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Bring your earplugs

By Marla Ridenour Published: May 28, 2009

Fans who attend training camp should be prepared to cover their ears.

Former Browns coach Bill Belichick was infamous for blasting rock music in practice before road games. But new Browns coach Eric Mangini is playing it every day, as he said he did during his three years with the New York Jets.

(No word yet on what the neighbors in Berea think.)

The choices are varied -- rap, R&B, country, heavy metal -- and the time it is played isn't standard, although it's always on during stretching.

''There are a couple of different reasons,'' Mangini said Thursday. ''When we play it during stretching, often times we will try to get the playlist from the stadium that we are going to, so that for stretching at the beginning of practice is the same way of stretching for a game. I think that you are going to deal with noise one way or the other each week. To do it on a consistent basis, noise becomes a non-issue. It’s just part of the landscape and so it’s another distraction you can pretty much eliminate, because you have been practicing through that situation for a long time.

''The other thing is the coaches often times want to help. The players are on the field and they want to share reminders, they want to share tips, they want to share adjustments, but it doesn’t happen during the game. The coaches can’t help in the stadium. They’ve had their time in the classroom, they’ve had their time in the walk-through and now the players have to go play. That eliminates that part. A core value is communications. The best way to increase communication is to make communication harder, so they have to emphasize it that much more and that becomes just second nature.''

Mangini said he is not the one who plays dee-jay every day.

''Not every day,'' he said. ''We are open to requests, if you guys have something that you really like, let me know and I can throw that in. It’s wide open. Sometimes the off-season award winners will get to choose it, players of the week....''

But there are criteria, like lyrics with no swearing. Surprisingly, dancing is not frowned upon.

''Ideally we would like to see some movement from the players, to create a little bit of reaction, dancing isn’t necessarily bad,'' Mangini said.

Left tackle Joe Thomas said if he gets to choose, his picks will be heavy on country.

''I like Kenny (Chesney), but there's a lot of other good country singers out there, too,'' Thomas said. ''Probably most guys on the team would vote rap.

''We'll see. I think it's mostly up to the coaches, like anything.''

Linebacker D'Qwell Jackson said he likes the tunes, but perhaps not for the reason Mangini is playing them.

''Any music to take your mind off of things is always good,'' Jackson said. ''You get the smell of the grass. It's always good to hear something.''


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