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What's Browns coach Eric Mangini saying?

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 5, 2010

Browns coach Eric Mangini met with reporters Thursday afternoon before his team practiced. Here is the transcript from the press conference:

Browns Head Coach Eric Mangini press conference 8-5-10

(Opening statement) -- “Good afternoon everybody. How are we doing? What we’re doing today is we’ll follow our install progression and we are really getting close to having the bulk of the install in at this point. I talked to the player’s a little bit about that this morning. What I’m looking for now is, we’ve been through this a few times between OTAs, mandatory minicamp and now training camp. I want to see a lot of the details, the technique improvement, things like that and each day, we’re looking for less and less mental errors and less and less technique errors because it should be that much more familiar to us, collectively. Tomorrow, we’ll do some general practice, things specific to the install schedule and also work on the brown and white game and then play the game on Saturday, which is, to me always a really fun practice because it’s as close to a simulation of a game as we can get and the more people that we can have out there, the more fans, the better. Choose a side and cheer loudly.”

(On if Dave Zastudil will return today) -- “He is not going to be back today. He’ll come back tomorrow. He’ll be flying back tonight, so he’ll be back tomorrow.”

(On if there were any thoughts of putting Zastudil on PUP) -- “No, when we looked at it and where he was in his rehab and the amount of work that he had done, felt good about it. This is fairly typical where a guy who’s has had surgery that goes back and visits with the physician. It’s not a spike or anything different in the progression.”

(On the point that live tackling was diminished in training camp during his career and why he wouldn’t have it during a live scrimmage) -- “Done it all different ways, Tony (Grossi). Really, there hasn’t been one set way to do it and these guys are going to have so much contact between the four preseason games and the amount of contact that they have, just physical contact that they have during practice with the blocking and all that goes into it. It’s not a dramatic shift, one way or the other, just changes year to year. We did the live tackling yesterday night which was scheduled and was trying to maximize the teaching and minimize the amount of times we can put guys at risk.”

(On whether Zastudil had back surgery) -- “No, I didn’t say that. It was just his normal surgery. I just said he went back to see his attending physician.”

(On if Shaun Roger’s timetable is more health related or if they are bringing him along slowly) -- “I wasn’t underly optimistic. That’s really the timetable and with all these injuries, there’s different timetables set by the trainer and set by the doctor and you go through and hit landmarks. Sometimes you aren’t where you want to be at the landmark and it may take a little bit more time. Sometimes, the guy is a little ahead of schedule and you see him earlier. You just don’t know because each one is different. I wasn’t trying to give the impression there’s any variation as to what we were doing, it’s just sort of where he’s at.”

(On whether there’s any concern about the defensive line depth right now) -- “We have some good young guys and what’s nice about that and believe me, I want everybody out there, but it does give those guys a chance to practice against a higher level of competition, more often, more frequently. You get to see more things and that helps accelerate the learning. Titus (Adams), who we picked up late last season. We actually drafted him in New York in ‘06 and then he went to New England for a little while. He’s done some nice things here in camp. Brian Schaefering, who were know from last year. You’ve got Clifton (Geathers), who is working to try to get a feel for the defense and fit in. A couple other young guys that are flashing some plays here and there, Swanson Miller, Brian Sanford, but the positive in that situation is that you really get to evaluate those guys more and ideally speed up their growth.”

(On if the scrimmage will be like last year) -- “Yes, I tried it the first time, my first year as a head coach in New York because we had to travel to the games over in New Jersey and it was a totally different deal. There were so many people that want to go through the mechanics of a gameday operation. I want the guys to see the locker room, to just get a sense of what it was like playing there, before we played and everything we do at practice is to simulate a game, whether it’s the officials, the down and distance and the music, the speed ball, guys standing in the box and having to substitute from there. Everything is designed that way and this is as close as we can get to a game, without playing a game.”

(On David Bowens) -- “I didn’t know David early in his career. We had looked at him. We had played against him a little bit and I liked the things that he had done then he came to New York and we had him in a certain set of roles and that expanded. He was actually a special teams captain there one year and that was his main role and then that role has evolved over the years. David has talked to the rookies. We had some vets talk to the rookies back in rookie camp and he has a great story because he’s a self-admitted knucklehead early in his career and he talked to the guys about that.  About how he wasn’t doing the right things early on in his career and suddenly he was jobless and he realized the mistakes that he made and he got another opportunity and he was going to take advantage of that opportunity. I forgot who told him to get on the plane and don’t come home again, but he was given that message, make sure he goes to that next team and plays the way that he was capable of playing and that’s a really important message for guys to hear. He can do so many different things. That’s where he has great value and excellent leadership in my mind because it doesn’t matter who he’s dealing with. He can relate to them and he’s always very positive. He’s always willing to help any of the young guys get better and not just on defense, anywhere because he’s been through it. He’s been through so many different situations and he wants to help other people avoid some of the mistakes that he made early in his career and I really respect that about him.”

(On if the final four games last season was the best he had ever seen Bowens play) -- “Yes, I think so because it was in a position that he hadn’t played much. He had to lead the defense. He had to call the plays, he had to run the defense and I don’t think he had been asked to do that and in his stops previously. I know that wasn’t the case in New York. He was always very vocal, but he wasn’t asked to lead it as much, but he was during that stretch and I thought he did a great job with it.”

(On Lawrence Vickers’s status) -- “He should be back here this afternoon.”

(On what happened to Vickers) -- “With a lot of these guys, it’s just some minor things that they get and miss a little bit of time. There’s going to be a couple of guys. You saw (Eric) Barton miss yesterday afternoon. E.B. was one of the offseason award winners so part of what they get is a certificate for one practice off. They are non-transferable, you can’t sell them and there have been some big offers for those. You can only have two guys for one practice and it always goes from the oldest down to the youngest, but he redeemed that. The different offseason award winners each got one of those certificates because of all of the hard work that they put in to win that category. I think Mike Adams was our second one for today, so Adams and (Benjamin) Watson are this afternoon, so they’re not hurt. They’re just redeeming something they were awarded and I have no problem with that, it was well deserved.”

(On how James Davis is in his second camp physically) -- “I’d say he’s stronger. He’s been able to go through a full offseason program and a lot of the young guys do gain strength as they come in into the league and I’m not taking anything away from a college program. There are excellent college programs, but they are into the strength and conditioning and all the things that we ask them to do. I think he’s a guy that took advantage of that. He is stronger. I’d say the reason that he looks stronger too, Tony (Grossi), is he’s playing with better technique, better leverage, better hand placement so two guys with the same strength, whoever plays with better technique is always going to look like the stronger player and he’s improved in that area.”

(On if he thinks there will be any news from Commissioner Roger Goodell about the possible suspensions of Shaun Rogers or Robaire Smith) -- “I don’t know. I don’t have a meeting scheduled to discuss that. I’m not sure if Mike (Holmgren) or Tom (Heckert) does. I think his visit is more to spend some time here with us as a team, spend some time with the fans, be able to talk to the players, be able to visit, so that’s what I’m looking forward to.”

(On Dick LeBeau being inducted into the Hall of Fame and what has made him last this long as a coordinator) -- “That’s a great question. I love to be able to tap into it. I haven’t spent much time with him, but I know year in and year out, his defenses are very good. He’s had a range of players come in and out and he’s been able to put those pieces year in and year out and really be one of the top defenses in the league every year. It’s a testament to him, testament to the organization. He’s been innovative, he comes up with some really good ideas that I think now have become mainstream, but when he originally brought them in, it was hard to deal with and I’m excited for him. I think it’s well deserved.”

(On if he’s on to him now) -- “Like I said, I’m excited for him.”

(On Jake Delhomme looking better in 7-on-7 than 11-on-11 drills) -- “I really like what I’ve seen from Jake and typically 7-on-7 is going to look better than team and if it doesn’t, that’s a problem. That’s usually how it goes. There’s nobody rushing the passer, there aren’t the variation of blitzes and things. I think he’s done an excellent job and what I like that I see consistently from him is the offensive plays and then there’s the answers within the plays to problems that come up and he gets to those answers and he get to them quickly and it’s encouraging. It’s really encouraging.”

(On if Phil Dawson is showing any signs of slowing down or he’s getting better with age) -- “What I’ve seen is consistency for the time that I’ve been with him and he’s been consistent here throughout this camp as well. I think with Phil, he really understands how to take care of his body, he really understands the things that he needs to do to operate at a high level, at a very efficient level and he’s consistent with it and that’s served him well and will continue to serve him well. That’s what you want anybody to be is to understand, how do I operate the best for me because each guy has a different way to get to that and then to be able to do that play in and play out and season in and season out.”

(On how Dawson compares to other kickers he’s seen in the league) -- “He’s right up there. I think he’s outstanding and he kicks in a very difficult place to kick. I think Adam Vinatieri is pretty good too and I’m a big fan of Adam’s. I’m not taking away from anybody else, but Adam helped us win a lot of Super Bowl rings.”

(On how much time he will need before Shaun Rogers moves to the outside)- “With Shaun playing outside, I don’t think it’s Shaun playing exclusively outside. I just think it’s another thing that we can do and it’s another way that we can build in depth and build in versatility. It’s not that he wouldn’t play at the nose tackle position. He will and he’ll work at end as well and you also see him in the substitute of defenses which I think he’s very good at. In terms of understanding the schemes and recognizing schemes and things like that, Shaun’s pretty quick in picking things up and he’s seen a lot of things over the course of time, so I’d imagine that transition wouldn’t take a significant amount of time.”

(On how he feels about the NFL possibly going to an 18-game schedule and how he thinks it would change things prior to the season) -- “I don’t really know how to answer that because you don’t know how that would change the format of camp, would you still have the same amount of time that you would with the four game schedule, but it’d just be more practice time. Without knowing the format for it, it’s tough to really get an idea for how it would change it.”

(On if it would be more difficult to judge players on the bubble with only two preseason games) -- “It could.  You don’t have the two game exposure.  It would be less film so you would have less of a body of work.  Again, it would depend on how much guys played in each one of those games because right now there is a typical progression through the preseason, so you know who is going to play in the first quarter for the most part.  Everybody does it a little bit differently.  I don’t know how that would work with just the two games.  It wouldn’t have been bad to have two more games last season from our perspective, but here we are.”

(On if he thinks the more preseason games, the better) -- “You like the games because it’s what you’re going to do during the regular season.  Like I said, you try everything you can to get it as close to that in practice, but it’s not the same.”

(On if he would scrimmage other teams if the preseason was shortened) -- “I don’t know Tony (Grossi). I haven’t spent a lot of time thinking about it.  We have scrimmaged teams in the past during a four game preseason.  That’s usually the week before you play them, they come out and you spend a week together.  That can be productive, that can not be productive too.  It can add some extra wear and tear on the guys that you really don’t want at that point.”

(On Chris Roberson’s injury) -- “No real update now.  I will say that he’s going to miss some time.  I don’t think that he will be back anywhere in the next couple of weeks.

(On T.J. Ward) -- “What I’ve liked about T.J. is, I don’t know if you saw the play the other day where with Jerome (Harrison) down the field and he hustled down and he punched the ball out.  He had another strip in one of the drills.  It was kind of a short pass and he converged on, I think Mohamed (Massaquoi), and ripped the ball out.  That’s something that you love to see because those are effort-type plays.  Those are things that are completely in control of everybody and he’s doing that constantly.  He’s learning as he goes, but the effort part of it and the intensity I really like.”

(On Ward making adjustments in coverage because he is undersized) -- “He’s just going to play four inches bigger.  He’s not going to grow any more than he is now.  He needs to understand how to fit against taller guys and there are ways to do that.  He’s being exposed to that with Ben (Watson) and Evan (Moore) and the guys that he faces.  It’s good practice for him.”

(On if Ward has been improving) -- “It’s only been a day since you’ve asked that question, hasn’t it?  The days are running together for you.  It happens to me too (joking).  Since we last spoke, I think that he has made some jumps.”

(On if the teams are set for Family Day) -- “Teams are pretty much set, it’s just subject to trades by the head coaches.  If anybody gets nicked up here in the next couple of days, we might have to switch a couple guys around.”

(On who the head coaches are for Family Day) -- “Brad (Seely) and Tater, Carl Smith.”

(On the defense winning the goal line challenge at the end of practice Wednesday) -- “I was kind of hoping it would get tied up so we would have a tiebreaker, but Joe (Haden) made a nice play on Evan in the back of the end zone there.  It was a nice start.  I think that we have a lot of work to do in that area.  That was the first day that we had installed goal line, so it was really the first reps that we did there outside of the seven-on-seven that we did.  I think it’s positive.  I think what was nice about that too is the defense was getting handled early by the offense in the nine-on-seven drill and then they came back and did a nice job at the end of practice.  I talked to the guys about that, the way it ebbs and flows too in games where you’ve got the momentum and things are rolling then suddenly, they start getting it back.  How are you going to deal with it and how do you adjust to that?  I saw that in practice.”

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