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What's Browns coach Eric Mangini saying?

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 22, 2010

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

Browns Head Coach Eric Mangini press conference 9-22-10

(Opening statement) -- “Good morning everybody, welcome back.  A couple notes on practice today, guys that won’t be practicing today are Jake (Delhomme), Shaun Rogers, Shawn Lauvao, Evan Moore and Robaire Smith.  Hopefully, as the week goes on we’ll get all those guys back, but each one is sort of at a different phase and we’ll just take it as it goes.  D’Qwell (Jackson) will be back out there today so that’s good news.  We’ll see how well he responds to increasing the amount of repetitions he has and increasing the amount of opportunities he has.  I like the things he did on Friday, this is just the next step in his progression.

“In terms of prepping for the Ravens it is going to be challenging. This is their home opener. It’s always loud when you play there.  My experience here, we played there one time in New York, very, very loud atmosphere. I expect it to be that much more excitement being the home opener so that will be something we’ll have to deal with.  Looking at their team, John’s (Harbaugh) done a really nice job, all three phases are talented, all three phases have played well. Defensively, they can turn the ball over which they have done historically and they’ve been very, very successful when they’ve won the turnover ratio. I think they’re 68-4 when they’re +1 or better.  That’s a pretty impressive number.  They’ve got a lot of really talented guys that play hard.  I know we talk about Cal Ripken and Brett Favre in terms of longevity, but look at a guy like Ray Lewis playing 15 years at the position that he plays with the intensity level that he plays at.  It’s impressive.  I know I’ve shared this story before, but I was there the year that we drafted him and his first OTAs and his presence it was obvious.  He took control of that defense right away, he took control of that situation right away and he hasn’t let go since.  It’s amazing that you can play as violent as a position he plays and play it at that level.  What he does too is he is a little bit of a force multiplier because he gets the people around him to play better.  Look at their numbers, they’ve done great things.  They’re number one on third down, they can pressure the quarterback with four when they bring full pressures.  Each one of their defensive linemen sort of brings a different package as to how they rush the quarterback.  They’ve been good in the running game, so a lot of challenges there.”

“Offensively, I think it is a really talented group.  Joe Flacco I know his numbers aren’t what they were at the end of last season, but he’s got a tremendous arm. He can make any throw, he’s very accurate and he can hurt you at any point short or down the field.  Ray Rice runs the ball, I think, very well.  The other thing Ray Rice does, similar to Jamaal Charles, is catch a lot of balls. I think 78 balls last season coming out of the back field.  Then they complement him with Willis McGahee, the receiver group (Anquan) Boldin, (Derrick) Mason, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Todd Heap, all playmakers.  There are quite a few challenges there as well.

“We move to special teams, I’m sure it’s going to be probably about the same thing.  John’s (Harbaugh) influence there is apparent, his background.  It’s a physical group like the offense and defense, they’re pretty close to the top of the league in most statistical categories.  I think one of the things we need to continue to get better at is the return game.  There have been different things that people have been doing to get the ball away from Josh (Cribbs).  When that does happen, the guys who do get the ball need to make those pop-kicks count as much as we possibly can.  In their return game, it’s physical as well. They get up the field quickly and create field position that way.”

(On if Jake Delhomme’s will play Sunday at Baltimore) -- “I don’t really have a percentage for you but it gets better each day, which is a good thing.  He’s doing everything he possibly can. He’s here first thing in the morning, here late at night.  I feel really comfortable with his ability to take the information with or without reps and be able to execute it.  I’m optimistic, I think we are obviously further ahead than where we were.  I was optimistic last week, we’ll just have to see how it goes.”

(On if it is tough for a quarterback to step in and play against Baltimore when they have not faced them too many times) -- “I think even the guys that have been in the division have a tough time with them.  I think that one of the difficulties that they’re able to create is, they can generate pressure from three, four and they have a pressure package as well.  It’s not just a function of okay if we handle their pressures and pick them up and get a hat for hat then we’ll be able to do the things we want to do.  It’s being able to handle their pressures but it’s also being able to handle the front as well when it is three or four.  That’s one component of it from a coverage perspective.  There will be some coverage variation but that’s pretty common with every time that we face.  I’m not sure the last time Seneca (Wallace) or Jake (Delhomme) has faced them.”

(On if Anquan Boldin has made an impact on what the Baltimore offense wants to do) -- “He’s an incredibly talented guy.  He has great hands, runs good routes, he’s tough.  He had the game there in New York where he had a head to head collision and he was out for three weeks and he came back.  I was talking to Keith Gilbertson and he mentioned this that he came back three weeks later and had double digit catches against them.  That’s the kind of toughness this guy has, so that does present a challenge. I think Todd Heap’s playing really well.  Derrick Mason has been so consistent whether it’s been in Baltimore or Tennessee. He’s a veteran guy that understands how to get open, runs really sharp routes, mix in T.J. Houshmandzadeh and the backs out of the backfield because they can press you vertically, check it down to Ray Rice and he is pretty dangerous with the ball as well.”

(On if Seneca Wallace is being kept in the pocket purposely) -- “No, he had the one scramble for a first down when we got the holding penalty so that was one play he made with his feet.  He had another one where he scrambled, it was after we had gotten the turn over right before the field goal and hit (Brian) Robiskie on the sideline. That was a scramble play that he made happen.  There were a couple other ones that maybe not the dramatic out of the pocket type things but where he bought some time and gave us a chance to make some plays.  I don’t think he’s gone into the regular season with a different approach as to how he’s going to play the game.  I don’t see a big shift in his approach that way.”

(On if Seneca Wallace’s needs to move to create passing lanes because of his height) -- “No, because he’s been an accurate passer and the height of the offensive linemen here and in Seattle are pretty comparable.”

(On Wallace being more accurate when he moves) -- “Not always though.  Even when he’s in the pocket, he’s been accurate because he’s decisive with throwing the ball and he’s accurate as a passer.  I think it’s another component as to what he can do and there are a lot of guys like that.  Joe Flacco moves around a lot in the pocket as well and generates some plays.  We see it with Ben (Roethlisberger), those are two bigger guys, Carson Palmer.  It’s more that sense of where the rush is, where the pressure points are and then being able to slide away from it.  Tom Brady isn’t a big scrambler but what he does well is he just slides away from the pressure to buy enough time to keep the play going.  It may look a little bit more dramatic because of how wide Seneca goes sometimes but I think a lot of the quarterbacks who can effectively generate some time usually create some plays down the field.”

(On if he feels confident in the improvement of the secondary) -- “Yes, I’ve been happy with some of the things that we’ve done in the secondary.  Sheldon Brown’s interception, I showed it to the group not just because it was an interception, but the way that he played the ball.  That was a teaching play because he moved into the receiver as he was looking back, he didn’t give the receiver any space to push off. He high pointed the ball.  He created that play.  I’m really happy to see that.  Where I’ve been most happy with the group is they’re working well together.  They spend a lot of time watching tape as a group.  You may think that should happen.  That doesn’t always happen, one guy wants to watch it at his house, another wants to do this, their kind of like the offensive line.  If there’s any uncertainty, with the offensive line it ends up being a sack, secondary usually ends up being a big play or touchdown.  I like the way they’ve consistently worked together.  There are new guys, there are young guys and that’s been important and I think that’s really helped us as a group.  But that being said, they’re going to be tested and each one of those guys can test them.  We face good receivers every week, but it’s a combination of you got the tight end, you got the three wide receivers, you got the back who is very effective out of the backfield.  Usually one of those positions doesn’t have 78 catches, one of those positions can be spit out as a wide receiver at 250 lbs and go up and catch vertical balls. The quarterback, I don’t know if you guys saw the play against the Jets where he threw a comeback to Mason, it was a rope. The guy turned around and it was in his hands.  It was a great catch, but talk about timing. There is a pretty small margin for error there.”

(On if Evan Moore sustained a concussion last Sunday) -- “Yes.  The process now is he has to come back and be symptom-free and then he gets tested by our doctors and gets tested by an independent doctor.  There’s a layer of things that have to happen for him to come back and participate.  I think it’s a good system.  I think the league has worked hard on it, teams have worked hard on it to make sure that guys are coming back at the right time.  It’s important to do.”

(On if he will be more cautious about sending a player back in the game that just had a head collision) -- “I don’t think we lacked caution Mary Kay (Cabot).  I don’t think it was a function of, ‘Forget about what happened, send him back in.’ We have the trainer and the doctor on the sideline, that’s never a coaching decision.  Everybody is doing the best they can to make sure the players’ safety is first.  I know how good Joe (Sheehan) is and how good our doctors are and we are going to work each game to make sure that we don’t put a guy in a spot that he shouldn’t be in.  It’s important to us not to do that.”

(On if players with concussions come in to the facility each day or stay at home) -- “Really again, it goes to the medical staff.  They have a process that we go through.  Sometimes they may stay home and rest and then come back the next day.  There’s constant communication with anybody who’s injured or rehabbing or along those lines.  There’s protocol in place for each different type of injury.  That’s really, again, handled by them and I count on them.”

(On if Moore is in Berea or at home) -- “Evan is here today.  He’s made tremendous strides, it’s just you have to go through the steps before you’re cleared to play.”

(On if it is possible for Moore to play Sunday) -- “Yes, I think there’s a possibility.”

(On if James Davis could get more reps at running back on Sunday) -- “I’m not opposed to it Tony (Grossi) at all, it just depends on how the game is going.  One of the important things is generating first downs, generating the opportunities, having more plays to do things with.  When you get those plays, you can add variety, you can do some more things.  He’s worked hard, he’s done a pretty good job on special teams, which is what his primary role has been over the last couple of weeks, but I don’t lack any confidence in him going in and doing well as a running back.”

(On if Davis is lacking anything in practice to earn carries at running back) -- “No, no, that’s not what I meant Jeff (Schudel).  What I’m saying is each week, you look at the guys.  If the guy is having a stand out week in practice, you just view it as earning opportunities in the game.  That’s really how Evan Moore got his first chance is he stood out in practice, so he got opportunities in the game.  You’re always looking for that.  It happened quite a bit last year.  Marcus Benard, Titus Brown is back now with us.  Did you guys get that update on Kaluka (Maiava) being on IR and Titus coming back?  Titus is another guy that worked hard.  To me, it’s not something they’re lacking.  When you are in one of those spots, you have to create those opportunities for yourself.  You’ll get them, we are looking for them.  You’ll get them and when you get them, if you do well, you get some more.  (Brian) Schaefering, Marcus, Evan, there are quite a few guys like that.”

(On Bernie Kosar saying that the receivers are not helping the quarterbacks enough on sideline routes) -- “I really respect Bernie, but from my perspective, I think the receivers work hard at what they do.  I think there were opportunities that we had that we could have capitalized on.  I like to think that the next time we have that opportunity, we will capitalize on them.  I think Brian Robiskie is a good sort of indicator of that where the first game, he had two where he was close to the sideline and we couldn’t quite make the play.  Then we come back this game and he had that better awareness on the sideline and he made the play.  That was one of Seneca’s (Wallace) scramble plays there towards the end of the half and he made that play.  It is a young group, they’re going to keep developing.  There’s going to be some things that you’re in year two, you’re going to make some mistakes and want some plays back, but they will work at it and they will get it corrected.  I believe that next time we have that chance, they will do a better job.”

(On if Shaun Rogers is being held out of practice for the same reasons as last week) -- “Yes, it’s the same thing.  We will just gauge it.”

(On if Rogers is not able to get in game shape because of limited reps in practice and camp) -- “I didn’t feel like he was out of shape at all in this past game.  You want guys to practice every single day, sometimes it’s just not realistic.  Robaire (Smith) can’t go today and sometimes they may practice, but we may limit their plays and you’re balancing.  Guys at different ages at different levels that need to get prepared.  You’d love every guy to be able to take every rep each day, but it’s just not realistic, especially over a 16 week schedule, to do that.  You have to balance it and prepare accordingly.”

(On if Rogers got as many game reps as he thought he would last Sunday) -- “He was right about at that same range as last week.  That was kind of the thought process here early.  Hopefully we can bump it up a little bit each week, but you have just got to adjust to it.”

(On if there is more foul play going on in the game than fans realize) -- “I don’t know, I’ve never polled the guys on it.  I think that there’s a lot of stuff that happens in the trenches that happens.  I don’t know exactly how to answer that question.”

(On if he got a response from the league regarding a protest of Jerome Harrison’s fumble call last Sunday and if it is something he can share) -- “They do answer the questions, but that stays internal.  We do get answers.”

(On if he can say what the league’s response was) -- “I’d much rather leave it internal.”

(On if he feels that he needs a spark from someone on the offense) -- “I feel like we’ve had sparks and I think turnovers pour water on it.  I think that penalties pour water on it.  You’re moving the ball and suddenly, you’re moving backwards.  It’s hard.  Those are momentum changers in the short term where you have a good drive going and you get one of those deals and now you have got to start all over again.  It changes field position.  You’re punting from a different spot.  Instead of third and five, it’s third and 20.  You have got to overcome those 15 yards with the punt or they’re getting the ball 15 yards closer than they should have.  I don’t view it as someone needs to make a play as much as I view it as us making sure that we make the plays that are there and don’t set ourselves back with penalties or turnovers.  A lot of different guys have touched the ball, a lot of different guys have done positive things with the ball in their hands.  Now it’s consistency and maintaining the drives.  If the drive does get stalled, we are punting from where we should punt from as opposed to putting from backed up.  A 15-yard swing in field position or a 10-yard swing in field position, it’s challenging.  It’s going to be the difference between them being backed up or them being on the 20, 25 or 30 yard line.”

(On if Tony Pashos was kept off of the field because team’s don’t normally rotate offensive linemen) -- “Tony played a little bit this week.  As we talked about it, I have confidence in Tony.  If he goes in the game, I expect him to play well.  I have confidence in Floyd (Womack) and John (St. Clair) as well.  I think that’s a positive situation.  Unfortunately, it’s not like a nickel defense or something where you’ve got a guy that plays that spot and you can just roll him in.  We’ll do some of it, it’s not something that’s built in every other drive or things like that.  I’m not opposed to Tony getting more reps or anything like that.  I think when he goes in, he’ll do well.”

(On Pashos being at tackle and St. Clair being at guard a little bit last week) -- “At that point, I wanted to give Floyd a blow and that’s why we worked it in.  I don’t think we will go into each game saying, ‘Okay, the first three series will be this guy.  The next three series will be that guy.’  I don’t expect that to be the approach.”

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