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What's Browns coach Eric Mangini saying?

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 13, 2010

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

Browns Head Coach Eric Mangini press conference 12-13-10

(Opening statement) -- “Good afternoon everybody.  In watching the tape and talking to the players, I think the best way I can explain it is disappointing.  It was disappointing to me because it’s really not the way we play football and we’ve made a lot of strides in doing that in terms of preventing the self inflicting wounds, or putting the ball on the ground five times, the interception that generated points, taking points off the board.  Defensively, not doing a good enough job in some game plan specific things that we talked about whether it was containing the quarterback.  It wasn’t a secret that (Ryan) Fitzpatrick is a mobile guy and creates some plays with his feet and I don’t think we did a very good job with that.  On special teams I thought we were hot and cold, but that’s typically been a real edge for us on most games and it wasn’t.  It wasn’t one guy; it never is when you win never is when you lose.  It was a collective effort and I was looking for us to continue to improve.  One area we did improve was penalties, which is a positive, but in each of the areas and that’s playing and coaching all of us together.  We’ll watch the tape and learn from the tape and make sure that as we move into Wednesday that we string good days together and play our brand of football, week in and week out.”

(On if he believed they were beyond a game like that) -- “I believe that we’re in that phase of trying to win consistently and that’s part of growth, and it is a part of growth of any team any organization.  It’s the game day component of it and it’s the day in and day out component of it and we all need to do that better in this phase.”

(On what happened to the running game) -- “Some of it comes down to opportunities.  We weren’t very good on third down, to extend drives which doesn’t help.  Putting the ball on the ground doesn’t help.  The time of possession was skewed heavy in their favor and that’s a collective deal where, defensively, we have to get them off the field so they can’t eat up the clock and, offensively, we’ve got to be able to extend drives so we have more chances to continue with the full complement of plays.  I think our per carry average was very good on the day, but you want to be able to do that throughout the course of the game.”

(On how the offense practiced the week coming into the game) -- “I felt like overall it was kind of like the game throughout the course of the week where there were some things we did really well and some things we didn’t do well.  When we reviewed it looked pretty good and that’s kind of how the game went.  There were some plays that hit early that we didn’t execute as well later on or a play that didn’t hit very well that we executed better later on.  It’s that type of inconsistency which, in a close game like it was on Sunday, is usually going to leave you on the short side of it.  It really does translate that way and it’s never going to be perfect during the course of the week or during the course of the game, but it’s one here, one there, one here, one there and the cumulative effect is big.  On Jake’s (Delhomme) interception if we could of held on and beaten longer in protection Mohamed (Massaquoi) was behind the guy.  We had a chance for a huge play there and that’s one example.  We come in clean for a sack and he’s able to get outside of us and get on the edge instead of slowing down and getting under control and keeping him in the pocket he gets the edge and goes for 15-18 yards on a play that should have been a sack for a loss.  They are things like that.  The scheme hit, we just didn’t do it and then there’s some things from the scheme perspective that we could have done better as well.  I’m not saying it was all playing there obviously were some things I feel we could have done better from a coaching perspective, too.  That’s the way it always is.  It’s never just the players or just the coaches it’s all of us.  We’re all in it together and when it’s up and down we all need to pull a little bit harder.”

(On if he is thinking about starting Colt McCoy again) -- “I’m going to see where we’re at on Wednesday and kind of go from there.  He was able to get to where he could function as a third so we just got to see where that is and think about it and we’ll go from there.”

(On if the plan is to have McCoy start one of the last three games) -- “Really just the plan is for me to be able to look at it objectively with all of the information and the options and then make a decision from there.”

(On if he is considering starting Seneca Wallace) -- “The game’s not all on Jake (Delhomme) by any stretch.  I think there were some plays that Jake could have played better but part of any success in the passing game is protection, the guys getting open and us being able to get them the ball.  In terms of the quarterback I’ll wait until later this week.”

(On if the pass protection has been inconsistent this year) -- “I don’t think that we were poor in pass protection this last game.  There were multiple times where the protection was good and it wasn’t just the O-line either.  With that protection it was the backs.  When we did have breakdowns it was different people along the line, but that’s kind of how it was in the game.  It wasn’t just this one area it was one guy on this play, one guy on this play and one guy on this play.  I didn’t think overall the protection was poor yesterday, it just happens that (Arthur) Moats has a strip sack on the one play and then we get just a little bit of a push there on Jake (Delhomme) right at the end as he was unleashing the ball to Mohamed (Massaquoi) and it’s the difference between two and three yards.  The difference between two, three yards and a half a beat holding up longer is probably would have been a touchdown, ends up being a pick.”

(On how he thought Jake Delhomme played) -- “I think he played kind of like the group.  There were moments when he was really good and moments where it wasn’t as good.”

(On if Delhomme had enough guys open) -- “I thought we could have done a better job in getting open yesterday in all the areas receivers, tight ends.  I thought Buffalo did a good job in terms of covering those guys up and that’s going to happen at some point and at that point you got to find a way to get open.  That’s what receivers do.”

(On why they didn’t use Seneca Wallace after the two plays that he played in) -- “I think we did for a play or two in the second half.  It’s really a specific package.  It wasn’t a 50 play deal.  It was kind of a variation of the Wildcat that we’ve had for a while, and we wanted to mix it in some and probably use it here over the course of the next three games in some degree.  It could be Josh (Cribbs) in the backfield, Seneca you can mix it up a couple different ways but we’ve had those plays, we’ve had those things.  I think it’s a good way to add another component to the offense.”

(On if McCoy can’t play if he will go with Delhomme) -- “Yes if Colt couldn’t play I would go with Delhomme.”

(On an exchange Delhomme and Brian Daboll) -- “That’s just normal, emotional stuff.  That wasn’t like a heated exchange between Brian and Jake by any stretch.  It was more frustration with the way the play unfolded.  No, there was nothing like that.  Jake is fiery but it’s never fiery disruptive it’s just competitiveness, he’s never been like that.”

(On what Delhomme does better than Wallace) -- “I like both guys. I just think where we are offensively right now and the things that we’re trying to do, Jake does those things really well.  Not that Seneca does them poorly but he does them well.  That would be my thought process.”

(On Wallace has ever expressed any frustration to him about wanting to play) -- “Seneca is a team guy.  What you like about these guys is they all want to play.  I totally get that and I would expect nothing less.  It would be frustrating if a guy was just kind of sitting there and happy to not be playing; you definitely wouldn’t want to put that person in the game.  He wants to and I totally get that, he did a good job when he played.  The guys have confidence in him and I have confidence in him.”

(On if he saw the play in the Jets-Dolphins game where Nolan Carroll was tripped by an assistant coach on the Jets sideline) -- “Yes.  I know Sal (Alosi), I hired him in New York and he’s a good person.  He really is a good person who made a dumb mistake.  I’m sure if he could take it back, he’s take it back. The whole thing is disappointing that it happened, but he made a mistake and I’m sure he will stand up and take responsibility and whatever form of punishment that comes down, because that’s the type of guy he is.  He’s a really good person and I’m sorry for the whole situation.”

(On if he has ever seen an incident like that in all of his years of coaching) -- “No, not really.  Maybe it has, I’ve seen a variation of that, but not exactly that.”

(On if he has ever thought about doing that) -- “No.  I don’t want to make light of it, but there are some times when someone is running down the sideline and you know they are going to score on you and you’d love to somehow be able to stop it.  That sick feeling comes over you, but you can’t.”

(On if yesterday’s game was a case of guys thinking they were further along in the process than they really were) -- “No. I don’t think that.  I think there are a lot of similarities with Buffalo in a sense that those guys fight every single game.  They’ve fought with every single team they’ve played and they’ve taken a lot of good teams deep into overtime and had chances to win it.  I respect the way that they’ve played this whole season.  It hasn’t always worked out for them.  Head coaches talk before the game and we can relate to the games that they’ve had.  They’ve had the second-hardest schedule in the NFL and they’ve been competitive in every single game.  They were fighting yesterday.  They had some injuries, but they’ve dealt with a lot of things and they’re growing as well in a new system.  I didn’t expect anything besides that type of fight and I don’t think guys went into the game expecting guys to lay down because if they did, then they didn’t watch any of the tape and I didn’t do a very good job of illustrating that if that was the case.  It was very apparent the way they’ve played all season long.”

(On what he has to do to get the team over the hump to become a consistent winner) -- “I wish there was just one landmark that you could point to.  Some of it is the experience of dealing with adversity and being able to fight through that.  Being able to collectively say, ‘Okay we are changing what’s happening right now.’  Another component of that is dealing with success.  That’s often hard, too, because there’s often the exhale, you exhale a little bit like you can relax.  Both of those things are things you have to be honest about and address and be aware of and be conscious of as you move forward.  Some of it comes with experience, too, and maturity and growth, not just as individuals, but collectively.  It’s not just one bullet point that you can hit on and say, ‘Hey if we do this, it will happen.’”

(On if he has talked to Peyton Hillis about hurdling opponents during runs) -- “I know he’s done it a lot of times successfully.  I thought they did a nice job when they hit him.  I think the main thing that Peyton needs to continue to work on, and this is a tough thing because he does fight for so many yards and he makes so many yards after contact.  Most fumbles in the NFL, you’ll see, happen on the way down.  I know I’ve said that here where you’re trying to get the extra yard, you’re trying to break that tackle and the ball is at risk.  There’s a balance there.  You don’t want to take away what he does so well, but there’s also that consciousness of as you’re going for those yards, that’s when it’s most likely that you're going to fumble.  We’ll work on some things, it’s something we’ve worked on consistently throughout the season and we’ll continue to work on it.  The heightened awareness of, ‘Okay, this is where the red light comes on that the ball is at risk.’”

(On if he was more overly critical in meeting with the team after yesterday’s loss than he would have been earlier in the season) -- “I met with them actually earlier and I don’t think it was a function of being overly critical.  It was just a function of being honest, and that’s what I try to do in those meetings.  I go through and say, ‘Here’s what we did well and here’s what we did poorly.’  Offense, defense and special teams, it’s just a straight After Action Report, well or poorly.  Then I have a tape that I show them.  I say, ‘Okay look at this one play.  Look at how it could have been different.’  Often times, guys can’t see Mo (Massaquoi) down the field.  They can’t see the whole picture, and none of us have until we watch it together.  We watch it together because the plays on offense affect the players on defense.  The plays on defense affect the players on offense and special teams.  You also put that in the context of, ‘Here’s what we said we were going to do.  Here was the game plan to win the game.  How does this guy break contain?  How does this returner out-leverage our coverage?  This is what we said we were going to do.’  We try and go back and make that correlation of if we do those things, which we clearly didn’t on these plays, what could have been different?  The coaches dig down furthest with specific techniques and things like that, but it’s not to place blame, it’s not to just express anger for the sake of anger.  It’s just to be honest with what it is.  This is what we didn’t do well enough and there are a bunch of positive plays in there too.  You look at this because the game is always a mixture of that.  That’s how I view Mondays is [to see] how we can learn from this and move forward.  If you’re me, it’s never fun.  It just adds to the reputation of Mondays - lousy weather and having to watch the tape, that feeling.”

(On the injuries that Sheldon Brown and David Bowens sustained in yesterday’s game) -- “I think both should be okay for Sunday.  Whether there’s going to be any missed time, maybe a little bit practice-wise, but that’s my initial reaction.”

(On on the ball going to Buffalo being at the referee’s discretion on the play that was challenged in the fourth quarter yesterday) -- “I think the Bills came up with it at the end of the day.   At that point, you can’t tell when it blew or it didn’t blow, so the best thing is to not have it on the ground.  If it’s on the ground, then fall on it.”

(On not having many points off of 10 turnovers in the last four games) -- “Well I love the ten times, that part is good.  I don’t know where all of those different field positions were.  You want to be able to get points off of a sudden change.”

(On recovering a fumble on the Buffalo 19 yard line yesterday and giving the ball back on the next play) -- “Yes, you want to be able to get points out of that.  You do.  It’s the same thing, defensively.  I thought the guys did a good job on the sudden change in the fourth quarter, being able to hold Buffalo to a field goal because there is a momentum shift there that they would ideally capitalize on.  You would love to get points off of all of those.”

(On if Hillis’ fumble on an attempt to hurdle a defender yesterday was ill-advised) -- “I think it’s always hard, Mary Kay (Cabot), with a running back to really say, ‘Okay this is okay to hurdle.  This isn’t okay to hurdle,’ because a lot of that stuff, especially on the field, is instincts and feel.  You’re trying to have them make good decisions without having them be so tight and so robotic that he loses what he’s done so well during the course of the season.  He’s made so many great plays throughout the course of the season that you don’t want to take that component away.  You also want to say, ‘Okay don’t press it too much to the point of where things are either you’re at risk or the ball is at risk.’  It’s a fine line that you’re always trying to balance with that.”

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