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Cleveland Browns close training camp to public view

Prior to the Monday Night game against Washington, the Cleveland Browns closed training camp to the public as they prepared for pre-season game number two.
Prior to the Monday Night game against Washington, the Cleveland Browns closed training camp to the public as they prepared for pre-season game number two.
Cleveland Browns

The final week of open practices ended on Friday, August 15 as the Browns prepared for their second preseason game against Washington. The hot topic during and at the end of the week was of course the quarterback competition, fights during practice and injuries. Check out what various players and coaching staff had to say during their on the practice field interviews.

QB Johnny Manziel

On talking with Head Coach Mike Pettine about the QB competition:
“We just talked about what the schedule was going to be going into the game on Monday, how we were going to alternate, how we were going to rotate and stuff. I think they’re just going to see how both of us play.”

On whether he thinks he has a 50/50 chance of getting the starting QB job:
“I don’t know the exact percentage chances of it, but I think, from what Coach Pettine and everyone else has stated from the very beginning, they said that it was an equal, open competition and I don’t think that’s changed.”

On how he thinks he’s progressed since the first preseason game against Detroit:
“Better. Another week of practice, a lot of opportunities to get better in practice and get more familiar with the playbook and certain plays so continuing to get better.”

On whether it’s tough not to try and do too much with Head Coach Mike Pettine stating he hopes to name the starting QB on Tuesday:
“I think it’s just go out and just play football. We’ve done all the preparation we need going into the game up to that point. When the game comes, it’s go out and play football like we’ve been doing our entire lives.”

On of he thrives in pressure situations like this one:
“I don’t think that there’s any pressure for me. I’m still learning. I’m still growing. This is my second game. My expectations aren’t through the roof. It’s to go out and compete extremely hard, be a leader for those guys, whatever group I’m with, and we’ll see what happens.”

On whether he’s ready for NFL defenses, such as Pittsburgh’s in Week 1, compared to what he faced in college:
“I don’t think that I’m ready for Pittsburgh right now. I’ve only played one game, but the more and more you see it, the more you get familiar with it, I think the better it will be. I think there are guys who have played in this league for a long time who can sit there after years and years of playing games and still don’t have it all figured out. It’s tricky stuff, but at the same time, we’re doing things on offense to try and throw them off their guard, as well.”

On whether he thinks he can get ready for the Pittsburgh Steelers by September 7:
“It’s not saying that I’m not ready or that I won’t be ready. I don’t want that taken out of context. It’s just right now the second preseason game. I’m not ready to go out and start Week 1 because there’s a lot of time left until that point. For me, there’s plenty of weeks left for me to learn, preseason games, get adapted to the speed. If I was the starter for Pittsburgh for Week ,1then you have to be ready. You have to be ready for Week 1. It’s the opening week of the season. It’s a big game.”

On if he feels he is making reads in ways he never did before, noting teammates have commented on his improvements going through progressions:
“No, I think that there’s a lot more structure on the reads than what I was used to. A lot of times in college, it was pick a side in college, (side) one (or side) two. Now, we can work from across the field. Different looks can get us into different reads so it’s more complex, more detailed, but I like it.”

On getting comfortable with the Browns’ offensive play calls and longer verbiage in comparison to college, noting one of Texas Tech Head Coach and former Texas A&M offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury’s call sheets was posted online:
“It’s not easy. It’s a process. I’ve had to get used to the directions of going left and right and a keeper into another guy coming across. It’s like learning Spanish really for the first few weeks, but now, getting into it, I’m able to paint a picture of the play in my head as it’s said and really progressing it better. That’s really what (offensive coordinator) Kyle (Shanahan) and (quarterbacks) Coach (Dowell) Loggains have said from the very beginning that the more and more you do it, the more and more you get comfortable with it. When you‘re in your break, keep saying it, keep saying it, keep telling it to yourself, and eventually, if you do it enough times, it will stick.”

On if it’s difficult to go back to a receiver who dropped a pass on the previous play:
“I don’t think so. I think that we have a lot of confidence in these guys, and these guys are out here working extremely hard to haul the ball in and move it down the field. I think those guys know when they’ve had a drop, and there are times where me, (QBs) Brian (Hoyer), Rex (Grossman) and Connor (Shaw) need to get them a better ball, as well. It’s a joint relationship there that we have to be better at, and they have to be better at as well, and that’s what we’re trying to do every day is to get better at that.”

On if he has picked Grossman’s brain at all since joining the Browns:
“He’s been in the offense awhile. I think he’s a guy who he can come in and be a mentor for everybody in the room, a guy that’s extremely familiar with this offense, with Kyle, with how things go through a season and having two young guys in there, as well, in Washington. Just little subtle things throughout the day, but I’m sure it’ll pick up as we continue go through camp.”

On if he and the rookies have had to do anything special this year:
“We have a rookie show today so I’m sure it’ll get a little interesting. Me and Connor Shaw have a little something planned so it should be a good time, just go up there and try to make these guys laugh a little bit.”

On the importance of having the organization get behind one quarterback soon, whether it’s Hoyer or him:
“I just think that we need to continue to get familiar with our offense, continue to get familiar with the personnel that we have out there and just mesh more than anything. Obviously, that makes it a little easier when you know who the starter is going to be Week 1, but at the same time, things happen throughout a season where a guy goes down and another guy’s got to come in. Adversity happens throughout the season. Injuries happen so I think whenever the starter is named we’ll have an idea of how the mesh is going to be in continuing to build that, but it’s always something that’s ongoing throughout a season.”

On whether he feels any pressure from the fans and Cleveland to succeed because the city ‘expects him to be the savior’:
“No, I don’t look at is as I was drafted to come in day one and save the franchise. I think when I got drafted from the top, from (General Manager) Ray Farmer and everybody that’s involved in this organization that they had a plan for me and they want me to be successful. Whenever that is, I feel that my future is here and they brought me in to hopefully be the future down the road one day. For me, there’s no pressure, there’s no time table. It’s to continue to develop as a football player, get smarter, get better, and whenever that time is, I’ll go out there and play football like I’ve been doing for the past years of my life.”

On learning to put touch on the ball in comparison to firing passes in college:
“I think more than anything when I got here, I needed to be more decisive. Whenever I saw something, that second hitch that you have in college to really see it play through your head, see it open and throw it, now it’s back foot hit the ground you need to let it rip. More than anything now, I feel that I threw with more touch than I did in college, and now ,there are times when I need to put my foot in the ground and let one rip. I feel like that’s the case now more than it was before. You have to be decisive.”

On how was the ALS ice bucket challenge after yesterday’s practice:
“It was good. It was colder than I thought.”

On talking with ESPN Monday Night Football color commentator Jon Gruden yesterday:
“It went well. Obviously, I had a chance to interact with him a couple of days through the draft process which was really cool and then to see him again. Obviously, with him doing the game, coming back to chat with us, it was cool to be back around him. Finally knowing a lot now than where I was once before, it was a really good talk and (it) was good to see him.”

Head Coach Mike Pettine

On what he didn’t like about the fight during practice:
“I just thought it went a little too far. I understand and have spoken on fights before. That’s going to happen sometimes. That’s the price of doing business, but I thought we got out of the realm of being good teammates. Also, I just think overall practice, to that point, I thought was a little too sloppy for my liking. It was kind of a culmination of the sloppiness and then the length of the fight. The thing I was pleased about was how they responded after. I thought they were sharp. They were focused. They practiced how they should, but I just told them after that we don’t need a traumatic event to kind of snap us back into place, that we need to be mature enough and professional enough to be able to handle tough circumstances and practice well.”

On the team running sprints because of the fight, including the players that weren’t involved in the fight:
“It’s a team sport.”

On DB Buster Skrine’s injury:
“I’m not sure how long he’ll be, but we think he should be available for the opener. He injured his thumb, but we’re confident that he should be ready to go for Pittsburgh.”

Note: Skrine had surgery on the thumb on Monday and is week to week but is expected to be available for the opener against Pittsburgh.

On DL Desmond Bryant:
“He has an issue with his wrist, but he’s had some doctors look at it – something that’s been bothering him for a long time.”

On if Bryant will need surgery:
“At this point, that’s still a possibility.”

On Bryant not wearing anything on his wrist at practice:
“When he’s not practicing, he won’t, but when he’s practiced he’s worn something on it. That was a couple of days of practice he was trying out different ways to cover it and was trying to find the right thing to put on it.”

On if not knowing the outcome of Gordon’s appeal is becoming tiresome:
“Not much has changed. We respect that there’s a process. I’d be a liar if I said it wasn’t frustrating. I think anybody would be frustrated because you just want to know, and we have our plan set. We’re just waiting, patiently waiting. Some people maybe not so patiently, but it’s something that it’s outside of our control. That’s something that I stress to the team. We talk about being mentally tough and handling circumstances. We don’t control that. Therefore, we won’t worry about it.”

On if there is a protocol where General Manager Ray Farmer can gather some intelligence from the league about Gordon’s appeal:
“That’s probably more of a question for him, but I can confidently say that we’ve done all we can do.”

On what he didn’t like about practice and if he noticed a trend of sloppiness in recent practices:
“No, this was a day where we didn’t want to hit as much, so we took the thud off of the team work. We we’re just tagging off. I thought some guys got sloppy with that. I just think we were just loose with some of the checks. You can just tell we weren’t sharp. Then, you hear comments being made at times where guys worrying about things they don’t have control over. That’s what we want to get away from. We talk about being mentally tough, and when I called them up – where in the NFL, are all the circumstances going to be ideal for what you’re used to? We used to say it everywhere I’ve been, ‘when things are tough on everybody else that means they’re just right for us.’ I think you have to have that mentality because if you don’t it’s rarely going to be ideal. You’re not going to be successful if you’re waiting for all the circumstances to be in your favor.”

On how QB Johnny Manziel did practicing with the first-team offense during this week of practice:
“I thought it was a good rack for him. I thought both quarterbacks have been practicing well of late, which by the way we just set a record for…was that about eight minutes in before I got a quarterback question (laughs)? I think they’ve both responded well, and I think (offensive coordinator) Kyle’s (Shanahan) starting to come to tailor what he’s calling for them to more suit them, to prepare them for the game work. We’re very pleased with where that whole room is.”

On how Redskins Head Coach Jay Gruden saying that his starters will play at least a quarter will affect the Browns’ plan on reps and if there is ever communication between the two teams about playing time going into a preseason game:
“Yeah, I’ll reach out to Jay before we head down there, but his plan is his plan. It’s his football team, and if we have to make some adjustments to get the matchups we want then we will.”

On reaching out to Gruden just to talk about playing time:
“Yeah, I’ve known Jay for a while and a couple other guys on that staff. You usually try to reach out, just touch base to get a feel for substitutions and how things are going to be handled overall.”

On it being five minutes into the press conference before asking about the QBs:
“Sorry, seemed a lot longer (laughs).”

On if Loggains and Shanahan are building towards a consensus about the quarterback competition and if there are strong opinions for Hoyer and Manziel:
“I’ve spoken to that. There are thoughts from everybody that are pro for both of them, and that’s why it’s something that we’re going to, I’m sure, have a lengthy discussion over and do what’s best for us and what’s best for our team moving forward into the Steeler game.”

On if he would be inclined to give the second string QB extensive reps in the third preseason game if he names a starter for the season opener on Tuesday:
“Sure, preseason – it’s no different than any other team that has a starter and a No. 2. You just kind of get a feel for, ‘OK where is the starter? We want to get him a good amount of work with the No. 1’s, but when the No. 2’s are up there you want your back-up to get all that work as well.’ I don’t think it’ll change the amount that we would play those guys.”

On if there is something new he would like to see from the defense against Washington:
“No, I just want to see them go out there and execute. It wasn’t a ton of work that we got against Detroit, just want to see them go out, and – as any coach would – you want to see your guys get better. You should be able to take that next step, whether it’s communication, whether it’s execution of a technique. Just playing with each other I think is important, understanding where the guy next to you is going to be and the communication during the game. Then, just the stuff when they come off to the side, you’re looking at the still prints, just the mechanics of all the stuff you get on game day that you don’t get in practice. I think all that, and we need to take a step forward, not just on defense but the whole team with that as well.”

On if he’s happy with the communication on defense:
“I am, especially on the backend. I think (secondary coach) Jeff Hafley’s done an outstanding job with that group. They communicate well. We’ve gotten a lot of quality reps with them together. It’s been good to see (DB Justin) Gilbert out there the last couple days playing with those guys, looking forward to seeing him on Monday night against some top-caliber receivers.”

On who will play nickel back if Skrine and DB Isaiah Trufant are unable to play:
“We might play without a nickel and just play with a third safety. (DB) K’Waun Williams got a little nicked up. We’re not sure what his availability is going to be. (DB Robert) Nelson’s another guy that could play inside if he had to. He’s been primarily playing outside. That’s all stuff that we need to get with (Browns head athletic trainer) Joe Sheehan and see where we are health-wise and go ahead and build a lineup accordingly.”

On if how the QB play against back-ups affects his evaluation of them:
“Yeah, I think you look at the whole picture – who are they in with and who are they going against? You don’t want to get a false sense of…you see some of these back-up quarterbacks that are playing well late in preseason games, and you fall into that trap of why ‘isn’t he playing?’ Then all of a sudden you see them get put in with the No. 1’s and it’s different. I think you have to understand that when you assess it you assess all the circumstances involved: who they’re with and who they’re going against.”

On if there has been more of an effort to get WR Travis Benjamin more reps in the rotation and if that would affect his reps returning kicks:
“I think he wants to get a couple returns. I think ‘Tabs’ (Browns special teams coordinator Chris Tabor) has already talked about that he’ll get one or two hopefully. It’s important for him. It’s hard to have a guy out there that just has one…you don’t want a wide out that’s truly just a returner. He’s certainly proved so far in his career in the league and going back to his days in Miami that he’s a capable receiver. Whether he’s the fourth or the fifth on game day, I think that’s important that he can be functional.”

QB Brian Hoyer

On if this game feels like it has the importance of a regular season game considering the QB competition:
“I play every game like it’s a regular season game. There’s no way to go about it other than that. I think the moment you think it’s just a preseason game is the moment you’re not prepared mentally, and all of the sudden something sneaks up on you and you’re losing 14-0 in the first quarter. I prepare every game, whether it’s preseason or regular season, like I’m going to play the whole game until that coach pulls me out. You’ve got to be prepared to play a football game. Those guys aren’t going to hold back on the other side. That’s for sure. You’ve just got to be prepared like you would in a normal situation. Obviously you don’t go into the game planning and things like that, but it’s still football. It’s like going against our defense every day. You never know what you’re going to get, but you go out there and react and play the best you can.”

On if the QB competition makes this preseason game against Washington crucial:
“Every game is crucial. For me, it doesn’t change the way I prepare. Like I said, the thing I try to do is come out and be the best quarterback I can every day. I’m going to do the same thing on Monday night.”

On if the way he played in Detroit gives him more confidence that everything is working right going into this game:
“I think if anything, the confidence part comes back from playing 10 months after surgery. That’s the way I look at it. I don’t feel any more confident because of how things – that game is in the past. We’re trying to build, learn from those mistakes and then improve and go against Washington this Monday.”

On Head Coach Mike Pettine saying that he’s going to continue to evaluate the QB position throughout the season instead of picking a QB to be the definite starter all year:
“I think the best quarterback should play regardless of the situation. It’s a situation I dealt with last year when I came in and we kind of said it was a week to week thing. For me, I just want to be the starting quarterback of this team whatever the situation is.”

On if he feels like he has been the best QB in this training camp:
“I think I’ve played well. I think I can play a lot better. There’s no doubt about that. I think we’re always trying to improve, and for us, I think things are coming up quick now. I talked a couple of weeks ago about how training camp, those days are long. Now, today is technically the last day of training camp. We play Monday, and then we come around and play Saturday. I think for me, I’m just trying to take big improvements every day to the point where you’re trying to play everything perfectly. Obviously, we’re going to try and go out and be perfect. Our team is pretty good too. You just try to go out and improve all the time. I think every day you come out, you either get better or you get worse. There’s no in between. Am I satisfied with how I play? I think I’ve played well, but I can play a lot better.”

On QB Johnny Manziel saying that he’s not ready to face the Pittsburgh Steelers yet and if he feels that he’s ready:
“Yeah, I think so far, I’m focused on Washington right now. I think for me, like I said, we’re moving along. We’re trying to get better. We’re improving every day. We had a good red zone period today, which is a good sign because that’s where we kind of fell off a little bit against Detroit. (Pittsburgh) is so far from what I’m thinking about right now. I’m just worried about improving. Hopefully we can take what we did in practice today into the game. Then you evaluate that game. Then you move on. There’s a lot of time in between now and then.”

On if when he was a rookie, he imagined the possibility if Patriots’ QB Tom Brady got hurt, he would have to think about being a starting quarterback as a rookie:
“Well, that was my responsibility so yes. Looking back on it now, would I be the player I am today? It’s not even close, but I think I attribute my time in New England as learning football in light-years. I think I learned more in my first year there than I learned in my entire career about the game of football – not just offense and quarterback play, but defenses, how to attack, things like that. I can’t speak for other rookies. I know I was probably a little bit further behind than most rookies. I mean, I was undrafted, apparently for a reason, so I think I’m a much better pro player than I was in college. I can honestly say that. In college, I can understand why people maybe overlooked me.”

On if the new offense has been more challenging than he expected mentally:
“No, I don’t think so. Like anything, there are nuances to certain things. I think I mentioned this to you guys. I can’t remember when, but there are certain plays where it’s a similar play to what I’ve run before, but we’re teaching it differently or we’re reading it differently or we’re reading it different. Sometimes I’ve got to shut that out of my head and just listen to Kyle and (quarterbacks coach) Dowell (Loggains) and say, ‘This is how they want it done. Just do it that way. Don’t revert to old habits.’ I think things like that – we really talk about footwork here more so than any place I’ve been. For me, that’s something I’m always trying to improve on because I tend to get tall and stiff legged sometimes, so I try to keep a more athletic base. Like I said, there’s always room to improve. Any time you’re not coming out of the game with 100-percent completion and touchdowns right and left, there’s always room to improve.”

On if he’s already started to see the benefits of having QB Rex Grossman here:
“Yeah, for me, I think that it’s great. Learning it from a coach is great because they’re telling you, ‘OK, watch this film,’ but Rex has played in the system. Like even today, on a play I had back there I was like, ‘On that play, have you ever come off and worried about a back side corner?’ Then he’s like, ‘No, you know, it’s not…,’ so to have a guy that’s played the position in this system is huge for not just me, but the entire room because he can relate it from a playing level. I think there’s a big difference between someone who’s played in it and someone who’s coaching it.”

On if he ever wondered why they didn’t sign Grossman in May:
“When I first met him, I said, ‘I thought you’d be here a lot sooner.’ If anything, for me, it’s another guy to lean on. Like I said, it’s always good to talk to the coach about it, but sometimes when you’ve got a guy who’s actually played and been in there when the live bullets are firing, it’s always good to see his perspective on things.”

On if it’s been hard for him to deal with the fact that it seems like Manziel will be the starter for this team inevitably at some point:
“I haven’t heard that so no, not really.”

On if he’s doing things now to get his body ready to play 16 games if he is the starter:
“Yeah, there’s the maintenance of my knee. Obviously, it’s almost a daily process where it’s kind of a rotation. Sometimes you see me out there doing band drop-backs to build up my leg and core in the movements that I’ll be doing in the game. Other days it’s with the lifting. Other days with ART, massage, things like that. It’s kind of crazy for me. I was always a guy who never had to do anything because I’d never been hurt. Now, I’ve kind of done a complete 180 where I’m constantly doing something to maintain strength, flexibility, all those things because sometimes when you have an injury, it exposes some weaknesses you might have. We’ve really done a good job of trying to stay on top of that.”

On if playing Monday night on national TV adds excitement to the QB competition:
“For me, I don’t really look at it. This whole situation, I think, has brought a lot of attention to our team and to our city, which I think it’s always a good thing, but I’m so far removed from that, that it’s not even a concern of mine.”

Defensive coordinator Jim O'Neil

Opening statement:
“Defensively, I’m happy where we’re at right now as a group. I think that the guys did a great job over the summer break keeping their noses in the playbook. It really allowed us to come back and hit the ground running. We’re ahead at this point where we thought we would be installation wise and I love the mentality that we’re bringing on defense. They’re building it and I think that the guys are doing good job buying into the philosophy of practicing and playing like a Brown.”

On whether it would be a disappointment if Gilbert doesn’t start in the regular season after being drafted in the first round of the 2014 NFL draft:
“Not at all, I think that Justin is on his way to being a great corner. If he’s not one of our best 11 by week one, I’m going to be happy with the 11 that we trot out there but I’m very optimistic about Justin. He’s doing a great job in the classroom, he’s doing a great job out here on the practice field, he’s competing. We’re in a fortunate situation where we’ve got three really good ones.”

On a contingency plan DE Billy Winn:
“I’m optimistic that he will be able to go but I think we’ll have a good rotation up there with the (defensive) line, obviously that’s one of our deeper groups and we’re going to roll (with) those guys. If you can keep those guys fresh and humming in the fourth quarter that will pay dividends for us defensively.”

On whether the defense is playing great because the team’s offense is having trouble:
“I think that the offense is doing a lot of great things. Obviously both quarterbacks present different problems for a defense and I think that coach (Pettine) has done a great job creating a competitive atmosphere out here especially to end practice for the orange jerseys. But I don’t concern myself all that much with the offense. The defense right now-we’re happy with where we are at but still have a ways to go. We’ve got three more preseason games to get we’re we want to go.”

On whether he can tell the difference in whether the defense is playing great or the offense is having trouble:
“I’m happy with where we are defensively and that’s where I’m at.”

On looking at the depth and talent of the roster and thinking that they could be dominant:
“I think everybody goes into the year defensively in this league wanting to be dominant. I think we have the scheme, I think that we have great individual players, we have great coaches we just have to put it all together and perform on Sundays.”

On whether LBs Paul Kruger and Barkevious Mingo production will have an impact on the defense being able to take that extra step:
“I think that if we get great production by anybody in the starting 11 (that) the defense will do well. We’re going to build it around what our guys do best and we’ll go from there. But it all starts with stopping the run and our guys have bought into that. We’ve got to stop the run on early downs to earn the right to rush the passer on later downs.”

On assessing the depth of the defense:
“I think that we’ve always gone with the mindset that we’re going to have 15 to 16 starters on defense. There’s a lot of guys that are going to play a major role in our defense. You kind of get locked in to who are the 11 starters, but in all honesty it depends on what grouping the offense comes out in. If they come out in 11, we might have a different set of starters, you know, three wide receivers and one tight end versus if they come out with two (running) backs and one tight end on the field. I see it as having 14 to 15 starters and it’s a good problem to have. When you’re talking about trying to get down to the 53 (man roster) you have to make tough decisions and cut a good player that can play in the league I think that just shows what (General Manager) Ray Farmer and his group has done on the personnel side to create competition on the defensive side of the ball and amongst the team.”

On why stopping the run puts a defense in such an advantageous position:
“You have to stop the run to win this division. ‘Pett’ (Browns Head Coach Mike Pettine) talked about it being the black and blue division. You’ve got to be willing to bloody your nose. Our defensive system has always been so successful because we’ve been able to win on early downs, put offenses behind the sticks, and then be able to get after the quarterback, which is what we want to do on later downs.”

On if stopping the run is advantageous because it makes an offense one-dimensional or because the defense can be more aggressive:
“Both. We force them into an obvious passing situation, and that allows us to be exotic and unconventional.”

On if he is glad that he doesn’t have to make the decision of who starts at quarterback and how he sees the quarterback competition from his standpoint:
“I think both guys are working their butts off. Like I said earlier, they both present different problems to the defense. I’ve been real impressed with their ability to throw in the pocket. It’s a competitive situation, as we all know, and yes I’m glad I don’t have to make that decision.”

On having to defend against a running quarterback:
“It puts a lot of pressure on the guys in the backend because you’ll hear the coaches yelling, ‘plaster.’ That means plaster to your man, and that’s when chunk plays are created downfield. (Steelers QB) Ben Roethlisberger has made a living on it, obviously, (Seahawks QB) Russell Wilson now in Seattle. It puts a lot of pressure on those guys. Then, you get those d-linemen running around for 12-13 seconds chasing an athlete, it’s tough. It’s tough, so you’ve got to be disciplined with your rush lanes and try to keep him in the pocket.”

On if the points allowed statistic shows that a defense has to sacrifice something to get sacks:
“No, obviously we want to be better in points allowed, and that’s something that we looked at. We need to be a little better in the red zone. We’ve got to be better with explosive pass plays. It’s something we worked hard on, the staff, when we got here in the spring together to analyze that, and we rebuilt some of our coverages to help with some of those problems.”

Head Coach Mike Pettine

On the fan reaction at training camp so far:
“It’s been tremendous. I came here and the fans had a certain reputation. You kind of sense it from the outside – the passion, the loyalty. They just proved it over the course of training camp. I think we averaged the most fans the Browns have ever had for training camp. You can just sense the enthusiasm. It’s something I think is going to be huge for our guys. We want the Dawg Pound to bring back the days of old when home-field advantage will truly be a home-field advantage. You look at what Seattle has been able to do with the 12th man. If we go out there and are playing good football and give our fans something to cheer about, they’ll be among the loudest in the league.”

On how the ice bath was from participating in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge:
“I got lucky. I’m sure when you review the tape I was braced for it, and I think the buckets, because they were filled with ice, were a little bit heavy for the guys to lift. I got some down the back which was refreshing. It was good. It’s for a great cause. I do want to go ahead and put the challenge out there to the (ESPN) Monday Night (Football) crew, especially (MNF commentator) Mike Tirico and (MNF analyst) Jon Gruden. I know they’ll appreciate it. I was around (Baltimore Ravens senior advisor to play development) O.J. Brigance, who was afflicted with ALS, in Baltimore. He’s just an amazing person, and I just think it’s for a great cause.”

On why QB Johnny Manziel isn’t starting if the reps are going to be equal:
“Because that’s the decision we made. We’re making our decisions based on the information we have based on the body of work. That’s what we decided to do.”

On if Manziel hasn’t earned the right to start:
“No, it’s just something where there were a lot of factors involved. Ultimately when we hashed it out, that’s the direction we went.”

On if he’d like to see Manziel against the Washington Redskins’ first team defense:
“Yeah, and I’m expecting, it being the second preseason game, that they’re going to extend their starters into the second quarter if not until the half. I know I don’t have control over when their guys are out there, but I’m confident that he’ll get some work against their ones.”

On if he thinks anything can happen in the quarterback competition despite the fact that QB Brian Hoyer is starting this game:
“All of our options are still on the table. I think a lot of people read into what happened. Every option for us is still on the table.”

On how much leadership ability, maturity and off-the-field behavior will weigh into the decision on quarterbacks:
“I don’t know if I can say, ‘Hey, this is the amount,’ but it does. You’re looking for the whole package – the quarterback who’s best suited to take the field and lead this team to a win against the (Pittsburgh) Steelers. That’s the bottom-line decision that we have to make. There will be a lot of things that go into it.”

On if Manziel can still win the job and what does he have to do:
“Sure he can. Like I said, all of our options are still on the table. He just needs to go out and play. That’s the bottom line. They both do. I’ve met with both of them and discussed the situation. They’re both comfortable with it, and they both know it’s going to be up to them when they’re out there to just go out and do their job. You never want a guy to try and do too much and come out of structure in order to accomplish something. We keep preaching to our guys, ‘Do your job and good things will happen.’”

On if he’s disappointed that Hoyer hasn’t separated himself from Manziel and run away with the competition:
“I don’t think so. I think they both started camp at a certain point and they both made improvement. They’ve both made big strides. When you look at it, and I mentioned it last week, we feel like we’re in a good position. We have two quarterbacks who we feel have NFL starter ability. That’s why it’ll be a difficult decision. I don’t see it as a disappointment that one hasn’t distinguished himself over the other.”

On hoping that someone makes the decision easy based on their play:
“You hope. That might not necessarily be the case, but a decision still has to be made.”

On if he thinks, aside from the quarterbacks, that he knows enough to have his 22 starters in place after the second preseason game:
“We’re hopeful. We are hopeful. I think a lot of them are close. That’s always good when you have that depth, but we’ll lean towards one guy or the other. In the position of (DB Justin) Gilbert and (DB Buster) Skrine, I think that that’s a position where you can kind of job-share a little bit, but we’ll have to decide on a starter; same with (LB Craig) Robertson and (LB Chris) Kirksey. We’ve already talked about how they’re both playing well. That adds to their team value if they’re kind of balancing the reps out there or basically going by package.”

On if he anticipates making a decision on quarterback on Tuesday:
“Yeah, that should be the target date. Something unforeseen could come up, but we’re hopeful. I do want to see if I can cut the quarterback questions down by about 90-percent after next week (laughter). The chemistry and the continuity, I think it’s important to establish that.”

On who will make that decision:
“It’ll be a group of us. It’ll be (quarterbacks coach) Dowell (Loggains), (offensive coordinator) Kyle (Shanahan). We might involve (General Manager) Ray (Farmer) just to kind of listen and observe. There might be another guy or two in there.”

On what Owner Jimmy Haslam has said about the quarterbacks:
“We talk about it, but it’s just more of an update. He goes around. He’ll talk to Kyle. He’ll talk to Dowell. He just doesn’t talk to those guys. He kind of gets an assessment at every position. He likes to talk to the coordinators about their side of the ball. Usually, I’m just echoing what the other guys are saying. He’s a big fan. He wants to know. You can tell he’s passionate about his team. He wants to know what’s going on and he asks the right questions.”

On if he views the quarterback decision as a long term one or more of a short term starter:
“I think quarterback is different from other positions. You do want to make a commitment. I don’t know if you can necessarily make a permanent commitment. So much could change over the course of an NFL season – the circumstances, but I think that’s the one position where you probably have to have a little bit more patience than maybe some others as far as if a guy isn’t performing to the level you think he can and you’re not getting the results, you would go ahead and make a move. I would say it’s somewhere in between. I don’t want whoever the starter is to feel like, ‘Oh, if I make one mistake I’m out.’ I also don’t want him to feel like, ‘Hey, I’ve achieved something. This is my team for the year.’”

On how close Manziel has come to being a model citizen in terms of committing to football:
“I think his play has demonstrated that – during the break, how he studied the IPad. He’d dial up with the right questions, and then he’s come in much more polished in and out of the huddle. That curve that I’ve already talked about, we feel like he’s a little bit ahead of the learning curve as far as being able to call the play, knowing what that play means, what are the reads on the play, who’s primary, what’s the defense, where do I go with the ball. I think he’s ahead of where we expected him to be.”

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