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Cleveland Browns head coach Mike Pettine talks about win over Saints

Postgame quotes from Browns Coach Pettine on Sunday, September 14, 2014

Opening statement:

"Obviously (there's) a very happy group of Cleveland Browns in there. I just told them I couldn't be more proud. There were a lot of times during that game where we could have just let it slip away. We battled back and made enough…this game is about making plays. Just like last week, Pittsburgh made one more than we did, and we made one more today. (I) couldn't be prouder – couldn't be happier for all the work. Just going back to the spring, the time that those guys put in, not just the players but the coaches…pay days don't come very often. You only get 16 times a year in regular season. We got paid today."

On how his first win felt:

"I can't lie. It feels great. I have a big old cigar with my name on it waiting for me. Don't ask unnecessary questions please (laughter). It feels great, but to me it's more…I know I represent this group, but this was a Cleveland Browns win. We wanted it for us. We wanted it for the city. These fans came out, and you could just feel the energy in the stadium today. It was awesome."

On LB Karlos Dansby's playmaking ability, specifically his sack:

"He was upset coming off the field because he didn't get the ball out, but that's the kind of guy he is. We needed a play, and obviously he stepped up and made one."

On some of the catches WR Miles Austin made in the last drive:

"I think he was upset with himself because he had dropped an easy one earlier. There were two catches he had that I remember for sure that – excuse me three, the one that they ended up looking at – those are big time plays, big time plays. It just shows you how strong his hands are."

On if he's starting to develop an affinity for QB Brian Hoyer and his style of play:

"I'm developing an affinity for winning, and he's a big part of it. I thought he stepped it up that last drive. I think he was four-for-four on that last drive. (He was) very poised, bringing pressure, found 'Hawk' (WR Andrew Hawkins) wide open on the seven route. Some of the quarterbacks usually would look shorter in that situation, and he let it go. The fourth down throw to (TE Gary) Barnidge I thought was probably his best throw of the day. He cut it loose. The guy was hanging on his back. Gary made a hell of a play."

On if he would have kicked a field goal if he only had eight seconds left after the review:

"No, because we had a timeout. We had a timeout. The initial thought was to spike it, but when we had a chance to reset, we were going to run a play and hopefully gain yardage. If it was incomplete, we likely would have had to still kick it anyway. If it was going to be a shorter play, we'd try to get a chunk of yardage and be down under five seconds and then call the time out."

On if he originally thought Austin was out of bounds and didn't think the clock was running there:

"We were getting ready to spike it, but then as they let us line up and there was that delay, we went ahead and called a play. Instead of spiking it and getting it down to seven then worrying about it again, just go ahead and run the play, get the chunk, and then go ahead and call a timeout. There was a lot of uncertainty. It was tough because it happened on the other sideline, but I thought the officials handled it well. (They) came over and explained everything and got it sorted out."

On what the philosophy was behind using QB Johnny Manziel:

"Just as a change-up, we had that package ready to go. It's something we'd worked on. We worked on it for Pittsburgh and just wanted to get it out there. I thought we had stalled a little bit on offense and just wanted to see if we could catch them off-guard a little bit and get a spark. To their credit, they defended it well."

On if he thinks it lit a fire under Hoyer – he finished that drive with a touchdown:

"I can't put words in his mouth. Knowing the competitor he is, he probably wasn't real thrilled to have to come off the field. That's the nature of who he is, as he should be."

On if the defense had a plan for covering Saints TE Jimmy Graham early in the game and later on he became a playmaker:

"Early I thought our guys were flying around, and it was jump balls. That's our best corner against their best receiver, and he made those plays. That's who he is. Credit (Saints QB Drew) Brees for just throwing a good ball where he can go up and high-point it."

On the botched extra point attempt:

"To me, it just looked like the snap was high. I didn't know if it was behind him. He didn't drop the snap. I thought it was high and kind of trickled through his hands."

On Browns TE Gary Barnidge stepping in for Browns TE Jordan Cameron:

"Without peeking at the film, I think Gary played pretty well, just seeing some of his blocking first-hand right in front of me. The play of the game before the throw to 'Hawk' (Browns WR Andrew Hawkins) was the fourth-down conversion."

On what his strategy was going into the final drive of the game with three timeouts and starting at their own 4-yard line:

"Well, the first one we took because our guys were gassed a little bit. It was above a minute and the clock was running. It was just one of those things, 'You know what, let's just reset it. So, let's just basically start this drive at the 30 with two timeouts.' I just think in the world of game management you do everything you can to hold onto one when it's a field-goal game. I think a lot can happen when you're out of them. Things can get very frantic trying to get guys on an off the field. Those things are like gold bricks, so we tell our guys we cannot be wasteful, especially in the second half."

On if he ever thought about going for a two-point conversion in the third quarter:

"Discussed it briefly. I thought it was too early. As the game went on, and you're thinking maybe in hindsight looking back, but I just thought it was too early to chase those points back. We were, obviously, frustrated thinking this should be a tie game. We talked about it on the sideline and decided that we were going to go ahead and kick it. Then, if we had scored again after that then, obviously, we would have gone for two."

On what it says about the team to win this game without Browns RB Ben Tate, Browns TE Jordan Cameron and Browns WR Josh Gordon:

"It's a credit to them and the coaching and the preparation. You can't win with players you don't have. As much as you can feel sorry for having guys that are out, injuries are a part of the game and that, to me, is what coaching's all about. You adapt. You overcome. You put together a plan with who you have, and you go out and execute it."

On how much the final drive of the game is going to mean to Browns QB Brian Hoyer going forward:

"I'm sure that's something he'll get asked, but I think it'll be nothing but a huge, huge confidence boost for him."

On the running game with two rookie running backs:

"I thought they were solid, missed a couple cuts, just peeking up and looking at some of the end zone replays. Have to see the film a little bit better, but they did a good job. They put a lot of guys up close, and I thought New Orleans, for the most part, tackled halfway well. That was that one drive – I think it was in the third quarter – that I thought we ran the ball extremely well. Those guys were really pounding. The offensive line did a nice job. Week-in and week-out that has to be a big part of what we do."

On Browns DB Tashaun Gipson's interception return for a touchdown and Browns LB Paul Kruger's pressure on Brees on the play:

"I thought 'Krug' (Kruger) hit him just enough at the end to elevate the throw, and that's what 'Gip' (Gipson) does. I think he's one of the most underrated center fielders in the league, and you can see what he can do with it after he catches it too. That was good team defense because 'Krugs' made a nice pass rush move late and got the ball elevated and Gip did the rest."

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