Browns HC Mike Pettine: "It all starts with the quarterback"


Q: Who do you see as a potential game-wrecker when you look at the Raiders' roster?

Coach Pettine:"I think it all starts with the quarterback. Very poised and we obviously know a lot about him. He had statistically a pretty good game against us last year, and then the obvious with having [offensive coordinator] John DeFilippo here, having worked with him as a rookie and knowing him as well as he does. He's very poised, can make all the throws, good on his feet. He's extremely accurate. You can see, he's taken a big jump in Year 2. Amari Cooper is a rookie. He doesn't look like a rookie. If people didn't know who he was, they would not say that those were his first two games in the National Football League. I can see where he's got a chance to be special. [Michael] Crabtree was a great pickup. He has a tendency to make big plays in crucial times. He proved that the other day. Then defensively, Khalil Mack had a heck of a game last year. Our guys really struggled to run the ball last year, he was a big part of that. Our guys were very complimentary of him afterwards. Charles Woodson just never seems to age. Eighteenth year in the league, but still a playmaker. You've got to be very aware of where he is, where he's lined up. He diagnoses and triggers to make a play faster than most. There's a lot for us to be worried about."


Q: Travis Benjamin had a great performance last week against Tennessee. What are you hoping to see out of him this week?**

Coach Pettine:"Do his job. Travis has been a guy that people – he kind of fell off people's radar a year ago, because he was recovering from the knee injury and wasn't quite fully back, and then he had a great offseason and a really good training camp for us. Coming out of training camp, we had him ranked as our best receiver and that's been carried over to the games. It's not a surprise to anybody in the building that Travis is doing what he's doing. I think it's just a surprise to the world outside. He's the kind of guy you root for. He'll be the first one to tell you, he's not going to come out of structure to make plays. We've got some good stuff schemed up for him and he goes out and executes."


Q: What is it about Josh McCown that makes him your best option at quarterback?**

Coach Pettine:"I think he's experienced. That was one of the reasons we brought him in, his experience with 'Flip' having been in Oakland together. Then a lot of the concepts that we're running, Josh is very familiar with. As a leader, he's been outstanding. As a mentor, he's been outstanding. He's very interactive with game plans. He sees a lot. I think he's a better athlete than people think. He can pick up some first downs with his feet and slide around the pocket, he's proven that. He's a competitor and that's gotten him into trouble some where he's maybe exposed himself more than he should have trying to make a play, but we're very pleased with where our quarterback room is right now and we're happy to have Josh back."

Q: Speaking of DeFilippo, what does he bring to your coaching staff? Coach Pettine:"Anybody that's been around John knows that he's very passionate, loves football. He's one of the first ones here in the building, one of the last ones to leave and he works. It's impressive for me to sit and work alongside him. I'm taking more of an active role this year with the offense, so just to see him and just how knowledgeable he is about everything from the protections to the run game to the route concepts. His ability to coach the little details, put some complex things into terms that the players, that each individual player, can understand. I think that's a big part of his skillset as a coach."

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