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What's Browns coach Eric Mangini saying?

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 31, 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 12-31-10

(Opening statement) -- “The only guy that is missing here today is Peyton (Hillis) but I’m still optimistic that he’ll be able to play. I feel pretty good about it but we will see.  We will see tomorrow where he’s at and just take it from there.  Yesterday is our third down day, thought we had a good practice. I thought it was up tempo, thought the level of communication was really good and looking to finish out the week here strong with the red zone and goal line review of what we did yesterday.”

(On how Mike Bell looked last week) -- “I thought he looked good.  I really felt that Mike had his best week of practice last week too and it translated, it really did.  He got a lot more opportunities. I felt he took advantage of the opportunities both in the running game, made some nice plays in the passing game.  I really liked the way that he practiced last week and he’s had a good week of practice this week so if he gets extended time again here this week I feel good about him.”

(On if running back is an easier position to plug someone in) -- “It just depends on what role it would be. First and second down versus third down, there’s a few different things on third down, two minutes, some of those packages where it’s a little higher level of communication.  Maybe that’s not fair, not higher, it’s just different and to take all of it to have to do all of it is a lot but if you did it as a segment where one was going to work on first and second down, one was going to work on third down I think that’s easier.”

(On if Troy Polamalu is going to play) -- “I don’t know.  You read different things throughout the week but you’re not sure at the end of the day.  Pretty significant game for them in terms of what is at stake and I’m sure that if he can at all, he will.”

(On if Peyton Hillis is still really sore) -- “That’s been primarily the main thing is the soreness and it gets better each day but figure another day of rest will give him the best chance to be effective on Sunday.”

(On if they will call up Quinn Porter from the practice squad to make sure they have enough numbers at running back) -- “We’ve talked about some different things.  We can still do something tomorrow if need be so we’ve got some time to see where he is tomorrow.”

(On if they are considering bringing anyone in that hasn’t been with the Browns) -- “I tell you anything is possible.  I had situations like that in the past, where you get someone at the end of the week and away they go.”

(On if they are going to run more Wildcat to supplement the running game) -- “That’s one of the great things about having Josh (Cribbs) is you can put him back there and get the running plays with him and those are pretty effective and they’re very different in terms of how a team has to defend him.  He’s another great option.”

(On where Chris Jennings is now) -- “I think he’s in Cleveland.  He played in the UFL so there are different things that you have to do to get a guy out of their contract. It’s a little more difficult than how it had been.”

(On if they did a lot with Mike Wallace during the draft last year) -- “Yes, we interviewed all the different receivers.  You go through all the steps and sometimes guys slide and end up playing really outstanding like he has.”

(On if Wallace is the fastest player in the league) -- “He’s got to be right up there.  He’s pretty fast.”

(On the stress there is on the defense when facing a player like Wallace with his breakaway speed) -- “You don’t want to guess wrong on something.  You’re ability to catch up if you make a mistake, you’re chances aren’t very high and you better be playing the right techniques.  If you have to go from a back pedal in transition, the margin for error there too is pretty small because if you’re a little slow on it or awkward on it or whatever it is all you hear is, ‘Meep meep.’”

(On if Joe Haden will be matched up with Wallace) -- “We’ve got a couple different ways of playing their sets so I can see him being on him some and some other times not. There’s a few different approaches that we have in terms of handling the passing game.  They do a lot of things that create some good match ups for him, some good combinations for him and the other problem is with Ben (Roethlisberger) and his ability to move in the pocket, it’s not like it’s just the called plays that we’re going to be dealing with, it’s the play after the called play breaks down that we have to deal with.  It’s every game he does it and every game he does it really effectively.”

(On how the league is trimming some of the fines down significantly) -- “I don’t know what the process was whether they went through a grievance or whatever or how it worked but having had a fine in the past, I’m all for trimming those things down.”

(On fines being reduced because the league saw the players made enough changes since their incidents to warrant the reduction) -- “If that’s the case, I think it’s a good thing because I think sometimes you do come out really strong initially and maybe after you have had some time and you looked at a series of them and you’re able to take a step back and you see that there could be some adjustments to make it more equitable for everybody.  I think that’s always a good thing.”

(On if he thinks defensive players have adjusted to the rule changes on hitting) -- “I think the awareness is about as high as it can be.  There still have been quite a few big hits.  It’s good.  Again, I haven’t followed all of the hits around the league and who’s been fined, so it’s hard for me to say if it’s gone down dramatically or not.  I think it’s a positive thing if it has had that overall league-wide affect.  I think that’s a good thing.”

(On if they ever got clarification on the hit that Harrison was not fined for on Cribbs earlier this season) -- “It was a while ago, I don’t even remember exactly what it was.”

(On on how he feels personally going into the last game and if he hopes this isn’t his last game here) -- “I feel really good about this week.  I feel really good about the way it has been consistent.  There is uncertainty with things and the guys have responded exactly the way that I’ve asked them to, which is to be consistent in their preparation, in the meetings, at practice and all of those things.  You want the guys to also enjoy the week and appreciate the week for a variety of reasons.  There is so much change that happens at the end of the season anyways, whether it’s free agency or retirement.  You don’t get to play with guys over the course of the year, so you want them to do that.  You want them to appreciate the week because it’s the Steelers, it’s the rivalry and all of those things.  Then you want to have that consistent level of preparation and still work on improving individually and improving collectively because you can do it every single opportunity that we have.  I’ve felt like guys have done that as well, which is a really positive thing.  I’m excited about the game and I feel good about a lot of things that we’ve done here.  I believe in it.  I know I’ve said this before, I think this organization and this team have a tremendous future, a really bright future and I’m excited about being a part of that.”

(On if it is difficult for him personally to stay focused on the game and not think about what might happen after the season) -- “It is and it isn’t.  There are so many things that you have to do during the course of a week to prepare for a game that the amount of time that you have to reflect on other things, it’s not like it’s a tremendous amount of time.  Again, I really am proud of the way that the guys have responded.  As I’ve said before, if I was any different in my approach and the coaches were any different in their approach, then it’s hard to ask a group of men, a group of players, to be consistent in their approach.  The future will come quick enough.  Jake (Mangini) every now and then will ask a question, he must hear things, he asked if we were moving.  I said, ‘Don’t worry about it Jake, we will figure it out.’  When you get those types of questions, you don’t think of how I am going to explain the situation to my six year old.  That’s part of the human element.”

(On if he feels that the coaching staff has been able to set aside distractions and focus on this final game) -- “I do.  We’ve been through uncertainty in the past, we have a little experience with it.  You know Brian (Daboll) and Rob (Ryan) really well because of their time down here (with the media), but all of the guys are good guys.  Brad Seely and right on down the line, Carl Smith, they’re all great guys that all want the same thing.  They want us to keep moving forward and win.  They’re not going to deviate or do anything or take any of their focus away that would hurt the ability of the team to do that.”

(On what he would do if he was told that he could stay if he made some changes to his assistants) -- “With hypotheticals like that, I’d rather just sit down with Mike (Holmgren) and talk to him and see what he says.  We’ll talk through those things when we do talk through those things as opposed to really talking about them now.”

(On when he will sit down and discuss things with Holmgren) -- “I’d imagine it will be Monday.  That’s my anticipation.”

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