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What's Browns coach Eric Mangini saying?

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 23, 2010

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

Browns Head Coach Eric Mangini press conference 12-23-10

(Opening statement) -- “Good morning everybody.  The guys that are going to miss today are going to be Robert Royal and Eric Alexander. Kenyon (Coleman) is on his normal rotation, Peyton (Hillis) will be back, Colt (McCoy) is back. He had a stomach flu yesterday, thought he was going to be able to make it out and just couldn’t.  He was able to do part of the walk through and things like that but he’ll get caught up here today.  He looks a lot better here than he did yesterday prior to practice.  We’ll take care of that here through meetings and practice, a little extra time with the coaches.  Evan Moore you saw we put on IR and we signed Ko Quaye who’s a defensive lineman that was on Buffalo’s practice squad.  We had him in here for a workout  maybe a month, month and a half ago and I liked a lot of the things he had done in the workout, we just didn’t really have the spot for him and then with gaining the spot we brought him up so he’ll be out there today.  In terms of practice it’s our big third down emphasis day and reviewing the corrections from yesterday but we need to make some strides on third down, both sides of the ball.  Baltimore has been very good on third down, both sides of the ball and I’d say offensively they bring a lot of exotic pressures.  There’s so many throughout the course of the season it’s hard to prep for all of them.  Some of them are game plan specific, some of them are core ones but they built it a different way.  Offensively, Cam (Cameron) I think does a really nice job with formations and disguising what the intent is to run the plays that they run, they’ve been very successful.”

(On if it will be hard for McCoy to catch up after missing practice or if yesterday wasn’t a detailed practice) -- “There were a lot of details yesterday and he was able to get the information.  He went to the walk through and really thought he had a shot at practicing but he took the reps in the walk through where he went through quite a few of the plays, it’s just at a much slower tempo.  That actually is a good thing because you can really take some more time to go through it and today he’ll catch up at a higher speed as well as get the third down install.”

(On if Seneca Wallace is going to be the second quarterback this week) -- “I thought we were going to have some more opportunities to use some of the plays that we have with Seneca and I do like that package.  I want to see where we are in terms of that package tomorrow and Friday and then make a decision after that.”

(On why is Wallace the second quarterback when they didn’t end up not using those package plays) -- “At that point, if you don’t use any of the plays and Colt doesn’t get hurt it really doesn’t make a difference. There’s always the hope that you can move into some of those things.  When you have as few plays as we had last week, there was a lot of stuff that we weren’t able to get to, so ideally more plays, more chances, opens up some more things.”

(On if Joshua Cribbs’ foot was the reason they didn’t use Wildcat) -- “No, because it’s a mixture. It’s not just all Cribbs, it’s a mixture of things so you can still do some other things that aren’t foot related.  I’m fine with using Josh in Wildcat stuff as well, we’ve progressed quite a few weeks here so it’s going to be as good as it gets in terms of his injury.”

(On if it would be wise to put a healthy guy in for Cribbs on kickoff returns) -- “He’s as healthy as he is going to be.  There are times where he shows a lot of good bursts at practice.  Each week, I think it gets better. He gets more comfortable with it and with Josh it only has to hit once.  With the kickoff return this week I don’t even know if it’s 50/50 whether we will get a chance to return the ball because of how many touchbacks they’ve had, I think it’s 38.  It’s pretty impressive in terms of their ability to control the return game through not really giving an opportunity to get the returns.”

(On if Cribbs is useful on offense) -- “Yes, he’s useful. I think he’s had better and better weeks of practice.  He’s caught a couple balls the week before last.  I see him being an effective part of it really.”

(On if Cribbs has been breaking tackles as well as he did last year) -- “It’s hard to say because I think that we need to improve, and this has been a point of emphasis, collectively on the return game because part of it is Josh it always falls on the returner but you also have got to give him a chance to get started. You also got to give him a chance to get going.  It’s a group effort and when Josh went to the Pro Bowl last year, he took all those guys with him because he understands and appreciates how important our ability to collectively execute the scheme is to give him the chance to do the things that he does.  I think that’s a really good indication of how everybody views it.  Josh gets this award and brings all those guys with him.”

(On if Cribbs’ season has been unproductive) -- “I would obviously love for him to have the same level of production that he had last year and he would love that too. It’s not like he ever sits back and says, ‘I haven’t done as much as I have hoped and better luck next year.’  Josh is trying to be as helpful and productive and explosive as he can and he’s a guy that has tremendous pride and tremendous commitment to the team.  He’s what you want from all perspectives so he’s frustrated with it too.  The other thing I like about Josh is he has a short memory which is what you need because he wants to go out and get that next chance and he’s not going to linger.  He’s going to learn from things that have happened but he’s chomping at the bit to get the next shot.”

(On if Cribbs reported to camp overweight) -- “No, it’s fluctuated maybe two or three pounds. It’s not like he came in linebacker size or anything, it’s just been a fluctuation.  That’s not uncommon for skill position players it’s like opinion polls, plus or minus two percent.”

(On how he deals with the little time he has to be with his family during Christmas) -- “It’s hard, you’re always trying to strike that balance. I’ve really tried any opportunity I get to maybe shift some things to different time slots so I can get to see the kids when they’re awake.  The window with two, four and six the bedtime window is pretty small though they have a way of extending it it seems each night.  Yes, you really work at trying to get those windows and it’s a balancing act.  It’s funny Luke is my middle one, he’s a little bit more I don’t want to call him wild but rambunctious. He swallowed a nickel the other night.  I happened to be home thank God and he was fine but then they don’t understand after that he’s like, ‘Am I going to die?’ I’m like, ‘No, no it’s okay we’re going to be okay here.’  His older brother didn’t help things any, ‘Yes, Luke it doesn’t look good,’ I’m like, ‘Enough.’ You are navigating through stuff like that.  It’s passed, everything is okay now.  Yes, he made change.  It’s just there so many great things this time of year because with the holidays it’s like you get to live your childhood over again, the excitement that they have.  Zack doesn’t say a lot of words right now but he can say Ho Ho Ho. He doesn’t know exactly what Christmas is but he’s signed up, he’s full board, he’s ready for it.  He gets it, it’s exciting.  I wish there was a great answer to that and I think it’s one of those answers that evolves each year.  In the offseason, in the summer there are some blocks that other dads don’t have that we’re fortunate to have and you try to create some really great experiences then too.”

(On how the tooth fairy has been to the Mangini house) -- “Yes, there’s Luke again.  Jake loses his tooth and he’s six so that’s about the right time, Luke loses his tooth because he’s playing by the see-saw and somebody jumps on the see-saw and it hits him in the mouth.  At first he cried then he realized the tooth fairy was coming so he was upsized so then he was cool with it.  I can’t imagine what teenage years are going to be like with him.  The little one, great personality and he holds his own.  He’ll strike back, he’s not going to be dominated by the other two.”

(On what Tyler Clutts has been doing for the Browns) -- “A lot of different things.  He’s played fullback, he’s played linebacker, he’s played d-end, he’s played tight end, he’s a long snapper so we’ll try to find a role for him.  Right now from a practice squad perspective, he’s a great guy to have. We put him at all different types of spots.  If you’re down at tight end alright fill in here, you’re down at fullback fill in here and he’s playing everything at practice.  He’s a big guy, he’s in really good shape which you’d have to be to play all of those spots.  It looked like he had good hands in the work out. He does long snap which has real value because he’ll be able to run and cover if that ever became an issue.  There’s a coverage element to it that I think he has an advantage of.  Sometimes at this time of year you’re bringing guys in that have traits and you give them chances and you see what they can do.  A guy like him appreciates the opportunity so much because obviously his desire to play football is extremely high and his chance to be in pro football, this is one of those times where he can make a name or make a case.”

(On if Clutts has had any collisions with Matt Roth yet) -- “No, I think the rest of the guys in the locker room are pretty good about, it took a while, letting the news guys know about Matt Roth.  They’re better informed now than early on which always helps.”

(On if they want to establish a productive player who can take the load off of Peyton Hillis) -- “I think what you’d like to be able to do is have two or three backs where you could  interchange them all the time, you could play them in all different spots.  Mike Bell’s done a good job when he’s been called on it’s just Peyton has had such a good season and provides so much to our offense it’s hard to make the case to take him off the field.  You’d love to be able to do some different things and have as much depth as you possibly can.”

(On if Montario Hardesty will be added to the running back mix) -- “We felt really good about Montario when we drafted him.  He’s a talented guy, it’s really disappointing that we weren’t all able to see the things that he can do because I think with his ability, his work ethic, his intelligence and things like that provided that he can play a significant role is going to be exciting.  He’s going to be a real asset, he can do a lot of different things, he’s another physical tough guy it’s just nobody’s been able to see that outside of what he did in college because of the injury.  I know he’s disappointed about it, we are.  I see him every day in the weight room, he’s rehabbing like crazy so hopefully he’ll be able to do the things we think he can.”

(On if Hardesty will be back for OTAs) -- “OTAs next year seems like a lifetime from now.  Let’s talk about that one after the season.  I think so, I’d imagine.  I haven’t poured a lot of time into him right now but I see him on the Precore, we haven’t run together but he’s always there kind of when I’m there.”

(On if he reminds the team that they can have an effect of who wins the AFC North) -- “There’s a little bit of that component, I think it’s more just the excitement of playing Baltimore and playing Pittsburgh and they’re two good teams.  They’re traditionally good teams, they’re physical teams I think that in itself is exciting.  The impact, however that works out, it works out.  We’re looking at it more from our perspective of getting to play the teams in our division that are at the top of our division right now.”

(On if he has to tell McCoy to always be aware of where Ed Reed is at) -- “No, you show them. You just show them the clips of him roaming around back there making unbelievable interception after unbelievable interception.  You can spend a whole afternoon on it, he makes a ton of plays.  That’s not the only thing unique about their scheme and their personnel groups, the pressure that Terrell Suggs can bring, Dawan Landry is outstanding. The way the front plays, it’s a good group.  He hasn’t faced these guys yet so this will be different.”

(On how the Ravens pressured more against the Saints than they had in previous weeks and how they prepare for that) -- “There are so many different versions of the pressures that you can’t practice all of them.  You have to practice more concepts of where the pressures are coming and understand this is what they’re looking for from this blitz.  It may be built multiple ways but conceptually this is what they’re doing this is how we want to handle it and that’s more the approach than trying to rep our stuff against their volume of stuff.   You just can’t do it.”

(On if he interviewed with Kevin Byrne when he first worked for the Browns as a PR intern) -- “No, I didn’t interview with him.  Kevin Spencer was here so Kevin had helped me get here and then I was working outside during OTAs and the time between OTAs and training camp I wasn’t going to go anywhere so I was just looking for something else that I could do in the building and PR wasn’t going on vacation. They were going to be here so I volunteered to work in there and that’s how I got to know Kevin Byrne.  Then they brought in the interns, I don’t think Kevin was too fired up with the crew that he had so I got the nod.  That’s really how it went, thank God they didn’t take their job very seriously that summer.”

(On if it was his intent to stick around the organization any way he could) -- “Yes, I just really felt like the best way to learn about pro football is to be around pro football in whatever capacity.  That happens to me a lot where I get questions from people coming out of college, ‘How can I get into coaching?  How can I get into this?  How can I get into that?’  The first thing that you have to do is to get into the door and then the other thing that you have to understand is you have no value.  You’re greatest value right now to an organization is going in, being as hard working as you possibly can be, playing whatever role they ask you to play and showing that you can add value and that you have the capacity to grow.  Sometimes that advice is taken hard and other times it is not because everybody wants to come in as the GM or the head coach or the vice president or whatever it is.  It’s just the realization that look, it’s great that you got your college degree in anthropology or whatever it is, but it doesn’t really translate into the things that the organization is doing.  You have to find a way to add value and show that you can continue to add value over time if they invest in you.”

(On what his goal was when he started in the NFL) -- “Here it is (joking).  I never thought I was going to go into coaching, I never thought that was my path.  I had always bought into the stereotype of coaches with their shorts up to here and the whistles.  When I went to Australia and I was studying there and I got involved in coaching with the team there, that’s when I fell in love with it and I realized there is so much more to it than the way you look at it from the outside in.  The strategy, the motivation, the organization, all of the different things that go into the job.  I thought that I wanted to try this and learn more about this.  The best way to learn more about it was to learn about it at the highest possible level, which was pro football. That experience there, I just realized how important football was to me.  That’s where I belonged.  Once I realized that and knew that, then it was finding how I could go learn what that means.  Sometimes you have to do whatever you need to do to create that opportunity.  If your ship doesn’t come in, swim out to it.”

(On if coaching in the NFL was his exact goal when he started with the Browns) -- “I think that was the ultimate goal, but you still need to go and figure out what that means on a pro level.  What does that mean to be a coach in pro football?  I think that’s true in any business.  You may want to be a lawyer, you may want to be an investment banker, you may want to be a reporter, but you have an image of what that is or you may have a perception of what it is, but the reality could be totally different.  I’m sure people think that the things that you do are just all roses and fantastic, then you have to explain to them that there is some down side to this too.  You guys know, I’m sure you get asked all of the time, ‘How can I get into this business?’  Then they start interning or they start doing some of those jobs and it’s like, ‘I’m going to go back to law school.’”

(On what he remembers about Ozzie Newsome) -- “Really intuitive.  I’d say Ozzie is very intuitive in terms of his ability to read people, evaluate talent and is just a very likeable person.  He’s just easy to get along with, easy to laugh with and easy to relate to.  I liked all of those things about him and I experienced that for a year in Baltimore too, his first year there and he was the GM at that point.”

(On if he sat in the draft room with Newsome in 1995 and 1996) -- “I was only with him in there in Baltimore the one year.  I called in Jonathan Ogden and Ray Lewis, I was the guy who was communicating to New York and I was a little nervous about it.  I remember Art Modell thought that was just the funniest thing in the world that I was nervous.  It seems like forever ago.”

(On if there are any of his players that he would like to see get recognized for the Pro Bowl) -- “The Pro Bowl is really a nice thing. I’m always happy for guys who make the Pro Bowl.  This time of year is interesting because some guys are going to be disappointed that they didn’t make it and you always kind of go through that with some players on your team.  You’re always happy for the guys that do make it.  The guys that do make it, you appreciate the ones that enjoy that, but realize that the most important place to be a Pro Bowler and to be that guy is in your locker room.  I don’t know if that makes sense.  It is a really nice individual honor, but guys that I have been around that have gotten it and then understand how much their teammates played a role in that and how much support they have had to get that individual honor.  To really share it with the guys around them, I think that’s the happiest I am during that process.  I think over the next two weeks, any Pro Bowlers or candidates are going to be tested.”

(On if there are any specific guys who he thinks deserve to get Pro Bowl honors) -- “I don’t usually lobby one way or the other.  I have pretty strong feelings about all of our guys, so I could lobby for each of them.”

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