Skip to main content


Mike Pettine press conference: Browns vs. 49ers

Opening statement:
"Celebration tempered a little bit. (WR) Brian Hartline has a broken collar bone. It will require surgery so he'll be shut down for the year. (RB) Glenn Winston diagnosed with a concussion.(DB) K'Waun (Williams) injured his shoulder, but he checked out OK so we'll just go ahead and double check it tomorrow but not anticipating an issue there.

"Offensively and defensively as complete a game as we've played. It was great to see us run the football as well as we did – over 200 yards. I thought (QB) Johnny (Manziel) did some good things, just a big mistake throwing it over the middle. Hopefully, that's a lesson learned, but overall, I just think we saw his poise, composure. He was dialed in to the plan he knew where to go with the ball, stayed in the pocket until it was dictated that he had to get out. I have to see the film, but I thought that was a solid effort by him. It's a credit to his preparation. I thought he had a good week of practice. Just talking to (quarterbacks coach) Kevin (O'Connell) yesterday, he's like, 'I have a good feeling about him. He's had a good week.' We played well around him, thought we protected him. When you run the ball like that, you can get ahead of the sticks like we did and get them back on their heels. You run the ball; you tire a defense out. I think that's the ideal way to win a football game offensively.

"Defensively, it starts with we got them to third down and we got off the field. I thought we covered well on the back end. I thought (defensive coordinator) Jim O'Neil did a good job mixing pressure and straight rush. Max coverage, we rushed three a decent amount and had success and then brought it when we needed to. It's a credit to those guys, too, how they prepare during the week. We had one of our best weeks of practice. It's also coming at a time where very easily we could be just feeling sorry for ourselves and getting caught up in all of the negativity outside of our building. That's why for me, I couldn't be happier for our guys because it was a long time coming. Just to see their faces afterwards, it was a win that was earned. We earned it. We deserved it."

On the success running the ball:
"We felt good about the run plan and the matchup. Thought we matched up and then there were some thing schematically we thought we could take advantage of, especially in some of the spread run game. The drawings on paper only go so far. The guys executed. I thought we blocked well. I thought our backs ran hard. They kind of set the tempo. First couple runs of the game, they weren't blocked for much. They were breaking tackles and our guys ran hard."

On QB Johnny Manziel's sideline reaction to his interception before halftime:
"Beat me to it then (laughter). I did not see it. I did not see it. I had already switched over to the defensive side, trying to help there, get things sorted out."

On if coaches talk to Manziel about body language on and off the field:
"We do. Kevin O'Connell does a real good job – we talk about body language all the time. Guys kicking the ground and being upset and understand that 'Hey, everybody's looking at you.' It was a natural reaction. He knew he messed up. That's Football 101 throwing the ball late over the middle of the field. He knew it, but he was in here at halftime and he was onto the adjustments. He wasn't in here pouting about it then. He put it behind him, and I thought we did a good job coming in, figuring out what we had done well in the first half and what we didn't. As we always do, standard procedure, condense the plan, circle what we want, and he showed no ill effects of it in the second half."

On what this win means for the Browns going forward:
"Just a good feeling. We come in everyday, we put in long hours, we work hard, spend a lot of time together and there's no reward for that. To celebrate a win – I know it's been a long time, 50 something days since it was in October – anytime you win, it's just that positive energy. We did some things wrong and there are some things we're going to learn from the tape and teach off of it. We know what lies ahead of us – the schedule that's two games on the road – but we won a football game today and our guys went out and they earned it. To me, that's a great feeling just to see them earn it and celebrate it."

On if he has regrets about not relying more on the run game earlier in the season:
"No, I'm not looking back at anything that went behind us and have regrets. We have no control over what came before today. We only control moving forward. We're not going to sit here and lament. A lot of it was matchups, a lot of it was defensive looks that we felt we could take advantage of. There's some going. It's not at where we know we're not going to be able to run. It's going to be tough sledding. That's a good game plan by Flip (offensive coordinator John DeFilippo). We recognized a weakness, and we exploited it."

On why the Browns defense played so well today:
"A lot of reasons. I think we had a good plan. Our guys played hard. I thought we tackled well. There were not a lot of yards after. We set edges in the run game. I thought our pass rush was – I don't know the last time the Browns had nine sacks. That's a credit to that group and the pass rush plan (defensive line coach) Anthony Weaver put together for those guys, and they went out and executed. We talked about it all week. There's nothing like winning. We just wanted to find a way. Just the mental toughness of the men in that room, very easily could have been just, 'Let's shut this down and ride out the month.' This league is about winning, and I think they set their minds to it."

On it being concerning to have a third field goal blocked this season:
"It is. I don't know. Just getting a chance to see the stills and the one quick replay of it – they saw it up top – it was a low kick. I know Tabes went and got with (K) Travis (Coons) after that and ensure from a technique standpoint. He did a good job for the rest of the game getting good lift on the ball. Even when it happened live, my first thought was that that kick was low. We will see the tape and study it and hopefully learn from it. The defense did a great job responding to it. We had a bunch of sudden-change situations. I think the only points until that drive at the end of the game that we gave was on a three-and-out field goal. That is a big part of playing D is having that mentality that if something bad happens, more TV time for us."

On if this Browns' win will quiet the noise outside the building:
"Wining tends to do that. I tell the guys all the time: when you win, there is an overreaction, and when you lose, there is an overreaction. When you had the streak that we had of losses, that overreaction, there is a multiplier to it – people driving by the building to see if it is on fire. Like we say in this league, winning doesn't heal everything, but it helps. To take a Sunday and go out and win a football game, it is a great feeling for our players."

On if there is reason to get excited about Manziel:
"Sure, he did some good things. He did a lot more good than he did bad. Like all of our players, there is a lot to learn from. To go out and execute a gameplan and win a football game – people asked me what did I expect from him – we expected him to do his job and for most of the game he did."

On what pleased him most about Manziel's performance:
"How he was mentally during the game. Even late, we started the fourth quarter with a 14-point lead, and I wanted to make sure we were working the clock and if the clock was running that we weren't going to snap it above six or seven seconds. He would signal me from the field. He was all on top of that. Great interaction when he came off the field. The details of playing quarterback, this is what coverage they are in and this is what play we called, his interaction and then going out and trying to use that information. He did a lot of good things today and a lot of them were mental."

On if the TD throw to TE Gary Barnidge was an example of Manziel's mental awareness:
"I forget. We might have even had a motion on it that he just called off. We just lined up static, and he knew from the coverage immediately he didn't have much choice. He knew immediately where he had to go with the ball. That is not an easy throw, back pedaling throwing to your left, and he put it on the money."

On if he knew RB Isaiah Crowell had this type of performance in him:
"I don't know what his final numbers were, but Crow is a good NFL back. When we block it right up front and when we scheme it right – we had a lot of checked plays based on the look that we could get out of it or go to the opposite side or run/pass stuff. I thought that was another aspect of Johnny's game that he did a good job in the run game. He got us in the right calls, running against advantageous looks. I thought Crow ran hard, broke some tackles and finished runs. It was good to see."

On how much QB Josh McCown helped Manziel today:
"That is great having Josh on the sideline with us. It is like having another coach. Those two have a great relationship. Josh sees the game. Here is a starting quarterback on the sideline that can see it. He sees the rotation of the safeties, understands pre-snap where to go with the ball and they have great conversation when he comes off. If something goes bad, Josh is one of the first ones to nudge him a little bit and the first one to pick him up. I can't say enough how our quarterbacks have played throughout the year. That is a good room. There is a lot of production coming out of that room. It is good relationships. Whether it has been Flip (offensive coordinator John DeFilippo), whether it has been (quarterbacks coach) Kevin (O'Connell), Josh now, it has been positive."

On losing WR Brian Hartline and what he has meant to the team:
"You are not just losing his production. This is a guy who is a leader in the locker room, a leader in the meeting rooms. He is a leader on the practice field, and then gameday, he is a guy that wants a ball. That is the only negative. Sometimes he gets, 'I want the ball,' which is great. You want guys like that. I can't say enough. I don't know what he ended up with from a production standpoint, but it was probably his best game of the year. That is a big blow. That tempers it a little bit because here is a guy that does everything right and gives us all that he has. That is a tough one."

On if he has a problem with Manziel being visibly frustrated after his interception:
"It would bother me more if he just, 'Whatever,' and walked off. We want our guys when they know they screwed up, they don't have to put on a show, but that was a natural reaction. He was upset with himself because he knew it. He knew it right when it happened. We are not going to over coach that. He just needs to know from a body language standpoint. Let's say it was a receiver that broke off from the route and he ended up throwing an interception and his body language was negative towards that play, then you would have an issue with that.  When it is towards himself over frustration of doing something boneheaded, I have no problem with it."​

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