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What's Browns coach Eric Mangini saying?

By Nate Ulrich Published: November 18, 2010

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

Browns Head Coach Eric Mangini press conference 11-18-10

(Opening statement) -- “Good morning everybody.  A little bit of an update in terms of the guys that will be out.  Mike Adams should be back, Marcus Benard should be back and Eric Barton should be back and then Kenyon (Coleman) and Baby (Shaun Rogers) will switch.  Kenyon down and Baby will be up here today.  Everyone else who missed yesterday will miss again today.  What we’re working on today is the third down package that’s the primary emphasis and working on two minute.  Third down is an area where we want to continue to move up on both sides of the ball and I think there’s specific things that we can do to help that conversion rate on both sides.  There are the game plan specific things for Jacksonville and then a few things that we’re working on just conceptual things that we like in both areas.”

(On if he is still hopeful that Joshua Cribbs will practice this week) -- “Yes, we’ll get a better sense tomorrow with Josh and Sheldon (Brown).”

(On what Clifton Smith showed in practice yesterday) -- “He showed really good short area quickness and even in the tackling drill, it was the first time he had done it, he did a really nice job in terms of closing on the defender and then an excellent change of direction and burst that I thought looked pretty good especially considering it’s the first time he’s done that drill.”

(On if it’s easy for kick returns to pick up on different schemes quickly on a new team) -- “I’d say conceptually, he’s had a lot of reps and seen a lot of different schemes and most of those veteran returner guys have.  There are specific things they have to do, things you have to read, everyone has a different way of coaching how they want to read the core blocks in the return.  I’d say with experience and having done it quite a bit, it should be pretty fluid for him in terms of picking it up.”

(On if Cribbs got hurt when he launched himself or when he landed) -- “Not sure.  I’m not sure it might have been launch point, I’m guessing.”

(On how a lot of guys on the offense launch themselves and if that is the correct way) -- “I think it really depends if someone’s coming in going to cut your knees to make the tackle and that type of thing and you feel like you got a chance.  I could see why they would do it, to avoid the contact.  Some guys don’t like to do it, some guys do like to do it as an alternative to force the defenders to tackle them in their upper body.  There are pluses and minuses for both.”

(On if he tells the players to keep their feet on the ground) -- “No, I don’t tell them that one way or the other.  Some of the things that Peyton (Hillis) does in terms of leaping over guys, does now force defenders to tackle him in his upper body and at least now it’s a change up for him so they can’t always count on being able to get him down in one way.”

(On if Eric Steinbach and Floyd Womack are a no for practicing today) -- “No today.”

(On how he handled missing Steinbach and Womack in practice yesterday) -- “(Steve) Vallos worked at left guard and Shawn (Lauvao) worked at right guard.  Then some of the practice squad offensive linemen worked in as well, different spots.”

(On if Steinbach and Womack will be okay) -- “Yes, I’m optimistic both of them will be okay.”

(On if Jake Delhomme is going to be healthy enough to be the third quarterback) -- “Yes, that’s what I expect.  He should be okay to be in that role.”

(On if Delhomme could be the second quarterback) -- “That I don’t know yet. We’ve got to finish out the week.  Better than last week, moving better than last week but that I wouldn’t really know until a little bit later this week.”

(On if he had Reggie Hodges in New York) -- “Yes, part of a year.”

(On if Hodges is better now than when he was in New York) -- “When Reggie came in he had one of the most impressive workouts that I’ve ever seen.  It’s not like I’ve seen a thousand punter workouts but I’ve seen enough to know what impressive looks like and the hang time, the distance that he had in that workout was just amazing.  He had some opportunities and when you’re first getting started and getting comfortable and learning all the things you need to learn as a punter, you can’t just cut it loose like we were able to see in the workout. As he’s gotten more comfortable and confident in that role, I do see continued improvement.  Reggie’s another guy that works at his craft, he’s constantly trying to improve.  I’ve found that most kickers and punters are like that they’re just so meticulous and constantly focusing on technique.  It must just be consistent with them.”

(On what the secret is for all of his punts inside the 10 yard line) -- “Some of it is coverage, some of it is just getting a feel for how you have to hit it. I imagine it’s like a chip shot, you have to hit it a certain way to get it inside there.  I don’t really know what exactly it would be.”

(On if there are more quarterbacks now that are hard to take down than four or five years ago) -- “It seems like we’re facing all of them.  He is tough to bring down, he buys time, they’ll move him out of the pocket with boots and dashes.  They have designed runs for him, where he’s run option before, quarterback keepers, quarterback draws.  I don’t know if it’s significantly different from four or five years ago, it just feels like we get them every week.”

(On what he tells the players when they face these quarterbacks that can break tackles) -- “A lot of times you have to tell them to slow down.  Those guys want to go so quickly to get the sack. When they’re allusive, when they give ground, when they can create some things sometimes you have to slow down to get to where you want as opposed to running in there, trying to take a shot at him and missing him.  You see guy after guy after guy do that and that was a little bit of our problem last week.  We had to slow down to get the sack as opposed to speed up to get the sack.  That’s easier said than done, those guys see the quarterback, see the opportunity and the natural reaction is speed up get there as quick as you can, but often times you get there and he’s not where you thought he was going to be.”

(On if the emphasis on protecting quarterbacks leads to more quarterbacks making plays after contact) -- “No, I don’t think so.   I think a lot of them are very good at feeling where the rush is and giving ground.  Some are just their size, a guy like Ben Roethlisberger that’s a big man, (David) Garrard that’s a big man.  It’s maybe a combination of things, I don’t think it’s the rule as much.”

(On if he was surprised Mark Sanchez was as elusive as he was because some of the players were) -- “I don’t know why they were surprised.  They shouldn’t have been.  I really feel it was a function of going too fast and that’s what we talked about.  I was talking about it with them on the sideline, ‘Look, slow down.’  When you get in there under control it’s a lot like an open field tackle is if you just take a shot, you’re probably not going to get it. You’ve got to have a good base, be able to react, be able to change direction and then you’re going to make the sure sack as opposed to just taking a shot and missing it.”

(On if there is a little bit more added to Benjamin Watson now with his increased production than what he remembers) -- “No, he had 49 catches in one of those earlier seasons and he’s had similar numbers of catches in some other years.  He’s always had that ability. Why his numbers may have gone down in different years?  It could have been a function of the volume of options they had in that offense.  I know in getting ready for him in New York, it was an issue and you better have a plan to deal with him because he can make some incredible catches.  We’ve seen a few here but there will be more to come.  He makes some unbelievable catches.”

(On how Colt McCoy threw some passes to Watson that test whether a rookie quarterback is there yet) -- “That’s part of it.  It’s as tough as it gets.  We do two minute every Wednesday and we’ve been doing it since OTAs and you throw that situation up and time goes on the clock and you’ve got to make those quick decisions, you’ve got to fit some stuff into tight coverage.  You’re fighting distance and time so you’ve got two things that you really have to deal with.”

(On Maurice Jones-Drew being a scat back and the challenges of containing him) -- “I don’t know if I truly look at him as just a scat back.  His legs are just thick, he’s got really good balance and you see with him when he’s on the sideline, he doesn’t really go out of bounds. He looks to make contact which is different than some of the backs of similar height.  He’s rocked up.  I showed a clip today where a guy was coming down to make a tackle on the flat after he caught the ball and just bounced off him.  Uses the stiff arm well.  You can kid yourself if you think he’s just sort of an elusive back.  He’s got good strength, good power, good balance.  He’s a load.”

(On if he is concerned that there could be a letdown facing a team that doesn’t have the notoriety that the other teams they recently played) -- “They’re 5-4 so they have a winning record.  Just watching them on tape you can see the things that they can do consistently.  They’ve found a way to win tough games which means they are resilient. They’re not very highly penalized, disciplined.  Really one of the things I’ve talked and we’ve talked about in here and even after the New Orleans game, the New England game it’s win or lose, being able to move on and focusing on the next one game season.  I’ve seen really positive growth in that area, our ability to do that is ‘Okay, here’s the next opponent, here’s what we have to do, here’s the game plan specific thing and then going out and practicing that and playing at a high level of intensity  focus and toughness.’  To me that should be week in week out regardless of  anything external, regardless of record, regardless of side stories, any of that stuff, it’s one consistent level of play.  That’s when you know you’re going as a team is when you do that.”

(On if he’s seen that concentration during practice) -- “I’ve seen it throughout the course of the season.  I thought we had good concentration and focus yesterday coming off the long game like we had and with the number of guys that weren’t able to practice a lot of other guys had to step up and fill roles and fill really meaningful roles in practice which is great for them but it’s also challenging collectively.”

(On how many players had over 100 snaps in a game and how unusual it is in his career) -- “I honestly don’t know how many had over 100.  You’re talking with special teams? I actually didn’t look at it that way. Defensively, it was 90 something snaps but a lot of the guys that play significant reps on special teams wouldn’t have played all 90 reps.”

(On if T.J. Ward played 100 snaps) -- “He could have been close.  I’ll check on T.J., it’s in that range, he’d be in that range.”

(On 90 defensive snaps is unusual) -- “Yes, not my favorite.  I like 91 offensive snaps for our offense.”

(On if he is concerned with the large amount of reps Ward got last Sunday) -- “I wouldn’t say it’s a concern.  I think it will help us from a conditioning perspective this week, playing the extra quarter and getting the extra work conditioning-wise.  The temperature will be a little bit different there, a little higher.  No, especially with a guy like T.J., he looked pretty good yesterday.”

(On his thoughts on Jacksonville winning on a last-second pass play where the defender batted the ball into the receiver’s hands) -- “If it was against you, you’d be depressed.  It’s the worst where you’ve played so hard throughout the course of the game and you have the ball go up.  If you’re on offense, you’re elated.  With that, he did go to knock it down, but it went that way and you try to have someone there for the shallow tip.  For the shallow there’s a guy in front that’s going to play the ball coming forward and then you try to have a guy behind for what’s called the deep tip in case it goes back over the head.  You don’t always get those guys in those spot, but that’s what you’re ideally trying to do is have one guy who jumps, one guy in front, one guy behind and sort of the barriers that are matching up man to man with the people they have.”

(On if you can still play the ball wrong by knocking it down) -- “Really with knocking it down, you want it that way, not that way.”

(On if he found something out about McCoy from his play in overtime last Sunday that he may not have known before) -- “Steve (Doerschuk), it was the first chance that he had to do that, to bring the team back from being down in a two minute situation and going and tying up the game.  That was another one of those firsts that you have to look at, evaluate and he did a really outstanding job with it.”

(On how he would characterize the growth McCoy’s made from his previous three starts to last Sunday) -- “Consistent growth, there’s another real challenging defense.  A lot of looks, a lot of decisions that he had to make, which I felt he did well with.  Now this is a totally different set that he has to face this week and I’m excited to see what he can do there.”

(On if McCoy is tough mentally and physically) -- “Yes, I’d say that mentally, there’s been a lot of pressure that could have been put on him from who he’s faced so far and being such a young guy in that role.  You wouldn’t really know that anything has changed in terms of his personality in the building, the meetings and it’s been consistent.  He may get angry about missing something that he thinks he should’ve gotten, but it’s not flustered.  It’s more like, ‘I should’ve had that,’ or ‘I recognize that.  I should’ve gotten that.’  He’s very under control throughout the course of the game. It’s not too high or too low, it’s just steady.”

(On if McCoy could scrap pretty well physically) -- “I don’t know if he’s going to hang with Matt Roth (joking).  Yes, you have to be tough to play that spot.  You’re going to get hit and you’ve got to sit in there knowing that you could be hit from behind too.  There are a lot of angles that you could get knocked down and it takes some courage to do that.”

(On a Cleveland fan allegedly tackling a young Jets fan after the game Sunday) -- “I think if it’s true, it’s ridiculous and the guy should be arrested.  I would be sick if someone tackled my kid.  My son or daughter at a game, you are going to have a good time.  I think it’s just wrong on so many levels and I would be angry as a parent, beyond angry.  It shouldn’t happen anywhere, ever.”

(On if John St. Clair has been filling in at right tackle) -- “Yes.”

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