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Mike Pettine press conference - 11/12

On if there is any more clarity on the QB decision:

"No clarity in that. (QB) Josh (McCown) got through his individual work yesterday. He'll be limited again in practice today. By the end of the day, we'll probably have a decent idea of where he is and what we'll do for the weekend."

On how QB Josh McCown looked in practice yesterday:

"You can tell he's sore but he was functional."

On the Browns' struggles against the pass:

"Probably the obvious is just continuity in the secondary, not having consistent lineups. I think it's a function of team defense. If you're not defending the run, then they're ahead of the sticks. You can't play the pass you're in more coverages that are going to, whether it's single safety where you're not going to get as many interceptions as opposed to a Cover 2 or two-man or some of the combination coverages you can play. It's a function of a lot of things. It's also if you don't have leads late in games and teams are forced that's when a lot of the sacks and fumbles and interceptions come when teams have to become one dimensional."

On if DB Joe Haden is concerned about his concussions:

"I talked to Joe but I'm not going to get into his personal feeling about it. He's still in the protocol."

On if Haden is expected to play on Sunday:

"Still in the protocol."

On if he can wait longer or make a QB decision today:

"I think you'd like to make a decision. I think we'll have enough information by the end of the day with still a full practice tomorrow and our walk through on Saturday."

On who will start at CB if Haden is still out:

"It depends on the package. Pierre likely. We're also going to get, Charles Gaines will be up. He will get some work. He's been primarily inside but there's some packages that have him out there as well."

On if Gaines can play in the slot and outside as well:

"Yeah. Depends on the call."

On if any part of him thinks Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger will play Sunday:

"Have not concerned ourselves with that. We know Ben well having gone against him a lot. Knowing him, it wouldn't surprise me if he did, but we'll be prepared either way."

On what the Browns liked about DB Charles Gaines before his injury:

"Confident. That he's a guy that can get up and press and get his hands on you and has the speed to be able to stay with guys down the field. The man coverage ability and the confidence in that are very appealing about Gaines."

On what gives him confidence in OL Cameron Erving as a starter:

"Attitude, preparation, works hard. It's important to him. Wants to be out there. He might be the most excited guy in the building. Just looking forward to this week finally get a chance, after all the time he's put in to get a chance to go out and start."

On how the Steelers defense will challenge Erving:

"The whole line will be challenged I think by the front identification, potential blitzes from it. Good job with their movement up front. They bring a lot of off the ball, backers from off the ball. A lot of secondary pressure. They'll line up in the same look and have different pressures from that. A lot of it will be relying on the communication piece of it. (0 Alex or whether its Johnny or Josh will have to do a good job identifying the fronts and the line they're going to have to do a good job in a tough environment when its loud, communicating and making sure we're getting our helmets where they're supposed to be."

On the safety position with DB Donte Whitner in concussion protocol:

"With Whit potentially down it's good to see (DB Jordan) Poyer back out there getting reps but he's still limited. Then IC's (DB Ibraheim Campbell) done a good job for us. That was just one of the positives, silver lining of those other injuries is we got a rookie we didn't know much about as an every down player. Got a chance to get him out there and see it wasn't too big for him. We all saw he's very physical. He's smart and knew what to do. With that's going to come confidence. In situations like this before had the ability to roll those guys. (DB Tashaun Gipson) Gip will be out there but I could see the other safety alternating and there's other packages we could have all three out there, this is all assuming that Whit can't go."

On if it is concerning that QB Johnny Manziel mentioned it is difficult for him to see from the pocket at times:

"I don't see it as concerning. There are other quarterbacks of his stature that have been successful in this league. I see part of it as a positive. The realization is that he's going to have to understand where to move in the pocket to create some throwing lanes. When you study a (Saints QB) Drew Brees you can see that he's not a scrambler but he has great sense in the pocket as far as where to move in relation to who he's throwing to and where the potential throwing lane would be. (Seahawks QB) Russell Wilsons similar in that aspect as well. Any quarterback that's in that position has to learn it. Sometimes the only way to learn it is live reps and get the sense of the game when you finally get a chance to get to the film and say ' wow that guys wide open, I just didn't see him' that blind faith or that trust has to be information gathered. Where he just has to know he's going to be there and I have to move and make a throw."

On DL Xavier Cooper:

"You said it, he's worked his way in. He is worthy of it, he's earned it. He practices extremely hard. One of his shortcomings early on I thought was just full understanding of his job and he learned multiple positions. He's done a good job acknowledging that and putting the extra time in whether it's with (defensive line) Coach (Anthony) Weaver , (defensive quality control) Coach (Tony) Tuioti. Going through, walking through the script before practice, making sure that every play on the call sheet that he knew 'where do I line up? What's my technique?' And that's a credit to him that he understood what was keeping him off the field was the mental part of it. When a player knows what to do and has that locked in they can play a lot faster and he's a good example of that."

On Erving stepping in at LG, a position he hasn't had as many reps:

"It would be concerning if he has just been at one position all the time. If he's always been on the right side and now all of a sudden he's getting moved to the left. The fact that he's spent time on the left side as a tackle, there's a lot of overlap there. That he's played inside at guard. But we truly won't know until he goes out there and plays. You're correct in your assessment that this is the one position where he hasn't gotten lot of work. I'm confident given his background and given his versatility, flexibility that if anybody can do it, it's him."

On if Erving's technique has improved since training camp:

"He has, he has. He's explosive but at times has showed some rawness when he's been in there. That's why we practice. He work on that every day. I've already mentioned it, he's passionate. He goes out to practice he wants to get better he wants to perfect his craft. He has made strides in that department since the beginning of the year."

On if he has talked to the younger players about the Browns-Steelers rivalry in the division:

"We have and there's always added importance when it's in the division and I've said this every week that we've played a division opponent just how special our division games our. Rivalry with Baltimore for obvious reasons, the battle of Ohio and now Pittsburgh, that speaks for itself. Our guys are well aware of it. They're well aware of the history of the rivalry. They also know the amount of ground that we closed a year ago and that gives us some confidence. I know the circumstances are different now with both teams. Our guys aren't going to go down there intimidated by Pittsburgh. We're respectful of who they are and what they put on tape so far but we're not going to go down there intimidated. "

On playing four division games in a row:

"I said earlier this week, this game huge for us, huge. Just the lone game sitting in that 20 plus day block and it being a division game, first time playing Pittsburgh this year. Split with them a year ago. A win there would give us a road win at every division stadium in the last two years which I think would be significant. We always say how much these games count and it's already been said, there's no one bigger than the next."

On the Bengals' reverse play ending in a TD:

"Anytime you give up a play like that it's going to churn you a little bit. Looking at it was well executed, well designed and we had bad eyes. There were areas of the field that guys were responsible for that the action drew them away from it. It was a well-executed football play. It was a good learning experience for our guys about staying home and doing your job and at the same time you tip your hat to them for the timing and the design of it."

On DB Tashaun Gipson this year:

"It's tough when your season kind of stops and starts. It'll be good to get him out there and playing. It's just tough when you don't have that continuity on the back end when you're working with different corners all the time, maybe the safety opposite you is different. He's made some plays and had some ones that he would want to take back. Overall we're pleased with where Gip's headed."

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