graded out high and maybe made three or four mistakes. Well, those mistakes were on a third down. They were on a goal line play. They were in the red zone. They were on a critical, like I said, a critical third down or a critical point in the game. That’s unfortunate because hidden within yesterday were some pretty good performances. Johnny showed some flashes of what he’s capable of, and we had some chances to turn those plays into some real positive ones. The one that ‘Hawk’ (WR Andrew Hawkins) got hit on and ultimately dropped it on the third down. (TE) Jim Dray mistimed a jump a little bit. I thought those were both plays where he showed his escape ability and made a good throw. It’s just across the board. We have to find a way. We’ve lost something, and we need to take this week and find it.”To read more or comment...