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Browns’ Pettine to be hands-on with offense this year


The Sports Xchange

Cleveland Browns coach Mike Pettine is taking a more active role in the offense this year.

In his second year as head coach, Pettine carries a playbook and studies formations on flash cards, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

“That side of my brain’s been sort of asleep for a while,” Pettine said.

Pettine, who spent more than a decade as an NFL defensive assistant and coordinator, sits in all offensive meetings.

“It’s been great,” Pettine told the newspaper Friday at a team golf outing. “I feel very rejuvenated as a coach to be a part of it.”

Pettine plans to work with first-time NFL offensive coordinator John DeFilippo as they try to resurrect a unit that finished 27th in scoring and 22nd in yards per game a year ago.

The Browns expect to start 35-year-old Josh McCown at quarterback over Johnny Manziel, who continues to work on his recovery and learn the new offense after a difficult rookie season on and off the field.

Pettine has announced that McCown will be the team’s No. 1 passer throughout offseason workouts, minicamp and into training camp — and the favorite to be the Browns’ starting quarterback this season over Manziel.

Pettine is eager to face the challenge, given his quarterbacks situation and the lack of playmakers on the roster, to score more points.

“It’s a formula, it’s not the most common path, people still try to be quarterback driven, and I’m not saying we are going to be looking to win games, 9-6,” Pettine said. “We still want to be explosive on offense. We just don’t want to put our quarterback in situations where the percentages aren’t there.

“We don’t want to be in third-and-long and second-and-long, where the quarterback is getting hit a lot. When a quarterback is upright and can get through his reads quick and get the ball out of his hands, he’s a lot better. When you get hit early, you are kind of seeing ghosts late. You are not as accurate. We want to make his life easier.”

Pettine said he and DeFilippo — the Oakland Raiders quarterbacks coach for three seasons before replacing former offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan — are “on the same page.”

Pettine said he intended to become more involved offensively even if the Browns and Shanahan had not parted ways after the season.

With Shanahan guiding the offense, Pettine rarely involved himself in play calls, but that could change this season.

“If I’m involved in the game-planning, I could certainly see that happening, getting more specific on game day,” Pettine said.

“I want to be part of the game-planning as well just to give them the defensive perspective of who they are going against. I have a good feel for NFL defenses, having studied a lot of them and knowing the coaching trees, the different styles and rules within those. I think that’s where I can be beneficial.”

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