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What's Browns coach Eric Mangini saying?

By Nate Ulrich Published: November 3, 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 11-3-10

(Opening statement) -- “Good morning everyone.  A couple guys are missing today, really it’s the same guys, it will be John (St. Clair), Seneca (Wallace) and Jake (Delhomme) and then Jason Trusnik won’t be here this morning he just had a little baby boy, Austin, so we are happy for him and his wife, his first.  His whole world is about to change, he doesn’t even know.  In moving in to the Patriots, I’d say the first thing that stands out about them is what a good job they do at not beating themselves.  They’ve done that historically where they just don’t make those mistakes that cost them the game and their very good at capitalizing on the mistakes that other people make.  You look at the San Diego game whether there was the ball that rookie receiver put on the ground, or the backward pass that they returned, things like that that consistently they don’t make those mistakes and they take advantage of their opponents when they do.  Statistically, it’s not glaring statistics in one area in terms of just outrageous in the top category in this one or that one.  Obviously, points scored offensively is a majored one but overall that’s not the focal point. The focal point is doing whatever they need to do on that Sunday to win the game.  When you look at them defensively, like the other two phases, it’s game plan specific.  We’ll see some things that other people didn’t see. It’s very sound in the running game and the passing game and they don’t give up big plays.  Vince Wilfork, I think, is a real force with the defensive line they move him around some.  Jerod Mayo has done an outstanding job. He’s got a tremendous amount of tackles especially compared to the next highest guy on the roster which is Patrick Chung.  The secondary is young but I think they’ve done a good job overall.  Offensively, they’ve got Tom (Brady), that’s the starting point and he’s just so good at identifying what the defense is and then taking advantage of the defense.  He’s a complete equal opportunity quarterback, it doesn’t matter who he’s throwing to he’s going to the open guy, he’s going to defeat the scheme and they are going to keep moving the ball down the field.  He’s got a lot of different weapons whether it’s Wes Welker or they’re dishing it to Deion Branch. Benjarvus Green-Ellis I think he’s done a nice job running the ball. Danny Woodhead, who we had at New York, really an amazing story the guy’s 5-7, 200 pounds and doing a great job.  Some young tight ends I think have really produced for them with (Aaron) Hernandez and (Rob) Gronkowski.  They’re a challenge and they’re going to do whatever it takes to move the ball and they do that each week and they do it well.  On special teams it’s really the same thing.  They’ve done a nice job of taking advantage of opportunities like the blocked punt and the blocked field goal against Miami. They had the kickoff return for a touchdown against Miami.  They’ve produced some other big plays in coverage there and they’ve got a range of guys that can return the ball and do it well.”

(On if Colt McCoy will start on Sunday with Delhomme and Wallace still out) -- “He’ll take all the reps today and like I said I think Seneca is closer to coming back than Jake but we’ll have to see how it goes.  Assuming that stays the way it is now, that would be my intention.”

(On if he can summarize the influence Bill Belichick had on his career) -- “It’s hard to summarize.  A tremendous influence because working with him here and as a first time coach and being able to see things from that perspective I was actually on the offensive side and I got to view it from that angle, but being able to see his work ethic and his complete knowledge of all three phases, the attention to detail, that left a lasting impression.  That last year was a difficult year to say the least and to see how that unfolded and then to fast forward to New York and be an assistant of his in the secondary when he was coaching the secondary as a defensive coordinator and be able to learn secondary play from him and also see how he operated as a defensive coordinator.  Then moving to New England going through the lean year that we had there in 2000 and the transition that we made in 2001 and the subsequent years really affected probably all aspects of my development.  I am really happy that I had that chance because I think he’s arguably one of the best, if not the best coaches in the league.”

(On his relationship with Belichick now) -- “I don’t think it’s changed in the last few years.  Like I said I have tremendous respect for him and it really hasn’t changed since I was in New York.”

(On how Belichick was not popular when he was in Cleveland and how that affected him) -- “I think that sometimes the things you do aren’t really understood but Bill believes in things that he does and there’s a commitment to that and the other underlying factor for everything that he does is winning, and that’s the driving force.  I’ve always been impressed at his ability to make a decision that may not be the popular decision but it’s the right decision and that’s not always easy to do.  That’s often very difficult to do and a lot of the best CEOs and politicians and leaders can do that, they can make those decisions that on the face are very unpopular but are needed in order to grow and to improve and to be successful.  He’s done it time and time again and been successful time and time again.  That’s really the way I viewed it.”

(On if there is ever a time that him when he and Belichick can be friends again) -- “I’d say never say never.  Obviously, he was very important to me and I respect him, very important to my family and all those things but we’ll see. Time will tell.”

(On if it is true that Belichick told him not to take the New York Jets job) -- “No, we talked about it, I was in my house at Medfield when I told him about getting the job and he was very supportive of it and we had a great conversation.  In terms of anything that’s been said subsequent of that I don’t really know.  I know that conversation was very positive and very supportive and I thanked him for really allowing me to grow and to get that opportunity and having that chance.”

(On if he is disappointed that his relationship with Belichick hasn’t changed in the last few years) -- “I think everything takes care of itself over time.  He’s had a lot to focus on, I’ve had a lot to focus on so it’s just one of those things right now.”

(On how Belichick presented the Browns’ move to the staff) -- “I think that’s one of those things Steve (Doerschuk) that you don’t even have to say it. It’s just kind of understood.  You know you see those black clouds in the horizon, you know there’s probably going to be a storm.  The important thing that we were trying to do is make sure that in the midst of a very difficult situation because it affected everyone. It affected everyone in the city, everyone in the state, and then it affected all the players on the team, all their families, there wasn’t anybody who wasn’t touched by that decision and there wasn’t anybody who didn’t have a lot of uncertainty because of that decision.  Then you’re trying to put together game plans to win games.  You talk about trying to center guys and focus guys, that’s a lot of stuff to work around and try to get guys to focus.  That’s kind of how I remember it.”

(On why he and Belichick like to mold players that aren’t considered to be top prospects) -- “Because guys, when they come in the league, they can grow.  They can get better, they can change, they can evolve and if you get guys with a good work ethic that are smart and have talent and then you give them the tools to get better, they are going to take advantage of them. Eventually they become really good players.  Sometimes it’s just about giving them an opportunity and then spending time with them to help them learn.  Danny Woodhead is a good example of that.  We talked to him after the draft and got him to come to New York.  He played a little bit, he was on the practice squad and now he’s getting the opportunity and he’s got a great work ethic.  He just keeps committing to his craft and it shows up.”

(On if he learned that lesson about developing players from Belichick) -- “Yes, it’s a huge lesson to constantly try to develop the people you have in the building and provide opportunities for people to be successful.  Give them tools to work their way up and reward that when they do. There have been so many guys over the years that have done that and have done a great job. You look at Mike DeVito in New York, he’s playing really well, he’s an undrafted free agent.  Steve Neal, a wrestler that worked at it and was kicked around.  He started a bunch of years, never played college football.”

(On if he learned anything about handling the pressures of being a head coach by watching Belichick) -- “Bill’s a pretty focused guy and I think the important thing is that you have to know what you stand for, know what you believe in and have conviction.  There’s always going to be differences of opinion and you respect the differences of opinion, but at the end of the day you have to go with what you feel is right and what you believe is right.  Sometimes it is right, sometimes it’s wrong, but there’s always going to be ideas and thoughts as to how you can do something differently.  Your job is to do what you feel is going to give the team an opportunity to be successful.”

(On if he thinks the desire to coach has left Mike Holmgren) -- “I don’t think it ever leaves your system.  I think once you have it, it’s always there.  Luke Steckel’s dad, Les, comes in from time to time and we talk.  He’s doing something totally different now, but you can feel his passion and his energy when he talks about the game.  He coached, I think, Luke’s high school team for a little while.  It’s just in you.  He’s gone on and done other things and done them really well, but it’s a great job.  You get a chance to deal with strategy, you get a chance to deal with people, especially younger people.  I feel weird saying younger people, but there’s an energy there.  It’s a great job and it’s a fun job.”

(On if he can appreciate Holmgren’s stance on coaching) -- “Yes, you always sit around with other coaches sometimes and think, ‘What would you do if you weren’t coaching?  What would your job have been if you weren’t a coach?’  When you try to figure that out, it’s hard to really pinpoint where you would end up.”

(On if given the opportunity, would he talk with Belichick and reconcile to get past the videotaping incident in New England) -- “You know Mary Kay (Cabot), I really moved past that personally.  That is in the past.  I don’t know if that would be the focal point of the discussion.  It’s such a hypothetical, I’m not really sure how the conversation would go or would look like.  I don’t have a great answer for that.”

(On why he thinks there is so much made of their post game handshakes) -- “I don’t know why, they seem to be very entertaining.  I don’t know, I’m not sure.”

(On how the Patriots continuously and successfully plug in new players after old ones leave) -- “There’s a strong system in place, especially offensively.  That system has been in place for a long time.  You figure this is the 10th or 11th year of the program, so there’s been a lot of reps built up.  There’s a strong foundation there as to how things work, so you can take some guys that are less familiar with what you are doing and be able to place them in there and have them be successful.  There is a fundamental commitment, and this is across the board whether it’s players, coaches, whoever it is, you do whatever you can do to help the team win.  It’s not about anything besides that.  You catch zero balls, it doesn’t matter.  You catch 50 balls, it doesn’t matter.  You have 10 tackles it doesn’t matter.  It’s just what can you do to win that game that week, and that is the solitary focus each week.  When you have that, it gives you a tremendous opportunity to be successful each week.”

(On comparing the 1995 Browns absorbing Andre Rison’s ego to the Patriots having to do the same with Randy Moss) -- “I don’t really know in terms of Moss, but I know that the way it operates, there’s no absorption of anybody’s ego.  Egos are left before you go into the building. That’s not how it works.  You’re part of the greater good, it’s not so and so supported by the New England Patriots.  It’s the New England Patriots featuring whoever.”

(On if they will put in a waiver claim for Randy Moss) -- “I talked to Tom (Heckert) and I don’t think we are going to do that, no.”

(On if Benjamin Watson has been what he expected him to be) -- “Yes, Ben has been great.  He has been very productive in the passing game.  I think he adds some things vertically to what we can do.  I think he has done a really good job in the running game as well, giving us balance between his ability to be a threat in the passing game and a balance in the running game as well. He’s a great person, a great teammate, so all of the things that we were looking for and expected, he has definitely been.”


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