What the Browns had to say after the game

Browns Head Coach Mike Pettine

The Pittsburgh Steelers hosted the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field in Week 10.

Opening Statement:** On the injury front, Randy Starks has a knee issue. He'll get an MRI tomorrow. Then Andrew Hawkins and Taylor Gabriel were both diagnosed with concussions. Cleary, this was a disappointing result. The thing that's easy to accept at times is when they make a play and out execute you. When some of their yardage and things come as a result of us being undisciplined and making simple mistakes and mental errors, we have to get that tightened up across the board. We've talked about getting it right as a staff and getting it right as a team. There were some good things to pull from it. I thought Johnny Manziel did some good things. He stayed poised, had some good presence in the pocket and moved well. I think he improved greatly from the Thursday night game knowing where he had to be to make throws and not looking to get out of the pocket too soon. He made some good plays. Overall we can't be that one-dimensional. We have to be able to run the football. That's a challenge to everybody in the run game. We have to be better. Defensively, the secondary play was not anywhere near our standards. There were too many long balls. We did some good things in the run game. They didn't attempt to run it very often but I think one of the reasons was that we defended it well early. We forced them to be one-dimensional. They obviously made plays on us.

Can you anticipate making any changes to staff or scheme?
No. This time will give us a chance to evaluate it. We'll be in as a staff this week. The players will be off after Wednesday, but the staff will be in a little bit longer to evaluate everything from A to Z.

Did Ben Roethlisberger playing effect the game plan?
No, because I don't know if their plan would have been that much different if it had been Landry Jones the whole game. I don't think it affected us from a schematic standpoint.

Was Manziel throwing from the pocket a major point of emphasis during the week?
No, it was running the offense. It was trusting the read. When you say, 'trust the read,' it's implied that if the read is there, hit your plant and throw it. I thought he did a good job of understanding what they were in, knowing where the ball had to go and knowing if he had to move in the pocket to get the lane to throw it. I think he took a big step forward in that sense.

How do you account for all the plays the Steelers' wide receivers made? Was it lack of pass rush or was it coverage?
It was both. I thought we did some decent things rushing the passer. He was getting the snap and finding the receivers and getting it out. Our guys were winning at times, but the ball was out so quick. Looking at it at times and looking at the replay, it's frustrating when we're not executing the right technique and guys fall back on old habits and open up the gate. We need to be better at the line of scrimmage. If you win at the line of scrimmage and take advantage of the one rule that's in favor of the defense, then you have a chance to win down the field. When we're giving free access from a press alignment, those are the things that are going to happen.


Why was Justin Gilbert inactive today?**
It was a situation with Gaines. We wanted to get Charles Gaines some work. From a returner standpoint, we felt comfortable with Duke Johnson Jr. and Marlon Moore that we had those bases covered. Again, we wanted to come up with our position minimums and then back-fill it with special teams.

Re: Jimmy Haslam making no changes during the bye week:
I had a good meeting with Jimmy just the other day. We discussed a lot of things including what's been going well and what hasn't been going well. We discussed what the plan is moving forward. Where we are right now isn't good enough. We're challenged as a staff to do a little soul searching, come up with some answers and make sure when we come out of this break, we're ready to go and ready to snap this streak.

Browns QB Johnny Manziel
Re: On if there were adjustments made at half time to allow Andrew Hawkins to be more open:
No, I think we just came out, we were dialed in with the way that they were [playing]. Last week, they made us try to put the ball in play and make us throw it around, with a pick here and there, and we felt like we had them dialed in, just like this game. Guys were getting open and I think they did a great job of finding the holes in the zone that we had throughout the day. We didn't see a lot of man coverage. In the zone we did have, we exploited it for the most part.

Re: On how does he feel after getting hit by Arthur Moats or any other hit during the game:
I don't remember any in particular. I felt that I kind of got rolled up on one a little late. But, for the most part, I'm healthy; I'm good. I didn't get banged around too much and I think that's thanks to all the guys up front. We were hot a couple of times, we got the ball out of our hands. So a lot of credit to those guys up front, keeping them off of me for the most part.

Re: On why he had to run off to the sideline prior to a snap:
I got that facemask and my chinstrap came up, and kind of knocked my contact up into the back of my eye. So, I thought it was good for a minute then I went to close my one eye and blink, everything was pretty blurry. I needed to try to get that one out and get another one in.

Re: On if he's thankful to come out of that facemask penalty okay:
It's part of the game. Those guys are big, physical. It's hard to find another bunch of edge rushers, pass rushers, like they have and they were even missing one today. I'm always thankful to come out of a game healthy but for the most part, you just take some of those shots. It's part of the game.

Re: On if he made more of a concerted effort to stay more in the pocket this week:
I was seeing things a lot better than I did last week. I don't know if it was a concerted effort. Like I said, I'm going to come out and play my game. My game is to come out and try to win the game and go through my progressions just like any other quarterback. When things break down I think I had a chance to make some plays here and there. On the first drive, obviously it didn't go the way we wanted to but we came back in the second to move a little bit to get Travis [Benjamin] the ball and it was a big play. It's a process to try and learn when to stay in the pocket and when to make throws and when to get out and run a little bit. I think for the majority of the day I had a good balance of that.


Wide receiver Antonio Brown made the highlight reel with a quick catch on a crossing route for a 56-yard touchdown with a little twist at the end...

Browns DB Pierre Desir** Was it tough to keep up with rhythm early on?
Yeah, they did a good job out there, and they made plays. We just did not capitalize on those opportunities when we had a chance to make a play on the ball.

Did the game change when Ben Roethlisberger came in?
No, we prepared for both quarterbacks just in case, because we did not know who was going to start throughout the week. We really did not change what we were doing. Whoever was out there we prepared for.

Re: Never really in game from the start:
They just made plays. They outplayed us and they won that game today. We just need to look at the tape and see what mistakes we made and just move on from there.

Re: Mindset moving forward:
The mindset is just to get better. We need to evaluate ourselves and what we have been doing. We need to see what we can take from this game and move on from there.

Browns DL Danny Shelton
How was your first Browns/Steelers game?
You can feel it on the field, going against other offensive lineman, and these guys really hate the Browns. We just were not able to represent like we wanted to.

Re: Different atmosphere from college with a team with a five game losing streak:
I need to continue to do what I am doing. These type of situations you have guys who fall off and guys who continue to do their job. I am going to continue to do my job.

Browns LB Paul Kruger
What exactly happened out there today?
I think the biggest thing for us is we have to begin to find out what we are good at and stick to it. We cannot afford to get out of our realm too much. I just feel like we are not playing a well-rounded game right now. We have to find out what we are good at, then focus on it until we are great at it.

Re: Woes on defense this year:
We are just too inconsistent. I thought we played the run very well this game but we just allowed other things to cause a struggle in different areas of the game. Then there are some weeks where we shut out wide outs and they did well running the ball.

Are you surprised that in Week 10 you are still trying to find identity?
Individually guys have that figured out. Gelling together as a group is where we need to get better and that is something that will take a full group effort.

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