INDIANAPOLIS -- Mike Pettine took a phone call Friday afternoon, a warning of sorts, that a report was soon to be released that the Cleveland Browns attempted to trade draft picks for San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh.

"I got a phone call saying that that report was about to come out. I shot the messenger a little bit," Pettine said to media at the NFL Scouting Combine on Saturday morning. "I said how does that affect my tenure as head coach? I think my next sentence I either said flying followed by something or reference a part of a rat's body."

Pettine was hired by a front office group -- led by CEO Joe Banner and general manager Mike Lombardi -- that was replaced two weeks into his tenure as a head coach. Ray Farmer, a veteran scout interviewed by the Miami Dolphins, was promoted to general manager.

Farmer was not present for Pettine's interview. The perception of dysfunction and disarray are not distractions, Pettine said.

"I'm the proverbial guy from the mailroom," Pettine said. "I don't have the pedigree of most college or pro coaches. The perception, real or imagined, motivates me. That I was just the guy getting Rex (Ryan) coffee."

Pettine said even though the Harbaugh report left him red-faced, in one way that is a credit to owner Jimmy Haslam.

"I think it shows that the organization is committed to getting it turned around, that they would investigate that option," Pettine said.

The report, to Pettine, is a part of the "noise" and he's striving to eliminate the negative. Asked if there seems to be more "noise" in Cleveland, Pettine bit his lip.

"That is potentially an accurate statement," Pettine said. "I'm hoping it's going to get quieter."

Still, Pettine said he pinches himself every morning and believes he is living a dream.

Nightmare might be more apt to describe the Browns' organization, especially since returning to the league in 1999. Pettine said he has a slide in his office that reminds him the Browns have only one playoff win -- and two appearances -- since 1991.

He's working hour-to-hour to get up to speed on his own roster, including key free agents such as safety T.J. Ward.

"I'm full speed ahead with Ray Farmer," Pettine said. "I mentioned it yesterday -- we have a shared vision. Neither one of us had to stray far from our football philosophy."

Quarterback could be a target for the Browns in the draft or free agency. Two prospects, including Northern Illinois Heisman Trophy finalist Jordan Lynch, mentioned the Browns are eagerly talking to all quarterbacks at the Scouting Combine.

Pettine was noncommittal when asked about Brandon Weeden, a first-round pick in 2012, and his place on the roster in 2014. Brian Hoyer, who suffered a torn ACL against the Buffalo Bills -- Pettine was the defensive coordinator on the other side of the field -- seems more certain to remain with the team.

"Brian Hoyer, I think is ahead of schedule with his rehab. I'd always admired Brian from afar," Pettine said. "He's proven he can be successful in the NFL. At the same time, you're always looking to make your team better and that's an important decision."