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What's Browns coach Eric Mangini saying?

By Nate Ulrich Published: June 4, 2010

Browns coach Eric Mangini met with reporters Thursday before a session of organized team activities in Berea. Here are some of the highlights from the transcript:

Browns coach Eric Mangini press conference (6-3-10)

(Opening statement) -- “A couple of things here, in terms of the restricted guys, no movement there.  Jerome (Harrison) will be here working.  He’s been here working, but no change with any of the other guys.  With the injured guys, that group has stayed the same. ... In terms of progress, I think we made a lot of progress with retention, with understanding situations.  It shows up in different levels each day.  I think Chris Gocong has really made some excellent strides. He’s a really smart guy.  He’s heard things now two or three times and some of the littler things are starting to come.  I’d say the same thing for Scott Fujita.  Sort of the same type of player in terms of very, very bright and now he’s getting more and more comfortable seeing some of the smaller things show up in a real positive way.”

(On the importance of having versatile linebackers) -- “I think it’s great to have guys that can do both because it gives you depth on the 45.  When you play the game, you may not have to carry an extra inside linebacker or outside linebacker, you can just shift one of those guys to those spots and they can give you a level of play that maybe that extra guy that you would have carried would give you.  Now it gives you some versatility if you want to carry an extra receiver or a core special teams player.  The other nice thing is the 3-4 is pretty flexible, but when you have guys that can play both spots, now you can become more flexible with where you can put them, how you move those pieces around and that’s something I’m always looking for.”

(On defensive back Brandon McDonald) -- “The one thing I’ll say about Brandon is first of all, he was one of our offseason award winners last week.  The way that we choose those during the OTA days is offense, defense, special teams, we choose a wild card player which could be any position and we choose a rehab player.  He was one of the winners last week.  I think he’s had a really good camp, similar to the type of camp that Brian Robiskie has had and that’s a positive thing.  He’s played a lot of football. He’s been in a lot of games and that’s good.  The more depth we can have at the cornerback spot is great.  One of his best traits is he’s intensely competitive and he’s going to go out and put his best foot forward.  Now, has it always worked out exactly the way he wanted or we wanted?  Not necessarily, but he comes back and works the next time and I like that a lot about him.”

(On Jerome Harrison) -- “He’s looked good.  It’s really hard to evaluate where guys are.  You’re looking at it more in terms of assignments, technique, things like that.  He’s made very few mistakes, which is excellent.  He looks similar to the way he looked.  It’s just hard to project too far down the road without pads on.”

(On the running back situation) -- “I think it’s a good situation.  I think Montario (Hardesty) has had a really outstanding camp.  For a young guy, he makes very few mistakes.  His level of maturity is one of the highest that I’ve been around and that’s great.  That’s going to give him the best chance to not only play, but to play a lot if he continues along this path.  That’s exciting to see.  Again, it’s with a big asterisk because we don’t have pads on and they’re not games and we haven’t done a full evaluation, but I really like what he has done to this point.”

(On Joe Haden, pictured left, making progress) -- “I think he benefits a lot from having someone like Sheldon (Brown) around who is going through the same thing.  It’s different in the sense that Sheldon can relate it to things he did in Philadelphia, but it is all new for Sheldon.  That’s actually a plus for a guy like Joe because as Sheldon is learning, he can help Joe along.  They’re both new, they both play the same position and it can be a mentor/mentee type relationship.”

(On Haden’s quickness) -- “I think it’s gotten better.  I think all of those young guys in the secondary, the first rookie camp they had been on the lecture circuit and their legs looked heavy.  But now, they have been playing football, they have been doing football-specific movements and they look like they are playing a lot faster than they were.  They are starting to pick up the information.  It’s not where they’re going to be and hopefully they get there as quickly as possible, but it’s a lot better than it was because they are back in a routine and their bodies are responding the way that I’m sure they are used to it responding.  T.J. Ward too has had a couple of nice days.”

(On where Chris Jennings and James Davis fit in the running back rotation) -- “Chris got a lot of experience because of the opportunities that were available and he’s making progress.  James, even though he missed the playing time, he was in the meetings, he was part of the whole process.  Similar what happened to Chansi Stuckey his first year.  He came in, he played for a little bit, he got hurt early, but he learned that whole first season and it showed up a lot that second season.  I’m excited about seeing both of those guys.  Now you have Jerome and Montario and Peyton (Hillis) is working in there, some good depth and some good competition.  Competition is healthy, it pushes everybody to be better.”

(On how Davis handled his injury last season) -- “I think he’s handled it really well.  He’s been on top of his rehab throughout the whole process and I get the sense that he’s excited to be back in the football-specific things.  We are excited to see how he does this year because he did a lot of good things early last year.”

(On if he would be opposed to starting two rookie safeties) -- “I’m definitely open to that.  In New York, we started two rookie offensive linemen that first year with the center and the left tackle.  Eugene Wilson and Asante Samuel played a lot their rookie season in New England.  It just depends on where they are and there are a lot of veteran guys that are going to work to not let that happen and that’s what you’d expect.  But if they’re the best guys, you may take some lumps early because they are rookies, but typically those guys continue to move up and excel as they play and gain experience.”

(On what veterans will compete for a safety position) -- “(Mike) Adams he has worked quite a bit at corner, he can work at safety.  You have Bubba (Ray) Ventrone; he’s been working in there.  Nick Sorensen’s been working in there.  DeAngelo Smith has been working some at safety.  It’s like anything else, you want everybody to be here, but if they are not here what that does do is create extra reps for Larry (Asante), for T.J. (Ward), whoever it is and it’s great for them to get that experience now, and again, you want everybody to be here, but it does create some real learning opportunities for the young guys.”

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