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.”



On an update on Cameron’s status: “He’s in the protocol. I don’t know where he was today, as far as symptoms, but you don’t even start the clock until they’re ‘symptom-free’. I know he won’t go today, and that’ll be a day-to-day thing based on where he is.”



On if he’s talked to Cameron about his future after his most recent concussion marks his third: “I don’t think it’s appropriate to do it right at this time when it’s still fresh and recovering from it. We’ll see how long it takes and the severity of this one. If that’s something we need to address we will.”



On Barnidge: “Very similar [to Dray]. I joked about Gary before. I guess it was after the Saints game that he wasn’t going to make anybody’s Pro Bowl ballot. He’s a guy that just goes out there and does his job – smart, versatile, very good at the point of attack, I think is a very good fit for us scheme-wise. We weren’t really sure about Gary coming in, what we had in him. That’s one of the reasons we went after Dray in free agency. Then, when we got around Gary and realized, ‘Hey, this guy is a good fit for us and has played some significant reps for us.’”



On Manziel having off-the-field issues during his redshirt year at Texas A&M as a result of not playing and if he has conversations with Manziel regarding frustration at this point in the season: “I can sense it. We haven’t specifically addressed it, but I check in with him as I check in with most all of our guys, periodically. That’s a position that can be frustrating to go from being the guy at A&M, and that’s a tough thing as the reality of the season has clearly set in. At the same time, we make sure that he’s preparing like a starter. It can happen in the span of one play. You see around the league all the time that he has to be ready to go. He has to be prepared, and there’s no reason to think that he’s not. He comes here and, I think, does a good job in the room helping – he and Connor (Shaw) helping Brian out being prepared for an opponent, and then, how he carries himself on the field. He goes out and competes and does what he can to get better. None of us have a crystal ball. We don’t know when it can happen, and it’s important that the frustration is natural for him to deal with. He does have to be ready to go.”



On how he senses Manziel’s frustration: “I just think that he’s quiet. I just think you feel it. I’d be shocked if…Maybe I’m imposing it or putting it on him, but you feel it because you know what a competitor he is. Here’s a guy that’s gone from the past how many falls being out there making plays to standing there and having to watch. Knowing the competitor that he is one of reasons we brought him here. If he didn’t feel that way I’d be shocked.”



On if Maniel has confirmed that he is a first-round pick and that he has great potential: “He certainly showed flashes of it, but we won’t truly know until he gets out there in an actual game and in meaningful time.”



On acquiring Browns TE Ryan Taylor instead of TE Gerell Robinson: “One of the reasons was in order to get Taylor we had to claim him and put him on the roster. I think we had a pretty good sense of what we had in Robinson. I don’t know much about Ryan, but we should get a good sense here, especially if Jordan is out for an extended period of time.”



On if Taylor is more of a blocking tight end: “More of a blocker. He’s probably closer to Gary than maybe to Jordan.”



On Manziel having an early-morning post on Twitter about being out, if he keeps track of that and if it concerns him: “I don’t know whether he was still up or whether he was waking up early and getting ready to come into work (laughs). We keep an eye on it. We’re not going to micromanage our guys out of the building. We expect them to be mature and handle themselves. If something is a cause for alarm, especially in-season, we’ll address it.”



On if he is curious to see how Manziel would perform before this season: “I think we all do. That’s a question that we need to have answered, but it’s not something that you can force. Brian’s our starting quarterback. That’s a difficult thing to say, ‘Let’s just go ahead.’ All our games are meaningful. If it ever gets to the point whether we’re potentially up big, down big, or if there’s a situation that calls for him to go in we’ll get an opportunity to see him, but there’s a lot of football left to be played. You’re looking for an evaluation at some point, but what I’m saying is I don’t think you can force it.”



On if a recent clip from NFL films showing him and Browns offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan communicating about a play call that resulted in a touchdown reflects how he and Shanahan typically interact on the sideline: “I didn’t know that. Thanks, (vice president, communications) Peter (John-Baptiste). I was told during training camp I only had to do it once. Then, I got an ‘oh by the way’ from old ‘P.J.B.’ here that I had to where it for the season (laughs). Yeah, there are times like before the half where I told him what I wanted to…when we had the procedure penalties. He’s the expert at it. He’s studied them the most, and has the best feel for the plan. I’m not going to sit here and say that I know the offensive plan inside out and backward. He does it better, certainly, than I do and has a better feel for the game, but still I want to make sure that sometimes, as a play-caller, you get in that mode and you kind of lose the scope of the circumstances of the game. It’s hard to manage a game being a play-caller. That’s one of the reasons that (Browns defensive coordinator) Jim O’Neil is doing the vast majority of the defensive play-calling because it’s hard to manage a game as a play-caller, and that’s where I step in at times with Kyle to make sure he’s aware of the situation or if I feel strongly about doing something a certain way, then I’ll let him know that.”



On if saying that QB Johnny Manziel will be the starter one day but they just don't know when is a positive thing for QB Brian Hoyer: "Well, we drafted Johnny in the first round. Brian Hoyer, at that point when we drafted Johnny, was very much a question mark coming off the knee, last year of a contract, so I think it was important for us to address that position. Based on how he's performed, he's shown the ability in glimpses to be a starting quarterback in the NFL. That's the biggest reason that we brought him here. We don't know what the future holds with Brian. I hate talking about contract stuff, but that's the reality of the NFL. We'll see how it plays out down the road."



On General Manager Ray Farmer taking heat this year about not addressing the wide receiver position in the draft, Farmer responding by saying that you don't need first round wide receivers to be successful on offense and if Tampa Bay is a prime example of what he was talking about having WRs Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans, but still ranking 32nd in total offense: "I think really the driving force behind his point is you have to have a system that you believe in, and you build your roster that way. You can get it done with first round receivers, but you build it a certain way based on all of your circumstances. How are we going to move the ball? How are we going to generate yards? How are we going to generate points? It can be done a lot of different ways. Some teams believe in building it through the offensive line. Other people have the mindset that you have to have a top-five franchise quarterback. You're always looking for that guy, but if he's not there, you're not going to end the season. You've still got to play the games, so you've got to find ways to win that aren't dependent on any one position. I agree with Ray. When you do a study, the numbers bare it out. You look at some of the best teams around. They have good players at receiver, and I also think that's a position where you can find guys later. You see some of the better receivers in the league aren't necessarily top-15 picks. There are obviously some great ones out there that were taken then, but you see teams that are very functional. If their system is good, if their quarterback is good - can be accurate with the ball - you can get it done a lot of different ways."



On what the difference is between playing a quarterback with a lot of experience and playing a first or second year quarterback: "I think the feel for the game - the feel for NFL coverages. Just knowing where to go with the ball. I think a lot of times the younger quarterbacks will be more in the mode of staring their guys down, and then if the number one guy isn't there, they're looking to get out of the pocket. The kid last week proved going into our game and even more in our game that he doesn't look like a rookie. He was able to...OK, the first one wasn't there. He went to the second. He went to the third. He could make some plays with his feet, and (Buccaneers QB Mike) Glennon is a guy with ability. If you allow him to stand in the pocket and stand on his spot, he's got a big arm and some pretty good targets. Our task up front is to make sure that we get him off of his first read and when get him off of his spot."



On if he thinks that from last year to this year Glennon isn't starting at receivers as much: "He's improved. He's improved from year-one to year-two. I was in Buffalo a year ago. We went down there. They didn’t have a big day numbers-wise offensively, but they did enough to win the game. He made a couple big throws."



On if DB K'Waun Williams is going to be practicing this week: "Yeah, he's full-go. I think we'll just look to limit his contact, but he's been cleared to go."



On if DL Phil Taylor is close to coming back: "Getting closer. I don't think it's eminent. I'd be surprised to see him this week or on the short week next week. (DL) Billy (Winn) should be full-go which is encouraging, but Phil is a little ways out."



On quarterbacks playing earlier in their careers lately and if you can still sit on a good pick for a few years and wait for guys to develop like Green Bay did with QB Aaron Rodgers: "Yeah, to me it's look at your roster and who gives you the best chance to win. If you have a guy on your roster that's doing that for you and somebody is sitting and waiting...I think the mistakes are made when teams get impatient. They have to know, and that guy has to play. I think it's easy in the coaching world because it's, 'Hey, who gives us the best chance to win today?' We'll worry about tomorrow down the road."



On what he tells the cornerbacks when they're facing 6-foot-5 guys in terms of technique and not getting flagged: "That's a challenge. That's something that we'll...we're not strangers to it. We've gone against guys like that. It's something that has to be addressed in practice this week. It's all about playing with real sound technique and understanding the route. Smaller DBs can cover taller guys. You see the shorter guys that just have great timing. They play a lot bigger than they are. I think (DB) Joe (Haden) is a good example. The play he made knocking the deep ball away last Sunday is a good example of that."



On what he can say about Haden last week and if that performance was his best of the year so far: "It was up there. He had some balls caught on him, but some of the ones you would expect where he's playing on top and the ball was caught in front of him. We've talked before about 'be at your best when your best is needed.' On that series of plays where he knocked down the long ball then he broke up that slant on third down, I thought were two big plays in the game because they were starting to move it a little bit."



On if he feels like the light is starting to come on now that he's gotten two or three good games out of DB Justin Gilbert: "It's coming on. We feel good about it, but it's still week to week. He's got to practice well, and that will show up on Sunday. Then I think K'Waun's ability has really helped us because it doesn't put so much on Gilbert's plate where every time we go into nickel defense he has to play. I think if was can continue to really work those four guys for three spots, that will be in our favor."