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What's Browns coach Eric Mangini saying?

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 7, 2010

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

Browns Head Coach Eric Mangini press conference 10-7-10

(Opening statement) -- “Good morning everybody.  We thought yesterday overall was good.  I think there are some things that we really need clean up in the running game on both sides.  They’re outstanding running the ball, they’re averaging 37 carries per game, close to 150 yards rushing per game. There are a lot of runs that aren’t just your traditional runs.  There’s some scheme runs that force you to fit differently than what you typically see week in and week out and I think they do a really good job of that. That’s going to be a challenge defensively.  Offensively, the movement, the things that they do with their defensive line to create negative plays, we’ve seen movement up to this point it’s just it’s a different approach to it. That’s something we are getting used to as well.  I think both sides, us being able to being able to handle the running game and us being able to run the ball effectively is going to be very important on Sunday.  Today, we move into third down. They are a really good third down team. They’re in quite a few third and shorts which is probably carry over from the way that they effectively run the ball.  That’s going to be our focus today and we will touch on a few other things from yesterday.”

(On how Jake Delhomme did in practice yesterday) -- “Pretty good, he did more than he did last Wednesday. He felt pretty good this morning which is positive.  He’ll do a little bit more here today and then we’ll just keep playing it by ear through the end of the week.  Seneca (Wallace) got a substantial amount of reps too so both guys will be prepared to play on Sunday, and make sure that Jake if he can is right to take advantage of that opportunity.”

(On if Delhomme is looking better than last week) -- “Yes, and I think that’s going to be the case each week that we go.  He’s going to look a little bit better, he’s going to feel a little bit better so I wasn’t surprised by that.  The real issue is how it is the next day as you keep adding volume.  He said he felt good this morning, we’ll see how it goes this afternoon.  We’ve got to keep doing a few different things we need him to do and test those through the course of the week, so I’m optimistic.”

(On what is supporting Delhomme’s ankle) -- “I think it’s just taped, I think that’s the procedure.  I’m not totally up with what they put on.”

(On if Brian Robiskie’s inactive status was strictly health based) -- “It was completely health based last week.  He was able to practice some but it just wasn’t really running at full speed so that’s what it came down to last week.  He looks better like all these guys that are kind of progressing, he looks better. The guys that are out today, I didn’t really cover that. They are, (John) St. Clair, Alex Mack offensively, defensively it would be Robaire (Smith), Kenyon (Coleman) and Nick Sorensen.  Baby (Shaun Rogers) should do something here today. I think that’s all the guys that were on the list.”

(On if the defensive line were healthy enough to practice every day would they be in more on passing downs) -- “We did quite a bit of this last year and typically in a 3-4 defense what happens is the defensive ends on first and second downs become defensive tackles and then the outside linebackers become the defensive ends because our ends are about the same size as most typical 4-3 defensive ends. You’re always going to see more linebacker types on third down or in substituted defenses in this philosophy.  How you want to mix and match the rest of the group you have flexibility. Sometimes we’ll go with all linebackers, sometimes it will be one d-lineman, there’s sometimes when you can keep the whole base front in if it’s early down substituted defense and play like a variation of 3-4 from the Nickel.  I don’t think it’s purely a function of them not being able to practice the same amount of reps, it’s a little bit more of philosophy and opponent.”

(On if they played defense like that in New England) -- “Usually all three of them (defensive linemen) didn’t play on third down.  (Richard) Seymour was usually in there, Vince (Wilfork) typically was not in there, Ty Warren would be in there a little bit here and there, he and Seymour could switch up.  Willie McGinest would go down, Rosevelt Colvin would go down, he would be a down lineman. Mike Vrabel would go down, he’d be a down lineman and mix them up.  You could play odd fronts, move two or three of them around.  Ideally, what you do is you force them to identify one of them as a down and then you drop him and rush the other guy. It’s pretty common.”

(On why he likes the 3-4 defense) -- “There is the first and second down component where I think the main reason I like it is because it is balanced and you have flexibility with which rushes you bring and how you want to cover.  Then to take those outside linebackers and be able to bring them into sub downs I think that adds flexibility because you can switch roles easier.  This time I’m rushing, you’re covering, and they’re all guys that are used to covering and rushing as opposed to trying to drop defensive linemen or switch with them it gets a little harder.”

(On if there is a difference between which receivers Delhomme and Wallace feel comfortable with) -- “Seneca and Josh (Cribbs) have real good chemistry and that has been the case since Seneca started working.  Now that being said, he’s thrown quite a few balls to the tight ends. I think his distribution hasn’t been overwhelmingly bias towards one guy I just know that they’ve had that chemistry over time.  With Jake, he’s pretty consistent with just going to the read, going to the open guy.  I can’t really think of one guy that really pops out with him.”

(On how close Delhomme has to be to 100 percent for him to start) -- “I don’t think Jeff (Schudel), it’s going to be 100 percent. I don’t think very many people at this point, I know we are only through a quarter of the season, but very few guys are operating at 100 percent now.  I think what’s going to be important is, can he do all the things we’re going to ask him to do? Can he move well enough to protect himself if he has to? How well is he throwing the ball?  The mental side I’m completely comfortable with. Now it’s just can he do what he needs to do to operate effectively?  If we don’t feel that’s the case that would be the reason we would keep him down, as opposed to him being 100 percent physically.  He probably feels great from a lot of other perspectives.”

(On if his ankle is affecting the way Delhomme is throwing the ball) -- “I thought overall he threw the ball well.  There’s going to be some things that you adjust to just because of getting used to throwing it with the ankle. I thought overall it’s been pretty good”

(On if the Cincinnati defensive backs got hurt tackling Peyton Hillis) -- “Yes, Peyton’s a load, he’s a load.  I didn’t see him after those plays so maybe I’m making too big of an assumption but there seemed to be a correlation between hitting him and being subbed for.”

(On Peyton Hillis’ physicality) -- “I avoid him in the hallways. I don’t want to dislocate my shoulder (joking).  Now these two guys that Atlanta has coming in you better buckle up your chin strap for both of them. (Jason) Snelling and (Michael) Turner they’re both physical, good balance, low center gravity and they’re going to challenge us play in and play out.  It doesn’t matter which one is in you better be ready to strike because they are going to hit which I appreciate that.”

(On if anyone has gotten the best of Peyton Hillis) -- “There’s going to be a collision and some it will depend on just the physics, who’s lower but it will be noisy.”

(On if they go through extra trouble to scout a guy like Michael Jenkins who hasn’t played yet this year) -- “We do that pretty consistently especially in the early part of the season, we have games that we have broke down from the offseason and you put that information into the computer during the offseason so that you can access it when you play a team and that’s any new opponent.  You’re always getting a jump on that so you have files whether its video or thoughts for when you go into that week and then you look at the games that they’ve played.  I don’t think it’s us having to scramble to get that, we’ve had that stuff in place.”

(On Michael Jenkins) -- “I think the size is a big issue, he’s a big target.  I think he moves well, I think he runs good routes and I think he’s got good hands.  They’re pretty healthy in terms of their injury report and they should have pretty much everybody playing this week.  When you add another really good player to a mix of players that I think are playing well it just adds to the challenge.”

(On what the factors are for Cribbs bringing the ball out of the end zone on kickoffs) -- “It’s how deep it is in the end zone, hang time, both those things play a factor.  If you get a deep high ball you know that the coverage is one, they’ve a long time to run and you’ve got to run an extra seven, eight yards just to get to the end line.  Then you talk about returning it 28 yards just to get back to the 20 and they’ve had that extra time to come down if it’s got a lot of hang time.  Sometime it works when you bring them out.  Back in New York we hit one back back in the end zone, guy brought it out went 108.  Sometimes it works, you just hope it works for you.”

(On if Michael Koenen’s touchbacks are mostly in the dome) -- “I wouldn’t say that. He’s got a good leg and when he hits it, he places it pretty deep.  I don’t think it’s just dome related and going back thinking about the tape we’ve watched it’s been both situations.”

(On if he’s been pleased with the run defense) -- “I have been pleased in a lot of ways.  I think there are some plays that we’ve given up in the games to this point that we shouldn’t have given up. Whether it was a missed tackle on the edge or we didn’t fit quite right.  That number to me should be better than what it is.  What I do like a lot is the group recognizes the blocking schemes well, they’ve been playing the technique well, the safeties I think have been sound in terms of getting the guys down when they need to get them down, I think the corners have been very productive.  That secondary component is huge because one or two missed tackles and an eight yard run goes for 60 and we had a few of those last year.”

(On if the biggest improvement has been on the back end) -- “I think that’s part of the improvement the corners and the safeties have done a better job, but I think up front too.  Another year in the system and the type of guys that we have, they are recognizing schemes better. I think that they’ve done a good job understanding the type of back they’re facing because Cedric Benson is very different then Bernard Scott and the types of runs you’re going to get are different.  There are the plays and there is the player and the guys have that awareness on the field which I think has helped us.”

(On if they will be double-teaming Roddy White) -- “I think that one thing that we try to do each week is have enough coverage variation to where you can’t count on what it is. Ideally, if we do decide to do that some plays, when we do that it looks like another defense that we have where we are not doing that.  That’s always the challenge from a secondary perspective is to have enough answers for the plays and the playmakers, but make them all look the same to the quarterback so he doesn’t get pre-snap reads.  It’s hard to do.  Ted Marchibroda always taught me to look for the tell and that was a big thing for him where it wouldn’t necessarily be the whole framework of the defense.  You just find one guy that based on where he is, he is going to tell you what the defense is.  It’s really a good approach.  We talk about that defensively, don’t be the tell.  In poker they wear the sunglasses so they don’t know if you’re bluffing or not.  You don’t want to be the one that’s giving up the answer to the defense.  The real good quarterbacks, they get ways whether it’s cadence, hard count or quick count.  It could be different things to try to keep getting pre-snap information.  That’s what we are always trying to do offensively too is who can we identify, how can we identify it and once you do, then go attack it.”

(On what makes White a difficult receiver to cover) -- “I’ve seen enough of him catching it short and breaking tackles and going for a long way.  He does a nice job at the line of scrimmage of getting the defensive back to move, which creates some opportunities on deep balls like fades.  There have been some balls, that really were going to be contested balls down the field, that he goes up and gets.  Another thing that I like about him is that he blocks.  He’s talented and he blocks.  Him forcing that fumble last week, to me, that’s a sign of character.  He did the same thing last year.  You talk to guys about the game is never over.  He’s done it twice and there’s some depth there.  Without knowing the guy, just watching him play, there’s some of, to me, what looks like real football character in addition to his ability.”

(On teams potentially passing more against them because they have a strong run defense) -- “I think it usually goes both ways Tony (Grossi).  If you are good against the run, you tend to get more passes.  If you’re not very good against the run, your pass defense tends to look better because everybody is running the ball and you’re not giving up those yards.  What I’d like to do is be consistent in both areas.  How exactly that plays in, I’m not sure what the plus or minus would be yard-wise.”

(On how Eric Barton has played so far this season coming off of an injury last year) -- “I have had a lot of faith in Eric and he has played or me for a long time, I have a ton of respect for him.  He is playing a different spot than he played last year, but it’s exactly the same spot that he’s played in the past.  I think he’s done well.  With Eric and Chris (Gocong) and Scott (Fujita), those three guys are really, really bright guys.  The three of them combined see a lot of things and they communicate real well and that’s huge. Outside of their ability, that’s huge for a successful defense to have guys like that that can get things right.  It allows you to do some more things defensively in terms of formation adjustments, play recognition.  It’s really important.  Eric is really bright, really bright.  The other two guys are really bright, so that’s fun to coach that.”

(On having a balanced defense against the Falcons) -- “It’s a challenge because they can do all of the things that they can do in the running game.  I said the other day that this is a really sound team.  They have all of those things, they can move the quarterback in the pocket and create some plays there.  They can throw it deep, whether it’s wear you down with the run, then run a play action and get everybody to suck up, create separation with the defense and hit you that way.  Some of it is holding up in base, some of it is trying to get the run blitzes on your terms or get the pressures on your terms. They make it tough and Matt Ryan makes it tough.  There are times too where they have got the run called and the corner is off and he raises up and throws a slant to the wide receiver.  It’s like, ‘Okay, we’ve got this stopped.  It looks like it’s going to be a good play for us.’  Then he throws it out for 15, which I appreciate.  It’s smart football.  If it doesn’t look good, he’s off then throw it to him.  That’s the type of guy Matt is.  Having dinner with him and spending that time with him, he’s going to keep getting better.”

(On if Jerome Harrison is in his doghouse) -- “No, not at all.  He’ll probably have some opportunities this week and every week is different.  No, that’s not the case at all.”

(On if Harrison has voiced any displeasure or if he has talked to him) -- “No, we haven’t had any talks or anything, but I’m always open to that.  To me, Peyton played really well last week and he got more opportunities, but it’s not a function of Jerome being looked at any differently.”

(On why Harrison was in at the end of the game for only the three kneel down plays) -- “I can tell you Tony (Grossi), I wasn’t thinking about very much at that point besides, ‘Can we eat up all of this time right now and get in the right formation?’  I wasn’t thinking about who was in, I just wanted to make sure that we had the 11 and they were in the right spot.  There was nothing more than that besides, ‘We can eat this up, right?  Okay, great.’”

(On if he feels good about Alex Mack playing Sunday) -- “Yes, and Shawn (Lauvao) did a nice job yesterday with his chances.”

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