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Mike Pettine Press Conference -August 18

On DB Justin Gilbert's status:

"I believe it is a hip flexor. It happened during the one-on-one period here in the red zone."

On how many CB injuries the team can withstand:

"Some of our guys we're holding out – (DB) Joe (Haden) could have gone, but that is more of a precautionary thing. It is tough. I think everybody in the league is trying to solve the soft tissue riddle. We feel like our protocol is tried and true, and unfortunately, we are still ending up with some pulls. That is something that we are constantly in a state of evaluating. We stress to our guys you have to eat right, sleep well and make sure we are hydrated. It is a source of frustration. Sometimes, you have it where you want guys to push through, but you don't want to worsen it so you usually err on the side of caution."

On if it is a league wide concern and not unique to his team:

"I don't know the league numbers. Just from what I have been told, the numbers are up. I am sure people will be doing studies on post-new CBA – how those rules have affected injuries – but I would be interested to see it."

On if Gilbert's injury is significant:

"I don't think it significant. It is a hip flexor. It will just be a little bit of time."

On why WR Terrelle Pryor did not practice today:

"I think he felt his hammy grab again a little bit yesterday."

On if it was the same hamstring that was bothering Pryor before:

"Same one."

On playing time for Thursday's game:

"We are going to meet tomorrow."

On if starters will play more than the previous preseason game:

"Everybody is individual, but I could see the starting guys from anywhere from 15-25 snaps. Some guys less, some guys more."

On takeaways from working with Bills Head Coach Rex Ryan:

"There is a lot: his passion for the game, his outlook, his approach to it, his approach to handling people and understanding that coaching, just like a lot of leadership roles, it is more about people than it is the Xs and Os. From a scheme standpoint, he and I having built that playbook together in Baltimore and taking it up to New York and just how it has progressed over the years and kind of dove-tailed off into some different things. Just some of our conversations tonight about new coverages in the red zone. The ability to talk graduate level football to him has always been a real positive part about the relationship."* *

On his advice for young coaches:

"I know it is hokey, but find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life. If you are passionate about something, try to find employment in it. I have too many friends that tell me the best part of their day is the ride home. I don't want to be that guy. We all spend too much time at work not to enjoy it. If that is something you have your heart set on, then find a way to get involved in it."

On if his plan for Thursday night may be altered due to injuries:

"It will. We will get the injury report tomorrow and sort it out by position groups just to see where we are. We feel like we are close to getting some of our guys back, and also with the long break to Tampa, that is kind of a nice luxury to have. What is it, nine or 10 days to Tampa? We will get some of our guys back. We feel we will be much better off headed into that [game], assuming we can get through Thursday night pretty clean."

On if players held out for precautionary reasons, like Haden, will be out Thursday:

"I doubt Joe will go. I will get the report, but I doubt he will go Thursday. I think what we would like to do is time it up for Tampa that we can have as many of our ones and key backups out there and get some quality work then. We are looking to get some solid work done Thursday night."

On whether Cleveland or Buffalo fans want to end their playoff drought more and similarities between the two towns:

"The parallels are obvious. You sense it. You feel the passion here, the loyalty. Cleveland, it is wherever you go. The thing that strikes me about both fan bases is despite the lack of success in recent years, they still love their teams and support the heck out of them."

On WR Travis Benjamin this preseason:

"I just think it is a matter of the confidence coming back with the knee. At that position, I felt last year there were times where he didn't feel good about dropping his weight and pushing off his knee, whereas I think he is much more confident this year with it, and it shows."

On if there is anything the Browns can do to cut down hamstring injuries:

"No. It is a two-way street. We have a protocol. Our guys have to be professional and handle their business and stick to it. You don't want to panic and just jump off and do something radically different and then it gets worse. We believe in what we do and we have to make sure we are all complying with it as well."

On if DL Billy Winn and DL Phil Taylor will play Thursday:

"Billy, for sure. We will see how Phil feels after getting some good work up here. We will see how he feels tomorrow."

On why OL Joel Bitonio can be among the elite players:

"I think he showed flashes of it as a rookie and the way he has prepared himself for this season. I just think he is ready to take that next step. Is that going to show up in anything statistical that you can point to and say he is playing at a high level? Part of that choice, too, is what I followed up with. Our breakout players – we are building through our lines, and we think he is ready to take the next step."

On distributing reps between QBs Josh McCown and Johnny Manziel Thursday:

"Josh will start it, and then we will go ahead and Johnny might go into the third quarter. It just depends on the rep count. Then (QB) Thad Lewis will finish it out."

On if the Browns need to add another QB:

"I think we are at the point now where we have another arm in (quarterbacks coach) Kevin O'Connell to jump in and throw some drill work. I think we are OK. The volume won't be as much as it was early in camp. I think if this had happened (preseason) Week 1, we would have looked to add an arm. I just don't think we are there at this point."

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