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What's Browns coach Eric Mangini saying?

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 19, 2010

Browns coach Eric Mangini met with reporters Thursday morning. Here is a transcript from the press conference:

Browns Head Coach Eric Mangini press conference 8-19-10

(Opening statement) -- “Good morning everybody.  I’d like to take a second to thank all of the fans that came out going into our last practice here, the last open practice.  I just thought the attendance throughout training camp was fantastic, the support was fantastic.  Multiple times we were practicing and someone would start the ‘Here we go Brownies’ chant.  The guys notice that.  They feed off that and that energy at practice helps.  I’m excited for our young guys and our new guys to get to play in our stadium with our crowd and get a sense of what that means and what that’s like.  I’m looking forward to seeing a big group out there this weekend.  They have been really fantastic throughout the course of training camp and we appreciate it.  I appreciate it and as I said, we look forward to seeing them here this weekend.

“In terms of practice, I thought we had a good morning.  We worked on St. Louis and this is really our third go-round with cards.  We had one practice last week on Green Bay and then we did some corrections the other day and they were okay.  They were okay in terms of the operation with cards and that’s usually how it starts.  I thought today was a lot better in terms of what we are looking for and how we need to practice with cards and the type of look that we need to give and the awareness.  There’s a lot of coordination that goes on to be successful at that and I thought the guys did a much better job of it.  We will have another shot here this afternoon to do that and I’m really looking forward to finishing our last two-a-day of camp the right way.”

(On if today is considered the last day of training camp) -- “No, it’s not the official end of camp, but that’s near.  It’s tentative.  There are a couple of different schedules provided that everything goes according to plan, then we will go to schedule one.  If it doesn’t, then we will go with schedule two.”

(On if it is possible for camp to end tonight) -- “No.  That would be schedule D, and we are not there (joking).”

(On Joe Haden) -- “I’ve like a lot of what I’m seeing.  I think the real value there is that there is a lot to coach off of.  He is playing against a higher level of competition more consistently.  His experience last week against Green Bay’s offense, that’s a great way to start because you are starting fast against one of the best offenses in the NFL and I thought that was excellent experience for him.  We have a lot of things to coach off of, he has a lot to learn and he’s working at it.  It’s going to be ongoing and there are certain things that you can teach through the film, there are certain things that have to be experienced and he can learn from some of the older guys, guys like Sheldon Brown, Eric Wright and Abe Elam.  Trying to get all of those different ways to learn to him and him understanding it so we can accelerate his growth as much as we can.”

(On if Haden working with the first team is a result of Wright recovering from injury) -- “It’s still on Eric Wright’s injury issue, but he is going to rotate through and he will get plenty of chances.”

(On if he was hesitant to allow Shawn Lauvao to miss time) -- “No, not at all.  It’s a personal issue and I don’t really want to speak for him, but there was no hesitation on my part at all.”

(On when Lauvao will return) -- “In terms of schedule, again it’s hard to explain without explaining it.  I’m not sure where it’s going to go right now, we have just got to see.  I wish I could give you more, I just really can’t.”

(On Mohamed Massaquoi) -- “He will be back this afternoon.  (John) St. Clair should be back this afternoon, (Tony) Pashos should be back this afternoon, a couple others that are on that list too should be back this afternoon, I forget who they are.”

(On if Haden will start at nickel) -- “We have got a few more opportunities here between this weekend and next week, and even to some degree the Chicago game, to see how it plays out.  The key for Joe is to figure out a place of how he can help us and then to keep making his case to play more.  But those other guys, they’re making their case for him to play less and I think that’s a good thing because that’s competitive and you want that to be the situation.  Nothing is given to anybody, it has to be earned.  He’s working at it, but those other guys are working at it too and however it pans out, those guys will play.”

(On Jerome Harrison) -- “I think the biggest difference is his understanding of the system and probably his confidence level.  I’m not saying he didn’t have confidence, but he has done it in real games and he’s done it in a meaningful way and that helps a lot too.  He has come a long way in the system, as a lot of guys have, and he’s also gotten a chance to carry the ball quite a few times and be a feature guy, which I think always helps to know that you can be that guy.  Like I said, he’s a confident person and it’s nice to have that reinforced.”

(On if he is comfortable with Harrison being the feature back) -- “Yes,  I think Jerome did a great job, I think he will do a great job.  Ideally, we have a group of backs that can all contribute in different ways.  It’s a long season.  Hopefully we will be making a lot of first downs, so there will be more carries than last year and plenty to go around for everybody.”

(On if Montario Hardesty has suffered any setbacks in his rehab) -- “No, there’s really been no setback.  He’s made some strides over this last week and we will see where we are Monday, but there’s really no set timetable.”

(On Robert Royal) -- “I think he is catching the ball better now. He had kind of banged up his finger a little bit in camp and that stayed with him throughout the course of the year.  He has good hands.  Watching him in Buffalo and playing against him, I saw that.  I know he has made a lot of nice plays in camp and I’m looking forward to him getting some more opportunities to do that in games.  On his blocking, he is very consistent as a blocker and can play in line, on the line of scrimmage.  He can be off the line as a move guy.  He’s been in the backfield some when we have done that and I like that about him as well.  He’s a great communicator, he’s really funny.  He provides some levity to the group and he’s done a nice job.”

(On Alex Smith) -- “I’ve been pleased with Alex as well.  Alex is another guy that I didn’t know a lot about.  I’ve seen him to some degree, but didn’t know him.  He’s gone in and played tight end, he’s been in the backfield as a fullback and done that pretty well.  I think he runs his routes well so he’s doing a nice job.  I think there’s good competition there, but that can push some other spots too.  If you keep extra tight ends, you have got to go somewhere else, there has got to be some give somewhere else.  That’s something that you try to convey to the group, you’re not just competing against the guys in your room, there are some guys in that other room.  You only get so many players that you get to keep.”

(On Scott Kooistra) -- “Getting to know him, he has played guard, he has played tackle so he has that versatility that we like.  He has gotten quite a few reps in the last week or two so that’s been good for him.  It’s been good to see what he can do in those different areas where if everybody is out there all the time, he probably wouldn’t have gotten that same opportunity and now we’ll just see how it plays out with the group as a whole.  I’d like to eventually get to the point where they are all back, all practicing and they are all in Berea.”

(On the built-in recovery days and if he’s gone soft on the players in order to keep them fresh) -- “It’s so funny, if you did one thing, you’re too hard. You do another thing, you’re too soft. It’s something I did in New York in 2008 and I liked. Each year as you go into a situation that you have and evaluate how well they are going to handle something like that and I thought the group would handle it well. It’s something I like to do because we train them one way 11 months out of the year and then you come to training camp and you train them a totally different way after vacation. In visiting with the medical staff, the strength and conditioning staff here and in New York, I just thought it was a more sound way to do it and it does give them a chance to get their legs back. It gives them a chance to regroup mentally. It gives us a chance to, not really get our legs back, but to regroup and evaluate things and do a little bit more in depth teaching. I think it’s been valuable. I think it’s helped us. I talked to Mike McCarthy a lot about it when we were on a scouting trip. I think I was down in Texas and he had done similar things in Green Bay and talked about his schedule, the way he set it up, so I borrowed some ideas from his as well.”

(On if he feels a lot better about the way this camp ran as opposed to last year) -- “Yes, I do. I really feel that as a group, we’ve been a lot more productive because there’s not, ‘Where do I go? What’s this drill? How do I set up?’ The coaching staff isn’t all new and worked together for the first time. There’s so many things that you have to take care of the first time around that you don’t have to address the second time around and you can put that time and energy and reps into moving the system forward. It has been positive and I like the way that the guys have worked. I like their carry over from OTAs to training camp. It’s been more positive.”

(On how he feels about the team at this point) -- “I feel really good about this group of guys. I do because they understand what we are trying to get done and they’re working towards that and when you have that, it’s more positive energy across the board, as opposed to some that are working towards it, some that aren’t sure whether they want to work towards it and some that are working against it. It’s 50-50 whether you are going to get done what you want to get done each day.”

(On if his and Brian Daboll’s perception of Seneca Wallace’s role in the offense has changed since seeing him play) -- “No, I don’t think it’s changed as much as it’s been reinforced. It was nice to see Seneca roll out of the pocket, break contain and throw a touchdown on somebody besides us. That was pleasant because we’ve been dealing with it all camp because he extends the play, so when he comes open he hits it and you’re thinking, ‘Have we gotten him,’ probably not and it’s been really good work defensively to have a guy like that because it is very different than what you see each day. I’ve been pleased with him. He’s an accurate guy. He’s got a strong arm, he’s confident, he’s got poise and he hasn’t played in a lot of games, but the games he played in, he did really well. I think the confidence has just grown in him each week as we’ve gotten to know him and he’s gotten to know the system.”

(On the quarterback reps for the game on Saturday) -- “No real set rep sheet right now. I anticipate the starters going through the first half and that’s my thought process right now. It could carry into the second half depending on what the balance is, offensive numbers versus defensive numbers, but that’s kind of where I’m at now.”

(On if Wallace will be in with the ones again) -- “I anticipate him being in with the ones at some point, yes.”

(On if he’s preparing for using the younger guys on the right side of the offensive line) -- “We try to plan for that throughout the course of minicamp and OTAs and training camp and George Warhop does a really nice job of moving guys around. You’ve seen Eric (Steinbach) work out at left tackle. You’ve seen Shaun Lauvao workout at guard and center. You’ve seen Billy Yates work at guard center. (John) St. Clair, (Tony) Pashos, (Floyd) Womack swapping guard and tackle. You have to build that flexibility because you don’t know how it’s going to hit, where it’s going to hit and if you do it, kind of the week of, you get this real limited window of reps to work on. We are trying to build that in daily.”

(On the trouble spot on the right side of the offensive line) -- “I thought Shaun did a nice job when he had his reps. I thought Billy Yates did a nice job when he plays. St. Clair and Pashos will both be back today. Floyd, I anticipate, us being able to evaluate more closely as we get nearer to the season, so we just have to see how it plays out.”

(On if Womack had surgery) -- “I’m not really going to get into specifics of it, but we’ll evaluate it as we get closer to the season.”

(On if he would hire a coach who uses a large amount of profanity) -- “I don’t always have the best language and I’ve been around some guys that don’t have the best language and I’m not saying that’s right or wrong. My mom would probably call me too, if she heard some of the things that were said. I don’t know. I don’t think I’m in a position to judge anybody else’s language.”

(On if he can see David Bowens transitioning into coaching and when he expects him back) -- “I think David will be back next week and work next week, so that’s the plan right now and I think he’ll be an excellent coach when he wants to do that, but if that’s what he wants to do. Right now, he’s a football player and a football player that contributed a lot to the team last year and he’s got a lot of versatility. He takes a lot of heat for his grey hairs, but with those hairs come wisdom and there’s value in that.”

(On if he did much personal scouting of Sam Bradford) -- “Yes, I was at his workout, watched his tape and he’s a good player. He’s a really good player and he did some impressive things in college. I’d imagine he’ll have a very productive professional career. I don’t really want it to start this weekend. It can start next weekend, but yes, I think he’s a good player. Drafted where he was drafted, it comes with a lot of expectations, but he’s lived up to expectations in the past, so I’d imagine he will in the future.”

(On what he’s looking for in the game on Saturday) -- “I am looking for us to play and operate better than we did against Green Bay. That’s what I typically look for each step in the preseason. Brown and White (Scrimmage) is one sort of bench mark and then you move to the first preseason, second, third game and the things we did well, I want to continue to do well and the things we didn’t do well I want to improve on. There was plenty to improve on from the game, a lot of things I was happy with. There will be some different things that we try in this game just because it’s typically what we do in the second preseason game, some things we want to look at that maybe we’ll use some in the season, maybe more looking at it than anything else. That’s part of it as well.”

(On if he imagined Harrison could carry the load he did last season) -- “Having Leon Washington and that experience, I really thought Leon and Jerome were similar in college. I felt like Leon could have handled as much as we gave him and we had Thomas Jones there, so there was a chance to split up the reps, but that didn’t mean I thought Leon couldn’t do it if he had to. It was the same thing with Jerome, I think as he continues to work and learn and grow and gain more experience, he’s going to get better and better because he’s got excellent natural ability and when you marry that with consistency and work ethic and experience, your growth should be significant as time goes on.”


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