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Mike Pettine Press Conference - Sept. 7

Opening statement:

"I'm sure everybody has read the statement on (offensive line coach) Andy (Moeller). I'm not going to add to that further at this point with any details. We're following our internal protocol, but I will say in the short term that the room will be handled by (assistant offensive line coach) George DeLeone and we'll also move (senior offensive assistant coach) Kurt Roper in there, as well. Those two, in addition to the strong leadership in the room, we feel that there will not be a significant drop off. Ill open it up"

On trading RB Terrance West:

"I think Terrance's issues here were well documented. We felt the decision was best for us moving forward and potentially best for him."

On if he had concerns about West's maturity level before the draft:

"I personally did not. I'm not going to go into what was in his draft file, but I personally did not."

On if there was a final straw with West:

"No, I always speak to a body of work. And then you also, especially at times when you're making roster decisions, you'll hit the pause button and just look at trends over time. As I said, without going into too much detail, that we feel it was best for us moving forward and feel like a fresh start would be good for him, as well."

On an update on RB Duke Johnson Jr.'s status:

"No, given that we're in a game week, we'll issue that injury report on Wednesday."

On if there is a need to add another RB to the roster:

"I'm not going to get into the roster stuff. We're confident that when we get to New York that the running backs that will be out there will be sufficient."

On adding QB Austin Davis to the 53-man roster, rather than a QB to the practice squad:

"Austin (Davis) is a guy that his name has come up often. He's played some quality minutes in this league. He does not have practice squad eligibility so the only way to get him was to put him on the 53. Also, given still the uncertainty, without going into detail, we feel good about where (QB) Johnny (Manziel) is, but it was an opportunity for us to added Austin and that was really the only way we could do it."

On if QB Johnny Manziel was throwing throughout practice:

"Yeah, he was."

On if it is easier to step in at RB than other positions leading up to a game:

"A lot of it depends on what are you doing, what's your offense and how much are you going to ask that. Are you going to ask a guy to be an emergency backup and be a core [special] teamer? Or are you going to ask him to come in and take a role on first and second down? Or are you asking him to come in to learn pass protection? I think it's more from what you put on that player's plate. You could make it very easy or you could ask a lot."

On the big picture feel of having two employees suspended and some position uncertainty:

"My focus is on the New York Jets. We're in a game week. Our goal is to go 1-0. I don't have time to sit here and reflect on big picture. Our focus is very narrow."

On the running game:

"(RB) Isiah Crowell, I think, proved last year that he is a legitimate back in this league. We feel very good about where Duke is and our offensive line worked on a lot of things in this preseason and our tight ends. Understand when we get into game planning mode that we're going to be able to do something schematically. Very confident in that group. I know that it's easy to beat up the run game based on the preseason. Like I said, internally, we're confident, and we'll just have to wait and see."

On if there was debate over keeping QB Thaddeus Lewis, rather than signing Davis:

"I think we have a good sense of who Thad is, and like I said, Austin's been a guy that there's been some intrigue with that his name has come up before and the opportunity presented itself to bring him here so we took advantage of it."

On if that intrigue in Davis went back to last year:


On listing DB Charles Gaines on injured reserve/designated to return, when the Browns only get one such designation each year:

"I think there's risk anytime you're involved, but when you want to be in a situation where he's not going to be available for a long period of time, and I think Charles played well enough for us in the preseason, demonstrated that he's going to be a part of what we do. When you looked at roster moves to ensure that you keep all the guys and don't expose players that you want to the wire, we felt that was the best move for the organization."

On his confidence in the offensive line's ability to perform, given Moeller's suspension:

"Like I said, there's strong leadership in that room. They'll be fine."

On WR Vince Mayle's exclusion from the practice squad:

"We talked to Vince about coming back and there was some uncertainty on his part. Right now, I'm not sure where he is with it, but I know he did have some other options."

On if Manziel will play Sunday:

"I would say that's TBD. I can safely say that he's on track, barring a setback."

On keeping WR Terrelle Pryor on the roster:

"It was something we've talked about in here at length [in the media room] that it was – I think the phrase 'leap of faith' was used, and I agree with that. That spot is largely because of his potential, but as the season goes on, I mean it's sooner than later that that's going to have to translate, that's he's going to have to be a productive member of this team. You walk that fine line between 'Hey, we think this guy can do it,' but as we all know, the NFL is a win now business and we need our players to be productive. All of that weighed into the decision."

On if cutting Mayle as a fourth-round pick was a hard decision:

"It was difficult, but at the same time, to me, it also speaks to the depth in that room that Gabe (WR Taylor Gabriel) really stepped up and had a great offseason for us, that Hawk (WR Andrew Hawkins) is who he is. To add a (WR Brian) Hartline, and to me he's been better than what we thought we were getting when he came in. We didn't know that (WR) Travis (Benjamin), I think, was going to bounce back the way he did and be in the discussion to be our top guy. When we signed (WR) Dwayne (Bowe), unfortunately. we didn't get a good look at him just because of his injuries and then you're really weighing it – you have (WR) Marlon Moore but that's essentially a core [special] teamer first and a wide receiver second but it's still worthy of a roster spot given how we feel we're going to have to play this year. Given (P) Andy Lee, having him and Bade (DB Johnson Bademosi)) on the roster were two important pieces for us. When you weigh all that in, it comes down to we have our position minimums, as I've talked about, and then you look at that pool of players. It was a tough decision. We were hopeful to get Vince to the practice squad, and I would say there's a possibility of that down the road."

On what gives him confidence in the offense, considering many fantasy football owners wouldn't draft Browns players:

"Do you have a fantasy draft tonight or something? (laughter). You looking for inside info? I'm sure in the fantasy community I'm probably public enemy No. 1 – running back by committee, receiver by committee, some unknown guys. To me, we believe in the concept of team and that we have a lot of different ways to get it done. We have a lot of guys with a lot of different skillsets. Each week, I think you need to adapt your game plan. What does it call for this week? Do we need speed on the outside to help us win? Do we need our tight ends to help us win? Are we going to have to run the ball? To me, that's what coaching is, is finding a way each week to hit the reset button. I like the diversity of skill that we have. Do we have any big names? No we don't, but at the same time, we still feel there's a lot of different ways to win football games and we're confident we can get it done."

On offensive coordinator John DeFilippo:

"He's done a nice job. He's had to work around some of the injury stuff and some of the stuff on our checklist that we wanted to make sure we got done and got practiced. Some of the shifts and the motions that we wanted to get on tape that won't necessarily marry up to the plays that we're running. You have a very different plan, especially in the preseason games, that you don't game plan for. I think Flip's done an outstanding job to date, but it starts to count coming up so that's the important time for him. I'm very confident in him and very confident in the staff around him as we're currently helping him build the plan and build it around what we do well. That's what game planning is. Where are our favorable matchups? Where are their favorable matchups? How do we win this game and how do we prevent them on defense from being successful against us? That's all part of it."

On keeping K Travis Coons as opposed to a more experienced kicker:

"We talked about a pretty detailed list of the guys that were out there and the guys that came free, and we're very confident in Travis based on what he's done to date. I'm looking forward to seeing him kick for us in the regular season."

On if he expects Pryor to be active on Sunday:

"I'm not going to speak on actives, inactives."

On potentially taking away QB snaps for more Wildcat plays:

"Coming from the other side of the ball, knowing how problematic some of those things can be, I just think every good offense has some element of – anytime you can run something that's simple for you offensively that causes stress on the other side of the ball, that will potentially cost some meeting time, some practice time, some walkthrough time. I put that in the body punch category. You'll never know the effect that you had, but I think we always need to have those types of things. Whether it's a diverse empty backfield package, all of the stuff that can cause issues, whether its Wildcat, some of the unbalanced line, special plays and those types of things that you have out there that causes wasted time on defense. I've been a part of it on the other end. You need those types of plays as changeups. Things aren't going well with your conventional stuff, what are some things you can do to break a game open? I think a good offense has those in waiting."

On the most improved part of the Browns:

"That's hard to say. I think on paper you'd have to say the defensive line. Just the depth there, keeping seven. I thought (DL) Billy (Winn) did a good job late once he was back healthy, earning his way onto it. Like we said, we're going to keep position minimums and look at the best players, and he certainly was one of our top guys. We feel really good about the depth in that room. If I had to point to one group, it would likely be there."

On keeping four TEs:

"That just falls into what I just said that you have your position minimums and then you keep the best football players. The one thing about it is all four of those guys you could look are very different. (TE EJ) Bibbs is almost part fullback, part tight end. (TE Rob) Housler is almost part wide out, part tight end. (TE) Gary (Barnidge) is probably most complete of that group and (TE) Jim's(Dray) a pretty good blocker and I think a better receiver than people give him credit for. I think that room, Flip's well aware of the depth in that room and we'll use it to our advantage."

On if today was the first day Manziel threw:

"I do think he threw some yesterday."

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