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What's Browns coach Eric Mangini saying?

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 27, 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 12-27-10

(Opening statement) -- “Good afternoon everybody.  In looking at the tape and meeting with the guys, it’s what we consistently talk about in terms of turnovers.  It’s hard to win with turnovers against any team, and it’s significantly harder against a team like the Ravens or teams of that caliber because the win/loss margin for error is very small.  I thought the players played hard throughout the course of the game.  I thought we had opportunities throughout the course of the game that we weren’t able to capitalize on.  I thought they worked hard through the week, and my expectation this week is the same thing, to have a good week of practice, to prepare to play Pittsburgh.  It’s another difficult team coming in here and I think that’s what the guys are looking forward to as well.”

(On if it is satisfying that the team is playing hard despite games having no playoff implications for them) -- “It’s really what I would expect from these guys and from this group of people.  These guys care about each other, they care about this team, the organization and this city.  There’s a deep level of character and there’s a commitment to improving.  It always hasn’t gone the way that we’ve wanted it to, but they come back and they look at things and they see how they can improve.  I think I’ve seen it week in and week out.  Joe Haden, his interception to me was a result of him improving a technique that we’ve talked about for weeks, where as he was driving back with the receiver, he made sure he was flush with the receiver before he looked back.  That’s something that he and I have talked about throughout the course of the season, and he’s worked on it.  He’s worked on it in practice and it’s a habit that he’s had since college, but he’s gotten better at that.  That was a proud coaching moment for me to see that, and he and I talked about that today.  There are a lot of examples like that, whether it’s Brian Robiskie and the strides that he continues to make game in and game out and right on down the line.  That’s what’s been really satisfying.  That improvement is going to continue and we are going to continue to improve as a team.”

(On if he told Randy Lerner when he was hired that there would be a certain time it would take to turn this team around) -- “I don’t think there’s any one timeline Jeff (Schudel). I think what you have to do, philosophically, when you’re discussing it, it’s how do you want to build the winner?  You can look at it from a short-term perspective where you are going to do everything that you can  to just win that year, or you’re going to look to build a team and an organization that can compete year in and year out, and that’s what I believe in.  I’ve been a part of that and there are a lot of things that go into that.  Ideally what you have is you create something that each year is at a high level, like a lot of teams in our division are.”

(On if it is fair to judge his progress in two years when he is a long term thinking type of guy) -- “Jeff, that’s not my position to judge.  The thinking hasn’t changed in terms of building something for the long term from my perspective.  Whatever decisions are made, are made, but that’s something that is out of my control at this point.”

(On how he would say they have succeeded thus far despite it not showing in their record) -- “I hope it’s apparent in terms of the way we play each week.  We haven’t been on the plus side of as many games as we wanted to, but they have been close games.  I think there has been significant improvement in every single area.  I don’t expect that arrow to change and point down any time soon.  These close games, as you learn to win consistently, will shift in our favor.  It’s going to happen.”

(On it being difficult, but necessary to find progress in losses, even if it’s not showing up Sunday at four o’clock) -- “I think we are seeing it Sunday at four o’clock.  It’s not showing up in the ultimate category, which is what we are all here for, to win games.  That’s what needs to continue to improve, but I think the progress is showing up every single week in the way that we play, the style that we play, the consistency and all of those things, I think, are apparent.”

(On what some of the players saying that they want him back and if he would like Mike Holmgren to take players’ thoughts into consideration) -- “To me, there’s a sense of community in this team and there’s a sense of purpose in this team.  That doesn’t happen by accident.  We all want to win every single week and there’s tremendous respect for each other from the players and the coaches and you can’t share this long period of time of working together and having the positives and negatives throughout the course of the season and the emotional highs and lows throughout the course of the season without forming that bond.  That’s going to continue to be here and it’s going to continue to propel us forward.  It’s meaningful when players say that because I think it’s indicative of the mutual respect and feelings that we have for each other.”

(On if he would like to go forward in with this team knowing that he has a quarterback in Colt McCoy to work with for the long term future) -- “Yes, I would like to obviously continue to be here.   There’s no question about that.  It’s not just a function of the quarterback, it’s a function of all of the people.  Not just the guys on the team, but organizationally and being in Cleveland.  There are so many components of that, but I don’t want to make this whole press conference about that.  I’d like to talk about the game coming up or [the one] just played.  Yeah, there is definitely that deep feeling from my perspective.”

(On how important it is to establish a consistent threat in the passing game) -- “I think what you need is consistent balance where you can hurt a team in either area.  If you’re getting a lot of guys stacking the box you can go to the passing game, if they’re in a 2-Deep show you can run the ball effectively.  There’s also going to be times where they’re going to have eight in the box and you need to be able to run the ball regardless of how many people they have in the box.  Then the next answer is pressure.  Teams will bring pressure.  That’s one of the things I thought Colt (McCoy) did really well yesterday, is there were multiple times during that game where we had a play called, he saw the pressure look, he got the protection changed, and got us into a really good play that led to us converting on third down in some of those third and longer situations, where we’ve had some real problems against the Ravens in the past.  There are two more, one was dropped and one the throw was a little bit off that we had a real opportunity to convert again based on him recognizing, ‘Okay here is where the problem is, let me change the protection’. And then I thought the line did a really nice job really throughout the course of the day communicating who had who, the line, the backs, the tight ends and getting it blocked up.  The volume of stuff that they bring and the kinds of people, it’s not easy.  There is some repeats in terms of where they’re attacking but they dress it up a lot of different ways.  I thought that was a real strength of Colt’s yesterday.”

(On if he would have handled the last two minutes of the first half any differently) -- “The goal there is to have three chances to run three plays before we kick the field goal on fourth down, and I thought we were going to have that.  We ended up with six seconds at the end there and to run that additional play you really are looking for seven or eight seconds, so I was off by a couple seconds.  You definitely want that extra down to do that.  You don’t want to kick it on third down, and I thought we were going to have that, I just was wrong.”

(On how they could have gotten another first down when they took the two shots into the end zone because they were first-and-10 from the 13) -- “Yes, at that point I didn’t think we were going to get the one on the three yard line I thought it was going to come down to where we were.”

(On if Mike Holmgren has been giving him positive feedback) -- “It really hasn’t been like that at all.  I appreciate that, actually.  Mike’s been good about having me and the staff and the team focus on the task at hand.  It hasn’t been sort of that type of dialogue so it’s really been team related stuff as opposed to anything like that.”

(On if Colt McCoy just missed Brian Robiskie or if he was already throwing it away) -- “I think he was going to throw the ball away, initially, and then caught him late, like saw him come open late and it kind of got half way.  I think it was too late for him to bring it back from where he was going.  It just came to his vision too late at that point.”

(On if he is interested in knowing what Mike Holmgren is thinking about him) -- “What did someone tell me one time? “Don’t worry about the future it comes soon enough.”  What I really want, what I really want, is to beat Pittsburgh, that’s what I really want.  I can’t be more sincere than that.  Pittsburgh is a huge game whether it’s the first game against Pittsburgh or the second game against Pittsburgh, it’s Pittsburgh and that’s what I want to do.  The Steelers are different and they’re a good team, a really good team.  It’s at home and I think that’s the focus.  I want the guys to have a great week of practice and go out and thump, beat Pittsburgh.”

(On how Peyton Hillis is doing) -- “He’s sore, really sore but I think he should be fine for the game.  On Wednesday we’ll just see where he’s at.  We may or may not limit his reps or something like that but should be fine for the game.”

(On if Hillis’ ribs were cracked) -- “I don’t think there’s any issue like that.  I think it’s more sore.”

(On if it was a spear) -- “I think he was trying to make the play, yeah that’s what I saw it as.”

(On if Brian Robiskie pushed off) -- “It depends on who you ask.  I don’t think he did but I can see why the call was made.  There was definitely some slight nudging that can be called that way.  I do see why the call was made.  It was a great catch after the nudging that he made.”

(On what lessons Colt McCoy can learn from facing the Ravens for the first time) -- “I think he’s got a much deeper appreciation for Ed Reed.  Ed Reed’s just different.  You try to mimic a guy like that in practice and there’s not a pattern with Ed.  Ed goes with his instincts, Ed will drive on the ball, he’s ducking and hiding behind guys and he’s so rangy and has such good ball skills, it’s just totally different playing against a dynamic guy like that back there.  That’s one of the lessons that you learn.  You can’t take the same chances on a deep ball with a guy like that back there.  There are times where you can take those chances but the odds of him being able to go and make the play that you think other safeties can’t make are higher.  The equation is a little different.”

(On if McCoy learned anything from playing in that weather) -- “It was cold but it wasn’t that windy compared to some of the days that we’ve had here, and who knows what next Sunday will be like.  He’s getting used to the cold, even in pregame we were talking and I said, ‘Now you’re getting a sense of what it’s like here,’ and he said, ‘Yeah, it’s not Texas,’ I said, ‘No it’s not Texas,’.  I thought he handled it well.  I thought he handled it well during the week and I thought he handled it well during the game.  He’s one of these guys as he goes through it and experiences it, it sticks, and he grows from it.”

(On if pressure affected any of Colt McCoy’s interceptions) -- “Yeah, he did have pressure coming off the right side and they had peeled with the hot to (Peyton) Hillis, they had peeled a guy out with him so that wasn’t there.  Then Mohamed (Massaquoi) flashed on the post and he thought he could get it into the post.  He knew he had enough time to throw the post, the hot wasn’t there and then Ed (Reed) kind of jumped over and took it.”

(On if Colt McCoy is hard on himself) -- “Yeah, you don’t have to be that hard on him because he is already handling that himself usually.  He is and that’s the mark of guys that are intensely competitive.  They one, don’t want to lose, two, it kills them if they feel like they’ve let somebody down like their teammates or anybody.  It hurts.  It hurts”

(On how Josh Cribbs was more productive yesterday) -- “Yeah, I thought it was great to see.  He looked like he had a lot more of what we’ve all been used to seeing - that burst from him.  Even on the kickoff returns, punt returns, the Wildcat plays, you definitely saw more of what we’ve been accustomed to seeing.  It has gotten better each week.  I’m looking forward to seeing a lot more of that here this week as well.”

(On if Mohamed Massaquoi needs to step up his game) -- “There were things that he could have done better, definitely, this weekend but he’s not alone.  The interceptions themselves, the one thing we talked about is you got to do anything you possibly can to get the ball out.  He knows that and a couple of them he was in awkward spots.  At the end of the day if the throw is not there, if the quarterback makes a mistake, if he doesn’t put it where he’s supposed to then the receiver’s got to make him right.  He was trying and just couldn’t get it out.”

(On if Mohamed Massaquoi needs to be tougher) -- “I’ve never really questioned his toughness. I think he’s a pretty tough guy.  The best example of his toughness, you see consistently week in and week out the way he blocks.  He’ll go in and crack linebackers, he’ll crack defensive ends, he’ll stay with blocks down the field.  Guys that aren’t tough won’t do that and he does it and he does it willingly and he’s had some pretty big blowup hits and blocks.  Even on Josh’s (Cribbs) Wildcat play where he ran for the first down to our left he had a great block down the field where he was just dominating the cornerback.  I don’t think it’s a function of that.

(On why Travis Ivey played more than Brian Schaefering) -- “He had been doing a good job at practice and he had earned the opportunity, and then those three guys really rotated through.  He’s a bigger guy in terms of his size and things like that so wanted to give him a chance, wanted to have as big of a front as we could, knowing that they were going to run the ball quite a bit and then also wanted to be able to rotate all three guys through.”

(On if Ivey did enough yesterday to get another shot) -- “He did some good things, some things that definitely have to be corrected in terms of your first game where he was a little too fast on stuff.  You forget when it’s a guy’s first game how much the adrenaline, all that stuff is going, kind of like T.J. (Ward) talked about on his first game.  We’ll see how he does in practice.  Brian Sanford’s had some good weeks of practice.  He’s in the mix each week too.”

(On if Joe Haden could have done anything about the onside kick) -- “Yes there was really nothing he could do, it’s got to go 10 and if it doesn’t go 10 you’re stuck.”

(On how it seemed like a good call) -- “I thought so too.  The tackle bailed so he was off at 15 and he was usually bailing to 18 and that’s what he did.  He was off at 15 he bailed at 18 and we had a running start so we just had to get it to 10 and I think we would have had it.”

(On if there was anything else Phil Dawson could have done with the onside kick) -- “I didn’t ask him specifically about if he mishit it or what it was.  The other reason I felt really good about it was we hit about 10 or 12 of those during the week.  I don’t know what the number was but we did it a lot anticipating the fact that we were going to get that guy bailing and they looked pretty good.  Maybe he just mishit it he’s usually pretty accurate with stuff like that.”

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