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What's Browns coach Eric Mangini saying?

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 15, 2010

Browns coach Eric Mangini met with reporters Wednesday morning. Here are some of the highlights from the press conference:

Browns Head Coach Eric Mangini press conference 12-15-10

(Opening statement) -- “Good morning everybody.  Guys that will be out today David Bowens, Evan Moore, Scott Fujita, Baby (Shaun Rogers) and I think that’s it.  We moved into Cincinnati here this morning and in talking about Cincinnati we’re also talking about the things that we need to continue to improve on as the season goes on.  One of the things that we always emphasize is the turnovers and with Cincinnati as you look at Marvin’s (Lewis) time there, the turnover deferential has played a big part in terms of wins and losses and they’ve been incredibly successful when they’ve been able to generate a positive turnover deferential and they’re opportunistic that way.  Defensively, they have a lot of different pressure packages.  They bring it from a lot of different directions with various people involved and I think as a group they’re good penetrators and create negative plays that way.  That will be something we’ll need to handle both in the running game and the passing game.  When you look at them offensively they can be as explosive as anybody at any time.  They can generate points very quickly whether it’s (Chad) Ochocinco or Terrell Owens.  I think (Jordan) Shipley’s done a nice job for them over the course of the season.  It’s a tough group that way and they’ve got two different styles of backs and a very physical offensive line in terms of how they want to attack in the running game.  On teams I like both their returners, Bernard Scott, who also works at running back, he’s generated some homeruns and then triple, doubles and he can do it at any point and Quan Crosby as well in the punt return game.  They’ve done an excellent job in punt coverage, I believe they’re number one in the NFL.  We’re focusing on the things we need to do to stop Cincinnati but also focusing on the things that we want to continue to improve individually and collectively over the next three weeks.  To me, that’s the starting point and then it’s the Cincinnati game plan within that improvement.”

(On how his approach has changed regarding the future now that they are out of the playoff race) -- “I think every time that we go out and have the opportunity to practice it’s building for the future.  With the injuries that we’ve had through the course of the year, young guys have had real opportunities to play, young guys have played because they’ve won spots.  I’m never in the mindset to just play someone for the sake of playing them to me it’s more because they’ve earned that opportunity and I think a lot of our young guys really have done that.  Some of the opportunities have presented themselves because of injuries or things like that and then it’s up to them to go in and seize that and really do something with it.  I really view it as we’re always building for the future by the way that we continue to improve.  What I ask the guys each week and really each day is, ‘What are your one or two things that you’re going to work on today,’ and then collectively what our goals are as an offense and defense and as a special teams group for us to improve not necessarily just the execution of the game plan against the Bengals.”

(On who the starting quarterback will be this week) -- “Colt (McCoy) will get some more work this week.  I want to see where he is.  He got one day last week, we’ll see where he is here today and throughout and I’ll be able to talk to you guys a lot more definitely probably tomorrow or the next day.”

(On how limited McCoy is) -- “I thought he did really well on Friday in terms of moving around and things like that. I don’t expect there to be much limitation but again I want to see it and go from there.”

(On if McCoy is free to do everything in practice) -- “In terms of movements and all the things that are going to be asked of him as a quarterback, he doesn’t have the limitation there.  It’s going through that and actually doing that and seeing how it looks and how he feels, that’s a component of it too.  I’ll be more definitive here probably tomorrow.”

(On if he is going to be more guarded with McCoy’s injury because of the previous injuries with the other quarterbacks) -- “Each one of those are different and even though they are kind of grouped under the high ankle sprain sort of umbrella, each one is different in terms of severity, leg, place on the ankle that it is.  The time that it takes a guy to come back is different for every guy I’ve ever dealt with with this.  I’ve had some guys come back, Laveranues Coles played I think either the same week or had one week with it.  I’ve had that week, two weeks, three weeks, four weeks, some have gone longer than you expect just because of how it hits.  I feel good about what he did on Friday and I anticipate he’ll be fine today but again I want to see and I’ll talk to you tomorrow and give you a definitive answer on the quarterback situation.”

(On if McCoy will take the bulk of the first team reps today) -- “He’ll take a decent amount of them, yes.”

(On if McCoy has to sit out some of the team stuff) -- “Yes, a little bit but not dramatically.  Not in any significant way it’s just more the next step but we’re pretty far along here.”

(On if McCoy will play Sunday if he comes through okay) -- “I promise I’ll clear it up tomorrow for you guys.”

(On if McCoy’s sprain is less severe because it’s his plant leg) -- “What I was saying is that each high ankle sprain is different.  I wasn’t saying if plant leg or not plant leg or anything like that.  They’re all very different.”

(On if an ankle sprain is worse for a quarterback when it is their plant leg) -- “They never let me throw the ball so I have no frame of reference.  I’ve heard some guys say it’s worse on your throwing leg, it’s worse your plant, it’s kind of like any injury, guys all have a different view of which one would be worse if they had gotten it here, gotten it there.  I don’t know I just know that each one is different.  The way each person responds is different too.”

(On what offensive production Jake Delhomme has been showing) -- “Last week I thought he made several checks that were good checks, he called the protection well.  Often times when you don’t get the production you want of course it goes first to the quarterback.  Everybody has a big role in that.  It’s the production, it’s the ability in the receivers to get open consistently.  Believe me I’m not taking the quarterback out of the mix by any stretch but all those things working together is what generates successful overall play.  I’d say our ability to convert on third down that all ties in together in terms of how much production you can have.  One goes right with the next.  Not putting the ball on the ground like we did that stalled drives or that pushed us back and put us in second and medium to third and real long.  It’s a group thing and I thought Jake did make a lot of really good decisions based on what they were doing and the way that they were attacking us.”

(On who is going to be the third quarterback) -- “We’ll clear up number one tomorrow and there’s different things that you can get from both guys being in the two spot so I kind of want to look at some of those things here today and talk about it a little bit with Brian (Daboll) because when you are the third you can’t come in until the fourth quarter, if you come in earlier the second guy is gone, but if you’re the second you can go in at any point and do some things.  I want to look at the packages of stuff that we have and see how it looks and make a decision.”

(On who has the primary responsibility with quarterback scramble because Ryan Fitzpatrick hurt them a lot) -- “There were three different things, one was an actually pass where he scrambled up the middle, another one was a bootleg where we should have had contain on him and he was able to out leverage the contain.  It’s kind of like a running back bouncing out to the edge, he bounced off the edge.  The other one was a blitz where we missed the sack, we were clean on the blitz missed the sack but that’s something that we’re continuing to talk about.  When you have these quarterbacks that can scramble and the next few weeks all three guys can move around, all three guys can generate plays with their feet.  We’ve faced a ton of these guys.  You’re so eager to get to the quarterback, you’re so excited that you’re that close to him that often times you don’t slow down and gather your feet and make sure you have them boxed in and you can react when he reacts.  That’s critically important when you’ve got guys that can move around.  It’s the same thing with open field tackling, you don’t just want to go shoot your gun, you’ve got to really line it up and make sure you can make that tackle, because if you miss it’s going for a long way.  When you face these quarterbacks as excited as you are to get there, you got to be under control when you do so that he can’t just give you a move, give some ground and then get out of the pocket.”

(On if the scramble factor presented by Seneca Wallace and McCoy) -- “There are problems that are presented by that no doubt and that’s a good thing.”

(On if Scott Fujita will be able to practice this week) -- “He’s a lot closer.  He’s really come along towards the end of last week and then even the Monday, Tuesday this week but in terms of practicing on Friday, I’d say outside chance.  Good strides I don’t even know if we would do that at this point until we really felt like he had all the things he needed to have from a change of direction perspective before we have him going out and thinking about the plays because now it’s just not as of a controlled environment.  We’ll make sure we’re rock solid on that.”

(On if there are any consistencies on why Peyton Hillis is fumbling the ball) -- “When we look at it Jeff (Schudel), most of it comes when he’s fighting for extra yards.  That’s the plus side and the down side.  He makes a lot of extra yards and he makes a lot of yards after contact, he pushes the pile but when you do that and especially when you’re going down and doing that that’s when the ball is most exposed.  We’ll continue to work with him on drills as much as you can simulate that because it’s not the easiest thing to simulate but as much as we can of reinforcing that.  Peyton doesn’t want to lead the league in that either, believe me.  You love the fact that he plays that way, and he fights that way and he pushes that way but now we have to be able to get that without the same exposure that you have in terms of fumbles.  It’s a delicate balance but it’s an important balance for us to reach and for him to reach because we can’t put the ball on the ground like we have.”

(On if they teach Hillis to wrap the ball technique wise) -- “You always want to have the point of the ball and the back of the ball protected and you want it as tight to your body as you can and teach five points of pressure so you’re as flush as you can with the ball at all times.  Even in tight to your chest in here it’s just as you’re fighting for yards or lounging to the ground, there’s a natural tendency to brace yourself with your hands and when you go to do that now it’s away from your body.  That’s when guys can come so you’re trying to get them to brace here and protect it here.  That’s a really hard thing to simulate but we’ll do some things that I think will help and seeing guys in the past that have put in on the ground a few too many times who’ve improved with that.”

(On if he was concerned with whistles being blown a little late) -- “Last year when we played Cincinnati in the opener, remember that one there was a big pile up and then suddenly the ball came out.  You always hear coaches the cliché, play to the whistle, play to the whistle and even though you may think, ‘Hey, it should have blown,’ it just doesn’t stop until whoever has it makes that decision.  Sometimes it works to your advantage, sometimes it doesn’t and I guess that’s why we end up saying it so much.”

(On if McCoy could get a full package and pick up where he left off with his knowledge of the offense if he plays Sunday) -- “I really think you could.  What I’ve seen throughout the course of the season with him, and this is really what you look for from young guys, is he’s able to put a lot of things in the bank and then build on it.  Obviously playing the games that he did was tremendous to do that, but he’s very diligent with his preparation and his routine.  I think Jake has been instrumental in that too, in terms of establishing a game week routine that’s really effective.  The work that Brian (Daboll) has done with him and Carl Smith has done with him and his approach to it I think has been real sound, especially for a first year guy.”

(On explaining the five points of pressure to protect when running with the football) -- “How about I have Gary (Brown) come in on Friday and give you a demo?  He’ll take you through it. I’ve heard three points, I’ve heard five points.  I like five points because we add a couple of points on to it so it should be that much more secure.  I think the problem that you get into Jeff (Schudel) is it’s hard to maintain those points when you’re going to the ground because the human reaction is to brace yourself for contact.  I’ll have Gary give the demo.”

(On if Chansi Stuckey’s catches being down in recent weeks is by design) -- “No, it’s not by design.  What we’ve seen over the course of the season is Ben (Watson) will have a breakout game where he gets 10.  There was the game where Robo (Brian Robiskie) had seven.  Sometimes based on the matchup or the way they are rolling the coverage, that guy ends up being the target more frequently.  We’d all love to have equal distribution around the field where every guy is getting X number of balls per game, but depending on how they roll it, what the matchup is and things like that, you can get a higher percentage of balls thrown.  Also with each guy, it’s their ability to get open against the man to man matchup that they have.”

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