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What's Browns coach Eric Mangini saying?

By Nate Ulrich Published: November 8, 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 11-8-10

(Opening statement) -- “Good afternoon everyone.  Just got through meeting with the staff not too long ago and going through the game, a lot of good stuff in all three areas.  Offensively, to be able to control the ball like we did and have it for 38 minutes I think is huge because it keeps Tom Brady and that offense off the field.  Then to be able to control it late in the game when it’s pretty easy to understand what the approach was at that point and them having eight in the box and still being able to run the ball effectively is a really important thing to be able to do.  That combined with the success on third down, Peyton’s (Hillis) individual rushing effort which when I say individual he has those yards, but it was really a group effort by an excellent job by Lawrence (Vickers), by the tight ends, by the offensive line, the receivers, across the board.  I thought Colt (McCoy) had another nice day made some really good decisions in terms of the check with me’s, plays at the line of scrimmage to get us into the right play and out of the right play.  It was really him signaling to Peyton on the sideline there to run the stop and go, which is something that we had talked about with him during the week and said ok if you get this look, if you think it’s there give him the signal and then Peyton had to get it and (Jerod) Mayo jumped and that was an important play in that drive.  There’s really a lot of stuff that I liked offensively.  Then defensively, outside of a couple drives I thought we did a nice job of varying the looks, not just the fronts but the coverages and you have to do that with Tom (Brady) otherwise he just picks you apart.  Generating the two turnovers we had Eric Wright’s turnover late and really Abe Elam’s turnover where he stripped the ball from (Rob) Gronkowski was a huge point in the game.  Being able to hold them to what we held them to running the ball and also on third down.  One excellent team on third down, an excellent scoring offense.  Then on special teams our coverage was really good.  I thought Phil (Dawson) did a nice job with the pop kick that we asked him to execute which led to a turnover.  Even though I thought we had one good kickoff return but our average drive start was the 39 yard line, which is another important part of the game.”

(On Brian Daboll) -- “Yes, he’s got to be listed as questionable just for his decision making.  Questionable decisions.”

(On if he has seen enough to have Colt McCoy become the starting quarterback the rest of the year) -- “I was really happy again with him yesterday. Where I’ve been happy with him is we gave him some more to do this week and it was a game plan specific defense that we were facing, so it’s not just him coming up and looking at a defense that’s easy to read. It’s him coming up and looking at a defense that’s different than what has been there the last few weeks and seeing what he need to see and making those decisions.  That type of growth is something that I’ve been pleased with and he’s making the discussion harder and harder each week but we’ll see where Colt and Seneca (Wallace) are and we’ll have that discussion.  Myself and Brian (Daboll), I will talk to Mike (Holmgren) about that as well, but he’s definitely making it a lot harder.”

(On giving Colt McCoy confidence) -- “I don’t think at any point he has felt like he hasn’t gotten more and more confidence as he’s gone along and he’s earned that from the things that he’s done.  I’d say the other two guys have our confidence as well and that’s a nice situation to have, to have three guys that you feel like you can go into the game with and be successful.  Like I said I was pleased with Colt.  I thought the other thing that he did well yesterday were the plays not just the scramble for the touchdown, but he had a bootleg to our right where he had someone in his face and the initial read was covered and Josh (Cribbs) did a great job too, he was able to get the ball to Josh and then he scrambled again to our right and Brian Robiskie did a really nice job of recognizing that coming across the field and he threw a good ball there as well.  Those things they continue to build that confidence.”

(On Colt McCoy’s leadership) -- “Yes, I think the guys have seen now that given that responsibility, he can respond to that responsibility.  You don’t know with a rookie how that’s going to go and he becomes more and more trustworthy as we go.  I think that the best indication of that is us being able to give him a little bit more each week without trying to give him so much that it becomes counterproductive.”

(On if Jake Delhomme or Seneca Wallace will be able to practice on Wednesday) -- “I think, Mary Kay (Cabot) that Seneca probably will.  I think Jake might have a chance on Thursday or Friday. I think John (St. Clair) has a chance this week as well.  We may have a full group practicing this week so mark your calendars.”

(On what he meant when he said Colt McCoy looks more comfortable when he is playing rather than when he was out of the rotation) -- “What I meant by that was his whole experience has been as the main signal caller and getting all the reps and having that opportunity and that path, so then you come here and really you’re the third slash fourth. Total transition in system, total transition in comfort level, and all that stuff takes some getting used to. It’s not easy.  Typically, when a young guy becomes the starter there’s almost a sense of pressure there and with Colt, it just outside looking in felt like he was more at home there because that’s what he was used to that’s been his pattern, which is something that I hadn’t experienced before and looking at it retrospectively that’s what I thought.”

(On how important accuracy is for quarterbacks) -- “Yes, I think accuracy is huge and when you look at it or draw it up or the prototype, 6’ 4” typically, strong arm, all those things are things that cannon arm type thing but the ability to hit the open receiver on a shallow cross, on a quick out, on a seven cut. The nine routes are the nine routes that’s one thing, the deep over that’s another thing, but the ability to hit the guys that are open and put it in a spot where it’s catchable.  Also there are times where it’s catch and run type plays and if you put the ball behind the guy the run part really falls off.  He may catch it but he doesn’t get the yards he should get and Colt does throw a ball that has been accurate and is very catchable and that’s important.”

(On if he is surprised Colt McCoy hasn’t made any of those rookie mistakes) -- “I think during the preseason everyone makes some mistakes where you’re like, ‘How did that happen’.  But with rookies too it’s just such a different world.  The guy that has been giving him the calls for so long, he doesn’t hear that voice anymore. They are away from their families, they’re away from their comfort level, it’s a whole new system, it’s a whole new language.  When you’re at that position, the quarterback position, you’ve got to run everything. So not only do you have to know what you’re doing you have to know where the protection is, you have to know where the sights are, where the hots are, what the receivers are doing, what the backs are doing, the audibles are right, it’s a huge responsibility.  It amazes me watching young quarterbacks and the way they absorb stuff and the way that they work at it.  You have to have a tremendous work ethic and be really smart to have a chance, because you’re given so much information as well as so much responsibility. In addition to that, they are expected to lead.  It’s not just take care of your job, it’s take care of your job, understand what everyone is doing and by the way, Hey lead this group of guys make them believe in you.”

(On why the quarterback discussion is going to be hard when Colt McCoy is coming off these two victories) -- “I like discussions.  I think it’s important to go through things and to hear different ideas and to talk about the pluses and minuses.  At the end of the day, you’re trying to get to the best decision, the right decision and not the quick decision and I just feel it’s worthwhile to be as thorough as possible when you make something that affects so many people in so many different ways.”

(On if he is going to have to be persuaded to go with one of the other quarterbacks) -- “I’m not really at one point or another point; just kind of where I said I was we’ll talk about it and see where we are.  A lot of it is where the other guys are as well.”

(On quarterback arm strength and the transition from college spread offense) -- “I think just in terms of arm strength, there were two times this past weekend where he really over threw the receiver and the receiver had to go break the ball up, so that didn’t look like it was a problem at all.  We’ll see how the weather is but I’ve seen guys with a really strong arm be affected by a strong wind.  With the spread offense, that’s another transition that I didn’t even mention.  You go from not being under center to suddenly being under center, it’s interesting that we’re talking about that today, because for so many years everyone was under center and very rarely in shot gun and now it’s flip flopped.  That’s another thing you have to get used to is operating in both those spots.  I don’t even really think about it now whenever the plays called, it’s not like when he’s under center there’s been less production or more difficulty with that.”

(On how Colt McCoy hasn’t had any turnovers and how much it will help his case with the quarterback discussion) -- “The turnovers, that has been big and the reason you haven’t heard about them as much is because we’ve done a lot better job turning the ball over defensively and had a lot less offensively.  The other thing we talked about a lot is penalties and knock on wood those have declined.  I think we’ve had eight in the last 10 quarters.  That’s the way it should be, that’s the way it should be every game.  We talk about it with everyone.  If you have the ball in your hands, you’re carrying all of us at that point and if you turn it over it makes it a lot more difficult to keep giving you the ball.”

(On Colt McCoy’s ability to throw on the run) -- “It’s really important because throwing it on the run is two components. It’s the ability to throw on the run and it’s also the ability to not take chances at that point.  Where you’re throwing it across your body into coverage and things like that.  It’s the decision making while throwing on the run which is also important.  When you can do that, it puts more pressure on the defense because they want to keep you in the pocket because as those plays extend, it gets harder for the coverage, guys have to hold up longer, you get scramble plays that can be big plays.  That is a good thing to have.”

(On if he gets nervous when Colt McCoy throws on the run) -- “When you’re talking about throwing it across the body I thought that he was pretty lined up with Josh at that point, so it wasn’t that pair less of a throw in relative terms of when you’re outside the pocket.  The ones that I’m talking about is like the one that Matt Ryan hit on us where he was way outside the pocket and he throws it all the way across.  Nine times out of ten, eight times out of 10, that should be an interception. It probably should have been an interception in our case.  That doesn’t typically translate to high percentage plays.”

(On if Colt McCoy did any improvising in the game) -- “Each week, we’ll have a package of those plays to move the pocket type plays and that was true with Jake (Delhomme), Seneca and Colt because they build off the runs you have.  If you have stretch runs, outside runs where you’re moving the line in one direction you want to be able to counter that with bringing the quarterback the other way because that holds the back side of the defense. They can’t just run to the running game they have to honor the passing game as well.”

(On if they incorporate any plays that Colt McCoy did well with at Texas) -- “To some degree.  Brian (Daboll), when he first got the job, it’s some of those things are plays that we have.  We call them different things, but the concepts are consistent with what he’s done.  Each week whatever quarterback is in place goes through the script with Brian throughout the course of the week, ‘I feel really good about this, I don’t really feel good about this,’ and so we may start with this big bottle of plays and it just gets whittled down to ‘okay here’s the top plays in the red zone, here’s the top plays on third down, here’s the top plays in two-minute and you’re going for the highest comfort level of the quarterback.’  With the time we spend, sometimes we come up with concepts we think are really good and that guy doesn’t like it, so he’s not going to run it very well. If he’s not going to run it with conviction there’s no sense in keeping a play like that in the plan.”

(On how Colt McCoy’s football IQ is compared to other quarterbacks) -- “It’s good.  Again, I’m learning a little bit more each week, Brian’s learning a little bit more each week, Colt’s doing a little bit more each week. This isn’t a limited look right now, but relative to my other experiences I would say he’s right up there.”

(On if he thinks they have dominated physically the last couple of weeks) -- “I don’t think there has been any week where I felt like we had been out matched physically.  My hope and expectation is that there won’t be a week like that, because that’s a starting point in what we want to do, playing physical football, playing tough football.  Making sure that win or lose, whoever you’re playing understands that they were in a fight. There are bruises on all sides that are the launching point for us.  I like what we did physically yesterday.  I want to see more of it I want to see, every play, where you’re imposing your will on your opponent.”

(On if the offensive played up to the full level of their abilities Sunday, with Hillis rushing for 184 yards) -- “They played really well.  What happens though is even when you look back at the Atlanta game there was a way that we had to block that game.  There was a style, there were certain things that we had to do that we didn’t do very well.  It wasn’t just the line, it was the way we ran, some of the scheme related to that across the board.  If you don’t do what you have to do that game, then it’s not going to look very good.  If you can go out and identify, ‘Okay these are the plays we have to run, this is how we have to run them and this is who we have to take care of,’ and then go do it, it should look good each week.  When you don’t, that’s when you get the negative plays, the plays where you’re getting blown up in the backfield and now you’re behind the count.  You don’t feel very good about calling them again.  This coming week, we are going to have to play New York totally different than we played New England.  It’s just a dramatically different style and we have to come in on Wednesday and say, ‘Okay this is what we have to do, this is how we have to do it and we have to make sure we actually go in and do that.’  If you don’t, if you miss one of those steps, it’s not going to be very good.”

(On on Hillis often hurdling opposing defensive players) -- “I love it when they work.  He’s been doing that for awhile and the nice thing about is when you hit somebody, when you hit a DB enough times, they’re going to stop trying to hit you in the chest.  They start going for your legs so there are those opportunities to hurdle them and you know with Peyton, where do you want to hit him?  Do you want to hit him in the chest or the legs?  I’d imagine he’ll probably keep doing that and now it adds uncertainty to the tackler.  Where do I go to get this guy down?”

(On if the team is starting to develop a more physical style of play) -- “I’d say it starts with being coordinated.  It starts with everybody understanding, ‘Okay, this is what we have to do.’  It also goes into not being intimidated by anybody.  You can’t go out on Sunday and stick your toe in the water and see how it feels before you jump in.  You have got to attack and attack early and often and consistently throughout the course of the game.  We have got a lot of guys that aren’t intimidated by the opponent.  Sometimes you can lose a game before you even play it just based on not being certain whether or not you should be in that game.”

(On if they were intimidated by teams the first half of last season) -- “A lot of things happened the first half of last year.  I think it’s really a growth process Terry (Pluto), where them getting to know me and the system and what we’re trying to achieve and vice versa.  Getting to know each other, really learning what expectations are, really understanding the game plan and there’s a lot of stuff that goes into a new environment and there’s a lot of growing pains.  It’s not always fun.  There was a lot of ‘not always fun moments.’  You understand as a group, ‘Okay, this is what we have to do.’  Winning is fun.”

(On if he thinks that the players they added this past season bring more of a physical style of play) -- “I think it’s not just the physical style, it’s the attitude.  Scott (Fujita) was one of the speakers on Saturday night and he’s not intimidated by anybody.  He’s not intimidated by the Patriots, he’s not intimidated by the Saints, it’s just that understanding of what we can do.  Right on down the line we have got a lot of guys, (Matt) Roth, I don’t think he’s intimidated by anything.  You could put a tank in front of him and he wouldn’t be intimidated.  You put those guys together and it’s a good thing.”

(On how much better he feels after these last two wins) -- “I feel a lot better.  Believe me, this is a lot more fun talking today than it was before.  I feel the best for the guys collectively and the coaches collectively because they work, and I know I say it a lot, but they work hard.  They care and it means something and it hurts when we lose and playing in Cleveland means something.  The city means something, being in front of our fans means something and you want to see them be rewarded for that.  You want to reward the fans for their loyalty, you want to be able to give those groups what they deserve.  That’s important.”

(On how he feels about the direction the team is going and if these past two wins legitimizes their progress) -- “Part of what we have to do is win consistently.  That’s a continuing part of this process.  I don’t think you can skip any of the stages, but it’s nice to have the wins that we had against the opponents that we had them against.  It doesn’t get any easier.  New York rolls in at 6-2 and all of the different things that they can do, so here we are.  It’s going to be another week of getting ready for a really difficult team.”

(On if these last two wins vindicate his program and methods of what he is doing here) -- “I don’t know if that’s the word I’d use.  To me, I really think that any transition I’ve been through and the transition in New York, that was difficult too because you have a certain level of expectation and a certain philosophy.  Everybody wants to move forward, but they want to do it in a very comfortable way.  Very rarely can you have growth without changing things and dealing with all of the stuff that comes with that, but I believe in it.  I really believe in what we do, I believe in people, that’s the core of it.  I believe in good people and work.  Good people, good work ethic, working together and I think when you have that, you’re going to see progress.  It may not always be really flashy or impressive, but you’re going to keep taking steps.”

(On how long he thinks it took for players to buy into his philosophies) -- “You’d see a little bit more each week and you’d get a little bit better each week last year.  At the end of the day, you’re really evaluated by did you win or did you not win?  Even though things may have gotten better in certain areas or there was growth in certain areas or players improved, really the benchmark is the wins.  It’s hard to show that progress externally even though you’re seeing it happening internally.  A lot of guys were working at it.  The nice thing in the second year is guys start becoming teachers and start helping along the process.  That tends to make it go a lot smoother and ideally accelerates it.”

(On how Hillis has been for them this season) -- “He’s been great.  There’s two sides of it, his performance on the field, which he runs the ball like a beast, he has outstanding hands and he makes a lot of plays there.  That’s one part of it, but he’s also a great teammate.  He’s humble.  If he gets the ball, he gets the ball.  If he doesn’t get the ball and he’s blocking, he’s happy to do that.  He’s supportive.  It’s hard to ask for a lot more than that as a head coach.”

(On if there are some things that they switched up in teaching the offensive line) -- “There were definitely some things that we did differently and George (Warhop) has a different style than some offensive line coaches.  I think George does a really, really good job.  He’s detailed, he’s demanding, he’s very smart and I’ve been lucky.  I had Bill Callahan in New York later while I was there and he was outstanding. Now I have George and he’s outstanding.  They’re going to work hard, they’re going to work together and he’s going to push them to get better each day.  It doesn’t matter who it is, he’s on Joe Thomas like he’s on Shawn Lauvao and that’s the way it should be.  It’s what we are supposed to do is push the guys to get better and improve.”

(On if running the ball for an extended period consecutively takes a lot out of the offensive line) -- “I actually think it’s the flip of that Terry.  I think those guys get charged up when you run the ball.  It’s almost like you’re giving them a Five Hour Energy because they come up, ‘Yeah,  run the ball again.”  They love it.  (Lawrence) Vickers, you don’t need to give him anything. He’s charged up as it is.  There’s a sense of real pride when you can sit there and they’ve got eight in the box and they’re lined up ready to stop you and they can’t.  It’s contagious and they’re all lobbying at that point to run the ball more.”

(On if Abram Elam is playing better than he did last year) -- “I think he’s made improvements in some areas Jeff (Schudel), I really do.  Some of the things that you don’t really appreciate with Abe and what he’s doing is he’s working with a rookie safety next to him.  That’s not easy to do and then you throw a rookie corner in those sub packages and the variations of the sub packages, those safeties have to make a lot of calls.  T.J. (Ward) is doing a nice job, but Abe is the veteran back there so some of the stuff that he does is about getting guys lined up as much as it is the plays that he makes.  It’s challenging.  Sheldon (Brown) has been great and Eric (Wright) has been great, in terms of communicating, but typically the safety is the guy that runs that stuff and there’s only one guy back there that has more than eight games under their belt.”


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