Browns coach Mike Pettine met with reporters Wednesday before practice. Below is a transcript from the news conference provided by the team.
Opening statement: “Another week, another opportunity for us to get better as a football team. We reached this point in the season where the weather’s changing, you’ve got stuff going on, you’ve got the Cavs season ready to start, you’ve got Halloween – the distractions start to pile up. It’s a good test for us, from a mental toughness standpoint. That’s the challenge to our guys this week. We play two games in nine days, just dealing with schedules that are out of the norm. If you want to be a good team you have to be able to handle those things. Tampa’s our challenge. Similar to the last couple weeks, I know their record is not where they want it to be, but it’s an NFL team. They have some good players, and it will be a challenge. They haven’t put it together, but as always, we’ll talk about a team and expect their best. That’s the biggest challenge for our guys – to go out and execute. I keep saying it, but they’re playing not against Tampa but against our standard. I think that’s important for our guys to realize, and that will hopefully insulate them from playing up or down.”
On how seriously the Browns considered drafting Buccaneers WR Mike Evans and what he’s seen from Evans this season that he has liked: “We did like him. He was right up there. I know we had (Saints WR Brandin) Cooks real high. Evans was certainly in that mix. I don’t know where he ended up in the rankings. We certainly got to see a lot of him on tape, evaluating, going through the quarterback evaluations. He’s a playmaker, big-bodied guy that is like a power forward, has a great sense of timing and the ability to high-point a ball. That’ll be the challenge for our guys this week, to make sure that we can stay on top. (Buccaneers WR) Vincent Jackson’s very similar. This is by far the biggest wide receiver and tight end group that we’ll face, and that for sure is a challenge for us. It’s not a surprise to us that Evans is having some of the success that he is. We knew his game would translate.”
On what TE Jim Dray means to the team if TE Jordan Cameron is unable to play: “He and (TE) Gary (Barnidge) both mean a lot, and Jim’s been the ultimate professional. He’s come in, hardly says a word and just all he does is work. He’s very interactive, very intelligent, very interactive with the staff, I think does a real good job with his preparation. He knows all the different spots. He’s very flexible that way, very versatile, and he’s made plays for us. He’s gotten open. When a ball’s been thrown to him he’s caught it. Nothing flashy there, but fills a great role for us. Then, he’ll have to step up if Jordan is out, as will Gary.”To read more or comment...
Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie wide receiver Mike Evans believes once Browns rookie backup quarterback Johnny Manziel receives a chance to start, there will be no turning back.
"He's a great player," Evans, who played with Manziel at Texas A&M University, said Wednesday during a conference call with reporters who cover the Browns. "When he gets his shot, I think he's never going to come off the field.
"The game hasn't really seen a quarterback like him, I don't think. They say Doug Flutie and guys like that. But he can throw just as good as the 6-5 prototypical quarterbacks, and he can run like Michael Vick."
In July during the NFL Rookie Symposium, Evans said Manziel should start for the Browns.To read more or comment...
The Browns signed defensive back Marcus Cromartie to the practice squad, the team announced Wednesday.
The 6-foot, 195-pound Cromartie is in his first NFL season out of Wisconsin.
Cromartie signed with the San Diego Chargers as an undrafted free agent in 2013 and spent the first 15 weeks of his rookie season on their practice squad. He was elevated to the active roster for the final two games but was inactive.
He is a cousin of Arizona Cardinals cornerback Antonio Cromartie and New York Giants cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.To read more or comment...
Browns coach Mike Pettine met with reporters Monday to discuss his team's 23-13 win over the Oakland Raiders. Below is a transcript from the news conference provided by the team.
Opening statement: “Just wanted to start out with some praise for our home crowd, the Dawg Pound. I said it after the game, but it just can’t be overstated. It’s an important role. I thought they were ultra-loud. We could really feel the energy. Defensive players were especially able to feed off of it. I think, by our count, we’ve forced 10 opponent procedural penalties this year. The Raiders yesterday had two false starts, two delay of games and I’m not sure what the count is but a number of timeouts forced, as well. We’re 3-1 at home, and obviously, couldn’t do without the support of our fans. It’s a true home field advantage.
“As far as our play, you’re going to have games like that. I think when you look back at your wins there are going to be some ugly ones. That one certainly wasn’t the prettiest, but I’ll sit up here and talk about ugly wins for a lot of Mondays. We kind of had a feeling during the week it was going to be like that given what their situation was. They have some talented players, especially on the defense, some playmakers on offense. I think (Raiders QB) Derek Carr is ahead of the curve for a rookie quarterback. I was especially pleased with how we played defensively, have some things to clean up for sure. How we ran the ball was not acceptable, especially on the edges, gave up too many plays to their outside linebackers.
“As far as (OL) Nick McDonald’s first start, I thought it was a good start, solid. Wasn’t great, but I think for us moving forward that’s the right move. Yesterday proved that. I think we made enough plays. (QB) Brian (Hoyer) made enough plays, and I thought the receivers played fairly well given the opportunities they had. It was good film. It was good film to watch, to learn from. Just like any other Monday, they leave here understanding what went right, what went wrong, making sure that we get those mistakes corrected and tucked away, and we move onto the next one.”To read more or comment...
The Browns placed defensive end John Hughes on injured reserve and designated him for return Monday. They also claimed tight end Ryan Taylor off waivers from the Baltimore Ravens.
Hughes suffered a medial collateral ligament injury in a knee with 1:27 left in the fourth quarter Sunday in a 23-13 win over the Oakland Raiders and was carted from the sideline to the locker room. The Browns announced the nature of the injury and that it won't require surgery.
Hughes cannot practice for six weeks and must sit out the next eight games. He'll be eligible to return for the regular-season finale Dec. 28 against the Ravens.
The 6-foot-2, 320-pound Hughes started the past two games in place of Phil Taylor, who underwent arthroscopic knee surgery Oct. 8. Hughes, a third-round pick in the 2012 draft, has compiled 10 tackles and one pass defensed in four games this season. In ProFootballFocus.com's ratings, Hughes is ranked 15th out of 49 defensive ends who play in a 3-4 scheme.To read more or comment...