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



On what it’s like to have LeBron James back in Cleveland and the synergy between the Cavs and the Browns: “I know there’s a good relationship with the teams. I know there’s a bunch of our guys that are going down, had to have (Browns director, player engagement) Jamil Northcutt address it in the team meeting – parking and dos and don’ts heading down there. It’s good. It’s an exciting time. I’m not going to make it down, but probably try to at least record it and catch some of it. There’s a great buzz in the city because of it. I think we’re all excited to see them get playing.”



On how many players are going to the game: “I don’t have an exact number, but I would guess at least five or six.”



On if he saw James on the scoreboard at Sunday’s game against the Raiders: “Yeah, I got a text from my daughter after the game. She was upset that it was the one game she didn’t come to and he was there. Found out after the fact.”



On if his daughter is texting again: “It was tweeting that got her in trouble not texting.”



On if his daughter is OK with Cleveland and the Browns at this point: “She is. She’s still trying to warm up to the color change. She was OK with everywhere I’ve been until I got here (laughs). It’s hard to dress, do a wardrobe in orange and brown.”



On the challenges that the offensive line faces against the Buccaneers’ four-man defensive front and what is unique about Buccaneers Head Coach Lovie Smith’s system that affects the run game: “They stunt the front a lot. They put those guys on the move, and then that can force you to be a little passive offensively as a line if you’re anticipating the stunt. That’s something that you have to get used to. You still have to roll off full speed and adjust your block on the move to it. That’s one thing I know they do a good amount of, and they like to bring the 3-tech – the guy shaded outside a guard. They like to bring him underneath, bring the end underneath a lot. That’s something that we’ll get some good reps in this week. That front’s very dependent on their personnel, and they personnel it very well. As I’ve talked about it already, (Buccaneers DT Gerald) McCoy is considered if he’s not the best he’s one of the best tackles in the league.”



On if Tampa Bay is the best team out of the Browns’ last three opponents after playing Jacksonville and Oakland: “It’s hard to say overall. We just compartmentalize it with each week, but this is a talented team. I think there’s been talent on all three, but this is one that presents - in a lot of ways at certain positions – a big challenge for us.”



On if being able to run the ball against the Tampa-2 defense allows you to throw over top and if beating the scheme is that simple: “It’s not that simple. They do a good job of disguising it, and still the games not played on the white board. You have to go out and execute. If their X’s are playing better than your O’s then the simplicity of that mentality it doesn’t translate. It’s important for us that when that system when in its prime and performed well it’s because of the players. They can sit in lighter spacing and play Cover 2 and keep the safeties deep and still be effective against the run. Anytime that you can be a defense and play what we would consider lighter spacing and defend the run, that’s advantage you.”



On why he’s confident that QB Brian Hoyer won’t let talk about Browns QB Johnny Manziel shake him: “Because he’s tough. He’s been through a lot. Nothing’s ever been handed to him, going to back to even his time at Michigan State, being undrafted and going to New England. Then, when he came here was third. I think he trusted his…was very confident in himself. He knows when he’s out there and given the opportunity that he’s going to be successful. I just think he’s very resilient, as he’s proven, and that physical and mental toughness. How he responded to the injury. Like I told this before, he was in the building virtually every day from the day I walked in getting hired to the start of training camp.”



On if he thinks there is any chance Tampa Bay starts Buccaneers QB Josh McCown instead of Buccaneers QB Mike Glennon: “We have good tape on both that we’ve watched – subtle differences in style. Glennon’s more of a drop-back, in the pocket type guy. Whereas, there’s a little bit more mobility with the other guy. Either one that plays, I don’t think they’re dramatically going to change their system. It’s not like you’re going from a guy that would give you a lot of zone-read and a lot of different types of plays. I think their playbook stays the same. They just might emphasize some different things, and we would have to account for the quarterback being a little bit more mobile.”



On what has happened to the Manziel package: “It’s discussed each week, and we get reps of it, as well. He gets in there. When he goes in there the plays are more tailored to his skill set. Those are available, but it’s something that the offensive staff, mainly (Browns offensive coordinator) Kyle (Shanahan), will evaluate each week. We’ll rep it. Sometimes, you feel it’s something you want to go to that can cause some problems, and we can generate some yards and some points. Other weeks, you don’t. It’s just been a week-to-week decision where we’ve decided not to use it.”



On Manziel going off script when running the scout team: “Those plays aren’t necessarily scripted, plus when you’re playing a string of quarterbacks of (Titans QB Jake) Locker, (Steelers QB Ben) Roethlisberger, (Jaguars QB Blake) Bortles, (Raiders QB Derek) Carr – all guys that can move and can freelance and make plays, that can make a guy miss in the pocket and then get out and extend the play – that’s good for us in practice. It hard to…You try to even script that. You write in on the practice card, ‘QB Scramble.’ Sometimes, he’ll just do it. He’ll do it naturally. He’ll jump in there on the two-minute drill and look to make plays. To me, that’s all positive stuff. This week, Glennon’s not…he’s mobile, but he’s not a get out of the pocket type guy. Johnny has enough sense to know that it’s not about winning the down. It’s about giving the defense the best look. When it’s ideal – him and (Browns QB) Connor (Shaw) both have mobility – it’s helpful for us defensively to have to defend those extended plays.”



On if using a Manziel package for a few plays would disrupt the flow of Hoyer and the offense: “This just goes back to what we talked about in the very beginning when the season started. That’s what you weight each week. Do you risk the disruption? What are the positives? What are the negatives? You’re always looking at the balance sheet with that.”



On how he thought DB Donte Whitner was playing up to last Sunday: “Very consistent, very solid. He graded out very well. I think at times what we do, the structure of the defense, probably put ‘Gip’ (Browns DB Tashaun Gipson) in position to make more plays, just by the nature of the call and the assignment and how we allocate them. Again, I don’t get caught up in the game book production postgame and you could determine whether a guy’s playing well for you or not. A lot of times, there are the things that aren’t on that sheet, the production that he’s causing or the plays that he does make, like the one that he made in the game. He’s played well, but it’s important – as a staff – that we don’t get wrapped up in that. We’re giving guys pluses and minuses on their sheet, and he’s been one of our most consistent defenders to date.”



On if the coaching staff was surprised by WR Andrew Hawkins’ performance up to this point and if it will be nice to move him back to the slot when Browns WR Josh Gordon comes back: “Yeah, he definitely has, but it doesn’t come as a big surprise. Just once we got in here and saw how hard he worked and just how every rep in practice was like the last play of the game for him to the point where we had to physically, ‘Hey, take a break.’ We’d take him out, substitute for him, almost save him from himself because of how hard that he worked. He’s been a great example for the young guys, big, huge for (Browns WR Taylor) Gabriel to really see a guy that’s very similar stature, circumstances to do well. I think that’s had a big part, had a lot to do with his success. When we eventually do get Josh back I think that’ll be good to be able to take some of those reps off of him. Like you said, we always saw him naturally as a slot, and his ability to play the outside receiver did come as a bit of a surprise to us – a very pleasant one.”



On if the staff has made a judgment as to what kind of talent RB Isaiah Crowell seems to be and how much he would likely play over the course of time: “Yeah, there’s a lot to like, and we think he has a bright future. He’s very young. I don’t know what his exact age is, but I think even (RB Terrance) West might be two years older than he is. I don’t know if I’m correct. I think somebody told me that, but he is very young. He was a guy that we thought – I’ve said this before – that we thought was going to need the full year. On his own, with a little help from (running backs coach) Wilbert (Montgomery), [he] has really accelerated that learning curve.”



On if there was a connection between secondary coach Jeff Hafley with someone on his staff when he became available to be hired after last season and what Hafley relayed to him about what he saw in DB K’Waun Williams: “He had a prior relationship with (defensive coordinator) Jim O’Neil. So, Jim had recommended…we were looking to hire a coach in Buffalo. We actually hired Jeff essentially for about a week. Then, I got the job here. Then, he was let out of his contract there to come here. He was at Pittsburgh with him and just really vouched for him, as far as type of kid he is and his ability as a football player. He doesn’t wow you. He’s not the biggest guy. He’s not the fastest guy. He’s not the quickest guy, but all he does is make plays. There are guys where fumbles on the ground finds him, ball gets tipped in the air it finds him. There are just some guys that are like that. We’ve been very fortunate as a defensive staff two years in a row now to find a guy like that. We had (Bills DB) Nickell Robey out of USC that was an undrafted guy that played close to 700 snaps for us at a high level in Buffalo. We really see K’Waun in a similar light.”



On if assistant coaches really fight to acquire guys as undrafted free agents after the draft: “Especially if you have a prior relationship with him, for sure, and you know that, ‘Hey, if we feel there’s somebody we can bring here and I can vouch for him and he’s going to help this team.’ When you’re dealing with those large numbers and you want to get quality guys in here, it’s always huge if you can have somebody that’s worked with them before that can vouch for him that way. That’s a big part of that process is that when the draft ends it’s like Wall Street. There are a lot of guys on the phone and recruiting guys up. It’s crazy for that hour or two after the draft, but you can really add quality to your roster at that time.”



On if the crowd noise is turned up this season compared to when the Bills played in Cleveland last year: “Trust me, that’s a game I don’t think much about. I think the crowd’s great, and as I always stress to the team that we control the volume. When we’re playing well and we’re doing things that we either have a lead or it’s a close game or we’re playing well and our guys can get the crowd going I think that’s a huge advantage for us. I think the crowd here will always be good, but when we’re playing well we’ll make them that much better.”



On if the Buccaneers stunt McCoy and if that presents challenges for Browns OL Nick McDonald: “It presents challenges to really (OLs Joel) Bitonio, (John) Greco and Nick. He’s explosive, not just straight ahead. He’s ultra-quick on the move, and that’s hard to simulate in practice, too. It’s definitely a concern. I know we have some things schemed to help us, but it is a big challenge for us.”



On what stands out about Buccaneers LB Lavonte David: “I liked him a lot when he was coming out. Actually, Hafley was there last year, was the Tampa secondary coach. So, he knows the carryover guys, the hold-over guys very well. That was one of his favorite players, too. He’s just very instinctive, and his ability to run and hit. He’ll strike you when he tackles. He’s a guy that is an explosive athletic and I think is kind of your prototypical Will linebacker in this league.”



On how he addressed the team about the fact that Tampa Bay was last in total offense and defense: “You don’t address it. You watch the tape, and to me, when you’re playing in this league to always have to assume you’re going to get a team’s best. You have to. I think if you just look at the tape as say, ‘Well, this is the 32nd ranked…’ Are they looking at us as the – what are we know defensively? 20-something? I don’t think the last couple weeks that we’ve played that way, but that’s what the numbers are. I think those can be very deceiving. As Ray always likes to say, the styles make fights. You look at it. Why did Pittsburgh do so well against Indy? Then, you look at why are outcomes so different week to week? I think a lot of times it’s the matchups. Why was Jacksonville such a problem for us? Where if you just looked at them on paper it was easy to see, ‘Well, this should be an easy game because of where they’re ranked.’ You always have to have the utmost respect for who you’re playing. Know that it’s an NFL team, and you have to expect to see them at their very best.”