Browns coach Eric Mangini has seen rookie center Alex Mack make strides in the past few weeks.
"I think the main thing he’s done is slow down a little bit,'' Mangini said. ''That happens a lot of times your first few games in, you’re getting to the right spots, but you want to get there so quickly, you want to make sure you execute the assignment, you want to do all the things right, that sometimes you’re not as patient as you should be on the first level. You’re not as patient as you should be with the things that you have to do prior to executing that part of the assignment. He’s slowed down. The game has slowed down a little bit. As we go, it should get better and better.
''I’ve liked his base in the running game. That’s allowed him to get some push on either the nose guard, or the one technique or the combination blocks. I think he’s communicating better and that comes with experience and time. There have been a lot of areas where he’s improved.''
Mack said, ''I've done a better job calming myself down and seeing more defensively.''
But Mack will face a big challenge this week in Steelers' 6-foot-1, 325-pound nose tackle Casey Hampton.
''It will be] challenging,'' Mangini said. ''(Hampton) has been a good player for a long time. (Mack) has faced some good players though. He’s going to have to play with good technique and understand how physical a guy this is. I think he does. He also does a nice job with his film study and understanding what it takes to prepare each week.''