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Mike Pettine press conference - 10/7

Opening statement:

"A little bit more added into this week just because it is the first one in the division. Always an exciting week. We all look forward to it, knowing how important these games are. A little odd this year how the schedule fell going through the first quarter of the season without playing a division game, but it is always a big emphasis. I thought we made strides last year and closed the gap on some of the teams in the division. We will see where we stand with Baltimore on Sunday. Success in the division is a big priority and I made sure I spent a little extra time in the meetings today to emphasize that with the players. Also with the young guys, the guys that don't know much about the division games and the rivalry with Baltimore and the history behind it. I made sure we covered that today, so those guys have a good understanding of why these fans bases aren't necessarily on each other's Christmas card list. This is a big challenge for us. They are coming off a big win with a couple extra days rest. We certainly look at it as a big challenge.

"Offensively, I think this is the best offensive line we have gone against to date, if not one of the best offensive lines in the league. They are playing well and have been very consistent. The running back (Ravens RB Justin) Forsett, I thought he had a breakout year last year and is certainly following that up. His skill set very much matches what they want to do up front. Very productive for them. (Ravens QB Joe) Flacco is a guy that we know a lot about. Big guy, can make all the throws, has great touch on the long ball, the vertical routes, the posts, the corners. He throws them as well as anyone in the league. He can move better than I think people give a guy that tall credit for. He is certainly a challenge, especially being at their stadium. The receiving core – I know they have talked about (Ravens WR) Steve Smith (Sr.) potentially being out. He is a guy, knowing him and his history and his mentality that is one that I might not believe until the inactives are turned, knowing him.

"Defensively, it is the Ravens 'D'. I know they are missing (Ravens DL Terrell) Suggs and some of the bigger name guys of years past, but it is a good unit. They're playing well together. Very stout against the run. Very big, very physical up front. I think the pair of inside linebackers, (Ravens LB Daryl) Smith and (Ravens LB CJ) Mosley, are as good a tandem as there is out there. It is a big challenge. They get up in your face and are real physical. That is the kind of group that they are and we will have to respond to that challenge.

"Special teams, two of the better kickers in the league. (Ravens P) Sam Koch has been very consistent for a long period of time. One of the best, young kickers in the league, young clutch kickers in the league in (Ravens K Justin) Tucker."

"From any injury standpoint, Gip (DB Tashaun Gipson) and (LB) Craig (Robertson) will not practice. Craig more than likely is out this week. (RB Shaun) Draughn and (WR Brian) Hartline will likely not go today, either. Their status is probably a little more encouraging. There is a chance they will be able to go, but we are going to sit them today. (RB Robert) Turbin and (LB Scott) Solomon will both do some team work. They will go through individuals. We have them on a pitch count. (They will do) some of the team work to get a good feel for where they are. Then also, outside of (OL) Joe Thomas and (DL) Randy Starks will get their usual days off. Other than that we expect everyone else to practice."

On if he had any problems with DB Joe Haden not playing Sunday:

"No. He is (catching flack). I think a lot of that is unwarranted. Some of that I will bear some of that blame, just in detailing the procedure and how it went. Joe made the decision based on he didn't feel he could be 100 percent. He felt it would hurt the team if he played. It is something I have talked about with him and I am comfortable with where we are with it. It is unfortunate because Joe is one the faces of our franchise. Nobody questions his toughness, his leadership and how important the Browns are to him and what being a Cleveland Brown means to him and vice versa. I think it is unwarranted. I misspoke. Joe wanted to be out there. He wanted to play, but just in his assessment did not want to put the team at risk, knowing that he could not be at the percentage in his heart that he knew he couldn't get to."

On if he felt he needed to patch things up with Haden or did Haden come to him and say you threw me under the bus:

"No. No, I think when the flack started I felt I needed to reach out to him."

On what the conversation was like between Haden and himself:

"That is between Joe and I."

On if Haden's rib injury was a factor in his decision not to play against San Diego:

"It was primarily the finger."

On what explanation did he give the NFL in regards to Haden being listed as probable before the game against San Diego:

"Just presented them with the facts. He practiced and we listed him – we expected him to play based on how practice went. To me, it is a standard, procedural thing when a player doesn't play that it is my understanding – I don't know how often this happens, but we don't see this as a big deal. I doubt the league will as well."

On in regards to the controversial call in Seattle's Monday night game does the team devote time in the offseason or during the season to go over specific rules and is he confident his team knows the rules pretty well:

"Some of the obscure ones, ones like that, I will admit I thought it was okay to bat the ball out as well. By position group we handle that early, especially with the rookies. The explanation of how are things different now. That is a big part of when the rookies come in, understanding the differences. It never fails, every year during the preseason, you have a rookie – somebody catches a ball in front of them and is on the ground and they don't touch them and they get up and gains additional yards or scores. Those are always good teaching moments and you make sure they have a clear understanding of it. When things like that happen around the league we will address it this week and make sure everyone is on the same page. If there are things that – typically in our meeting regarding the officials which is tomorrow we get the video from the officials during the week and if anything comes up from that I will address it with the team as well."

On where DB Pierre Desir development is since the end of last year:

"He is and he is playing pretty well. I know he regrets the one play where he didn't get a good jam on the line of scrimmage and gave up the touchdown to (Chargers WR Keenan) Allen. Pierre has played a lot of snaps and he was prepared. He did not go through training camp getting starters reps, but took all the opportunities that he got. He was injured for part of it too, but took all of the opportunities that he got to get himself better. We always implore our guys on the scout team, they are not just out there to be out there. This is play our technique unless told otherwise and use it as a rep to get better. He embodies that. He did it last year and did it this year as well.

On what Desir needs to improve:

"Just consistency with the technique. He is outstanding when he gets his hands on receivers. He is strong and has a great punch. Just the length that he has. When he gets his hand on receivers early within the five yards, most of the time it is disruptive enough to have the quarterback look elsewhere."

On if last year can carry over in an attempt to make an impact in the division:

"I think it depends on your core, how many of your core guys were a part of it. I know what the history was with the division and it was right in front of us in the beginning. We opened at Pittsburgh and addressed that history, that and the Ravens would be the two most lopsided. Feel good about what we accomplished against Pittsburgh last year. I know that's coming up down the road. Baltimore is one where it's been lopsided. I think Flacco's only lost once and I know last year despite being very competitive in both games we were 0-2 against them. I think based on that the guys that were a part of it last year are not going to be in any way – we're not starting the game on a hole. I think our guys realize that if we play well that we can be successful."

On if DB K'Waun Williams is still in concussion protocol:

"He's not, he's been cleared. He'll practice full today."

On playing DB Johnson Bademosi at the CB position with DB Justin Gilbert back:

"A lot of that was more practice reps logged that Bade (DB Johnson Bademosi) had gotten more. Justin had missed a bunch with the injury and had played a lot more in the calls that we were making in that game. There was more of a comfort level. We also knew that Justin coming out too was going to be returning kickoffs. We played Justin early (because we) wanted to see where he was. Played both of them and felt as the game went on that Bade was probably in a little better groove and stuck with him."

On how much of an adjustment it is to move players around due to injury:

"That is tough. Anytime there's an injury and it causes you to move multiple positions, that's not ideal. We're also, as coaches, we're tasked with putting your best 11 out there. (DB) Tramon (Williams) has played a lot of nickel in his past and I thought did a good job moving inside. We would prefer to leave him outside, but just looking at that the circumstances we're in and we mixed it, didn't play it at all just 100% with him inside, did some different things. It's no different than an offensive line where if you lose a guard and all of a sudden you have to slide in, move a tackle over a center and move another guy in. You want to avoid that but if it's a move that you feel puts the best line up out there then you role with it."

On if he spoke to QB Johnny Manziel about the fire at his grandfather's home in Texas:

"I have not. I have not. This is first I'm hearing it. I'll speak with him about it. I just saw him at the walk through, seemed to be in good spirits, but I'll bring it up."

On if he anticipated this kind of production from TE Gary Barnidge:

"Yeah, Gary's been great. He's one of those guys that I think goes under the radar, goes unnoticed. Not a big name guy. I think a lot of people felt that the production from that room was going to drop significantly when we lost (Dolphins TE) Jordan (Cameron) to free agency. Gary, we have a lot of confidence in, made big plays for us last year in few opportunities and that's continued. He's been very consistent. He's a more than adequate blocker and in the pass game he has a good understanding of defenses and leverage and how teams are playing him and where the dead spots in the zone are and how to set up a guy who's playing man coverage. He's got good ball skills and knows what to do after the catch. I thought that catch he made in the game was amazing with it getting tipped and sideways, getting his elbow down. We've had some success this year offensively in the pass game. He's a big part of it."

On if the Ravens wide receiver situation stresses a different part of the defense:

"I think the challenge is clearly on the front seven this game. This is a team that ran the ball successfully against us last year. I think 160 yards in one game and 130 in another. We have to play well up front. That was the challenge in the meeting this morning that this is an offensive line and a tight end group. They're big, physically, we have to focus on technique and winning one-on-one matchups. All the things we talk about get off the ball, knock our guy back, separate from a block violently, tackle. If we want to be successful on defense this year – this week – it starts up front."

On if there will be more stress on the passing game:

Yeah, we're hopeful that we'll get Joe (Haden) back and K'Waun back. I think it'll change the look in our secondary. Not sure about Gip. The NFL's a challenge every week especially when you have an elite quarterback like Flacco. I don't think it matters much who he's throwing the ball to. I know (Ravens WR) Steve Smith was their leading receiver. I don't know what the number is but it's well in the double digits who else he's gotten the ball to. Maybe not a big name threat but they have a lot of options."

On what makes Ravens RB Justin Forsett a challenge:

"He's very patient, very good in the zone scheme. That he sets his blocks up well, that he's just not staring to rush through his reads. That he knows how to set his linebackers up hide behind his lineman, put his hand on their back and wait. I think he runs well with his pads down, that he doesn't take a lot of shots because of that running style. You look at it and you think 'Oh that's a 2-yard run.' Next thing you know, it's second-and-5.' He knows how to finish a run well. He's a good receiver second leading receiver behind Steve Smith. He's a guy that we have to be very aware of. We got burned a couple times last week with (Chargers RB Danny) Woodhead. We have to be aware of where the back is with the check down."

On how he stresses the sense of urgency to improve the record:

"When you get to this point you don't want to overdo it. We have a means of preparing and we know we've been close in every game and its come down to a handful of plays. There doesn't need to be a major shift in our mentality or sense of panic. I think if they see leadership acting significantly different then that can have an effect the wrong direction, these guys are professionals they know the urgency. The fact that we're in the division playing against a rival team. The one thing you don't want to do is get them over amped. I think we've seen that in history effect a team early in a game. Our guys know that as the year goes on and we have that first quarter of the season behind us not what we wanted that we need to tighten some things up across the board, little things. They know there's a sense of urgency to do that but that's not something from the stand point of how I handle thing I don't see myself being significantly different this week, nor the coaching staff."

On if his perceived laid back attitude as a coach translate to performance on the field:

"I'm laid back here, in front of you. I don't know if I would classify myself as a laid back coach. I pick and choose my times when not to be."

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