☰ Menu
Cleveland Browns

Here's what coach Mike Pettine is saying about Browns today

By Nate Ulrich Published: July 25, 2014

Browns coach Mike Pettine met with reporters today. Below is a transcript from the news conference.

On if Browns TE Gary Barnidge was healthy after the conditioning test: “Yeah, he’ll be fine.

On seeing Browns WR Josh Gordon on the field for the conditioning test: “We welcomed all of our players back. Josh, in particular, was good to see him out there running.”

On if any player’s status tomorrow will be affected because of the conditioning test: “Potentially. There’s a deadline for putting that in. We’ll have a retest in the morning. There’s a potential. Could be a few…just depends on how tomorrow goes.”

On treating Gordon’s status as ‘business as usual’: “I think you have to because you just hear everything that could possibly happen. You don’t want to get yourself in a situation where you start with him in a certain way, and then you’re just waiting for the news. Until we get it, its truly is business as usual.”

On if he’s excited to get back to football: “That’s the best part about training camp. It’s all about football. I think that’s really been the theme of our meetings. For as much that’s happened in the offseason, both positive and negative, now’s the time for football. You just feel the energy in the building, and I think the guys came in very focused and they’re ready to go.”

On his conversation with Browns QB Johnny Manziel regarding a picture taken in the offseason: “I’m not going to get into the particulars of private conversations.”

On if he talked to Manziel about a picture from the offseason: “We discussed more in general terms. Again, I’m not going to get into the particulars of it.”

On if Gordon went to rehab in California on his own or by the Browns’ request: “The league is very sensitive on these matters, so I’m not going to go into particulars. I really can’t speak on any of those things. As we just said, it’s time for football. I really don’t want to get into – I know we’ve had a long offseason of a lot of these other issues, but now is the time for football.”

On if Gordon told him anything when he reported to training camp: “Other than hello? No.”

On what Manziel has improved on since leaving minicamp: “Very pleased. I had a long conversation with (Browns quarterbacks coach) Dowell Loggains this morning, and it wasn’t just Johnny. He felt real good about how all the quarterbacks came back. It was obvious that they had gotten into their – it’s weird for me to say playbook, but it’s the iPad. You can’t say nose into your iPad. They’ve all done a good job, and it’s shown up. I was very pleased that we were able to get these two extra days, just kind of a head start camp for these guys, just to get in the meetings and get in the huddle and call the plays and getting it out. It was clear to see that all of them, especially Johnny, have worked ahead.”

On if the players are tested when the report to camp: “Each position is different. The coaches all have a mechanism, some that’s written, some you put them on the board, some that’s just you stand there and quiz them. The best way…I was always put a pen in their hand and make them stand up at the board and teach it to the rest of the room. Every coach is different, but we all have ways to see where our guys are mentally.”

On how the quarterbacks are tested: “I’m not sure.”

On if the team is able to monitor the iPad usage and if the coaching staff does that: “You can. There is that feature, but until we see a need to do it if a guy is falling way behind and you’re trying to figure out why. That is part of it. It is a little bit on the big brother-ish side. It’s something that you have available, but I don’t see the need until a need presents itself to have to do that.”

On if he’s had any doubts on Manziel’s focus heading into training camp: “He’s very focused. I think that’s already showed up in the way he came in and how he attacked his conditioning test and how he’s been in the meetings and on the field these past two days.”

On if there is a real opportunity for Manziel to win the No. 1 quarterback spot in training camp: “Absolutely, not just at quarterback, but a lot of other positions are open. A player comes in and they perform better than the guy that we have in place at the No. 1, then we’ll go ahead and make a change. We will be a team where the best guys play. It’s an easy question: who gives us the best chance to win? They’ll play, quarterback is no exception.”

On if rules in the current collective bargaining agreement restrict coaches from teaching players compared to the past: “I think coaches have adapted well. I was part of system with Coach (Brian) Billick in Baltimore where we weren’t that far off from what the new CBA rules were anyway. He was much more into quality reps than quantity reps. It was about taking care of the players and getting them into November and December. Rex was really the same way, so when the new CBA came into play, it really didn’t affect us that much because we were already in that mode of ‘let’s make sure that we practice efficiently. We’re not going to do two-a-days in pads.’ We weren’t out there for the maximum number of time. It was quality reps. Then, we made up for it with walkthrough time, and we made up for it in the meeting room.”

On what he would look for in an off-site location for training camp next year: “I think the first thing you look at is when you’re talking (is) safety for your players. The condition of the fields is very important. Having ample grass practice fields, that’s important. I think you then look at just the overall facilities, the quality of the facilities, meeting space, cafeteria, dorms, whatever it is, whether you’re going to be in a hotel off site. There are a lot of factors that come into play.”

On if they have planned out the practice schedule for training camp: “Yeah, we do. I don’t know if that calendar has been put out yet, but most of the days we pretty much have the same schedule every day. We have the acclamation period where the first couple days are in shorts. The days before games, most of the time, will be some form of walkthrough. We’ll be in just the shells and not full pads, but most of the days of training camp that morning practice will be in full pads.”

On if Monday is the first day of full pads: “I believe so.”

On the quarterback competition: “Had a good meeting with Dowell and (Browns offensive coordinator) Kyle (Shanahan). The first couple days, we’ll just start out with (Browns QB) Brian (Hoyer) with the No. 1s and Johnny will go with the No. 2s. Then, we’ll go ahead and based on how things are going, make a decision from there. We didn’t come in and just map out every practice. We know it’s a very fluid situation as are some of the other competitions we’re having, and we didn’t want to jump ahead and put anything in stone. We have a way that we want to start, and we’ll go ahead and move from there based on how things are going.”

On if four days is enough to evaluate a player: “I don’t know if four is enough. I just felt that when I made the comment about the third preseason game, just like for any position that’s open, you want to have decided on a starting lineup at that point because the number of practice opportunities when you break camp diminishes. You have some days off. You get into more of your regular season mode. You want to get as many practice as possible and get really, at least by the third game, with what you perceive to be your starting lineup.”

On if a player can distinguish himself in the first week of camp: “They can certainly take a lead, but it’s hard when practice is one thing. You love for a guy to show up and be outstanding in practice, but it’s got to carry over. We’re all about Sundays. We’ll put a little bit extra weight on the scrimmage, and we’ll certainly put extra weight on the preseason games.”

On if it would be an upset if Manziel started Week 1 over Hoyer: “[Hoyer] has an advantage because he got that head start in the spring. I don’t know if I would consider it an upset. I don’t know how I would term it, but it’s not going to be something where the decision comes down… For the coaches, it’s easy where it’s who gives us the best chance to win. I won’t get into really how I’ll characterize it if it happens.”

On if Hoyer will start the preseason opener: “Barring unforeseen events, I would see Brian starting the preseason opener. It’s still a chunk of time, though, to get there, but I think it’s safe to say that.”

On if anyone will open camp on the physically unable to perform (PUP list): “No, we could potentially, as I already talked about, have some guys NFI (non-football injury). At this point, I don’t foresee anybody on PUP.”

On a picture of Manziel this past offseason: “I’ve already said all I’m going to say on that. I said before, I’m not going to address individual incidents. It’s time for football. I’m not going to circle back on that.”

On using Manziel in packages during the preseason: “I think that would be more of a gameplan thing. That’s something that I have not really had much conversation with the offensive staff about. I know both sides of it. I’ve been a part of it. From a defensive perspective, where it strikes home with me is with the difficulty in preparing for it, that costs you a lot of preparation time when you have two different styles of offenses based on two different quarterbacks. There’s also the downside. That’s something we’ll have to take into account, the positives and the negatives of that type of system where you maybe lose a little continuity, where you have a starter and now he’s not getting all the reps. He’s coming off the field and he’s getting cold. It’s something that we’ll look explore, but I don’t think we’ll see any of that in the preseason. We’re just going to let the guys go out there and run the offense.”

On what he’s most anxious to see play out: “I want to get to Monday and get the pads on and not just see this team, but hear this team get after each other. That’s a big part of it. We’ve talked from the beginning about being a tough team, mentally tough, physically tough and to compete in the AFC North that you have to be that way. My dad, I was asking him when he was coming up for training camp and he wanted to know when the pads were going on because he was tired of watching flag football. I feel the same way.”

On his philosophy of physicality during training camp: “We won’t do a lot of live work, but we’ll do some. The day that we put in goal line and short yardage, we’ll do a live scrimmage of both. When we go down to Akron, for the most part, that will be live work. Other than that, we prefer to try to stay up. The offensive guys aren’t going to cut. I prefer to stay up, protect your teammates, but you’ve got to walk that fine line. You want your team to be ready for the opener and be ready for the physicality for the NFL, but you also want to be healthy. It is a balance.”

On if it will be difficult for Manziel to win the starting position: “I just think that given the circumstances with him being a rookie, it’s difficult for a lot of rookies to come in and win a job when there’s a guy that’s ahead of them that the team has a good feeling about. I made the comment that it’s him against the playbook, but that’s true of most rookies. We’re very pleased with where he is with the playbook. He’s probably ahead of where we figured he would be, but that’s still a tough thing coming from a system where three words called the play. Now it’s 10, 11, 12 words calling it, and then to be able to process all that information in a shorter period of time, that’s really the challenge for somebody that’s new, just getting used to the speed of the game. If we jump in a car and ride 200 miles an hour, we’re probably going to drive off the road, but once you train to do it and you get used to it, everything slows down for you. That’s the analogy I like to use with that.”

On if he thinks about the first three regular season opponents at this point in the season: “I’d be a liar if I say we didn’t look at the schedule, the early schedule in particular, and we had our staff do some very significant offseason work, do some projects on those opponents. I think the opener will be a special game for us. Right when the schedule came out, I made the statement then that I couldn’t have asked for a better situation for us to go down to Pittsburgh on a Sunday afternoon and just find out how much ground we’ve made up in this offseason.”


Prev Next

Browns news, features and notes