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Cleveland Browns Training Camp report and update

The Browns are getting ready for their next preseason game following a heartbreaking last second loss in Detroit.
The Browns are getting ready for their next preseason game following a heartbreaking last second loss in Detroit.
Cleveland Browns

For frequent readers of my postings you are probably wondering what happened to me for all of last week. I was on photo assignment for the Cuyahoga County Fair and spent eight great days taking photos of the festivities there at the fairgrounds. Since I was putting in 10 to 12 hour days at the fair plus a few hours each night sorting and posting the photos it did not leave much time for writing. Anyhow, I am back and will once again begin posting articles about the Cleveland Browns.

A lot happened at training camp in Berea, Ohio during the week of August 3rd. Lebron James paid a visit to the practice field on Thursday, the QB competition heated up between Manziel and Hoyer with QB Rex Grossman signed to act as mentor to the two. The team lost their first pre-season game in Detroit with a late 4th quarter Lions touchdown but showed strong defense during the game.

There were also some departures that join the thirty plus players who have been waived or released. This includes Tyler Thigpen (QB), James Oboh (TE), Edgar Jones (LB), Chandler Jones (WR), Jason Pinkston (OL). On the plus side, Michael Bowie (OL) was claimed off waivers from the San Diego Chargers and has joined the Browns at training camp. This brings the current roster to ninety as further cuts will need to be made to bring the team down to the 53 players allowed for the start of the regular season.

What follows are on the field questions from the media and comments from the players on the field at the Cleveland Browns Training Camp facility in Berea, Ohio.

Quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains

On what he sees in the quarterback competition and what he’s looking to see:
“The bottom line is we want to see who leads the team and gets in the end zone the most. Both those guys have done a really good job, and I’m excited to see the process as it goes on.”

On the offense not getting in the end zone at the Family Day scrimmage or the first preseason game:
“It’s definitely something that we need to improve on as an offense, not just at the quarterback position. We need to finish some drives. I felt good about how we moved the ball. We need to finish some of those drives and end with seven points instead of three.”

On what the dynamic is between QBs Brian Hoyer and Johnny Manziel off the field:
“The room has been extremely good. They work together really well. They help each other, and it goes both ways. With (Browns QB) Connor (Shaw) in there and (Former Browns QB) Tyler (Thigpen) was up until today, it’s been good.”

On what Manziel has been like in the building:
“He’s a pro. He comes to work every day. He’s been phenomenal, as far as being on top of the details. He understands he has a long way to go and work like every other rookie in this league does, including Connor. He’s been really good in the room, right in the playbook and studying.”

On if Grossman will serve as a personal mentor to Hoyer and Manziel in the offense:
“To both of them. He spent all that time in Houston and Washington with Kyle. He knows the offense inside and out, and that’s one of the advantages he’s going to bring to the meeting room.”

On if a mentor to the quarterbacks was an element that was needed:
“I don’t think it was needed, but I think it’s something that could help. We want to see what – obviously Kyle knows him very well – but myself and (Head) Coach Pett (Mike Pettine) haven’t been around him. We’re excited to see what his talents are when we get on the field.”

On if sharing reps takes away from any preparation that the eventual starting quarterback should be getting:
“No, because the thing is – and I think (Browns Head) Coach Pett (Mike Pettine) mentioned it in his interview – they’re both getting equal reps. Who’s around them doesn’t factor in as much as they’re both getting the reps. They’re both getting the reps they need, the reps with the certain plays that we want them to get.”

On if he sees the pressure affecting Hoyer:
“Not at all. Johnny’s doing a great job, and Brian’s done a great job helping. I haven’t seen the pressure affect Brian one way or the other.”

On how Hoyer helps Manziel:
“Just in the meeting room. He’s a guy that’s been around a long time. He’s played for a lot of good coaches. He understands defense, some of the stuff Johnny didn’t do in college. He’ll chime in and help with, ‘Hey, this is cover-6. This is how I know it’s cover-6’ – just those things, the tricks of the trade. The wily vet, he has those.”

On if Manziel ran more than he would have liked in certain situations in Saturday’s preseason game against the Lions:
“The fine line with coaching Johnny is you can’t take the best part of him away and that is his ability to extend plays with his legs. There’s a fine line of going through your progressions and making plays with your legs. I thought he did an exceptional job in the game of doing that. He had the one long scramble, and then he had another one where he was about to start scrambling and out of the corner of his eyes he gets to his fourth guy on the progression, makes a good play throwing it to (Browns RB) Terrance (West) on a wide. I think we gain five and it creates second-and-5. That tells you where he’s getting in his growth as a quarterback. He’s finally starting to get into that third and fourth progression.”

On if the possibility of not having WR Josh Gordon for part of the season helps or hurts Hoyer or Manziel’s chances of starting:
“I don’t think so. I think the bottom line is with those guys is you can only control what you can control. We don’t have any say on what happens with him. Their job is to go out and execute the plays that are called.”

QB Rex Grossman

On how he feels that people may view his role as being a personal tutor for QB Johnny Manziel:
“I think that it’s more than that, and I don’t even subscribe to that. I’m just coming here to play football, and if that helps out then good.”

On offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan’s offense:
“Everybody has very similar play concepts, but the details of his offense are unbelievable just how everything goes together really well and makes sense. When he gets in a rhythm calling plays it’s the best I’ve ever seen. That’s one of the biggest reasons that I wanted to be here, just being around a coordinator that demands respect from all of the players and everybody. He gets along with everyone and people look up to him. He’s a great coordinator, and I’m just happy to get a chance to be around him.”

On if he sees playing with Manziel as déjà vu having been in Washington when Redskins QB Robert Griffin III came into the NFL:
“I think both players are different. I think that they can run around a little bit, but that’s about the only similarity. Other similarities that he’s bringing along are a very high-profile rookie that has a similar style, but it’s really about the team. It’s about the team coming together and – the offensive line, wide receivers, running backs, quarterback – everybody gelling together with what this offense is supposed to do. It’s just going to come naturally, and I think that it took to you guys to create those interesting stories that I read. Actually when it comes down to it, football is a team sport and everybody’s got to come together.”

Head Coach Mike Pettiner

On signing QB Rex Grossman:
“We’re always going to be in a situation where if we feel like we can make our roster better, we’ll make that move. He’s a guy that’s very familiar with (offensive coordinator) Kyle (Shanahan’s) system. We appreciate what (QB) Tyler (Thigpen) did for us, but we just felt like we wanted to get Rex in here and just see where he’s at and what he can do.”

On if he views Grossman as a personal mentor to QB Johnny Manziel on this offense:
“I don’t think so. I think he’ll help the whole room, not just Johnny. It’s a guy who I think has been in it now. This will maybe be his sixth year; I don’t know the exact number. I think he’ll help that whole room just as far as the stuff that he’s gone through with a lot of the plays. He knows the system as well as he does, and he’ll be able to give them a quarterback’s perspective instead of just the coaches’ perspective.”

On TE MarQueis Gray being listed as a TE rather than FB:
“No, he’s really both. He’s bounced back and forth. When (TE) Jordan (Cameron) got hurt, he went back and took some reps there. He was kind of split in practice between tight end and fullback, and we’re very pleased with the progress of (FB) Ray Agnew. He’s playing well. He’s more of a traditional fullback. That just opens up our options of what we can do down the road.”

On if he’s decided who’s starting at quarterback against Washington yet:
“No, we’re going to make that decision on the off-day.”

On if he looks back and chuckles about the interview that quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains did with the Arkansas radio station about drafting Manziel:
“He paid his penance for that. We made him wear a visor that said, ‘I’m a dummy,’ for a day during the spring at the walkthrough and took a picture of it and put it up in a team meeting. He learned a valuable lesson. Wherever you think you are, it’s comfortable and it’s back home and there’s a small radio station with not that many listeners, not too many things are sacred nowadays. Everything is going to get out. I think he learned from it. We laughed about it. He came to me today and warned me he was doing media.

On if he’s serious about the visor:
“Yeah, it’s hanging in his office right now. He’s waiting for somebody else to screw up so he can pass it on to somebody else.”

On what he meant yesterday when he said Manziel has to earn the start in the second preseason game:
“Johnny’s going to get reps with the ones. Just to me, the factor of starting the game I think is a little bit overblown in this situation because we’re going to try to balance the reps with the ones in the game. I don’t think it was anything. Brian came in ahead. It’s a little overrated (trotting) out there for the first time.”

On if the game in Detroit shattering the rating record for an NFL Network program was because it was his first game or because it was Manziel’s first game:
“My first game. Absolutely (laughter). It’s not a surprise to hear that. I think the phenomenon still surprises all of us. We want attention on this team because we’re a good football team and we’re winning games. It’s nice to have the media attention here, but we want to get to the point where it’s for the right reasons.”

On how important it is for him to stay true to the depth chart when he picks starters for Monday’s game:
“I don’t know if I can just answer that until we sit down with everybody involved in the decision on the off-day. We’re all going to have an opinion on how we want to handle it, but it’s not going to be anything earth shattering. The bottom line coming out of the game is that they both should get close to equal reps with the ones no matter who starts.”

QB Brian Hoyer

On having something similar to a wet ball drill:
“It’s good sometimes. Actually, as much as it’s unfavorable for us, it does rain sometimes on Sundays. It is sometimes good to get some work in. Our equipment guys actually did a good job of keeping those balls pretty dry, as dry as they could. When it’s wet like that you kind of change your philosophy on how you throw the ball. You don’t want grip it as tight, you try not to throw it as high because it is tough for those receivers and they can’t get their hands on it (and) it slips up. It is good to get some work as frustrating as it is because you want to come out and have a great practice, but it is good to get work in the rain.”

On how to build on his performance from Saturday’s game:
“Just continue to get better, know the system better. Like I said, going back and watching the film there were a few reads that I would’ve liked to (have) read differently. So you learn from those mistakes and try to build on it.”

On whether he noticed anything mechanically different in his side throws or if they just got away from the receivers during the game:
“The one on (WR) Josh (Gordon) on the play-action, I kind of hitched up into it a little bit more than I would like. We talked about trying to keep our base, which is trying to keep your feet a little more than shoulder-width apart so you can really drive the ball. I felt like he was so open. I was trying to really rush it and I rushed into it. I just have to be more patient and be more quiet with my feet and just step in and throw it.”

On how he approaches the next game knowing it will possibly determine who starts the season opener:
“I don’t change my approach at all. To me, this is my team until someone else tells me otherwise and you just come out here and try to be the best quarterback that you can. You just ignore all of the noise and the hype and worry about what goes on in that building and what I can control. For me that’s coming out here and practicing the best that I can and when I get a chance to play, playing the best that I can.”

On being able to come back from an ACL injury so quickly:
“I just think that the work that I put in, I remember talking to you guys throughout the whole process through the offseason, for as bad of a situation that it could’ve been and how down I could’ve got I think that I took all of those emotions and put it into my rehab. It’s good to have that validation now and know that the hard work has paid off and I can come out here day-after-day and practice (and) have no problems. I was actually getting a massage yesterday to flush things out and the masseuse was like ‘I don’t really need to do anything, your knee is looking really good’ and for me it feels that way. It’s just good to know that when you work hard at something, whether it’s rehab or anything football related, that you can kind of see the dividends pay off.”

On there is room for growth in his game:
“I think that’s there’s always room in everyone’s game to grow. For me, I’m always trying to improve and I think that’s what drives me. I’m competing with myself every day in and day out to be the best I can. I don’t think that you look and say that someone has a ceiling because I think that no one is perfect. If that were the case, then everyone could say that there’s a ceiling and that this guy is a 100 out of 100 in Madden (Football). For me, you’re always trying to improve, and I think the one thing that I’ve learned from (Patriots’ QB) Tom (Brady) in New England, who’s probably as close to the ceiling as you can get and, is he’s always constantly trying to get better. He’s always working on something, and I think that’s the only approach you can take.”

QB Johnny Manziel

On his first training camp practice with a wet ball:
“It was fine, just a little bit of a drizzle there for the first part of practice. I’m sure we need to get used to playing in a little bit different conditions. Can’t be perfect every day.”

On where he thinks he needs to improve moving forward after watching the tape from Saturday’s game against the Lions:
“Same thing as my initial thoughts after the game – saw some good things, saw some things I can improve on, but I felt like, for the most part, I went to the right spot with the ball, tried to get it to some check-downs and try and work through my progressions. I’m still getting better at. I thought it was a good starting point, and I took a lot away from the first game.”

On what the worst weather conditions were that he played in while in college:
“We had a couple rainy games. I know we had a game my first year in college. We played Arkansas. It rained pretty hard coming out of the second half. Then, we had a wet game against LSU this year. Other than that, we’ve gotten a little bit of cold. Nothing extremely serious when we went to Missouri, probably 40, but really other than that, I’ve had pretty good weather.”

On playing in Cleveland during December:
“It’ll be different. It’s an adjustment. I haven’t been in the North very much. I haven’t played a lot of football in the cold, but it’s part of adjusting to the game and learning how to throw in it and throwing the football and moving the ball down the field. That’s what it’s all about.”

On the northern most school he played at during college:
“Probably Missouri.”

On if expects to start this week against the Redskins with the way reps have been divided up to this point in camp:
“I don’t expect anything. I expect to come out and get the reps and get the teamwork that I’m told I’m going to get. From there, go out and make the best of the opportunity that I have.”

On if he hopes to start against the Redskins:
“I hope to do whatever the coaches tell me to do. That’s what I’m going to do, whatever they say, whether it’s No. 1’s, No. 2’s, whatever it is. I’m going to do what (Browns Head) Coach (Mike) Pettine and Coach (Browns offensive coordinator Kyle) Shanahan have in store for me.”

On if he noticed the fans booing in Detroit on Saturday:
“I think any road game, whether it was college – going into LSU, going into Alabama, going into places like that. I didn’t expect it to be any different now that we’re on the biggest stage in the world.”

On how he approaches the next practices until a decision is made on who will be the starting quarterback:
“I’m approaching them the same way. I think I need to just continue to learn, continue to absorb everything I can in this short amount of time, and then go out and at the end it’s just play football. Go out and go through your reads and execute and move the ball down the field and score points. I think whoever does that the best, obviously, is going to have a better chance at the end of the day.”

On if he felt that he got to play his game on Saturday:
“I think I played what our offense does and played to who we are as an offense. I think that’s what I need to continue to do.”

On if there was a point early in camp that he was frustrated because he wasn’t at the point that he hoped he would be:
“Yeah, it gets frustrating. I think anytime that you get into a new system and you’re not 100 percent sure what you’re doing and you’re an extremely competitive person you want to come out and you want to do well. The days that you struggle, I think it’s part of it. At the same time, it’s hard to get over that hump and push through and know that the next day you’ve just got to come out and try and forget about what happened in the past and learn from that and move on. That’s what I’ve tried to do.”

Head Coach Mike Pettine

On if he thought about moving inside because of the rain:
“We were more concerned if there was lightning. We’re going to have to play in rain at times. I thought it was good work for the quarterbacks and the receivers especially working with a wet ball. We were fortunate. We got it a little bit early and then it kind of tapered off for us. Obviously we have a lightning warning system. If that had come into play then we would have gone inside.”

On if the ball was wet for the QBs because it seemed like another defensive day:
“It was. I think that takes a little bit of getting used to. In a game situation, I think that if it is raining they’ll do a better job. I think it was kind of on purpose. Our offensive coaches wanted to see our guys throw a wet ball, a heavier ball just to get used to it. It’s going to happen.”

On what he wants to see from QB Johnny Manziel in the next few days to make him want to start him on Monday:
“Just continue to master his craft. Run the offense. Be efficient. I don’t think there’s any one thing like it’s a tangible thing where you can say if he does this then this will happen.”

On how he balances allowing offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains to have significant impact when ultimately, he’s the guy on the line:
“I don’t look at it that way – that I’m on the line. I’m not making decisions based on being on the line. I’m making decisions based on what’s best for the football team and what gives us the best opportunity to win. Those guys are coaches. They’re right there in the front lines with them working with them every day. I think it’s important to take their input. I’m just not going to make a decision based on what I feel. If it’s unanimous then that’s easy, but if there’s a tie that has to be broken, I’ll do it.”

On how he feels about DB Leon McFadden after all the holds in Saturday’s game:
“I think he competed and he was challenging receivers. I thought the interception he made was a heck of a play. I thought that call could have gone either way. We don’t want our guys to back down from competing, but sometimes they just, almost as a security blanket, put their hand out late in the play at the top of the route. That’s something that the NFL apparently wants out of the game so we’re going to have to adjust to it.”

On if what he did the other day is something that may not have been called in the past years:
“That’s hard to say. There was contact. They weren’t phantom calls. There was contact. I think in the past, it’s been a very subjective thing. I think they’re just calling it a lot tighter this year.”

On if OL Michael Bowie is out for the season:
“It’s looking that way. I don’t think that decision has been made final, so I think I’ll get it in my next injury report or two from Joe. I’ll get the update on it.

On what’s bothering WR Josh Gordon and when he thinks he’ll be back:
“It’s a minor thing. He probably maybe could have gone today. He wanted to go. We just decided to hold him out, but it’s minor.”

On where he thinks the team needs to make a jump in the next couple of weeks:
“I just think we need to continue on the path of improvement. I tell the guys in the meetings that they’re responsible for all the coaching points made at their position. If I’m a safety and another safety gets corrected, that should be the cumulative – the group needs to learn from that. I think as long as we’re moving forward eliminating mistakes and not repeating them, I think that’s the most critical part of any team’s development. You’re looking for a good jump from week one to week two and two into three. I think it’s important that we don’t take any steps back.”

On how his first game was as a head coach:
“It was fun. I really was. I remained reasonably calm throughout the whole game. The challenge was one where I think if it was regular season, I might have had a little different reaction to it. It was a good first experience. I thought our guys did a good job on the sideline. I was shocked I wasn’t tripping over bodies going up and down the sideline, just a lot of those little things. I think it was a good experience for all of us to get out there. It was a good night. I got a lot of texts before the game from people that were very close to me saying, ‘Congratulations! Hey, have fun tonight – first game out!’ It was a special night for me that way.”

Head Coach Mike Pettine

On if he offered Cleveland Cavaliers LeBron James a contract as he watched practice from the sideline:
“No, but I do know I’m going to be Father of the Year. I got my daughter a picture with LeBron. She could care less about a picture with me.”

On what he talked about with James:
“He just asked how camp was going. You can tell he’s into it – loves football, big Browns fan. He says he’ll be at the games when it’s warm and when it’s cold he’ll be watching them in his basement.”

On if he believes in synergy in a city where both teams start winning at the same time like what happened in Boston:
“I do. It’s hard to explain when it happens, but I think it kind of gets fed through the fans with the teams. I don’t know how many of them are connecting with each other, but the city gets revved up and I think you can have momentum from season to season.”

On if he’s ready for the first preseason games:
“I think we are. I think the coaches have done a good job towards the end of this week getting the guys ready for what we’re actually going to show. We’ve probably given them a little more to study than they’ll actually run so the ready list and the call sheet are different sizes, but I think we’ve had a good build-up to it. We’re all looking forward to going against somebody else.”

On if he knew the perks of meeting guys like former Browns RB Jim Brown and LeBron James came with this job:
“I did not. When I got hired somebody very quickly brought up to me that I might have both of those opportunities. That’s two things off the bucket list.”

On if he heard a buzz among the players when James walked up:
“I think so and he’s taller in person. You get used to the NBA games where it’s relative. You don’t get a feel for the height unless you actually see them among civilians and you realize how tall they are.”

On if he can envision James as a red-zone target if he had chosen to play football:
“Yeah. He’d be a heck of a target. Let’s just flex him out a little bit and just throw one up for him. That would be very enticing.”

QB Brian Hoyer

On his knee being tested during a play at practice yesterday:
“It was just one of those plays where it kind of gets scuttled up in front of you. I think it was (Browns LB Paul) Kruger who kind of fell into me. It was more scary than anything else. I kind of went down and I waited for there to be some pain and there wasn’t, so it was actually kind of good to have some confidence now going into Saturday knowing that I’ve actually taken a real hit and the brace withstood the hit and my knee felt good. It was scary for about two seconds, and then I realized there was no pain so I got up and went onto the next play.”

On if he needed to have his knee looked at after practice:

On if there have been any issues with the knee at all:
“No, it feels great, and I was even thinking about when I was going through the warm-ups today now that I have several braces in case there’s an issue or whatever, there’s a back-up. Now that I’ve gotten them all broken in, you sweat in them a little bit they form to your leg. I was thinking actually when I was doing the high knees over here how good it felt just moving. I didn’t even think that it was an issue. I felt comfortable with it probably since the spring and now with these pants on it gets locked in and it stays put. That was my main issue was it started to slide a little bit on me. Now you put the pants on and you get everything ready to go and it stays in place and it doesn’t really affect anything.”

QB Johnny Manziel

On improving offensively and the mental component to it:
“Just get out there with a lot less clutter, we’re into a couple of weeks now. It just feels a lot more comfortable. There’s still a long way for me to go, obviously. Like I said a week ago, I felt like if I kept working on this stuff, getting more and more familiar with a certain play call, a certain formation, a certain concept, then in due time, I would get better at certain concepts. There’s still a lot left for me to go.”

On running plays with the first-string offense this week and the added value:
“I think it’s good for me to get in with guys like (OL) Joe (Thomas) and Alex (Mack) that have had experience and done a lot of great things. To run with the ones is a different pace. It’s a different regime really. Getting comfortable with them is just as important as any other group that’s out there. I think that it’s a great opportunity for me and one that I’m learning a lot from and having fun with.”

On how much he’s looking forward to facing another defense on Saturday:
“It’ll be fun. It’ll be fun to mix it back up. This will be the first game setting since my last college bowl game so it’ll be nice to get back on the field and play a game. Everybody’s happy when the season rolls back around, and you’re on the field actually having a live game going on.”

On not relying solely on his athletic ability in comparison to his college playing days:
“I think that’s still a process of being able to control that and make it a positive thing going forward instead of a thing that’s considered somewhat wild. I think today in the end zone, I threw a touchdown stepping up, acting like I’m going to take off, keeping my eyes down field. I was able to get the ball to a receiver in the end zone. There’s times when you have to get out, and sometimes the defense wins. Sometimes they play the right coverage to our scheme, and you have to make something happen when there’s nothing there. At the same time, being smart, not turning the ball over and staying healthy are all of the things that you have to do to continue to play.”

On his ability to change arm angles in his throws and if it’s a trait he’s always had:
“It’s get the ball to the receivers at all costs and get the completion. You don’t want to have to get it around a defender, throw it side arm and leave it out too wide or throw it behind him and something bad happens. I think that playing baseball over the years and playing in some of those catch-it, get-the-ball-out-of-your-hands quick offenses allowed me to get better at throwing at some different angles.”

On if the Family Day scrimmage in Akron helped him gauge his progress:
“The first drive of the scrimmage is something that I’m still kind of mad at myself about just because I got a little clutter and there was a lot going on. As that day went on, I felt like we moved the ball better. Really throughout this week coming back on Monday and these past couple of days, I felt like I’ve had less clutter in the huddle, in my mind and been able to get the plays out and try and get everybody lined up and on the same page. More than anything, like I keep saying – I know that you guys are getting tired of hearing it – it’s a process.”

Head Coach Mike Pettine

On how far both QB Johnny Manziel and Hoyer have come:
“They’ve both made improvement. I think they’re both doing a good job of playing to their skill sets. It’s obviously very different what they bring to the table. I think Brian is starting to feel very comfortable in the pocket even though it was a heart skip and a beat moment yesterday when he got hit. I think that might be the best thing for him that he felt like, ‘Hey, I can take a shot at my knee and still be able to pop up.’ He’s feeling more confident, and I think we all see what Manziel can do. He can make plays with his feet, but I think he’s maybe better than we thought in the pocket as well.”

On what his reasoning is for starting Hoyer:
“It was his job. He was the one coming into it. We did want to mix the groups up which we did, but he’s done nothing to have that taken away from him, so he’ll be out there with the starters.”

On if Manziel will get any reps with the ones on Saturday:
“That’s a possibility. We still haven’t talked about the starters, but the coaches were coming up with their own plans on how they want to rotate it. I’ll probably know better tomorrow if he’ll be in there with the ones.”

On Hoyer not getting a day off because of his knee injury so far in camp:
“I’ve left that up to him and the trainer. If him and (head athletic trainer) Joe Sheehan felt like he needed a day off like if there was residual swelling – it’s not like it’s where (WR) Charles Johnson and (WR) Travis Benjamin are where they’re doing so much running on it that there’s a potential chance for residual swelling on it. Brian’s a quarterback. He’s not doing as much moving around, so we haven’t felt the need at this point.”

DB Justin Gilbert

On if he had a good time with Deion Sanders on NFL Network yesterday:
“Yeah, I had a good time. I met him at the Combine. Then, I saw him at the draft so this was my third time seeing him in person. He’s a guy that I look up to. I always watched videos on YouTube and stuff. It was a good time.”

On words of wisdom Sanders shared:
“He told me they were going to be coming at me with (DB) Joe Haden on the other side. I told him I was ready, and he was like, ‘It’s coming.’ I know it’s coming so that’s something I have to be ready for.”

Head Coach Mike Pettine

On deciding to mix reps with the quarterbacks today:
“Correct. All part of the plan.”

On the offense having a good day:
“They did. I thought there was some good competition out there. I was glad that the guys responded the way they did. I think this is a stretch of camp where you’re tired of going against each other, everybody is sore and everybody has something going on. We’ve been urging our guys to go through it, to press on. We have to get better. We can’t come out and just put days in and coast and just start looking forward to the preseason games. I thought our staff did a good job of getting the guys going, and the players responded. We felt we had a good day.”

On how firm of a grasp he has on his defense without seeing it against another team:
“As much as we can have a grasp now, you’re always curious. You go against each other for so long then you start to get used to each other and understand each other and understand each other’s plays and learn the checks. You kind of get a false sense. We’ll truly know when we get a chance to go out there compete. You’re always looking forward to going against somebody else.”

On how Manziel did today:
“I said this a couple other days: I don’t want to evaluate guys coming right off the field. Until I talk to the offensive coaches, see the tape, I’ll have a better feel then.”

On if Manziel practicing with the first team today was part of the plan from the beginning of camp or if it was decided after looking at the first week of practices and the Family Day scrimmage:
“No, we had talked about it beforehand but didn’t really put it in stone. It was not a result of anything that happened in the scrimmage.”

On if it seemed Manziel took steps forward after watching film from the Family Day scrimmage:
“Yeah, I think both quarterbacks took steps. I thought they both played to their skill set. I thought Johnny did a good job making some plays with his feet, keeping plays alive. (QB) Brian (Hoyer), I thought, showed some poise in the pocket and stepped into some throws. Let’s not forget that he’s a guy coming off of a knee [injury] and that was really the first true live work that he had gotten. I thought that was good work for him, as well.”

On if WR Josh Gordon being back at practice today was an encouraging sign:
“It’s still part of the process. He left practice a little bit early to go in. That’s part of the process, as well, that he’s involved with something with the league today. We’ve been patient so far, and it’s waited this long. Hopefully, a resolution is coming soon.”

On the running game during Saturday’s scrimmage:
“I thought they’re still finding their way with it. For a lot of guys, it’s a very different transition. I thought, defensively, our guys played well, played the run game well. I thought our pad level was good. They got off blocks. They tackled well. A few runs got out, but overall, the run defense was encouraging. I think the offensive guys came out of it knowing that they need to get better.”

Head Coach Mike Pettine, Family Day, Aug. 2

On an injury update:
“We held (TE) Jordan Cameron out, just he banged his shoulder. He should be fine. It was more precautionary than anything else. (DB Tashaun) Gipson did not go today, but we’re expecting him back hopefully by midweek. It was relatively minor.”

On his early impressions of QBs Brian Hoyer and Johnny Manziel in the scrimmage:

“That’s hard for me to do. I don’t want to get in the habit of trying to evaluate them coming right off the field. I think it was pretty clear they both did some really good things and they both did some things they would want to take back. I think some of the completion percentages might be affected by they were forced to throw the ball away, as well.”

On really good things today:
“I just thought the physicality was good. I could stand behind it. It was just like the first day in pads – I wanted to hear it from our guys, even though it was against each other.”

LB Barkevious Mingo

On getting out of camp for a day:
“It was good to change it up. We got to come out here and simulate what it’s going to be like in an actual stadium. We enjoyed it. We got to feed off the energy of the fans. I keep hitting on that because that’s important to us. We as a defense, as an offense, as a team, we love our fans and we love how they support us. I am not sure the number today but it was a great showing and we just like to play in front of them.”

On QB Brian Hoyer saying he would have tackled him:
“I would have dropped a shoulder (joking). It’s all fun and games.”

On if he feels like he is really making an impact:
“Honestly, the goal is just to get better at anything. I don’t know if you guys heard about the offseason camp where my hands were bricks. Just improving on that, improving on running drills, improving on anything that can do to help me be a better player so I can help this team win.”

On if this year’s defense will definitely be better than last years:
“We made upgrades at positions. We got a scheme that is going to allow us to play to our strengths. I am just looking forward to what this defense can do.”

On if he licks his chops when he sees Johnny Manziel running around and if he would love that have a shot at tackling a quarterback like him:
“That’s a two part answer. If he was a regular quarterback in this league you would be licking your chops, but it’s Johnny Manziel. He can plant, he can take it the other way, but we can’t hit him. You just never know what he is going to do.”

On if the play-calling process was frustrating:
“No, it was good. You’ve got to remember, this is probably our first time doing something like that where were out on the field and the coaches aren’t right behind us and we can’t double-check with them. We’re learning how (Browns offensive coordinator) Kyle (Shanahan) calls plays and how it sounds in a helmet, and he’s learning how we react to it too. It’s a learning process, and you just take it and build on it. Like I said, there are some good things. There are also some bad things, and you watch the film and correct them and hope you don’t make the same mistake twice.”

QB Johnny Manziel, Family Day, Aug. 2

On his outing:
“Some good, some bad. I thought we moved the ball after the first drive pretty well. I was told we had a 16-play drive on the second series, which is good. We are keeping the chains moving. First drive came out a little sloppy. From there, I was proud of my group. Proud of the way that the o-line, the receivers and the running backs played. It was nice.”

On his scrambling plays:
“It was nice. Third down [run] just trying to get us in a better situation to punt on the first time, after some miscommunication. Kyle called some plays to try and get one the edge – take those second and shorts and try and move the chains. It felt good to run. The plays we executed on those went really well.”

On if this was the most valuable day as a pro so far:
“It’s better. I think the practice days have really been helping me a lot. I think for me, it’s to get better every day. I keep saying that, and I know it’s getting old. I mean that’s really the story of my life right now. I have to get better, learn the stuff, and continue to get more and more familiar with every single play in our offense. Days like today help.”

On the would-be touchdown pass to TE Gary Barnidge:
That was a good play call and a great catch. Great job…I can’t really tell, we’ll see on film if he got his feet in, but for Barnidge to get his feet in and catch that … great route, great coverage by the defender but it was a really, really good catch.”

On handling the play calling, the headset and the terminology:
“Obviously not very good at the beginning. I had a little slip up. But, that’s going to happen. Now it’s just to eliminate those and not have one of them moving forward. But getting better at the terminology…I think Kyle is helping me out a lot. And some of the play calls he’s also repeating them and helping me get used to it because it is unfamiliar territory for me using a headset and doing things like that. Going quicker, making sure we have the right personnel, the right amount men in the huddle – everything like that. And then just running my team. Running the guys that are out there on the field with me, that’s what I have to continue to get better at.”

On squeezing the football into tight windows:
“I think all the windows, so far that we’ve seen, in practice with these NFL guys are extremely tight. It’s not just me but all quarterbacks are throwing into extremely tight windows. I think our receivers are doing a really good job.”

Offensive line coach Andy Moeller

On how OL Joe Thomas changes the whole dynamic of the offensive line:
“It makes it easier to coach and teach from because there are visual examples. Coaching is teaching and then demanding, trying to take guys to a higher level than they can by themselves. When you have Joe there as an example, it speaks volumes.”

On whether Thomas fits into the offensive blocking scheme:
“Oh, very much so. His strength is his athleticism. He is a very good athlete and has good feet. He fits or it fits him.”

On the offensive line’s responsibilities changing when having a pocket passer or mobile quarterback:
“No, we wouldn’t block any differently. No, we would block the same. As far as what coach (offensive coordinator Kyle) Shanahan calls, that would probably be different. You’d have to talk to him about that. No, we’re blocking plays or blocking schemes in the pass protection, or in the run based on the play call, so not really.”

WR Andrew Hawkins

On what’s left in the receiving corps if Browns WR Josh Gordon is unable to play during the 2014 season:
“We have a bunch of hard-working guys with chips on their shoulders who comes out here and bust their butt every day. I’ll take that 10 times out of 10.”

On the league emphasizing holding and illegal contact and if he thinks it is needed:
“I don’t know if it’s needed, but I’m all for it. The more they can keep their hands off me the better.”

On if it would be nice to get an answer on the Gordon situation so the team could then plan accordingly:
“No, maybe you can ask that question to (Browns Head) Coach (Mike) Pettine. He’s more worried about it than I am. Like I said, we’re trying to learn the offense. We have enough going on day to day to try to figure out the new plays we’re putting in every day. This is a very detailed offense, so I’m being 100 percent honest when I say that the receivers, we haven’t even literally discussed it. That’s how far in the back of our mind it is.”

On how detailed the offense is:
“It’s just very, very fine details as far as alignment, exactly where you’re supposed to be. When you run your route you’re supposed to get on this point in the field, that way the quarterbacks know exactly where to throw it. They expect you to be in a certain spot. You expect the quarterback to put the ball in a certain spot. Just throughout the offense, that’s literally every play and that’s the way that you want it to be. That way we have a base to go off of and a definitive answer. Something goes wrong, we know what’s wrong or we know why.”

Defensive line coach Anthony Weaver

On if LB Jabaal Sheard is a DL in sets where he, LB Barkevious Mingo and LB Paul Kruger are on the field:
“Yes, that’s a short answer. Quite honestly, we’re going to utilize those guys at multiple positions because of their skillsets. Anytime you can keep an offense guessing, which lining them on the same side, dropping them into coverage, bringing them both – it’s great for our defense. Because of what they can do, sometimes they’re going to be d-ends, sometimes they’re going to be linebackers. They’ll be able to do it all.”

On if a DE can stand on the line instead of playing with his hand down:
“For sure. Why not? Most of the time, as a defensive lineman, that’ll save you a few breaths, too.”

On Mingo:
“I think Barkevious had a great camp. He’s obviously come in since the spring focused on what we we’re doing playbook-wise and what we were asking him to do as far a pass-dropping. He’s come in with the mindset that he was going to come out here and be successful, and he’s had a really, really good camp.”

On what Mingo had to work on going into this season, having watched his games from last year:
“It’s always tough for a rookie. The expectations are high. You’re still trying to feel out the speed of the game, adjusting to the athleticism of the opposing tackles. That’s something that he just had to go through and kind of get through those growing pains, but we expect a lot more out of him this year. We’ve seen his growth thus fair this camp, and we know it’s just going to keep on going.”

On if he counts quarterback pass disruptions:
“For sure. In a lot of ways, I prefer more quarterback hits than sacks. I think the sack number can be skewed sometimes, but as long as you’re hitting that quarterback, he’s kind of thinking back there, he doesn’t know where their pressure is coming from. He doesn’t know how many times he’s going to get hit. It kind of makes him slow down a little bit, and as long as we can keep hitting him, put pressure on him, hopefully he throws a couple to us.”

On envisioning a trio of players with double-digit sacks this season:
“There’s no reason not to. We have the talent to do that.”

On the coaches’ punt catching contest at the end of practice:
“The defensive coaches decided to take the jersey thing a step further and they wore orange shirts too. I thought we had doubled our amount of ball boys out here at practice. I wanted to put it in their hands. I would of lost a lot of money if you would have said we’d put eight coaches out there catching knuckle-ball punts and seven of them would catch it. Those guys stepped up. It was impressive. We’ll just be in white and brown jerseys tomorrow, but then the offense will wear the offense one and wear the orange jerseys on Monday.”

On which offensive coach caught the pass to clinch the win:
“He was a coaching intern. His name is Mike LaFleur.”

On the celebration dance offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan did:
“It was interesting. Combination of Michael Jackson – he spun around and spiked it [laughter].”

On if there is a difference between that and QB Johnny Manziel flipping the ball over the goal post even though he got a flag for it:
“The rule – and I needed to do a better job explaining it to them – is the goal post is now considered a prop. I think the obvious thing is you just can’t spike it anymore after some of the incidents last year with the goal post being bent and the game being delayed. For obvious reasons they decided to outlaw that. Even now, whether it’s a finger roll, a fade away jumper, anything, it’s considered you’re using it as a prop and it’ll be a flag. I’d rather learn that lesson in practice and use it as a coaching moment than in the middle of a game.”

QB Brian Hoyer

On how he’s doing:
“It felt good to get away a little bit, but it’s good to come back on a day like this and we get into some live situations and short yardage and goal line – the situational football – which is so crucial in this league. It’s great to be good on first and second down and those situations, but third down, short yardage, goal line, four minute, backed up – those are critical situations, and you’ve really got to step up your game when you do that. To come out here off of a day off, I thought we did a good job today, and you’ve just got to keep building on it.”

On if he is developing a rhythm with WR Miles Austin:
“Yeah, Miles is great. Like I said all along to you guys, I was able to throw a little bit with him when he came back a little bit early. We kind of got on the same page a little bit there, and now we’ve been doing it against some live stuff. It’s been good.”

On how he has improved from the beginning of training camp:
“I’m trying to make progress every day. I think, first of all, coming off the knee injury, I wanted to get back from taking the snaps under center and getting used to that. I think that’s come back to me. Now, I’m just trying to master this offense. There are so many things that are available to you, you’ve really got to lock in and hear the play call and call it in the huddle and get out there and do it. For me, it’s just trying to be the best quarterback for this team, whether that’s out here or on some keeps and rolling out and making the right decision or whether it’s just handing the ball off and making the right run checks. There’s something to improve on every day.”

On how his knee has been holding up in practice, specifically when rolling out and throwing on the run:
“It’s great. I’ve always felt good throwing on the run. I don’t know where that kind of comes in, whether it was kind of a baseball thing. I played shortstop for a while so you get a lot of throws from the run. I’ve always felt really confident throwing on the run. I don’t think about the injury when I’m out there. I feel like I’m playing really well. I don’t feel like it limits me in any way. That’s an integral part of this offense if you watch (offensive coordinator) Kyle’s (Shanahan) offense. I feel really good about it, and our defense gives us great work because sometimes when guys are up field and you have to pull up and make a play, it’s kind of a split-second reaction. I’ve had a few of those, too. It’s all felt great.”

On the orange jersey competitions and the competitive nature that Head Coach Mike Pettine has established in practice:
“I think it’s great. You’ve got to be competitive in all phases. Those competitive juices bring out the best in everybody. Even though the offense had a great practice, it came down to the last two plays. Although it might not seem fair, that’s sometimes how the game goes in this league. You dominate all game and then when it comes down to it, you’ve got to make the play at the end. We didn’t do that. The defense, they came in and got them when they needed to. We have to do a better job of finishing. Even though we had a good day, we have to finish. I do like the competitiveness and there’s something on the lines. Sometimes you compete and there’s really nothing on the line, whereas now, it’s something that everyone can see. You go out there and try to compete for something, and I think the best thing he talks about is being competitive and not combative. We’re competing, but we’re not trying to fight each other and having a negative process. It’s all positive.”

On how good the Browns defense is to play against:
“It’s tough. They definitely make us work for what we get. They’re very versatile. They’ve given us a ton of looks. It’s tough on us, but as a quarterback, I know that those guys are going to be really good. It’s going to help our team out a ton. Obviously, there’s a ton of skill. We have great players at all positions. Then, you throw in the scheme with it, and it makes it very difficult. They’re preparing us very well and giving us a ton of different looks. It’s good to go against a competitive, good defensive football team every day. It makes us better.”

On his competitive nature and today’s goal-line session for the orange jerseys:
“It’s a competition that Coach Pett (Head Coach Mike Pettine) obviously threw in to get spirits live at the end of practice and to get people energized and bring a competition factor to it because we sit out there and go against each other all day, and then when it’s time to go, there’s another level that it gets to. Right now, we’re 0-2, but we’re striving to change that. Offensively, we have to execute, run our plays and do what we need to do get the ball in the end zone or get the ball where we need to win the competition.”

Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan

On where the quarterback competition is right now:
“I think it’s been going well. The guys are competing as hard as they can. Especially a week into it, it’s more about both of them trying to get better. You’ve got a rookie quarterback trying to learn a new offense. You’ve got another quarterback – I know he’s not a rookie – but it’s a new offense for him also. They’re both trying to get their feet wet. They had some through OTAs. (QB) Brian (Hoyer) is also coming off an ACL (injury) so it’s been good to get him in some team drills and stuff. It’s been going well, and I think as it gets going more and more, the competition will get tighter.”

Head Coach Mike Pettine

On how much more stock he will put in the quarterback competition at the Family Day scrimmage in Akron on Saturday in comparison to a practice:
“A little bit more just because we’ll try to make it as close to a game day. Quarterbacks won’t be live, but that type of work, we’ll put the most stock in it where it’s unscripted and it’s less situational.”

On if the final three plays of practice determine the winner of the orange practice jerseys:

“Yes, it’ll always be right at the very end.”

On what the orange jersey competition was today at practice:
“Today was just third-and-2 at the 2 with two seconds in the game, offense down five, one timeout left.”

On if Austin could be the No. 1 wide receiver if Browns WR Josh Gordon is unable to play:

“Could be, based on his history. I think he’s done a great job in this offseason with his health. He wasn’t unhealthy, but it was just a situation of looking at why he was having hamstring issues. I think he’s really much more in tune with his body now and hopefully we can get him through camp and then during the season it’ll be a matter of getting him to Sundays.”

On if Gipson’s hit towards the end of practice was an example of the intensity at the end of a game:
“Yeah. Anytime we’re in a live situation and it’s tackle football we want our guys to get it ramped up. We still want to be smart and we’re not taking cheap shots at our own guys, but it’s football – tough sport for tough people.”

On what makes Austin difficult to defend:
“I think it’s his size, and he’s a veteran guy. He’s great with his hands. He knows how to create separation. You say crafty veteran, that’s him. He knows all the tricks and he’s still sneaky fast. I think he eats up ground a little bit more than people expect him to when they see him.”

On if there will be a live tackling period at every padded practice moving forward:
“No. They’ll be very select. We might do one more later in camp, one more day similar to this, but not to this scale. Our live tackling, for now, will primarily be the scrimmage and the preseason games.”

Next stop for the Browns will be Washington for a Monday night game on August 18 at 8:00 p.m.

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