Coach Pettine talks from camp – Aug. 11

Browns head coach meets with media first day back from preseason opener.

On if he thought about moving inside because of the rain:

“We were more concerned if there was lightning. We’re going to have to play in rain at times. I thought it was good work for the quarterbacks and the receivers especially working with a wet ball. We were fortunate. We got it a little bit early and then it kind of tapered off for us. Obviously we have a lightning warning system. If that had come into play then we would have gone inside.”

On if the ball was wet for the QBs because it seemed like another defensive day:

“It was. I think that takes a little bit of getting used to. In a game situation, I think that if it is raining they’ll do a better job. I think it was kind of on purpose. Our offensive coaches wanted to see our guys throw a wet ball, a heavier ball just to get used to it. It’s going to happen.”

On if DB Buster Skrine had a great day or if QB Bryan Hoyer had some missed throws:

“I thought Bryan made some good throws, and defensively, I thought our guys made some plays. We’re still getting some fouls at the top of the route, and we told the officials to come and work practice. We want them to call it tight so our guys get used to it. That way, if it’s different in a game, if it’s not enforced as tightly in a game, then we’re better off. I think that’s something if you look league-wide – I don’t know what those numbers are, but the number of those fouls has increase dramatically.”

On OL Joe Thomas working with the trainers today and if he’s nicked up:

“No, I think he’s fine. I don’t know if it’s any specific thing, but today was a scheduled day off for Joe.

On if he’s made a decision on who will start at QB on Monday:

“No, I have not.”

On if he knows when he’ll make that decision:

“It’s such a long time until Monday night so it will probably be a few days.”

On if Hoyer getting reps with the ones today is still a statement that he’s ahead in the QB competition:

“Nothing’s changed. If there was a significant change on the depth chart, it would be reflected on the field.”

On what he wants to see from QB Johnny Manziel in the next few days to make him want to start him on Monday:

“Just continue to master his craft. Run the offense. Be efficient. I don’t think there’s any one thing like it’s a tangible thing where you can say if he does this then this will happen.”

On if he might just start him to start him:

“I don’t know if I’d agree with that. To me, if you’re going to put a guy in a starting role, that needs to be earned.”

On if he needs to see him with the ones more often to get a better gage on that situation:

“Yeah, we will mix the reps this week, but as far as starting the game, we’ll make that decision as a committee. It’ll be based on several factors.”

On if there’s added value to seeing him Monday night against an opponent’s defensive:

“Yes, there is an added value to that. That’s why when the rotation is out there, you’ll see him out there.”

On if there’s anybody else besides the QBs that maybe earned a rise up the depth chart on Saturday night:

“Yeah, a handful of guys. I thought (LB Chris) Kirksey played well. We’ll increase his role a little bit more – get him out there a little bit more with the ones. That’s not an indictment of (LB) Craig (Robertson) because Craig’s been playing well too. I think we’ll mix (LB) Jabaal Sheard in a little bit more – give him a few more reps in that rotation.”

On if he’d like to avoid having Kirksey and Robertson playing more situational:

“When you have a rookie, it’s hard to just get him everything. We have enough variance in the packages whether we’re dime, whether we’re nickel, whether we’re base, short yardage stuff, our extra DB packages that I think there’s enough work out there for both of them. Also, what I said on the call too, It’s very beneficial to your special teams to have both those guys fresh and available.”

On how he balances allowing offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains to have significant impact when ultimately, he’s the guy on the line:

“I don’t look at it that way – that I’m on the line. I’m not making decisions based on being on the line. I’m making decisions based on what’s best for the football team and what gives us the best opportunity to win. Those guys are coaches. They’re right there in the front lines with them working with them every day. I think it’s important to take their input. I’m just not going to make a decision based on what I feel. If it’s unanimous then that’s easy, but if there’s a tie that has to be broken, I’ll do it.”

On what he’s seen out of DL Armonty Bryant:

“Armonty is a guy who I think has a chance to be a special pass rusher in this league. He’s better against the run on early downs than maybe we thought. He’s got a very unique build. He’s very narrow. He reminds me of a slightly shorter (former DL) Trevor Pryce who we had in Baltimore and had a long career in Denver. I just think it’s kind of unique. He makes it tough on offensive linemen. He can kind of get through some cracks where maybe some of the bigger guys can’t. He’s very explosive with his hands. He’s real good when a lineman tries to get hands on him. He’s very good releasing off of blocks and I just think he has a knack for getting to the quarterback. I thought he did a good job the other night on third and one. He had a quick move over the tackle then he finished to the quarterback, but the most encouraging part was he didn’t foul. A lot of times when you get a clean shot at a quarterback like that – he just got a hand up and he put his chest on his chest and he brought him to the ground. A lot of times you get free runs at the quarterback and you end up taking a penalty.”

On if he knew about Bryant’s off-the-field issues before he got to Cleveland:

“Yeah. He was on our draft board in Buffalo. He had been discussed in a meeting so we were aware.”

On if he’s been pleased with Bryant off the field personally:

“He’s been great for us. He’s very quiet, but you can tell he loves football. Loves it.”

On if he’s going to bring TE Jordan Cameron along this week and if he expects him to play:

“He was non-contact today. That’s why he was in the brown jersey during seven-on-seven. We were just tagging off on guys anyway. I’ll get the word from (head athletic trainer) Joe (Sheehan). We’ll kind of see how he feels today after getting some work – had pads back on, just a day of carrying his pads. We’ll see how he feels with it. It could be as early astomorrow. It could be later in the week, but we anticipate him being able to go against Washington.”

On how he feels about DB Leon McFadden after all the holds in Saturday’s game:

“I think he competed and he was challenging receivers. I thought the interception he made was a heck of a play. I thought that call could have gone either way. We don’t want our guys to back down from competing, but sometimes they just, almost as a security blanket, put their hand out late in the play at the top of the route. That’s something that the NFL apparently wants out of the game so we’re going to have to adjust to it.”

On if what he did the other day is something that may not have been called in the past years:

“That’s hard to say. There was contact. They weren’t phantom calls. There was contact. I think in the past, it’s been a very subjective thing. I think they’re just calling it a lot tighter this year.”

On what role RB Chris Ogbonnaya has right now since it looks like there are a couple guys ahead of him:

“He just has to keep working. I think his strength lies in his versatility. He could be a third down back. He could be a first and second down guy if need be. He plays fullback. I think that value shows up more when you all of the sudden can only have 46 up on game day and you need a guy that can play multiple roles for you.”

On if OL Michael Bowie is out for the season:

“It’s looking that way. I don’t think that decision has been made final, so I think I’ll get it in my next injury report or two from Joe. I’ll get the update on it.

On what’s bothering WR Josh Gordon and when he thinks he’ll be back:

“It’s a minor thing. He probably maybe could have gone today. He wanted to go. We just decided to hold him out, but it’s minor.”

On if it was a tough day for DB Pierre Desir on Saturday:

“I think it was a good learning experience for him. I think later in the game he played better once he settled down. Just considering where he’s come from, his background – the Akron scrimmage was the biggest crowd he’s ever played in front of then he went into that situation there. He admitted he was wide eyed. It took him a minute to settle down, but we have a lot of faith in Pierre. He loves football. He works hard. I talked to him a little bit during stretch today. He’s putting it behind him. I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t improve with each game.”

On where he thinks the team needs to make a jump in the next couple of weeks:

“I just think we need to continue on the path of improvement. I tell the guys in the meetings that they’re responsible for all the coaching points made at their position. If I’m a safety and another safety gets corrected, that should be the cumulative – the group needs to learn from that. I think as long as we’re moving forward eliminating mistakes and not repeating them, I think that’s the most critical part of any team’s development. You’re looking for a good jump from week one to week two and two into three. I think it’s important that we don’t take any steps back.”

On having a lot of receivers fighting for one or two spots and how they separate themselves in the next one or two weeks:

“Just do their job. When they have a chance to make a play, they’ve got to make it. There won’t be that many opportunities. That’s just the nature of it. When you have the numbers situation that you’re in, sometimes the game might play out where they don’t get that many opportunities. They have to take advantage of them.”

On how his first game was as a head coach:

“It was fun. I really was. I remained reasonably calm throughout the whole game. The challenge was one where I think if it was regular season, I might have had a little different reaction to it. It was a good first experience. I thought our guys did a good job on the sideline. I was shocked I wasn’t tripping over bodies going up and down the sideline, just a lot of those little things. I think it was a good experience for all of us to get out there. It was a good night. I got a lot of texts before the game from people that were very close to me saying, ‘Congratulations! Hey, have fun tonight – first game out!’ It was a special night for me that way."

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