Cleveland Browns general manager Ray Farmer addressed the media for the first time since training camp began.
A ton has changed with the Browns since the end of July, but one thing hasn't: Farmer's belief that Mike Pettine is the right man to lead the Cleveland Browns. The two have spent countless of hours together, going over the roster, examining X's and O's and constructing a long term plan for sustained success.
"I can assure you when you talk about football and you look in this man's eyes, he believes that he is going to prepare his team to do battle every single week," said Farmer. "I bought in. I don't know if everybody else is bought in, but I'm bought in. I know who Mike Pettine is and I believe it."
In terms of personnel, the biggest modification is the Browns have settled on their quarterback: Brian Hoyer. The 28-year-old's skillset was deemed the best for Cleveland to win football games.
"Brian's going to be prepared," said Farmer. "He's a pro's pro. He studies it. He works at it. He's committed to being that guy. His performance will speak for itself on Sunday, but I feel confident he's going to go out there and play well."
Maybe even more than quarterback, the most discussed position group on the roster is at wide receiver. Miles Austin, Andrew Hawkins, Travis Benjamin, Taylor Gabriel and LaRon Byrd will work together as a committee to try and prove their many doubters wrong.
Farmer knows reporters will continue to question the Browns front office until these players actually go and prove themselves on the football field.
"I think that question everyone wants to know is 'How come I don't know him? How come I've never heard of that guy?'" said Farmer. "I can't answer that question. I don't know the answer to it. I know that our scouts do a really good job of hitting the streets and figuring out who's who on which roster and when we can pick up a guy and who's out there to make our team better."
A receiver literally everyone in the Browns organization is gushing about is Taylor Gabriel. The rookie was supposed to just be a tryout body during rookie minicamp, and he's risen all the way to the number three wide receiver on the depth chart.
"If you are looking for a guy that I think answered the call, did what he was supposed to do and showed people that he deserves a chance to play in this league, it was Taylor Gabriel," said Farmer.
"I will give him his shout out and credibility. Now when you see the people and you smell the popcorn, we will find out if it really then all holds together. "
Defensively, the Browns have been solid for years. But there's an obvious difference to this Cleveland team: the secondary is stacked. Luring Donte Whitner back to Cleveland, drafting Justin Gilbert and keeping 12 undrafted free agents show the Browns' heavy-hand in making sure their secondary is the best unit on the team.
Additionally, Mike Pettine and Jim O'Neil's scheme is not even on the same galaxy as what the Browns have run in years past. Cornerbacks will have increased responsibility in locking down opposing wide receivers. The secondary being able to shut things down will have a trickledown effect on how impactful the pass rush and linebackers play.
"We're going to put a lot more pressure on our back end," said Farmer. "I think there's been a lot of discussion about the number of DBs that we kept, but we're going to ask guys to play in a way that you've got to go play, you've got to step up every Sunday, get your hands on guys, play aggressively at the line of scrimmage and cover them. It's going to make us a lot more dynamic up front."