Browns coach pokes fun at scrutiny over his Russell Wilson comments

Dec 17, 2015, 10:55 AM | Updated: 10:59 am
“Every QB that’s ever played is tied for No. 1,” Browns coach Mike Pettine quippe...
"Every QB that's ever played is tied for No. 1," Browns coach Mike Pettine quipped on Thursday. (AP)
(AP)

The debate about Russell Wilson’s place among the NFL’s top quarterbacks was raised anew on Wednesday when Browns coach Mike Pettine said, among other things, that he considers him to be somewhere outside the top four.

That created a predictable stir, which Pettine poked fun at Thursday.

“If anyone is interested, I have my updated QB rankings,” he told Browns beat writers, according to Tom Withers of the Associated Press. “Every QB that’s ever played is tied for No. 1.”

Pettine’s quip was in response to the enormity of the reaction that his Wilson comments drew and the way that those comments were perceived. Pettine had said Wednesday that he wouldn’t put Wilson in the group of quarterbacks who “can transcend their supporting cast” – naming Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Ben Roethlisberger – but that “he’s certainly played himself into that next tier.”

That drew all sorts of reaction, as is par for the course anytime the hierarchy of NFL quarterbacks is debated. Which is why most head coaches tend to steer clear of that conversation. Pete Carroll, for example, will gush about an opposing team’s quarterback but usually stops short of sharing where he believes that player fits in the pecking order at his position. Carroll has said he has no use for the term “franchise quarterback.”

That’s why Pettine’s comments stood out, especially compared to how coaches often overstate their praise of an upcoming team or individual opponent while avoiding anything that could be construed as at least remotely inflammatory.

Which is not to say that that’s necessarily the right approach. It’s just the one that helps a coach avoid mostly unnecessary and unwanted attention, which Pettine is dealing with at the moment.

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Browns coach pokes fun at scrutiny over his Russell Wilson comments