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

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 1, 2014

Browns coach Mike Pettine met with reporters today after practice. Below is a transcript provided by the team.

On if there are any updates on DB Tashaun Gipson: “No, he’s being evaluated. (Head athletic trainer) Joe (Sheehan) just grabbed me off the field. They took him in. He’s being evaluated.”

On if WR Josh Gordon will join them for the scrimmage tomorrow if no decision on his appeal has been made by then: “I’m not sure of his exact itinerary there – who all he’s meeting with, when he’s coming back, the travel plans, all that stuff. At this point, I’ll probably get updated on it later on tonight.”

On if he’s disappointed that they waited this long to start the processes of appealing with Gordon: “Those were the circumstances. I’m not going to look back on it now with regret. It is what it is.”

On the offensive players seeming very fired up and demonstrative after touchdowns today: “I think they were a little frustrated over time with the defensive backs. They’ve been very physical with them and they won a lot of the battles. I think that just spilled over. Any time they got a chance to get in the end zone, they wanted to make sure everybody knew it.”

On the coaches’ punt catching contest at the end of practice: “The defensive coaches decided to take the jersey thing a step further and they wore orange shirts too. I thought we had doubled our amount of ball boys out here at practice. I wanted to put it in their hands. I would of lost a lot of money if you would have said we’d put eight coaches out there catching knuckle-ball punts and seven of them would catch it. Those guys stepped up. It was impressive. We’ll just be in white and brown jerseys tomorrow, but then the offense will wear the offense one and wear the orange jerseys on Monday.”

On which offensive coach caught the pass to clinch the win: “He was a coaching intern. His name is Mike LaFleur.”

On the celebration dance offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan did: “It was interesting. Combination of Michael Jackson – he spun around and spiked it [laughter].”

On if there is a difference between that and QB Johnny Manziel flipping the ball over the goal post even though he got a flag for it: “The rule – and I needed to do a better job explaining it to them – is the goal post is now considered a prop. I think the obvious thing is you just can’t spike it anymore after some of the incidents last year with the goal post being bent and the game being delayed. For obvious reasons they decided to outlaw that. Even now, whether it’s a finger roll, a fade away jumper, anything, it’s considered you’re using it as a prop and it’ll be a flag. I’d rather learn that lesson in practice and use it as a coaching moment than in the middle of a game.”

On if he was just testing the referees to see if they were looking: “No.”

On what he’s specifically looking for in the scrimmage tomorrow: “Who can step up and make plays in a live situation – Everything so far has been scripted. This is now a true unscripted period. Early on in the week we kind of wean our guys off a little bit. We’ll show them the script. They’ll know what reps they’re in there. They’ll know what they’re responsible for. They get a chance to study a little bit. It’s really the first opportunity, other than a few move-the-ball periods, where we’re essentially taking the training wheels off. Some guys can handle the transition easily. Some guys you’ll see step up and maybe some guys fade away.”

On if coaches will be in the coaches’ booth for the scrimmage: “No, we won’t do that. The first time we do the booth will be (at) Detroit. We’ll still be on the sidelines. We won’t have headsets on. We’ll still communicate as we have been, just with a walkie talkie.”

On if Coach Shanahan is going to be upstairs during games: “No, I believe he’s going to be on the field.”

On if he’s been told when the ruling on Gordon will be: “No, I have not been.”

On if ‘receiver by committee’ is a scary proposition: “I wouldn’t say so. You have a lot of guys competing. You’re hoping that you have some guys rise to the top. I think (WR) Miles Austin is proving that he can very quickly get back to his old form. We’re very pleased with (WR Andrew) Hawkins in the slot. Then you have a bunch of those other jobs where you’ve got some young guys, some veteran guys that are competing.”

On his feelings on the new emphasis on illegal holding and defensive contact and if he thinks it will have an effect on the games: “It depends on how it’s officiated. It’s been a rule on the books, and it’s something that we teach our guys. We want to take advantage of the rule and make contact early, but you can’t grab. Cover with your feet. I know it’s being coached the right way, but sometimes it gets a little bit gray because at the top of the play there’s some collision, a question of a defender protecting his own space, an offensive guy pushing off. I think that’s probably one of the hardest things for the officials to officiate.”

On if he thinks that’s a result of the Super Bowl: “That’s been put out there. I don’t really get involved with that. We go to the owners meetings. We had the committee meeting and then came back here and met with the officials. They come up with what they’re going to emphasize. I’m not sure where exactly it came from. That seems to be everybody’s popular explanation for it.”

On how much he’s looking forward to seeing Manziel play in a more unscripted setting since that seems to be something he excels at: “I am. I’m looking for all our guys to compete, especially the quarterbacks. He still won’t be live on it, so some of the things that maybe he was able to escape from in college will be whistle-dead in tomorrow’s scrimmage. You always want to protect our guys when we’re going against each other. The first true live contact for the quarterbacks will be in Detroit.”

On what he thought of LB Paul Kruger’s season last year: “There were just times he played well. He had some plays I’m sure he’d rather take back. I don’t know the scheme. I don’t know the calls. I’m not exactly sure what his responsibility was. It’s hard for us to evaluate, but were thrilled to have him here and have him on the roster. He’s a guy we think can be one of the elite edge linebackers in this league and can set the edge in the run games. He’s very aggressive, very violent with his hands. He can release off of blocks and he has a knack for getting to the quarterback.”

On if Manziel will get some first team reps tomorrow during the scrimmage: “We’re going to do the format. We’re going to meet as a staff and we’ll figure out how we’re going to mix it.”

On how DB Justin Gilbert has progressed since minicamp: “I think he’s progressed well. He’s gambling on some play, but this is when you do it. It’s easy with his speed to stay on top every time and just give up throws underneath, but we don’t want to do that. He has to learn that he can press and get his hands on the guy and really allow the guy to get maybe half a step ahead of him. With his length and his make-up speed, in our minds, he’s still covered even if he doesn’t have top help. That’s something he’s go to understand. A lot of times they get too high. They get on the top shoulder. Now you’re getting back shoulder throws. You’re getting cut-backs. You’re getting in-breaking routes that are much harder to defend.”

On his assessment of LB Barkevious Mingo and LB Jabaal Sheard: “I think both of them are having good camps. Mingo has jumped out at us. It’s evidence by how he came back – he’s put some weight on – that he’s done a real good job in camp as far as just paying attention to detail and taking coaching. You can see that he’s made some big strides technique-wise since the spring. I think Sheard has been good as well. He’s what we thought. He’s strong with his hands. He’s tougher for tackles in the run game and similar to Kruger. We see those guys as very similar.”

On if he thinks in his system if he can get more production out of those guys this year: “I don’t want to compare it to last year. If the play is available for them they make it. We don’t want to get into numbers like, ‘We have to get so-and-so more sacks.’ To me, we just want to play great defense. Wherever the wealth ends up, that’s how it is. Usually, when we’re playing great defense it’s spread around.”

On Mingo, Sheard and Kruger being on the field at the same time: “We have some things where we have some guys walking around. It’s kind of an off-the-ball linebacker, a blitzer. When you have good players you don’t want to be limited by conventional scheme where, ‘We’re going to be cookie cutter. We have three pass rushers, but you’re only allowed to have two ends out there at a time.’ We can get creative and they can rush against guards or rush two ends of off one side and get a mismatch on a back, force the protection to slide that way and maybe it frees up a guy on the other side. We’ll only be limited by our own creativity with how we use those guys.”

On if he’ll have all three of them in as much as possible: “I wouldn’t say as much as possible. I think there’s a change-up. If you can get to the fourth quarter of a game and have fresh pass rushers, that would be to your advantage. You see a lot of teams that play well for a while and then it comes down to a play where they drive and it just looks like they’re running in mud. If you have guys with fresh legs and you can roll them in, they don’t necessarily like it, but it’s what’s best for them.”

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