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Mike Pettine press conference - 10/26

Opening statement:

"It really holds true after getting a chance to watch it a couple times – the obvious thing is that you are not going to win many games in this league when you fumble it four times and lose them, commit the amount of penalties that we were called for yesterday. Took a step backwards in that regard. Can't have that to be successful. Need to be better about protecting the ball and definitely do a better job in limiting the infractions.

"I said it all week that we were well aware of how talented that Rams front is. We wanted to make sure that we got ahead of the sticks and did not put them in a situation where they could just pin their ears back and go. Certainly, the exact opposite was true. We played into their hands. That is one of the biggest reasons why you saw the results that we got offensively in only scoring six points.

"Defensively, I thought the first half, we played as good of a half that we have played all year. That is only part of it. You have to play a complete game. We weren't good enough in the second half. We have to better. We got hit with some chunk plays again. They did a nice job running the football. There were times in the game where I thought our effort was good, and we were able to contain (Rams RB Todd) Gurley for a good part of it, but they were still able to hit us with a couple big runs. It was disappointing.

"In the team meeting today, we talked about where we are and we talked about adversity and what adversity does for you – the benefit of facing adversity. You find out a lot about yourself. It is easy to exist in this profession when things are going well. When things aren't, you truly find out who you are – who is mentally tough, who cares about this team, who is willing to step up. Continuing to do what we have done would be foolish because it has gotten us these results so far. We are not going to do anything radically different, but it has to be incremental. The challenge to each man in the room, coaches and players, was: What am I going to do different? What am I going to do extra? Is it in the weight room? Is it in the meeting room? Is it on the practice field? Everybody was challenged to take a personal inventory – where they are, what are they doing well and what are they not doing well and how do we change it?

"It wasn't an easy film to watch, knowing how we matched up going into that game and knowing what the result was. A lot of good teaching points in it. Hopefully, we will lock them away and move forward. Not easy to go back through.

"On the injury front, (QB) Josh (McCown) will be day-to-day with a shoulder injury. More than likely, depending on the next day or so, we will hold him on Wednesday. We will see how he progresses later in the week. (DB) Jordan Poyer is going to miss some time with a shoulder injury. I am not exactly sure of the timetable, but he will definitely be down this week. It is a shame because Jordan played one of his better games of the season yesterday. (WR Andrew) Hawkins, as it was yesterday, is in the concussion protocol. On all of our other guys that were out, this past week there has been improvement. I won't have updates until Wednesday. (DB) Joe Haden is improving, but he is still in the league protocol. Gip (DB Tashaun Gipson) made a lot of positive strides last week. We will see where he is. (LB) Craig (Robertson) we are very optimistic about due to the fact that he was able to get through portions of practice late in the week."

On if he is surprised McCown is even upright after yesterday:

"That is a credit to his toughness and his resolve. We have to know, and our guys knew it watching the film, that we have to protect this guy. You can't have your quarterback go through a game like that. I don't care if he is Josh's age or if he is 23. It is not good business. You have to protect your quarterback, and a big part of that is what I have said in here a thousand times is that you have to get ahead of the sticks."

On if McCown took a shot from a helmet to his chin:

"We have a group of plays that through the league we can send in. I believe that was on the list."

On if there is any structural damage in McCown's shoulder:

"I am not going to get into the results. We are listing him as day-to-day. We will know a little bit more on Wednesday, but I am not going to get into his specific MRI results."

On if McCown will play on Sunday, if he's physically able:

"If our starting quarterback is physically able to play, will we play him? Yes."

On if QB Johnny Manziel's work week will be interrupted by a visit with the NFL and if the Browns will be informed:

"We will be informed of it. I am sure that they are certainly mindful of what our schedule is. I am confident that we will be able to work around it."

On if the NFL has asked to speak to him about Manziel's incident:

"They have not."

On if he has asked to be informed if the NFL issues discipline to Manziel this week:

"Certainly, but that is something – they understand the schedule that we are in. I am sure that whatever result, if there is some type of immediate result to it, than they would let us know as soon as possible."

On if his message about taking a personal inventory is too late, given the Browns' record:

"That is a periodic thing with our guys. When we go through the tape, it's 'Hey where am I? Hit the reset button.' When I look at the grade sheet, the challenge to them each time, whether it is practice or a game – Am I repeat offender? Are there some things that are the same mistakes that I am continuing to make? That is also on the position coach. You can have a minus here and there that is a certain technical thing, but if it is a one-timer, than you are not that concerned about it. That is on the position coaches, as well. If they see a guy who is going down the wrong path and constantly getting the same thing wrong, that is on us to get it corrected. The players, they sense, 'Hey, there is something that I am missing or I am just not quite where I should be with it.' That's on them. We just don't want them to look at the sheet, nod their head and then move on. How do I turn that minus into a plus?"

On expanding on his comment about guys needing to make minor changes:

"A lot of it starts with the individual. We always preach that as individuals get better, the team gets better. I think if everybody accepts that challenge of being introspective – this is for me; this is for the coaches; this isn't just for the players – it is on an individual level first. When the coaches look at their particular side of the ball, 'What are we doing well? What are we not doing well? Where do we need to improve?' Those are things that get looked at. Each week, we are tasked with that challenge of who are the best 11 we can put out there to maximize our chances for a successful play. Personnel is always a part of it. That is changing week to week anyways, whether that is performance issues or whether it is injury related."

On why the Browns' protection wasn't as good as he needed it to be:

"Part of it was what I talked about: we were in a loud environment against a team that knew we had to throw at times during the game. I thought on the 50/50 downs when it was play-pass, when it was first down or second-and-manageable, your protection is better because they are having to play the run first and then convert. When it is third-and-20 or second-and-16 or you are down 17-6 or 24-6 late when you have to throw it, that is when the defense knows you are one dimensional and that is the combination of circumstances we wanted to avoid playing in a dome. It is hard to mix up the cadence. We tried to a couple times and ended up costing ourselves. The guys on the edges, the tackles, had some jumps. I think we jumped a tight end once. That is hard. You just can't go on silent all the time because you see what happens. They are getting off the ball at the exact same time that we are. They are built to play indoors. They are fast on the turf. When the noise is there, it makes it difficult. It was a big challenge to our guys, but we put ourselves in that circumstance too much by getting behind the sticks and falling behind on the scoreboard."

On changes he wants to make being limited by the roster and already playing the best 22 players:

"That depends on whether it's personnel grouping – who are we putting out there on offense, we have lot of options. We put three wide outs out there, two tight ends, two backs, those decisions. Defensively, we have some options as far as how we change our personnel groupings. There are some limitations from a personnel standpoint, plus certain positions where you have injuries you're very limited. That's why we're hopeful to get some of those guys back this week to open some of those options up."

On if the fail-safe failed due to the fact McCown was not taken off the field following the hit by Rams S Mark Barron and if McCown should have been taken off the field after it:

"I think that's hard to say. I know our trainers and doctors are watching the game very intently. I know the officials are trained to look for it, and I know there's somebody in the booth that's doing it. I don't know if you can say that it failed. I think if he had showed up today [and had symptoms] or if he had a concussion, I think you could say that it failed. I don't know if it's fair to say that."

On it being clear McCown was visibly affected by the hit due to his reaction:

"That's hard to say."

On if the hit by Rams DT Nick Farley on WR Andrew Hawkins was also sent to the NFL for review:

"The defenseless player protection only occurs in certain situations. I don't think where he was during that play would have qualified for that."

On if that hit caused Hawkins' concussion:

"I'm not sure. I can't say that for sure."

On RB Robert Turbin getting more reps early in the second half:

"Just at halftime, I talked to Flip (offensive coordinator John DeFilippo) and wanted to see if we could go ahead and get him some reps. Crow (RB Isaiah Crowell) took a shot in the ribs early in the game. We'll always at halftime hit the reset button on where we are from a plan standpoint and who needs to get more involved."

On if throwing the ball more in the second half was a function of the score and down-and distance situations:

"Yeah, I think that was a function. We wanted to be able to run the football and at times did. (RB Robert) Turbin did hit the one nice run, but I think it was more of a function of that as the game went on as we fell behind and just also how they were playing us, we felt that we would have some opportunities in the pass game."

On if the Browns can gel to move forward midseason with the team's personnel, given how free agent signings can impact the locker room:

"You're going to look at most rosters, and they're going to be built – there's a handful of exceptions, but two-fold, I think you need to have some activity in free agency. It's also when you bring in guys from other places that have been successful. I think that helps in your locker room as well. (DB Donte) Whitner is a good example. Leaning on him now, he's very quietly having a pretty good year for us and has been very much a vocal leader behind the scenes. I don't see it as a problem with and I don't think it's wholesale changes from a free agency standpoint. There's a lot of different ways to build it, and I'm sure that we'll, just to speak generally, it'll still be for us, selective free agents and the draft."

On if Manziel was still fully preparing or was less engaged after McCown returned as the starter Week 3:

"Never saw a drop off, at all, and I'm in that room a lot. I spend a lot of time on the practice field with those guys. There was maybe a day where he was [bummed], but a competitive guy, wanted to be the guy and was bummed out, but that feeling didn't last long. I never saw drop off from him as far as attitude on the practice field, wanting to perfect his craft, the time that gets put in in the quarterback room, how much we ask of him during the week. Like we do with all of our players, we test him during the week on the opponent and on the gameplan, and there wasn't a drop off."

On McCown's performance against the Rams:

"Combined, I think both quarterbacks were 30 for 37. I thought he was accurate with the ball, made good decisions. I thought he was patient. I think once we got up, they played a lot of Cover 2 and gave us a lot of throws underneath, and he didn't try to get greedy. I think sometimes you have a tendency to press and force the ball. I thought he did a really good job of understanding what they were playing, figuring out coverages if not pre-snap very quickly post-snap, and he knew where to go with the football. I thought he made some good plays when he had to get out of the pocket – couple nice scrambles and a couple nice throws on the run."

On if DB Tashaun Gipson will return to practice Wednesday:

"Not sure yet. It's a possibility but not sure."

On if he agreed with the holding call on OL Joe Thomas:

"(Laughter) I like my paycheck."

On who will play safety if Gipson and Poyer are both out:

"(DB Ibraheim) Campbell. We've also cross-trained (DB) K'Waun Williams – could play some safety. (DB Johnson) Bademosi, knows safety, and also (DB) Don Jones. It's probably toughest on [Jones]. He's doing a good job for us on (special) teams but just to come in, he would probably be the last option there. He's a guy you could always put in the post if it got to that point. There are options."

On adding another quarterback, depending on McCown's status:

"We'll wait. We'll have a little better sense. That's something we're very much aware of upstairs and we'll have a plan."

On if the Browns would want to add another QB if McCown cannot play:

"We'd discuss it."

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