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Press Conference

Mike Pettine press conference: Browns vs. Steelers

Opening statement:
"The only injury of note, and it's unfortunate because it's potentially a serious one, is (WR Taylor) Gabriel has a fractured orbital socket. He's in the hospital. It's something that – we don't know at this point – could potentially require surgery.

"Again, another frustrating one, kind of the story of the season. Outmanned and we fought our tails off and found a way to be down five in the fourth quarter. Unfortunately, it unraveled for us late turning the ball over. As I told the guys afterwards, I couldn't be more proud of the effort. A week with just so much going on, just all of the negativity swirling around it, just all of the stuff that was out there, for our guys to stay focused, great test of their mental toughness. I thought coaches hung in there and coached their butts off, and we saw the effort we got from the guys that were out there. Again, I couldn't be more proud of it, and for the men in that room, they deserve better. They deserve better than three wins and that's on all of us. Tough way to end it but just frustrating. Frustrating for them because I see how much they put into it, how much goes into it and to not have the success is hard to watch."

On if he has been told anything about his job security:
"No. Have not."

On what he would say to make a case to keep his job:
"I'm not into pleading. It's something that's what gets put out there, how we attack work every day, the players. That to me is the resume: how hard the guys play, the effort that goes in, how hard we practice, what we do in meeting time, walkthrough, out on the practice field, how that carries over to the game field. I feel like we've done a lot of good things, but I'm the first one to tell you – you've heard me say it a million times – this is a pass/fail league, and the results aren't there. Nobody wants to hear it takes time. Nobody wants to hear it's a process, but that's the situation that we're in. I feel there's a good, young nucleus here. You don't have to look any further than this past draft class. Especially as the year went on, a lot of those guys playing at a high level. Again, I'm a 'what you see is what you get' kind of guy. As I've said earlier in the week or the least two weeks, I love it here, passionate about football, passionate about the Cleveland Browns. I love the city. I think these are some of the best fans in the league, if not the best, and they deserve it. If it does go the wrong way for me, that's my biggest regret is not being able to deliver for these fans that have suffered for a long time."

On reports that he asked Owner Jimmy Haslam about his job status on Friday and that he was not given an answer:
"Yeah, that [report] is not correct."

On if he spoke to Haslam on Friday:

On if QB Duke Johnson was in Las Vegas Saturday night:
"I don't know. I wasn't (laughter). To me, when guys are – we have a protocol for them if they're inactive. I don't have all of the information on that yet, but my biggest concern was the guys that we're going to be out there today getting prepared for the Steelers."

On if Manziel was required to be at today's game:
"The guys in the concussion protocol are not [required]. They can be in the stadium, but they're not required. They're not permitted to be on the sideline."

On if players in concussion protocol are permitted to travel with the team:
"I don't know what the league rule is but our policy is we do not travel ours. The guys that had concussions when we went to Kansas City did not come with us."

On if players in concussion protocol are permitted to travel at all:
"That I don't know. I have to get with (head athletic trainer) Joe Sheehan. This is the first I've heard of an example like this."

On reports that he guaranteed Browns players a win at Kansas City and also mentioned he might get fired due to players' lack of effort:
"Wow, that would be 0-for-2. People that know me and know how I am, that would be grossly out of character for me to guarantee a win and call our guys out for their effort to save my own job. That's just about the polar opposite of who I am."

On what his reaction would be if it were confirmed that Manziel was in Las Vegas yesterday:
"Let me gather the information on it. It would be disappointing. I'll leave it at that: disappointing."

On if he has plans to meet with Haslam tonight:
"I don't, but I'm sure – end of year meeting always comes very quickly. It could be tonight. I'm going to go back to the office so it could be tonight, could be tomorrow."

On if he would like to meet with Haslam to discuss his job tonight:
"Yeah, I just think for the sake of the staff. That, to me, is my priority. I have a responsibility to 20-plus families that would like to know our status."

On if it is a team rule not to travel players in the concussion protocol:
"That I'm not sure. I just know we don't travel. I don't know whether that's part of the league's policy. I'd have to follow up with that with Joe Sheehan."

On if Manziel was sent home from a QB meeting this week due to inebriation:
"No. No. No, that is not the case."

On if he is aware of reports that his job and General Manager Ray Farmer's jobs are in jeopardy:
"I am aware of it. I just know a lot of stuff gets floated out there. As I have said before, it should be a topic of speculation, given what our results have been. It is a bottom line business and you guys don't have a column in the newspaper for moral victories. Our record is that we have won three of our last 20-21 games. That is just not good enough."

On WR Terrelle Pryor's development and if he took a step forward today:
"He did, and that is why it was good to get him on the roster and get him playing. I think the big play that he made is indicative of what he is capable of. There is a lot of work that needs to put in there to get him polished. It is obvious that he possess this skillset and he needs to play. That's why I think a good offseason, OTAs and minicamps and a full training camp – I wouldn't bet against him making it as a wide out. That is hard to do. We talked about it way back when, but he certainly possesses the mentality and the skillset."

On if he said goodbye to the players when he broke down the team:
"I didn't say goodbye. I went around and saw some of the players. That is more of an end of the season type thing. Hopefully, regardless, we will be in the building tomorrow and we have a team meeting. I'll get a chance to talk to guys then, whether it is either direction."

On if he feels like he will not return as head coach because Haslam did not give him a 'vote of confidence' as other coaches have received in the past week:
"No, I don't have a feeling. I was dead focused on the Steelers this week. Now that it is over, I am going to at some point tonight have an adult beverage of my choice and see where it goes. I just don't get wrapped up into that. As I said, we preach to our players, control what you can control. Worry about the things you have control over. Staff wise, we are in that same boat."

On what he is proud of this season:
"I am proud of when you watch us play, if you didn't see the scoreboard, you don't see our guys quitting. That to me is one of the things I am most proud of. You know that is when guys have bought in to what you are doing. The professionalism, the competitiveness – when you fill your roster and you get more of those guys and fill your roster with those guys, you are going to be successful. Despite the tough times that we went through with the losses, I am proud of how our guys showed up every day and their approach, and I can't tell you how proud I am of the coaching staff. Offensively, what we were able to accomplish this year – threw for over 4,000 yards and rushed for over 1,500. I think that is only the fourth team in Browns history to do that. Defensively, it was tough. Battling injuries and lineup changes, we had our struggles. I am proud of that staff. I am proud of those guys. They showed up to work every day and left no stone unturned and went out to the practice field and tried to get it taught. Unfortunately, we came up short."​

On how difficult it is to be successful in the NFL when your starting QB is completely unreliable and a 'mess':
"I see where you are going. (Manziel's) issues have been well documented. You say, mess. Can I say, work in progress? If you look at our season and what I just said, we have gotten great production and some damn good leadership from that room. That started with the signing of (QB) Josh McCown. He has been outstanding. He was our starter. He got hurt, Johnny stepped in and I thought (QB) Austin (Davis) did some good things, too, under some tough circumstances. I get it, but I am not going to sit here and use an excuse that just because we drafted a quarterback high and he is maybe not where he ideally should be that it was the downfall of what happened here or that was the reason."

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