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Eric Mangini Thursday press conference transcript

By dan Published: September 17, 2009

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

Browns Head Coach Eric Mangini press conference 9-17-09

(Opening statement)- “Good morning everybody. How are we doing? In terms of the leagues’ decision yesterday, I’ll just reiterate what I said in my statement. I worked with the league in the matter. I consider it closed and our focus is on Denver.

“In preparation today, what we’re going to be doing is, as I talked about yesterday, following the typical pattern that we follow during a week of preparation. Today ends up being, mainly, the emphasis is more on third down. We’ll work on some two-minute specific stuff. We’ll review the things that we put in yesterday. I thought that yesterday, we had a good day of practice. I was happy with the way that the guys worked, the way the guys took the information from the classroom to the field. One of the things that I continue to stress with them is there’s a routine. There’s the routine that you go through here. That’s something that you have to maximize. Then, there’s your personal routine, whether it’s how much tape you study, how you study that tape. Do you study it alone? Do you work with your group? How you prepare physically. It’s especially important for young guys as they learn about the NFL as they go through this process, to figure out what works for them the best. I always ask the guys to look at it, identify some things that are weaknesses, whether it’s preparation or performance, have a plan to work on those weaknesses and then evaluate the plan, and that’s ongoing. I’m looking forward to practice today.”

(On if he is worried about facing additional scrutiny due to the injury report probe in New York)- “What I always look to do is do the best job I can possibly do and make the best decisions possible for the organization. That’s what drives any decision that we make and any decision that I make. You always go through a process, just like talking to players, make sure that they look at the things that they’ve done, the things they’ve done well and the things that they can improve on. Then, figure out the best way to improve on them. That’s a constant process for them, for me, for all the coaches. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the preparation, or any of the other things, that’s something I’m always looking to do.”

(On if the league has a double standard regarding injury reports)- “I understand the question, and I respect it, but in terms of other teams, or the leagues’ decisions, I can only relate to the one that I’ve been involved in. It’s closed at this point and the focus is on Denver.”

(On Jerome Harrison)- “He’s made great strides over the week. He had a pretty good week last week. We just thought it was better to give it another week. I liked the way that he worked yesterday. I’m looking forward to see how he does today and tomorrow, but I’m encouraged by his continual progress. He’s worked hard at it. I’m excited about it.”

(On the type of role Harrison will have)- “It really depends. As we had last week, there will be different guys in different packages. Jamal (Lewis) is going to have to know the packages that the other running backs run and vice versa. You want to have that flexibility. You may start out designing it one way and the game may dictate that you don’t go to that very much. Maybe you’re not in 11 personnel very much, where that could be a bigger role for him, or 12, 22. You don’t know how big it’s going to be, or how small it’s going to be, until you get into the flow and see what happens and where the game takes you.”

(On if Champ Bailey is one of the best corners in the NFL)- “He’s really good. Antoine (Winfield), last week, he’s pretty good too. I think Darrelle Revis is a young guy that that’s made a lot of progress and has potential to be really good for a long time. Nnamdi (Asomugha) in Oakland. There are a lot of guys that are really talented, talented guys and good players. The one thing I think, working with, I believe, good cornerbacks over the years, Ty Law, players like that, is the best ones keep working at it every day. The best ones keep going out. No matter how much success they’ve had, they keep going out the same way, trying to work on weaknesses, trying to understand where they can improve, really studying the receivers that they’re playing against. That’s something that Darrelle and I used to always talk about. I’d tell him, ‘It doesn’t matter how good you get, I’m going to stay on you to be the same guy every day. It doesn’t matter how old you get. It doesn’t matter how many Pro Bowls, whatever that is.’ The important thing is to keep improving. Darrelle was great about that. He worked each day to get better. He was a really talented young guy.”

(On what Bailey does in games that makes him so good)- “He can cover really well in man-to-man coverage and plays well in off coverage. He tackles well. He’s aggressive in his run support. He has good ball skills. He has good speed. He has excellent short area quickness. He’s savvy. There are a lot of plusses.”

(On if Brandon Marshall and Eddie Royal are match-ups that concern him)- “They had big games against a lot of people. I think those are two guys that can hurt you in multiple ways. Royal, he can take a reverse for a long way. He can hurt you on punt and kick return. He can take a slant and go for a long way. Then, he can beat you on a nine. He has that ability. Marshall, 104 catches, 105 catches, something like that. That’s a lot of balls. People knew where he was. He didn’t sneak up on people, and he still had that many catches. It’s tough. When you add the other guys into the mix as well, (Brandon) Stokley can do things that are difficult to cover. The backs out of the backfield create some problems. They have a lot of different ways that they can hurt you. I think both tight ends can do different things that can stretch a defense.”

(On if Randy Lerner came to the game on Sunday and their relationship)- “He came to the game. I talk to him pretty much every day he comes out. He came out on Tuesday. He comes out quite frequently during the offseason, during the in season, we spend time together. He has been great. He has been outstanding. One of the best things for me, with this job, is developing that relationship and getting his insight. The things that he has done with Aston Villa have been impressive. Sharing some of those experiences, there is cross over between professional teams, whether it’s baseball, soccer, basketball. There’s a lot of insight from that perspective. He’s committed to the team, to the city, to winning. He cares deeply about it and I feel that passion every time I meet with him.”

(On Kyle Orton)- “In his first game he had a 100 quarterback rating, 60 percent completion. He did a nice job in terms of running the offense, getting the different things lined up, assessing the defense. Any time your quarterback has a 100 quarterback rating and 60 percent completion, that’s usually a pretty good day, a pretty efficient day. Whether the numbers are higher or lower, or whatever the case may be, those are usually two pretty good numbers.”

(On if the quarterback rating is an accurate statistic to judge a quarterback’s game)- “I think it’s one element of judging a quarterback’s day. It’s different, too, if you’re judging your quarterback or you’re during somebody else’s quarterback. When you’re looking at your quarterback you know what the reads were, what the progression was, what the thought process was. You can look at it a little bit deeper. You don’t know what those things are based on your opponents reads and things like that. I think it’s one element to it. I think you’re always going to look at how it was managed, situational awareness, turnovers, reads. There are quite a few other things that come into play.”

(On if Josh Cribbs need to be put back on the punt and kick return coverage units)- “Like with run defense and in the coverage units, it’s about the group, it’s about leveraging the player and understanding how they’re going to block you and being able to recognize those blocks and being able to beat those blocks and get to where you’re supposed to get to. You can’t have missed tackles. You can’t have people vacating their responsibility. You have to cover the whole field. You have to be able to cover it quickly. You have to be able to read the scheme. There are some things that you can do to help your partner as you run down, to disrupt their blocking scheme. There are a lot of things that come into play. Josh is a very good cover player, but I feel like we have good cover players in addition to Josh.”

(On if he feels confident enough in Mohamed Massaquoi and Brian Robiskie to use them more)- “I feel confident with all of our receivers. I think George McDonald’s done a really good job with that group. I’ve liked a lot of things that they’ve done from OTAs through training camp, in the preseason games. It’s still going to be a growth process with those two specific players, being younger guys. There’s a growth process with Josh as well, getting the type of time that he’s getting. There’s also of learning involved there. As a group, I really like the way that they work. I like the things that I’ve seen here early, with plenty of room to continue to improve.”

(On if the statistic that wide receivers generally do not have a strong rookie season applies to Massaquoi and Robiskie)- “I don’t know what those numbers are, statistically. I’m not really sure. I look at it more in terms of, in the plays that they played, how well did they do. How well were they able to operate? How well were they able to execute the things we’re asking them to do, as opposed to the 1,000 yards or that criteria. You’d love it, but I think you can still have a very good, productive season and help the team win games without hitting just one landmark.”

(On if it rookie wide receivers are like rookie quarterbacks in that it is hard for them to master a complicated passing game)- “It’s been different over the years. I don’t know what Peyton Manning’s rookie numbers were like. I don’t know what Tom Brady’s rookie numbers were like. Do you look at his season as the first year he was with the Patriots, or do you look at it as the first year that he started? I’m just saying that any position, there’s two really good quarterbacks that have had great careers. There are some young quarterbacks that came in last year that I think did a nice job with the opportunities that they had. Really different rookie seasons for that group, but it doesn’t necessarily predict how it’s going to go. I think the same thing is true with wide outs.”

(On Brandon McDonald)- “I’ve liked the way that Brandon’s approached the mental side, in terms of studying his opponents, learning the scheme, things like that. The times that he’s had to answer questions on the opponent, I think that’s been good. I like the way he works in practice. He’s an aggressive player. The important thing with the cornerback spot is short memory. You can’t be bothered by the things that happened in the past. A lot of times that means the not so distant past. You may go out and get smoked for 80 and come back in and they’re probably going to throw it on you again. If you’re worried about that last play, you could end up giving another play. I know I’ve said this 1,000 times, but Otis Smith, he had the shortest memory of anybody that I’ve met, which is great. It was like that movie 50 First Dates, he can move on to the next play and it was new.”

(On McDonald’s interference call)- “With that situation, he was in phase with the receiver, which meant he had an equal position with the guy. When the receiver slows down, you know one thing, the ball is in the air. At that point, you want to turn, look for the ball, work into the receiver and then actually jump into the receiver, as opposed to jump out for the ball. If you jump out for the ball, most receivers push you, which extends it. You want to counter your natural tendency to jump forward. You want to jump back up and in to close his space. There are different phases that you have as a DB. If you’re out of phase, it means you’re beat. Don’t look back, run, just run. If you’re in phase, you have to play it that way. You can be out of phase, and you’re beat, and then suddenly you’re back to in phase, because the guy slows down. That’s a totally different read, because he’s slowing down, because the ball is there that minute. You could be running full speed, suddenly get back in phase, now you have to play the ball. It’s a totally different set of reactions. You work on all three. The other one is, you could be, actually, high on the receiver and he’s going to run a fade-stop and then you have to run back into him. That’s probably too much information.”

(On Eric Wright in coverage)- “I think one of the things that we continually practice, we’ll do it again today, is we practice tackling. Whether it’s Eric or Brodney (Pool), or Abe (Elam), or B-Mac (Brandon McDonald) or Hank (Poteat), any of those guys, most of the time they’re going to be in an open-field tackling situation. That’s the one that we do, the straight ahead tackling drill that we do, or they’re going to be leveraging out of the sideline. That’s the angle tackling drill we do. There’s a lot of space out there and you really need to understand what angle you have to take. You need to understand how to play those things. It’s something that’s a skill, like anything else, that you have to keep practicing. I know a lot of people say, ‘You’re in the NFL, you should know how to tackle.’ It’s not a question of knowing how to tackle, it’s a question of continuing to work at that skill set, so it’s always sharp.”

(On Wright’s coverage on Bernard Berrian)- “What he did a nice job on there was continue to widen the receiver to the sideline. Keep the cushion between him and the receiver really tight. Ty Law was the best I’ve ever coached at that. He could get beat at the line of scrimmage and then catch up with the guy. His strength, his natural body strength, would widen the guy to the sideline. That becomes a harder and harder catch to make, because there’s little room to fade away. I really liked that part of it. He’s done some other good things with that, as well. We’ll keep working at it, because each one of those skills, and just in press man coverage, there are so many different elements to it. There’s at the line of scrimmage. There’s the stem of the route. There’s the break point. There’s the deep ball. Each one of them there are specific things that you have to do well.”

(On why he decided to wear brown pants on the road)- “I thought that it looked good. In talking to the guys, they felt the same way. That was really the bulk of the decision.”

(On if he decided to wear brown pants to try to give the team a new look)- “They had used them before. No, it was no bigger part to that decision.”


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