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What's Browns coach Eric Mangini saying?

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 9, 2010

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

Browns Head Coach Eric Mangini press conference 8-9-10

(Opening Statement) -- “Good morning everybody, how are you guys doing?  Good weekend?  I was looking at the tape from the Brown and White game and I was really happy with it.  I thought it was the best-run scrimmage of this type that I have been a part of.  I’ve been doing it now for five years and the goal is to obviously practice and our goal in every practice is to make it as close to game-like situations as we possibly can.  I felt that we achieved that on Saturday and we got a lot of good work done in all three phases.  We got to see a lot of guys, not just in their traditional spot, but in some different spots.  We got to see how they would respond on special teams because some of these guys don’t get the bulk of reps on special teams because they may be a little bit further up on the rep chart at practice so I thought that was positive as well.  It gave us a look at some things that you don’t normally get and allowed us to work on some things that you can’t really work on in a traditional practice like the pregame procedure, the halftime procedure, the bench mechanics, coach to quarterback in that setting, the booth communication.  Organizationally, we do have quite a few new people in the organization and they got a chance to work at the stadium as well.  Overall, I thought it was a very productive day.  A lot of things to coach off of and because none of it was scripted, it’s just like watching game tape that you’d watch any other week and that’s always a really excellent teaching tool.  I’m pleased with that. We watched the tape yesterday as a group and then moving into a one a day here today.”

(On Gerard Lawson) -- “Gerard is here.  I met with Gerard this morning and I told him I was disappointed in him putting himself in that position.  The value in this and the value in any experience is what you can learn from it and make sure that this type of thing doesn’t happen again. Not just for him, but for anybody in our group.  In terms of the other aspects of it, I think Tom (Heckert) talked about that the other day and I really have nothing to add on that component.”

(On Brandon McDonald’s tweet) -- “I am aware of it. I saw it and I talked to the team about social media this morning.  I think that with social media, it’s a great way to connect to the fans. They have a responsibility to do that in a way that represents the organization the right way.  That’s their responsibility and they are accountable for it.  If they don’t do it, there are consequences to those actions.  We talked about that as a group and I don’t expect people to stop using it. It is a good way to communicate to our fans.  We know with Browns fans, they can’t have too much information, can’t have too much of a connection and that’s a great thing.  But like with anything else that you do, you have to do it in the right way and a way that represents the organization the right way.”

(On if he has anyone monitoring social networking) -- “No, I don’t really have a czar of tweeting.”

(On if McDonald will face any consequences) -- “You know, that’s something that Mike (Holmgren), Tom and myself will talk about, but I would expect there will be.”

(On if he could restrict social networking) -- “From my perspective, I don’t think that’s something that we need to do.  Like I said, I think it’s a great way for guys to connect to fans.  Those are all great vehicles whether it’s YouTube, Twitter, MySpace or whatever the case may be.  I don’t even know all of the different ones, but like any other area where you have an opportunity to connect to the fans, you have got to do it the right way.  You have got to be responsible and you have to represent this organization the right way.”

(On if Joe Haden will be the back-up kick returner) -- “We haven’t really established a number one backup there.  That was kind of what I was talking about earlier where we got to see him field some of those kickoffs and he has done a little bit in practice in that setting, which I thought was good.  He muffed the first one, it’s something we will continue to look at, but we haven’t really established a backup yet.”

(On if Haden will get more work returning kicks) -- “Yes, in exactly what capacity, I don’t know or how many reps, I’m not sure.  Brad (Seely) and I will talk about that a little bit in terms of the Green Bay game and the games going forward.  That would be something that he will continue to work at.  He catches the ball really well, contrary to his first exposure and I hope that was more nerves than anything else.  Since we have been looking at it in practice, he does have really good judgment of those balls with that one exception.”

(On Haden’s progress) -- “He has done some good things of late Jeff (Schudel), he really has.  I will be curious to see that development and watch it closely and he will get a lot of opportunities here in the upcoming weeks to make a case for himself one way or the other and that’s a good thing.  That’s what you want.  You want those guys pushing, establishing a role.  Maybe it is on nickel, maybe it is on dime, who know what it is going to finally going to be?  You want him contributing right away and I think T.J. Ward has done a really nice job in the early part of camp carving out some roles for himself and making a case for himself.  Those are both positives.”

(On if it would be a disappointment if Haden isn’t the starting cornerback Week One) -- “I’ve talked about this quite a bit.  They all develop differently and you have got a group of veteran guys who don’t care where you are drafted.  They don’t care if you were seventh, fifth, one or 200th. You have got to beat them.  It’s my job to give everybody the opportunity to make the case for themselves and it’s not about where you were drafted or how much you were paid or any of those things. It’s can you help us win?  That’s the important thing and everybody needs to know when they go out to practice, they have legitimate opportunity to make their case and not having to be a biased evaluation.  It’s really not fair to any of the players and it’s not fair to the team collectively to push someone out there because of how much they are paid or where they are drafted.  I’ve had very high draft picks sit a lot of games in the past because he didn’t beat out the guy in front of him and that’s something that he has to do.”

(On Dave Zastudil) -- “With Dave, I know I said he was coming back last week.  That changed so he stayed out with his doctor and he should be back on Wednesday and he is probably going to miss some time after that.  That’s really the latest update in terms of specifics.  Nothing specific to add, but that’s where it is.  He should be back this Wednesday.  I know we talked about it last week and that was the plan, but the plan changed.”

(On where Zastudil is currently) -- “He’s in Colorado.”

(On the team’s tackling abilities) -- “We work on it.  I’d say we will get an indication of where we are when we do play Green Bay and there will be plenty of opportunities to tackle there and run the football there and stop the run there.  That will be the starting point.  We will get a good gauge of, ‘Here’s where we need to improve, here are the issues.’  I feel like we have worked a lot on it in terms of the fundamentals of it.  We haven’t brought anybody to the ground and that’s something that I feel comfortable with because we will have a lot of opportunities to do that.”

(On if Ward’s biggest adjustment will be covering deep) -- “That’s one of the adjustments.  There are quite a few adjustments coming to this level.  The speed of the game is dramatically different.  Depending on which program you come from, how many adjustments happen in any one given defensive call.  Often times that is something that guys have to get used to.  He’s played in the deep part of the field before. He has covered in man to man before, but everybody is fast, everybody is good.  That’s something that I talk about with Joe (Haden) too. You get a bye week, but there’s nobody that you schedule that is a bye.  Everybody can play, everybody can run, all of the quarterbacks can throw.  In this league it’s like sharks to blood, if you give up one thing, they just keep coming until you show that you can stop it.  The different mentality and challenge that they have to get used to week in and week out.”

(On if he has told Ward about the challenge of competition) -- “He has been good.  He doesn’t back down from anything, which I wouldn’t expect him to.  It will be different when we see the other color and we are doing it for real.  There will be a lot of nerves too.  We tried to simulate it with the Brown and White and there were some nerves there believe it or not.  You can get a little worked up there for that first game.”

(On if anything was telling from the scrimmage rosters) -- “There were guys on both sides that could easily be first team guys like Eric Barton was on a different squad. That doesn’t mean he couldn’t be a first team guy, same thing for Tony (Pashos) or (Shawn Lauvao) or any of those guys.  What we were trying to do was, we were trying to match it up evenly and also you want to be as competitive as you possibly can, so there were some guys that got mixed and matched in there.  Each head coach complains about who they have, I need this guy or I need that guy.  We only have so many guys and we had to break them up the best we could so a little creativity had to go into it as well.”

(On if he is surprised that some NFL coaches have enough time to tweet) -- “It’s only like 13 characters, right?  I think that I could probably squeeze it in, but it wouldn’t be very interesting.  You would be like, ‘Wow, he is as boring as he seems.’”

(On if he will start using Twitter) -- “Me personally?  No, not in the near future.  Maybe Neal (Gulkis) will lobby for it. I’m not that sure.  I’m really not that interesting.”

(On if Zastudil had another procedure done) -- “No, there was no more surgery.”

(On when Montario Hardesty will be practicing again) -- “Hopefully next week.  Hopefully."

(On if he thinks he has to watch what Rob Ryan says) -- “I love Rob, I love him.  One, I think he is a really good coach.  Two, I think he is really smart and creative.  We talked about it, he doesn’t live in the box.  He is out there and I think he and I complement each other well.  I think that we have had a long-standing relationship from back when we were in New England.  In training camp, just he and I talking about stuff, sometimes where he uses a shade of grey, I can color it in a little bit more.  He is outside the lines, I can bring it back in and it’s a good balance for me.  He’s funny.  He’s funny and it’s like comic relief sometimes.  There are times, and I know it’s hard to believe last season, where I needed a little comic relief.  He was great for that.  He is who he is and you want him to be all of that and I think that the players play hard for him and respect him.  I know I appreciate him.”

(On if he is disappointed with Lawson’s incident after what happened with Dante Stallworth) -- “I don’t want any incidents to happen with the team at any point.  We have a lot of guys on the team. There are 80 guys on the roster and there are 20 coaches.  There are a lot of people that have to make good decisions.  You talk about it and you try to educate and do as much as you possibly can and sometimes poor decisions are made and we all make them.  I have made my share of them and I’m sure everybody else has too.  You hope the value of it is when you are faced with it the next time, you don’t do it.  That’s my hope with it.  You want them to be safe and you want them to make sure they aren’t putting anyone else at risk.”

(On if he addressed the team before lifting curfew Saturday night) -- “Actually what happened is that I gave the captains of the winning team the option whether to keep them under curfew or not.  They felt that it was a well-fought game and everybody deserved the night off, which I agreed with.  It’s like anything else.  We didn’t have many problems and from time to time you have a problem, but one problem affects the group.  As much as we can help each other do the right thing, that’s what I’m looking for.  We are all in it together.  Those are my expectations.”

(On if the whole team had the night off) -- “Yes.”

(On who the captains were that made the decision) -- “(Eric) Barton and Jake (Delhomme).  They had to call me personally and I had to hear from them.  No one could grab their phone and text me, ‘It’s okay with me.’”

(On if Lawson will practice today) -- “Yes.”

(On if Lawson apologized to him) -- “Like I said, we had a good conversation and I’d rather leave it at that.”

(On if Hardesty won’t play Saturday) -- “Yes, you won’t see Montario this weekend.”

(On if social media has ever been a red flag for a potential player) -- “I think now in the workplace it is becoming a bigger and bigger thing where you have your resume and you have the rest of your body of work.  If it’s out there, someone is probably going to look at it.  Who knows what’s on there and how that can be interpreted?  I talked to my nephew and my niece about it.  Those fun pictures you take in college, they may not be so fun five years from now when somebody is looking at that going, ‘Should we hire him or not hire him?’  I’m really happy they didn’t have it when I was in college.  We all got a little lucky there (joking).”

(On Colt McCoy’s play on Saturday) -- “I thought the interception that he had where he was throwing it away late was not a really good decision.  There was nobody there, he was trying to throw it up.  At that point, you just throw it out of bounds.  You have got to understand that these safeties are really athletic.  You throw a ball like that into the end zone to Ed Reed, odds are that’s going back 99 yards.  Those types of decisions, I don’t expect him to make that again.  The speed of the game is something that he is going to get used to too.  This was just an intrasquad scrimmage so it was up tempo, but it was nowhere near what it is going to be like for him, but it was part of the education.  He got to feel the stadium, he got to go through all of that of stuff, which was good.  It’s also really good for him because he has always played in college where he has been the man.  He’s gotten the reps, he’s started the game and played the whole game.  In the preseason, you may be in for a quarter, you may be in for half of a quarter.  You just have to be ready for when your opportunity comes, which is a totally different world for him, but one that he has to get used to and he has to get used to in a hurry.  I think that was good too.  Mechanically, I thought he ran the group fine, it could be better.  The one throw that was picked off, I thought was a nice play by the defensive back.  He stayed low and then dropped off late.  That’s going to happen and you have to be able to go through that progression and make those reads quickly and understand that just because he is here now, he has got the speed to be there very quickly.  You have got to get used to that."

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