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What's Browns coach Eric Mangini saying?

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 6, 2010

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

Browns Head Coach Eric Mangini press conference 9-6-10

(Opening statement) -- “Good morning everybody. How are you? We got through the cuts and the waiver wire and things like that and there’s still more names coming up as teams shuffle their roster. It’s always a difficult weekend and it’s always a difficult time as a head coach and I don’t think a lot of people really talk about it but its true because you have been with these guys, some guys for a couple years, some guys it may have been the offseason and training camp. Whatever the duration of time is they all worked really hard and they all put their best foot forward to make the team and unfortunately we are not able to keep them all. It’s a tough process to go through, where you have to say goodbye to people and thank them and you do whatever you can do to help them be successful somewhere else. You also explain to them that it’s not necessarily the end of what their aspiring to do. It could just be the beginning somewhere else. On the flipside of that it’s also a very happy time and good time for the guys that do make the team and an exciting time for us as a team to start preparing for our first opponent and that’s what we’re doing here today is going through the bulk of the scouting report to familiarize the guys with Tampa and that usually takes the most time on a Wednesday so we will be able to do a little bit more on Wednesday because of the work that we are doing here today.  We’ll work on some of our core things against their core things and then be able to come back on Wednesday and I expect the players to be very familiar with Tampa at that point and really be able to fast forward our preparation for the weekend.  The other thing I talked to the guys about is the opening game.  The opening game is different than anything else you face during the season except maybe, the only thing that could be comparable is facing a team coming off a bye week. When they have that extra time to do some things that they haven’t done prior to you playing them.  You prepare the best that you can for what you expect but there’s going to be some things different that we have to adjust to. The level of intensity increases dramatically, the amount of reps the guys play increases dramatically and that is true for us and its true for them.  Conditioning is very important and some guys really understand what they have to do to get ready for the first game and some guys it’s a whole new world. I’ll help them with it and the older guys will help them with it as well.”

(On if Shaun Rogers is going to practice and if he is going to play on Sunday) -- “Yes, he is going to practice some today and it will increase a little bit more as the week goes on. I can see him playing on Sunday.”

(On if John St. Claire is back) -- “Yes, John’s back, he got back on Friday so he has been with us since then.”

(On what they are going to do on the right side of the line) -- “We have some idea of what we are going to do and there’s some things that we are going to look at during the course of the week and we’ll get it worked out.  I’m hoping that Floyd (Womack) will be able to participate on Wednesday.  That’s my hope. I’m not setting any sort of firm timetable or not but that’s what I’m hoping so we will see how that goes.”

(On where Shaun Rogers will be practicing) -- “He’s going to be practicing in his core spots which is nose tackle, and then he will also work some of the other spots.  There is a designated amount of reps that we have for him some it may be package specific that he will work on initially and again as the week goes on he will be able to do more and more so we will be able to do more and more. I think as the weeks go on that could continue to expand.”

(On if Rogers has had any contact and how they are going to prepare him for Sunday) -- “On PUP you are not able to able to do that.  He will get a little bit of that today. You’ll increase it during the week. I think some other teams are facing the same thing where you get a guy back at this point.  Now the advantage they have is with an older guy and more experienced guy, there’s less of a learning curve there than a younger guy.”

(On what Michael Adams’ role will be as the fourth corner) -- “Mike actually started quite a few games for us last year at the corner position and he plays a lot of corner type roles whether it be the inside slot player or the star player for us.  He has started outside, he’s started inside and he played safety and that’s a really good thing.  It allows us to do some different things with him that you may not be able to do with some other players, one of the things I really like about him, and you are always looking to build within the system.”

(On the abundance of linebackers) -- “I think there’s going to be different combinations with those guys and it’s a balancing act between special teams and the packages and making sure that you’ve got enough of both to do what you’d like to do.  Typically with us, a lot of linebackers play on third down as defensive line types.  Most of our outside linebackers are the same size as your average 4-3 defensive end.  Those guys are around 270 lbs, our guys are around 255-260 lbs so there’s not a big variation between a 4-3 end and a 3-4 outside linebacker on average, give or take five pounds.”

(On if anyone resents how Rogers has been out the past two preseasons but ready for the opener) -- “I don’t want to put words in your mouth but you are implying that he didn’t have a medical situation and he did.  He did and that’s why we have doctors and trainers.  I rely on those guys to do their job and to tell us when they are ready. It is a function of what Joe (Sheehan) tells me and what doc tells me, it’s not just sitting through camp and brining him off at that point, sometimes it’s coincidence.”

(On Ahtyba Rubin’s development and if Rogers will play defensive end) -- “Rubin has earned the right to play and Rubin will play.  He has done an exceptional job. I really have enjoyed watching his growth just with my time here and seeing him develop not just as a player but as a pro.  He’s earned the right to play so that’s a good thing because Shaun does have the ability to play nose tackle, he has the ability to play defensive end.  To be able to mix guys in at different spots it gives you depth, it gives you a chance to spell people during the course of a game and it also gives you some versatility in terms of matchups that you want against your opponents’ offensive linemen.  I think Rubin’s development, growth and progress have been a real positive in terms of the flexibility that it gives us defensively.”

(On how this team is different from the previous Browns teams) -- “I’ve been around a lot of teams and you get a sense for the guys and I hope that you guys have seen it as well.  This is a very good group of people, this is a hard working group of guys and this is a group of guys that really care about their profession.  It’s important to them to be successful and that’s not commenting on any other team, but I’m just saying that’s who these people are and that’s what you look for as a coach.  Now, we need to be able to put that all together and operate as one group but there’s a desire within the meetings rooms, the locker room and within the team to do that. That’s a big part in the growth of any team and any organization.  When you have everybody pulling in the same direction, it’s a lot more powerful.  If you have everybody focused on the team first instead of individual success or credit or any of that stuff, it’s powerful. There are a lot of things that we have to do right day in and day out and but I know that these guys want to do it right day in and day out. That, to me, is been a very positive part of what I hope you have seen so far this summer and what I have seen as a coach.”

(On Jerome Harrison’s preseason and him not hitting the ‘home run’ often enough) -- “In terms of home runs, my brother-in-law (Mark Shapiro) told me one time you only have to hit .300 to go to the Hall of Fame, so doubles are good, singles are good, on base percentage, all of that stuff is good.  Mark would be proud. There’s no more time to wait. We have a week here to prepare and he is going to get a lot of work on Sunday and the value in negative or positive experiences is how you use them to springboard into your next opportunity.  What I am looking for from Jerome is to learn from that, and I ask guys to do this all the time, keep a notebook of what you did and what the results were.  Did it go well, did it go poorly and the next time you do it look back and adjust and try to make the next opportunity better based on your last experience.  I would expect that from Jerome, and not just Jerome from everybody.”

(On if Harrison took Montario Hardesty’s injury as a challenge to step up and carry the load) -- “I never got the sense from Jerome that the things that he was going to do were going to be dependent on somebody else.  You don’t ever want that.  You don’t want someone saying, ‘Okay because he’s doing X, I’m going to do Y.  I’m going to do this because it’s right for me.’  I get that sense form Jerome.  He has certain goals, he has certain things that he wants to achieve.  I’m talking about growth and development.  It wasn’t based on Montario being here, it wasn’t based on anybody being here.  It was based on what he wanted to do for him.  That’s, I think, a very healthy approach.”

(On if he talked to Harrison about what he expects from him going into the season) -- “I haven’t really had that individual sit down this year.  Jerome and I talk all of the time, it’s not a function of having one sort of landmark meeting.  I like to think in squad meetings and things like that, we get a sense of where we are coming from.  I’m always open to talking to any of the guys at any point.  He understands the things that he has to do and he understands the great opportunity that he has in front of him.  I expect him to seize that opportunity like he did last year and run with it.”

(On what he thought about Brian Robiskie’s offseason and where he is now) -- “I think he’s had the best offseason of any of the guys in terms of his growth and progress and all of those things.  My expectation is that trend continues.  It just reinforces the value of hard work and the value of consistency and the value of believing in your ability.  It’s not always easy, it’s not always fun, but it’s right.  My hope and expectations is that he continues the growth pattern that he has shown so far this year.”

(On what kind of receiver Robiskie is) -- “Really, all I’m looking for from him is for him to be an effective guy.  I don’t love labeling guys one thing or the other because I think it’s often unfair and a little too easy to box them in to one category or not.  What I’m looking for him is when he’s got his shot and he gets his chances and the ball is thrown, is to catch them.  Keep working to get open every play and become as much a part of the offense as he can and he’s shown the ability to do that.”

(On if Rogers is a team guy) -- “I’ve gotten to know Shaun over the last couple of years and he hasn’t been in a situation where the team has won a lot of games and that’s something that’s important to him and that’s something that’s important to me.  Now the things that we talk about are how do we achieve that together.  What’s that like and what goes into that whole process?  One thing that I like that Shaun does a lot and does well is he’ll talk to the younger guys in the back of the room.  They may be trying to figure out how to do something and really have no idea where to get the answer from.  They kind of do and Shaun will take them through.  I think he’s very good like that, in terms of sharing his experience with those guys.  That, to me, is important from all of the veteran guys and the really good ones leave a legacy, not just of their play, but the other people that they help make play better.  I’ve seen that so many times over the course of my career.  Guys, and I’ve heard all of the names, but Rodney Harrison made people play better.  He taught a bunch of young guys in the secondary. He helped teach them how to be pros.  Sometimes he’d get frustrated because he felt like he was directing traffic instead of playing, but that was part of what he did and part of what made us better.”

(On what went into the decision to keep four tight ends) -- “I thought that Alex (Smith) had a really good camp.  What I liked about him is no matter what we asked him to do, he did it pretty well.  We asked him to play fullback in the backfield, he did that pretty well.  We asked him to be the in-line tight end, he did that pretty well.  We asked him to be the off the line tight end, he did that pretty well.  He created a role for himself in the fact that he can play multiple roles, so that was really the thought process.”

(On potentially trading for Vincent Jackson) -- “Tom (Heckert) and I really talk about the guys that are on the wire right now and the free agents that are available right now.  We haven’t talked a lot about that.  In terms of what our interest would be, I’d say talk to Tom or Mike (Holmgren).”

(On potentially signing T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Heckert saying that the team is happy with who they have) -- “What did Tom say?  I’m happy with Tom’s answer.”

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