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Mike Pettine press conference - 12/10

On status of the Browns WRs:

"Getting back there. (WR Taylor) Gabriel should be out there today so that helps. We'll see how he is. Our training staff does a good job. Part of the (concussion) protocol is exercise so it's rare that those guys come back out of shape, but they're not playing football so we'll see where he is today. (WR) Travis (Benjamin) will be out there limited in a red [non-contact] shirt. We're done being in pads, but just as a precaution, he and (WR) Marlon (Moore) will be in red. It's not as bad today looking at the depth of that group and the availability of that group as it was 15 minutes after the game."

On who would have been the next WRs up at the end of last Sunday's game, if needed:

"(TE E.J.) Bibbs. You just manufacture with extra tight ends, whatever skill guys you have left. (RB) Duke (Johnson Jr.), you would just line him up. It's really the same for him as being an empty, some of his routes. You have a fallback plan as a coordinator, especially when you go in with four wide outs that 'OK, if disaster strikes, what's my plan?' You have to change personnel groupings and put those guys in spots that they're already used to playing so their world doesn't change."

On considering QB Johnny Manziel as a WR last week, if needed:

"That's like in the 18th inning using your second baseman – visions of Jose Canseco coming in to pitch. That would be the equivalent. I know (QB) Josh McCown has done it in his history, has played wide receiver and had some production. If it had gotten to that, then sure, it's all hands on deck."

On if he knows 49ers K Phil Dawson's place in Browns history:

"I do because of the seven years I was in Baltimore coming up here and also Tabes (special teams' coordinator Chris Tabor) is close with him. They talk. I know they have a very good relationship. I have maybe about as good a sense of it without having been here with him and having coached him."

On Dawson's production at his age:

"It's an amazing accomplishment. It's a tribute to him, just knowing what kind of person he is and how he takes care of himself and how precise he is and his preparation. You also look at where he's done it, too. He hasn't been in a dome his whole career. He's been in open air, grass stadiums with weather potential. To me, that just adds to it."

On if he was in Baltimore for the kick that inspired the 'Dawson rule':

"You're going to remind me of the one that went over and then bounced back (laughter)?"

On if Ravens players went into the locker room to celebrate that win before the no good ruling was reversed:

"Some of the guys had left the field, not all. The reason I slept well at night on that one is I know it was a crazy ending, but they got it right. They got it right. He made the kick. It was tough to be on the other side of it, but they got it right."

On if he knew Dawson's kick was good:

"I knew it was good."

On if he was in the booth or on the sideline for the FG:

"I was in the booth. The view up there, when they called it no good, something didn't look right, and I'm like 'Guys, I think that was good.' At that time, the rules clearly state that that's not reviewable, but they said the officials conferred. To their credit, they never went under the hood. There's stories of the official and the window at the booth kind of giving the signal down to the field. I don't know how it all played out, but they got it right. That's one of those things where I don't have an issue. It was a crazy ending. It was a crazy game to be a part of but they got it right."

On if Manziel believes he deserved his punishment by viewing his actions in the building, given Manziel's comments and demeanor with the media yesterday:

"My conversations with him since then have all been very positive so I don't want to get into grading what level of where he is. He's upset that it happened, and we're just looking to be full speed ahead afterwards. It's something that occurred, and I don't know the effect that it had on him, but I just know from a coaching staff standpoint, it was something we felt we had to do and we're moving forward."

On taking steps to be in lockstep with Manziel:

"Outside of the incident, there hasn't really been anything else of consequence for us to be off of the same page. Just from going back to training camp, his dedication to the craft and when he's been in the building and how he's interacted with (quarterbacks coach) Kevin (O'Connell) and with (QB) Josh (McCown) and with (QB) Austin (Davis), (QB) Connor (Shaw – as I've said before, I'm in that room a lot and I'm around those guys a lot during practice – he and I have a very good relationship. We talk a lot about things that are non-football related. I know we had a setback and I had to step back for a minute and do what I had to do, but like I said, we feel like we're moving forward from it."

On external speculation that Manziel's is not Pettine's 'guy':

"As I just said, I think we have a very good relationship. We talk about a lot of things, joke about a lot of things non-football related. I have that relationship with a lot of the guys, and he's one. I've heard that that people paint that as he's not 'my guy' and I wasn't involved in picking him and just all of the things that come with that, and that's just simply not the case."

On reports that Owner Jimmy Haslam, President Alec Scheiner and General Manager Ray Farmer recently met without him to evaluate the past and discuss the future of the team:

"It could be true, if I wasn't a part of it. I know there have been a lot of meetings. It goes back to what I said the other day. When you get to this point, you start 'Where are we now? It's getting towards the end of the season, what are our thoughts moving forward?' I just know there is a lot of stuff that gets thrown out there. I can't get caught up in that who's meeting with who. I'm tasked with getting this team prepared to play a game. We want to go out and get this feeling, taste out of our mouths. That's all I'm focused on. I don't get caught up in that."

On if potential knowledge of the meeting caused frustration that affected his comments earlier in the week:

"No. When I talked about it, that was more in general terms. When things aren't going well, it's human nature. You have a tendency to bunker in. It's 'OK, things aren't going well. How do we fix it?' Its well-intentioned and there will be a lot of plans put forward on 'Here is my opinion on what's wrong. Here is my opinion on what's right. Here is my opinion on what we need to do.' There are a lot of those. There are going to be opinions all over the building from that. My point, too, is at some point, we need to get together and decide what is our course of action so we're not splintered and kind of going down this path. We need to be clear on what we need to fix and move forward and channel all of our energy into that."

On if Manziel's scrambling threat can help the running game this week:

"I think that can help our running game in any game. It's a function of how they're playing us. Sometimes teams that play a lot of man coverage, you have to make sure that you account for the quarterback if he gets out of the pocket. I know (49ers defensive coordinator) Eric (Mangini) and know of his philosophy and worked with (Chiefs defensive coordinator) Bob Sutton who had worked with Eric in New York so I know a lot of the core concepts of that defense and the thought process. It's a matter of what's there, and we have to be in a position to take advantage of what they're giving us. If that's the quarterback getting out of the pocket and getting on the move, then that will be a part of it."

On if the 49ers play mostly man-to-man defense:

"No, they're more zone. They'll play some man but they are primarily a zone team."

On possibility of DB Joe Haden and WR Andrew Hawkins having season-ending injuries:

"I think the longer you get out, the more that becomes a real possibility. I would think that we should have some clarity on that soon, especially with it starting it starting to wind down. You almost get to the point where it's like we need to make a decision one way or the other. I know it's frustrating for both those guys because they both want to be out there for their teammates. They're both working hard doing everything they can do. It's tough when you see those guys in the building and here's a player that's willing and can help us and they're not out there. It's helpless from our part and it's probably even more so on their part."

On potentially placing Haden and Hawkins on IR to allow them to focus on next year:

"I think I just said it – we're kind of right at that point probably soon. At some point, you have to make a decision. When they're in the protocol, that's tough. You don't know how quickly it's going to be, but the more it goes on the more of potentially a need that you have to have that conversation."

On how he knows 49ers defensive coordinator Eric Mangini:

"I know him through (Bills Head Coach) Rex (Ryan) because (former Saints defensive coordinator) Rob (Ryan) was on the staff. Actually, a couple of times, Eric runs that camp up in I think it's Harford. I had gone up there and worked that camp with him. Whether it was at the Combine or the Senior Bowl just league functions that we spent some time together."

On if the roots for his defensive scheme and Manigni's are the same:

"I wouldn't say their roots are the same. I think there's a lot of similar concepts. As I mentioned being with Bob Sutton in New York because we were taking over a Jets defense that was essentially Eric's system when we first got there, we looked at – What do we want to carry over? What are some elements we liked from that? Having Bob on the staff, who was the coordinator and then became the linebacker coach, we were able to integrate a bunch of things that players were comfortable with. That kind of came into our package now as we know it because we ran it in New York and then carried it to Buffalo and then to here. There str some elements of it, but the roots of the system are different."

On senior offensive assistant coach Kurt Roper will become offensive coordinator at South Carolina:

"I'm not at liberty to say anything official about that. I know that that's either done or close. Kurt has been an asset for us this year. He's been real good for Flip (offensive coordinator John DeFilippo), especially in the pass game, just being able to bounce ideas off of him. Some of the spread run game stuff, Kurt is well versed in all that. He was very helpful for me, but we're expecting him here for this game and he will finish out the season with us."

On interacting with players on IR, specifically players like DB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu who are on IR for an entire year:

"That's hard and there's handful of those guys every year. It's almost like a ghost-like existence. They're here, you kind of see them and it's early in the year, but then the conversation, it's tough because it's the same for them. I think it's really hard for Ifo because he's essentially been on IR from Day 1. It's not like he went through a bunch of things and then played and then at some point, 'OK, we have to shut you down.' He's essentially been on it from the beginning. Tremendous work ethic. I know he's covered a lot of ground so far in the rehab but has a long way to go. Great kid. You can just tell its wearing on him. As the year goes on, he sees it, he wants to be out there, but he also knows that he's got a ways to go."

On FB Malcom Johnson's season and if he needs surgery:

"I think Malcolm in the role that he played was very good for us. There was some question coming into it as a hybrid-type fullback as to whether or not he would be able to make some of the blocks that were required of him. He answered those questions. He got better with every game that he played. It's a shame he got hurt because we could see his role and that he was earning more with what he was doing. I'm not sure yet – I haven't gotten the final word – if he needs surgery. We look forward to having him back and know that we have a viable fullback moving forward."

On what he wants to see out of his team in the last four weeks of the season:

"First of all, you want to win. Losing stinks, bottom line. We have to find a way. We put in all this time, all this work together. We're in this building way too long not to enjoy the fruits of that. Also want to see – I think (OL) Joe Thomas touched on it a little bit, too and I couldn't have said it any better than he did when he talked about 'I'm going to prepare the way I prepare whether we're 10-2 or 2-10 and I expect the same from my teammates.' There has been no reason to see that otherwise. (QB) Josh McCown grabbed me in the hallway and just said, 'Wow, I thought yesterdays practice was really good.' The guys are into it, the effort there, the energy's there, very few repeated plays. For this time of year, you're just kind of out there, you can get though, the seasons not going well, the weathers not great and you can just kind of drudge your way through it, and that hasn't been the case. It's the message that we're preaching: control what you can control, prepare the way you're supposed to prepare and go out and give an A effort."

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