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Mike Pettine press conference - 11/17

On what he hopes to see from starting QB Johnny Manziel:

"Progress. I thought he took, it was well documented we talked about it after the game, took a big step forward in a lot of the small details of quarterback play. It's as simple as that for us, just to continue to get better. He did some good things but there's some things that can be improved upon. Each week presents a new challenge and he has to be able to react to how a defense is playing him and be able to play within a game plan, the structure of it and stay tight to that. Bottom line, just progress."

On why Manziel is now the starting QB:

"I think the performance against Pittsburgh I think validated for us the progress that he's made, the improvement that he's shown and that he deserves this opportunity. Also just (QB) Josh's (McCown) circumstances being what they are, not being entirely healthy at least in the short term. It's something that we understand where our season is at this point and this is a kid we invested a lot in. This will give us an opportunity to see how far he's come and what he's capable of."

On how difficult it was to make the decision:

"I wouldn't say it was extremely difficult. When you look at all the factors involved and for what I just say, where we are right now from a record standpoint. I wouldn't say it was difficult. It didn't take five seconds. We discussed everything like I said, everything was put on the table and it clearly made the most sense."

On the assumption that QB changes come from one player underperforming and what McCown did as a starter:

"I don't feel that way at all. This is a guy that set records here. Three game span and a single game record, what he did for us is tremendous. I think a lot of Johnny's success you can trace directly to Josh McCown. He's been tremendous and with Johnny now as the starter we feel like we have the best back up in the league. Guy that's seen it all, we know can come in and can play. Visiting with him this morning and talking through it I just can't say enough about the character of the kid and him understanding. At the same time the competitive part of him, knowing what he's capable of and what he can do for this football team but also having that ability to see the big picture."

On how the conversation with McCown went:

"I don't want to get into too much of it but it was not as difficult as I anticipated and a big part of that was Josh. How he handled it, his mentality, his football character and to use a 'hokie' phrase, his team spirit."

On why the announcement was made today:

"We were at that point where we were having lengthy discussions about the entire roster and making some decisions moving forward. We made it, didn't feel the need to sit on it."

On if he is concerned Manziel will continue to have off the field incidents like his run in with the police in October:

"We're always concerned about our players outside of the building. We talk to them about it. They know that there's a standard of behavior that they have to live up to. He and I got a chance to sit down this morning and that was one of the things, I won't go into details but that was one of the things that came up in the discussion."

On if Manziel gives the Browns the best chance to win:

"Based on the way he played against Pittsburgh, what he showed, his ability to make plays in the pocket and outside of the pocket that I think the difference in maximizing our chances to win is negligible. You're not going to hold me down and I'm going to choose one over the other but that gap is very small."

On the trust he has in Manziel off the field:

"He's done some things to affect that trust clearly. That's something that we talk about, that I know Flip talks to him about and Kevin talks to him about. He understands it and he knows that with these expectations that there comes great responsibility. That's something that he knows has to live up to."

On if he expects Manziel will not be disciplined by the league:

"I can't get into – we factored everything into it. If the circumstance change they change. To me, that's a league matter. I'm really not going to comment on that at this time."

On the reaction to the QB decision in the locker room:

"I think when you talk to our players I think you'll get a sense of how it will play. Based on how he's performed and I think you only need to go back to this last performance, I think he earned a lot of respect from the guys in that room of how he prepared for the week, how he went out and executed the game plan. Ask the guys how he handled himself in the huddle and how he was at the line of scrimmages, execution of plays. From a locker room standpoint I just think it's tough to put any weight into any opinion about our locker room if you're not in it."

On if McCown will be the number two QB:


On if the last six games of the season are Manziel's audition for the 2016 starting QB job:

"I don't want to look that big picture. I've already said it, we want to get a good sense of where he is and I think when the season's over that you always clear the table and evaluate each position. This will allow us to have a lot more information as we assess the quarterback position moving forward."

On an injury update:

"Joel's (Bitonio) still pushing through it, potentially an outside chance for Baltimore. We'll know a little bit more as the week goes on. The guys that I said were in the concussion protocol are still in it. Joe (Haden) is still in it. We'll know more. They're improving, there's no setbacks but still you have to go through the process. (Randy) Starks tweaked the knee. It was nothing serious but still this close removed from the game we still don't have a great feel for how that's going to play out."

On OL Cameron Erving's performance against the Steelers:

"There were some glaring mistakes, I think we all saw some of those. In between that he did some good things. The thing I was most proud of was the energy, the enthusiasm, the toughness that he brought. Trying to finish blocks and getting after guys when he could from an opponent standpoint. I liked the mentality that he played with I just thought he was raw and excited and kind of all over the place and that led to some of his mistakes. But a lot of what he did wrong was very correctable. Nothing's changed in our assessment of Cam that he has a bright future in this league."

On if Erving will continue to step in for OL Joel Bitonio if he cannot play:

"Yes. Yes he would."

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