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What's Browns coach Eric Mangini saying?

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 9, 2010

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

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

(Opening statement) -- “Good morning. One piece of housekeeping, we waived Titus Brown and re-signed Billy Yates.  Just looking at the offensive line situation, I thought that Floyd (Womack) did a good job yesterday but it was his first day back. Shawn (Lauvao) twisted his left ankle yesterday so we are not going to practice him today. We’ll see where that is tomorrow so we wanted to bring Billy (Yates) back in to have some more depth over there. With (Steve) Vallos he’s new, he is capable, just he is new so that was the thought process there.  In terms of practice itself we were inside yesterday to try to the best we could to get a little bit more heat.  It’s been kind of a cool start to September here in Cleveland outside a couple days last week so just to work in that environment as much as we could. It’s not perfect but it’s as close as we can get to it.  Any time that we face either elements or noise or whatever it is, and I talked to the team about this this morning as well, the goal is to operate in that in practice so that it becomes a non-factor when you face that during the course of a game.  Practice itself I thought was crisp I thought the recall from Monday’s practice was good and the new install, there’s always some growing pains with new install, but the guys worked at it and we got a lot of what we wanted to get accomplished, accomplished.  Today we’ll move to the next phase and we will get a little bit of a head start on the red zone as well because we did have that extra day on Monday.”

(On how long Lauvao is going to be out) -- “Really we are just looking at it today. We are going to see where he is after today and then we will reevaluate it for tomorrow.”

(On the specifics of Lauvao’s injury) -- “I don’t want to get into the specifics of when it happened, where it happened, it’s just kind of where it is.”

(On if it is going to be tough for Womack to play) -- “I don’t think it will be for a guy like Floyd. He’s got a ton of experience and there wasn’t a lot of drop off between what he was doing before and what he was doing yesterday.  He was limited because it was his first day back but I thought it was really good for his first day back.”

(On if simulating the heat during practice has been successful) -- “I don’t know it’s better than what we have outside, what is it now like 68?  It won’t be 68 on Sunday.  I thought it was kind of warm.”

(On where Joe Haden is now and if he is ready to play at a higher level) -- “I think he has made a ton of strides since he’s been here.  The most important thing for Joe’s development is to really understand the defense and that’s gotten better and better.  It’s the same thing for T.J. (Ward) because in them understanding what they have to do and how to play it, then they can actually play to their ability.  There’s anxiety for everybody going into the first game because its new and veterans, everybody has it. The butterflies of the opener, but as a rookie this is also completely new for them so the more that they can not be thinking and just be playing that’s what helps those guys play to their ability much quicker.  I think Joe and T.J. have done a nice job with the information and the other real asset those guys have is the people that they’re playing with and the people that are in that room. Whether it’s Abe (Elam) or Sheldon (Brown) or Eric Wright, I really like the way that they have latched on to the older guys and the older guys have embraced them. That’s a big part on what makes a secondary successful.  Having experienced that in New England really with Eugene Wilson and Asante Samuel those guys have to take in as much information from the vets that they can and the vets really have to embrace them and nurture them along through the process. There’s going to be bumps, there’s going to be bumps with any rookie you just want to make sure it’s a smaller one and not a bigger one.”

(On if Haden was able to get away with more in college than now because of his athleticism) -- “Yes, I think there is definitely an element of that because the thing here is all the quarterbacks are good, all the receivers are good  and if you don’t use your eyes the right way it’s just a law, your body goes where your eyes go.  Often times one of the biggest mistakes a defensive back makes is when they look back it slows them down, it draws them back in and you have to train your body, you have to counter that tendency and it’s hard to do.  If you have a pattern of looking back too early because your athleticism, your speed, your burst can compensate looking for the ball where before you can compensate it’s not the same.  Usually it’s a difference between a step, a 100th of a second, but that’s the difference between a play and a completion.”

(On if there is much of a difference between the preparation for the Tampa Bay quarterbacks Josh Freeman and Josh Johnson) -- “There are similarities which is a positive thing.  With any two people there’s going to be differences, but they create a lot of the same challenges. They are both very effective with their feet, they both can throw on the run well.  I think both players have the ability to make plays outside of the standard way to make plays.  But that consistency actually is a plus for us because you’re not preparing for one guy who is one way and one guy who is completely a different way.”

(On if it changes their preparation for a quarterback that will be wearing a splint on his throwing thumb) -- “It really doesn’t change the preparation.  We don’t do a splint drill or anything (joking).  You don’t know how it’s going to affect him.  You can’t predict how that’s going to affect his throwing pattern because you haven’t seen him play with it so you don’t know if the ball is going to come off lower, is it going to come off higher, you don’t know how that’s going to affect him because there’s no pattern to base it off of.”

(On if the high temperatures in Tampa will affect Shaun Rogers’ reps) -- “Yesterday when we were talking about sort of the approach, what I always want to do, not just in these games but in all games, is if you go to the game and you’re on the 45 you’re going to play and I want all of our guys to be able to play roles.  They are going to have their special teams roles but they need to be able to play meaningful snaps offensively and defensively.  That’s the plan with the defensive guys, for all of our guys, get them their reps where we can and when they need a break or need to reload the next person that goes in has to be able to operate at a high level.”

(On if he anticipates Rogers on the active 45 roster) -- “Yes.”

(On if Rogers is doing more each day in practice) -- “Yes, he did some on Monday, a little bit more yesterday and he’ll do a little bit more here today. It’s just the progression, same thing as Floyd (Womack), really their both progressing back into it.”

(On what it means to have Rogers on the Browns rush defense) -- “He’s a big man and you got to account for him. Since he is at the first level usually that means blockers stay on him longer because he is at the first level which means they are a little slower getting up to the linebacker so that’s always a plus. That being said I think (Ahtyba) Rubin does a lot of the same things because he’s got good size and he ties up a lot of blockers as well.  That’s what you are looking for from that spot is if they single you up you make the play, if they double you, you free up somebody else up to make the play.  The toughest time is when you have a guy who can’t do either then you’re just dead.”

(On if he has answers to fix the defense) -- “Usually what happens is the answers are a little bit different each game because the problems are a little bit different each game. The way that you’re trying to stop one offense is going to be a different approach than the other offense.  Rob (Ryan) and I spend time with the defensive staff each day going through whatever the issues are or whatever we think needs to be addressed and then we proactively address those things to get them fixed and then you go into the next challenge which this week is Tampa Bay and some of the answers from previous games they don’t really apply here because it’s a different set of things that we face.  Our discussions are consistent it doesn’t change week in and week out we are both working towards the same thing.”

(On his relationship with Rob Ryan and coming up with ideas for the defense) -- “Yes that’s just part of the operation, you throw up ideas.  He may have a blitz he really likes, I may have a blitz I really like, Bryan Cox might have one, (Matt) Eberflus. You throw it up there and then the rest of the group will try to pick holes in it to see where it doesn’t work and you make your case for it and then collectively we talk about it and say, ‘This is the one we want, this is the second one we want, this is the complement off of it.’  That to me is what game planning should be because you throw your ideas out there, the rational, you talk about it, you try to poke holes in it and then you get to the best one and you push it forward.”

(On who will fill Lauvao’s spot for practice today) -- “Floyd will work there today and the other thing that we have done is John (St. Clair) has worked inside and (Tony) Pashos outside so really there’s those three guys and then Billy can play inside, center or guard.”

(On who is ahead at right tackle John St. Clair or Tony Pashos) -- “It’s Thursday so John’s getting back and working back into things and that will be a decision that I’ll make at the end of the week, but they both worked there. They’re both comfortable there, I have confidence in both guys. Now it’s just a function of watching the week unfold.  We didn’t have them together for very much time at any point during the preseason.  It’s pretty unique that way, unfortunately things happen in life where guys have to take care of them and they had to miss time.”

(On if it is disappointing the right side is not settled yet) -- “No, I think as opposed to looking it that way I am really encouraged by the way that they have all played.  I’d much rather be in a situation where you have confidence in all the guys being able to play then you will settle with these two but you don’t necessarily have the confidence that you need in the guys that could be in one play.  I remember Tennessee my opening game as a head coach, we lost our starting guard three plays into the game the next guy in was a whole different thing.  The guy who lined up over him was Albert Haynesworth, so yes it was one of those tough head coaching moments.”

(On if he is confident Nick Sorensen won’t be gun shy after his hit in Detroit) -- “He’s just wired one way. He’s consistent, he’s smart, he cares, there are so many things about him that we’re going to make sure that when he’s back, he’s back and he’s right. He’s going to know that he’s right and at that point I fully expect him to play the same way he always played because that’s just the type of person that he is.  You look at a guy like Bubba (Ray) Ventrone, he’s the same way.  I have known Bubba for a long time and I remember watching him come out of Villanova, those types of guys, Blake Costanzo, I remember him in college and when we had him in training camp in New York and that’s just how they are.”

(On how he feels about the team) -- “I feel really good about this group of guys. I feel really good about the approach. I feel really good about not just the way they work but the way they work together.  You can work a group of guys because you control the schedule you can work them, but there’s a difference between that and them pushing themselves individually each day, them pushing each other each day to get better.  I don’t mean that in a negative way I mean that in a really positive way.  When you get a bunch of good people in one place together and they challenge each other on the right issues studying, conditioning, all those things, usually good things happen, and I like this group of guys a lot.”

(On what kind of challenges Gerald McCoy presents that Ndamukong Suh didn’t) -- “Each guy is a little bit different but they are the same in the sense that they are both incredibly talented  and they both have really high motors. That’s what I really liked about both those guys in the draft.  As big as they were, as talented as they were, they were relentless and that’s a great trait to have in a defensive lineman.  I have seen that throughout the preseason, I saw it when we played Detroit I have seen it here in looking at Tampa Bay. He’s a tough, talented guy who may make a mistake but he can then make a play off of the mistake because of the way that he pursues, the way that he attacks the ball.  I think he is going to be a good player.”

(On if it is easier to make a game plan with knowing who the quarterback is) -- “It helps, it helps a lot to be in that position and the other thing that’s been really nice is getting to know Seneca (Wallace). Seneca has been learning a new system and he’s done really well with it.  I have a ton of confidence in him too, he could go in at any point and I really feel that he would operate at a high level.  Having those two guys and Jake (Delhomme) is a special guy in terms of the guys I’ve been around, he’s a unique guy that way and he’s done well I think in his opportunities here in the preseason and I expect that throughout the course of the season.”

(On the umpire being moved around) -- “I don’t think it’s a really big issue. I think it’s more of something you have to learn about because how is it going to effect the calls?  Is there going to be more offensive holding, is there going to be less defensive holding?  Some of it was with the operation of no huddle some of it was trying to get a quick and snap the ball quick, but it’s a learning curve for us, it’s a learning curve for the officials and it’s a learning curve for everybody.  I think it’s a good thing because it takes those guys out of a very dangerous situation, and I think that’s positive so we will all adjust to it and we’ll get it figured out.”

(On what makes him sure this defense will do better against the run this with having the same defensive linemen) -- “I think that one, it doesn’t just come down to the defensive linemen so that’s one component of it.  Stopping the run to me is collective and there were quite a few plays where when it got past the line of scrimmage, we didn’t get the guys down in the secondary, we didn’t get the guys down in the perimeter so something that should have been a reasonable run became a 30-yard run or 20-yard run.  You start knocking those back and that changes the average.  I’d like to think we have gotten better in terms of understanding how to play the defenses against the core runs that we face and against the game plan specific runs that we face.  Again, it is going to take all of us to do that.”

(On the speed of the defense and if they can make up for mistakes easier) -- “I think there’s give and take in both.  Sometimes when your built for speed you struggle with power, sometimes when your built for power you can have challenges with speed. You just have to understand what your strengths are and how you’re going to play and then dictate that’s how you’re going to play defense as opposed to trying to match finesse with power, it doesn’t work.  When we played the Rams in the Super Bowl that year, they were a finesse fast team. That’s not how we played the game.  We got up and we made it a boxing match.  You just have to know what your strengths are and play to your strengths and understand what your weaknesses are and limit those, and if you don’t that’s when you get into trouble.”


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