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What's Browns coach Eric Mangini saying?

By Nate Ulrich Published: July 31, 2010

Browns coach Eric Mangini met with reporters after his team's first full-squad practice of training camp Saturday morning. Here's the transcript from the press conference:

Browns Head Coach Eric Mangini press conference 7-31-10

(Opening statement) -- “Good morning everybody.  Welcome back, it’s good to be back.  It’s nice to be out there will the full group.  We had the rookies back and then we had the injured players and quarterbacks, so we had some stages here.  But now to get everybody out there practicing and working together, it’s really nice to be at that point. It was great to see as many fans as we had here this morning.  I know they had to get up early to get out here, so that’s fantastic.  I look forward to seeing the same thing here tonight.  I thought the morning practice was pretty good.  I thought it was good from the perspective that we hadn’t been together as a group.  We had meetings last night and reviewed the material, but we hadn’t worked against each other since the spring and had very few procedural-type issues, penalties, operational things, all of those things were crisp, which was nice to see.  I thought the level of communication, on defense, here in this first practice was sharp and I look forward to seeing more of that as well.  The challenge always during camps is with the volume of information that you have going in, to be able to maintain what we saw here this morning, and that will be an ongoing challenge for all of us.  Welcome back to all of you and I look forward to a great camp.”

(On Montario Hardesty not practicing) -- “He twisted his knee in a drill the other day, so we probably won’t see him for a couple of weeks.  We are taking it real slow and conservative and see where it is at that point.”

(On if Hardesty will need a procedure) -- “No, just rehabbing it.  Like I said, we are being really conservative.”

(On who would have taken snaps with the first team had Hardesty been practicing) -- “I think that the best way to look at this, Tony (Grossi), for a lot of positions is, it’s not really a depth chart, it’s a rep chart.  Jerome (Harrison) would have taken some of the snaps, Montario would have taken some of the snaps and it would vary by period and by personnel group because a lot of the things are personnel-specific.  We would have seen both of them out there with the ones.”

(On the status of Joe Haden’s contract negotiations) -- “I have not talked to Joe.  I know that Matt (Thomas) and Tom (Heckert) are working with his agent and his group and hopefully we will see him soon.  Each day he is not here, it gets harder for him.  It’s day eight and he has not been here, so there’s a lot of information that has gone in to this point. A lot of individual time that we have been able to spend with the rookies and that’s important.  That’s really, really important for these guys.  I’ve had a lot of first round draft picks where the ones that have got in early tend to get a better jump.  You can’t get those days back, which is unfortunate, and he’s going to have to come in and really spend some extra time outside of what we do in meetings and practice to get back to where all of those other guys are right now.  There will be a lot of rust where these other kids have had a chance to work out and be in pads and get through their conditioning run.  They are probably starting to get their legs back a little bit because they did come in early.  He’s going to have to go through that whole process, which makes it a little tougher.”

(On if Hardesty’s injury was related to any of his past injuries -“It wasn’t anything related to those injuries, so it was nothing that was a pre-existing type of situation.”

(On Jerome Harrison having a “healthy” chip on his shoulder) -- “I’ve always found Jerome to be confident, and I like that in Jerome.  He believes in himself, he believes in the things that he can do and I think he showed that he can back up that belief in himself.  He worked diligently last season to correct the things that we wanted him to correct, and I respect that.  We sat down and talked about it, identified some areas where we wanted him to improve and he did that.  I look for that same thing this season and he will have some great opportunities to show what he can do.”

(On the stability at the quarterback position) -- “I’ve really enjoyed getting to know both Jake (Delhomme) and Seneca (Wallace) and both guys who have different levels of experience, but have both played in games.  Jake is an older guy who has got a real presence and he’s got a real control of the offense.  He’s got a lot of respect, which is deserved for the things that he has been able to do, but he backs that up with his work ethic and he backs it up with his leadership, so that’s been fun.  With Seneca, it’s the same thing.  He was really in one system for a long time and has had one set of terminology and has had to learn new terminology and new things and that’s difficult to do.  I think that the progress that he’s made from the spring to now is noticeable.  With Colt (McCoy), he’s a young guy and he’s learning.  He’s got a lot to learn, but he has the right attitude, the right approach.  Brett (Ratliff) is going to compete in that group and he has got experience in the system, but not a lot of playing time.  It’s a fun group to work with.”

(On his expectations for James Davis last season before his injury) -- “I don’t think I had got to the point where I had set expectations with him.  I was pleased with a lot of what he had done, especially in the preseason games.  He had the one long run against, I think it was Detroit, where he showed his ability to do that.  One of the areas where James has to continue to improve and all of the young guys, we work with them consistently on this, is on special teams.  Because if you’re not getting the bulk of the reps, you need to be a solid contributor on special teams.  Often times, running backs in college don’t play a lot of special teams, especially after they become the man and are carrying the ball for however many reps a game.  That’s an area he needs to focus on and improve on in addition to his offensive duties.”

(On Matt Roth being 275 pounds and bigger for a linebacker) -- “Matt actually has played at that weight.  He plays about 270-275, he is a big linebacker.  That’s the way he was last year when we got him, that’s what he played at in Miami as well.”

(On if he likes Roth’s weight) -- “Yes, I’m pretty comfortable with where he is at that weight.  I don’t think it affects his movements that much.  He’s pretty cut-up.”

(On if D’Qwell Jackson has to reestablish himself amongst the linebackers after missing OTAs) -- “There’s really good competition in there, there are quite a few guys that can play in there, there are quite a few guys that have started in there and we will look at all of them and all of the different combinations of them.  With D’Qwell and just in talking to him, there are some cobwebs that have to come off.  He hasn’t played in pads for quite some time, but I’m confident that he will shake those off pretty quickly.”

(On Jackson taking reps with the first team) -- “Like I said, there is a lot of competition and depth in there, so I look at that as more of a rep chart as well as opposed to a depth chart.  We do have a lot of packages, so there may be a times where he’s the first one in there and then you look out there and it’s the first group, but he’s not in there.  But that may just be defense-specific, so let that unfold a little bit over the next couple of weeks.”

(On if he can have Scott Fujita and Chris Gocong play both outside and inside linebacker) -- “You can.  That’s the nice thing about having guys that can play both, as you could play them outside or inside.  They both have pretty close to the height you look for to be able to go outside and they both rush the passer.  We will work them in all the spots.  They are smart too, so it’s not like they are going to be overwhelmed by the information.”

(On when Hardesty was hurt) -- “A couple of days ago.”

(On the internet reports that Joe Haden didn’t look good in workouts) -- “I wasn’t aware of it. I can tell you that a lot of rookies go through transition. A lot of corners go through transition and they aren’t going to play as fast as fast as they are early on because they are thinking and they processing. When you do that, you’re not really playing to your ability and that’s something that I stress. I sat down with the rookies for a long time before they left and said, ‘The more you can get on this stuff mentally, the quicker you are just going to be able to show who you are as opposed to everything is processed.’ Everything has to be figured out in order to react and once you start getting it and just playing and you start seeing the player that he can be. It takes time, each guy’s a little different.”

(On Tony Pashos sitting out today) -- “He’s just fighting a cold, so he should be back sooner rather than later.”

(On what his priority is going into this camp) -- “I’d say my biggest priority is for us to make sure that we really build on the lessons last year and there are a lot of guys that were here to the latter part of the season last year that understand what I’m looking for and what we need in terms of Browns football. I really felt that we played that way at the end of the season. You want to start at that point and each one of those guys that were here, needs to be a teacher, needs to help that happen a lot quicker than it did last year. It’s getting to that point, understanding how we play each game. I’ve been happy with the work the guys have done and the way everybody has pitched in to make sure we get there a lot quicker.”

(On whether things have been different for him from last year) -- “Yes, a few things have been different for me. I’d say there have been a couple changes around here. It’s been great. It’s been nice for me to, and we talked about this a lot in here. It’s nice to have Mike (Holmgren) and Tom (Heckert) and be able to really focus on coaching and that’s been a huge plus. You go through every offseason and evaluate the things that you did, whether it be game to game or the course of the season and you look at each phrase and you say, ‘Okay, that didn’t work out very well. Let’s change it.’ You try different things to see if it works out better. I’d like to think that I do it each year and as the coaches do it each year, figure out how we can get better as a group, going through that process.”

(On if it is safe to assume the team won’t go two practices in a row with full pads) -- “No, I wouldn’t say you should assume that. We aren’t going to go full pads this afternoon, but it varies. There will be some practices where it’s two in a row, three in a row, it just changes.”

(On the number of players losing weight this offseason) -- “(Joshua) Cribbs hasn’t lost that much weight. He could lose a little more weight (joking). I thought you were talking about (Brian) Daboll. Usually with the reporting weight, you work with the trainer, you work with the strength coach, you look at historical reporting weights and you get what you want the player to play at, his playing weight. You set that and that’s when the guys come in. Now during the season, there’s usually a little puffing up that goes on and you have to get them back to their fighting weight.”

(On having a large number of former starting linebackers in camp) -- “I think what you’ll do is, you work on who’s going to make the team and the group that makes the team, how are they going to fit in. Who makes the team, who goes to the game and what are they going to do when they go to the game. Some are going to have to play on special teams, so that’s going to be a component of it. Some may play in the sub-suited defenses, nickel and dime, things like that, goal line short yardage, any more run-specific defenses. I think there could be a lot of roles for a lot of different people and meaningful roles. They are all meaningful roles. It’s much better to have that situation than eight guys that haven’t started any games.”

(On whether Eric Barton is full-go) -- “Yes, he’s full-go and kind of like D’Qwell, he’s getting back into the flow of things. It’s been a long time since he’s been able to hit as well.”

(On how Barton was playing before he was injured) -- “I thought he was playing pretty well. I have to rewind a little bit. Eric has incredible command of the defense. He makes other people play better because he’s able to get the adjustments, he’s able to get people lined up, he’s able to anticipate plays and that makes the defense play faster so that’s another real added value to a guy like him.”

(On whether he’s going to turn up the heat outside) -- “I’m sure it’s going to take care of itself. We had a really hot day the other day. It’s been a pretty good summer. I had a great summer.”

(On what he did this summer) -- “I hung out in Cape Cod with the boys, which was fantastic. They are getting to that age now, where they can do a lot of stuff, go to the beach, all that good stuff.”

(On if he has a home in Cape Cod) -- “We got a house there after we won the Super Bowl in New England. Brad Seely said we had to change our life. After you win a Super Bowl, you have to change your life, so we bought a house in Cape Cod. Our approach has been, no matter how much you move around in this business, we want to have one place where the family goes every year and is consistent. The boys will talk about it all year, the memories that we have there. It’s a really positive family thing, so it’s been good stuff.”

(On if the players on the PUP list are at different stages right now) -- “Yes, I’d say they are all at different stages, Tony (Grossi).”

(On if he wishes he could accelerate the process of winning in Cleveland) -- “I want to accelerate it as quickly as possible. If I could press the fast forward button, I would probably get carpal tunnel syndrome from pressing it so much. I want it as badly as anybody and more importantly I want to be able to provide that for everybody here. It’s a great, great group of people.”

(On when Hardesty twisted his knee) -- “It was during when we had the rookie, injured players and quarterbacks, yes.”


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