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Mike Pettine Press Conference - Sept. 1

On terminating Phil Taylor's contract:

"Just given the depth that we had in that room, we knew we were going to have to make some difficult choices. I think you can group Kitch (DL Ishmaa'ily Kitchen) in along with Phil. When we were wherever Phil was and kind of in his state of rehab, he was well on his way to being back but just given the current circumstances of us needing to trim the roster down and where he was and how we felt about the room, we just felt it was the right decision for all involved."

On the Browns paying Taylor guaranteed money factoring into the decision:

"It's something that we're obviously very well aware of, but did not factor that in. When we talk about the roster, the contractual stuff to me is a secondary thing. You want to say with the 75 we want to move and then to the 53, I don't think it's very prudent to let the contractual stuff, especially given where we are financially. I don't think you want that to be a factor in it."

On DL Jamie Meder playing inside or end:

"We cross-train our guys to play all those spots. I think Pete's (vice president of communications Peter John-Baptiste) the one that put him as an end (laughter). He lets me know, 'Oh, by the way, we put a depth chart out.' I don't even know other than just looking at the names, as far as guys, where they are. We might even list guys as left end and right end so I'll direct that question to Pete."

On keeping K Travis Coons over K Carey Spear:

"Yeah, it was close. I thought both those guys handled themselves very well, very professionally. Carey did a really good job and I'll be surprised if he doesn't get a look elsewhere. There will be some interest in him, but Travis – it was close – was slightly better. That's the decision we went with. I'll be curious to see how he responds to that. He's going to get a full night of kicking on Thursday, and we'll go from there. I thought both those guys handled it well, but that was the decision we went with."

On how Coons was better:

"Statistically, it was almost a dead heat, especially when you put all of the practice stuff in. I would say that he's got a slightly bigger leg. Carey was a guy I thought got the ball up in the air a little bit better so you could really compare the kicks, but Travis has a slightly bigger leg, but it was close. It was not an easy decision."

On OL Joe Thomas and WR Brian Hartline not practicing today:

"Joes was a veteran day. Then Brian I think just got stepped on so it was just something that we wanted to go ahead and rest him. A lot of the stuff we were doing today was reduced pace anyway so we went ahead and shut Brian down."

On an update on QB Johnny Manziel and when he might resume throwing:

"Yeah, he's close. I just spoke with (head athletic trainer) Joe Sheehan about that, that he's where we thought he would be in the progression and that we're confident by the end of the week that he'll be able to handle the football and throw it."

On the No. 2 QB:

"Whoever our two quarterback is – right now we're hopeful that it's going to be Johnny – he has to be able to throw. We're not going to roll the dice and go into a game, especially after (QB) Josh (McCown) showed us that he can be a little bit on the reckless side sometimes. No, Johnny, we're confident that he'll be where ne heeds to be, and like I said before, if we're not, then we'll address it appropriately."

On WR Terrelle Pryor potentially aggravating his hamstring factoring into his playtime Thursday:

"We don't want to put him at risk, but it's a fine line. We also want to have him out there. I'll rely on the judgement of the medical staff and also when Terrelle tells us that 'Hey, I'm ready to go. A big part of that is going to be just going through another day of rehab and working it tomorrow and seeing how he feels when he warms up on Thursday night. If there's a high risk of a severe re-injury, then we won't expose him to that, but if we feel he can go out there and give us some quality reps on a pitch count, then I think that's best for all involved."

On WR Vince Mayle's position in the WR room:

"Vince has had some adjustment issues. I know I have said it before, but going through the spring with the thumb and not catching anything – just like a corner, as we talked about with our corners some, same with receiver – that a lot of it is confidence. Vince just has to play. He has done a good job. It has just been inconsistent. No different to me than any other rookie dealing with the growing pains and the adjustment to life in the NFL, dealing with an NFL route tree and an NFL Playbook. On top of that, having balls fired at him from NFL quarterbacks, I think it is all part of an adjustment process for Vince. He has handled it well. He needs to continue to improve. I think Thursday will be a big night for him."

On if the Browns would consider carrying eight WRs:

"Yeah, I would say that is not out of the realm of possibility. There are certainly teams that have kept that many and teams that have kept a lot less. Thursday is part of it, and we will see how it all shakes out at that position."

On if the Browns would like to have a young quarterback on the practice squad during the season:

"To me, you need to have three quarterbacks on campus. If we go with the decision to only carry two on the 53 and we have not made that determination yet, I just think three on campus, three or four on campus, is important."

On DL Danny Shelton's progress and his confidence in Shelton:

"We feel real good about where Danny is. That his learning curve , characterized by not just how he is playing, but the questions he is asking, to me he is already at a level whether it is through film study or working with (defensive quality control) Coach (Tony) Tuioti or (defensive line) Coach (Anthony) Weaver that he…. I would put him along the lines, his development, to where we were with (OL) Joel Bitonio a year ago. If you spent time around him and watched him play and how he carries himself in the meetings and the questions that he asked, it would come as a surprise to you that it is his first year."

On the motive to draft Shelton:

"We felt that the reason we were very excited about the pick was because we felt that it was the intersection of value and need. Danny was rated very highly on our board and it was a position given our circumstances with Phil coming off the injury and where we were with our struggles against the run, (which) was well documented. It was a very easy pick for us to make."

On his faith that the Browns will have a great defensive line:

"We're very confident in the group that we have. We feel the defensive line is going to be the strength of what we do defensively. Those are our circumstances. We are confident with the youth in that room. We were able to add (DL) Randy (Starks) this offseason. (DL) John Hughes is back healthy. (DL) Jamie Meder has stepped up and proven that he can play at a high level in this league. Shelton and (DL Xavier) Cooper and Des (DL Desmond Bryant) are playing at a high level. We knew that coming into – it was a good problem to have – it was still a problem figuring out how to get the roster set. We are very confident in the group that we have."

On if his time in with QB Thaddeus Lewis in Buffalo played a part in Lewis signing here and does he see Lewis future tied to Manziel:

"To answer the first part of it, yes. I was able to spend time with him and see how he approached the game and how professional and knowledgeable. He was able to go out and win football games. He did that for us when I was in Buffalo. I think he started against the Dolphins twice and won both of those games. He is a competitor. That left an impression on me when his name came up. This is a guy I worked closely with and saw what he could do and we certainly need to see as we already talked about with Johnny's situation. Where we think it is headed we are confident that he is on the road to getting back and to be able to throw very quickly, but it is nice to know that we have guy here that has won games in the NFL and will be there for us and hopefully put some quality work out there for us on Thursday."

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