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Mangini's instruction helped Vickers

By Marla Ridenour Published: December 30, 2009

Browns fullback Lawrence Vickers had hoped to be voted to his first Pro Bowl, but Baltimore's Le'Ron McClain was selected for the second consecutive season.

''I'm not mad about the situation, I'll use it as inspiration for next year,'' Vickers said. ''I know once I get in, I'm not letting anybody else go.

''Just like with (ex-San Diego Charger) Lorenzo Neal. He was kind of at the end of his career and he kept going because he was known as that guy to go. Even when I had a breakout year with Jamal (Lewis in 2007), I knew Lorenzo was going to end up going. Maybe next year will be my year.''

Coach Eric Mangini said he was proud of the way Vickers has grown this season.

''The huge thing we worked on was his hand placement,'' Mangini said. ''I was on him every day, every meeting. I'm sure he was sick of hearing it. I haven't had to say it in weeks. He used to come in with this really wide reach, sometimes it was holding, he couldn't generate the power. Now it's consistent power angles and he's worked at it. I'm sure it was to shut me up. It's really paid off for him.''

A sixth-round pick in 2006, Vickers sounded appreciative that Mangini stayed on him about his hand placement.

''When he first got here he used to give me a lot of crap about it,'' Vickers said. ''Now it's like clockwork. He kind of taught me if you want to be a good football player, it's not all about the physical. Sometimes you've got to get back to the basics of football, hand placement. A lot of guys have a lot of talent, but if you work on the mental part of the game it will make you a lot better.

''That's something I wanted to concentrate on. I'm always energetic and I want to go out there and tear something up. But if I work on the basics as far as my hand placement, how I move my feet, driving my feet, kind of like a lineman. I wanted to up my game and that's something I think I did.''

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