Cleveland Browns head coach Mike Pettine gave an update on quarterback Josh McCown on Wednesday. McCown suffered a shoulder injury in the fourth quarter of the 24-6 loss to the St. Louis Rams.
“We will see. We will see. We will worry about making that decision if that’s the case. We will see if he can go tomorrow, and if he can’t, I think a big part of what we are doing now is the walkthrough stuff. The good thing about it is we are carrying over a lot of concept stuff that he has practiced and stuff that he’s thrown in games. As far as getting those actual reps in practice, at this point, it is important, but I wouldn’t put a ton of stock into it. We will see where he is, and at the end of the week, we will have enough information to make a decision," Pettine said when asked if McCown will start, without practicing this week.
“Very much looking forward to the opportunity this weekend to face the Cardinals in our building. They are playing well. They present a lot of challenges for us. Our focus, as it always is, is more on us than it is on the opponent. We have to respond with a great week of prep. It has already started. We have to be better for longer. That has been some of our issues. We have played well in stretches and haven’t been able to – that is what this league is about – play well enough at a consistent level end up on the positive side.
“What is coming into town is a very well-rounded football team. I think both O and D are rated fourth in the league in total [yardage]. Offensively, led by (QB) Carson Palmer, who is healthy. He is getting the ball out quick. You can see he has his strength back. He is a big fan of pushing the ball down the field. There are a lot of vertical routes, take advantage of their team speed. (Cardinals RB) Chris Johnson has bounced back and found a place in Arizona. I think he is second in the league in rushing at this point. Overall, they do a lot schematically, a lot of speed on the field. They poise a lot of problems.
“Defensively, a very aggressive front. We faced the same scheme, essentially, in Week 1 with (New York Jets Head Coach) Todd Bowles. Actually, a lot of our prep work for the Jets was watching Arizona film. They have continue to run a lot of the same things schematically so there are some things for us that are helpful there from a prep standpoint. Personnel wise, I think (Cardinals DL) Calais Campbell is playing at an extremely high level. Anyone who saw the game Monday night would agree with that. They are very aggressive up front. On the back end, (Cardinals CB) Patrick Peterson is one of the premier corners in this league and is certainly playing to that level.
“Special teams wise, Peterson is the punt returner. They have done some good things teams wise. It will certainly be a big challenge for us in all three phases.
“On the injury front, as we expected, (QB) Josh (McCown) will not practice today, but he is improving. He is truly day-to-day. We will see where he is tomorrow. (DB) Joe Haden has cleared the concussion protocol. He will be returning to practice. Gip (DB Tashaun Gipson) will also be out there today, along with (LB) Craig (Robertson). There is a chance we will have all three back, which would be a big boost for us defensively. Hawk (WR Andrew Hawkins) is in the concussion protocol. (DB Jordan) Poyer, as we expected, will be out with the shoulder. ()TE Rob) Housler is making very good progress, but he will not be out there today. (RB) Duke (Johnson Jr.) will not be at practice today. He is excused for personal reasons. Everybody else should be out there going.”?
On if McCown’s injuries are strictly limited to his shoulder:
“There are a couple other dings, but that is the main injury.”
On if QB Johnny Manziel will get reps with the ones or if those will be split with QB Austin Davis:
“No, he (Manziel) will get the one reps.”
On potentially starting McCown even if he doesn’t practice this week, given his veteran experience:
“We will see. We will see. We will worry about making that decision if that’s the case. We will see if he can go tomorrow, and if he can’t, I think a big part of what we are doing now is the walkthrough stuff. The good thing about it is we are carrying over a lot of concept stuff that he has practiced and stuff that he’s thrown in games. As far as getting those actual reps in practice, at this point, it is important, but I wouldn’t put a ton of stock into it. We will see where he is, and at the end of the week, we will have enough information to make a decision.”
On if it a matter of pain tolerance for McCown and if he’s thrown a ball since Sunday:
“I don’t know. I don’t know if he has thrown. I just know that there is some soreness there and he is working through it.”
On expecting McCown to play this Sunday after seeing him walk of the field Sunday:
“He looked how we all felt. A lot of guys, it is amazing what a couple days off will do for you to get you back going. Afterwards, it didn’t look good, and when you watch the tape, he took some unnecessary hits, but as we all know, he is as tough as nails. We will just see how the week goes.”
On what has revitalized Cardinals RB Chris Johnson:
“Not sure. Not there day to day. When you evaluate a player, you also have to look at how they are playing around him. This is a good offensive line. I think their guards are outstanding – (Cardinals G Jonathan) Cooper and (Cardinals G Mike) Iupati. The tight ends block well. There is yardage to be had there, and he does a good job getting additional and hitting runs, making people miss. You saw the run he had the other night, the 60-yarder after he had the sense [to get up after not] hearing the whistle and made a heck of a play.”
On how Manziel’s start against Tennessee relates to potentially playing Sunday:
“That would give us some confidence, if that were in fact the case for Sunday. He went through a week of preparation, took the gameplan from the meeting room to the field and was interactive with it with the staff. ‘What do I like? What do I not like?’ He got out there and was able to execute those plays in practice, and it carried over to the game. We are fortunate to have been able to come up with a winning effort.”
On evaluating the offensive line through the first seven games:
“I would say if you asked all of them, it would be inconsistent. I think at times they have played extremely well and then other times have not and have left some plays out there and missed some opportunities. That is a tough-minded group, a competitive group. If they have a performance you would consider sub-par, then A) they will the first to tell you and B) they will be very much looking forward to getting back out there to bounce back from it.”
On if the Browns considered signing Cardinals RB Chris Johnson this offseason:
“Going back to free agency? I know we were always very much in touch with the list as far as what names were available. I am sure he was discussed.”
On if the Browns considered bringing Cardinals RB Chris Johnson during training camp:
“As I said back then, we were very well aware of who was available and knew who we were getting back when and felt good with the guys that were here.”
On if WR Dwayne Bowe will be active this week, given WR Andrew Hawkins is in concussion protocol:
“Could be. We’ll make that decision at the end of the week. We have a rough idea, and we’ll practice our plan how we think it should play out, but some of those decisions will be based on how practice goes.”
On if the Browns miss Bowe’s size on the field:
“Yeah, and that’s one thing and we talked about from the beginning of wanting to have your receiver room kind of have that diversity of skillset and size being included in that. That’s where it’s been helpful for us that (TE) Gary (Barnidge) has been able to step up into that ‘big target’ void.”
On if Bowe has contacted coaches to learn what he needs to improve:
“Dwayne has a sense of what he needs to get done. We have conversations with our players, and it’s just not Dwayne. Our staff is very interactive. Our coordinators are every interactive. Guys should at all times have a good idea where they stand.”
On Cardinals Head Coach Bruce Arians:
“He’s very innovative. They test a lot of your rules. He’s a unique character if you’ve ever spent any time around him. Pete (vice president, communications Peter John-Baptiste) said instead of wearing this hat I should have worn one of Bruce’s trademark hats to the press conference. I’ve known him for a long time. He coached at Temple. Coached one of my best friends at Temple a long time ago so I’ve kind of known Bruce through coaching circles. I’ve always had a great deal of respect. His teams are well-coached, they’re ready to play and they do a lot of things to stress you from a schematic standpoint.”
On what makes Arians different from other head coaches:
“He says what a lot of us think and would like to say. Bruce is, I would say, ‘unfiltered’ is probably the best way to put it. He has his opinions, and some of them are mainstream and a lot of them aren’t. He’s not afraid to put himself out there and you have to admire it. He just has one of those personalities. He’s fun to be around and great story teller. He’s just, to me, one of the better personalities that we have in our coaching fraternity.”
On staying true to your personality as a coach, referring to Arians getting after players publically one moment and then hugging them another:
“Yeah, I would agree with that. I think when coaches get in trouble it’s when they step out of their personality and say, ‘How would a coach act in this situation?’ You have to be yourself. That’s the way he is and he’s never shied away from it.”
On if it can light a defensive spark if Haden and Gipson return:
“They can, absolutely. We’ll be careful with their reps so far just because of the amount of inactivity that they’ve had. We’ll make sure that we build it up to gameday, if in fact they’ll be good to go. We’re optimistic about Joe now that he’s out of the protocol, but he hasn’t taken the field for a while. We’re certainly aware of that. Gip’s been out for a little bit, too. We just have to just ne smart, be prudent just between now and game day and getting them the right amount of work.”
On Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald’s performance, given his age:
“I just think that group of skill players is playing very well. It’s a good marriage of what they do schematically. I think the quarterback is very much in tune with those guys, and he doesn’t have any one favorite. (Cardinals WR) John Brown is playing at an extremely high level. He’s one of the fastest guys in the league. It certainly presents a challenge for us to have that type of speed in your secondary. It’s a credit to how they’re [playing]. The numbers back it up. I think they’re second in the league in scoring and gaining a lot of yards on people so it’s a big challenge.”
On the NFL meeting with Avon Police regarding QB Johnny Manziel’s incident and other details regarding the NFL investigation:
“That’s still in the process of playing itself out so I’m not going to go into detail with that.”
On expecting RB Robert Turbin’s role to expand:
“We look at it each week from a matchup standpoint – what personnel groups and what plays are we running and we try to match the personnel. It’s not just the running backs. I think Flip (offensive coordinator John DeFilippo) does a good job, especially with the receivers, matching guys to the plan. I don’t know if he’d say he’s 100 percent back, but he’s close and certainly showed on the long run, especially, and a couple others what he’s capable of. We’re pleased that he’s here and looking forward to more production.”
On if he knows when the NFL will interview Manziel:
“I do. I do know when the league will interview Johnny.”
On if he will share when the interview will happen:
“Do I have to? I’ll put it this way: it’s imminent. There’s a sense of urgency to it and that meeting is imminent”
On being confident Manziel will be available for Sunday’s game:
“We’re just ‘wait and see.’ The league has its protocol on how they handle these situations, and we’ve been ultra-cooperative to date and will continue to be.”