Browns coach Eric Mangini met with reporters Monday afternoon. Here are some of the highlights from the press conference:
Before Browns coach Eric Mangini began his news conference, fullback Lawrence Vickers and cornerback Sheldon Brown went to bat for him. Both players presented cases why Browns President Mike Holmgren should retain Mangini for next season. Said Vickers: "I love Mangini. He's a good guy, so I want him back. ... We want to keep fighting for our coach. ... Hey, he coached us to finish, and that's what we're trying to do." Said Brown: "What you have to do is go out play like you want to save his job, not talk about it. ... He's treated me like a man since day one. ... I can't say anything negative about him."
In response, Mangini said it's meaningful when his players voice their support for him because it's indicative of the mutual respect they have for each other. "There's a sense of community in this team," Mangini said. "That doesn't happen by accident."
When asked about his team continuing to fight despite no hopes for the playoffs, Mangini said "it's really what I would expect from these guys."
Without being asked about either player, Mangini praised rookie cornerback Joe Haden and second-year wide receiver Brian Robiskie for improving their techniques and making strides as of late.
Mangini said rookie quarterback Colt McCoy did a good job changing protection calls at the line scrimmage against the Baltimore Ravens. What was McCoy's most important lesson learned after losing the Ravens 20-10 on Sunday? "I think he's got a much deeper appreciation for (Ravens safety) Ed Reed," Mangini said. ... "You can't take the same chances on the deep ball with a guy like that back there." Reed recorded two of McCoy's career-high three interceptions. Mangini said he doesn't have to be too hard on McCoy because McCoy is usually so hard on himself.
Mangini on end of the first half against the Ravens, when the Browns had to kick a field goal on third down with six seconds left because of questionable clock management: "The goal there is really to have three chances to run plays before you kick the field goal on fourth down. ... I was off by a couple seconds. You definitely want that extra down to do that. You don't want to kick it on third down. And I thought we were gonna have that. I just was wrong."
Mangini said running back Peyton Hillis' back is really sore, but he should be fine for Cleveland's upcoming season finale against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Hillis was hit in the back by Reed early in the first quarter.
Mangini said there was some "slight nudging" by Robiskie when he was called for offensive pass interference in the third quarter against the Ravens.
When asked about his fate with as Cleveland's coach, Mangini referenced a saying he's heard before: "Don't worry about the future. It comes soon enough."