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What's Browns coach Eric Mangini saying?

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 24, 2010

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

Browns Head Coach Eric Mangini press conference 9-24-10

(Opening statement) -- “Good morning everybody, thanks for coming out today. I thought yesterday’s practice was really a positive day for us.  I thought the defensive communication was excellent.  That group of guys that we have playing, they’re all really smart, they’re all really contentious.  I’ve been pleased with the way they’ve been operating. As we get into game plans and things change week in and week out, I think there’s starting to become a rhythm with the install, the ability to take the install and then go out and execute.  All these guys spend time on their own and together to try to make sure the plan works.  That’s been fun from my perspective to watch the development of the group.  They also do a good job just working together within different units. The d-line working with the linebackers, the linebackers workings with the secondary and that’s always our goal as a staff and as a unit to improve that week in and week out. Offensively, I thought we were pretty effective too.  I feel like we understand what we have to do to be effective and move closer to getting the plan down, so I was pleased with that as well.  Overall, a good day at practice and I’m looking for the same thing here today.  Some more install goes in on Friday like it always does so to have that finish to the week. In terms of the injured guys, it should be the same group that was out yesterday will be out today.  I think we have a shot here with Evan Moore coming back for practice this afternoon, just have to confirm it with Joe (Sheehan) but that is my expectation.”

(On if Jake Delhomme will be inactive on Sunday) -- “I don’t know.  Each day gets a little bit better.  He is very aggressive with his rehab, it’s like everything else he does. He does it very aggressively and each day it gets a little bit better.  I have total confidence in his ability to operate the plan if he is available.  We’ll just have to see how that goes.”

(On if Jerome Harrison is going to practice today) -- “Probably not.  I think there’s a chance that he’ll play.  I think he’s improved throughout the course of the week, but I don’t think he’s going to practice today.”

(On if any of the running backs has an advantage going against the Baltimore defense) -- “They’re pretty good against all the backs they face.  As I’ve looked at a lot of teams that have played them, I haven’t seen a pattern where this one type of back is more effective than another.  They have speed on the edge.  I think their defensive line does a really nice job of disengaging from blocks.  Even though you may have a hat for a hat and it looks like you have that guy blocked, they do a really good job of shedding and coming off the last minute.  What I’ve always liked about their defense is they’re very consistent about finishing plays and finishing plays as a group.  They get a lot of hats to the ball which helps too.”

(On if he would hesitate to put Delhomme in against the Ravens because of their aggressive defense) -- “I think next week’s defense is pretty fast and pretty good in terms of pass rush.  I think there’s going to be a lot of teams that we play throughout the course of the year, New Orleans, the Jets, running right on down the line that have aggressive, fast players.  What Jake does really well is he makes quick decisions.  Often times you can see completely healthy quarterbacks that play the Ravens who aren’t making quick enough decisions and that’s where they get into trouble as opposed to it being a function of not physically being the other way.  You got to be able to process and go and make a decision typically if they can get you thinking, they can hit you.”

(On if quarterbacks have more of an injury risk when in the Wildcat) -- “It might actually be less risky when they’re playing wide receiver in Wildcat than when they are playing quarterback.  Then they’re involved and have an assignment and there are things they have to do, but you can mitigate that as you go. I think there’s risk in both things and I don’t think we increase the risk by putting him out there at all.  There’s been a lot of Wildcat plays run throughout the course of the last couple seasons, or three seasons or however long it’s kind of taken hold, and I don’t think that there have been any that have been injured on those plays.”

(On how daunting the Ravens’ defense is) -- “The environment, the defense, all the things  that the Ravens present you can look at it as daunting or you can look at it as exciting and as a challenge and as something that is an opportunity to do really positive things.  That’s the way that I look at it and I think that’s the way you have to approach any team like that, any environment like that.  You can’t go in and be a wilting flower, you’ve got to go in appreciate the environment, appreciate the atmosphere, feed off that.  Draw energy from your teammates, draw energy from your group and meet the challenge.  We are going to face different challenges every week and you can view it one way as being this sort of insurmountable obstacle or you can look at it as being just a great opportunity to do really good things.”

(On if Baltimore’s defense is similar to when Rex Ryan was there) -- “Anytime, you insert another human being calling the plays there’s going to be differences.  There’s going to be differences in the approach and play calling and tendencies and all those things. You can have exactly the same set of plays but you have two people calling them.  The pattern that they show up in, the frequency that they show up changes, it’s a function of the coordinator. Philosophically, the way that they play defense has remained consistent and I think that’s a good thing.  Often times that’s why you want to be able to promote from within to have a consistency in the offensive approach or the defensive approach because if you go get a coordinator that’s from outside the system and bring him in they’ve probably been successful running whatever plays that they run or defenses that they run so then to make them totally adapt to your system it takes away some of what they’ve done well over time.  From a head coaching perspective that’s the thought process, always try to have a guy that you can bring up to remain consistent with your approach so that the reps, the experiences are built upon each year.”

(On if Baltimore’s defensive shifts after the snap are unpredictable) -- “There are tendencies.  It’s like anything else, you may play tendencies, but it could be 60-40, 70-30 so you have got a 70 percent chance of it being that, but you have got a 30 percent chance of it not being that.  You have to anticipate this is what could happen and if this happens, this is what I’ll do.  There’s not like a 90 percent-type of tendency.”

(On why Baltimore’s defense usually ranks in the top five every year) -- “They have got one guy, Ray Lewis, that’s a pretty special guy.  That’s not taking anything away from the rest of the group.  They have got a good group of players, whether it’s Terrell Suggs, Kelly Gregg, Jarret Johnson, Dawan Landry, Ed Reed when he’s playing, Trevor Pryce.  They have got a good group of players.  They have had a system that’s been in place for a long time that that group knows well.  Typically, when you have that type of situation, you’re going to play good defense.  I think Ray does a really outstanding job of getting that group up.  There’s a lot of pride in that group and there’s an expectation of being successful against whoever they play.  That’s a mentality that’s developed over time and developed with success and is very important in a defensive approach.  When you have that, often times it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

(On if every coach would like a ringleader for his defense like Ray Lewis) -- “Yes, you’d love to.  You’d love to be able to go get a guy that’s going to play 15 years and go to the Hall of Fame and be outstanding.  Yes, you’d love that.  Defensively, offensively, on special teams, if you can get that guy.  Look at what Junior Seau did in San Diego, Rodney Harrison, Tedy Bruschi.  There are certain guys, the term I like to use is they’re force multipliers.  They’re really good players and they make the people around them play better.”

(On if he has seen a sharper focus from James Davis in practice this week and how he will handle possibly more playing time Sunday) -- “James has been working hard through the preseason.  I didn’t see him this week suddenly dramatically shift his tempo and if I did see that, we’d have to have a conversation about, ‘What were you doing the last 10 weeks?’  With that being said, when you do have an increased opportunity to play, I think that sometimes puts a little giddy-up in your step.  I think if he gets a shot to play, he’ll do well.  That’s my expectation, that’s really my expectation with all of the players, even the guys on the practice squad.  You just don’t know.  You’re one play away from having your chance and when you get that chance, what you don’t want to do is have squandered all those days leading up to that chance then go in, not do very well and regret the fact, ’Why didn’t I work harder?’  Don’t let that happen.”

(On with Davis’ quiet personality, would he be able to deal with the pressure of Lewis and the Baltimore defense) -- “He’s played in big games in college.  I don’t get any sense that playing the Ravens or playing anybody else is going to affect him in a negative way.”

(On if a running back could play without having practiced all week like he said Jake Delhomme could) -- “I think every position is a little bit different.  I’m not saying that Jake would be able to go in with no practice and be the same guy.  Otherwise we would never have practice, which I’m sure a lot of people would advocate for (joking).  That’s not a goal is to say, ‘Okay, take the week off and we will throw you in on Sunday and see how you do.’  I’m just saying if need be, sometimes it’s making the best of not the most ideal situation.  Typically, older guys with more experience, who have been through a lot of games, who have been through situations like this and it’s not the first time that they’re dealing with it can cope with it better because they have the experience to do so.”

(On if Jerome Harrison has the experience to be able to play without practicing) -- “I think we’d find out.  I don’t think he has been in that situation very often, so a little bit of it is finding out if that was the case.”

(On if he is considering activating a practice squad running back) -- “I don’t think we are at that point yet.”

(On if having more players over 30 than any other team in the league is by design) -- “We have more 30 year old than anybody?  I didn’t know that.  To me, I look for the right type of guys.  Whether they’re 23, I’ve coached a lot of 23 year olds who I would have taken a 30 year old any day over coaching that guy.  I think there’s some benefit to having the wisdom and the maturity and the track record.  You want to mix that with younger guys that are developing because they are going to keep getting better and they’re going to get into the peak of their careers.  I’ve been with some older crews at different spots.  For a long time, there was always a group older than me.  This might be the first time that there’s not.”

(On if veteran leadership can manifest into a better locker room environment after a tough start) -- “I think it’s the ability to have perspective on things.  The wisdom to understand that each week is a unique opportunity, each week is a unique challenge.  I think that’s one of the greatest challenges from my perspective and from any head coach’s perspective is to not get into looking at it as we have X many weeks to go or we have to do this over the course of time to get to wherever.  When you start thinking that way, you lose track of what’s right in front of you and it’s really the only thing that matters.  It’s really the only thing you have any chance to control, but it’s easier said than done.  We all get into looking back, looking forward and really it’s like texting in your car, you better be looking straight ahead or you’ll crash.”

(On how much more able this year’s team is to go into Baltimore and compete than last year) -- “I believe we are better equipped to.  My expectation is that we will.  I think it’s not just going into Baltimore to play Baltimore, it’s understanding how we have to play and what Browns football is.  That, to me, is the most important thing whether we are playing in Baltimore, playing in Cleveland or playing wherever.  It’s how do we have to play?  What is our philosophical approach?  What do we believe in?  When you understand those things, it doesn’t matter where you play, it doesn’t matter who you play, you have the best chance to be successful.”

(On Braylon Edwards) -- “I wish Braylon the best and I don’t really have anything to add on that.  As we talked when he left, I really hope he takes advantage of the opportunities that he has with his new team.”

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