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What's Browns coach Eric Mangini saying?

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 20, 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 12-20-10

(Opening statement) -- “Good afternoon everybody.  The two areas where we need to obviously improve is the ability to consistently run the ball and the ability to consistently stop the run.  The next thing is third down, third down conversions offensively and defensively and both those things now are contributing to the huge swings in time of possession.  I think in both areas there are technique things that can be a lot better, a lot more consistent in terms of the reads, the fits things like that and they’re correctable.  What we were looking for today in the tape is to watch it and watch it with honesty and understand where each person could improve and where we could improve collectively.  Then come back on Wednesday and make sure those things are addressed and addressed in a very effective way.  Another thing, I know that someone had said that I was calling the defensive plays and I wasn’t.  I wouldn’t do that to Rob (Ryan). I have a ton of faith in Rob.  I just wanted to clear that up as well.”

(On how hard it is to get a team to make corrections at this point in the season) -- “It depends on what kind of team you have Jeff (Schudel) and we have a good group of guys.  The reason they’re all in the room is because of who they are and when you have good people whether you’re dealing with success or dealing with adversity good people look at how they can improve on both those situations.  Regardless of what point it is in the season or any of the external things related to the season or performance or whatever the case may be, people like that look to see, ‘Okay how can I improve,’ and then, ‘How can I help the team improve’.  We have a good group of guys and I expect that when we come back on Wednesday and put the plan in that they’ll be ready to work.  We got a great opportunity in the next two weeks against the two best teams in the division to go out and play them and play them well.”

(On what the biggest difference is between the end of last year and the end of this year) -- “We’re not finished here, there’s two games left.  I think that each game is different, each game is tough in its own way and there are certain things that you have to do to win each one of those games.  One of the things I was pleased with in the game was that we were able to score that touchdown late in the game and put ourselves in the position for the onside kick and then also have an opportunity to stop them.  If we had stopped them we would have gotten the ball back and had a chance to win the game.  Down by two at that point and I think that shows character as well.”

(On if he has talked to Mike Holmgren about Sunday or the last two weeks) -- “I haven’t talked to Mike today.  No, today has really been spent.  Typically, you look at the tape, I’ll meet with the coaching staff, Tom (Heckert) and I will meet with the doctors to get updates on the injuries and things like that. Then coaches meet with the players and then I’m here.”

(On how he hopes Holmgren views the past two weeks and if this has been a blip) -- “I think it’s indicative of the step that we’ve been at here and we’re trying to take which is to be able to win consistently.  Two weeks ago we had won two games in a row so different points in the season different things have happened.  When you do look at something in its entirety, you don’t just look at it based on what has happened in the most recent past. I’d assume he’d look at it that way and that’s how I expect it to be evaluated.”

(On if he was assuming things were going well with the run defense and how surprising it has been to see what has happened the last couple weeks with it) -- “I think what happens is when you don’t convert a lot on third down offensively the defense is on the field a lot and when you’re not doing a good job converting consistently defensively the drives extend.  The volume of runs increase dramatically and that has really been the case.  Improving in those two areas, I’d say third down particularly you’re going to see swings.  That being said, if we improve our technique and have the fits that we should have, those runs aren’t going to be as effective as they have been.  It just shouldn’t work that way.”

(On if there were a couple of throws he didn’t think Colt McCoy should have made) -- “Yes, there were about two or three.  What you want to do is you want him look at it on tape and say, ‘Okay I dodged a bullet there, so the next time I’m faced with that decision I don’t make that same throw’.  There were a few that we did dodge bullets.  I thought Josh (Cribbs) made a really nice play even on the fade ball where the corner was playing high Josh broke it up, which was a really smart play on his part.  You don’t want to throw the ball with the corner bailing like that.  Now Colt’s a really bright guy and does learn from his experiences so I’d expect confronted with that again he’ll make a different decision.  He made a lot of really good throws.  Brian Robiskie had a really nice day and that was good to see.  He shouldn’t had held the ball out at the end there before he scored just talking to him today I said, ‘I wasn’t happy with that, but I’m sure you’re dad gave you an earful too,’ and he said he did, but it was nice to see him get his first touchdown.”

(On if the football was heavy and wet and if it affected how McCoy was throwing) -- “Not dramatically, I really felt like he had a lot of nice throws.  Two or three down the middle to Ben (Watson), the touchdown pass to Robert (Royal) was outstanding, and the touchdown pass to Brian (Robiskie) was really in a spot just over the corner away from the safety.  If it did affect it, it didn’t affect it dramatically.  Had a little affect on the kicking game in terms of how deep the kicks were going, punts things like that, but the conditions really weren’t that bad at all.”

(On if these last two weeks will cost him his job) -- “I think that the important thing for me and the important thing for the players and I talked about this with the guys is to just focus on the next game.  I know you’ve heard that from me before and that’s really what I believe in and I believe that’s the way that we’re going to be successful, that any individual is going to be successful and not worry about that other things.  That will all take care of itself.  What is important to me is that the guys continue to improve and that we play well as a team.  That’s what I want to do, that’s what want for this team, for this group of guys and everything else will handle itself.”

(On if he thinks the last two losses can mean that the team is going in the wrong direction as opposed to the direction that Mike Holmgren wants the team to go in) -- “You’re going to have to ask Mike about questions like that.  I feel pretty confident in the direction this team is heading and the direction we are headed in organizationally.  I think it’s apparent in the type of people that we brought in, the way that we play and there are hiccups along the road in any process like this.  There are growing pains in anything like this, but I’m confident in the coaches, I’m confident in the things that we’ve done and I believe in what we stand for and what we teach.  I think that we’ve got a very bright future for this team and this organization.”

(On Colt McCoy saying that there was a lack of energy in the team in yesterday’s game) -- “You would have to ask Colt what he directly meant.  He’s the quarterback; he controls a lot of the energy of the offense.  We all control that.  You will have to ask him and what he meant by that.”

(On if Eric Wright is out for the remainder of the season) -- “Yes, he’s going to have to go on IR.”

(On if Wright will need surgery) -- “That I don’t know yet.  I’ll probably know more later this week.  It’s early, but he’s not going to be back for the final two (games).”

(On if Brad Seely being penalized for bumping into an official on the sideline was a call that more strictly enforced because of what happened on the Jets’ sideline last week) -- “I don’t know if it was because of that.  I’m sure there was a heightened awareness on sideline issues on kicking plays.  He said he was out of the box, the box we have outlined and that’s why he bumped into him.  It’s hard to tell on the tape if he was or if he was by a lot.  I know he wasn’t by a lot, but if the official hits you, you are going to get a flag.”

(On if he was signaling in defensive plays during yesterday’s game) -- “It’s all hands on deck.  There were some run/pass keys that I felt pretty strongly about, so I was more giving that.  The call was the call, I was just more signaling what I felt was coming.”

(On if he was waving off any defensive plays that he did not like to be called) -- “No, I wasn’t waving off (plays).  It’s more, ‘It’s probably going to be this fellas.’”

(On if it looked like the Bengals recovered the onside kick yesterday) -- “Gosh, it’s hard.  From the film that we had in the sideline picture, you can see it bounce into the scrum, but you can’t really see if he has got complete possession before we get in the pile or not.  Even from the end zone part, it’s the same thing.  You see that we have a shot for it, but you can’t see when the official comes in and makes that judgment of who really has the ball.  There are just bodies.”

(On the season that Wright had and his future) -- “I give Eric a lot of credit, especially over the last couple of weeks.  He was coming back from an injury in that situation that was difficult.  I wasn’t sure whether he would be back in that timeframe. I think he did a really good job with trying to get back and helping out.  It was important to him.  He definitely had some ups and downs this season.  I thought he was outstanding last season, so the person hasn’t changed and the player hasn’t changed.  The important thing for him is to be able to come back from the injury and be as consistent as he can at the high level that he has shown.  He has played at a very high level. Last year he was pretty much on his own all of the time and did a great job.”

(On the thinking behind having Sheldon Brown at the nickel back and Wright on the outside at cornerback opposite Joe Haden in yesterday’s game) -- “Sheldon was dinged up, so we were trying to give him some rest.  Those guys, Sheldon and Eric, were going to rotate through.  It really wasn’t performance-based, they both were fighting through some things and I was trying to give them each a chance to contribute without having the load being too heavy on either guy.”

(On if he thinks he will have to make any changes on the right side of the offensive line) -- “Well, there are not a lot of changes that can be made.  We have got two other guys that can work in there with Shawn (Lauvao) and Steve (Vallos).  Shawn is continuing to progress.  He’s had opportunities and I can see him getting more opportunities, but how it will play out exactly I couldn’t tell you right now.  It’s important though that Shawn, each week he comes out, makes that case to get in like some of the other young guys have.  He’s worked at it and I think he will get some chances.  To what degree, I’m not sure.”

(On how John St. Clair played yesterday) -- “I think he played kind of like we did collectively.  There were some times where we all played pretty well and there were some times where it didn’t look too good.  He wasn’t alone.”

(On if they can try and fix the third down offense at this point in the season with other people’s input) -- “No, I don’t think it’s other voices or other players or anything like that.  You go in with the plan that you have and it’s kind of like the kickoff return game.  We had some returns yesterday that I thought had a real chance, and you get one guy who can’t hold up long enough and a return that should go for significantly more gets blown up.  The same thing on third down, where you got a chance at something and either you have a hiccup on the left side or with the back or the receiver catches it, but can’t break the tackle; you’re just short of the sticks and things like that that it has all got to work together.  It’s the same thing defensively.  We had a couple of shots yesterday where there was a good pass rush on the quarterback and there was a little bit of a miscommunication between the Star, the Money and the safety and a play that should be a sack is now an 18-yard completion.  It’s not wide scale overhaul that you can put in at this point, I’m not saying that.  It’s the ability to execute what we have called against that team effectively.”

(On if the injury to his toes is the reason why Joshua Cribbs hasn’t been able to break any long returns or if it is attributed to something else) -- “That’s definitely a factor, but like I said, there were a couple of times where we had it pretty well blocked and then a guy falls off late and blows it off.  We are up on the kicker and on the right side, a guy ends up falling in late and hitting Josh just as he is about to get, he is following Bubba (Ray Ventrone) up through the hole, and the guy comes off and hits him or else I think we have a chance to, if not go, be pretty close.”


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