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What's Browns coach Eric Mangini saying?

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 17, 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 12-17-10

(Opening statement) -- “Good morning everybody.  D-Bo (David Bowens) will be back at practice today.  Evan (Moore) won’t be able to go today and Scott (Fujita) won’t be able to go today but everybody else should be ready.  I thought yesterday was a good day of work, we got a lot accomplished and the goal here today is to finish out strong.  There are definitely some things that we need to make sure that we do a particularly good job at and that to me is handling Cincinnati’s varieties of pressures.  That takes a lot of communication from everybody involved because if one guy misses the call and with the variety that they bring, that leads to negative plays whether it’s in the running game or the passing game.  I think we’ve done some good things so far this week and need to continue to doing that.  Defensively, our defense it’s just really understanding how we have to play them, the different personalities of the backs and styles of their offensive skills makers and how that fits into our plan.  I thought we made progress yesterday and looking for the same thing here today.”

(On how Colt McCoy looked in practice yesterday) -- “I thought he did pretty well, thought he moved well.  In terms of the new plays that went in, did a nice job with that.  A few things that we’ll need to clean up today but that’s not abnormal for a Thursday to Friday progression and any quarterback, but overall I thought he had a good day.”

(On how some players could stretch the truth to get back and if they are sure McCoy is 100 percent) -- “They all stretch things a little bit but I feel really good about Joe Sheehan and the work he does and the training department and our doctors and even the progression that we’ve done with Colt in terms of how he’s worked back into it.  I feel really comfortable with.”

(On how they are going to make sure Terrell Owens doesn’t get 10 catches for 222 yards against them again) -- “That’s a great question because it’s really pick your poison.  You put a lot of coverage on him and you’ve got (Chad) Ochocinco sitting on the other side and he can catch 10 in his sleep.  With (Jordan) Shipley, he’s been really productive for them.  The young tight end keeps getting better game in and game out.  With Carson Palmer when he’s hot, he’s red hot and they’ve got a lot of guys that can hurt you.”

(On if it puzzles him that the Bengals are 2-11 with the talent they have on offense) -- “It’s such a team game and you can have a great day offensively and a poor day in the other two phases and that changes the game.  We’ve seen it even here throughout the course of the year where one unit’s playing a little bit better than the unit or there’s a big discrepancy, it dramatically affects things.  Special teams, that’s a huge role as well.  I remember last year in the Kansas City game we had the botched snap and they score a touchdown and Josh (Cribbs) comes right back and scores a touchdown.  The kickoff return team, that changes things and he had another big return that game.  It’s all so dependent on each other that that can happen.”

(On if he can put his finger on why Carson Palmer has been throwing a lot of interceptions) -- “He hasn’t thrown them against us.  I’d like to be able to put my whole hand on it and get some of those.  As we’ve talked about before, I think it was before the Baltimore game where (Joe) Flacco was slumping a little bit, those guys you don’t want them to get out of that against you.  I’ve seen over those games that he’s played he’s made some incredible throws.  Some really incredible throws.  There was one I was just showing to Rob (Ryan) the yesterday.  The comeback on the outside to (Chad) Ochocinco that there’s only one place to put the ball and he put it there perfectly.  The coverage was tight, everything defensively was sound and he just delivered this ball that was really you couldn’t defend it based on how they had it.  He’s got the ability to do that.  With him too at any point they can hit the home run where he’ll just come up see a look that he likes, check to whether it’s a go route or something like that and just like that their dancing in the end zone.”

(On if he had been told they needed to win a certain amount of games if they want their program to move forward) -- “No, we haven’t talked like that at all.  I don’t expect to have those conversations.  It’s not how we’re going to operate as a staff or as a group.  It’s win this game, deal with the next game, deal with the next game and then deal with whatever the situation is when the time comes.”

(On if this three game stretch against AFC North teams will carry a lot of weight for when decisions are made) -- “I think what’s going to carry a lot of weight is the whole season, the progress the team’s made, the performance in all three phases.  I’d imagine it’s not a short snap shot, it’s a comprehensive look at where we are and what we’ve done and the areas that there’s been progress in, the areas that there needs to be more progress in.  That would be my anticipation.”

(On if he likes finishing the season with three division opponents) -- “I think there’s really a lot of merit to it, it makes things very exciting at the end of the season.  Everybody’s playing each other when things are being decided.  I think it’s a really good idea and a really exciting idea and it’s going to make for a lot of fun games here over the course of the next three weeks.”

(On if they do less trick plays against teams that are on the same talent level) -- “Usually what happens is when you do a series of those plays over the course of two or three weeks the way that teams play you in those situations, like the surprise onside kick once you do it once they’re not running back as quickly anymore the next however many games.  Once you hit a fake punt they’re a lot more cautious there at the line of scrimmage, same thing with the throw back and things like that.  The good news is it forces teams to defend the whole field, it forces them to really think about how much pressure they want to bring in different scenarios.  Even though you don’t have the same level of opportunities for those types of plays it does slow some things down in terms of the way that they attack you.  Those plays work when you can get it in the right spot.  You’ve got to get it in the right spot.  We practice them every week.  We’ve got multiple plays up each week in all three phases.  Defensively it’s a little bit different, it’s different blitzes or whatever it is.   You want to get on your terms and not just run it to run it.”

(On if there is a sense that they should play close to the vest in some games and not in others) -- “No, there has been no different approach in terms of how many sort of exotic [plays] or however you want to phrase it.  Those are in each week and we practice them each week.  Sometimes you get it, sometimes you don’t get it.  Some of those plays that we hit against New Orleans, we have been doing that since OTAs.  You just wait and you wait and you wait and you keep doing it.  It’s the same thing each week in practice.  We do some different offensive plays that you have seen it for a ton of weeks and you’re thinking, ‘Okay, when are we going to get our shot?’  You just hope it hits when you want it.”

(On if the team has made enough progress and improvement for him and the coaching staff to come back next year) -- “I haven’t done that kind of math because to me, I feel good about the things that we’ve done and the direction of the team.  There are steps that you go through in any growth process and we’ve taken a lot of those steps, but we need to continue to take that next step, which is winning consistently.  You’d love to be able to accelerate that as quickly as possible, but when you are trying to do it and build it for the long term, you have to do it the right way and it has to grow and be strong on all levels in order for it to be sustainable over time.  I think we’ve made a lot of good strides there.”

(On the swings this year like winning against New England and losing against Buffalo) -- “Every win feels good and every loss hurts, it really does.  You put so many hours, so much time and so much effort into that Sunday.  Regardless of who you are playing, it feels great when you are successful and it feels empty when you are not.  The great thing about sports is that every week you have a chance for redemption.  That’s one of the magical things about sports.”

(On the nature of the business and things potentially changing regardless of progress) -- “Sometimes that happens, where it’s not necessarily right or wrong, it’s just different.  The great thing about this situation is that there is the end goal with Mike (Holmgren), Tom (Heckert) and myself is exactly the same.  It’s to win, it’s to build an organization that’s special, to build an organization that Cleveland deserves and has been waiting for.  That’s the goal and how you get to the goal, there are a lot of different paths. One thing that I’ve really enjoyed about this season is when you have guys like Mike and Tom who are very talented, very smart and have a lot of different experiences, you can get into some great discussions.  You can get into some really good dialogue about what is the right decision.  That helps you sort through maybe some mistakes you would make because you weren’t exposed to some other ideas or opens you up to opportunities you hadn’t thought about because you weren’t exposed to that.  That has been tremendous for me personally.  I’ve really been a part of one family tree for a long time, and it’s kind of like when you get married.  You get exposed to all of your wife’s customs, family and traditions and it’s like, ‘Oh, okay.  I’ll celebrate that holiday.  That’s cool.’”

(On if he feels like the blend between Holmgren, Heckert and himself has worked well) -- “Yes, it’s like the Brady Bunch.  You have all got the little squares.  Who was the housekeeper?  Alice?  I don’t know who that is.  I don’t know where Rob (Ryan) fits in either, he’s the zany uncle that comes in for Thanksgiving.  He’s Sam the butcher, that’s perfect (joking).”

(On if the team would be further ahead this season had they been able to stay with one quarterback all year) -- “Believe me, in a perfect world you want to have one quarterback that is there every single week.  I don’t know, what has Peyton Manning started? 230 straight games?  A perfect world, same quarterback every week and it would be great.  It would be great to do that.  You would love that continuity at a lot of positions because when you do have continuity, you can fill in some other spots, but that continuity helps not just in performance, but in terms of approach, consistency and so many things.”

(On if they made the decision on the second quarterback for Sunday’s game) -- “We are getting closer, but we have a package of stuff that I want to look at today that is a part of the red area and some things that we weren’t able to run that were a part of the third down review section.  Just by virtue of the number of plays, these extra plays get kicked into Friday, so I want to take a look at those too.”


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