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What's Browns coach Eric Mangini saying?

By Nate Ulrich Published: November 19, 2010

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

Browns Head Coach Eric Mangini press conference 11-19-10

(Opening statement) -- “Good morning. We’re on our normal progression here, no real big shifts in terms of the preparation, looking to finish out the week strong.  In terms of the guys not participating, Mike Adams won’t be out there, Josh (Cribbs) won’t be out there and Scott (Fujita) but Floyd (Womack), Eric (Steinbach) and Sheldon (Brown) should all work in some capacity here today.”

(On if it is not looking good for Cribbs to play on Sunday) -- “We’ll see tomorrow morning.  We like to push it as long as we can just to see if he feels a little better tomorrow morning and then we’ll decide at that point.”

(On what Cribbs has been able to do) -- “Some mild stuff, rehab stuff.  Joe (Sheehan) always puts together his progression so he’s doing that.  Really another 24 hours, things progress. It happened with Eric, Floyd and Sheldon. Each day they’ve gotten a little bit better which is what you hope for and as they do you just go to the next stage which in their case is getting some reps today.”

(On if they need work the other backs in more to give Peyton Hillis a break like Jacksonville does with Maurice Jones-Drew) -- “You’d like to be able to work the other guys in to some degree, but it’s got to make sense in terms of what you’re doing and the situation in the game.  Every team really does it differently.  We’ve had some teams where it was just package specific, some teams where guys were going to get a certain amount of reps at some point in the game and then some teams where there’s a featured guy and that’s who you’ve got down in and down out.  I’d say every approach is a little bit different and sometimes the game dictates it base on how many carries they’ve had, if it’s a very low number or what the frequency is with what you run the ball.”

(On if it is a concern that they haven’t had anyone able to spell Hillis and be productive) -- “The flip side of that is Hillis is so productive when he’s in there. If it’s comparative production you’re looking, 4.8 yards per carry with Peyton so you got to be able to weigh the pros and cons.”

(On what Thomas Clayton has shown in previous weeks to get the chance he got last week) -- “He just continues to get more comfortable in the offense.  I like his work ethic. He’s developed some on special teams which is really important.  He and I were talking a little bit the other day and he’s friendly with Sammy Morris and that’s a really good guy for him to look at.  We were just talking about the role of the backup running back and how carrying the ball and working on offense is one component of it but you really want that guy to give you meaningful snaps on special teams.  There’s been some outstanding running backs over time who have really done great things for their team, not just carrying the ball but also in those other areas.  We just recently had that conversation and he gets that and he’s trying to continue to develop that role.  That would really help us in a lot of ways.  As much as those twos and threes can do in other areas as opposed to just being a backup at that position, it’s huge.  You able to shift the load especially on teams around and keep those guys in a real attack mode the whole game.”

(On how the loss of Aaron Kampman hurts the Jaguars’ defense) -- “He is a good player who was playing well. I’m not sure what his role was in terms of the leadership and things like that.  Those things you can’t weigh from the outside looking in but he had done a lot of good things in their four man rushes and where they weren’t pressuring and he could generate some pressure.  Now the young guys that they’ve had step in, I think they’ve done a good job and now it’s their opportunity to show more of what they can do.”

(On if he is concerned about the corner depth with Mike Adams not practicing and Sheldon Brown just coming back and if Jacksonville can exploit that by running four wide) -- “They’ll split Marcedes Lewis out in 11 personnel where they have three wide receivers and then split him out so it forms kind of a four wide receiver set.  Other guys just have to step in and be able to help out.  I think that Eric (King) has done a nice job here for being signed.  The extra work he has done with Jerome (Henderson), being thrust in.  He got a lot of work his first day because Sheldon and Mike were both out.  I’m sure more than he expected but that’s good though.  That’s actually really good because if he does have to go in and play any type of extended amount of time, he’s gotten quite a bit of work here this week.  He’s also a guy that is bright, he’s played in different systems so he’s able to associate, ‘Okay, I played this concept before it was called this,’ and that’s different than getting a young guy and having to teach him a new concept that he has to learn.  That’s a positive and I’ve like his movement and competitiveness that I’ve seen so far.”

(On if King is more of a slot or wide player) -- “He’s played both in both stops that he was at.  I think he could do either.  We’ve worked him some at both just because of the numbers.”

(On how Adams got hurt) -- “I don’t know if he even knows the exact play that it was on but sometimes those things happen and you don’t even really feel them until later on.  You don’t know the exact moment of it really.”

(On if Adams is going to be able to play on Sunday) -- “I’m optimistic with him but again it’s each day.  Some guys really jump in a day, some guys it’s exactly where it is so you just wait and you’re hopeful that they’re going to make that jump in 24 hours.”

(On if Seneca Wallace can do some of Cribbs’ packages like the Wildcat) -- “Yes, there’s potential and we’ve worked him some there.  We did some of that in training camp since he’s been here.  There is some potential to do some work like that with him.  It’s one of those things though, he’s still coming back from the injury and Jake’s (Delhomme) still coming back from the injury. It’s hard without three true healthy guys to do a lot of stuff with him and Jake right now.”

(On how Brian Daboll has grown as an offensive coordinator) -- “I think he’s made huge strides since I’ve been back with him.  The thing you have to understand about Brian is he does an amazing job in terms of taking information, this is even when he was helping me in New England way back, the things that he learns he takes ridiculous notes.  He’s got notes from 2000 meetings, he can go back and reference and somehow he knows how to find them.  We’ll be joking about some meeting and he’ll have the notes from the meeting and have the exact quotes and he takes that and studies it and he learns it and he just keeps building his knowledge base.  I think he’s impressive that way.  Now moving to quarterback coach in New York that was a new position for him but he worked with Brian Schottenheimer who had been a quarterback coach, learned a ton of information from him.  Then moving to offensive coordinator, same thing totally new position. It’s hard.  It’s radically different being a position coach than a coordinator, running the meeting, being responsible for all of the things that go into the game planning, calling the plays in the game.  It’s like anything else after you do it and get experience it becomes easier, things flow a lot better.  His ability to look back on experiences and learn from it I think is outstanding.  He’ll continue to get better with experience and his depth of knowledge both offensively and defensively because he really understands defenses from his work on the defensive side, that’s always going to help him in that role.”

(On if Daboll is more confident as a play caller than he was last year) -- “We’ve all been through it.  The first time you wrote a story I’m sure you submitted that thing and thought, ‘Woo what’s this going to be like,’ but now do you still do it? [Yes]  There’s that element but that’s what keeps you sharp, you want to have a healthy dose of fear but it’s a lot easier to do those things because you’ve got the experience, you know what works for you, things make more sense that you had to work through when you didn’t have the experience.  The more experience you have, the easier it gets to adjust and those situations are always stressful.  You’ve got to make a ton of really important decisions in a 40 second time frame which includes choosing the personnel, getting the play call, getting it to the quarterback in time so he can get up, if there’s a check in the call, you have to give him more time, so there’s all those components to it.”

(On if his communication with Daboll changes in crucial situations like late in the game last Sunday) -- “We are talking through it on the sideline because you know where the ball is after the interception.  I can’t remember if we went to a TV timeout at that point, but there is discussion.  ‘Okay, what do you like here?  Why do you like it?’  You talk through it.  ‘Do you want to run it here?  This is the run that I’m thinking of.  This is that pass that I’m thinking of. This is why I like the pass.’  It’s back and forth.  It’s the same thing with Brad (Seely) when we were talking about the surprise onside kick.  ‘Hey, I really like it here,’ and we had talked about that the night before, when we wanted to do it, what we liked about it and I knew going into the game that is was going to have to be the opening kickoff or right after the first score.  That’s when we wanted to do it when we had the best chance and then we scored the field goal.  Brad said, ‘I think we have got a shot here,’ and you green light it.”

(On how much time there was to discuss options before their last possession in overtime last Sunday) -- “I can’t remember whether there was a TV timeout or not in that deal.  The interception happened and there’s some time there.  Maybe two or three minutes.  I don’t remember the actual time, but maybe a couple minutes and we were just kind of sorting through it.”

(On how much of the offense is affected if Cribbs does not play) -- “Wow, that’s a great question Mary Kay (Cabot) because the percentage that he actually plays sometimes depends on how well it works.  If you get the Wildcat 15 times in a game, it may not have been 15 percent of the game or whatever percentage that works out to.  It’s just because it was working, you stay with it.  I’d say maybe 10 percent, something like that.”

(On if that’s counting other offensive plays besides the Wildcat) -- “Yes, the other value with Josh is that maybe it’s 10 percent designed for him because he’s in another 40-50 percent of the plays.  Which 10 percent of those 50 percent of the plays are the ones for him?  So it’s that uncertainty too.”

(On if he is confident in Marcus Benard to use him in first down and running situations) -- “Yes, I don’t have any concern or apprehension about using him there.  Marcus and I talk quite a bit and when we do talk, the important thing for me in talking to him is, ‘Okay, here’s one component of what you do, but that’s just one component of it.  Each day, you have got to get better to make yourself a complete linebacker.’  I want him to be a four down linebacker, which means also playing well on special teams and not get pigeonholed as one type of guy.  He can do it and the jump that he made from last year to this year, in terms of knowledge of the system and being comfortable with himself, being comfortable in the NFL, so many different areas, it’s remarkable.  I think a year from now he will be that much better of a player, and I don’t necessarily mean sack numbers or anything like that, I mean just as a complete football player and really a lot more comfortable as an every down guy.”

(On if he engages in hunting or any activities like some of the players do) -- “No.  I went fishing, I’ve gone twice in Cape Cod.  They have this kids fishing trip that you can go on.  They must load up this area because every time you put your line in, you catch a fish.  The first year, it was just me and Jake and Luke.  We were killing it and this year, it was really bumpy going out and both kids got sick.  I think our fishing days are over because we were about 10 minutes into it and they were like, ‘Can we go?’  I’m like, ‘No, we are on a boat.  Where are we going to go?  Just relax and have a lollipop.  It will all be over soon.’  That’s my outdoorsy (experience).”

(On Hillis saying he chases wild boars) -- “I like to chase steaks on a plate.  I’ve caught a lot in my day, I’ve gotten some good ones (joking).  I appreciate it, I get it, but I kind of like it from the supermarket or the restaurant.”

(On quarterbacks having success in their first few games and then fading out, like Eric Zeier in Cleveland when Mangini was here previously) -- “Was that against Cincinnati where it went into overtime?  Weren’t we up by like 10 points or 14 points with 1:30 left and they scored?  That was miserable.  I’m glad we won, but talk about miserable.  It’s unfair to put someone under pressure like that.  I’d much rather look at it as seeing his growth and being able to give him more each week.  At some point, he’s going to deal with adversity, a bad game, all of those different components that guys go through as quarterbacks.  You want to see how he responds, what happens and it’s just kind of the progression of things.  I’m excited about what he’s done, I really am.  I’m pleased about what he’s done, but there’s no need to put that added pressure on him, in terms of what’s going to happen in years to come.  Really what I want him to do is this week, keep growing and the future will take care of itself.”

(On what Brian Robiskie needs to do to be more productive) -- “He continues to work at it and I don’t think there’s one specific skill set right now Mary Kay (Cabot) that we’re focusing on.  I think he can continue to get better at the line of scrimmage, that’s an important part of it.  I think he does continue to grow and really Mohamed (Massaquoi) continues.  I know the numbers haven’t been big numbers, but it’s not like you go through at the end of the game and you think, ‘Wow he played really poorly.’  I haven’t felt that way at all.  Sometimes the numbers aren’t there and you want them to be better than they are.  Looking at Mike Sims-Walker, he’s just a great example of what some time does for guys.  I don’t know what his exact numbers were, what was it like 16 catches in the first two years?  That sometimes happens and then he’s an 80-90 catch guy, a really impressive guy.  You look at those first two years and you think, ‘Hey, this isn’t what we thought it would be.’  Give him some time and suddenly it hits.”

(On if Brian Daboll has a couple plays in mind before he calls the next one) -- “Yes and things are typically broken down into,  ‘Okay, these are third and short plays and these are third and one to six, these are third and seven-plus, these are our two minute plays, these are got to have it plays in critical situations, here’s our two point play,’ and then there are also general-type things.  It could be by personnel group, it could be formation, red area, so you have things segmented in thoughts and you practice those plays based on where you anticipate calling them.  In the game, you also give yourself the flexibility to say, ‘I liked that.  It’s not really hitting like we thought, I want to transition to this.’  So it is a really well thought out, broken down plan and then with the built-in flexibility to pull some other things from different parts of the menu and then place them where you need to be.”

(On if he had discussions about potentially going for two before the touchdown at the end of regulation last Sunday) -- “You talk about two point plays during the week, the night before and as we are driving down, you are thinking through, ‘Okay, one or two, plusses and minuses,’ and you’re just thinking about the last defensive drives, how much time is actually going to be on the clock.  I think there were 48 seconds on the clock, so all of those things go into it.  You look at it and say, ‘Okay, here’s all the information and here’s how we feel.  What do we want to do?’”

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