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Mike Pettine Chats with Bull & Fox, Expresses Frustration With Kyle Shanahan

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Coach Pettine joined Bull and Fox on 92.3 The Fan.

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

On how much say Pettine will have in the direction they go at quarterback and does he study QB prospects' college film:

"I do. I will have a good amount of say, as will John DeFilippo and Kevin O'Connell. It'll be in conjunction with our scouting staff. We already outlaid, put out there, what we're looking for in a quarterback to run Flip's system and we're going about the business of trying to find a quarterback that can help us win games."


On what Flip's system is:

"He's very multiple. A good amount of what we'll do will still center around the run game, particularly the aspect of the run game we had a lot of success with this past year. Our offensive line, we feel, is the strength of the team and we want to build it around them. I think it'll still be a good mix of zone blocking but we'll have to do some different things and have some compliments to it, things he's very familiar with from his time with some of the other coordinators he's been with. But again, he has a good idea of what he wants, but he also still wants to maintain a lot of continuity from a year ago.

"He doesn't want to come in with a brand new playbook. It's more important for him to learn what we called things last year and then that way it's just one guy learning as opposed to these players that have to learn an entirely new playbook.

"So a lot of the concepts he wants to run, we already had. So it'll just be a matter of emphasizing different things."


On Ray Farmer and illegal texts:

"Ray and I had talked about it even before we went and got away. The way we handle things is very forthright and very honest and open. Neither of us have things to hide, certainly from each other. That's one of the reasons we work well together. If there's something he feels isn't right, he'll bring it up -- and I'm the same way. We feel we can work things out and discuss things out in the open. Some of the thing's that have gotten out make our organization appear dysfunctional but I'm very confident that our relationship is rock solid and we're here together to find some of the guys that fit the attributes we're looking for for the Cleveland Browns. I don't think anything would make him happier than to see us win and see us succeed as a coaching staff. So, it's a situation he's expressed his remorse over and he'll do that again tomorrow at his turn at the podium. But I think we're all looking forward to getting on with the business of football and putting those things behind us."


On if the texting was a big factor in why Kyle Shanahan left:

"I don't think so. I think it's exaggerated. I think it's been well-publicized about his leaving and the details behind it. Personally, I think it's too well-publicized and information got out there that didn't really need to. I think that the bottom line is that Kyle didn't want to be part of the organization any more. You can use the word 'quit'. I mean, those are the facts. I think that he maybe used some of the disagreements with Ray maybe as an excuse to do it. But as I spoke on it when he originally left and we hired Flip: if a guy truly doesn't want to be part of the organization, then I wasn't going to sit and waste a lot of time on it. I didn't need to go through 32 points or whatever it was.

"There were some things on offense that needed to get corrected and it's kind of given us a feeling of rejuvenation in the coaching area that we were able to hire Flip and some other offensive assistants. We're full speed ahead."


On if he made any effort to try to convince Kyle to stay:

"No, 'cause there were some things that had already been put out there. He and I spoke -- it was at my house the night I had gotten back from vacation -- and we left there mutually agreeing that he would go in the next day and meet with Mr. Haslam and with Ray and move on."


On if he has any anger towards Kyle:

"I think 'anger' is too strong of a word, but I'd be lying if I didn't say there was a level of frustration. You want all your coaches to believe in what you're doing and to be full speed ahead. Like I said, it's hard enough to win in this business when everybody's on board. I just think the manner in which it happened -- you know, with information getting out, and the organization being painted in a certain way when I don't think that's accurate, and some of the things that have been said about Mr. Haslam in this process -- it's been very frustrating for me. It's certainly not the case that he's an owner that gets involved in where he shouldn't be and he's as big a Cleveland Browns fan as anybody else. He asks a lot of questions and he's very supportive. Of this whole process, to me that's the thing that's most upsetting: that his reputation has been cast a certain way and that's not true."


On if he's saying Haslam had nothing to do with any of the draft picks, especially Johnny Manziel:

"Nothing. Absolutely nothing to do with it."


On if it was surprising to hear Haslam say they won't be as active in free agency this year and how much say does Pettine have in free agency:

"No, we talked about it. I think if you look at the history of the league and if you look at the dollars that are spent in free agency, I think a lot of time teams -- when you're essentially paying retail, you're day one spending a lot of money on guys -- that's difficult to build a team that way. I know, you look at the amount of space that we have, but I think the key thing here is the teams that are most successful in this league grow their own. That they draft guys, they bring them in -- you reward your own guys with second contracts. That's how you build chemistry. That's how you build cohesion. That's how you build long-term sustained success. I think you still need to be active in free agency,  I just think you need to be very prudent. It's gotta be the right player, but more importantly, it's gotta be the right price."


On if there definitely will be a veteran quarterback on this roster in training camp who is a legitimate contender to start at least this season:

"Yeah, that's a fair statement. I think if you look at the room right now, we have Johnny who -- football is on the backburned right now for him. If he is ever to have success football-wise, he's got to get himself right personally first. That's something where we respect that very much and -- if we're going to be true to our word -- we certainly can't count on him moving forward in the short term. Connor Shaw is on our roster as well. I think it's safe to say that's not what our quarterback room is going to look like come April..."


On if the guy who will start Week 1 likely was not on this roster in 2014:

"No. I mentioned it earlier today that I think the bridge isn't burnt with Brian Hoyer. It's certainly on the table for him to come back. I just think that's impossible to predict at this point."


On if saying there will be a veteran QB on the roster is fair to say:

"That's fair to say."


On what was the best part of his rookie head coaching season:

"Seeing our guys celebrate wins in the locker room. I tell the guys: "There's no better feeling than winning." The food tastes better. The drinks taste better. Don't think it too lewd, the sex is better.

"I know Peter John our PR guy [Peter John-Baptiste, Browns Vice President: Communications] is shaking his head at me right now. I probably shouldn't have said that.

"But it's true, everything's better when you win. There's nothing like it for our guys. Nothing that can replace that. Nothing.

"To me it's just a sheer joy. Like after we beat New Orleans, or in the comeback win against Tennessee, just to see the look in their faces was incredible. Just because of the amount of work going in -- and it's so hard to win in this league -- just to get that reward, that payday. We were fortunate enough to do that 7 times and our task this year is to add to that number."


On the 2014 rookies:

"I know it was well-documented on the issues we had with Justin and with Johnny, but if you look at the rest of the guys: Joel Bitonio, I think is an outstanding player. He's going to be an anchor of our offensive line for years to come. Chris Kirksey very quietly had an outstanding rookie year for us. We're expecting big things from him next year. Well there's Crowell. Terrance West -- had some issues, was inconsistent, but I think he ended the year on an upswing and I think we're looking for him to take a big jump forward next year as well. Then you look at a guy like Pierre Desir, who we really thought was truly going to be a redshirt and then it turned out he was forced to play against Carolina, and played a couple games for us, and was outstanding. It was a credit to his preparation throughout the year -- he used the scout team work to get better. We're very encouraged by our youth."


On if he was in a dark alley and in trouble, which Browns player would he want beside him:

"Bitonio is one. I don't know if you have to go much past him. I think I'd put Whitner pretty high on that list as well. But from sheer size, I'd probably feel a lot safer standing next to Bitonio than anybody else."