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NFL roundup: Pettine dismisses talk of Hoyer trade

Published On: Aug 14 2014 09:33:45 AM CDT
closeup of football laces

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Cleveland Browns coach Mike Pettine gave no credence Wednesday to stories on the NFL Network that the team is trying to trade quarterback Brian Hoyer to the Houston Texans.

"'Stories' is a good word to apply to that," Pettine said.

Pettine was asked whether there is absolutely nothing to that NFL Network report.

"We're not going to comment on every story that's out there," he said. "We made a move to strengthen our quarterback room, and you just get these stories coming out. I don't want to be in the habit of commenting on all of them. I really addressed that situation yesterday."

On Tuesday, Pettine announced that rookie Johnny Manziel and the veteran Hoyer will split first-team reps in Monday night's preseason game against the Washington Redskins. The Browns also signed quarterback Rex Grossman, who was with Washington from 2010 to 2013 where Browns offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan was the offensive coordinator for the Redskins.

Pettine said Grossman, a 12th-year veteran, could help both Manziel and Hoyer. Pettine said Grossman stepped right in with his knowledge of the offense.

"He went in the meeting room and they have all the installations up on the board and I think he processed it pretty quickly," Pettine said of Grossman. "There were a couple of minor tweaks to it, but it's all stuff that he's run before that he's comfortable with."

Pettine, speaking on ESPN Radio's "Mike & Mike" show Wednesday morning, acknowledged that Manziel is "slightly ahead" of where the Browns expected him to be.

"He's been impressive. He's probably slightly ahead of the learning curve where we figured he would've been," Pettine said. "I think a big part of it for him is it's essentially him getting the playbook and it has been for a while. And I think he's finally starting to settle down with it."

---Michael Vick, speaking from personal image-building experience, offered words of advice to Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice.

Rice recently spoke for the first time since entering a diversion program as part of a high-profile domestic violence case.

Vick, now with the New York Jets, has been battling to mend public perception after his conviction on dogfighting charges in 2007.

"I think the most important thing that you can do is to try to make amends for what you've done," Vick told NJ.com. "I think you have to show people that you're trying to help yourself and bring awareness to that situation to help others, to prevent it. You've got to become an advocate."

Rice was arrested Feb. 15, after he allegedly struck his then-fiancee, and now wife, Janay Palmer unconscious during an altercation at an Atlantic City hotel. Video surfaced online showing Rice dragging an unconscious Palmer out of an elevator.

---The Atlanta Falcons traveled to the Houston Texans' facility for the first of two days of joint practices.

The Falcons are coming off a 16-10 victory over the Miami Dolphins to kick off their preseason, but the offense is striving for more consistency heading into Saturday's game against the Texans.

"We just want to continue to improve, and I think we've done a good job of that," quarterback Matt Ryan said following Wednesday's practice. "The biggest thing is consistency. I think you have to be consistent across the front offensive line, the running backs and the wide receivers. Everyone has to be on the same page."

---Inside linebacker Brian Cushing practiced for the first time this year with the Texans and could play in Saturday's preseason game.

Cushing, 27, was activated from the physically unable to perform list. He hits the field determined to shake the injury-prone label tagged on him because of 20 games lost to injury the past two seasons.

Cushing had a broken fibula and torn LCL that caused him to miss most of last season. He was hurt Week 7 against the Kansas City Chiefs on a low block by running back Jamaal Charles.

---Oakland Raiders second-year tight end Nick Kasa likely tore his ACL in practice which will sideline him for the season, according to reports.

Kasa was carted off the field because of the knee injury during Tuesday's joint practice with the Dallas Cowboys.

"Preliminary reports are an ACL (tear)," Allen said, according to CSNBayArea.com. "If that's the case, he would be done for the year."

---The Tennessee Titans signed center Steve Vallos and linebacker Kendrick Adams.

The Titans also waived linebacker David Gilbert and offensive lineman Viondy Merisma to make room for the additions.

Vallos (6-foot-3, 310 pounds) is a veteran of six NFL seasons and has 59 games of NFL experience.

Adams (6-5, 250 pounds) entered the NFL as a undrafted free agent who originally signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

---The Pittsburgh Steelers signed running back Stephen Houston.

Houston entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the New England Patriots following the 2014 draft. The 6-foot-0, 230-pound Indiana product finished fourth on the school's all-time list with 25 rushing touchdowns.

---The New Orleans Saints signed tight end Travis Beckum.

The 6-foot-3, 234-pound Beckum was originally a third-round draft pick of the New York Giants in 2009 out of Wisconsin. In four NFL seasons from 2009-12, Beckum appeared in 48 career games with the Giants with four starts and recorded 26 receptions for 264 yards with three touchdowns.

The Saints also officially placed tight end Richard Quinn on the reserve/retired list.

---Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin left practice with a hamstring strain.

Maclin was in the middle of an impressive individual display, getting behind New England Patriots cornerback Darrelle Revis on multiple occasions in the second day of joint practices.

Maclin said his left hamstring "grabbed" but thought he would be ready for Friday's preseason game.

---The Jacksonville Jaguars signed fifth-year center Antoine Caldwell and waived/injured Matt Stankiewitch (wrist).

Caldwell was originally a third-round selection by the Houston Texans in the 2009 draft. Caldwell (6-foot-3, 315 pounds) was with the Jaguars in mid-May on a tryout basis for the team's rookie minicamp, but he was not offered a contract.