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What's Browns coach Eric Mangini saying?

By Nate Ulrich Published: October 27, 2010

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

Browns Head Coach Eric Mangini press conference 10-27-10

(Opening statement) -- “Good morning everybody.  I think you guys got the release on David Bowens being named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week. That’s great for him, first time in his career.  It’s probably overdue and well deserved and we’re all really happy for him.  In terms of practice yesterday, as we talked about yesterday morning it was our first and second down emphasis.  Coaches, I thought, did a good job going back through and identifying some of the things that we needed to look at.  Some of the things are things we’re going to take out, some of the things are additions that we’re going to introduce here or add on to the package in any of the three areas after the bye.  They diagramed that stuff up, met with the players, there was some component of watching the game tape from last week because we didn’t do that Monday and then we went through the sort of compellation tape, the adjustments, walked through it, practiced it, watched the tape on the corrections.  Now this morning, it’s the same process, it’s a third down emphasis with some work on two minute as well.  Then after today’s meetings this afternoon the players will be off until Monday.  What we’ll do is we’ll come back Monday and we’ll work on red zone, goal line and the things that are specific to Friday’s prep.  Some teams in the bye week will do three days in a row of practice, I like to split it up and do the two days on the front end, have a block of time where the guys can get away, recharge their batteries, spend some time with the family, things that that, come back in, hit the things again on Monday, work on the red area and goal line and then go into a normal week with Tuesday off and normal New England prep.”

(On if they were working on any New England stuff this week) -- “No, no New England stuff this week and we’ve never worked on that.  Now the coaches will do some work on New England but in terms of with the players, that’s not something that we will do.  It’s really Browns centered, what we need to fix and what we need to work on.  That also carries over to the individual players so the coaches will talk to the different players, give them some things that they want them to improve on.  I’ve asked the players to look at their game and their preparation and identify two or three things to work on, have a plan in place to work on them, do those things in practice.  The other thing we’ll look at as a staff is the game planning process, the preparation whether it be the team meetings, the squad meetings, the individual meetings, individual periods at practice so it’s trying to be as comprehensive as possible.”

(On if the coaches get time off during the bye week) -- “Yes, they’ll be off a couple days over the weekend and have a chance to get away as well.”

(On if he will get some time off during the bye week) -- “Yes, that does include me. I’ll be off and do some things with the boys, the boys usually have a pretty busy weekend.  It’s funny, Jake (Mangini) went into school the other day and he was with my wife and they passed by one of the teachers and the teacher said, ‘What a great weekend, what a great weekend,’ and Jake yelled back, ‘Yeah, I went to the zoo.’  He’s got good perspective on the season and we’ll just do some fun family things.  Even just being able to go out in the yard and play and hang out will be great.”

(On if Halloween is a big holiday for their family) -- “Yes, I think Jake is going to be Shadow. I’m not really familiar with Shadow’s work but I will get familiar with it, and Luke (Mangini) is going to be Scooby Doo.  Scooby Doo’s made a resurgence.  He’s Scooby Doo and Zack (Mangini), he’s going to have one of their costumes from previous years.  I’ve seen Buzz Lightyear on him, Elmo, I don’t know what one he’s going to choose.”

(On if his son Zack gets the hand me downs) -- “He does for a while.  He’s got two brothers so he’s got a selection.”

(On if Mike Bell has been here long enough to get a sense for what he can do for the team) -- “I think each week that he’s here we get more and more of a familiarity but I think the things that we liked about him are the things we expect him to do here.  He’s a tough, physical runner, he’s a downhill runner, he’s been good in pass protection, he’s a sharp guy, he’s got a lot of experience, a lot of play time and I think he complements Peyton (Hillis) well and I think he complements the running game well.  In terms of how big his role will be game in and game out, that will be changing and evolving depending on the opponent depending on the plan.  It’s the same thing with Thomas (Clayton). I think there are some similarities there between him and the other backs.”

(On Bell saying teams will put eight men in the box when he is in until he can prove he is a threat as a receiver) -- “That would be great.  If they want to put it in the box while he’s in we’ll throw the ball.  It’s one of those things that if that’s the approach and you’re going to get eight in the box and you just check off to a pass and throw it because the back end will be light.”

(On his thoughts as the Bill Belichick game approaches) -- “I don’t really view it as the Belichick game, I view it as the New England game.  I came back here as a Patriot as well that was a tough afternoon.  It was 2000, wow it was rough and hopefully it will be as rough again for that side.”

(On who isn’t practicing today) -- “Let’s see, today John (St. Clair), Seneca (Wallace), Jake (Delhomme), (Eric) Steinbach, I think that’s it right now.”

(On what Steinbach’s issue is) -- “Nothing, just some soreness and things from the game.  It’s nothing really dramatic. It’s just more of a we thought it would be a good idea right now.”

(On when St. Clair will be better) -- “Hopefully, after the bye is what I’m hopeful for.  I don’t think it’s a slam dunk but that’s what I’m hoping for.  We’ll see.  He’s a tough guy and he wants to push to get back as quickly as he can but as a bigger guy it takes some time.  There are some different things that he has to do.  He’s really got to be able to put his foot in the ground and anchor.   That’s my hope, I don’t think it’s a lock but that’s what I’m hoping for.”

(On if Shawn Lauvao’s health was an issue when deciding to start Billy Yates) -- “No, it wasn’t physical it was Billy had a better week in practice. He just played better than Shawn did last week.  That’s the important thing that Shawn has to do at this point is establish that that should be his job.  As we’ve talked about with any guys fighting for play time or working for play time, nobody’s going to give it to you, nobody’s going to hand it to you and we’re not going to hand it to anyone either.  It’s just got to be he deserves it, he did the best job and I thought Billy did last week.  They got equal reps, they split time starting the periods and after the end of the week, collectively, we felt that Billy had the better week.”

(On how Floyd Womack did at right tackle) -- “He did well, he did well.  That’s one of the things I really like about Floyd is he’s versatile, he’s consistent, things don’t faze him, he’s just really a reliable guy.”

(On pleasant surprises from the first part of the season) -- “I’ve been happy with the way that we’ve worked throughout the course of the first part of the season.  I think that defensively we’ve shown a lot of flexibility in terms of what we can do, and what the players can handle from a game plan perspective and their ability to identify things that are being done offensively and use that in a proactive way.  I feel like we’re passing the ball better offensively.  I feel like we’ve done a better job against in the run game defensively. I think our coverage units have been outstanding on special teams.  I think Ahtyba Rubin has really established himself as a young emerging solid player and I love the guy’s work ethic and I love his finish.  He’s really stood out to me because he got the opportunity last year and then he’s built on that and his technique is sounder and his effort.  There was another play last week where he makes a tackle 15 yards down the field.  Typically you don’t see guys his size make those effort plays game in and game out. That’s going to go a long way for him and that’s going to go a long way for us to have some like him in the middle of our defense with that type of work ethic and toughness and dependability.  I’m really pleased with him.  I’ve enjoyed watching how Scott (Fujita) and Chris (Gocong) have worked into the defense and the things that they’ve brought.  I think Matt Roth has continued to develop as a linebacker and he’s still doing the things that he was doing last year but he’s evolving as an outside linebacker in this system.  I think we’re doing a better job defensively with playing everybody which is important to me because you want to keep guys fresh throughout four quarters.  T.J. Ward has done some really good things as a rookie.  He’s got some other things that we really need to get corrected and we’ll work on.  I think Joe (Haden) continues to evolve.  I think Colt (McCoy) has done a great job with his chances which I’m really pleased with.  Carlton Mitchell has come on.  It may not have translated into the game but he got his first chance to be active, made another really good catch last week, like his work ethic.”

(On the disappointments from the first part of the season) -- “We’ve improved our tackling but it’s not where it should be there’s too many blocked tackles, guys are going in and just hitting with their shoulders and that can be better.  A play that was frustrating to me Tony (Grossi) was the one with (Rashard) Mendenhall where we had him backed up, we had him for a one yard loss and he bounces out and goes 25 yards.  That shouldn’t happen.  Even the Michael Turner play where he breaks through the middle of the field, we have two opportunities to tackle him for a much smaller gain and it goes for much more than it should.  Those plays I don’t think should happen.  We have improved a lot in that area but that shouldn’t happen.  I think we’ve had some missed opportunities on big plays defensively where they could have been big plays for us and they end up being big plays for our opponent.  They were small misses but again that margin for error is so slim against good teams that that’s what’s going to happen so I want to improve there.  We’ve had some big plays in the passing game and you can go back to what I was talking about a second ago that I think we can improve on there.  Offensively, I feel like we should be able to run the ball against any team that we play regardless of scheme.  It’s going to be different each week but that should be consistent.  I liked what we did especially in the fourth quarter last week where we were able to run the ball the way we did but that shouldn’t just show up sporadically.  I’m looking for consistency there.  In terms of protection, I think the lines done a good job communicating out the different looks that we’ve gotten, but there’s been some times that we haven’t held up as well as I feel like we should, and I think collectively like we feel like we should.  I don’t know if I’d classify them as disappointments as much as the expectation is high and I want us to meet that expectation week in and week out.”

(On Ahtyba Rubin’s pursuit on defense and if he has always had that effort) -- “I’ve only known him this short amount of time and I wasn’t that familiar with him in college.  A lot of his plays do happen on pursuit and that’s one of the things that we always talk about defensively.  It’s communication, it’s disguise and it’s pursuit, those are things that we should do every single play.  Pursuit, it doesn’t matter what your ability is you can run to the football.  It has nothing to do with talent or any of that stuff it’s just has to do with effort and what’s right, and he consistently does that and he makes plays.  You see so many plays each week across the league where someone made an effort play that changes the game.  What you like about a guy like Rubin is that position typically doesn’t run to the ball that way so he’s a great example of what you can do if you want to do it and what that translates in to in terms of production.  He spoke to the team one night and he just said you guys are really important to me and I’m not going to let you down and you can count on me game in and game out.  He’s not a man of a thousand words but it was sincere and it’s been backed up by what he does.  You just have a lot of respect for that.”

(On if Rubin is in better shape than most nose tackles) -- “He’s a bigger guy, but he’s not sloppy at all.  I think he’s in pretty good shape.  I like to think that collectively we are in pretty good shape.  He works at it and he’ll do some extra running during practice, which helps.”

(On how much the bye week will help Peyton Hillis get back to the physical level he was at against Baltimore) -- “I don’t think he’s lacked any sort of physical presence over the last few games.  He’s still running over people.  In terms of his numbers, some of it just comes down to how the game is going and how many carries we can give him each game.  You’d like to be able to give him the ball enough times for that physical style of play to become magnified in the fourth quarter.  When the defense is tried, if you can keep ramming guys with someone like Peyton, he makes you pay when you tackle him.  Those per carry yards increase substantially.  I think the bye will help everybody physically get over some bumps and bruises and the different things that have been nagging through the early part of the season.  I think it will help him as well, but I really don’t think he’s lost any of his physical play to this point.”

(On if he feels that he knows exactly what and who Hillis is at this point in the season) -- “I felt like I had a pretty good idea of who he was when he ran all over us in New York and caught a bunch of balls.  That’s why it was important for me to get him here.  Sometimes it’s like anybody else that’s doing something for the first time, he’s never been a full season starter because he’s never had the opportunity to be a full season starter.  He will have that opportunity here and I’m looking forward to seeing what he does with it over the course of 16 games.”

(On how important it is to improve the production at wide receiver) -- “We want everybody involved.  What I’d like to do is have wide spread distribution during the course of a game where multiple guys are catching balls.  Typically if you have that, that means that the quarterback is going to the right place with the read, everybody is contributing, you’re putting different pressure on the defense play in and play out.  That’s what I’d like to see, but what we won’t do is force the ball somewhere just to generate numbers.  We will look for opportunities to get everybody involved, but we are not going to press it in order to increase numbers for one spot just because the numbers aren’t there.”

(On how close he thinks his team is to being consistently good) -- “I think, Jeff (Schudel), that that’s going to depend on us doing two things consistently well, which is not turning the ball over and not getting penalties.  When you’ve handled those two things, then you have the chance to play consistently well every single game.  They’re critical.  We’ve made some strides in penalties in terms of the last two games, those have been down.  Not having the turnovers last game, that was extremely important.  You’ve got to get over that part, you can’t beat yourself and then hope to beat the opponent.  You have to start with not making those mistakes, those self-inflicted wounds and beating yourself, and then pour the effort into beating your opponent.”


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