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What's Browns coach Eric Mangini saying?

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 1, 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 12-1-10

(Opening statement) -- “Good morning everybody.  A couple of updates just with injuries, guys that will miss today, (Scott) Fujita will be out, Colt (McCoy) will be out, T.J. Ward, (Lawrence) Vickers, (Eric) Barton, Eric Wright and (Joshua) Cribbs is another one.  We expect to get a decent number of those guys back here tomorrow.  I think Eric Wright has a chance of being back tomorrow as well which is a good thing.  Colt’s moving along but we’ll see how it goes through the week.  I think that’s everybody for today.

“In terms of Miami, I like the way this team’s built. They’re big, they’re physical, they’re tough, they play with a lot of intensity.  You can see how strong of an influence Bill (Parcells) had on that team and when you look at them they’re second in fewest penalties and they’re first in fewest penalty yards so they’re disciplined.  All things which are going to present challenges.  Defensively, this is another team that generates negative plays, negative runs, second in the NFL in that and they are top 10 in 15 different defensive categories.  I think they create a lot of problems, they play well together, they’re physical up front against the running game.  There’s different pressures, different types of pressures similar to what we saw when we played Denver last year so we’ll have to deal with that.  Cameron Wake has really done a nice job in terms of generating pressure so there’s quite a few things we’re getting ready for in that front.  Then their offense, I really have always been a big fan of Dan Henning, worked with him in New York, got to know him well.  He’s very creative. We saw how the Wildcat exploded on the scene and each game the way that he develops ways to attack you in the running game.  They have the two good backs with Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams but the way they scheme it up I think is always very creative.  I remember playing against him in the Super Bowl and some of the things he did there that caused problems.  Not only do they have a big offensive line every guy averages over 315, tight ends are all over 250, the backs are over 230, fullbacks are over 240 so they’re big.  They’ve got two outstanding backs and I think the scheme is very good so we’re going to have to be really sound defensively to handle that.  In the passing game, Brandon Marshall, he had three seasons in a row with over 100 catches, he’s an elite guy.  I like Davone Bess a lot, the problems that he creates.  He’s their punt returner and he’s an excellent receiver and what makes him so dangerous as a receiver is not just what he does in terms of getting open, catching the ball but what he does in terms of running after the catch.  Brian Hartline’s a really good route runner, reliable hands, tough and Anthony Fasano’s a guy that I liked a lot coming out of college, I think he’s a complete tight end in terms of his ability to block and then his ability to get open in the passing game and then come down with some tough catches.  Chad Henne made a lot of tough throws, seen some of his development not as much as if we were playing them twice a year but I think he’s come a long way.  On special teams with Nolan Carroll and Davone Bess two explosive guys, Patrick Cobbs works a little bit on kickoff return, he’s done some good things.  He flashes a little bit on offense as well.  It’s a lot of stuff to get ready for, big, physical, tough, disciplined team and looking forward to it.”

(On if Colt McCoy is an option this week) -- “I think we’re closer. I couldn’t tell you right now, but I do think from where we were last week to where we are now, he’s made a pretty good jump.”

(On if he has decided yet who is starting at quarterback) -- “Jake (Delhomme) will get the bulk of the reps today.  Seneca (Wallace) will work in as well but Jake will get the bulk of the reps.”

(On if Jordan Norwood returns kicks and punts) -- “He has in the past, in college he has done some of that work.  It’s a pretty big jump so he’ll work there for us and we’ll see how it goes, but he has done that, yes.”

(On why they moved Norwood to the active roster) -- “We really made that move for a couple reasons.  I really like Jordan a lot and I really respect Jordan a lot.  He’s done nothing but work extremely hard because when he was on the practice squad, and he’ll do it now, he worked on offense, he also worked on defense and every week he just keeps catching balls.  He just keeps showing up and we had moved closer to the decision over the last couple of weeks and finally decided to move forward with it.  It’s really a tribute to him.  Great kid, and he just keeps showing up so we wanted to have the option now to bring him to the game if we wanted to do that based on the work that he’s done and also to reward him for the progress he’s made.”

(On if Delhomme deserve a mulligan for his game last week considering he hadn’t played in eight weeks) -- “There were a ton of good plays there.  He moved the offense really well.  I thought the offense as a group, the communication, the way that everybody was on the same page, a lot of that comes from the quarterback and I thought he did a great job with that.  I thought the production out of Brian (Robiskie), Mohamed (Massaquoi), everybody really getting involved in the offense. I thought that was another good thing.  But those decisions and he and I have talked about it, those are the ones that you’d love to have a mulligan in the game but usually you don’t get that.  We have to avoid those things and that’s something that I’ve talked about in here and was a big part of the progress we made last year, avoiding those things towards the end of the season.  We’ve done a much better job with that this season, we can’t take those plays and sometimes the best throws are the ones that go into the stands.”

(On how he processes the final drive Delhomme had and what is says about him) -- “He’s got really good poise and I think the guys that work with him have extreme confidence in him. There’s a sense when he gets in the huddle that we’re going to move the ball down the field and take the lead, and that’s exactly what he did.  I would have liked to have converted that third and one, kept the drive going, be able to eat up a little more of the clock but I thought it was an outstanding drive.  Carolina’s defense is good, it’s really good and it presents a lot of problems and it presented a lot of problems that we’ve had trouble with so those things combined, they way we operated last week is really what I’m looking for.  Being able to say, ‘Okay, here’s what they do,’ from a game plan specific perspective, ‘Here’s what we have to do,’ and then going to do it.  Which I didn’t think we did very well against Jacksonville so I was happy with that.  Jake, he’s outstanding in the huddle, he’s outstanding during the week, he helped drive that whole process so all those things are positives.”

(On what they need to do with their run defense) -- “It starts with tackling, that’s the first thing.  We’ve got to wrap up more effectively.  Whether it’s the running game and the yards that they gained or the passing game, the big screen against Jacksonville that’s 65 yards in the passing game, that should never be that way.  The little play that went for was 32 on the broken play on the sideline where we missed the tackle there.  The play before that we had a chance to tackle them.  Those yards after the catch, those yards after contact that will go a long way to getting the average to what it should be.  To eliminating drives, to improving our third down conversion percentage, it’s consistently wrapping up.  It’s too hard to block tackle against backs in this league and when you get to the quality of the back increases the effectiveness of that style of tackling decreases dramatically.  You try to block tackle Ricky Williams, it’s not going to work.  Same thing with Ronnie Brown, he’s very patient in the back field. He’s got a great ability to navigate through traffic and nothings hurried.  It’s almost like when he’s reading the defense, it slows down for him and you’ve got to be sound.  You’ve got to be sound on the edge and you’ve got to be sound up front and this is a group that will commit to running and if they get it going, they’ll keep it going.  Not just the standard running plays, there’s going to be a bunch of different scheme runs that Dan (Henning) cooks up that make it harder and he makes it harder on teams each week.  Figure the game against New England when he busted out the Wildcat, I don’t know how many times they did it but they scored almost every time, and that was sort of a unique thing at that point but if it hits and it’s going to keep coming.  There’s usually a package of plays off of whatever the scheme is to attack you that week.”

(On if their Wildcat is similar to Miami’s) -- “They’ve got quite a few variations of it.  I think there’s a lot of concepts where there’s carry over.  They’ve run Wildcat where they hand it off on a reverse and then he’s flipped it to Brandon Marshall and Brandon Marshall threw a pass.  He’s run Wildcat passes, Ricky Williams can get the ball, Davone Bess can get the ball, they’re pulling tackles to the right and running to the left, there’s a lot of stuff going on and each guy who has the ball is pretty good.”

(On how much of the Wildcat they are going to see) -- “I think it’s like anything else, it hits you see another one, it hits you see another one, that’s typically how those things go.  If it doesn’t hit too well, you may turn the pages a little bit quicker come back to it, test the waters again.  It hits and it rolls.”

(On what the process is for Peyton Hillis getting out of games when he needs a play off) -- “Sometimes he’ll alert us to it, sometimes we just sub in.  It’s a little bit of both, it’s not one standard way.  Mike Bell, I was happy to see his production last week with the carries that he had.”

(On if Cribbs will be back to practice tomorrow and if he will be doing more than he did last week) -- “I hope so, that’s my anticipation.  I’m looking forward to getting Josh out there not just with kicks but also back involved in the offense, because he does change some of the things that we see.  He does present some of the problems that teams have to prepare for and to put him back in the Wildcat, that’s pretty good too.”

(On how Matt Roth is playing) -- “He’s playing pretty well.  People know Matt Roth a lot better in this division now that he’s been here.  Some of the things with Matt too Tony (Grossi) is it’s not always him getting the sack but his pressure will lead to someone else getting the sack and then he’s had a bunch of hits on the quarterback and things like that and he’s been good in the running game.  I’ve been happy with what he’s done.  Everybody would love to have 10 sacks but very few people do.”

(On if Roth was one of the guys who had an off day setting the edge) -- “It’s not one guy because there’s two edges and then sometimes what they’ll do too is they’ll come down and crack.  Which means they’ll come down and seal the outside linebacker and then the corner’s got to replace and set the edge so there’s a couple different components to it.  I thought he played kind of like the rest of the group.  There were some series that were really, really good and some series which weren’t as high as I expected it to be as we collectively defensively expect to play.  That’s kind of how it went.”

(On if Roth is a player he would like to keep for a long period of time) -- “He’s played 90 plus percent of the plays, he creates problems, he’s a great tempo setter.  I really enjoy the guy. He’s good for the locker room. There’s a lot of things I really like about him.”

(On if Cribbs has been playing as well as he did last year) -- “I think in some areas he’s playing better.  Really what happened is everyone decided, it was sort of a collective decision of, ‘We’re not going to let him ruin the game,’ so they kicked to everybody else but Josh.  Every now and then he’d get one but usually it was a directional kick with some kind of overload. Now what that translated in for us was the average drive start was still very good even though his numbers weren’t what they had been, the average drive start was still very good because they’re pop kicking it, they’re yielding yards to not take the potential of a homerun.”

(On how he would explain Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown having high numbers with three carries a piece last week) -- “I’d like that, that would be great.  It could just be the way the game went, score of the game, philosophy, you don’t know without understanding what their specific plan of attack was against Chicago.  I’m not sure how that all unfolded.”

(On if he had heard of Cameron Wake before in the Canadian league) -- “No, no I hadn’t. I know him now though.  That’s always fantastic when you pull somebody out of the Canadian league or the UFL or wherever you find them to then have them come in and be productive.  It’s also a great thing to be able to talk about as a coach because sometimes your career takes some different path and if you keep improving and you’re going to get another shot, now what do you do with that shot.  He got that shot and has really taken it and done some great things with it.  There’s a lot of guys that will kind of kick around and suddenly they explode on the scene.  Quarterbacks we’ve seen that before, (Doug) Flutie he’s up there so are some guys that once they get that next chance, they do great things with it.”

(On if he still talks with Bill Parcells) -- “I’ve talked to him some and he’s been great just like he always has been with me.  It will be an arrange of topics but he’s got such great advice and such great delivery that you appreciate the advice and you enjoy the delivery.  The way that he’s able to sort of share lessons through stories or things like that.  It’s really been a special relationship for me.”

(On if Bill Parcells told him about Abram Elam) -- “Yes, he was out of football at that point.  Abe became available and he really liked Abe and the things that he had done in Dallas.  He said we should look at him, and I’m glad we did.  Abe is another good example of a guy who has gotten more shots and continues to improve.  It’s great to see.”

(On what he attributes Elam’s big plays the last couple weeks to) -- “Abe is kind of like that.  I remember each year in New York, it would be like that.   Against Buffalo, we are down and they are trying to run the ball out.  He comes in on a sack, strips it, we pick it up and return it for a touchdown.  Another time that Buffalo was driving in the red zone, he picks it off and goes 99.  It looked like he was going to pass out at about 50 yards, but he got it in (joking).  I usually comes, you just don’t know when it’s going to hit.  I’m hoping we haven’t hit out limit there yet and there are some more big Abe plays yet to come.”

(On if the play and gained experiences of Joe Haden and T.J. Ward is a factor in Elam playing so well) -- “I think as those guys have gotten more comfortable, it does probably take some of that off of him, but he still is back there guiding things.  That’s a very important part of it.  Even though they can do more and they see more and they communicate better, still that’s a big part of his responsibility.  A big part of his responsibility too is in the room leading up to the game and making sure things are right as a group.  The other thing that I’ve always loved about Abe is I remember the first practice in New York, he came out and we put him in.  He was communicating, he was vocal, he wasn’t intimidated by the situation.  He was going to be who he was regardless of what other people told him he should do.  I really thought that showed a lot of character.  It’s hard to go into a new situation and just be you and put your best foot forward, and he did and he has continued to do that.  He’s a really sincere guy that I’ve enjoyed coaching and getting to know.”

(On if he has addressed his players about fighting or retaliation during a game, using last week’s Tennessee -- Houston game as an example)- “The main point is that we always talk about with any kind of retaliation or any kind of fight is it may make you feel better for a couple of seconds, but at the end of the day, there is a penalty or in that case an ejection.  It doesn’t help the team and you can’t let your personal desire for that immediate gratification affect the whole group.  You have to be poised in that.  I didn’t use that example specifically, I saw a small clip of it, but just our philosophy in general is you can’t do it.  It just ends up hurting the group.”

(On if he could imagine giving Andre Johnson a game ball after being ejected for fighting) -- “How well did he play prior to that?  I’d probably have to look at the body of work.”

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