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What's Browns coach Eric Mangini saying?

By Nate Ulrich Published: November 24, 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 11-24-10

(Opening statement) -- “Good morning everybody. How are we doing? We have a few guys who aren’t going to be able to practice today.  Colt (McCoy), Mike Adams, Ben Watson, Eric Wright, Eric Barton, Scott Fujita and Shaun Rogers will all miss today.  They’re all at different stages of their rehab and I’m hopeful we’ll get some back here as we go.  Josh Cribbs should be on that list too actually, so quite a few guys there and as we always talk about it it’s important that the young guys who get an opportunity to get these reps really take advantage of them and make a case for themselves. Whether it’s on the practice squad coming up or whether it’s guys who may not be getting a lot of play time who want to get some more play time.  That’s my expectation and as I said they’re all at different levels of rehab and hopefully we’ll get a group of them back for tomorrow’s practice.

“In terms of Carolina, we got started on them this morning with our install.  When you look at them defensively this is a team that brings a higher percentage of pressure than what we saw last week, done a good job creating takeaways, they’re 13th in the NFL there.  They’ve also been excellent in terms of creating negative runs where they’re currently second.  I think Charles Johnson is really an outstanding defensive lineman. Just watching him getting to know him a little bit, I’m really impressed with the things that he’s done.  Really defensively they do quite a few things. They disguise well, they play fast, I think they’re physical and I like a lot of things that they do and it’s going to present a ton of challenges.  Offensively, a little bit different situation than, I’m familiar with, but in terms of preparing for them there’s been multiple quarterbacks and you’ve got to look at whether we’re going to get (Jimmy) Clausen or (Brian) St. Pierre or (Tony) Pike. Each one presents some different challenges and I don’t think there’s certainty at this point which one we’ll get.  I really like what they’ve done in the running game with Mike Goodson. He’s been impressive with his opportunities, very good speed, I like his vision. He’s got the ability to get the edge, he’s done a nice job in terms of cut back runs and he’s got some nice bursts through the hole and long speed.  Knowing Jeff Davidson, he likes to run the football. They’ll commit to the run and then build the play action and big plays off of that.  There’s a group of receivers starting with Steve Smith where he can get vertical but then he can catch a short one and go a long way and a couple of the young guys they have with David Gettis and Brandon LaFell, bigger guys and have really done an outstanding job especially creating some plays down the field.  You look at (Dante) Rosario, I think he’s done a nice job in the vertical passing game from the tight end spot.  On teams, they used quite a few guys on kickoff return, (Mike) Goodson’s been back there and Captain Munnerlyn’s handled the bulk of the punt returns. I can see him working some back there in kickoff return as well. He’s a tough running, good short area quickness, good vision and has made some nice plays for them both on punt return and I can see that translating into kickoff return as well.”

(On what level McCoy is at with his rehab) -- “He’s better, better than he was, determined.  I talked to him a little bit last night and he’s very determined to get back practicing as quickly as he can.  He really hasn’t had an injury where he’s missed any kind of practice or anything along those lines this is a little bit of new ground for him in terms of what he’s told me.  He’s going through it and working at it and we’ve just got to see where it goes towards the end of the week.”

(On if McCoy has been ruled out for Sunday) -- “No, I don’t think we’re at that point.  With these I’ve learned, really with any of these injuries, you can think one thing and it goes totally different. we’ll just see how it goes.”

(On if this is a long term injury like Jake Delhomme’s where he missed 4-5 weeks) -- “I’m optimistic that it will be quicker than that.  I’m optimistic this week but just been through quite a few of them here recently so I temper all my optimism.”

(On if it matters that it is McCoy’s left foot and not his plant foot) -- “I think that helps.  I think that helps like an injury to your throwing shoulder versus your non-throwing shoulder.  Yes, I think that’s a positive.”

(On if McCoy has a high ankle sprain) -- “It’s different than the ones we’ve had with Jake and Seneca (Wallace) but it’s in that same category.”

(On if Delhomme will start if McCoy can’t play) -- “Jake will get the bulk of the reps and that’s the way I’m leaning right now Jeff (Schudel).  I think his familiarity with Carolina is a real plus.  Obviously, I have faith in Seneca as well but both those guys I’m comfortable with playing.  I think the familiarity with this team could be a real bonus.”

(On if Delhomme has taken any snaps with the ones in the last few weeks) -- “A little bit, usually a little bit, not a high amount.  We try to work those guys in some but it’s not significant numbers.”

(On if he has talked to Delhomme about facing his former team and the game meaning more to him) -- “No, our conversation was more talking personnel things that he remembered. It was more conversation about that as opposed to the emotion of the game.  It’s like anything else like Scott (Fujita) in New Orleans, Ben (Watson) with New England and Jake with Carolina and the friends that I got to see, there’s that element of that. That is part of it but it gives it specialness to it but at the end of the day we’ve got to go beat that team.”

(On if 4-3 teams present a problem for them) -- “I don’t really see it that way Marla (Ridenour) because a lot of the 3-4 teams that we face line up in 4-3 fronts. Even though it’s three down linemen, four linebackers the way that they’re configured is an over under front so the blocking schemes are consistent between the way that we block the 3-4 line that way or the way we block these other teams.  The other thing we have to do a better job with is handle the movements, handle the stunts, handle the pressures.  That can come from a 3-4, a 4-3, a 4-6 and you don’t really see the standard one front team anymore. Its multiple fronts because they all want to build problems for your offense.  We’ve had 4-3 teams that go to a 3-4 front to get the problems that the 3-4 creates and there’s a lot a carryover that way so I don’t really see it from that perspective.”

(On what the offensive line can do to deal with a 4-3 front better) -- “It comes down to communication, it comes down to anticipation, it comes down to being able to shut that off. You got to be able to shut off the stunt and blunt.  You can’t let them penetrate into the gaps, you’ve got to be able to blunt it before they get into the seam between the offensive linemen.  When you blunt them and they’re moving a lot of times what happens is you just use their momentum to wash them down the line of scrimmage and you can create some big plays from moving but you can also give up some really big plays from moving because the size of the hole increases.  It’s fast and everybody’s got to be on the same page because you’re blocking this guy and then he moves and you change who you block.  It’s the same count but the person has changed in the count.  It happens a lot on punt protection. They’re constantly moving and if you have one it may not be the original one it’s whoever ends up as one.  Kickoff return when they twist and do things like that, I’ve got four, the guy who was four is now five and the guy who was five is now four but at the end of the day you still have four.  I hope that makes sense, the number changes but your responsibility stays the same.”

(On how the lack of bodies in practice has affected the preparation for 4-3 teams) -- “From that perspective, I think we’ve been really good because our outside linebackers are the same size as 4-3 defensive ends. There’s been a lot of depth from that perspective because (Jason) Trusnik can go be a 4-3 end, (Matt) Roth can be a 4-3 end, (David) Bowens can be a 4-3 end, Titus Brown can be a 4-3 end right on down the line.  We’ve got a lot more depth to build that than really some of the 3-4 stuff where all our guys are getting a bunch of 3-4 reps and then have to go in and do more 3-4 reps it sounds strange but there’s a lot of depth to do that for us.”

(On why it seems like Evan Moore doesn’t get involved until crunch time) -- “Here’s one reason for anyone’s involvement is if you don’t have sustained drives you don’t have opportunities and I think that will always be the case.  If our time of possession is skewed one way, the amount of chances that you have to get anybody involved decreases dramatically.  When you’re able to sustain some drives and get some first downs and you get three more chances then you tend to get more guys involved.  What you don’t want to do is say, ‘Okay, we’re going to throw him the ball,’ and then you throw him the ball and it’s into coverage.  You’ve got to be able to throw it to the guy who’s open based on the scheme and you get more opportunities and more guys get open as you’re able to increase time of possession, number of drives, things like that.”

(On if Ben Watson’s injury early in the game affected his ability in the passing game) -- “I think some of it Mary Kay (Cabot) was you’re behind in the count, when you’re facing those second and 10’s or second and 12’s. They sacked us six times, you’ve got to be able to hold them in pass protection to get the ball off. I think both those things played a part.  I think whenever you get dinged up a little bit early you do slow down some but Ben did a great job of getting it taped up, looked at and getting back out there and really trying to contribute.”

(On if the offensive line is looking better this week)- Brighter from the perspective that they’ll all practice.  It’s tough when you go through Friday with two guys who could potentially play significant time and they haven’t been able to get their reps.  It’s really just what we had to deal with, it’s good to have them working together.”

(On how Shawn Lauvao did) -- “I think he needs to play better than he did on Sunday.  He needs to play better and for a young guy getting that opportunity, there were some things that were difficult to handle.  With Shawn, he’s a smart guy and I think he will play better.  He’s got good work ethic, he’s got all of the things we’re looking for and he’s getting more and more experience as we go, but you want to see him improve from what we had last week.”

(On if it will be Floyd Womack at right guard and John St. Clair at right tackle) -- “We will work all three of them right now.  With Floyd, we still want to make sure that you don’t add too many reps during the week so that we can make sure that he’s ready to go for Sunday.”

(On which players that aren’t practicing today have the best chance to practice and playing this week) -- “I’d say (Eric) Barton, (Benjamin) Watson, Shaun Rogers, Mike Adams, (Joshua) Cribbs and Colt (McCoy) we’ll see.  I’m not as optimistic about Eric (Wright) or Scott (Fujita).”

(On if Ahtyba Rubin is having a Pro Bowl caliber season) -- “It’s really good, he’s been really good.  To me, the most impressive thing is it’s just the consistent hustle for a man his size.  He made a ton of plays down the field last week and they’re just hustle plays.  It’s such a great thing to be able to coach off of because here’s a guy who’s significantly heavier than his counterparts, but yet he constantly shows up on the screen.  He plays with good technique and he’s got really good toughness and now he’s generating some things in the passing game, which hasn’t necessarily been his forte, but he’s worked at it.  He keeps working at it and you just love to see that.  You love to see young guys who try to do the right thing, who play with great effort, who are growing.  You can’t help but be excited about that.”

(On if players can develop hustle or if they already have that trait) -- “It’s a little bit of both.  I think some guys are ridiculous, high motor guys and that’s how they’re wired.  They’re just wired that way.  I think some guys’ motors, you can put a little gas on it and then you’re getting that.  Some guys, it just runs low and no matter how much you tune up the engine or how much you kick the tires or how much you do all of that stuff, it just runs low.  Those are the ones that usually get you beat.”

(On if Rubin having a lot of tackles is an indicator of how active he is) -- “It is Tony (Grossi) and it’s also with the scheme. He’s forcing people to make a decision.  Do you block him one-on-one and try to run inside and see whether or not your center can handle him?  Or do you double team him and now free up the linebackers?  That nose position has to force that decision by each team you face.  Some of his tackles have been by effort, just effort.  He’s running to the ball, he’s chasing guys down and he’s got a pick.”

(On why he would choose to start Delhomme over Wallace) -- “Like I said, I’m confident with both guys.  I think one of the things that I really like this week is Jake’s familiarity with the team.  I think it’s a real plus when you have that.  Working against this defense for a long time, there are things that he will probably see that we haven’t seen because he saw it in OTAs, he saw it in training camp, he saw it in game film and he’s been a part of that.  With that being said, they will probably bring some things that he hasn’t seen, but he has also got familiarity with a lot of the personnel, more personnel than we do.  We are doing more of a one game prep, he was there.”

(On if the quarterback could change if McCoy is out for an extended period) -- “I’m really kind of Carolina centric right now.  We can pick that up next Monday.”

(On if there was a specific play that exemplified Rubin’s hustle last Sunday) -- “No, it wasn’t one. It was like play one, play two, play three, play four, play five.  He just keeps showing up.  You’re also dealing with a big man.  Those big guys usually don’t do that and when you see it, it charges you up.”

(On if there were any common problems between the Atlanta and Jacksonville games that gave the Browns’ offensive line the most problems) -- “I’ll say this too Tony, they weren’t alone.  In terms of the protection stuff, the backs are involved and the tight ends are involved.  The same thing in the running game, the tight ends are involved and the backs are involved.  Usually when it doesn’t work very well, it’s a group effort.  I think as a group, the injuries are going to play a part, but guys were able to work in quite a bit together.  It’s just being on top of that communication because they’ve played a lot of teams that have blitzed and moved and done things.  We’ve played a lot of complicated defenses where that communication was really sharp and things worked well.  When you play those types of teams and you miss a few communications, the result is usually a lot more dramatic than, say a four man rush team or a five man rush team.  Usually it’s a sack or a negative play and it’s more pronounced.  You have to be sharp throughout the whole game and everybody has got to be on the same page and the quarterback too.  On some of those sacks, Colt should have thrown the ball away.  That was the case.”

(On if any sacks Sunday were a direct result of McCoy’s ankle hurting and him not being mobile enough) -- “Some of that’s hard to say, but there weren’t a lot of great scramble lanes on those plays.  It’s not like when he had the one scramble early in the game, but that opened up pretty wide and he was able to shoot through there.  It wasn’t that same type of lane later, it was more of a wall there.  You either throw it away or I don’t think many people would have gotten out of those.”

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