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What's Browns coach Eric Mangini saying?

By Nate Ulrich Published: November 15, 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 11-15-10

(Opening statement) -- “Good afternoon everybody.  In talking to the guys this morning and talking to the coaches, there were a lot of things that we can learn from this game. There were a lot of opportunities that we had that we weren’t able to take advantage of, but all that being said I was really proud of the way we played.  I was proud of the things that we did in terms of dealing with the different types of adversity we faced during the game, the different challenges, how physical it was, the defense was on the field for 91 plays.  We were behind the eight ball on that two minute drive and we were able to move down the field and score.  Some of the plays that we made on special teams,  just the total commitment by the group to do anything they could to win the game and we came out on the short side of it and it’s disappointing but there’s nobody I was disappointed in.  Sometimes you have to go through and feel this type of pain in order to grow and there was that in the locker room but it’s like any process that you have with a muscle it gets sore, it hurts and then it grows stronger.  You felt that growth and in order for us to do that, we need to continue with the really good things that we’ve been doing.  I think that there have been a lot of those things, the way that we practice, the way that we look at each game as not part of a season but one game seasons and the total focus is on that game and we’re getting better at that.  We went through the corrections this afternoon, this morning and looking forward to coming back on Wednesday and refocusing on the Jaguars.”

(On if he has updates on Joshua Cribbs, Sheldon Brown and Scott Fujita) -- “I think Scott could be a little while. I think Sheldon and Josh you’ll probably see later during the week. I’m optimistic there with both of those guys. Billy Yates got hurt yesterday. His bicep doesn’t look real good, probably going to be out the rest of the season.”

(On if IR is likely for Fujita) -- “I don’t really know what the time frame is yet.  It’s still really early but probably going to be a little while.  I’ll have a better idea as we go along.”

(On what Yates hurt) -- “His bicep.  It looks like he’s heading to IR.”

(On if Fujita hurt a knee ligament) -- “His knee, yes I guess it’s a ligament.”

(On how much Fujita’s injury changed the game in terms of the rotation) -- “Really all of those guys affected things.  With Josh (Cribbs) the first thing is you lose the impact on the return game. That’s a huge part of our attack on special teams. All the Wildcat plays are really out of the mix at that point, there are some other plays that we had specifically for him that we couldn’t use and I thought he was have a good day. He caught that 37-yarder on the shallow cross.  He gets a lot of attention when he he’s in so he takes pressure off of other people so you take him out of the mix and there’s a whole range of options they don’t have to defend as intensely or as closely so that affects things.  With Scott, he calls the plays, gets calls from Rob (Ryan), makes the calls, he works so well with Eric (Barton), Chris (Gocong) and the rest of the group getting the adjustments, he plays in every single group, plus his ability in the passing game. I think he’s got outstanding ability in both man to man and zone coverage. There are some things that you have to move around there as well so that affected things.  With Sheldon, there’s really a couple different things, that moved quite a few people around from a DB perspective in terms of spots they had spent most of the time practicing.  It also affects special teams because those guys that come in and get more reps, they’re also core special teams players and with a game going as long as it did to be down three guys for three quarters it just adds on.  Now that being said, I thought the group did a great job of adjusting and adapting and playing tough the rest of the game.”

(On if he thought about going for a two point conversion after making the score 20-19)- “Yes, Brad (Seely) and I talked about it. I thought about it but I felt that if we kept going we were going to pull it out and I didn’t want it all to hinge on that one play, but we did talk about it.  I felt good about us moving forward and being able to finish the game in our way.”

(On when he would be more inclined to go for a two point conversion) -- “It depends if your defense, you don’t think they’re going to be able to make a play or stop them and I felt like we could and we would.  That would be one situation where you’d think about it or if the offense is just red hot and you feel like you have a great play, something you feel really good about.  You always feel good about your two point plays, that’s why they’re your two point plays but it’s all the chips at the center of the table.”

(On if he has a sense of how the fans are reacting) -- “Yes, definitely.  Different people I talk to outside the building whether they’re Jake’s and Luke’s (Mangini) teachers or people that we may see out when we are out as a family.  They’re passionate all the time but the excitement about going to the game and the groups that are going to the game.  The energy in the stadium is always good. I thought they made it tough on the Jets a lot of times yesterday.  I’ve gotten a few letters to the house lately.  Some really nice things and then some suggestions on how we can improve, it’s always nice.  They understand how tough the game was.   One of my neighbors sent over some sauce yesterday night, kind of like you do (for a funeral).  That’s exactly what I said to Julie (Mangini), ‘Great sauce,’ (joking).  I really do and it’s just watching the players on the field and they do.  It’s a fun group to coach and there were two teams, I was with the Jets and I was really happy I was in the Browns lock room yesterday.  I was really happy I was with those guys yesterday and that’s what I told the group. That’s not a knock on the players on the Jets or anything, it’s just more a compliment to the guys that we have here.  You love working with them because they care about what they do.”

(On if he can describe how he felt after the game) -- “Every loss is tough. It’s just the way the guys, there wasn’t a moment where you felt like anyone wasn’t completely vested in what we were doing, emotionally, physically, mentally.  You want them to be coming into that locker room and feeling the satisfaction of a win.  It comes down to 25 seconds left in the fifth quarter, that’s about as close as you can fight another team so you want that so badly for the group.  You’re past the Jets thing pretty quickly as the game gets going, it’s just you want that so much for the group of guys and for all the people that were there and for all the people watching it at home.  You want to be able to have that for them.”

(On how his past teams have responded after a game like this) -- “Our group has been pretty consistent in terms of the way that they play each game and I would expect that same consistency.  I think everybody is understanding more and more about if we play our style of football, we can beat anyone, we can play with anyone.   As we get better, as we continue to improve and I’m not talking long term, I’m talking short term, as we get better at the things that we need to do and play with that same Browns football mentality those games, we’re going to stack those up and win consistently.”

(On what happened on the last play) -- “He caught a slant and really had three guys in that range and he just kind of split the triangle.  We had three in that area so anyone of them had a shot and he just split it, came out the other side.”

(On if one of the three guys could have gotten to him) -- “I would like to think that one of them would have got to him.  He did make a nice cut the way he cut the angle and the safety was coming down here, the corner from here and the linebacker was coming from here.  He kind of went through a little crease and by the time they converged, he had separated them.”

(On when he will have the starting quarterback discussion) -- “I think it could come this week or next week, one of the two because Jake (Delhomme) was inactive again this week, but he’s getting a lot closer.  Seneca (Wallace) was the two.  That drive that Colt put together, I thought, was another part of him building trust.  That’s not an easy defense to move the ball in a two minute situation and go score a touchdown on.  There was poise there, some outstanding plays from everybody.  I thought the protection was really good.  There were a couple of catches that Ben Watson made, Evan Moore’s catch and then the play there for the touchdown, but all of that also had a lot to do with the protection.  That was another part in the trust process and really that was a big part of my decision to throw the ball when we were backed up because I trusted him and I trusted the group to be able to take that chance.  That was why I made the decision that I made at that point.”

(On if he would have made the same decision today to try and go for the win at the end of overtime) -- “Yes, the ball was a little bit high, but the protection was good and Ben had a chance.  Ben, at that point, was pretty hot, so I think he would have come down with it.  It’s a tough spot.  If you get a holding penalty, it’s a safety and it’s over.  I just thought that was the right time because I’m sure they were assuming we were going to run the ball on first down and try to get some yards.  That’s really where we had to do it.”

(On some missed opportunities on passes from McCoy) -- “He missed them, but you also have to give him credit for getting to the position to where he could even throw them.  Both of those were scramble throws where he extended the play.  One was with the free rusher that he avoided and I thought both of those receivers did a nice job of uncovering, giving him a chance.  Those will hit eventually as well.  He’s hit some really good scramble throws to (Brian) Robiskie and (Joshua) Cribbs and a few over the last couple of weeks.”

(On if the sauce deliveries will stop if he benches McCoy) -- “No, it’s a neighbor.”

(On if he gets the sense that the whole town believes in McCoy) -- “I think he, like the rest of the group, is giving them a lot to believe in.  That’s a big part of it.”

(On if thinks they have found their quarterback of the future in McCoy) -- “Oh no.  I mean I can’t say that after four games.  I can say that I like a ton of the stuff about him, but you don’t want to put that type of pressure on him either.  You have got to let him to continue to grow and develop.  That’s a lot of pressure, not that he hasn’t been under a lot of pressure, but I’m not going to add to it.”

(On if McCoy is the quarterback that gives him the best chance to win now) -- “Again, we will talk about that, but thanks for asking it a different way (joking).”

(On what he is looking for out of his team in the remaining seven games of the season) -- “I’m looking for a lot of what we’ve seen so far in terms of the way that we play on Sunday, where it’s tough, it’s physical, it’s finishing the games, the plays.  Everybody’s happy for each other’s success and supporting each other, playing complementary football.  Continuing to grow as a team, in terms of the way we prepare in the building, at practice and looking at each opponent as what it is, the most important thing that we can focus on.  It’s just one game seasons, it’s just a series of one game seasons.  That’s what I’m looking for.”

(On if he sees his team being able to go on a winning streak like they did at the end of last year) -- “We had two and I thought we were going to get the third yesterday, then we would work on Jacksonville.  Now we will go back, reset and get one.”

(On why he chose a running play on second down deep in their own territory late in overtime) -- “Because we were trying to get it to third and manageable at that point, so if you miss it you’re back to third and 10.  I thought we could pick up four or five yards there and get it to third and manageable, so if the pass wasn’t open, he would have more room to scramble and be more likely to pick it up on third and four, third and five or third and six than third and 10.  That was one of our runs that has hit and I felt good about, kind a core run that we’ve had a lot of success with.”

(On if he has any regrets about his decisions toward the end of overtime) -- “I believed in the play, I believed that Colt would make a good decision and a good throw.  I believed that the offensive line would give us time.  The best time to run that, I felt, was on first down where I think the emphasis from their perspective was going to be on stopping the run and it was a good matchup that I thought we had with Ben.  It’s like the surprise onside kick, you make the call and if it works, it’s great and if it doesn’t, you move on and you play the next play.  I felt good about that call, I thought we had a real chance to get it.  The tackle had bailed early like we thought he would and we just weren’t able to keep it in bounds.  When you go through a range of decisions, you’d love to take every one that didn’t work back and keep all of the ones that did.  At the time, you’re just looking at it like, ‘Okay, here is what we’ve got, here’s the situation,’ and you go with it.”

(On if a tie might not have done them any good in the long run) -- “We had two timeouts left and I thought we were going to hit a chunk.  If we hit that one and we get one or two more chunks, let Phil (Dawson) kick, even if it’s a really long field goal, just give him a shot to do it.”

(On how long Dawson said he would be able to hit from before the game) -- “I think we felt good going that direction probably from the 35.  If we were on the 40, we would have taken a shot.  About the 35 I’d say”

(On if Joe Haden outran the onside kick before it went out of bounds) -- “Joe got a little deep and the angle kind of took it a little tighter.  There are little angles both ways that could have changed it.”

(On if Lawrence Vickers deserves major consideration for the Pro Bowl) -- “Lawrence and Peyton (Hillis) together, that’s a rough duo to deal with because Vickers is going to hit you, then Peyton is going to hit you and they’re both about 250 and they both like it.  Every time he hits someone, he recharges his battery.  You just reload Vickers and he’s like a spring.  Yes, I think he’s really good at what he does.  He’s a big part of why we run the ball so well.  He’s intense, he’s emotional, he’s consistent.  I think he does a great job.”

(On what went in the decision to activate Marcus Benard for yesterday) -- “The doctors had cleared him.  He went through every possible test that we could go through and I really think that Joe Sheehan and Doc did a great job of making sure that he saw every specialist.  We went through anything that we possibly could to clear him medically to play.  When he was cleared medically to play, we also worked him out and went through a process after that.  He felt good, we felt good about it from a medical perspective and he got caught up in terms of what he missed.  We just made that decision.”

(On how Fujita being out will affect who calls the plays on defense and if he might name another defensive captain) -- “Maybe.  We had to last year, so we might have to go to the captain bullpen and pull somebody out.  Eric Barton did a nice job though yesterday, he took over those duties and he’s done it before.  He’s been in front of the huddle and made all of those calls, so he’ll probably do it or Chris (Gocong) could do it or (David) Bowens could do it.  There are a lot of candidates.”

(On if Bowens got most of the snaps after Fujita left the game) -- “He got quite a few and then Jason (Trusnik) got some of them.  Jason and David were already rotating through with Matt (Roth) some, so they filled in.  Marcus got some more snaps outside of just the sub package.”

(On if he will ask the league to look at the helmet to helmet contact Braylon Edwards made with Sheldon Brown) -- “We haven’t put that through, but that wasn’t going to be on the list.”

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