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

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 5, 2014

Browns coach Mike Pettine met with reporters Tuesday after practice. Below is a transcript from the news conference provided by the team.

On deciding to mix reps with the quarterbacks today: “Correct. All part of the plan.”

On the offense having a good day: “They did. I thought there was some good competition out there. I was glad that the guys responded the way they did. I think this is a stretch of camp where you’re tired of going against each other, everybody is sore and everybody has something going on. We’ve been urging our guys to go through it, to press on. We have to get better. We can’t come out and just put days in and coast and just start looking forward to the preseason games. I thought our staff did a good job of getting the guys going, and the players responded. We felt we had a good day.”

On if it’s safe to say that DB Justin Gilbert is really coming on: “He is. There’s no substitute for reps in pads. I think he’s made a lot of strides. He’s getting better. We’ve gotten to the point where a lot of it is small detail stuff with him. He’s big. He has length. We want him to go ahead and use that – use that physicality. You get up on a guy and a lot of times you’ll just open the gate. We’d rather him try to restrict some at the line of scrimmage without him fouling.”

On the ability to restrict at the line of scrimmage without fouling being a matter of gaining confidence: “I think it is. The more reps he gets against NFL receivers – you see him, he gets good work and likes going against (WR) Miles (Austin). I think (secondary) Coach (Jeff) Hafley, (assistant defensive backs coach) Aaron Glenn and (assistant defensive backs coach) Bobby Babich are doing a good job with that whole group because there are some things technique-wise that they haven’t done here before and some of these rookies have never done. That is a confidence thing to trust your recovery speed, that I can let a guy above me, knowing that the ball still has to come over me and I can recover. I think a lot of guys come out, they’re used to playing it safe and they have a lot of balls caught underneath. We want to have the best of both worlds. We want to be slightly underneath and trust that our help over the top will get there or that I can recover.”

On how some coaches dread setting up the first depth chart and what his theory is about it: “I did it because I had to do it. At a lot of positions, we would of just slashed guys. It’s very loose in our minds. I wouldn’t put a lot of credence in that. It will be very fluid and there will likely be changes after every week.”

On if quarterback is a spot where he might of slashed guys: “Maybe. I might have (laughter). No, we listed (QB) Brian (Hoyer) as the starter.

On having the DBs wear kickboxing gloves at practice to keep them from grabbing at receivers: “You’ve got to get guys out of that habit. Instead of putting them in the full boxing gloves that I think would really slow their stride down, they’re more like sparring gloves, like you said kickboxing gloves. It’s like a big mitten. The thumb can still come out. I just think it’s more the mentality that they know they have to be able to cover more with an open palm than grabbing and restricting, especially if the rule is going to be called as tightly as we’re told it is.”

On if they’ll wear them every day: “Yeah, and that’s on Coach Hafley. He has a set of them that he works in. I’m not sure how he’s been doing it, but the guys have been getting some good work with them on.”

On how firm of a grasp he has on his defense without seeing it against another team: “As much as we can have a grasp now, you’re always curious. You go against each other for so long then you start to get used to each other and understand each other and understand each other’s plays and learn the checks. You kind of get a false sense. We’ll truly know when we get a chance to go out there compete. You’re always looking forward to going against somebody else.”

On if he noticed while watching film that Gilbert had never been called for holding and was called for passinterference once in college, as Gilbert shared: “Yeah, we noticed that he played – you’re always looking for that. How clean is a guy’s slate? Because to me, that means you lack confidence if you’re fouling down the field. We have some guys that sometimes foul and they don’t have to. That’s important. We’re glad that he didn’t have that habit coming out of Oklahoma State.”

On if QB Brian Hoyer will start on Saturday against Detroit: “We’re going to meet on that with the whole [group]. We’re going to set the reps. I can’t say anything definitive right now.”

On if he keeps statistics during the 11-on-11 periods, specifically for the quarterbacks, and how much credence he puts in them: “That’s more of an evaluation tool for (quarterbacks coach) Dowell (Loggains) and for (offensive coordinator) Kyle (Shanahan). I know they keep them. I don’t look at them, but I know a lot more goes into it than just, ‘Hey, they could have had poor footwork and thrown a bad ball that ended up as a completion or they could have done everything right and thrown a perfect pass and it was dropped.’ It’s part of it. I think more importantly is – this goes to how we evaluate every player – did they get lined up properly and did they do everything we asked them to do over the course of the play.”

On if being quicker in his reads and making throws on time is part of the progress that Manziel has made: “That comes with it. That’s also understanding the play and then who he’s reading. Am I reading the weak safety? Am I reading the strong safety? Where am I looking to go with this ball? I think that’s true of any rookie quarterback that most of the time, you’re going to see they’re much slower. They have to anticipate. Where you see where (QB Brian) Hoyer’s ahead is his ability to throw a ball before a guy breaks open, but we certainly see Johnny making strides in that direction.”

On if he is getting exciting for his first preseason game as a head coach on Saturday: “Absolutely. I’m excited for the guys, too. They’ve put in so much work and to finally get to go against somebody else. I know they’re tired of smacking each other around. I think it’ll be a special day, but, to me, it’s more for the staff and the team then it is for me personally.”

On why the Browns don’t have any extra kickers in training camp: “We did have one early who was injured. We talked to (Browns special teams coordinator) Chris Tabor and he thought that he could get by for a little ,bit and then he would make a decision after a week whether or not he wanted to bring in another leg or not.”

On if he is finding Manziel is high in football acumen: “He is. We knew that when he was coming out. He understands football, but when you switch offenses and you’re going from just a completely different system, it’s just like learning a foreign language. You know it in your own terms, but then you have to find out, ‘OK, how do I translate? What I know was this is now this.’ That’s just part of the learning curve for everybody, especially rookie quarterbacks.” 

On DB Tashaun Gipson being limited at practice today: “He should get more work tomorrow. I’ll find out from (head athletic trainer) Joe (Sheehan) how he responded today. If things went well, he should be back getting team work tomorrow, and then, we’d expect him to be able to go on Saturday.”

On if he plans to keep the team in pads throughout the duration of camp or if he will have a non-padded practice: “We’ve talked about it being in pads up through the second game, and then we would evaluate it from there, kind of where we health-wise, kind of where we were – do we need a day off from pads? That’s all stuff that we’ll make that decision as we go, but up until game two, if we’re allowed to be in pads, we’ll be in them.”

On if he has any sense of when the Browns will know the outcome of WR Josh Gordon’s appeal: “I do not. It’s been reported, I think, it’ll be a chunk of time. We just don’t know when. We don’t have an exact date. As frustrating as it is for Josh, I think he’s handled it well. He’s been practicing hard, giving good effort, finishing plays. Assuming if we don’t hear anything, then he’ll be out there Saturday.”

On if he knows the results on OL Michael Bowie: “I do not. I think he was getting evaluated this morning.”

On if he notices a difference in the players when Hoyer or Manziel is at quarterback: “I do not.”

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