The Cleveland Browns were still discussing roster decisions as of 3:30 p.m. Friday when coach Mike Pettine held a conference call with the media.
It’s not expected the Browns will announce roster decisions until Saturday.
Pettine touched on a number of topics in his call. Among them:
The cutdown to 53 on Saturday might not be final. Pettine said any options are open to improving the roster based on the players other teams release. “I wouldn’t preclude any of it,” he said.
It would be a surprise, but Pettine left open the possibility of not keeping a third quarterback. If they do, it would almost certainly be Rex Grossman, who showed with his passing that he has great familiarity with the offense. Pettine said the quarterback debate was part of the process: “When it gets down to that spot, you’re weighing it against who is the best player to keep at that point.”
Running back Isaiah Crowell's 100-yard game against the end of the Chicago Bears roster helped his case to make the team, but Pettine said the decision on Crowell is “no different than weighing the quarterback. It’s a body of work.”
Pettine said more than once this preseason that final roster decisions belong to GM Ray Farmer. But he also said that though he and Farmer might disagree, the GM will not shove a player down the coaching staff’s throat. “I think he and I see football pretty much the same way,” Pettine said, adding: “This is very much a collaboration.”
The Browns considered signing Santonio Holmes, but the circumstances did not work for him to join the team. Holmes recently signed with the Bears and had a touchdown Thursday night.
Manziel had a tough night throwing the ball, admitting himself it came out of his hand poorly at times. Pettine said one throw wobbled so much he thought it was tipped at the line. “That was a little different for him,” Pettine said. “I always liked how he threw the deep balls.” On the up side, he added that on certain plays Manziel was a little more decisive with his reads.
Finally, on the offense, the coach said: “Our offense doesn’t have to be exciting. It can be real boring as long as we’re gaining yards and scoring points.”