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What's Browns coach Eric Mangini saying?

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 15, 2010

Browns Head Coach Eric Mangini press conference 10-15-10

(Opening statement)- “Good morning everybody.  The guys that won’t be practicing today will be the two quarterbacks and John St. Clair.  We’ve just got to see on Robaire (Smith), but everybody else should be out there today.  What we’re doing today we’re just following our progression so we’re moving into the red zone.  We do red zone, goal line, review first, second and third down package and just follow our normal procedure.  I thought Colt (McCoy) had another good day of practice, I thought Brett (Ratliff) had a good day of practice. Mike (Bell), I thought he picked up things pretty quickly.  With guys who have been in the league, a lot of times they just have to associate it with something that they’ve done before and that’s what he was going through the process of yesterday during practice.  After practice same thing, either apply the things he did in Denver, New Orleans or Philadelphia so it’s association more than flat out new learning.  There’s some new learning, don’t get me wrong, but a lot of it is that process.  He’s worked quite a bit with Gary (Brown) and Brian (Daboll) and got him his book last night so we’ll so how he is today, but my expectation is that he’ll get up to speed pretty quickly.”

(On who will start at quarterback on Sunday) -- “The lean is a little heaver to Colt (McCoy). We’ll go through today but he’s done well these few days.  I’m pleased with what I’ve seen.”

(On if he can rule Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace out) -- “I’m not going to officially rule them out.  I’ve learned a lot about high ankle sprains, more than I ever wanted to know and the one thing I’ve learned is it’s just day to day seeing where it is so I wouldn’t rule them out yet.”

(On Peyton Hillis’ status) -- “I think the two days of work that we’ve done off the field has helped push him along and he’ll get out there today.  My expectation is he’ll be ready to go on Sunday.”

(On if there is anything Mike Bell won’t be able to pick up with the game plan before Sunday) -- “My hope is that he’ll be comfortable with everything but there will be certain things that we’ll have him concentrate more on and try to gear his participation to those things.  Gary (Brown) will keep working with him, we’ll do a lot more extra work today, we did it yesterday, we’ll do some more tomorrow pre and post practice, at the hotel, do everything we can to just accelerate the process.  Then we will also be very mindful of when he’s in and what things he’s in to do, an expansive enough package so he can do the things we need him to do but not so great that he’s not effective at anything.”

(On if it is easier for a running back to learn a new system than for other positions) -- “I think it depends on who you ask.  I’m sure running backs would say no, I’m sure quarterbacks would say yes, DBs may say yes.  I’ve had this before where we’ve gotten defensive backs off the street on Thursday and they’ve played on Sunday.  Troy Brown, when we transitioned him to DB, he had done some work in training camp but it was a whole new position and then we suddenly needed him.  I think we got him right in a day to go in and do certain things.  Some of it depends on the guy, how quickly he learns, how much experience he has.  It’s a long answer but it does depend on the person, the experience and the package that they’re expected to learn.”

(On Joe Thomas’ season) -- “Joe goes against the best pace rusher typically every single week and he’s done a good job week in and week out.  He’s played well against Pittsburgh in the past and he’s played well against a lot of good players in the past.  My feeling about Joe is that he’ll do a great job this week.  It’s not just James Harrison, he’ll get a combination of rushers over there and they’re all going to be good and I expect that he’ll do a great job.”

(On if the blocking on kick returns for Joshua Cribbs is as good as it was last year) -- “There were some kicks that Cribbs returned last year that the blocking wasn’t exactly stellar, he just sort of made it look better, so that becomes a component of it.  We are trying to get that group as tight as we possibly can and they work hard.  It’s important to them and everybody understands what a weapon he is and it’s important to Josh.  There’s a commitment and we’re going to continue to improve it.  Teams are doing a lot of things to prevent us from doing the things that we want to do and we’re trying to respond and hurt them enough that when they do those things so that they have to make a decision.  We’ve got a lot of improvement that can make and that was the case last year. There was, I thought, improvement throughout the season in our punt returns and our kickoff returns.  Josh over time has made people miss that two guys don’t block, that three guys don’t block and he makes them miss so it’s a combination.”

(On why it has taken so long for teams to decide not to kick it to Cribbs) -- “I don’t know but you’re always happy when they decide to because you’ve got a chance.  Sometimes you’ve got to cover, sometimes you’ve got to kickoff and cover and you’ve got to have faith in the guys that go down that they’re going to do a good job.  Then what he have to do is make them pay.”

(On if it is good to have different types of running backs to have a change of pace) -- “I think Peyton (Hillis) can do a lot of different things he’s been effective on outside runs, he’s been effective on inside runs.  To me it’s not necessarily the pace as much as it is our ability to consistently gain positive yards in the running game, and to use that not only to move the chains but to wear down the defense, to set a tone, to be able to set up the passing game, in a lot of ways too to force guys down the box to deal with the running game.  You like it when they tackle your running back and they’re going backwards and they’re absorbing blows and that wears on you after a while defensively.  Every time you go to tackle that guy you’ve got to make a decision, that decision gets harder later in the game, colder, things like that.”

(On why the Browns won’t sign Phil Dawson to a long term contract) -- “All that contract stuff, that’s great for Tom (Heckert) and Mike (Holmgren) to talk to them about that.  They would probably be the best guys, they handle that.”

(On Phil Dawson) -- “I think Phil’s done a great job and I really like Phil. I’ve gotten to know Phil pretty well.  Often times we work out at the same time so we talk a lot about family and stuff beyond just player-coach and I enjoy him.  The things that he’s done as a Cleveland Brown have been exceptional.  I’m looking forward to him breaking the record here this weekend.  I want all touchdowns but a field goal mixed in, game-winner would be a nice way to break the record. I’m looking forward to him doing that.”

(On if there has been a change in Colt McCoy this week) -- “I don’t know if it’s as much of a change in who he is as it is a change in his opportunity to show who he is.  He’s a young guy and as the third guy you’re not necessarily going to be out in front a lot of times, you just don’t have those chances. This week he’s had those chances and he’s done well with it.  I don’t see that as being a switch of who he’s always been, it’s just now he’s able to do those things that he’s done for a long time.  There’s a real comfort, he’s very comfortable in that role which is apparent.”

(On if it’s hard for a young quarterback with all veteran players in the huddle) -- “I think guys are going to listen to you if they know that you can lead them.  I don’t think leadership is based on age or experience or any of those things.  It’s based on whether or not you want to follow that person, whether or not he merits you wanting to follow him. Quarterbacks tend to have that ability to get those around them to really want to charge when they say charge, regardless of age or experience or any of the other factors.”

(On what physical skills fans can expect to see from McCoy) -- “I think he’s an accurate passer and he’s efficient, I like both of those things.  In terms of the opportunities to throw down the field, he has thrown down the field, but it’s not going to be a function of forcing the ball anywhere.  You can’t force the ball into spots against this defense, you can’t do it.  There are too many opportunities when you do that for them to make big plays.  You have just got to be smart and you’ve got to make good decisions and you’ve got to go to the open player and make good reads and do a good job of controlling the defense with your eyes and understanding what’s happening.  Those are the things that I expect from him.”

(On if Troy Polamalu can do what he wants defensively based on what he reads from the quarterback) -- “It doesn’t look to me like he’s doing what he wants as much as he’s disguising what he’s supposed to do.  Very rarely does he miss an assignment, but he’s going to do everything he can to make sure you don’t know what assignment he has. That’s a great thing from a player because it makes it hard to decipher what he really has.  Is he really down there, is it Cover 3, a Cover 4, is he blitzing?  You just don’t know because he makes a lot of it look the same.  Then he’s got excellent instincts where he may be in coverage, but he feels it going somewhere else and he comes out of the coverage and makes a play.  That comes with instincts and confidence, and he has both of those things.  He will make some plays even though that’s not his assignment.  He hasn’t left his assignment, he just read it at the break and makes some unbelievable plays.”

(On if he tells McCoy to focus on what he has to do, not what Polamalu might do) -- “Yes, you have got to go with what you see and be confident in what you see and make sure you’re not telegraphing your intentions.  You have just got to be definitive, you have got to be confident, you have got to go with it and what you don’t want to do is hold things or telegraph things, then it becomes hard.  Really, Polamalu, Ed Reed, get used to it in this division.”

(On his relationship with Abram Elam) -- “Abe is a fantastic guy.  I have so much respect for him.  When he became available, Bill Parcells actually called and said, ‘Hey, this guy is out there.  You should really take a look at him.’  We picked him up and within about a half an hour, I understood exactly why.  He’s going to be who he is and that’s a hard working guy, that’s a guy that cares about his team and that’s a guy that communicates really well.  He was at a new team and he was being him and it wasn’t about him fitting in, it was about him helping, contributing right away.  It’s rare to see that from a guy right away, but he’s comfortable with who he is.  Who he is, he should be comfortable with that because he’s such a good person.  I’ve seen a lot of development from him professionally as well, where gets better each year.  I’m really always impressed with the things that he does in the community and Abe has come from a difficult situation.  He’s overcome a lot of challenges to become the person that he is.”

(On if he was concerned about Elam when he had initially heard about his background) -- “I did a lot of research on him.  Whether it was Bill, I worked with his college coach in New England and had experience there and I’ve gotten to know him.  The things I know about him, I really like and believe in.”

(On how he expects the Pittsburgh offense to change philosophically with Ben Roethlisberger back) -- “I don’t think there’s going to be a philosophical shift in what they do offensively.  They’re pretty consistent with what they do offensively.  How much of the different things that they do may change percentage-wise or numbers-wise, but he takes a good offense and makes it better.”

(On if he thinks Pittsburgh will throw the ball more) -- “I’m not sure.  They’ve been pretty successful running the ball the way that they have and controlling the clock.  It’s been a good formula for a long time.”

(On if he is counting on the fact that Roethlisberger may have something to prove and make some riskier throws) -- “I think he’s going to look to help the team win any way he can, I really do.  My expectation is that’s going to be his priority.  It’s going to be about helping the team be successful, I really believe that.  Whether that means running the ball 40 times and throwing it 10 or vice versa, that’s what I expect.  I know he’ll be very good at what he does and he can create some big, big plays with his arm and with his feet.”

(On if he anticipates Peyton Hillis being in and out of the game or if he will be healthier this week) -- “I have got to see him practice here today, but my expectation is he’ll play and be available to play the whole game if we need him to.  That’s what I expect.”

(On if he expects Alex Mack and Floyd Womack to be ready to play Sunday) -- “Yes.”


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