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What's Browns coach Eric Mangini saying?

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 21, 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 10-21-10

(Opening statement) -- “Good morning. It should be the same group out today that was out yesterday with the exception of Kenyon (Coleman) who should be back for a little bit, possibility of Baby (Shaun Rogers) being back for a little bit but everybody else should stay consistent.  We’ll work on third down here today.  New Orleans they’re good pretty much in every offensive category but they lead the league in third down conversions. They’re at 50 percent.  A lot of times those third down conversions are the result of a really good plan on first and second down getting it third and manageable.  Defensively, they have a variety of blitzes that we’ll see throughout the course of the game but they tend to ramp up a little bit on third down. There’s some more variety and they are game plan specific so that’s something that we’ll have to do a really solid job of communicating out with the offensive line, the backs, the tight ends and also Colt (McCoy) being able to see those things and understand what’s picked up, what’s not picked up, where the hots are and things like that.  That will be the focus of our work here today.”

(On the progress of Joshua Cribbs and Mohamed Massaquoi) -- “Good, they’re both getting better.  Hopefully tomorrow we’ll see them but we’ll just have to wait and see.”

(On how many game tapes it takes to get to know a young quarterback) -- “It’s tough Jeff (Schudel), because there’s the quarterback and then there’s also the package. You don’t know how much of the package he’s going to run, how much of the package he’s going to change because it’s specific to his strengths and that could be changed in terms of things being eliminated or additional plays being added because those are plays that he really likes.  You’re getting to know the player himself and his skill set but then you also have to get an idea of where the offense is going to go, how it’s going to evolve.  Something else that happens is as they get more experience what you anticipated typically expands because that player has a greater ability to run more plays.  I know I’m not giving you a great answer but that’s usually the progression of those young guys is, ‘Okay, who’s the player, what’s the package he’s going to have and how much is that going to be able to expand each week based on his ability to handle it.’”

(On if that’s how a defensive coordinator prepares for a quarterback he hasn’t seen much of) -- “Yes, that’s how you look at preparing for it.  Working with young guys it’s the same thing. It’s ‘Okay, what are his strengths or weaknesses, what does he really like and feel most comfortable with, making sure that you have those plays in, what are some other things that we can do to help him and to manage the game.’  As his comfort level grows and our comfort level grows how can we continue to grow the package.”

(On if he agrees with the frequency of Rob Ryan’s blitzes) -- “Yes, Rob and I talk through all the things specific to the defensive game plan and I’m on the head sets.  Some of those are max pressures, some of those are five man pressures, some of those are zone pressures. There’s a variety of ways you try to pressure the quarterback. They’re not all true what you would categorize as blitzes max pressure, man-to-man, no help defenses.”

(On if Evan Moore will be practicing more at wide receiver this week) -- “Evan, really he works both spots based on formation so he has been extended several times throughout the course of the season and some of it is how do they treat him.  Are they going to cover him with a safety, are they going to cover him with a linebacker, are they going to cover him with a defensive back?  Typically, teams have a way of how they are going to deal with a tight end but then it’s also do they view him.  Are they viewing him as a tight end, are they viewing him as a receiver because we have gotten different answers to that question.  Some teams have played nickel defenses and brought in an extra defensive back, some teams have played base defenses and covered with a safety, some have covered with a linebacker so we put him at spots played by receivers by formation and now it’s a question of how defensively they’re going to adjust to that.”

(On if McCoy has to make those defensive recognitions or if it is predetermined) -- “What defense they have in, you can tell before the play’s even called because of who they bring in from the sidelines and then how they’re going to adjust to it you get a pretty good indication early in the game based on which player goes out to it.  Often times when you put a back outside or tight end outside it gives you answers offensively is it man-to-man or is it zone?  You can get man, zone answers based on putting a big person outside of a wide receiver just looking at who ends up lining over that person.”

(On how he is evaluating the secondary) -- “I think the defensive backs have to be able to play man-to-man, they have to be able to play in the deep part of the field and they’ve got to tackle.  Those are the three things that defensive backs have to be able to do.  You’re going to ask them to do a lot of different combinations of those things and with any pressure there are two components to it. There’s the coverage element and there’s the front element.  Sometimes if either one of those breaks down usually it’s not going to work out very well you need coordination on both sides.  It’s no different offensively dealing with pressures you need coordination, they can do a better job with it in the secondary and we can do a better job with it in the front.”

(On how Scott Fujita, in first season on the team, has been able to take on a leadership role) -- “It depends on the guy and I’ve had a lot of experiences with this.  Typically, when a new player who was a leader at some other club comes to your club, your hope is that they are going to fill that role right away but often times there’s an adjustment period where they don’t want to overstep their bounds. They want to get to know the guys, they want feel out the dynamics of the room, things like that.  It may take some time for them to really get into that role and then there are other guys that just jump right into it.  I’m pretty sure Rodney (Harrison) his first year in New England was voted captain.  Alan Faneca, when we brought him to New York, was voted captain so it varies.  Some take a little longer even though they may have had that real firm role in the place they came from and other guys it’s just who they are. It’s how they’re wired.”

(On if Scott Fujita is a jump right in guy) -- “The thing I like about Scott is he’s comfortable in his own skin.  He’s comfortable with being who he is, he has strong believes but it’s not without reason. It’s not without the ability to relate to other people or hear other ideas.  He believes certain things and he’s just comfortable with being him and you feel that, you sense that, other people sense that and it’s easy to follow.”

(On if Cribbs and Massaquoi have to be at home) --“No they’re here, they’re working, they’re studying, doing all that stuff.”

(On if there is any clarity to the right side of the line) -- “We’ll work in combinations Tony (Grossi), so we’ll determine it later in the week.  We’ve worked a couple different combinations and that’s also with Paul (McQuistan) being new, seeing how he fits, getting him some experience, see how it plays out.”

(On if he is trying to disrupt the other offensive line spots as little as possible) -- “The good thing Jeff (Schudel), with the way that George (Warhop) works the offensive linemen and how we approach it is, in all these weeks that we’ve had including training camp, guys work in different spots throughout the course of practice because you don’t know what’s going to happen.  Eric (Steinbach) has worked at left tackle every single week that we’ve practiced at different points just to give him some reps there.  Shawn (Lauvao) when he’s been out there he’s worked at center, he’s worked at left guard, he’s worked at right guard.  Billy Yates the same thing, Steve Vallos, John St. Clair, all those guys.  You work them in combinations because you just don’t know how it’s going to happen.  You don’t want it to be a case where Shawn hasn’t communicated with Joe (Thomas), he hasn’t worked on that side, those guys don’t have any kind of relationship and then suddenly he’s thrust in the game enough to work together. If you can build reps over time when something does happen it’s much more comfortable for the player and for the group to do that.  I’d say the next closest comparison would be the secondary where you’re trying to work people at left and right corner, free and strong safety because as matchups come, as things change, as injuries happen, you want them all to have talked and worked and played those roles and built those reps as opposed to it’s second quarter of the game they got to go in now they’ve never worked over on that side.”

(On if he meant that Steinbach has practiced at right tackle each week) -- “No, he’s worked at left tackle primarily.  He’s worked at right tackle in training camp and maybe right when John (St. Clair) first got injured he worked a little bit there.  He’s been kind of a swing guy. There wouldn’t be as many reps over there as there would be on the left side.”

(On Shawn Lauvao’s development) -- “I think he’s made good progress.  It was disappointing to have the injury that first week because he was really taking some big strides there and then it was interrupted.  Now he’s been back, he’s been back in the mix for two or three weeks now and starting to see that same sort of rhythm coming from him.  I’d say with any of the rookies, Colt (McCoy) did a nice job in his first chance, I’d expect if Shawn gets a chance, he’ll go do a good job in his first chance, Carlton (Mitchell) may get an opportunity this week and that’s the great thing.  Carlton, I was talking to him last week, I think he’s had two or three really good weeks and I don’t just mean catching the ball.  Show team, special teams, he’s showing up every day and he’s doing good things every day.  He and I were talking about that last Friday about, ‘Hey at any point here now you could be getting a real live opportunity,’ and this week he could get that opportunity and I’m excited about that too.”

(On if Yamon Figurs will be their returner) -- “It depends on Josh (Cribbs) but he’s here. If Josh couldn’t go, I would anticipate him being able to do both.  He’s fast, he’s quick, I think he’s got a lot of good traits for what we’re trying to get done in the return game.”

(On if there would be any hesitance to Cribbs on kickoff or punt return if he was cleared to play) -- “For me, I rely on the doctors and we wouldn’t put someone back in that wasn’t ready and if they’re cleared then they’re cleared for all the different things.  As we’ve seen you can get just as big of a hit at receiver or running back as you could on the kickoff return.  If he was cleared, he’d be cleared to do all the things that he does.”

(On if there is a concern with over officiating with the heightened awareness on tackling) -- “Typically if there’s a point of emphasis, that point of emphasis spikes so I’d imagine it will spike.  This is helmet-to-helmet, some weeks it’s tackle too deep, sitting too deep in the line of scrimmage, some weeks it’s hits on the quarterback, whatever the point of emphasis is they’re going to make that point of emphasis and you can pretty much guarantee it’s going to spike.”

(On if it is important for coaches to be at the forefront of trying to clean tackling up) -- “I can only really speak for myself, we’ve talked about it. You do the best you can.  As I said with Mike (Tomlin), I’ve gotten to know Mike, I really like him, I respect him personally, I respect him professionally, all the coaches that I’ve come in contact with they’re trying to get their guys to do the right thing. They’re trying to get them to be tough and physical but play by the rules.  Nobody wants to have a penalty, no one’s trying to coach penalties. You’re trying to do it the right way.”

(On if they received a video from the league explaining the point of emphasis) -- “We hadn’t gotten it yet as of last night.  As soon as I get it, I’ll play it for the team and we’ll go through it.”

(On if he feels like the game of football is changing) -- “No.  I think there’s been a point of emphasis on player safety.  I feel like it has been talked about quite a bit over the last two-three years, whether it’s quarterback hits, defenseless receivers, horse-collars.  There have been a lot of things that have been put into place to try to maintain the excitement of the game, the spirit of the game, but also not put people at unnecessary risk.  It’s risky enough as it is and I think it’s smart to try to mitigate things that are excessive to protect the players.”

(On how he accounts for opposing receivers having success against their secondary) -- “It’s a combination of things Tony (Grossi), it really is.  If you bring pressure, you have got to get there.  Whether it’s zone pressure or man pressure, I think there are times that we can play with better technique.  I think that we’ve faced a lot of really go receivers.  I think we’ve faced a lot of really good quarterbacks.  Those things are going to happen.  You never want to give up the big play, you want to force a team to go the long way.  At some point whether it’s a max pressure, a zone pressure, a five man pressure with man to man post safety coverage, there are certain things that you risk.  You try to stop some things and you’re vulnerable in other areas and you have got to be able to hold up.”

(On if he thinks there would be less pressure on the secondary if the defensive line was healthier) -- “I don’t feel like we’re over the top in terms of what we do.  I feel like the calls that we make are calculated and they’re based on tendencies, they’re based on opportunities and it’s been a pretty consistent philosophy over time of how to attack offenses.  There are going to be balls that go down the field, but the team’s we have played have hit balls down the field against most teams.  We’re not looking to give up those, I promise you.”

(On Sheldon Brown’s performance this season so far) -- “I think he’s doing well.  That’s a hard position to play Jeff (Schudel), the cornerback is hard.  We’ve faced some pretty good passers over the course of time, we’ve faced some pretty good receivers.  The group we are facing this week, they are really good.  That group we face in two weeks, they are really good.  Look at the list, (Joe) Flacco, (Carson) Palmer, (Matt) Ryan, Drew Brees, (Ben) Roethlisberger, that’s a who’s who.  We should probably get Peyton Manning during the bye week just to round it out (joking).  They’re good groups.  They’re talented groups and it’s so important to play coordinated defense, so sometimes the line can cover for the secondary if it doesn’t go well on a certain play.  Sometimes the secondary has got to cover for the line if it doesn’t go well on a certain play.  The key thing is for all of us to play together and hit the right spots because the more talented a group you are playing, the more explosive of a group, the smaller a margin for error is.  It’s like razor-thin between a sack, we hit Roethlisberger on the touchdown pass that he threw there in the high red zone.  It was about an eighth of a second away from being a strip sack, but that’s the difference.  It could have been a strip sack, instead it’s a touchdown.  Some quarterbacks and receivers that you face, it’s either going to be a strip sack or an incompletion.”

(On what Carlton Mitchell has done well in practice) -- “He’s caught the ball consistently, and I’ve liked the way Carlton has worked since he’s gotten here.  I guess the difference for me in the last couple of weeks is every day when I’m watching practice, I’m noticing him.  That’s what you want from guys that tend to be on the inactive list or the practice squad.  You want them to pop off the screen so you can’t help but notice them as you’re watching the plays.  He’s caught the ball better, I think his routes have improved, he’s gotten some reps with the offense each week and those reps that he’s gotten, I think, have been sound and sharp and he hasn’t had mental errors.  I really like his effort on special teams and show team.  There’s a hunger there that you appreciate as a coach.”


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