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Eric Mangini Sunday press conference transcript

By dan Published: September 13, 2009

Here is the transcript from today's post-game press conference with Browns head coach Eric Mangini:

(Opening Statement)-“We can’t play a half of football, and that’s what we did.  We played a half of football.  You can look at what we can do when we play good football.  When we play complementary, when we don’t turn the ball over, when we have gap integrity in the defense, when we tackle well, when we play well on special teams and don’t have huge shifts in field position, when you don’t have multiple penalties, that’s what it can be.  Then, it can go the other way.  With a team like Minnesota, who’s talented across the board, with a player like Adrian Peterson, there can’t be any cracks.  Once there is, he finds them and he exploits them, and they’re big exploits.  If you have to play constantly on a short field, because we’re not leveraging the punt returner, that’s a problem too.  There are choices, we can be the team in the first half or the team in the second half, but we have to make the right choices and we have to make those choices consistently.  What we have to do is, take this experience, understand the keys from it and move forward.”

(On why he thinks there was a contrast in the play between the two halves)- “I think it comes down to a lot of fundamental stuff. We knew they had explosive players in the kicking game that you have to maintain leverage on.  You come too far inside and let him get a position outside of the force player and it’s going to go for a long way.  With a guy like Adrian Peterson, you have to have consistent gap integrity.  You can’t let him get the edge and he got the edge on two of those long plays. We had other opportunities to stop drives.  We had them backed up at one point and didn’t stop a drive.  We had them on the third-and-long and lost track of the tight end.  Those things, you can’t do them.  You can’t do them and hope to be successful.”

(On Brady Quinn’s performance) –“I think there were some positive things.  There were some things that we did well in the first half, in terms of recognizing coverage they were in, getting into our run checks when they had seven in the box, passing the ball when they had eight in the box.  That was something we looked at and we wanted to do and I think it helped us in the running game.  I think in the second half, the primary job of the quarterback is to protect the football.  We can’t turn the ball over twice.  That is something that has to continue to improve.”

(On if it seemed like Quinn and Braylon Edwards were not on the same page)-“I don’t agree that they were on different pages. I think that we could have made some better throws at times.  We could have run some sharper routes at times.  I don’t think it was a function of being on a different page, I think it was a function of being able to execute those plays more effectively.”

(On how he prevents players from having a discouraged attitude because of last year)-“Last year has nothing to do with this year.  Next year will have nothing to do with this year, either. What we control is right now, with this group of guys, by the way we work, by the way we respond, by the way we prepare.  That is what affects this year.  That is what affects right now.  It is consistently going to be emphasized, because it is right.  Last year has no affect on this year and five years ago, that doesn’t either. It’s right now, this moment, this group, how we work, how we prepare and then how we execute on Sunday.”

(On if he saw consistent problems with Minnesota being able to convert long distance downs)- “On that one, it was loss of check down.  It looked like a wide receiver screen, where he was going to delay, block and delay, and we didn’t maintain our position on him.  Everybody else was in man-to-man coverage.  The same thing as the running game, if you don’t have all the guys taken care of, and maintain that, then you are going to have problems.  Especially in man-to-man, where you don’t have the second level, because they are engaged with the people that they’re covering.”

(On if the offense can be successful without being able to stretch defenses)- “I think this offense can be successful.  I think there were points during the course of the game where we did move the ball well. There were points where we had opportunities for some big plays.  I think it’s a function of us doing those things better than we did here today.”

(On Adrian Peterson’s 64-yard touchdown run)- “It’s not something I haven’t seen multiple, multiple times from him.  It’s not something that we all haven’t seen multiple, multiple times from him. If you let him get on they edge, you’ve got a problem. If once he gets on the edge and gets in the secondary, you don’t leverage him, you’ve got a problem.  If you don’t wrap a player like him up, it’s not going to go for six more yards, it’s going to go for whatever it went for.”

(On if the players got tired in the second half)-“I give Minnesota a lot of credit. I think that they came out in the second half and they played well. Believe me, there’s a lot of things we can do better based on our second half performance.  Coaching, playing, right on down the line.”

(On Brett Farve’s first game with Minnesota) –“I think in the second half, I’m not sure how many times he actually threw the ball, or threw it down field or was asked to do those things.  He can do those things.  I think it was more an emphasis on running the football at that point.  There were some times where they had runs called and Brett looked over, checked the receiver, ran a quick slant. Those things are very consistent with how he’s been. I’m sure he’ll do a great job.”

(On the perception he had of the team going into the game compared to where they are now)-“It’s the same thing I talked about with the group, it’s what we want it to be.  There was a lot of really good football, I thought, in the first half and we saw how that went.  Then, there were a lot of things that weren’t right in the second half and we saw how that went. Same players, same game, same schemes, I don’t think there was a lot of variation. We obviously tried different things the second half,when the situation changed, in terms of the score.  It’s the same group, thirty minutes apart.”

(On if the Browns did not play like they did in the first half or if Minnesota made adjustments in the second half)-“Again, I think that Minnesota played well throughout the course of the game. I think that there were core things that we could have done better.  I use a word like leverage, leveraging either the running back or the returner.  Those are core things that you have to do play-in and play-out, because when you face a player of Adrian Peterson’s caliber, it only takes once.  He only needs that one time and he can exploit it.”

(On if the game plan was to use more short passes this game)- “There were some shots down the field. The interception was a shot. The touchdown pass interference play was a shot. We had a couple other ones called. They have a pretty effective pass rush that generates a lot of sacks and you have to account for that.  They’re good across the board there.  It’s a combination of things and things that we thought that we could do well.”

(On if he was planning to use Josh Cribbs on the goal line)- “Not necessarily.  We had a range of plays there. The first play he had for five yards, I think we would have had a much better chance on the second play.  The timing of the snap wasn’t quite where it should have been.  I think that slowed things down. It was a quick hitting play.  That’s why we went with him twice.”


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