Browns Sunday: Mike Pettine transcript

Browns Sunday: Mike Pettine transcript

On why QB Rex Grossman was cut:

"As you know, 48 hours after the deadline, there's a lot of movement with the roster so I wouldn't read too much into where it stands right now. There are some guys who aren't here who potentially could come back. There are some guys who are here who won't be here. The roster situation right now is very fluid. I think that just comes with the time of year when a lot of names that are out there – guys that you like in the draft who you thought were draftable and you were getting ready to take but somebody else took them. Then you have to weigh those decisions. Can we get this guy here? Can we get him ready? Do we put him on the 53? Do we put him on the practice squad? That's why (General Manager) Ray Farmer and his crew have pretty much been working non-stop since the end of our game last week."

On when he thinks it'll settle down:

"There could potentially be some moves at the end of the week, but I would think it would be, for the most part, settled by the time we take the field on Wednesday."

On if running back is a position that could change:

"We do have four right now. That's a possibility. That still could go either way. It still very easily could…we would still be equipped to carry that number if we had to."

On if it's his intention to go with two quarterbacks:

"I can't rule anything out at this point. Sometimes you have to make moves to get a guy. I think by Wednesday and then certainly by the end of the week it'll all be…you guys should have a much better sense of where we are than today."

On if he's comfortable with RB Ben Tate as a third down guy since it's him and three rookies:

"We are. He's ahead of those guys, and I think he's been solid in protection. I think he does a nice job catching the ball. I would think that he has the edge over those guys as far as third down. That's not saying they won't be there, but he's…probably the guy you can trust the most right now would be Ben."

On what positions OL Caylin Hauptmann and OL Ryan Seymour play:

"It's guard and tackle. Seymour is a tackle."

On the receiving corps, besides recently signed WR LeRon Byrd, being a very small group and if that bothers him at all:

"Yeah, Byrd and (WR Miles) Austin I think are obviously the two bigger guys, and then the rest of that crew is smaller in stature. That's something where I think the system helps a little bit with condensed formations and putting on as much pre-snap movement as we do. That takes the bull's-eyes off them a little bit. It's hard to ask a smaller guy to go out there and be an 'x' and be up on the ball and get off some of these press corners in the league. (WR Taylor) Gabriel has shown an ability to get off of press probably better than the other guys have, but that's something where I think the system helps us out a little bit there."

On when he adds a guy that comes with a little baggage like RB Glenn Winston, what kind of digging does he do to feel comfortable bringing that person in:

"I think the personnel departments are very much in communication with each other as far as those types of things. It's no different than…I'm sure we had write-ups on Winston from before. You make sure that…the league communicates and makes sure that…it's not like we're just taking a guy blind. If there is a particular player that might have some issues in his background, we'll make sure that we research it."

On what he sees in Winston that he likes:

"He's a big back who can run downhill. He's a one-cut guy. He's a guy who has some receiving ability, so I'm just curious to get him here and see how he fits in. Just as far as that mold of a downhill one-cut guy – a guy who can thump it up in there – he fits that criteria."

On what he thinks of RB Terrance West's preseason performance:

"Inconsistent, but I think it was good for him. We put him out there in some situations that we wanted to see him in. There were some times where he made plays, and then he made rookie mistakes some other times. I had a good meeting with Terrance today just talking about the next step and being that guy we can just – going back to the Tate question about…let's get him out there on third down. He can catch the ball. He's shown that in camp. We're pleased with where Terrance is, but it's something…he just needs to continue to get better. Some guys kind of say, 'OK, I made it. I'm on the roster,' but to me, they need to accelerate, not decelerate."

On if there's any spot in particular where they're trying to push him:

"I think the biggest thing to learn, especially with the zone scheme, is don't look to hit the homerun every play. It's the creases in the NFL that can gain you four or five yards aren't that big. They don't appear that big. When that crease is there, we've got to go ahead and square up and get downhill and understand, 'Hey, know how to finish a run so I'm not taking a big hit.' The fumble the other night was unfortunate, but that was a heck of a play by that kid on defense. He put his helmet right on the ball. I don't know how many other backs in the league hold onto that one."

On why RB Dion Lewis was cut and how much it had to do with RB Isaiah Crowell's performance:

"I'm not going to go into too many specifics of why one player got let go. We evaluated the body of work and Crowell came on late and had been showing some things in practice that we like and just stepped up and showed it in the game. It was probably more what he did and less something Dion didn't do."

On DB Robert Nelson making the team and what they liked about him:

"'Nelly' (Nelson), I think he has a bright future in this league. He was a guy nobody really looked at after the draft. We were very fortunate that (secondary coach) Jeff Hafley had a connection and that we were able to bring him here. I know he was very productive at Arizona State – made a lot of plays there. That continued when he got here. He just comes in here with some of these other rookies like a Gabriel and an (FB Ray) Agnew and the bigness of it never fazed him. He just went out and played. He was a guy who impressed us and we feel has the potential to be a starting NFL DB at some point."

On Nelson having a big game against Oregon State and if he was discovered because they had been watching Oregon State WR Brandin Cooks:

"That might have had something to do with it. I know he was a guy who was on our radar and I know we had seen – I don't know exactly what film so I'm assuming that was one too."

On what allowed Gabriel to make this team:

"His ability to make plays. He's a guy, I've said it before, for his small stature he's very strong. He can get off of press. He has the ability to separate, and too me, he's got some pretty good hands. He made a catch – I forget what preseason game it was – right on the sideline and got blasted right when he did and the ball never budged. The NFL, the bright lights didn't faze him. You can't coach speed. If you're going to be a smaller guy…(offensive coordinator) Kyle (Shanahan) has had success with guys like this in his offense who could kind of take the top off. We see him in that type of role for us."

On if Gabriel would have made the team even without proving his ability as a return guy:

"That helped him. That helped him for sure. It's hard to answer that question, but the return ability definitely helped."

On if DB Buster Skrine will be ready to go this week:

"Yeah, he practiced full today."

On why he's starting DB Justin Gilbert over Buster:

"Why would we start him? To me, it's a package thing. There are going to be times where we have all those guys out there. I think that we'll potentially look at Buster and Justin sharing. There are only two corners on the field kind of splitting that time job sharing much like (LB) Craig (Robertson) and (LB Chris) Kirksey will do. Then when we have to go nickel…it was unfortunate what happened with (DB Isaiah) Trufant. He just couldn't get back healthy. We IRed him. That's one of the reasons that (DB) K'Waun Williams made it – has some nickel ability. (DB Aaron) Berry has nickel ability. Buster has nickel ability. We have some available options there. I think given him (Buster) coming off an injury and Justin being a rookie, I don't know if we want to give either one of them the entire game outside."