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Browns Head Coach Eric Mangini press conference 9-28-09

By Marla Ridenour Published: September 29, 2009

(Opening statement)- “Good afternoon everybody. In talking to the team and watching tape, it is very similar to what we talked about after the game. With the Ravens offense, the first thing you have to do is be able to effectively stop the run. You have to limit the big plays that they’re able to generate, and they have been able to generate them this year and last year. Then, you have to find a way to somehow disrupt (Joe) Flacco. I don’t think we did any of those three things very well. I think, offensively, it’s going to start and be a big part of the determination of the game, is turnovers. When you have four turnovers, it’s going to be hard to impossible to win any game. I thought we did some decent things running the football. I thought that Jerome (Harrison) did some nice things when he had his opportunities. I know there are some plays where I’m sure he feels like he could have got even a few more yards than he did and some of that will come with experience. I thought that on special teams, it was a pretty solid effort, especially giving our defense an opportunity, a couple different times, to get them backed up. I thought the coverage units overall were sound. In the return game, I thought it was better, but we have a chance to, I think we had two returns for 30-plus yards. Those could have been bigger than they were. There’s nothing secret about what we have to do. We have to focus on the fundamental things that are important, and improve those and be more sound in all three areas. To do that, we’re going to address it. We’re going to work on it. We’re going to look at it from a scheme perspective, from a player’s perspective and focus on those things and get those things better and move forward.”

(On if Brady Quinn will start against Cincinnati)- “I’ll make that decision and let you guys know on Wednesday.”


(On if he gets a sense of how the players feel about the quarterbacks when making the decision)
- “What I’m going to look at is who I think gives us the best chance to win the next game. That’s the most important thing. I think both guys did some things on Sunday that were positive. When you have turnovers, it’s hard. We have to be able to move the ball consistently. We have to be able to take advantage of opportunities that are there. That’s something we have to improve on offensively.”

(On if he gives Derek Anderson a pass on some of his interceptions because of the game situation he entered) - “I think it is a tough situation, when you come in down the way that we were down. He made some really nice plays to move the ball, especially the third-and-16 play, I thought was a really nice play. That being said, there’s some other plays where you just have to throw it away and either give us a chance to play the next play or punt the ball away, not give the opponent field position that’s usually going to result in points.”

(On if he’s seen any progress from Brady Quinn from the first game until now) - “Yes, there were things that he’s done better and there’s some things that he did better based on what we’re trying to accomplish. He did have a high completion rate for the plays that he was in for. It’ll still come down to being able to move the team consistently and being able to make good decisions with the football.”

(On the offense not converting on third downs)- “A lot of that, Mary Kay (Cabot), comes back to what we do on first and second down. When you get in, and this was actually better, in terms of the amount of third downs we had less than 10, when you’re working on third-and-longs, on a lot of situations, it’s hard to convert. It’s really hard to convert. We did a better job putting ourselves in a position where we were in third and more manageable. We have to be able to execute on those, and execute them on a much higher percentage than we have been, in order to sustain drives, to play complementary football and keep the defense off the field. It’s key. It’s going to be key each week. It’s key defensively as well, to be able to get off the field on third down.”

(On what the team does well on offense)- “You have to look at it in a lot of different areas. Some of it’s based on personnel, in terms of the groups that we’re in. Some of it’s based on how we distribute players. Some of it’s based on how we execute plays. Some it’s based on the game planning for that specific opponent. You go through that whole process and look at the things the things that have been successful, that have generated positive plays and see which ones you can carry over week-in and week-out. You may have to build them a different way in order to get the same result, especially if it’s formation specific. You look at those and then you incorporate whatever’s going to be specific to that opponent. Maybe there’s carryover between the two, maybe there’s not.”

(On if he can name specifics that the team does well on offense)- “Yes, you’re going to go through and make the determination of if you’ve generated a certain amount of positive plays with this play, based on the percentage of times you ran it, then you’d make the assumption that that’s something you do well. You have to look at it in a little bit more of a context. Was it well executed or was it something that maybe was a pass that generated a first down, but it was based on a scramble. The pass component of that really wasn’t, necessarily, the successful thing and you don’t want to bank on scrambling to get a first down.”

(On if Derek Anderson throwing the ball downfield more than Brady Quinn is a result the plays called for him)- “They’re plays that we’ve run, or concepts that we’ve run over time, through training camp, OTAs and through the season. They may be built a little bit differently, so it’s not all foreign to both guys. You do look at things that each guy’s more comfortable with and you bring in that component. It wasn’t a radically different approach.”

(On how he processes the play at the beginning of the season)- “I think there have been things that we have done well and I think that it’s going to be a function of fixing things that we haven’t done well. That takes a lot of work. It takes consistent effort and that’s something we’re committed to. We’re committed to winning in the short term and we’re committed to winning in the long term and creating an organization that can win year-in and year-out. That’s division, that’s what we’ll work out and that’s what we’ll do.”

(On if he feels the fan’s pain)- “I think that there’s nobody happy with where we are right now. That’s across the board. That being said, now it’s doing something about it and doing something to change the outcome. That has to be deliberate and it has to be collective. It’s going to be worked on, day-in and day-out, night-in and night-out, until it’s right.”

(On if the team is close to winning)- “I think that the position we were in, in Denver, was inherently winnable. I think that where we were in Minnesota was winnable. I think that, regardless of what the score is at halftime, you can overcome those deficits. You have to chip away at it. There’s no 20-point touchdown. There’s no magic play that can give you 20 points. You have to go out and get the first one, then make the stop and get the second one. That’s just the reality of it.”

(On if there is more to work do than he originally thought)- “I think anytime you come into a situation and you’re putting together a program and a program that’s designed to continue to grow and build and make progress, it’s going to take time. It’s going to take effort. It’s going to take a lot of hard work. It’s going to take a lot of people doing that together, day-in and day-out. That’s not unique to this situation. I’ve been part of these situations before, coming into a new environment and working to get it right, New England, New York, New York again. There’s a way that you have to do things. You have to be consistent and you have to be deliberate and you have to work extremely hard every, single day to get those results. You have to build for the short term and you have to build for the long term.”

(On the defensive tackling)- “It’s fundamental football and it’s something that we work on. We worked on it during training camp. We worked on it last week. We’ll work on it every single week of the season. It’s like blocking. Tackling, blocking, throwing the ball, catching the ball, those are core fundamentals that you have to do well. You have to be able to leverage the ball carrier. You have to be able to wrap up the ball carrier. You have to understand where your help is, where you fit in those things, and then when you get to the point of contact, then you have to execute. It’s like the snap, it’s fundamental football and we have to get better at fundamentals.”

(On if he needs to approach anything differently)- “I ask the same thing of myself and the coaches, that I ask of the players is, what can you do better that you did last week to get a better outcome. We analyze each game. We look at the things we did well, the things we did poorly, what preparation errors were, what personnel mismatches were, how we could have practiced better, how we could have implemented the game plan better, and that’s ongoing. We’ll do it at all times, is analyze it. There’s plenty that we can better, as well.”

(On what he specifically can do better)- “I think that we’re going to have to continue to emphasis fundamentals and spend a lot of time on that, and get to some things that we can operate very effectively in and while doing that, still be able to move forward the game planning element, because that’s important. You have to be able to adjust to who your opponent is, and there’s a balance there. You have to continue to look at the best way to strike that balance, continue to look at the breakdown of practice and see how much time was spent on fundamentals and how much time was spent on scheme and where we need to adjust it. There are tons of things. I’ll look at all the different aspects and try to figure out a better way to do it.”

(On if changing quarterbacks after three games changes the ideal of consistency)- “I think one of the things about being consistent is to always try to play the best players that give you the best chance to win. Sometimes that’s what consistency is, is to make sure that guys who are on the practice squad have the opportunity to come up to the active roster. Guys who are inactive have the opportunity each week to play themselves on to the 45. That’s important. That’s important that they understand everybody needs to keep improving. Everybody who doesn’t like the position that they’re in right now, or wants to change that position has a chance each day to come in here and make a case for themselves and I believe in that. Those guys that are on the practice squad, if they want to get bumped up, make a case. Guys that were inactive, make a case. Guys that are inactive, they need to make that case each week. Do they want more playing time? Then go out and show that they deserve it. The important thing is to always have an environment where they can do that, otherwise they’ll look at it as something where, ‘It doesn’t matter what I do, I can’t change my current situation.’”

(On how he feels about the grievances filed against him)- “Grievances are common. People grieve at every single team. It’s not unique, at all. What would be more surprising is if 90 percent of the fines aren’t grieved. That’s not just with us, it’s with any team.”

(On what will go into making the quarterback decision)- “We’ll go on back and look at the game, but I’ll look at some other things. I’ll look at the operation when both guys were in and then look at who gives the best chance to move the ball consistently.”

(On if he takes the fact that they need to sustain offensive drives to help keep the defense off the field into consideration when making the decision)- “I think it’s important. I think it’s important not to play on a short field. It’s hard to play very effectively when you’re playing on a short field. That goes into turnovers. It goes into special teams. Defensively, the same thing as if they’re playing backed up, being able to keep them backed up. That’s part of each side helping the other side be successful. You want to be able to give the defense a chance to rest and come back and, ideally, put our offense out as quickly as we can.”

(On if there are any more personnel changes he is considering)- “I really look at that every week. I look at who’s practicing the best, who’s executing the best, who’s making the least amount of mental errors, who’s making the strongest case to help us that week. I’ve switched roles throughout my time as a head coach, as a coordinator, as a position coach. That’s pretty common, in terms of somebody standing out and you have to be able to reward that. You have to be able to show the players that if they perform at a level then they have a chance to play more or to get bumped up and, vice versa, get bumped down.”

(On if he is concerned how Brady Quinn will handle being benched in the second quarter of the game at Baltimore)- “I think that a lot of quarterbacks go through different challenges. The one thing about Brady is he is a very hard worker. He looks to constantly correct the things that need to be corrected. He’s also a pro and teammate, just like Derek (Anderson) is and Ratty (Brett Ratliff) is. I would expect with anybody whose situation changes, that being inherently competitive, they’d fight to change it back. Being a pro and a good teammate they’d work to help the team continue to improve. That’s what I expect from everybody.”

(On if splitting reps at quarterback in the preseason did not allow Quinn or Anderson to develop a rhythm with the offense)- “I think the only people that didn’t get the same amount of snaps were the three and the four, that they typically during a training camp. Look at the amount of reps that Chad Pennington got when he was a starter, versus the amount of reps that both these guys got. It’s very comparable. In terms of the play time, it’s pretty comparable. I feel comfortable with the way that we split it up, with the thought, the time, the effort that went in to making sure that it was spread out the right way and working with a lot of different people and giving everybody a chance to improve.”

(On if the first interception was Quinn’s fault or if Braylon Edwards could have come back to help out)- “It would be a tough ball to get in there, the way that the coverage was. There was some initial disguise, but as it unfolded, it ended up being rolled up, so the corner’s going to be harder out there then if they were in a three deep or some kind of post safety defense. It’s a hard ball to complete and there’s a high chance of it going the other way.”

(On if he overrated any players on the 53-man roster)- “What you’re doing is you’re trying to take the best 53 from the guys that you have. I think that there are a lot of guys here that can improve on the things that they’re doing. That’s what it’s going take. It’s going to take the guys that are on the 53 to keep improving, and all of us to keep improving. It’s a pretty simple answer and it’s a very specific challenge that you face each day. Coming in, identifying weaknesses, improving on them individually and improving on them collectively. It takes consistency. It takes hard work. It takes discipline and that’s what I expect and that’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to work at it and improve.”

(On if the thought of letting a young quarterback play out a season to see what they are capable of will play into the quarterback decision)- “I think you have two quarterbacks that have worked really hard, that have competed very hard, that have both made cases for themselves. Without being able to look at each situation individually, I really evaluate it based on the situation that we have. I appreciate the way that these guys have worked and competed. I like the competitiveness they’ve shown. I like the professionalism they’ve shown. With that, Mary Kay (Cabot), it’s tough to know what the other quarterback situations are, so I’m really looking at it based on our situation.”

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