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What's Browns coach Eric Mangini saying?

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 2, 2010

Browns coach Eric Mangini met with reporters after his team practiced Monday morning. Here is the transcript from his press conference:

Browns Head Coach Eric Mangini press conference 8-2-10

(Opening statement) -- “Good morning everybody.  I thought that practice this morning was okay.  I thought it was better defensively than it was offensively.  I think that late in the practice there offensively, we did a couple of things that were easy mistakes, concentration errors that really shouldn’t happen.  Those are the things that we are constantly working on to avoid those self-inflicted wounds.  Today what we are focusing on, there was some level of install, but not what it has been through the first three practices and most of what today was review of what we have installed.  Following the same pattern that we have talked about in the past with Wednesday, Thursday, Friday-type progression with a review day at the end.  This afternoon, we will start over into the next cycle of first and second down like a Wednesday would be.”

(On what he expects from Bobby Engram) -- “I’m just getting to know him and the things I do know about him are that he’s very accomplished, very experienced.  I think that always helps to have that, especially in a room of young guys like we have.  Someone to bounce questions off of, to just learn things through experience.  Similar to what David Patten was last training camp.”

(On Engram can keep up with the young receivers at age 37) -- “It’s really early, but he has been running with the young kids pretty well.  I haven’t noticed him not being able to hold up.  Thirty-seven is young.”

(On Brian Robiskie’s progression) -- “It just happens at different times for different people.  You wish there was one thing you could always do with a rookie and say, ‘Okay, if we follow this pattern right here, this rookie will develop in this progression.’  It’s not like that.  Sometimes it takes guys a year to really get a sense of the system, get a sense of the league, get a sense of requirements, all those things.  The next year, when they do feel a lot more comfortable, now they are just playing as opposed to trying to figure things out.  Sometimes it happens quicker and in some cases, it could be a third year before a guy starts to take off.”

(On having both Peyton Hillis and Lawrence Vickers in the backfield at the same time) -- “It’s good size and Peyton has played quite a bit at fullback.  He did for the Broncos and he played at tailback there and that’s one of the things that I really liked about him when we were talking about bringing him in is his ability to play both of those spots.  Now, you do have two big backs in the backfield working together and I think that’s a nice combination.”

(On not scoring a rushing touchdown until the 13th game last year and why it took so long) -- “Then it was like a flood wasn’t it? The flood gates.  That’s all it was, we needed to get that dam out of the way and they just flowed (joking).  That’s a great question. We were working at it.  Those touchdowns weren’t coming very easily for us offensively, whether it was throwing or running the ball.  I think as guys got a better sense of working together, I think that always helps.  I think that the receivers did a really nice job on the perimeter and those are often hidden yards.  It was, I think, Chris Jennings that scored the first one.  That was kind of a bounce-out, perimeter type run where he got the edge and I’m sure the receivers were involved in that.  A lot of times with the running game, you get that flow going and I felt that at points we were running the ball effectively, we just weren’t getting in into the end zone, but we were running the ball effectively.”

(On if they can pick up the running game where the left off last season) -- “I don’t know if it’s a function of picking up where you left off.  We did a lot of work on what we did well last season, the things that we want to continue to focus on, things that we are not going to focus on as much. Some of that too is also learning the personalities of the backs with Montario (Hardesty) and Peyton and figuring out which elements of the running game work best for them.”

(On what attributed to the last-season success of the running game last year) -- “I think it was the group.  I think Jerome (Harrison) did a nice job, I think Lawrence really did a nice job, the tight ends blocked well and it wasn’t like we were tricking anybody and they were playing back to the pass and then coming up to play the run.  They knew we were going to run, we knew we were going to run and we were still able to get them blocked up.  That was a coordinated effort, all of those guys together.”

(On Shawn Lauvao working with the first team) -- “Tony (Pashos) not being in has opened up some opportunities.  Shawn is going to work with the ones at different points anyways and we are going to have guys in different spots throughout the course of camp.  I believe in that. I think it really helps later on because you do get into injury situations and you can only carry a certain amount of the guys to the game.  There has to be versatility built in to what we do and a lot of that has to be built into it now.  He will work some a t guard, some at center, both sides and he’s doing a good job with what we are asking him to do right now.”

(On if he would have any hesitation starting two young players in Alex Mack and Lauvao) -- “No, there wouldn’t be any hesitation.  If he ends up winning that spot, I wouldn’t hesitate at all.  I think Alex could help him along.  It’s pretty fresh in his mind, some of the challenges that you face and I think he could be a real asset if that were the case.”

(On Joel Reinders chances of making the roster) -- “I like him.  He’s really big, he’s athletic, he’s holding his own.  He doesn’t have a lot of experience, so he’s fighting that a little bit.  He gets a little bit better each practice and with his limited exposure to playing, hopefully with the additional coaching he gets and the continued coaching that he gets, we will see some nice jumps.  Early, I have been really pleased with how he has done.”

(On Chansi Stuckey) -- “I’ve known Chansi for a long time.  He’s very athletic, he has excellent short-area quickness, he’s good in and out of the breaks.  He is savvy, he understands how the zones operate and where he needs to get open in the zones.  I think that you saw some of what he can do last season.  I know we got him a little bit later and I look forward to seeing him this season.”

(On how having a full training camp with the team will help Stuckey) -- “He had a pretty big transition with the trade.  He was with one team, then with another team and had to learn everything that was going on.  I think it will help him, although Chansi is a pretty diligent worker.  I think he adds real value in the room in terms of the way he helps.  Not that he’s some kind of old vet, but he does help the younger guys along.”

(On Jason Trusnik’s roles expanding last year) -- “That’s one of the things I like about him, is that his roles can expand. He can play inside linebacker. He can play outside linebacker. He’s done some good things on special teams, both in New York and here. He’s got good size. He’s got an excellent motor. He’s strong. I like all those things. He’s from Ohio.”

(On if Lauvao’s ability to pick things up quickly has helped him) -- “Yes, it’s really a prerequisite to coming here is to be able to do that because you are going to be asked to do a lot of different things. If he can build on that versatility where he can play center and guard, that improves his chances of going to the game that much more each week because one guy can really play three spots. He can play center and both guards and that’s what you’d like from an interior offensive lineman, if they weren’t starting, to have that flexibility.”

(On the depth at the center position) -- “Yes, we’ve got some different guys working there. Billy Yates is working there. Pat Murray, Shawn is working there. We’ve got quite a few guys working in those spots and one of them has to distinguish them self and show that they can do that. That will really help them in terms of making the team and then being on the 45.”

(On strengthening the right side of the offensive line) -- “I thought that the right side did some really good things last year. You’d love to be as balanced as possible when you feel like you can do the same things on both sides and defenses know that you can do the same thing on both sides. It is a problem, defensively because typically you can adjust based on one side or the other. There are strengths or weaknesses, how you want to attack it as a defense. If you have that balance it really allows you to do whatever you want.”

(On if he needs to be more creative with his offensive packages so they can match with teams that have superstars) -- “We’ve got Josh Cribbs. He classifies. He’s right up there. He’s a superstar in my book. I think what you are trying to do is even when you have maybe a player that has distinguished themselves or however you want to categorize it, you want to have balance because those guys are going to get coverage rolled over the top. Those guys are going to get taken over in different ways and you want to have balance and you don’t want to have to force the ball in one place all the time because that’s usually not the most productive way to move the ball. Then, they are ready to counter that. In any system that I’ve been in, where the guys may be classified as what you are talking about, it was still looking to be balanced and have the quarterback go through their progressions.”

(On being creative with Seneca Wallace and Cribbs to mask other areas) -- “I would look at any of the plays that we do, we use packages that we put together as things that we feel are going to help us be more effective, not to mask something. We don’t do that because we feel like we have a liability in one area. We do that because we feel like that’s going to be a strength that we can highlight.”

(On the laps Alex Mack ran last year and where he is compared to last year) -- “Zero laps? You probably black catted him, he’ll get one tonight (joking). That’s typical, especially at center. You are a rookie. You’re got to handle the snap count, you have to get the ball up every time. You have to help run the offense. It’s a lot to ask from a guy and I thought he did it really well last year, especially taking into account how young he was and I’ve talked to him quite a bit this offseason and even since he’s been back and his comfort level is so much better than it was. He knows what to expect. He knows the system and I think he’ll continue to improve because of that comfort level.”

(On whether there are less laps being run this training camp) -- “I think guys have stayed onsides more and kept the ball off the ground more and that’s a good thing. That’s a positive thing. Nobody’s looking to have anybody run laps unless it’s part of conditioning so that’s always a good thing.”

(On Alex Mack learning the center position) -- “I think it is really challenging and you have to understand, he’s dealing with both sides of the line. Most of the offensive linemen, they are taking care of their half of the line and he’s dealing with the big picture. He is also dealing with the quarterback. You are working with that group, making sure everybody is sound in terms of what their assignments are and the quarterback can come up, change the play completely and you have to go through that same progression. The snap count usually changes when the play changes so there’s a lot to remember and you have to be able to process quickly and Alex can. Nick Mangold could. It’s hard for those young guys to play early there.”

(On Montario Hardesty’s injury) -- “What I said the other day is where’s he at.”

(On what leg Hardesty injured) -- “The right.”

(On Tony Pashos being back soon) -- “He may be out there this afternoon. That’s what we are shooting for right now. That’s what I anticipate right now.”

(On John St. Clair’s being on the bike today) -- “I think he’ll back in. You saw David Veikune missed yesterday and he was back today. There’s a lot of that right now. We may get something where we need to have a practice to let something quiet down a little bit and then you can get back out there. There will be different times where guys will miss a practice and be back the next day. There’s more of that than the other situation.”

(On if he was under the weather) -- “He banged his arm.”

(On tomorrow’s schedule) -- “I’ll explain it later on. It’s something that we do that’s just part of our progression. After I talk to the players, I’ll explain it.”

(On Kwaku Danso) -- “He’s one of the hardest working guys I’ve been around. I’ll can tell you that, especially in the classroom. He has a lot of information that he has been able to absorb and understand. I think the thing that he has to keep getting better at is the reads within this system because he is a big man. There’s not going to be a lot of different blocking schemes that he is going to encounter in there at the nose position, but you have to be sharp in reaction to those. A guy like (Ahtyba) Rubin, I think, is excellent at reading blocks and this is new to Danso and that’s where his biggest challenge is going to be.”

(On training camp being more player-friendly this year) -- “Often times there’s a case where you get to know somebody and you need to understand why they do things and you get more comfortable in any relationship. I think things tend to run more smoothly. It’s been fun having a group of guys, I’ve known for awhile and we have those shared experiences and the new guys we brought in have all been great guys. We’re just all collectively trying to push forward.”

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