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Mike Pettine conference call - 12/21


Opening Statement:**
"As I said yesterday it was apparent after watching the tape that our level of play just wasn't good enough. Needed to give ourselves an opportunity to win the game and we just weren't consistent enough. Unfortunately that's been a theme in a lot of our losses this year. Seattle is a very good football team, they sustain long drives. They converted on third down. I talk about that yesterday, I thought we did a good job on early downs that when we got them into third down they were longer than what they were used to and we weren't able to get off the field. Giving up that percentage on third down you're not going to win a lot of football games. It gives us another feeling of disappointment in a season of too many for our team and for our fans. The positive is I like our teams attitude, I like their fight. I think the players are still very much focused and intent on finding a way to end the season the right way. I see that in how they practice, I see that in how they prepare and I see that during games. I see the emotion, the passion that you want to see in your team and we're going to continue to be that way for the next two games.

On the injury front, (OL) John Greco has an MCL injury. From what I'm told it will not require surgery but with only two games left he will be done for the season. Nothing else overly significant coming out of the game, just there will be some guys that are limited in practice. We'll see how it goes as the week plays out."

On what can be done about the Browns shortcomings if effort is not the issue:
"I'm not going to go there. Its consistency. Every game we can make a – and yesterdays no different – I can make a cut up tape of us executing plays at a high level and then we have some plays that unfortunately end up on the blooper reel. The play before the half is a good example: We get exactly what we want, we don't want to give up a hail mary and let them run around and launch it in the end zone. We just want to force an early throw and go make a tackle and (DB) Tramon's (Williams) doing his best to get him on the ground and his hand slides up on the mask. That's tough, that's a difficult circumstance for us because otherwise its 17-10 going into halftime, we feel good about ourselves, one possession game. There are just a handful of plays a game where the other team executes and we don't and we're allowing big plays. Like I said, the effort, the energy is there but just the level of consistency that's required to win is not."

On QB Duke Johnson Jr.'s performance in yesterday's game:
"I thought playing in a – just look at the environment and dealing with all of the circumstances, the crowd noise. Our circumstances going in to the game as a team, playing against a team that's hot that's known for their defense and feeds off the home crowd. I thought he handled it very well. There wasn't at any point during the game where I felt he was unnerved or flinched or lost his poise, however you want to say it. He was just as interactive coming over to the sideline in the fourth quarter as he was in the first. I thought how he – the first drives a good example. He was very calm, made some plays. We went right down the field, made some throws. I thought he made a heck of play on the zero throw to Gary for the touchdown. I think overall, Johnny did a lot of positive things. I'm sure there's some plays that he would want to have back as most quarterbacks would but overall a lot of positives, a lot to learn from. I think the reason that he did the good things that he did they're a result of his preparation. He doesn't coast through the week and all of a sudden just show up and play. That's a product of how well he's preparing."

On Manziel passing for less than 100 yards after the first drive:
"I think it was referenced earlier, we had some balls dropped and we had some protection breakdowns. That's a good front. We lose (RG) John Greco the first series, that's a difficult circumstance for us to deal with. Quarterback play is you can only evaluate the player, did he perform his job? Did he do all that he could do on a particular play? And as I've said for the past two years, quarterback play is going to be a function of a lot of things and there are a lot of things that are outside of his control. The things he could control we thought he was solid with. Could he have done some better things? Absolutely. But I'm not going to sit here and put that 'just 100 yards after the first drive' I'm not going to hang that on him."

On what Manziel still needs to work on:
"Some of its technical on certain plays. I'm not going to get into the minutia of it but just decision making, certain coverage going here with the ball, taking this throw instead of waiting for that throw knowing that there was a chance that the protection was going to break down. There is not any one thing glaring that jumps out. I thought the interception at the end, if I had to point at one thing, was a situation where he had a couple other places to go with the ball and ended up forcing it down the field. He knew it as soon as he came off the field. No, there weren't a lot of glaring things most of them are very technical."

On if he anticipates making any changes in the secondary in favor of DB Pierre Desir:
"Yeah we're going to go ahead and – haven't met with the staff yet to talk about this week. Those conversations will take place tonight. It's likely, we're still unsure of (DB) K'Waun's (Williams) status heading into this week. That situation where K'Waun is will probably have some impact on where we are with Pierre."

On if OL Cameron Erving will replace Greco at RG:
"I think more than likely that that's the lineup that we will go with is how we finished the game. Again, we'll have those conversations tonight. Whether we're better off with Cam at left and (OL) Austin (Pasztor) at right guard I'll talk to Flip (Offensive coordinator John DeFilippo) and (offensive line) Coach (George) DeLeone, (assistant offensive line) Coach (Paul) Dunn and get the best sense of, with the full weeks practice, where are we better off. Overall Cam did some good things. There were a couple times where he got beat. I know the one time he got called for a hold that that was kind of a mutual hold, guy had his face mask and he had the jersey. That one was a little bit questionable. We'll go ahead and ask the league for clarification on that. Overall, coming in cold in the first series; again, his effort, his energy is not the issue. Sometimes it's a physical thing and that's why it's encouraging to get him out there and play and hopefully we can get his confidence back up."

On if Manziel knows there could be problems with an inside rush due to the injuries on the offensive line or is that something he has to make Manziel aware of:
"You have to walk a fine line there. I don't think you want to plant the seed, so that way he starts to leave the pocket. We call that seeing ghosts when he starts to leave too soon anticipating a breakdown. He just has to play what he sees. I think also as a play caller, Flip and did some in the game, help out as far as, 'I understand what our circumstances are now against a pretty good front four in a noisy environment and I might need to do some different things on the call sheet slowing the rush down.' Whether we call a few more draws. I know the long (RB) Duke (Johnson Jr.) run came in a passing situation. I thought that was an excellent play call. I think we hit some screens. Those are all things that a play caller can do to help that situation as well."

On if he was close to making a change at kicker due to K Travis Coons' injury:
"No. We weren't close. We had our contingency plan, but we were not close. (Head athletic trainer) Joe Sheehan was confident and Travis was confident that given the rest he would be fine for the game and he was."

On if he saw anything he didn't like from WR Terrelle Pryor in the beginning of the game as his snap count was down in the later parts of the game:
"No. I wouldn't say that. Those substitutions are more between how Flip (offensive coordinator John DeFilippo) is calling the game, what personnel groups we are using and then (wide receivers coach) Joker Phillips having a sense for when one of his guys needs to come out and go ahead and get him a break. I am on the offensive headset. There was nothing as far as, 'Hey we need to decrease (Pryor's) reps.' I just think that is just a function of how the game played out."

On if Pryor was just not ready for the throw that he was target on:
"Actually looking at it, it looked like it got tipped. Johnny threw a fast ball, but I think the ball changed, it was subtle, but I think the (defensive) tackle, it is hard to tell, but it looks like the (defensive) tackle might have gotten a piece of it."

On if the flow of the game masked the team doing a better job of run than pass blocking:
"That is unfortunately sometimes how the games play out. You start to get into a situation where you have to throw it in order to get back in it. You know running the ball, while it might be effective, is going to take too much off the clock, especially playing a team that is known for ball control. You have to value every possession once you get behind. That really puts you in a pass-first mentality. I agree we did some good things in the run game. I think we ended up with over 90 yards. I just wish the game played out a little bit different so we could have had more runs."

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