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Eric Mangini Thursday press conference transcript

By dan Published: September 10, 2009

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

(Opening statement)- “Good morning everybody.  How are we doing?  Everybody bright eyed?  A couple things, we tallied up the votes for the captains.  This year’s captains, offensively, will be Joe Thomas and Jamal Lewis.  Defensively, they will be D’Qwell Jackson and Eric Barton.  On special teams, they will be Josh Cribbs and Phil Dawson.  I think they are all going to do a great job.  One of the things that we do every week, and we’ll do it today, is we get together with the captains and we spend some time, just talk about whatever the issues are of the day and how we can either address those or could be suggestions on things that we can improve on.  I express to the players that they can use the captains as a sounding board through our meeting, or if they’d rather talk to me, individually, that’s something I always encourage as well.  I’m really proud of the group of guys that we have.  I think they’ll do a great job.  They’ve all shown leadership throughout the time that I’ve been here.  In getting to know them, I think that will continue and be really positive for us.

“In terms of today, what we’re going to do is, essentially follow the same schedule that we would normally follow during a typical week of preparation.  There will be a little bit of advance work on what we would do tomorrow.  We did some of that yesterday as well, because we were able to have the extra day on Monday.  It will be review.  It will be some new install.  It will be working a little bit forward.  In terms of the things covered, it follows the core pattern.  Just expressing to the guys, too, the importance of getting the work done here, but then going home and making sure that they’re following up on the work that we do and come in each day ready for, either the new install, or to improve on the things that we have to improve from the previous day’s install.  In terms of the quarterbacks, I really don’t have anything to add to what I said yesterday.  I hope you can respect that.”

(On the best thing about Brady Quinn’s game)- “I think both quarterbacks have a lot of positive things.  What I’ve liked about both guys is the progress that they’ve made throughout the OTAs, throughout the camps.  Brady’s done a good job with improving in terms of understanding, not only what we’re doing, but also understanding what the opponent’s doing, understanding the different tools as well.  I think that D.A. (Derek Anderson) has done the same.  There were a lot of good examples of that from both guys throughout the camps and I thought, especially, during the preseason games.”

(On if Quinn is a natural born leader)- “It’s hard to identify who’s natural born and who’s not.  I really believe that everybody has the capacity to lead.  It’s something I sincerely believe in.  It doesn’t have to be traditional, by any sense. It can be in whatever capacity you feel good about doing and setting a positive example, bring some other guys along.  It happens each day.  After practice, guys doing some extra running and it may be someone that is normally really quiet, gets a group of guys, ‘Hey, let’s go get a little extra conditioning.’  Same thing with tape work, you just have to grab two or three and bring them with you.  How we collectively work during this process is going to shape how we collectively do during the course of the season.”

(On the huddle presence of Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson)- “I know it’s sort of a term that is used quite often and it encompasses a lot of things.  What I look for there is, it’s not just how they act in the huddle.  It’s how they operate the offense.  Seeing the situation in two-minute, understanding what we have to do to be successful in that situation or it could be in the red zone.  Being able to recognize what the coverage is and where to go with the ball.  Anticipating, based on a front, we could get this pressure, where I would typically go is here or there.  It’s not one specific thing.  It’s not coming in to the huddle with a calm demeanor.  It’s not coming into the huddle with a light demeanor.  It’s not just those things.  Those things are part of it, but it’s operating the whole system.”

(On if he talks to the players about the quarterback’s disposition in the huddle)- “Not specifically Tony (Grossi).  In the actual huddle itself, when I say huddle presence, it isn’t just those 20 seconds that they’re in the huddle.  Sometimes, we’re in no huddle.  It’s bigger than that and I look at the other things associated with it.”

(On if huddle presence is just during the actual huddle)- “It’s not defined in the narrow terms of just when they’re actually in the huddle.”

(On Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson’s chemistry with Braylon Edwards)- “What I’m looking to do, Mary Kay (Cabot), is make sure that everybody has chemistry with everybody else.  One of the goals throughout camp, in moving guys to different spots and playing guys in different spots, was to help develop that chemistry.  So many things are going to change.  You’re going to play with so many different guys.  You don’t want it to be a function of, one guy has a certain relationship with another guy and that’s the only relationship. I’m looking for us all to have a relationship.  I’m looking to have chemistry with the players.  I hope the coaches have chemistry with the players and the offense has chemistry with the defense.  That’s important.  That’s important for all of us.”

(On Brett Favre saying he would have sat out the last five games of 2008)- “I can tell you that with that whole part of the season, I made the decisions that I thought were best for the team at that time.  You take all the information in and you move forward with it.  There were a lot of things that I could have done better. There were a lot of things that the coaches could have done better and there were a lot of things that, as players, we could have done better.  I don’t think winning or losing is ever going to come down to one guy.  It’s a cumulative thing.  You make the decisions based on the information that you have at the time and you move forward.  That’s really where we’re at.”

(On Favre never appearing on the injury report in New York)- “I can tell you that we always fill out the injury report by the guidelines set through the NFL.  That was true there.  It’s true here.  It’ll be true every week of the season and that’s how we approach it.”

(On how Shaun Rogers compares to Kevin Williams and Pat Williams)- “It’s tough.  I think all three of those guys are outstanding players and present problems for offenses.  I don’t know Kevin and Pat personally.  I’ve seen them play.  I don’t know that part of it.  I think they’re all guys that can really disrupt an offense.  They all are physical in the running game, as well as can create pass rush.  I like all three of their motors.  There’s a great clip yesterday, from practice, where the quarterback ends up scrambling out to our left and Shaun Rogers, the acceleration that he had from where he was to the quarterback, you would have thought he was a sprinter.  That’s a big man, closing fast.  Force equals mass times acceleration.  If he gets there, I like that formula.”

(On Rogers not looking as big as he did last year)- “That’s a goal for all of us.  That’s the ongoing goal in life, I imagine (joking).  Yes, he was pretty fast last year, too.  He’s athletic.”

(On if Rogers is lighter this year)- “I think it’s pretty comparable.  Maybe it’s shifted.  A dark jersey could help him.  I’m not sure.”

(On if Rogers is 100 percent over his foot injury)- “He was limited yesterday in practice.  We’ll keep going through the week and see where we’re at.”

(On if it is a stretch to say Rogers is the best athlete on the team)- “He’s athletic.  I don’t know if you’re doing the comparison pound-for-pound.  He’s pretty athletic. I remember Kris Jenkins, when he came in and we were talking to him, he jumped up on the pull up bar and repped out a bunch of them.  He looked like a 180-pound DB, the way that he did it.  He is just gifted.”

(On if he finds any extra relevance in teams winning their first game)- “I think all 16 are really important.  I’m pretty sure in New England, that first Super Bowl year, we started 0-2.  We just kept plugging away. Minnesota last year, I believe, lost three out of their first four.  Each year, there are teams that start fast and don’t finish as fast and teams that maybe start a little bit slower and then finish strong.  What I’m looking for is, ideally, consistency throughout the course of the season.  The first game is a lot of variables.”

(On if he thinks there is relevance to the statistic that teams that start 1-0 get to the playoffs twice as frequently as teams that start 0-1)- “I’ve never looked at it that way.  I’m not sure.”

(On the statistic that teams that start 1-0 get to the playoffs twice as frequently as teams that start 0-1)- “I’m not sure on that.  I’ve never looked at it that way.  I wish it was that clear cut.  I looked over a lot of statistics and sometimes they really play, like turnovers, to me, I think that statistic is pretty lock solid.”

(On the lift teams get by starting 1-0)- “I honestly believe that each game is its own sort of body of work.  It’s a long season and there’s 15 more left after that point.  You can keep improving throughout the course of the season, or not.  I’ve been all over the spectrum, in terms of success and failure early or late.  Start slow, you start fast.  It’s kind of what you do each week, I think, is the most important thing.”

(On if the players will get down if the team starts 0-1 because of last season)- “I really, really believe that you can’t do anything about last year.  You can’t do anything about next week.  What gives you your best chance to be successful is focusing right now, on this moment and doing the best you can there. Often time, what happens is, when you start thinking about the past or the future, and lose track of what you’re working on now, it’s when you have problems. You don’t start at 4-12.  You don’t start at 10-6.  You don’t start at any of those numbers.  You start at 0-0 and how you do is based on the collective decisions of everybody.  With 53 guys, plus the practice squad and the coaches, there are a lot of decisions going on and they have to be good ones. You can keep piling snow on the mountain, piling snow on the mountain and you get enough snow, you create an avalanche.  It takes a lot of snow and you have to keep piling it, or else you just have good scheme.”

(On what game days are like for him)- “I usually wake up the same way, each one of the different days, depending on if it’s  four o’clock, or night game or early game.  I’ve tried different routines.  I’ve tried all those things, I’m sure like everybody does.  One of the things I talked to the players about really early in camp is, you can go into a game with a sense of calm if you’ve done everything you can to prepare for that game.  We’ve all been in that position in college or high school, where you go into a test and you haven’t studied as much and then you’re really nervous.  You can’t do anything about that, you have to take the test, but you can be ready for the next test.  I’m always asking everybody to make sure that when we go into these tests, you’re calm.  You’re prepared.  You understand it.  You’ve studied enough to slow the game down.  You’ve studied enough to make your reactions faster.  When you’ve done the work, when you’ve done everything you can to prepare, then you should enter it calm and then play.”

(On if Minnesota is a daunting team to face)- “I go into every game expecting to win and expecting the players to play well.  I would hope that everybody else does as well.  If you go into any type of competitive context thinking that you’re going to lose, or you’re not going to play well, then you’ve pretty much sealed your fate at that point.”

(On if he coaches Shaun Rogers differently than other players)- “I think you coach everybody a little bit differently. You try to understand what things work the best for that person.  You try to understand how they learn the best.  That’s a big thing, I think, understanding how each guy learns and not take a visual learner and only talk to him, not take a guy who learns through doing things and never get him in a walk through.  You try to understand who it is, how they learn, what they respond to and put together the best plan to reach them and to help them improve.  Another thing is the player understanding how they best learn, what they best respond to, and that takes a lot of honesty, critical honesty.”

(On what pushes Rogers)- “He loves to play.  He really does.  He loves to play and I saw that first coming in and the motor he plays with.  The intensity he plays with.  Yesterday’s practice, that scramble, I mean, he was finishing.  It’s a great example.  It’s a great example of what you’re looking for.”

(On if Adrian Peterson is a player he looks to contain because of his explosiveness)- “You’re looking to stop everybody that you can stop and understand how you have to do that.  As you face explosive players, there’s a very small margin for error.  He can score at any point.  He can score with a check down.  He can score with a screen.  He can score with a run that it looks like you had stuffed inside and suddenly he bounces out.  It has to be sound across the board, otherwise, that little crack, he finds it and usually it goes a long way.”

(On having to sell his mom on the Cleveland Browns and if his first game with the Browns is more special than his first with the Jets)- “I only had to sell her when I was in college, with all those student loans and taking a job as a ball boy.  She’s sold now.  She’ll be up for the game.  She comes to all the games now.  She’ll let me know what she thinks.  I should have called something differently, I get that now.  She’s great.  70-plus years old and she’s at everything.  It is special.  It’s Cleveland football, at home, with the crowd.  It’s an amazing experience.  I hope the guys that are new to this, and the rookies, get a chance to understand that, appreciate that.  It is different.”


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