In one of the last media sessions of the day at the combine in Indianapolis, Browns head coach Mike Pettine spoke to reporters this afternoon and addressed a number of topics related to the team’s eventful offseason. Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal, Tony Grossi of ESPNCleveland.com, and Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle passed along a few of Pettine’s noteworthy quotes, via Twitter, so let’s round up the highlights….
- Pettine stressed that the Browns have not given up on Johnny Manziel at all. In fact, the head coach visited Manziel last week at his rehab facility and “let him know we’re proud of him.” Pettine believes the young quarterback will make major strides under new offensive coordinator John DeFilippo and quarterbacks coach Kevin O’Connell.
- While Pettine and the Browns are optimistic about Manziel’s recovery and his future, they will approach free agency and the draft as if they need to find a new starting quarterback, since there are too many unknowns with last year’s first-round pick.
- One possibility for the Browns is Josh McCown, and Pettine confirmed that he’s under consideration, though no meeting or visit has been scheduled yet. The head coach added that the door hasn’t closed on re-signing Brian Hoyer, but that the Browns are weighing all their options.
- Asked about the possibility of re-signing tight end Jordan Cameron, Pettine said the possibility has been discussed, but it would have to be for the “right price.”
- The Browns are making an effort to re-sign cornerback Buster Skrine.
- Discussing the hiring of O’Connell, Pettine said the Browns thought they were doing the right thing by letting him finish his work with Marcus Mariota. Although the team has been said to have interest in Mariota, Cleveland’s new QB coach didn’t teach the Oregon signal-caller the club’s playbook, since he doesn’t know it himself yet, according to Pettine.
- Pettine “wasn’t thrilled” about Ray Farmer‘s role in ‘Textgate‘ but still feels good about his relationship with the general manager. As for owner Jimmy Haslam, Pettine disputed the notion that Haslam is meddlesome, or that he involved himself in decisions about draft picks or playing time.
- The NFLPA’s grievance on behalf of Josh Gordon contends that the wideout wasn’t notified or fined for being late to meetings before he was suspended for it. However, Pettine said today that he did fine Gordon for his tardies prior to the suspension.