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What's Browns coach Eric Mangini saying?

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 26, 2010

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

Browns Head Coach Eric Mangini press conference 10-26-10

(Opening statement) -- “Good morning everybody.  What we’re going to do today and this is the path that we’ve follow now over the course of last year and while I was in New York and I found it to be very effective.  What we’re doing today is we’re going to work on our first and second down package and the same things that we would do on a normal Wednesday, the same things that we would have practiced against that opponent on a Wednesday.  What the coaches have done is they have gone back through the first seven games and analyzed what went well, what went poorly, what we can change or want to change, maybe some things to throw out, maybe some things to add on.  Then we show the guys a tape explain it to them, show them the adjustments, go walk through it, practice it, come back watch the tape and put that day in the bank.  Tonight, we’ll do the same thing as if were preparing for a normal Thursday so primarily a third down emphasis, same process.  After that the players will have the next group of days off.  We’ll come back on Monday and Monday would be like a Friday for us in terms of preparation so it will be primarily goal line, short yardage, red zone specific and really take this time to break down us, to work on us.  I have found that when we’ve done that effectively we’ve seen jumps in all three phases.  I really enjoy having this opportunity and it’s very important for us to take advantage of it as a staff and as a group of players in order to build in the second half of the season.”

(On waiving James Davis) -- “We had Thomas Clayton in here and liked Thomas while he was here.  He got signed off of our practice squad by New England and at that point we were talking about bringing him up to the active roster, we just weren’t able to do that.  Then when he became available the other day on the waiver wire, we put in a claim and were awarded him so it was a one for one switch for James.  As with any move like this, I wish James well and hope he’s able to take advantage of his next opportunity.”

(On why James Davis wasn’t breaking through) -- “I think he was making strides both as a running back and on special teams. It’s just we liked a lot of things that Thomas did.  It really wasn’t just a vacuum decision of James, it was James in relationship to Thomas and we wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to bring Thomas back and give him some opportunities.  I think Thomas has good size, he learned the offense well, thought he had good vision.  George Warhop had worked with him some in San Francisco and had liked the things he had done there.  Talked about it with Tom (Heckert) and decided to make that move.”

(On Clayton’s running style) -- “I think he ranges anywhere from about 215 to 220. He’s been as big as 225. He’s another really good size back, physical back, strong runner so I liked all those things about him, and now I think he fits in with the things that we’re trying to do.  That’s in no way a knock on James it’s just more of a compliment to Thomas and what we hope he can do here for us.  It’s going  to be important for him while he’s here to carve out that role on special teams, continue to build a role on offense and we’ll see where that goes.”

(On if it is tough for some players to deal with roster moves like when Mike Bell was brought to Cleveland) -- “I think each guy is a little bit different and each reaction is a little bit different.  You bring in so many players whether it’s in the offseason with free agency, the draft or whatever the case may be and you’re constantly being challenged in terms of your position or your play time.  That’s what we deal with and it’s the reality.  I think that the thing that I try to do, and we try to do, is give everybody the opportunity to constantly improve their situation on the team and that’s important to me.  One of the things we will do here during the bye, as well, is if anybody has any questions about where they stand or what they can do to have a bigger role or improve their level of play time they can set up a meeting with me. I can spend some time with them individually and talk about that stuff.  We have point of attack tapes on all the players so that’s all the plays they have been involved in in the game but guys that haven’t been in the games and it’s just practice, we have those plays cut up as well, so it’s isolated.  They can go back and watch that tape and that can be something that myself and the player can sit down and watch and I can say, ‘Okay here’s what I see as the things you need to work on, if you improve these things your play time will improve.’  That’s been a very good tool from my perspective and I think from a lot of the players’ perspective because I think you lose track of some of the stuff you need to work on.  You may have a different sort of perspective on how far you might have to go in an area but then when you see it, it kind of brings it all back into focus.  These POAs we can go as far back as OTAs, to training camp and run them down the line.  I remember I sat down with one player during the bye and he was a rookie at the time and I showed him the tapes from the season to date and training camp and preseason, and then I showed him his college POA and I said, ‘Here’s the guy I drafted and now here’s the guy that’s now a member of this team. You tell me why there’s a difference.’  It wasn’t to do anything besides to clear up why I felt the why that I felt and I think it was really productive for him.  He’s still with the team now, this was back in New York and he’s doing a good job.  I’ve seen a few of their games or tapes of their games and the issues that we talked about he’s gotten better at.  I don’t know if it was a direct result of that conversation but I’m happy to see it because that’s the guy we saw on college tape and that’s the same guy that should have been there right away in New York.”

(On if signing Demetrius Williams was a reflection of Mohamed Massaquoi’s injury) -- “No, Mo will be back today.  We had worked out Demetrius last week the same time that we worked out Yamon (Figurs). Demetrius had a nice workout. Yamon had value to us in terms of the return game that Demetrius didn’t really have but he was a guy that Tom (Heckert) and I talked about as, ‘Okay, if we get a window we’d like to get him on and see what he can do.’  With the bye week now and getting Mo back and Josh (Cribbs) going through the game and not having any setbacks, we thought this was a good time to do it, and a little bit of extra time from a teaching perspective, from a practice perspective to see what he can do.”

(On what it has done to the offense by not have continuity with the running backs) -- “I feel like Peyton (Hillis) has been pretty consistent throughout the course of the season.  Mike (Bell) is new and Thomas does have some exposure to our system from being here so that will be a good thing.  Last year, we had the same situation and I thought when (Chris) Jennings had his chances he did a pretty good job with the opportunities that he had and Jerome (Harrison) got some more opportunities.  I don’t think it’s set us back that much.  I think in some ways you may have to take a step back in terms of their experience in the system in order to try to improve in some other areas that you hope you can take a step forward in.”

(On if he is disappointed that he hasn’t gotten anything from the three extra draft picks that they got from the draft day trade with New York in 2009) -- “With draft picks you’re always trying to hit on them and you’re always trying to hit big on them.  What we also got was Kenyon Coleman who has started 20 plus games or whatever it is. Abe Elam who has started 20 plus games. Alex Mack who started 20 plus games so there has been 60 games out of that group.  You’d love to hit on every single pick that you have and you don’t.  Sometimes you hit big, sometimes you don’t and you try to make it as precise of a science as you can and you wish you didn’t have any guys that didn’t work out.  You get them that way then you get guys like Marcus Benard that were undrafted and come in and do some really good things, or the Josh Cribbs’ of the world.  It’s not exact science by any stretch.”

(On if Jake Delhomme or Seneca Wallace will be back this week) -- “No, we won’t practice either one of those guys this week.  I think the earliest we’d be shooting for is probably Wednesday of next week.”

(On if anyone else is going to have today and tomorrow off from practice because of injury) -- “John St. Clair will.  I think he was the only other one.  Baby (Shaun Rogers) may not be today.  I think I got it but I might be one off.”

(On how Rogers played Sunday and if he played more on Sunday than he has in other games) -- “One of the reasons for in his jump of reps was we were able to use him over there in Robaire’s (Smith) spot some more. I thought he did a nice job.   He’s getting the reads down a little bit better and there were a couple of plays where he played the reads really well and he made a nice play in the running game.  Where I thought Shaun did an excellent job on Sunday is whether it was a three man rush of pressure or four man rush, he hit the quarterback three or four different times which was great to see.  My hope and expectation is that he’ll continue to develop as an end because that adds depth, that adds versatility and when he’s out there with (Ahtyba) Rubin and Kenyon (Coleman) that’s a significant front three. There’s a lot of beef that you have to get through to get to the next level which is great.”

(On Rogers held up health wise) -- “Yes, he did. He had a nice pressure on David Bowens’ second interception that I think really helped a lot.  He seemed to come through well.”

(On if there is anything to report on Montario Hardesty and if he is still around) -- “All the young guys are here.  What we do with that Tony (Grossi) and this has been pretty consistent, is they’ll do their rehab and they go to all the meetings.  Montario’s in the meetings and right on down the line the different guys that have gotten hurt.  I think that’s really valuable because they go through the game planning process. They have to study. They’re held to the same expectations as all the other players mentally.  What I have found is when you send those guys home as rookies, it’s almost like they never had a rookie year, at least now they’re part of the process and they see how it works and they go through the mechanics of it, and when you get to that next year typically there’s a jump.  Saw it with Chansi Stuckey when he got hurt his first year.  Danny Woodhead who is now in New England, he had gotten hurt, he went through that same thing and there’s real value in that.”

(On when they expect to get Hardesty back) -- “I honestly don’t know. I’m guessing some time during the offseason program. I haven’t really gotten a specific date.  Typically with those guys that would be something we do in the offseason in terms of the exact target date for their return.”

(On Brett Favre and his consecutive starts streak) -- “It’s amazing.  It’s amazing for anybody to have that many starts at any position but at the quarterback position with over the years the way that the pass rushers have gotten better, faster, and schemes have gotten more complicated, and the size of players have increased.  The hits that he’s taken over the years have been tremendous and his ability to play through pain is pretty special.  I hope he’s able to continue on because it is remarkable.”

(On if he thought about not playing Favre in New York) -- “No, he wasn’t getting treatment and he practiced every day.  He was there every day and the injury wasn’t getting treated so I didn’t really expect him to not play any of those games.”

(On how statistically they have gotten better since last year but what the underlying factor is for not winning more) -- “Turnovers, penalties.  I think those two things are big reasons why we haven’t won games.  To me it starts with turnovers.  One of the things we’ve improved the most on in the second half of last year was the amount of turnovers.  Those dramatically declined and things changed and games changed with that.  To date we’ve had a very challenging schedule and it doesn’t get any easier in the weeks to come here, but that’s just the way it is.  I’d say if you don’t turnover the ball your chances for success increase dramatically game in and game out.”

(On if they are more susceptible to turnovers because the offense is more reliant on long drives than quick strikes)- “No, I don’t think so I think it really comes down to focusing on the football first. Whether it was the Rams, I forget how many years ago that was early 2000s, there were quite a few turnovers but there were quite a few big plays as well so that correlation wasn’t consistent.  I’ve seen a lot of teams that grind out the ball and don’t have very many turnovers.  You look at Atlanta, I assume they still lead the league in time of possession. They run the ball however many times a game, 30 something times a game, they typically, grind it out and they don’t have very many turnovers.  I think it’s more how well you protect the football as opposed to what your core philosophy is.”

(On if the league cracking down on hits to the head will result in an increase of lower body injuries) -- “I don’t know how that’s going to affect things.  You have got to hit them somewhere.  I don’t know.”

(On if there was a noticeable difference in the way defensive players were hitting offensive players this past game) -- “I didn’t see a dramatic difference.  I didn’t really notice it changing that much.  I think the thing that we need to continue to do better is whoever we hit, wherever we hit them, is bring our arms.  That would make me a lot happier.”

(On which players received game balls from Sunday) -- “We gave two defensively.  One was to (Scott) Fujita for his 11 tackles, two tackles for a loss, he had a sack and an interception, a quarterback pressure, two assists, so he had a pretty good day.  D-Bo (David Bowens) got one for his historic performance.  He should have kept both of them. Joe Thomas was our offensive player of the game.  I thought he did a really nice job, in terms of his one on one blocking, his run blocking and the way it was coordinated in terms of the pickups of the different pressures.  Carlton Mitchell was our practice player of the week.  I think he’s doing a really nice job there and I was glad he got his first opportunity to be active.  Reggie Hodges was our special teams player of the week not just for the keep, but he had the two punts inside the 11.  I think he had a 42.3-yard net.”

(On what kind of coach Brad Seely is) -- “I’ve known him forever.  My office was in between his and Rob’s (Ryan), so it was kind of the two extremes there in terms of neighbors.  If you took Rob and you took Brian (Daboll) and you fused them together and added a few years, you would have Brad.  He’s got that meticulousness and attention to detail that Brian has, and Brian tends to be a little more on the serious side.  Then he’s also a really funny guy, some of the same traits that we see from Rob.  I’m not saying Rob doesn’t have the other positive characteristics of Brian, but you get Brad and he’s the fusion between the two.  He’s really knowledgeable about not just special teams, but personnel, about game management.  He’d be a great head coach.  Typically special teams coaches don’t get that opportunity, I know it’s been broken a little bit. He sees the big picture.  Special teams coaches have to see the big picture, they have to take guys from all over the place, coordinate them into one package and split very small amounts of time and make sure that it’s right.  He’s one of the best I’ve ever been around.”

(On what makes David Bowens so valuable to the team) -- “He’s versatile.  One year in New York, he was the special teams captain, which says a lot about him.  Last year when we had the injuries to our captains, he was voted captain.  He played MIKE linebacker last year and called the defenses.  He’s played outside linebacker, he’s played defensive end in sub, he’s played defensive tackle in sub.  He has a way to relate to anybody regardless of their background.  It could be the most straight-laced guy, it could be the least straight-laced guy, he’s got a way to connect with them.  He has a presence and he’s confident in who he is and what he says and he says it in a way that people want to follow him and don’t resent the fact that he’s honest.  I really think once he gets out of football, if coaching was his next decision, I think he’d be outstanding in that role.  I could go on and on, I’m a big fan.”

(On if he feels good about the stance the league has taken to try and prevent concussions and if there is a fine line in being too protective) -- “I do feel strongly that we should protect the players, especially the helmet to helmet contact and the concussions.  But if you do drop the area where you are going to hit, then that’s probably going to spike some other area in terms of injuries.  I think that the goal at the end of the day is to have an aggressive, tough, physical style of football across the league that’s also smart and safe and effective and protects our players as much as we possibly can.”

(On if it is possible for the game to be smart and safe as well as aggressive and tough) -- “Yes, I do think it can be.  We ask the players to do a lot of things during the course of the week and learn a lot of things and react in very short amounts of time and they do it well.  Their ability to adjust is pretty amazing.  When I go back for my camp in Hartford and work with high school kids and eighth graders, you’re coaching them and you can’t figure out why they aren’t doing this thing that you’re telling them in a split second perfectly.  You get so used to that because the pro players can do that.  I’m sure that collectively, we will be able to adapt and move forward and move forward in a way that’s in the spirit of the game and still very safe.”

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