Skip to main content


Mike Pettine transcript - June 18, 2015

On his final thoughts as the players leave the facility until training camp and what he told the team:

"As always we just talk about – anytime we're leaving for a period of time – being safe, being smart, knowing that they represent who they represent. It's beyond them. It's beyond the family. It's the team. Also, the message was a positive one. We felt that we accomplished a lot this spring. Very proud of the effort, the buy in. Offensively, we had a lot of ground to cover. Defensively, they were kind of on different agendas, but I thought the coaching staff handled it well, was very organized. There wasn't a lot of wasted meeting time or wasted time on the field. It's big for us. Now we feel good about where we are, but it's just very early in the progression towards this season. It's got to continue. We've got to really pick up where we left off when we get to training camp. What I don't want is guys to go away and have a lot of the stuff slip, whether it's their conditioning or whether it's their grasp on the playbook and now we've got to retrace some steps in training camp. We want to be able to just pick it right up. I'm hopeful that that'll be the case, and I'd be surprised if it wasn't. I think we have a very mature, very professional group that's handled their business well so far in 2015. There's no reason to think that they won't in late July."

On how much more comfortable he is now as a head coach than he was a year ago:

"Much more just because, as anything, you go through it a second time, the cliché 'answers to the test.' The first year of anything you're just kind of feeling your way. All the experiences are new. You've gone through it as an assistant before. You've seen other people go through it, but when you actually do it yourself and understand the schedule and the demands of the job and the diverse personalities you're dealing with, budgeting time, what's important, what's not. Looking back, I learned a lot of valuable lessons in Year 1, been able to apply them in Year 2. I think that's not just me, that's the support staff, that's the coaching staff, that's the players as well. Anytime you have continuity and you know what the expectations are, things tend to run a lot smoother."

On if it matters that the Browns don't have as much national media attention this year compared to last offseason:

"No, because our focus is as it always is: what's going on on the field. I can't lie and say I miss that. It was a good learning experience for us as a team and as an organization. That's a chapter in a book that's closed for us. We're on 2015, we think. We have goals that we want to accomplish, and we feel we're where we need to be in the progression but know that we have a long way to go."

On if he knows if QBs Josh McCown or Johnny Manziel will be staying in the area with any receivers or if the players will scatter:

"I think it's mixed. I don't think there's anybody that's just going to be here the whole time. Some of the injured guys, I know, have a plan. Building wise, I know that we talk a little bit of a break. Right at the Fourth of July, it gets shut down. It's mixed. There are some guys that'll be back and forth. It's a trust thing. We wanted to make sure they left with the information that they needed – when they have to be back, what the expectations are when they come back. They have their books. They have their video. It'll be on them to take that next step when no one's looking."

On if he would like to see Manziel stay in town over the break:

"I've said it before: I'm not going to micromanage our guys. This break is well deserved. Go wherever they choose to spend it that they feel will benefit them the most. Then, so be it."

On some low-profile players that stuck out to him during the spring:

"The guy I've talked about was (DB) K'Waun Williams, had a real good spring for us. (WR) Taylor Gabriel is another guy that's handle himself really well. He was a guy that was essentially an undrafted free agent a year ago and played, I think, overachieved from what we thought we were going to get from them last year. He's taken that next step. He's among our better receivers out there. There's a trust factor with the quarterbacks. If you ask the defensive guys whose difficult to cover, his name usually pops up in the first one or two names."

On if he agrees with General Manager Ray Farmer in regards to the important of building the strength of the roster between the 22nd and 53rd man on the team:

"That's always the goal. When you can churn the bottom of the roster and bring in guys that can compete, there's no complacency. The less complacency when guys think that they're slotted in, the better. There's no better motivation than competition. I think that's how you get better, and that's how you generate depth. When those decisions are tough on those last handful of spots on the roster you know you're building it the right way."

On the roster being ranked near the middle of the league, if that's due to a lack of superstar players at the QB and WR positions and if that's a concern:

"I'm not concerned with how our roster is ranked outside of this building."

On what he's seen in DB Pierre Desir from Year 1 to Year 2:

"That he's progressed as we would expect given his work ethic, how he approaches it. He's had some good days this spring. He knew there were some technical things to work on. He was a good example of a guy that got with his coaches and, 'Hey, these are the things you need to improve on.' He's attacked those every day."

On where he sees Desir fitting in on defense:

"What we do know at the very minimum is he's a good matchup guy. I think he'll match up well against certain types of receivers. Anytime you're a higher cut, longer corner…He may not be the ideal matchup for Hawk (WR Andrew Hawkins) or for Gabe (Gabriel), but (WR) Dwayne Bowe, for instance, or some of those bigger, taller, higher cut receivers, he's a good matchup for you that he can get his hands on, especially guys that play the X position that are on the line of scrimmage that can't move pre-snap. It's much easier to press a guy that's on the line. We feel he'll also be a good matchup against some of the more athletic tight ends in the league. In practice, you'll see his against (TE Rob) Housler some in certain packages. That would be a good matchup for us, as well. We're encouraged by his progress. He's one of the guys that's taken a pretty good leap from one to two."

On where Desir compares to DB Justin Gilbert:

"To me, they're different players. From a sorting out standpoint, I'm not going to sit here and rank those guys. One thing about that room that we're most impressed with is the depth. We got seven, eight deep in that room, guys that we feel are quality that can make an NFL roster, that are quality NFL corners."

On if the defense will play more four-man fronts this season on running downs with the added depth of the defensive line:

"With playing (DL) Armonty (Bryant) at our rush outside backer spot and even a (LB) Scott Solomon who, to me, is more d-lineman than outside linebacker, in a sense, we are doing that. There will be times we could go real big and you put Kitch (DLs Ishmaa'ily Kitchen) and (Danny) Shelton in the middle. Then, you could kick a Des (DL Desmond Bryant) out to be more of an end. There are times when schematically we are 4-3. We say we're 3-4, but we're more 3.5-3.5 the way we do it. It's very fluid."

On his thoughts on Bowe and WR Brian Hartline:

"Veteran guys that came in. We knew a lot about them, people that have worked with them before. They were where we thought they would be. They're very professional. I like how they approach the game, how they take care of themselves and the positive effect they have on the guys around them, the other guys in the room. I've said this already, they've both shown throughout the spring why we brought them here."

On the Browns' best TE:

"That's a tough answer because we have the Y and the F. We really have two different types of tight ends. The Y is more the on the ball, blocker type where that's (TEs) Jim (Dray) and Gary (Barnidge). The F is more of a move type, off the ball, more of a wing. You can flex him out some. Gary is kind of a 'tweener.' He can do both. We just like the depth in the room. We have three guys that they're not identical skillsets there. There's some overlap. Gary, like I said, is kind of both. Jim is more towards the ideal Y, and Rob is more the ideal F. Just like the receiver room that I've talked about all those skill position rooms, you like to have diversity of skillset to allow you to do some different things so you're not one dimensional. That's one of the things we've been so pleased with how we've been able to develop the roster this offseason."

On if the Browns can still get production out of the TE group when it loses a player like Jordan Cameron:

"Defenses can dictate where the football ends up going, and we want to build a roster that they can't take away everything. If they're giving us the tight end that week, then we have to be able to take advantage of it. If they're giving us the backs out of the backfield and dropping deep into coverage and we can check it down or throw screens, we need to be able to do that. If they're crowding the line of scrimmage and giving us press coverage on the outside and we've got to win one-on-one out there, we've got to do it. When you're affective on offense you have all those answers because as a defensive coach you look at it – what can we force them to do that they don't do well? You have to be well rounded as an offense to take advantage of what a team is giving you. We're confident in that room…Even a chance and prospects of getting (TE Randall) Telfer back down the road. The (E.J.) Bibbs kid has had a real good spring for us. He's kind of come out of nowhere. We feel that we have some depth in the room and some future depth in that room that we're very pleased with."

On what Solomon has done in a short time to impress the coaching staff:

"I think his approach, his mentality, his physicality is something that he brings. Sometimes in the spring we've had to tone him back a little bit. He and playing in shorts isn't necessarily a very good matchup. He's a very physical, hands-on guy. That's a good example to set. When you have guys that can set edges and are thumpers on the edges of your defense and can get that ball turned back in or at least get it bubbled back and force the running back deeper to allow secondary guys to get there – that's where your effectiveness will be in stopping the run."

On defensive coordinator Jim O'Neil praising Solomon, Solomon bouncing around the league and if he is a guy that got lost in the shuffle:

"Some guys bloom late. Some guys don't fit in certain schemes. His skillset and mentality – we talk about 'Play Like a Brown' – he's a good fit for us. In the brief time he was out there last fall, he was productive, and that was without an offseason, without a training camp. He's just kind of showed up, and that's always tough when you bring in a guy midstream that he doesn't have a chance to build the foundation with you. Now that he has, that's why we're even more encouraged with Scott. I'm sure that's why Jim's so optimistic."

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