Programming note: 49ers Insider Matt Maiocco is on the ground in Indianapolis to cover the NFL Combine. Check back for his coverage all weekend and get the full report on SportsNet Central every night at 6 and 10:30 p.m.
INDIANAPOLIS -- Cleveland Browns coach Mike Pettine said he interprets the report that the Browns nearly had a trade in place for 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh as a positive thing.
Harbaugh called the Pro Football Talk report “ridiculous” in a brief interview with CSNBayArea.com on Saturday as he walked into Lucas Oil Stadium to observe workouts.
CSNBayArea.com asked two questions to Pettine, the former Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator to open his press conference. The Browns hired Pettine on Jan. 23, four days after the 49ers’ season ended with a loss to the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Championship game.
What was your reaction when you heard the report the Browns nearly traded for Jim Harbaugh?
“I got a phone call saying that report was about to come out. And I shot the messenger a little bit. Because I asked, ‘How does that affect my tenure as the head coach?’ And then my next sentence I think had the word ‘flying’ followed by something. Or referenced a part of a rat’s body. I think that’s noise. That’s something that has no bearing on my job moving forward. I think that’s a critical thing. I think a big thing of being an NFL head coach is dealing with the noise, dealing with the distractions, and just add that one to the list.”
And then the organization issued a report that didn’t really deny it, but then said the search resulted in finding an outstanding head coach.
“I think when you look at it, it shows the organization is committed to getting it turned around that it would investigate that option. I see that as a positive.”