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What's Browns coach Eric Mangini saying?

By Nate Ulrich Published: August 30, 2010

Browns coach Eric Mangini met with reporters Monday morning. Here's a transcript from the press conference:

Browns Head Coach Eric Mangini press conference 8-30-10

(Opening statement) -- “Just a couple thoughts. Actually, before we start that, a few guys are going to miss practice here for personal reasons Ben Watson and John (St. Clair) is not back so you won’t see either one of those two guys.  Right now Ben could be back but right now I don’t think he will be.  In terms of the game some thoughts on that I would say, offensively, I really liked a lot of things we did. I thought the operation overall was efficient, thought we ran the no huddle stuff really well. Jake does an excellent job of getting us into good plays of seeing where the pressure points are and fixing some of those problems. He also does a very nice job distributing the ball, a lot of guys got involved in the passing game, scored a lot of points, racked up a lot of yards, first downs, efficient in the two minute drive backed up.  I mean there is a long line of things that I was happy with, but at the end of the day those are all off set by three turnovers and then putting the ball on the ground a fourth time. That’s kind of how it goes. You can do all those great things and you fumble and they score a touchdown and then you fumble another time, which negates three points and then they end up scoring on that ensuing drive.  That’s a swing of ten points on one turnover and that’s the starting point.  Defensively, I obviously didn’t like the way we started the game giving up a 51 yard run and I think we’re further along than where we were at this point last year and I know that’s probably tough to believe judging by the production last game, but we are. It has to be tighter.  You make one or two mistakes and that’s where the holes come in and that’s where the problems come in.  I know we talk about blitzing all the time, we talk about pressuring all the time, yet one guy outside when he is supposed to be inside and you got two guys being blocked by one defender, a play that should be a sack turns into a long play and that’s what we are concentrating on.  I’d like to think that will improve too as we get into game plan specific.  I think we carried more things through the preseason, do a lot more things in the preseason than we would necessarily in a game plan but regardless of that those problems should be fixed.  On special teams, I really think that the penalties as a whole have to come down but the penalties that we have gotten there that has to be fixed.  I never like to see the ball being kicked out of bounds to start the second half and again, I thought that there were some real positives there and some correctable mistakes there as well.”

(On how Nick Sorensen is doing today) -- “Nick (Sorensen) won’t be at practice today.  The tests were negative after the game but he is going to be resting for a while so you won’t see him out today.”

(On the rule change on kickoff coverage and if it is enough and if there is more they could do) -- “I don’t think that collision was a function of a formation that needed to be changed it was just the way that those two players struck each other.  He kind of lowered for the impact and where Detroit’s player was it just ended up being helmet to helmet and they were both going at such high speeds. I don’t know how you could police that or change that.  And I don’t think it was a function of any advantage they had on the return team.”

(On if Sorensen was hit helmet to helmet by two players) -- “I thought it was one primary guy and then maybe the other guy could have caught him but I thought it was the one initial collision that really did it.”

(On what the tests for Sorensen have revealed) -- “It’s something like this that you go through the tests and then you still go through the next four days, five days whatever it is however many days they tell us it is to make sure things stay.  No I don’t think he will play (against Chicago).”

(On Nick Sorensen’s job on the team) -- “Yes, there is always going to be guys like that that are core special teams players, and Nick (Sorensen) has played defense, can play defense but really he has found a niche that he does really well.  In addition to that he has versatility on special teams he plays on all of them pretty much but in addition to that he is a good person and he is a good teammate.  You’re constantly looking for core teams guys that are versatile and he has been that and often you see guys hang around a long time whether it is with their original teams or with other teams in that role.”

(On if Nick Sorensen suffered a concussion) -- “Yes, he suffered a concussion.”

(On if he wants the quarterbacks to make hits like Jake Delhomme made in a fumble return during preseason games) -- “No, it’s one of those things I think it’s just competitive.  It’s hard to coach him out of it.  I didn’t really cover it in depth. I probably should have.  It was a nice tackle though. Good angle, wrapped up, head across the bow.”

(On the linebacker situation and what needs to be done to figure it out for the Tampa Bay game) -- “I think what you are going to see Tony (Grossi) is it won’t be just four guys the whole game.  I think that any of those guys that go to the games will have roles in different packages so my expectation is that they will all play in some meaningful capacity. When we play Tampa Bay and when we play each week it could be as a third down rusher, it could be as a cover guy, it could be in short yardage and goal line.  You’ll see all of them.”

(On how many linebackers they typically keep) -- “It varies because you have the ones that you list at those positions, inside and outside backer, and then you have the miscellaneous category and you may keep a guy who is linebacker by position but really is a core teams guy.  So, anywhere from 8, 10, 11.”

(On how the right side of the line played against Detroit, specifically Tony Pashos and Shawn Lauvao together) -- “I thought they played well.  There were a few hiccups and I thought that was a nice first game for them to play together against because there was quite a few pressures, there were quite a few line stunts.  There’s some really nice speed that they have especially on the edge with ­­­Cliff Avril.  I thought that they played well and I thought they play well especially because it was the first time they really had played together.”

(On if he is going to give Tony Pashos and Shawn Lauvao more playing time against the bears because they haven’t played as much in preseason) -- “Yes, I think that is a possibility. Shawn may play that spot, he might play some other spots too just to give him work.”

(On if he needs clarity of Shaun Rodgers availability by the weekend to make his roster decisions) -- “I don’t know if it is as much to make the roster decisions. I think we have plans for both contingencies in place and we have had that for a while.  So I feel good with what we have talked about and however it works out we will be ready.”

(On if he has any more clarity on Shaun Rodgers availability health wise) -- “As it gets closer I think each week that goes by we get closer.”

(On if Shaun Rodgers is where he was at this time last year regarding his health) -- “Well as you say it’s a different injury.  What I’m really doing Tony is going by what our doctor and trainers say and they work with each other and they work with Shaun (Rodgers) and keep us updated daily. It’s not really driven by me it’s more driven by where he is and the progression that we have.  But I think he has each week made steps forward and we have some time here before Tampa.”

(On James Davis situation and where things stand with him) -- “Well I think that those are going to be some tough decisions.  At the running back spot I think Chris Jennings did some good things last year.  I think Alex Smith has done some good things at tight end so depending how many tight ends you keep. Peyton Hillis, whether you want to list him as a fullback or running back. Getting Montario (Hardesty) back here this week, he should play against Chicago, so be able to take a look at him.  All those things come into play so those are the tough decisions. It’s a good part of having the fourth preseason game.”

(On if Joshua Cribbs looks more instinctive as a wide receiver) -- “I really believed it last year and he caught 20 balls or whatever it was last season. I think what the difference for him now is that he has got the routes, he has got the system and he’s adding the subtleties of the position to his route running and that’s been really fun to watch.  I think he’s got excellent hands. He has made some impressive catches.  That one on the sideline was a big time catch.  He has had some other ones; he has made some plays for us on fourth down.  Not only that, but he blows people up when he is blocking. I mean you can run him on reverses, play him at quarterback, he makes me happy.”

(On Shaun Rodgers and Robaire Smith and what has taken the league so long to decide what to do) -- “That’s above my pay grade.  Whatever they want to do they can do on whatever time table they have.”

(On how you game plan for Tampa not knowing Rodgers and Smith’s status) -- “Well that’s just something we have to deal with.  When you get into a situation where the league has to get involved, it’s just what we have to deal with. It’s just the way it is.”
(On Brian Schaefering and what his role will be during regular season)
-- “He’s got some versatility because he plays on the left side and the right side. He plays in sub as well.  Brian is a guy I have known for a while, I know we picked him up here last year but he’s a player we had with the Jets for a little bit.  It has been nice to see his development over time.  I think there are quite a few things that he can continue to work on in terms of playing the base technique and he and I have talked about it.  He is a worker, he’s got a high motor, he’s got some toughness, and he’s made some plays throughout this preseason and made some plays last year.  So all those things I think are real pluses from him.  It’s nice to see guys like him continue to make strides.”

(On if it is going to be tough to keep all four quarterbacks) -- “The reason Jake (Delhomme) obviously played more and than Seneca (Wallace) played and then I wanted to see Colt (McCoy) in an end of the game situation he hadn’t been in that situation. Brett (Ratliff) had, so you will see a lot of both those guys on Thursday.”

(On if the nose tackle they picked up has any time to impress him) -- “Yes, there is always a chance and he got to play some this past game, he’ll play quite a bit this upcoming game, we’re getting to know him.  I think anybody who gets into the building has a chance to impress with whatever window they have.  I am always very open minded with new guys and Tom (Heckert) is as well, the coaches are, and I just really believe once you’re in, now what do you do with it.  So yes he does have a chance.”

(On what happened on the play that should have only been a 10 or 12 yards) -- “What happened is that both he (T.J. Ward) and Abram (Elam) flowed pretty hard to the right hand side.  So offensively left, our right, and when he cut it back the backside receivers had come over and as our safeties started to flow back, based on where he was cutting it to, those receivers were able to cut him off.  You want to have balance with the safeties where one is front side and one is backside, and even though we had that balance, that backside receiver was able to seal T.J. (Ward). With a runner like that, he didn’t need that big of a crease to be able to go. It wasn’t like some blow up block, it was just enough to let him go by.”

(On if T.J. Ward made any mistakes on that run by Best) -- “I  don’t think it was a function of over-pursuing as much as you always have to have the awareness on cutback runs. There’s somebody coming from the other side of the field and you can’t be surprised by it.  That’s easier said than done when you are out in space against a guy that runs that fast. You’re trying to make haste and it doesn’t take much to get sealed off.”

(On if the Wildcat package has been shown minimally in the preseason) -- “With Josh (Cribbs), there are only so many plays you’re going to play him in the preseason.  You want him to get that work at wide receiver and the other thing is that you want to limit the hits that he is going to take.  He was returning punts, he was returning kicks and he was playing wide receiver.  It is something that I do have a comfort level with.  We have worked on that stuff and we will continue to work on that stuff.  When we run it, I think we will be ready to run it.”

(On if the Wildcat package is in his offense) -- “Yes, it’s tucked away somewhere.  It’s somewhere.”

(On opposing starting offenses having success passing against the Browns’ starting defense) -- “I think it’s what we talked about before Terry (Pluto) where we are just not executing as well as we should.  I think that, in terms of running the right defenses, we’re further ahead.  In terms of running the right defenses correctly, that’s where we have to make some ground.  I also think that opportunities to affect the quarterback, there was one play in the game which I thought was a good indication of what we are talking about.  We brought a guy clean, Chris (Gocong) came clean through the B gap and we didn’t walk out the linebacker, so the disguise wasn’t very clear.  What should have been either a ball disruption or a sack, giving that information that much earlier, he was able to raise up before Chris could get there. We are talking about a split-second to throw it and it becomes a 12-yard completion. Did everybody run the right defense? Yes. Was the disguise what it should have been?  No.  That’s the stuff that’s the difference.  That’s the difference to good coordinated defense and sort of what we had the other night.”

(On T.J. Ward’s progression) -- “Did you see that one play on kickoff team where he hit that one guy into the other guy?  Yes, he’s continuing to improve, but he’s pretty new to this whole deal.  With rookies, he’s going to make mistakes, they all do.  We are going to work to limit how many of them (there are).  The one thing that I really like about T.J. is that his mistakes are going to be fast and someone is probably going to get hit.  Even if he is wrong, someone is going to get hit.  That’s what you talk about is that you can make a mistake, but make it fast and hard.  Don’t make it slow and soft.”

(On not having the need for a feature back because of the depth at the running back position) -- “We really did mix it up last year.  Guys had packages that they were in.  Towards the end of the year, it ended up working out the way that it worked out.  I imagine that Peyton (Hillis) has done a lot of good things, so he will continue to have packages. We’ve got to see where Montario (Hardesty) is, but we have been encouraged by what he has done since he has become a brown.  Jerome (Harrison) really showed what he could do at the end of last season.  I’m happy about the potential for that group.  In terms of how it shakes out with numbers of carries, that’s going to be game-to-game.  What I do like about the group though is I don’t think any one of those guys is ever going to sit back and go, ‘I should have the ball more.’ It’s just about moving the chains, scoring points and winning the game.”

(On if Jerome is doing anything different that is causing fumbles) -- “Anything fundamentally different?  No.  I think that the one that he had the other night, he just didn’t have the five points of pressure on the ball and kind of slipped in the hole.  It wasn’t even like he had gotten hit on that play, he slipped.  It almost looked like he went to brace and it squirted out.  We are going to continue to pressure the ball in practice, continue to make them as aware as we possibly can.  It’s not something that we haven’t worked on since last year and it won’t change.  It’s kind of like tackling.  Every day, it’s harped on, it’s talked about, and it’s drilled because nothing is more important.”

(On if he will have the league office look at the personal foul by Ndamukong Suh on Jake) -- “Yes.  I’ve got to imagine whether we will, but whether we did or not, I’m sure they’ll look at it closely.  When I met the kid, he’s a good kid, so I don’t think he’s a malicious guy.  From what I know about him, it was just a poor decision.”

(On if Suh should have been thrown out of the game for that play) -- “It put the quarterback at risk, but I’m not the official.  You know you don’t want to see that at any point.  As I said, my experience with him in the draft process is that he’s a good kid and it was just not a great decision.”

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