Browns Sunday: Mike Pettine transcript

Browns Sunday: Mike Pettine transcript

On Rams QB Sam Bradford suffering a season-ending injury in last night's game:

"It is a tremendous loss for them. We knew that it didn't look like much when it happened, but I just think it was a good amount of weight that got put on it. It's such an unfortunate thing. I know there certainly wasn't any intent on (DL) Armonty's (Bryant) part. It was a very freak thing. Our thoughts and prayers go out to that young man. I think he's a good player. I know some guys on that staff that coach him. He's a heck of a player and even better person. It's a sad day."

On if he had any different thoughts about the game after watching the tape:

"There's no sugar-coating it. We didn't play well. There were some individual performances that stood out. I thought some guys in certain areas played well, but just overall we were very inconsistent. Then, the thing that was a disappointment is we were inconsistent especially on third down, both sides of the ball. We refer to third down as 'money down.' We need to be better both sides of the ball, and we just had some very uncharacteristic mental mistakes, some technique errors. They took advantage of it and it added up to the results that we had."

On what DB Justin Gilbert did wrong against the Rams:

"The NFL is a tough road now for a rookie corner, and the only silver lining is that he did have a night like that heading into the regular season, that he sees that playing corner in the NFL is very much a 'what have you done lately' business and you've got to be prepared and focused every time you step on the field. He needs to get some things cleaned up from a technique standpoint. I think there were a couple plays where he kind of got away from things that he had been doing well, that he needs to step it up and know that every time he takes the field that he has to be 100 percent focused."

On if DB Joe Haden did not play because of a real injury:

"It's an injury. It's something that gave him a little bit of trouble, so we did some further work and the recommendation was just go ahead and let him rest it the rest of the preseason. So, we're going to go ahead and do that. If this was the regular season he would have been able to play, but we're just going to go ahead and be very conservative here with it and hold him out because we are on a short week and hold him out against Chicago, as well. When we start practicing for Pittsburgh he should be 100 percent ready to go."

On what makes him confident that the offense will improve by the first regular-season game:

"I believe in the coaching staff. I believe in the players in that locker room, that we have a system that we're trying to implement. You don't get in mid-season form implementing something new overnight, but it's certainly no time for us to panic. I think when we get into true game plan situations that we're going to take advantage of what our guys do well and avoid some situations where it might not be advantageous for us to be doing things like that. I'm confident that by the time we get to Pittsburgh that we'll have a good game plan and we're going to put our players on offense in the best position to be successful."

On what his biggest concern is for the first-team offense:

"Consistency. I think we've had some good plays, but then we just find ways…a lot of times it's self-inflicted, whether it's a drop at a key time or a missed block at a key time or a missed read. You have to have the ability to sustain drives in the NFL, and if teams are consistently making you drive the length of the field that you have to be one of those teams that can be very methodical and stay consistent over a drive and not put yourself behind the sticks. Any offense that finds itself second-and-long, third-and-long you're not going to be very successful. I think that has to be one of our trademarks that we can stay ahead of the sticks. It makes your play-calling a lot easier, a lot less predictable, and it gives you the ability to keep drives alive."

On if QB Johnny Manziel outplayed QB Brian Hoyer against the Rams and if he has rethought Hoyer's status as the starting quarterback against Pittsburgh after last night's game:

"That hasn't changed at all, and I'm not going to sit here and say one outplayed the other. You also have to know who was in the game on the other side of the field, who Brian was going against versus Manziel. I'm not going to get into those types of comparisons. Brian had his plays. He knows what he needs to work on. We need to play better around him. I think that's important. I mentioned that last night that sometimes the quarterback gets held accountable. He's out there with 10 other guys. We need to be functioning as a unit, fully functional. You could have one guy break down, and that could ruin a play. Brian knows he needs to get better, needs more live-game reps and we're looking forward to…the one positive thing about a short week is that we know we didn't play well, but we can go out there Thursday and get the bad taste of our mouths."

On if the offensive line has regressed over the last two preseason games:

"I wouldn't say that they've regressed. I thought they did play well against Detroit, maybe took a step back against Washington. I didn't think last night – there we're some issues, but I thought overall they are getting more cohesive playing together. To me, that's what we need. We need live-game reps. We've got to get to the point where – like I just mentioned – we're fully functional, that all 11 guys are on the same page doing their jobs. We still feel that we're definitely a work in progress, but we have a very true sense of urgency. If we feel we're not ready, nobody's going to change September 7th and push that back for us. We have to be ready for the opener, and that's why we're going to take the field this week and the time after that with a very strong sense of urgency."

On how concerning it is that there seems to be a lot of improvement needed on both sides of the ball after three preseason games:

"I don't think it's concerning enough to panic. Any time you come in and you're installing systems that are, by NFL standards, radically different from what your guys are used to and you have new players in it as well and you're mixing veterans with rookies and free agents and guys are all very new to each other and they're new to the staff and there are only so many opportunities that you have to get on the field with them and coach them and get in the meetings…we're taking as full advantage of it as we can. There's no substitute for playing and there's no substitute for being together and going through it. We're confident as we get going that we'll improve by leaps and bounds, but there's a process. We have to go through it, and certainly, as I mentioned before, there's a strong sense of urgency to get it done."

On if it crosses his mind that some of these guys are coming back from ACL injuries too quickly when he sees Rams' QB Sam Bradford go down and tear his ACL like that, and he knows that Hoyer is coming off a torn ACL:

"I don't feel that way. I think the circumstances of all the cases are different. I mean, I have a daughter that's (torn) both ACLs and having gone through it and knowing the rehab and the process and how it gets repaired, a lot of times it comes back stronger than it was before. I think that it's difficult to make a blanket statement on all the knee injuries. Certainly, as I mentioned, what happened to Sam is so unfortunate, but we feel confident with where Brian is. I think he'd be the first one to tell you that his knee feels strong."

On where the running game is as far as this offense goes:

"We feel we're on schedule with getting it implemented. We wanted to kind of pull back a little bit from (RB Ben) Tate last night to get (RB Terrance) West a few more carries. The pass game was something we felt we needed to work on. Also the circumstances of the game – when we feel behind we probably ended up throwing it more than we normally would, but our goal is to be very well balanced on offense so we can be in unpredictable situations where teams don't know we have to run it or have to throw it. We're comfortable with where we are. We know there's still work to be done to get it to where we want it to be. I think Tate is a very capable back. We're very pleased with where West is. (RB) Dion Lewis, I think, has separated himself a little bit from the other guys as far as the third running back spot, but I would still say that that job is open."

On the dilemma of incorporating enough practice time to perfect a package for QB Johnny Manziel while the regular process still needs the reps and if that is going to delay the process:

"I think that's part of it. You only have so much time to practice whether it's real practice time or walk through time. Because we went to the third week, we did feel that we were behind with Brian getting work with the ones exclusively, but it's something that is an option for us. It's just the timing of it will be the question – when we feel comfortable with it or is it even necessary."

On if he was sending a message to WR Josh Gordon by not playing him in the game:

"I wasn't sending a message. Knowing that the decision is looming – that we're fairly certain that were not going to have him for a minimum of some part of the year – we wanted to make sure that we were getting repetitions with the guys that are going to be out there early. As the game went on and there was the opportunity for him to get in there, with just the minor injury that he had, he wasn't loose. I consulted with (wide receivers) Coach (Mike) McDaniel and at that point we just didn't feel comfortable putting him in. It wasn't anything from a punishment standpoint or anything like that. It was just common sense."

On WR Nate Burleson not being able to play and the chemistry lacking between Hoyer and WR Miles Austin 

"They need to play. That's the unfortunate thing about Miles. We wanted to hold him out in the spring a little bit, so he missed all that work. We wanted him to be comfortable and be at a point where he felt confident physically. He's playing catch up in camp, but we're confident we'll get there with Miles. It's a little more concerning with Nate just because he's missed so much time. We still consider him day-to-day. I think we might get him back tomorrow for some individual work, but that remains to be seen. I haven't had the final meeting with (head athletic trainer) Joe (Sheehan) as far as who's going to be available for tomorrow's practice. It's tough with guys you think are going to be out there and you're not getting quality reps with them, which as I've said a bunch of times, there's just no substitute for that work."

On if he still feels confident that DB Buster Skrine will be back for the opener:

"We are. He's on schedule to be back."

On if he's made any cuts yet:

"We have not made any cuts. Obviously, we'll have them in by the deadline."

On if anybody had injuries from the game:

"It was all minor stuff. Nothing happened to anybody that played in the game that I think will keep them out of this week's game."

On why there haven't been a lot of pass attempts past 10 or 12 yards and if it's just the offensive package:

"No, that's something we talked about. We've had them called to be deeper. I just think whether it was the coverage, whether it was the read, whether it was the protection, for whatever reason we've definitely had some shots called in games and haven't been able to get the ball down the field, but I think that's been a trademark of (offensive coordinator) Kyle (Shanahan's) offense in the past. I'm confident it won't be an issue for us once we get going. We'll have the shots called and if they're there for the taking, we'll take it. If not and we've got to keep the ball underneath, we'll keep it underneath."