Skip to main content


Mike Pettine press conference - 12/3

On if there is a role for WR Terrelle Pryor on Sunday:

"Likely no. We'll have a better sense today. The workload yesterday wasn't big just because we were so close to the end of the game. It wasn't our typical Wednesday from a workload standpoint so it wasn't a lot of high-speed running for the wide outs. We'll have a better sense today, but I would say it's probably a little early to have any type of significant work load, if any, for him."

On if Pryor's viability as a third QB being dependent upon him being activate as a WR:

"Correct, he would be up as a receiver and then would be there. It's also or just having one on the roster, meaning more than likely given our depth at other positions if we only have two up and he's not up, if there ended up being another issue the following week and we had an injury, then he would be up. It'll give you the luxury, if and when that he is active on gameday, that your third quarterback is active and that's a little bit of an insurance policy there, but we still completely see him as a wide receiver first."

On if the Browns missed an opportunity to develop Pryor throughout this season:

"You evaluate your roster each week and what opportunities you have to improve it. As I said yesterday, he was someone when he left you didn't have a great feeling about it because it was 'Hey, we think this guy has a chance,' but it was just what our circumstances were at that time to have 53 and that he was kind of on the outside of that looking in from a numbers' standpoint. As time went on and we evaluated the roster each week and circled back on that conversation a couple of times, it just got to the point now where we felt the time was right."

On Pryor wanting to come back to Cleveland:

"We certainly see that as a positive. I thought he built some good relationships here. I know what he said on the way out that – I forget exactly what it was but it was born from his competitiveness – he thought he could get it done and wasn't thrilled with being let go. It was something where I had a meeting with him and we looked him in the eye and said this isn't a one-way street and there is a chance down the road that this could happen again. It was something, like I said, that we put on the back burner, and I'm glad we're able it do it because he'll get a month's work at the position. Hopefully, he can contribute if not continue to develop and build some momentum toward the offseason."

On how much OL Cam Erving needs to develop his strength:

"Certainly some room for improvement. We all see that. It is a very difficult position to come in and be where you want to be as a rookie. You see other positions that can do that much easier than offensive line. The skillset is there to work with but, there were some plays where he did, he did get overpowered and knows that he has to work. All of our players will be tasked with 'Here's what you did well this year. Here's what you didn't do well.' That long block of time where we don't have our guys from January to essentially mid-April, we will task them with 'This is where we want to see you. This is where we need to make strides,' and give him and action plan coming out of here and that's for all of our guys. Cam clearly has some work to do, but the skill is there to work with and certainly the want-to. He's a guy that he's 100 miles an hour, plays hard, loves the game and when the want-to is there and the potential is there that we're confident that it'll happen for him."

On if strength is specifically an area that has resulted in plays Erving has been overpowered:

"Some of its pad level. Some of it's technique. Some of it's functional strength. You have to look at each play individually."

On the nature of his conversations with special teams coordinator Chris Tabor after games like Monday:

"Private. Very Private. Tabes and I spend a lot of time together, and we can have open, honest, blunt conversations. Some things we can control and those are the things we need to make sure we have locked in, and some of the other ones are out of our control. We have a good understanding of the breakdowns. It's unfortunate because I think overall, special teams this year has been a positive, but just to have those mistakes made – a punt return, a blocked kick – that essentially that cost us the game. That's tough when it's that glaring and it's on a national stage, but overall body of work, very pleased with where our units are, but it's unfortunate that those things happen."

On challenges learning clock management as a young head coach, as noted by former NFL head coach Brian Billick:

"It is a challenge, and it is very difficult coming from a coordinator standpoint. It's hard for a coordinator to manage the clock. Most of the clock management decisions come on offense. It's very difficult when you're calling plays to have that awareness so you need that voice in your ear. It's something that I spent a lot of time on. I have very good discussions with the staff. I get help from up top. I thought the end of the first half was a good example. I wanted to make sure that we had an opportunity and we had viable opportunities to score but at the same time not put the defense back out there. It ended up, I think, we kicked off with three seconds left. That was one where a lot of positive interaction with the guys up top. The end of the game one was unfortunate because it was Austin, it's well documented and talked about that had a chance to get out of bounds and slide and we wasted a lot of time. That's on us as an operation to make sure that that doesn't happen again."

On if the importance of clock management sinking in quickly as a new head coach:

"Yeah, it is. There's an art to it, and communication and preparation I think are the key. You have to have somebody up top that can be in your ear. It's very emotional on the sideline. You can get caught up in some things. I think you have to be very proactive with clock management than reactive because that's when mistakes are made. There's a lot of good material out there. I got a chance to get through a good amount of it in the offseason. A lot of people have opinions on it and systems and ways to do it. I know I haven't batted 1.000 on it, but it's something that when you a make a mistake you don't want to make it again. I agree with Brian (Billick) that I think it's one of the things that you realize it's a lot harder than you think when you first take over."

On which Browns coach helps with clock management:

"I'm not going to tell you so that way you can't go stick a microphone in his face (laughter). The guy I rely on the most is (senior offensive assistant coach) Kurt Roper. He's our senior offensive consultant. He's not coaching position so I think that helps him that he's more of the 30,000-foot view of everything. That's helpful that he can kind of stay distanced from watching any one position and be more in tune with me as far as game reminders."

On why the Browns didn't call a timeout before the end of the Monday night game:

"Because we called the play and we were expecting the ball to be snapped and it continued to not be snappe.d Unfortunately, we had an issue with the headset right at the same time where (QB) Austin (Davis) was thinking that we were OK from a range standpoint that we were far enough down [the field]. It was kind of the perfect storm because I was tempted a couple of times thinking this play hasn't been [run], but we we're lined up, we were ready to snap and it just didn't get snapped. Ultimately, that's on us. I take full responsibility for that."

On LB Karlos Dansby's performance this season:

"It's hard to say, just talking about where we are defensively and some of the struggles that we have, it's hard to say, 'Hey, listen so and so is having a great year.' Karlos has done some really good things for us and provided us with leadership. I think he's been productive, but the MIKE linebacker in our system should be productive. He makes a lot of plays, his length, his instincts. I think he's been exceptional in pass coverage. He has two interceptions returned for touchdowns this year. Like a lot of the guys on D, they've had some stretches where they played well and then had some times where they would want to trade some of those plays in."

On if the Browns have considered placing DB Joe Haden on injured reserve:

"When you deal with a topic as sensitive as concussions, the longer guys are out, I think those conversations will come up. We're not there yet. We also have Hawk (WR Andrew Hawkins), who's been out for some time too. With the season winding down, those are potential discussions to have. Like I said, it's a sensitive topic and something that ultimately has to come to the table."

On if he has blunt conversations with owner Jimmy Haslam about the team's record and job security:

"Thank you for reminding me of that by the way (laughter). Anybody that knows me and anybody that knows Jimmy Haslam, our conversations are always blunt. Time is so valuable during the season that we get into a conversation and we deal with topics head on. There's no dancing around them. I feel very upset about the record. I've talked about this before that that's on us. We own it. This is a bottom line business and where we are isn't good enough. The question is: do we have a plan to fix it? Is it fixable? I feel like we do, but we'll have to wait and see. I can't get wrapped up into all of that. As the season winds down, that potentially could come up between the two of us, but I'm full speed ahead committed to getting this fixed here in Cleveland. I know the results aren't anywhere near where they need to be but that doesn't mean that we're not making strides, that we're not getting it set up. It can be done. To me, it's a belief that we can. I know we have five games left and we're going to go out and wear the Cleveland logo proud and try to win football games."

On how often WR Brian Hartline practices at QB:

"I think it's true with most teams – there is a package of plays. We're not going to run our offense, but there are some things that we can do with him in there, plays that he would be comfortable with. But the answer is, not much. You get him some in a walk through every now and again. Early in the year, there were some repetitions, but you don't do too much of it. When you get into the season and your reps are so limited, you build that package, you know what it is you have it on the call sheet. Like you said, you hope you never have to go there."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content