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What's Browns coach Eric Mangini saying?

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 25, 2010

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

Browns Head Coach Eric Mangini press conference 8-25-10

(Opening statement) -- “Good morning everybody.  We’re still following the game week dress rehearsal.  Today will be an emphasis on third down and we will review the first and second down install that we put in.  Like we do with any week, there are some things we looked at yesterday that you may not like as much as you thought you would or some things we liked better.  That sort of adjustment goes into a Thursday practice and sometimes a Friday practice as you review each section.  I talked to the players and really the young guys especially about developing their in-week routine.  A lot of these guys, the young guys I’m talking about, the new players, it’s very different from their college prep.  They can draw on the older players’ experience and figure out what the best routine is for them.  There’s really two routines, there’s your preparation routine for the opponent and then there’s also the routine for taking care of your body over a 16 game schedule, really a 20 game schedule when you include the preseason.  Hopefully they will find a good mentor and I’ll keep encouraging that.  We’ve got a good group of older guys who I think can help them a lot with that.  Even with the vets getting back into their routine and revising it, so that’s some of the other stuff that we are working on outside of what happens on the practice field.”

(On what went wrong versus Detroit in the regular season last year defensively) -- “I don’t know if we have enough time Jeff (Schudel).  It may take until next preseason to go through all of those (joking).  There were different things on different plays.  The long pass down the middle of the field, I thought they ran a nice play against it.  We were in Cover 2 and the receiver came up, hinted outside, got the safety to bite outside and then came back inside on the post and kept it really skinny away from the middle dropper.  That’s a good play against that defense, I really wish we weren’t in that defense, but we were.  Another one they made a nice play.  We were playing Cover 4, which is four across man and they took the running back and they ran him through the middle of the formation and let him keep going.  Well, you are really looking for the offset back and the tight end, and that guy tends to scoot out.  The backside safety should have come over when the tight end blocked and picked him up.  One was a wide receiver screen against a max pressure, which I didn’t think we tackled very well on that.  The one at the end of the game, if I had it to do over again, I probably would have run on third down and eaten up another 40 seconds, which would have given them less time.  We didn’t do a really good job of keeping him in the pocket during that drive.  Even when you’re rushing three, you can keep the guy in the pocket.  He got out, the play got extended, we missed the sack then we got the penalty on the next play.  That’s four, I don’t even remember the fifth.  That’s the best of my recall.”

(On if he is using the last preseason games to determine the third and fourth quarterback positions) -- “The nice thing about the last game is both of those guys will get a ton of time to play.  That will help provide some clarity and that’s one of the real positives of that fourth preseason game.  For a situation like that, you get to evaluate a lot of guys that may not have gotten the same level of reps through the first three preseason games.  I think that will help it.  I think that both Colt (McCoy) and Brett (Ratliff) have some real positives and they’re coming at this situation a little bit differently with Brett having more experience.  We will just have to see and talk about it.  That’s something that I definitely sit down with Mike (Holmgren) and talk about and get his thoughts on it and Brian (Daboll).  That’s the real benefit to have Mike here as well.”

(On if there is a need for a third quarterback) -- “I’ve gone both ways and philosophically, we have kept four in the past.  Quarterbacks are really valuable.  Someone is always looking for one at some point.  If you have an abundance of them, usually you can get real value for them if you are willing to move on from them.  I remember in New York, I think it was in ’05 and I wasn’t there yet, but they lost two quarterbacks within the first 12 plays against Kansas City and they were down to a third pretty quickly.  Sometimes you go through the whole season and you never even get to the second. I would imagine I’m probably like a lot of head coaches, you float both ways on it.”

(On if he has a number in mind of how many quarterbacks he wants on the roster) -- “That’s something that we will talk about as the cuts get closer.  Like I said, I’ve kept four as a head coach and have been on teams that have kept four as an assistant coach.  I have also been on two.”

(On if he expects Brett Ratliff to excel in the preseason because of his experience) -- “It really varies.  I thought Carlton (Mitchell) had a chance to catch that ball on the sideline.  That’s a totally different drive at that point.  It goes from a first down, you’re knocking on field goal opportunity, to being in a much tougher situation there.  It’s a combination of things.  You’ve got to have the protection and guys need to execute their routes.  What you try to do in those situations is really look at, did he go to the right place with the ball, did he make the right call?  You try to jump forward and say, ‘Okay, if he had the protection or if the guy had caught the ball.’  It’s hard to just evaluate that in a vacuum.”

(On if Colt McCoy needs to be able to show that he can move the offense in a game) -- “That’s what we want to see, we want to see them move the offense.  Just in getting back to Tony’s (Grossi) question, it’s really the same thing.  Part of that has to do with how the other guys are playing as well.  He needs some time to be able to get off the balls that are called for or the depth of the routes that are called for and they need to make good decisions.  Early on against Green Bay, there were those decisions that weren’t the best.  Now, what you would like to do is put him back in those situations and see if he’s making the right decisions with a second time around of experiencing it.  Some of it is what happens and some of it is projecting what could happen and the growth from the first time to the second time.”

(On if he will rest the top two quarterbacks in the final preseason game) -- “I would say that depends somewhat on what happens this week.  If things go will this week, then I probably would take an approach that’s similar.  I’ve played those guys a series or two in the past, but I think it depends a little bit on how we do this week.”

(On if he has an idea of how the final roster will look) -- “Really, I work off of a sheet that I’ve had since I’ve been a head coach.  It’s kind of a worksheet based on how many you keep by position, a miscellaneous category and then you have the ones that are in the far left and those are the ones that are going to be here, and then the next row are the ones pushing and the next row are the ones that are a second level then you have got a third level.  As you go through OTAs, mandatory minicamp and training camp, you just keep slotting guys around.  Different things pop up, so I’m always working off of the 53 and then there’s also an area for the 45.  It’s not really just happening this week, it’s something that I look at every day or every other day and say, ‘Okay, with this injury, this changes.  He has to go here, he has to go here.  You put somebody in the miscellaneous category and now you have to take somebody out.’  It’s a way to take a lot of guys and put them in a very manageable way of looking at it and also projecting forward to the 45, not just 53.”

(On how Abram Elam’s pass defense is developing) -- “I think he’s developed since the time that I first got him.  Each year, he gets a little bit better.  He’s gotten to play a lot more, he’s got a lot more experience.  There are certain things that he does really well and there are certain things that I continue to push him to work on.  The thing with Abe I, he understands that he has to work on the weaknesses.  It’s hard to do, but the guys that stay around a long time and get better, that’s what they really focus in on.  Not just playing to their strengths, but I’m going to attack my weaknesses so when I get out on the field, it’s going to be a lot better.”

(On if he would sub Elam in a passing situation last year) -- “There is times where we subbed for him and we did that with a lot of guys, Jeff (Schudel).  We will take some big guys off the front, we will switch some guys around in the secondary.  Really, the Eugene Wilson playing free safety in New England just evolved from earlier experiences in New York when we were all together.  They would go three wide and we would play our base defense.  Instead of substituting someone up front, we would take a corner and put him at safety so if you want to play man-to-man, you can.  Eugene was the evolution because he played corner in college, but he was stout enough and had good enough deep ball skills to play safety.  It gives you flexibility with how you want to attack their sub packages.  It’s not always a function of getting one guy off, it’s just getting another guy in that may be his real strength.”

(On if subbing a guy in passing situations means he can’t cover well) -- “No, I don’t think it’s that cut and dry.  I think it’s more a function of this guy matches up better against this slot receiver in this set.  It’s not a blanket statement, it’s more that’s where their strength is that you want to take away.  Put this guy here, handle it and then you can do some things that you want to do without changing the front.”

(On other teams’ successes versus the Browns’ first team defense in the first two preseason games) -- “I don’t want them to score on us.  I thought that the first defensive drive, where it wasn’t as bad as the first offensive drive, wasn’t very good.  We made a mental error on the first play of the game, which allowed for a completion.  We had a penalty, I think it was on third down in that drive, which kept it going.  It’s the same as a turnover really at that point.  Then we had a missed tackle on the touchdown. The mental error shouldn’t have happened. The penalty, you’d like to think those things are correctable because they weren’t huge, glaring mistakes, but they are also unacceptable and you don’t want to see them at the start of the game.  You don’t want to see them at any point.”

(On if they are working on no huddle less this season) -- “We’ve, I’d say proportionately, maybe have done a little bit less of it in camp just because with Jake (Delhomme) and Seneca (Wallace), there were some things we wanted to do out of a huddle just to get them used to things.  We have done that since OTAs, pretty much the second OTA on and really in training camp I’d say the second or third practice on, and we will do it every single week.  There will be periods of that, there will be times where we do it so that we should be able to go in and out of it in a game without it being that big of a deal.”

(On Calvin Johnson testing the secondary Saturday) -- “I think not just Calvin Johnson really.  (Nate) Burleson is really an accomplished receiver.  Bryant Johnson, they have got some weapons in that group, I think that they have improved that group.  Add (Tony) Scheffler, I think he can do some things as a receiving tight end.  (Brandon) Pettigrew had 33 catches last year.  He is a big-body tight end that has really good hands and they do a lot of different things with him.  I think with (Matt) Stafford, he’s at 72 percent completion.  When he has time, he is very efficient.  I’m looking forward to seeing how we do against their group.  Now (Jahvid) Best, he can cut back and go for 70, he can bounce it outside for 70.  He’s got great deep speed or long speed, so those small creases can lead to big plays.”

(On if it is important for the team to connect with the Browns history) -- “I think it’s important for anybody that comes in to a team to be able to appreciate the history of the team.  It’s been nice for me to be able to have guys like Paul Warfield around and him talk to the team or Jim Brown around and have him talk to the team or Bernie (Kosar), him talk to the team.  It’s a rich history and it’s got to be appreciated.  That’s why we start in rookie camp with showing them some clips through the decades of the guys that really built this team.”

(On if the historical videos he shows has an impact current players) -- “It makes an impact because we usually show video clips with it and other players talking about them and their highlights.  Some of those plays are just, they are amazing.  I don’t care what decade you are in, they are amazing.  Guys appreciate that and they appreciate the longevity, the consistent production, the ability to play through injuries.  Our guys know how hard that is and to see guys that we have had that have done that so well, it’s impressive.”

(On if eliminating two preseason games hurts developmental players) -- “I honestly don’t know Tony (Grossi), because I haven’t been through it and you don’t know what that is also going to do for the roster numbers.  Will that change or will more players be on the active roster?  I don’t know the dynamics of it, I don’t know how it is all going to play out, but we will just have to adjust.”

(On if Billy Yates and John St. Clair will start Saturday on the right side of the offensive line) -- “John is still away, so I’m not sure if he will be back in time for the game or not.”

(On if Tony Pashos will play Saturday) -- “He practiced yesterday, so barring any setbacks.”

(On if he likes the idea of an 18 game schedule) -- “I haven’t really weighed in one way or the other.  I’m going to work on this 16 game schedule right now, that’s really what I need to work on.  I’ll deal with the 18 game schedule if it passes.”

(On if he told Mike Holmgren to vote one way or the other on a change in scheduling) -- “No.  I said, ‘Mike, go get ‘em.  Let me know how it works out.’”

(On if Montario Hardesty will be back today) -- “What’s today, Wednesday?  No.”

(On if the team would be ready for the regular season if the preseason was over right now) -- “Yes, if this was the opener, we would be ready.  You don’t have a choice.  I think that the start of the season is such an exciting time for everybody.  Guys are ready to get going and they’re excited to play in those games.  They would be ready and I don’t know how it would work on the front end, how practice would work on the front end, but whatever it is, you are going to be ready to go when they tell you it’s time.”

(On allowing a low yards per carry average on defense this preseason and if there has been progress) -- “It’s hard to tell, those statistics from preseason can be a little bit deceiving one way or the other.  I’d much rather be at that number than a higher number.  That’s positive.  I want to put an emphasis on that, I want to be able to stop the run consistently because there’s nothing more disheartening when you can’t do it.  It’s like dealing with a bully.  If you can’t punch back, you’re just giving away your lunch money every week and it stinks.”

(On if it can be expected that no one else will miss practice today) -- “Yes, I think we have the same group.  No real setbacks, I’m pretty sure the same group.”

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