Pettine not concerned with national media
CLEVELAND – Mike Pettine realizes that many in the national media aren’t happy with the Browns these days, and he doesn’t care.
The Browns coach admitted that the team policy to limit credential requests for Saturday’s rookie camp to local affiliates didn’t sit well with national outlets. The Browns took advantage of a NFL policy that allows each team to handle rookie camps as they wish. The policy will be more inclusive when training camp opens in late July.
The reason for the stance is quite simply the presence of quarterback Johnny Manziel. The Browns are trying to limit the media circus that tends to follow every move by Manziel.
“As the head coach it’s all about football for me,” Pettine said. “I know it has and will continue to ruffle some feathers with how we handle some things. I’ll apologize in advance for that.
“What we’re asked as a staff to do is do what’s best for the football team. If there’s something we can control, we’ll limit the distractions that this will bring, and we’re going to go ahead and do it. It’s something that won’t be the most popular thing, especially on a national level.”
Pettine is well aware that the national media hasn’t had much to do with the Browns for many years for obvious reasons. He’s not concerned about getting on their good side any time soon.
“I don’t think we’re very highly thought of given the recent history of the team, so it’s not really something we’re interested in playing into,” Pettine said. “We want to be in a situation where we want to kind of bunker in, build the best football team we can build and worry about winning football games in the fall.”
A BIG GUY: Pierre Desir, a fourth-round draft pick, is one of the biggest cornerbacks in Browns camp in recent memory. The last cornerback of Desir’s size (6-foot-2, 206 pounds) was Anthony Henry, a 2001 pick by then coach Butch Davis. Henry was 6-1 and 208 pounds.
Desir was born in Haiti but came to the United States with his sister and parents at a young age. He’s married and has two children. He’s had some demanding jobs trying to support his family.
“It was during flood season in Missouri,” Desir said. “We were in an apartment complex. I had to clean human feces. I had to take out furniture. I had to clean out the water. They gave us knee-high boots, but the water was almost knee high. I got 40 bucks out of it.”
HAPPY MAN: Running back Terrance West was told by the Ravens that he would have been their pick in the middle rounds if the Browns hadn’t selected him late in the third round. West played at Towson, which is located near Baltimore.
West isn’t upset that he won’t get a chance to play for the Ravens.
“It really didn’t matter,” West said. “I’m focused on the goal, and that’s football.”
DON’T BLAME ME: Cornerback Justin Gilbert, picked eighth overall, joked that Browns fans became more enamored of him after Johnny Manziel was selected late in the first round.
“I think he made the people in Cleveland love me a little more when we got him,” Gilbert said.
EXTRA WORK: Not all of the players at the rookie camp this weekend are rookies. Six players finished last season on the Browns practice squad, and two were on the injured list.
Those on the practice squad include former Youngstown State running back Jamaine Cook, safety Jamoris Slaughter, linebacker Justin Staples, receiver Conner Vernon, defensive lineman Cam Henderson and offensive lineman Jeremiah Warren.
Offensive lineman Chris Faulk and receiver Charles Johnson were on the injured reserve list.