On how the new offense is taking shape:
"I talked to our players this morning about that. I've preached to them to ride the wave. I think we have ridden the wave going upward the last three practices. I would say in the middle of OTAs we hit a little bit of a funk for a combination of a couple things. First off, it's a credit to our defense. They are really well coaches, they have good players and they have a really good scheme. We are always one step behind because they have so many wrinkles in their defense that they come out and then you have to get it fixed. Once we've kind of caught up to them, and I think we've kind of reinstalled everything for a second time in this mandatory minicamp. I think you've seen in the last couple of practices... Like yesterday in the red zone, four plays and we score three touchdowns. The last two or three practices, I think you've seen it come together. It's not where we want it to be yet, but I've liked the progress we've seen in the last three practices."
On what percentage of the offense has been installed:
"I would say about 90 percent. The only things that really haven't been installed yet are the things that you do in training camp – the special situation type things, like end of game. For example, there are six second left in the game and it's fourth down, sprinting out and throwing the ball out of bounds. Things like that, you install those things once a day in training camp. From an X and O standpoint, from a run game standpoint, it's about 90 percent in." –
On finding the offense's identity:
"We chipped away at it a great deal. It's been a little difficult to be honest with you. From a personnel standpoint, we've had a bunch of guys out in the spring. Whenever you have a few starters out – you know we're resting (OL) Joe (Thomas), that's part of the plan – or you have (OL) Alex Mack out, (WR) Travis Benjamin out, those second team guys have to go up to the first team, and now you're third string guys are probably playing a group up than they should early against a dang good defense. We're getting there. I'm really excited. I'm hoping we get some continuity early in training camp so we even find that out even more, but we are getting there."
On QB Josh McCown's offseason:
"I've been very, very impressed with Josh. Josh and I talk about it all the time: He's a better quarterback now than he was in 2007. I think he's much better. Again, I don't like to speak for the players, but I think he'll tell you the same thing. I haven't seen anything from an arm strength standpoint, from an athletic standpoint to tell me that his game has declined at all. He is much better in situational football, a much smarter quarterback than he was in 2007. That comes with time. He's played a lot of football. I've been very, very pleased with Josh. Obviously, the intangibles with Josh are as good as any quarterback in the league in terms of his leadership, in terms of being a good person. All of those things that you're looking for in a starting quarterback, Josh McCown has."
On McCown's arm and athleticism and how he stabilizes the offense with his personality:
"Yeah, he's very even keeled. The thing Josh has done a really good job of is he helps guys get lined up. I have to kind of hold him back a little bit and have him concerned about doing his own job. That is when he has peaks and valleys at practice sometimes is when he's worried about the 10 other guys and not himself. I've been preaching to Josh all spring: No. 1, you need to worry about yourself and playing quarterback for this football team and trust that these other 10 guys on the team are pros and they're going to know to do, also. That's kind of what we've been with Josh. Josh has, like I said, been everything that we thought he was going to be in terms of his leadership. We've just got to keep him going."
On if he has a sense McCown has something to prove and that his 1-10 record last year is not who he is:
"Absolutely. Any competitor wants something to prove. That's why we're all here. We're here to win football games for this team, for this city and for our owner. Any competitor wants to go out there and have something to prove, whether you're coming off a Super Bowl victory or you're coming off a 1-10 (record) as a starter."
On how QB Johnny Manziel has improved this offseason:
"First off, I think he's improved on his pocket awareness. I saw him the other day for the first time get to his third progression, which was fantastic. We were throwing a post and a corner out of the front side and we had a basic cross, which is a 12-yard in-cut coming from the backside. That's hard to do for a young quarterback, to work from the right side of the field all the way back coming into his vision. You see him reset his feet and getting back to second and third progressions, which is something I didn't see much of him last season or when he was in college. The other thing that Johnny has done a much better job of is his huddle management. He's getting the play out with confidence. We do have some long play calls. That's just the nature of NFL play calls. You are going to have some long play calls. He's gone in there and he's been like a veteran spitting it out. We've had very, very few issues pre-snap with him in terms of delay of games, forgetting motions, not sending a shift we wanted, motion landmarks. Again, the big picture thinking with Johnny, he's improved a great deal. Has he made every through as strike point accurate as we want? No, and he knows that. He needs to be a little bit more strike point accurate than he has been. That will come. You want to work outside in with these guys. You want to work the big picture and then you can really hone in on what they need to do from the other parts of playing quarterback."
On spreading receptions among the veteran and younger WRs if all of them play well during training camp:
"That's a really good question. I've talked about it since Day 1 in terms of with our personnel people. The thing I do like about it is each guy is not the same guy. Even though (WRs) Taylor Gabriel and Hawk (Andrew Hawkins) are smaller receivers, they do have two different skillsets. (WRs Dwayne) Bowe and (Brian) Hartline are bigger guys. I think it'd be much more of an issue if you had all small guys or all big guys. I think you can still find places on the field for those guys and putting them in situations to where they can succeed in the things that they do well. Again, I've talked about it with you here, we don't need a bunch of one-trick pony receivers, and we don't have that. I thought we did a great job of going out and adding some diversity to that room in body types, the different types of routes we'll have those guys in for. Again, that's going to be a good problem to have is to figure out the competition. That's what (Head) Coach (Mike) Pettine has talked about and how he wants to build this team is through competition. It'll be really interesting to watch those guys throughout training camp."
On pairing multiple RBs in formations, including passing formations:
"We saw a lot of that. Part of this spring has been really good for us because as coaches, we're all guilty of one thing – we're guilty of always wanting to be comfortable – not putting (OL) Cam Erving at center, not putting him at left tackle; not putting (RB) Duke Johnson anywhere but at tailback. Because of some of the injuries we've had, we've been forced to put Cam in all five spots. We've been forced to get Duke outside as you saw that the last few days because we've had four wide outs down. Again, in the big picture of life, everything is not going to look exactly the way we want it right now because we've got guys out of position, but come the fall, it's going to help us. I'm a coach; I like to be comfortable. I like to have a guy at one spot. I like to have Duke Johnson just at H(-back), but it's been forcing us to think outside the box a little bit, and I'm proud of the way Duke has handled some of those things. We've put a lot on his plate. Both he and (FB) Malcolm (Johnson), we've asked those guys to do a lot of things that normal rookies don't get asked to do. That F position is hard to play."
On if moving the RBs around was more out of necessity than interest:
"No, we were going to do it but maybe just not as much. That was definitely a plan to do that with Duke and get him out there. He's done a great job with it. I don't know if you saw the wheel route that he caught on the sideline during the 7-on-7 yesterday. It was a great throw by Johnny and a great catch by him. We were planning on doing that stuff but maybe not as much. We had eight or nine plays of that yesterday – we call it 21 Hurricane – with him in there at F. It force fed us to kind of get him going earlier."
On if he sees Manziel legitimately giving McCown a run for the starting spot in training camp and how he views the QB picture:
"I'm going to echo Coach Pettine's words because he and I are on the exact same page about this. I don't see a change for right now going into training camp. I just don't. I think Josh is playing at a high level right now. I think Josh is doing the things we want him to do. There's a long time until we kick off against the Jets. There are four preseason games to play. Last year, I was at a place where we were sold on a starter, too, and then a rookie came in and outplayed him in the preseason. I think Coach said today there are 86 days or something like that until we kick off against the Jets. Eighty-six days in the NFL world is an eternity. For right now, if we were lining up against the Jets tomorrow, which we're not, I wouldn't see that changing."
On veteran quarterbacks not performing well for the Browns in the past:
"I wasn't here. I think the thing Josh and I have, which maybe benefits us – I wouldn't know the stats on this – is our familiarity we have with each other. I don't know if any of those guys had known the OC before, when we line up Day 1 in pass install and knew how to call the play without really even looking at the playbook. That'd be a situation that I think that might be a little bit different. Again, we're going to have a great plan, and we're going to go from there."
On if he would prefer to use just two RBs compared to three:
"I like to go with the guy that has the hot hand. If a guy's got the hot hand, ride it out. You're going to have some gameplan-specific plays for certain guys like a Duke Johnson where you want to get him out on a pass route or running a certain outside zone or whatever. I'm a big believer in the best five offensive linemen up front. I'm a big believer in a guy's got a hot hand you keep riding him. That's kind of just a philosophy that I have."
On who his five best OL are and if OL Cameron Erving is in the mix:
"Cam's in the mix, absolutely. There's no doubt about it. Cam's in the mix, and it was disappointing to see him go down with that injury because he was making strides. Again, it's a fine line with Cam. Right now, all the tape on Cam's not going to be pretty because we're playing him at three different spots, but in the big picture, like I always talk about – I try to think as big picture as I can – it's going to help us in the fall. It really is. It's going to help us. The kid is going to have exposure at a lot of spots on the offensive line."
On where Erving probably will line up on the first day of training camp:
"Day 1 of training camp, right guard, probably, right guard. Then we'll always mix him in a little bit at center and always mix him in a little bit at left tackle. If I had to guess, I'd say right guard."
On why Erving would get reps at left tackle instead of right tackle:
"Because (OL) Joe Thomas doesn't practice every day. He's played all five spots this spring, but if you had to tell me where he was going to start, it'd probably be right guard."
On OLs Mitchell Schwartz and John Greco:
"I'll tell you, I really like those two guys. Our offensive line, this is as talented a group, as smart a group as I've been around. They're exactly what you want in an offensive line. A lot of the offensive linemen are the same no matter what franchise you go to or team you're on. They all hang out together. They're all friends, and you hope the majority of them are smart guys. We're fortunate that all those guys are off-the-chart smart. I think Mitchell Schwartz has gotten a lot better in his pass protection this offseason. I think he's gotten a lot better. It's hard to tell without the pads on, but when you're going against some of the guys we have across the ball, I'm pleased with Mitchell Schwartz. I'm pleased with John Greco. I think both those guys have had a positive spring."
On 'everybody wanting to replace' Schwartz:
"I haven't heard that. I have not heard that since I've been here."
On TE Rob Housler:
"I think Rob's very similar to Duke. You've seen him line up in a bunch of different places. The thing Rob brings to the table is he ran past – I don't even know who it was yesterday watching it on tape. When we ran the corner-go to Hawk in the red zone, he was the guy that has to clear out the play for the outside post. I don't think it was (DB) Joe (Haden). It may have been Joe on the outside, but he ran right past the guy. Anytime you have a guy that's that big and can run that fast and do a lot of jobs, those guys have a way of lasting in this league and playing at a good level."
On how encouraged he is that Manziel can play in the NFL:
"I'm pleased with Johnny. The lack of continuity in that second huddle has hurt him a little bit. It really has. From the offensive line, guys moving around, the receivers, two young receivers that are in there with him, some of the things you see on the field aren't all on Johnny. It's never all on one guy, just like anything. The old cliché 'The quarterback gets way too much praise when he wins and way too much blame when he loses.' Not everything Johnny's been out there has been on Johnny. I'm very pleased with his progress. I think he's made another step from OTAs to minicamp. I really do. I think he's getting comfortable in there. I would never say anything in here to anyone that I haven't talked to the players about. There are a couple throws like the corner ball to Housler yesterday, we need to make that. We're a work in progress. I'm pleased with the strides we've made on offense. We're never going to be happy with where we are on offense no matter whether we lead the league or we're last in the league. We're never going to be satisfied on offense, and as competitors I hope that's what our players expect."
On what happened when Manziel dropped three snaps in practice:
"One he took his eye off of, I thought, and the other two were a little bit low and to the right. We need to make those. We actually do a drill, a bad shotgun snap drill, where I tell those guys, 'You need to be like a hockey goalie back there.' You see a hockey goalie get over and then get back, to fight to get back inside the A gap. We actually drill that work because you're not going to get a perfect shotgun snap all the time. He needs to get better than that. I think he took his eye off one. I thought the other two were kind of low and hot, but that first one he could have handled."