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What's Browns coach Eric Mangini saying?

By Nate Ulrich Published: November 17, 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 11-17-10

(Opening statement) -- “Good morning everybody.  Today we have a few guys that are going to be out.  Floyd (Womack) and Eric Steinbach will both be out for practice today.  Eric Barton will be out today.  Sheldon (Brown), Josh (Cribbs), Scott Fujita and then Baby’s (Shaun Rogers) on the rotation and he’ll be back tomorrow.  We have quite a few sort of moving parts and things we are going to have to adjust to in terms of guys that aren’t going to be able to practice today, but that’s going to happen and you need to build flexibility like we saw in last Sunday’s game.  In going to Jacksonville to play Jacksonville it will be erratically different weather conditions from what we had last year, cold and snowy. Now, it’ll be probably low 80s, high 70s so pretty different track and just different than what we’ve had here the last couple weeks.  I think Jacksonville presents a lot of challenges.  As you move on each week you see those different things you have to adjust to.  I think defensively, Mel’s (Tucker) done a nice job in terms of having the game plan specific pressures and that are different each game.  They’ve been able to generate some sacks off of that, some pressure on the quarterback that has resulted in turnovers.  They’ve been opportunistic in terms of their turnovers, they’ve had some big ones to seal the game against Denver, to really seal the game against Indy.  Just some of those that come from the scheme.  I think they do a good job defensively creating negative runs similar to New York, about nine percent of the runs against them go for a loss, so we’re going to have to deal with those things.  Offensively, it’s another team that runs the ball really well.  I think Maurice Jones-Drew, he’s maybe small in terms of height but he’s big physically, big legs, he has good center of gravity, good vision, can make people miss in the open field.  I think they block well.  I think Marcedes Lewis is an outstanding blocker and he’s really come on in the passing game with seven touchdowns.  The things that they’ve been doing in the passing game, David Garrard, just impressing with his completions over the last couple games and he’s the second highest rated passer in the NFL right now.  More mobile than typically guys his size are and makes some plays with his feet.  They’ve got quite a few receivers that can generate some big plays. I think Mike Sims-Walker, he’s a guy that started slow in his career and keeps getting better and better every year.  Mike Thomas returns punts and then does a lot of things for them offensively whether it’s reverses or tear screens or catch and run plays or some of those deep overs, really fast player.  Then on special teams, they’ve got the AFC Pro Bowl player Kassim Osgood and then they have AFC Pro Bowl alternate named Montell Owens.  Kicker with a strong, really good coverage units and good young returners that keep getting better.  Each week you go and you see your new set of challenges and that’s what we’re focusing on, the new set of challenges that Jacksonville presents.”

(On what’s wrong with Steinbach) -- “Calf, he should be back tomorrow.”

(On if he is still optimistic about Cribbs and Brown practicing later this week) -- “Yes, I am.  Just got to see how the week goes but I’m still optimistic.”

(On Barton and Womack) -- “They should both be back tomorrow as well.”

(On if they got Eric King and Clifton Smith as insurance) -- “You want to be optimistic but you also want to be prepared if it doesn’t go the way you hope it goes.  Both those players are players that we liked. I think it will help us in coverage and the return game which is really where Clifton has done most of his work.”

(On Colt McCoy being a leader) -- “That position almost demands leadership, it’s hard to function in that position if you’re not naturally that way.  You can play the position but to play the position and really excel at it, you need to have the ability and you also need to have the inherent leadership to take that group and be able to get them to do the things that you need them to do. To get them to play together and to respect you as the quarterback.  Colt’s had a lot of experience with that and he’s got a very good presence.  In addition to that, he’s done well so I think all those things help him.”

(On what he is going to do with the right side of the offensive line with Billy Yates out) -- “I couldn’t really tell you certainly right now.  I thought Shawn (Lauvao) did a really nice job. He played about 60 plays last game and did well in the plays that he was in.  Floyd’s (Womack) done a really good job at tackle and I think he’ll do equally as well at guard.  I obviously like the things that John (St. Clair) does so we’ve got three guys there that I think can help us in different combinations and they’ve all played those spots.  We’ll just have to see how the week goes.”

(On if St. Clair is going to be ready for Sunday) -- “Moving him into a backup role last week was I think the right thing to do in terms of how much he had progressed.  This week, we’re a week further along and he’s a week better off so I’d expect his ability to go and play long term or a bigger part of the game to be higher.”

(On how Joe Haden played after Sheldon Brown was out) -- “He did pretty well.  There are so many plays in that game, so many different things that happened. He was playing a lot of different spots so taking some of that into account as well, I thought he did a really nice job considering the volume that he had and some of the different spots that he had to play.  He was playing against pretty good players.”

(On if Haden is itching to move into a starting role) -- “He’s like all the young guys, they’re always itching to get that spot and all the other guys are itching to keep them out of that spot.  He’s made strides as we’ve gone along through the season and that’s what you’d expect after you get to week eight in the middle of the season, you want to see a real jump and the rookie component of it stops being the focus.”

(On if Clifton Smith is going to be ready for kickoff return duty or if it will be Haden) -- “I can definitely see Clifton being ready with his experience and he’s had a lot of success as well.  If we bring him to the game then I’d expect him to be ready to play in both roles.”

(On what is wrong with Eric Wright this year) -- “I think with any position like that when you make mistakes they’re a lot more visible than any other position and he had a really outstanding year last year and there’s been times this year where we’ve seen that level of play. That’s what I expect from him each week.  There really hasn’t been a drop off in the way that he’s worked or competed at practice. I continue to expect him to be able to correct that and correct the mistakes and move forward.  He had the interception the week before and that was a real plus and we’ve just got to get into a consistent pattern with that.”

(On the play that Jerricho Cotchery partially tore his groin and made a key catch) -- “Cotchery made a great, I mean it was a sick catch.  He dove cupped the ball under his elbow, the quarterback scrambled so there was extra time.  That’s why I love Jerricho Cotchery.”

(On how it looked like Wright was just standing there for Cotchery’s play) -- “I think what happened was the quarterback rolled out here and typically when they roll to the right the receivers move with the quarterback, they don’t move away and Cotchery started right and then went to the left.  That’s the pattern you get into scrambles, everybody tries to come to the quarterback to give him options short, middle and deep.  That being said, it was a pretty amazing catch and you love Jerricho Cotchery.”

(On what happened with T.J. Ward on the last play) -- “We had three guys and they converged. I don’t know if they were concerned with knocking the other guy off or what it was and he kind of squirted out to the left and none of them got them.  We had three chances there to get him and none of them got him.  I wish I had a better answer for you.  We had the numbers and he just kind of squirted out.  It’s time to eat sauce (joking).”

(On if Ward has been the same player since he got fined against Cincinnati) -- “Yes, he has.  There has not been a time where I’ve looked at his play and I thought he’s playing tentative or he’s playing less physical or any of those things since the fine.  He had some good opportunities last game. We’ve got to keep getting the DBs on the JUGS, we’re putting too many interception opportunities on the ground.”

(On if Ward didn’t have that fine would he have hit Santonio Holmes) -- “At that point the last thing to think about is the fine.  I can’t imagine that anybody was thinking about anything like that at that moment in the game.”

(On what he will miss the most in Fujita’s absence) -- “He’s really bright.  He helps with the checks and when you have him and Chris Gocong, Barton and (David) Bowens and they are all together, you’re going to get the call right and you’re usually going to get the tendency right.  If you take that out of the mix, you still have a lot of guys that can do that like we just talked about, but that was a real strength.  He rushed the passer well, he’s good in coverage and he plays with consistency.  If he’s supposed to be somewhere, that’s where he is.  He’s got the ability to recover in the open field, he’s got good speed to chase things down whether it’s a back in the open field or a receiver in the open field.  There are quite a few things that he does that we’re just going to have to adjust to and other guys are going to have to fill those roles.  I think it will be a different combination of people filling his role.”

(On if he thinks Fujita will make it back before the end of this season)- “Yes.”

(On if he gets any complaints from the players about the field conditions) -- “No, not really.  Phil (Dawson) always likes a real consistent field.  I like fields like that.  It seemed fine to me.”

(On if it would be okay with him if Mr. Lerner chose to change the playing field) -- “Sure.”

(On if he feels shortchanged with his cornerback depth with three guys and Mike Adams and if there is anybody better out there to sign) -- “They’re not plentiful, where you can just go get them at any point.”

(On Al Harris being available a few weeks ago) -- “I really think that Mike Adams has done a good job.  I thought he did a good job when he had to go out and play corner, I thought he did a good job when he was playing Star and playing Money and he has got a lot of versatility.  He serves a lot of different roles, which is really important especially for a fourth corner.  It’s really important and he has value in a lot of areas.  We have had other different cornerbacks through and tried them.  We signed Eric King, we will take a look at him and see how he does.  It’s an ongoing process, you are always trying to find guys that can help and contribute, but it’s a pretty unique position.  They’re not that easy to find.”

(On if he would like to use Cribbs more in the remaining games if he is healthy) -- “I hope I never gave the indication that I’d like to use him less.  I like using Cribbs as much as we can.”

(On Cribbs only averaging three touches a game) -- “I think some of it is a function of they are kicking away from him.  He has opportunities as a punt returner, a kick returner, as a receiver, in Wildcat and in reverses.  There are a lot of things designed for Josh Cribbs, which is a good thing and is a thing that I really like.  How much of it you can do, how much success you have with it is going to dictate the volume.  I think every time you can give him touches, I think it is a positive thing.”

(On if he thinks there are things about Peyton Hillis’ and McCoy’s personalities that have contributed to their success) -- “With Peyton, he’s been in the league for a little while, he’s just gotten some more opportunities.  With his personality, he’s a very consistent worker, he will play any role that we ask him to play, he’s very humble and he’s got great toughness.  All of those things help him.  I think the same thing with Colt.  He’s playing a very difficult position to play, he’s got a ton of experience from college, this is totally new, but he’s shown great poise in the opportunities that he’s had.  Even when he was the three/four in camp or the three in the early course of the year, he approached it as if he was going to play that week and prepare that way, which is critical to do when you’re not going to start.

(On if he saw the production that Jerome Harrison had on Monday night and if he wondered where some of that production was when he was here earlier this season) -- “I didn’t watch the game the other night.”

(On the theory that a leader of a team can’t be ‘one of the guys’) -- “No, I don’t necessarily see it that way at all because Tom Brady was very much one of the guys.  I really think every quarterback that I’ve been around has had good relationships with his guys and they typically gravitate towards the offensive linemen.  I think there’s a real bond there.  I think it’s important that you have the ability where they want to follow you because you know what you’re doing and you’re going to take them to the right place, but they also want to follow you because of who you are and the relationship that you have with them.  There are two different reasons why they’ll follow and you want to have them both.”

(On if Don Carey could have helped this team after he was waived last season and is now starting for Jacksonville) -- “We liked him.  When we waived him at the time, nobody had claimed anybody past the sixth round in six years so you’re just playing the odds.  Jacksonville claimed him and stayed with him. He’s doing a good job.  I’m happy for him.  I’m happy that he’s doing a good job, I thought he was going to be a good player and he’s developing into that.  It happens all the time with different guys where they get waived and picked up.  Evan Moore, he was on the street and he’s playing well for us.  You just kind of go through that and you try to make good decisions at the time and hope they work out.”

(On if he originally saw the skill set in Carey to be an NFL safety) -- “I saw him more starting as a corner because he’s got good height, weight, speed, intelligence and ball skills to play corner.  Then typically, if that’s not working out as well as you’d like it, you could project him back to safety or in the case of Eugene Wilson, If you want to get some more range back there, you could move a corner back to safety.”

(On if he was on board with the decision to waive Carey) -- “I was completely on board with it, 100 percent.”

(On Bowens getting more playing time with Fujita out and how he is doing this year) -- “He’s doing well and we’re fortunate in the sense that Scott had been the signal caller, he had been giving the calls to the defense, but Eric Barton had done that in the early part of last year and then when he got hurt, David Bowens did it.  We still have two other guys that have been core signal callers here and then they both have been signal callers at other places, in New York or different spots.  Chris Gocong has a lot of experience with that as well, so the nice thing is you have some older guys with that experience to run the group like Eric did last game, that will fill in.  It’s not even fill in, they will assume that role and I don’t even see it as filling in.  I see it as assuming the role that Scott had as the signal caller.”

(On if Bowens is physically ready to get more reps in a game because of missing time in training camp) -- “That’s really how it was the year before too.  We didn’t practice him very much during the course of training camp, he kind of got a little bit of work late and then ended up playing the most he had ever played in his career last season.  David plays a lot of spots and does a lot of different things and is going to have to do a bit more this week from a backup standpoint with Scott down.”

(On the union’s proposal about reducing the offseason workload) -- “I honestly haven’t thought about it.  Mike (Holmgren) would be a good guy to talk to about that, but I haven’t thought about it at all.  Right now, I just want to get the work this week.”

(On if Dave Zastudil asked to be cut off of injured reserve) -- “Again, you should really talk to Tom (Heckert) and Mike about that.”


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