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What's Browns coach Eric Mangini saying?

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 25, 2010

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

Browns Head Coach Eric Mangini press conference 10-25-10

(Opening statement) -- “Good afternoon everybody. The players are off today, just got through meeting on the game and talking about the next couple days.  In looking at the game, I felt like defensively we talked about what we needed to do and it was very specific in terms of not providing a lot of pre-snap information to Drew (Brees). He’s outstanding when he knows where it’s going and I thought the guys practiced that well throughout the week and then carried that over through the game and that created a bunch of opportunities.  We had the interceptions that we did and the sacks that we did and I thought there were some other opportunities for interceptions that unfortunately ended up as balls defensed.  Good coordinated effort by those guys and I thought Rob (Ryan) did a nice job of mixing up the attack and making sure that he was spinning the gum balls, which was important.  Offensively, I think one of the best things we did in the game was the drive that we had in the fourth quarter. Eating up seven minutes and being able to run the ball effectively at that point and keeping their offense off the field, which is another key component to winning the game.  I always talk about complementary football and to me that’s complementary football.  On special teams, Reggie’s (Hodges) run was probably the longest run he has had combined between training camp, OTAs and practice, so he was a little winded, but well executed, made Lance Moore miss there on the open field.  We have a great picture of him as he’s running and you can see him it looks like he’s almost laughing.  I don’t know if he’s shocked that he’s still running or can’t believe it, but it’s just a nicely executed play by the group and him.  Then the throw back (Joshua) Cribbs did a great job of bringing all of the coverage over there, it’s an amazing throw too to make sure that it was backwards and where it needed to be.  I also thought the coverage units throughout the course of the day were really good and Reggie, his punting as well as running was very good as well.”

(On if Joshua Cribbs and Peyton Hillis are going to take reps at quarterback this week) -- “I forgot about that play.  Yes, that was another play that we worked on that looked good the couple times that we did it.  The other thing I forgot to mention, the starting point for us and the thing that I’ve been pleased about is no turnovers.  We didn’t turn the ball over and in the last two games, now we’ve dramatically decreased the number of penalties.  That to me is how we should play every game and that’s been important for us as well.”

(On if he has had another game with so many big plays in it) -- “I’ve been part of one. David Patten had three big plays like that. He threw a touchdown, caught a touchdown and ran for a touchdown.  Probably hadn’t been involved with a game where it happened in different phases like they did.  More on one side or the other.”

(On what he thinks about trick plays on special teams) -- “I’ve always liked them.  I have run a lot of onside kicks over the years.  Whenever you do analysis on onside kick if you look at it as when they know it’s coming the percentage is pretty low for the onside kicking team to get the ball back.  Surprise onside kicks though have a significantly higher percentage of recovery by the kicking team.  I’ve always felt that’s a good way to create a turnover.  Now there are risks involved because there’s big field position shifts there but that’s something that I’ve liked.  I like fakes and we have them up every week. It’s just you got to get the right look, it’s got to be the right situation and oftentimes you don’t get exactly what you need to go through it but I do like them.”

(On if the throw back was game plan specific to the Saints) -- “No, we’ve worked on that for weeks, really since training camp.  We ran it a couple times during training camp just haven’t been able to get what we wanted because you got to be on the correct hash, you’ve got to anticipate the guys going to be directional kicking, you got to feel like you got a good chance to bring all the coverage over.”

(On if Eric Wright ran out of gas) -- “He got tripped up a little bit and that slowed him up and might have been able to attack a little bit more inside to hold the defenders to give him some more space to run away, but the sideline, he did get that close on the sideline there.”

(On hope it benefits the team to have those plays on tape) -- “Typically what happens Tony (Grossi) is things slow down a little bit because you’re forcing your opponent to defend the whole field and that’s important, because every time they rush a punt there are risks involved. You have to be willing to show that you’ll hit them with a play like that in order to slow them down.  I think that’s typically what the reaction will be.”

(On what role Colt McCoy has with false starts) -- “He has a big role because we have been hard counting.  We haven’t been hard counting as much because when you’re on the road, there’s so much noise that the hard count usually doesn’t draw the defense off the same way because they can’t even hear the quarterback cadence as much.  You’d like to have that stay consistent at home where it’s a lot quieter and the hard counts have more of a draw.”

(On using hard counts) -- “You’re varying your voice inflection, it’s dramatic.  Our guys know its coming so you’d anticipate that they would stay onside but sometimes when you’re hard counting team, your own guys jump.  You have to practice it, we practice that stuff every single day because you can’t just turn that on and off. They have to get used to hearing the voice infliction.  The guy who has the best hard count on our team is (Offensive Line Coach) George Warhop. During one-on-ones, he can draw anybody offsides with his hard count.  Guys tend to run a lot of laps on the one-on-ones because George’s hard count.  You use it all the time and you get everybody used to varying the cadence on one first sound, hard three and now the defensive line just can’t tee-off each time.”

(On how the quarterback situation will evolve in the next week) -- “The thing I was most happy with in terms of Colt’s (McCoy) play was he improved in some areas and there were some areas that were, it’s a work in progress, but he was consistent and he was poised again.  I thought he made some really good decisions in terms not taking a sack and throwing the ball out of bounds.  Those things are things that I think are positives.  With the decision as we get Seneca (Wallace) back, and Jake (Delhomme) back, which we may have a chance for one or both against New England, then I’ll just sit down and think about it.  I’ll talk to Brian (Daboll), I’ll talk to Mike (Holmgren), I’ll definitely get his input.  He’s been through these decisions quite a few times.  It’s got to get to the point where it really is a decision as opposed to where we’re at now, where we just got a couple games under our belts.”

(On if these trick plays are still available and if they have enough in the playbook for the rest of the season) -- “Yes, each week there’s going to be three of four specialty plays offensively and on special teams that you have available.  Even if you’ve run it once it doesn’t mean you can’t come back to it at some point if you want to, and you can build something off of that where it looks the same but it’s not the same to give them the illusion that okay here it comes again but you do something different.  Atlanta threw the flea flicker on us, they had thrown the flea flicker twice before. Some of it too is timing, when you call it.  You can call them in a totally in totally different situation.  There are more than just those plays and there are different ones up each week and sometimes they’ll be there and sometimes they won’t.  You just got to see how it unfolds as to whether or not you can get it called.”

(On if he felt he needed to call trick plays in order to win the game) - “I don’t know exactly what he is talking about they run the flea flicker quite a bit, they do a lot of exotic type stuff, they onside kicked in the Super Bowl.  To me, you’re doing anything you can in order to win and it’s more about do you have the opportunity to let this eat or not.  If you have it, you want to take a shot at it and see what happens.  I don’t think those were over the top risky if you got the right look and if you don’t have the look you line up and punt the ball or Josh (Cribbs) keeps it.”

(On what other factors besides health go into making the decision on the quarterbacks) -- “Look next opponent. That would be the decision, the way I would base it is next opponent.”

(On playing a rookie quarterback against New England) -- “It’s also what I don’t know now Tony (Grossi) is who else is going to be available.  I know its New England and I know Colt’s (McCoy) available and I know Ratty’s (Brett Ratliff) available, but I’m not sure whether Seneca (Wallace) or Jake (Delhomme) is going to be available.  If both will or one will be. We got part of the puzzle we just don’t have all of it.”

(On if Seneca Wallace was healthy to play against New England) -- “But Jeff (Schudel) how healthy is he? Is he 100%? Is he perfect?  You come back from injury there’s ranges.  He can play, he could be the two, he could be the one and be completely healthy and he could be the one and be at 80%, so there are a lot of mitigating factors to your hypothetical.”

(On with how Colt McCoy has been playing is he less likely to play Seneca Wallace if he was only 80%) -- “I’ve been encouraged by what he’s done, I really have.  I’m happy to see that and I think the poise that he has shown in two really difficult loud environments has been great, but there’s a lot of things that he can improve and there’s a long way that he needs to continue to come.  What he’s done so far has been really encouraging and that’s really where it’s at.”

(On if there is a benefit of playing Colt McCoy through and developing him) -- “For us Tony (Grossi), it’s going to be who we think can give us the best chance to win that week.  The play time that he’s gotten has been great and the things that he has shown have been really positive but we’re going to always try to play the guy that we think is going to give us the best shot to win on Sunday.”

(On what the odds were that David Bowens would have two interceptions returned for touchdowns) -- “Last time it happened here I think was 1960, when he was a teenager (joking).  David, I’ve been with him for a while and he has a way of coming up with some plays like that.  He’s smart and he disguises things well.  I didn’t know his run skills were going to be as good as they were.  There was a game we were playing against Arizona, I think there were 12 seconds left.  They were on their own 20, we were rushing three guys and he figured out, kind of creatively, how to beat the tackle, got a strip sack and we kicked a field goal with two seconds left on the clock.  That was just a play that he made.  Last year against Pittsburgh, he started up like he was going to rush and then he kind of slowly came out, the guard thought he was dropping and went to help the tackle, then he rushed and got the sack.  He creates some of those things through his experience, but the odds of him doing it?  I don’t know. I saw that Powerball was at 118 million on my way in, probably about the same odds.”

(On Rob Ryan getting showered with Gatorade at the end of the game) -- “I think the guys just felt like he needed a shower (joking).  Whatever was available at the moment and Gatorade was it.  Rob spoke to the team Saturday night.  I incorporated him in that and he was great.  He was great for a lot of reasons, what he said and how he said it, both meaningful and it lightens the mood.  The guys appreciate who he is because he is exactly himself all of the time, he’s passionate and he cares.  The offense we were playing was a powerful offense, an explosive offense at home.  We knew that they were going to throw the ball quite a bit and knew that they had big-play potential.  I think they appreciated the plan and they appreciate him as well.  It’s nice to see.  It’s nice to see from my perspective because of how much they care about him.”

(On why teams don’t audible into a run when facing a defensive look with no defensive linemen in the game) -- “We have gotten some of that.  As much as sometimes it looks like chaos, it’s organized chaos.  Each guy has a fit in the running game, they have a fit in the pass rush, but sometimes when you audible into those things, you have to take a chance because the offensive linemen need to know who they are blocking.  If they don’t know who they are blocking or who they are stepping to, they could easily make a mistake as well.  What looks like it could be a big run ends up getting tackled for a loss.  I remember back when I was breaking down tape for Baltimore, this was in 1996.  I used to do the Steelers tape and there would be what looked like 12 guys over on this side and nobody over on the other side.  It’s third down and I was thinking the same thing, ‘Why didn’t they audible into a run?’  But then we saw some team’s do it and they way they ended up begin distributed was very different from what they were showing.  The offensive linemen didn’t figure it out and they got tackled for a loss.  It’s a little bit on both sides.  You’d almost have to go to a very standard, generic ‘take who you take’ type of thing.  It does happen and sometimes you get hit.”

(On how Scott Fujita assisted in the game planning against New Orleans) -- “He was able to give some insight on personnel and philosophy, but their defense is very game plan specific.  So we didn’t see the same stuff that teams prior to us had seen.  We saw some of the same general concepts, but it was configured differently than how they did it against somebody else.  It was more of a bigger picture-type thing as opposed to a lot of specifics.  The other thing that happens is when you do have your captain or a key player on another team that you’re playing that year you tend to break tendencies on purpose in order to offset anything that he could provide the other team.”

(On if Fujita helped with their offensive game planning more than defensively) -- “Yes.  His experience was more defensively.  I’d say he probably spent more time with Brian (Daboll) than Rob (Ryan) because that’s where his work was done.  Most of his insight was on those guys.”

(On Nick Sorensen and Joshua Cribbs saying that there was a lot of activity taking place beneath the piles for loose balls) -- “Nick didn’t say anything to me and Josh didn’t say anything to me, so the first I really heard of it was when someone told me about it.  I don’t know if it was really inordinate or not.  A lot of times those pileups are free-for-alls and you don’t know what’s going on.”

(On if fighting beneath pileups for loose ball can be controlled) -- “I don’t know.  There are so many bodies there and they are trying to figure out who has the ball.  Whoever has the ball last typically gets the ball.  I don’t know how you would ever objectively look at it and say, ‘Okay, he’s guilty of this.  He’s guilty of that.’  It’s such a big pile of whatever.”

(On what kind of carry over this win could have going forward into the rest of the season) -- “I think it obviously reinforces what we can do when we do things in a consistent fashion, when we play what I like to call ‘Browns football’, when it’s complementary, when we don’t turn the ball over when we have a low amount of penalties.  I felt that throughout the course of the season the guys have been consistent, they work hard.  They may be frustrated, but they’re not discouraged.  To be able to get a win like that at a place that’s as difficult to play at as that is, I think it just reinforces that.  If we do things the right way and we execute the plan each week, it doesn’t matter who we’re playing or externally what the perception is of how the game is going to go, we can control the outcome.”

(On if we can expect the second half of the season to be a lot more successful) -- “I think our expectations internally are that we are going to be successful every week.  I think there were a lot of games that could have easily gone the other way.  That’s how it should be, we should all have that approach that each week and we are going to win the game.  If your expectation is anything different, then you’re not approaching it the right way.  To me, the difference is you can have that expectation, but it’s got to be backed up by work ethic, consistency, executing the game plan, not turning the ball over.  It demonstrates what’s possible, but consistency is what you need to make it probable.”

(On if he has to talk Rob Ryan “off of the ledge” sometimes from being too optimistic) -- “Rob?  No, that optimism is real.  That’s real.  You guys all saw that movie ‘300’.  I’m sure if me and him were sitting there looking at a million troops, he’d look at me and say, ‘Hey, we have got them outnumbered.’  That’s just how he is.  He believes it and he’s not trying to sell anybody on anything.  That’s who he is and it’s a good thing to be confident in your abilities and I think that’s the right approach.”

(On how much weight he has lost) -- “I kind of feel like injuries with this, I don’t want to get into specific numbers. A lot though.”

(On if he had a specific plan to lose weight) -- “Yes, I tried this crazy new one called eating less and exercising (joking).  It’s nuts.  I’ve done all of the other ones, the six bananas and two glasses of skim milk and every bet in the world.  This one, I can vouch for it.  Eating less and exercising works.”

(On if he has gotten a lot of feedback about his weight loss) -- “Yes, it’s been positive.  The key thing is like the way we play, its consistency.  You tend to eat when you’re happy and you eat when you’re not so happy.  It’s being consistent with it.”

(On if the playoffs are still attainable) -- “I really believe Tony (Grossi) that anything is possible, but the most important thing is, from our perspective, to never put your focus on what’s nine weeks down the road.  The only thing that we can affect is right now and the next game.  You can’t get to nine weeks down the road right now, but you can get to that next game.  If you just win that one and deal with the one after then deal with that one, that’s the approach that works.  It’s important.  I’ve been in situations where that looked like it was going to be an inevitability and guys started looking down the road and you lose one game then you lose another game.  It just doesn’t work, whether you’re here or here or wherever your level is.  The only thing that works is focusing on that next one.”

(On if this win buys him more time with Mike Holmgren and what is does with his relationship with him) -- “I know we talked about this stuff last year, it’s not really my approach or how I’m wired to look that way. You become a hypocrite when you ask others to focus on today and the importance of today and working on today and then you’re looking down the road.  To me, all of those things will work themselves out, but what I can do and what we can do is work on the next game and win that next game and then go from there.  That’s not going to be my focus now or four weeks from now or six weeks from now.  To me, it’s us, the group of guys, the team working towards the next opponent.”

(On if yesterday’s win can build momentum going forward) -- “I think it’s a really important part of reinforcing what we can do and what we need to do each week.  I think that’s where the greatest importance comes from this game.  What I’m excited about is the bye week because this gives us a chance now, as a staff and as a team, to go back through the first group of games and look at what did we do well, what did we do poorly, what do we want to continue to push forward on and how can we improve?  Each year that I’ve been a head coach, I’ve felt very good about the work that we got done during the bye week and how that translated into the second half of the season.  I’m a huge believer if we use this time wisely, that we can make significant jumps.  Even last year, we made big jumps defensively, we made big jumps offensively and each one of my experiences as a head coach has been that case.  That’s what I’m really excited about is a chance to now go back, look at the first part of this season and say, ‘Okay, this is what we are going to get fixed.’  Show it to the players, write it up, practice it, review it and go into that second half of the season a better team because we’ve learned from this first part of the season.”

(On if this win could build confidence and if confidence is an important element going forward) -- “I totally get that, but I don’t think that this group at any point has lacked confidence.  I really don’t.  If anything, there’s been resolve, there’s been frustration at our not being in a better position than we are.  This is a good group of guys that work every single day and they’re not afraid of anybody, they’re not afraid of any situation and they’re not going to be intimidated.  When the game starts, it’s going to be a fight.  When the game ends, you’re going to know that you lined up against a physical, tough football team.  That’s the way that our guys approach it and I like that.”


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