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Mangini press conf. transcript - 8/10

Posted Aug 10, 2010

The transcript of Eric Mangini's Tuesday morning press conference.

Browns Head Coach Eric Mangini press conference 8-10-10

(Opening statement)- “Good morning everybody.  I thought that the practice this morning was good.  What we saw yesterday and I’ve seen it a little bit here in camp is, I thought that the defense got off to a slow start and finished strong.  I thought the offense got off to a fast start and didn’t finish strong.  There were a block of plays offensively that were just horrendous yesterday in that second team period where we had an interception, then a false start, then two snaps over the quarterback’s head.  You can have a bad play, and that’s going to happen sometimes.  You work hard to avoid it, but you have got to be able to move on to the next play and recover.  Just like we talked about with momentum, you have got to be able to take momentum back if it’s slipping away or maintain it if you have it.  Sometimes you hear guys say, ‘Let’s go.’  But that’s just talk.  You have got to go do something about it, you have got to go refocus and everybody has to execute on the next play.  That’s a skill.  That’s a skill like anything else and it’s something that we are working on and something that we talked about.  I thought we had a real crisp practice.  I thought we got a lot accomplished in terms of work on third down and some situational work at the latter part of the morning and I want to see the same thing here this afternoon.”

(On Eric Wright’s injury)- “I haven’t talked to Joe (Sheehan) since the end of practice.  We will see whether he will be out there this afternoon or not.  I’m not even sure whether he will be out there this afternoon.”

(On if Brandon McDonald injured his ankle during his dive into the end zone)- “He went back in and played, but I did show a bunch of examples of other guys getting hurt. I think we talked about this yesterday, of guys getting hurt on celebrations and things like that.  You want to celebrate a good play with your teammates, but you don’t want to have something happen where you get dinged up because you are celebrating.  There are plenty of examples to show with that stuff and to learn from.” 

(On if he is comfortable with Joe Haden stepping in if Wright misses time)- “He’s made some good progress and he has worked at a couple of different spots.  He has worked outside, he has worked at both sides left and right and he has also done some work inside. I think that there’s a lot of work to be done and one of the big components of that, again, is really understanding, not just the initial call, but all of the adjustments that go with it and where you fit on the adjustments.  Sometimes when he is supposed to be off, he is in press.  Sometimes when he is supposed to be in press, he is off.  Disguising, all of those things are things that he needs to continue to get better at and I expect him to get better at it.  T.J. (Ward) I think is continuing to improve.  He made a couple of nice plays again here this morning.  He is really working at the information.  He has been here a little bit longer than Joe has too and I think that’s helped him as well.  They’re at some different stages, but he is moving forward.”

(On seeing Ward play in a game Saturday)- “I am looking forward to seeing him play.  Part of his charm is the way that he is able to hit and tackle, which is not something that we have been doing a lot of here in the early part of camp or in the spring.  It will be fun to watch him in some live action.”

(On if Haden getting reps against the first team is beneficial)- “He ends up working against those guys at different points all practice anyways.  What I’m looking for is how well he has the big picture. How well he understands the assignments and the techniques.  There was one play, I think it was the first play of the second team period where they hit a deep over route to Chansi (Stuckey) and Joe was supposed to have that deep third.  He kind of bit up on a guy that was short and it’s not that the mistake was outlandish, it’s just you need to have the awareness of the slot receiver on the other side.  Those types of things I think will come with time and experience, but that’s what I’m looking for.  Whether it’s the ones or the twos, if you have got to be there, you have got to be there or there’s going to be a big play.”

(On if he thinks Haden could be reading the quarterback too much)- “No, you stress ‘Don’t take the cheese.’  Usually if there is one in front, there is one behind.  That’s how offenses work. They dangle a little cheese, hope you go after it and then they get you with the trap behind you.  It’s awareness, understanding the full field and how you fit.”

(On if he has an update on Tony Pashos)- “Yes and no.  I think he probably won’t be out there this afternoon, but I expect him back later this week.  He is kind of like the group of guys you see day in and day out where they may miss one or two practices.  That’s my initial expectation, but that could change.”

(On how John St. Clair is playing)- “Good.  I think he has had a pretty consistent camp.  Really that whole group that has been working together has had a pretty consistent camp.  They have had a lot of experience working together last season, which has carried over to this season and the work they got in the spring as well.  I’ve like what they have done as a group and I think that John has been consistent as well.”

(On the game St. Clair had versus Elvis Dumervil of Denver last season)- “That game was early.  I think that people didn’t really appreciate Dumervil’s ability at that point.  He gave a lot of people rough days as the season went on having 16 sacks.  I don’t think there was an appreciation for how good of a rusher he was going to be in that system.  Really in that game we could have done a better job as coaches, bringing a back over there to chip and I like to have some of those decisions back from a coaching perspective as well.”

(On if Pashos would have to practice this week in order to play in the game on Saturday)- “I would want to make sure that he was healthy and ready before I put him in the game.  I just want to make sure that he can go in and function at a high level, not be at a competitive disadvantage, not having a heightened possibility of injuring something.  That’s usually what guides the decision is how well they can perform and also how ready they are to perform.”

(On Evan Moore’s improvements)- “I’d say the main way that he is better, Tony (Grossi) is that he has worked at that position longer.  He has really gotten some good work at the tight end position.  Being a player that transitioned in college, I’m sure he got some work in Green Bay, but having the extended time to do that (has helped him).  Also being in the system longer and having an offseason in the system, that has helped him as well.   All of those things I think have contributed to his improvement.”

(On Colt McCoy saying that his struggles are good coaching tools)- “He is a really good student.  What I like about Colt is that he embraces and really understands the importance of getting with Jake (Delhomme) and Seneca (Wallace) and even Brett (Ratliff), who has more experience.  He will get one element of understanding from the coaching staff, but a guy like Jake who has so much game experience really can help a young guy like that.  They have got a great relationship and he has been like a sponge, which is what he should be at this point.”

(On his reaction to Joe Haden tweeting about fines)- “I think our social media policy is a work in progress. I know we’re ironing it out. Sometime with ironing you have to apply a little steam (joking). It’s a work in progress. It’ll give me another thing to coach off of this afternoon.”

(On if there will be fines for tweeting)- “Like I said, it’s a work in progress and with all that stuff we’re entering into new ground. Tom (Heckert) and I will sit down and talk and me, Tom and Mike (Holmgren) will sit down and talk and that’s been really good too to be able to bounce ideas off of those guys, especially with Mike. Sometime, I may come in and think, maybe I’m being too hard on this thing and then I hear Mike, ‘Alright. Lock and load.’ It’s positive. You’re sitting there and you trying to figure out the best course of action and being able to bounce ideas off of him and also Tom, who’s got a ton of experience in a lot of different areas and from different systems and that’s been good. It’s been really good.”

(On his comfort level heading into his second season compared to last season)- “I feel really good about the progress we’ve made, the strides we’ve made. The second year is different. Guys understand expectations. There are so many things that you don’t have to cover because they get it and they become teachers to people who are new and that helps a lot. Having the staff together for a second year is huge. Matt Eberflus was a guy that came in from college, so he was learning this system. Rob (Ryan) had come in from Oakland, done some different things there. Getting together there on defense, same thing on offense, we really had a first time coordinator and then you had guys from all different places getting together and now they understand me more. The staff meetings are more fluent. All that stuff is more fluent, so that’s been really good. I think we had just moved into our house at this point last year, so that’s been really good, for the boys too, who had a year of school. There’s always the home component. There’s the work part that you guys see, but it’s nice for everybody’s families to be established and be over the hump as well.”

(On if running back Montario Hardesty is going to need surgery)- “No, he’s not going to need surgery.”

(On if Hardesty had surgery)- “No, it wasn’t a trick answer. It was just no.”

(On how Delhomme acclimating himself to using a tight end in the offense)- “I really feel like it’s been seamless for him. I think most quarterbacks like to have the tight end as an option and it can be really an effective tool because it opens some things outside. If you can bring that coverage back inside and away from the outside receivers, it opens up a lot of windows that may not be there, typically. He’s developed a good relationship with Ben (Watson) and Robert (Royal), Evan (Moore), Alex (Smith), all those guys and that’s a good room. That’s a good room from a talent perspective, but it’s a good group of guys that if you need them in the backfield, they are happy to do that, split out and I see nice relationships building there.”

(On the bad snaps yesterday in practice and Alex Mack)- “He didn’t have one of them. That was the main difference. It was the two other guys that had them. I don’t know, maybe they filled the ball with helium. I don’t know why, suddenly they were soaring over the quarterbacks head on back-to-back plays. You very rarely see that in practice. I don’t know if they got the yips, but I’d seen enough at that point, but Alex wasn’t one of them. That’s the great news.”

(On Mack taking a lap)- “It was during two-minute when he didn’t snap it. Everybody else moved but him. He overcompensated.”

(On how well the line played at the end of last season and if Mack can make any more strides this season)- “Yes, it was all of them, but a big part of that was strides that Alex made. I don’t know if you remember camp last year, he was on the ground all the time. He wanted to get every where so quickly that it was like slow down. Now, he’s got a feel for the pace, for the tempo for where he has to fit. He’s doing a much better job with understanding the protections and he’s getting more comfortable in his own skin. Being able to start 16 games, gives you a lot of confidence, he knows he can play with anybody and he’s a worker, which he’ll work the same way this year as he did last year and 10 years from now when he’s a center here, he’ll work the same way because that’s how he’s wired and that’s what you want is guys, that no matter how good they get, they are consistent with it.”

(On if the offensive line can build on what they did in the final four games last season)- “I’d like to think so, but really, I don’t want to get too caught up in that part because we’ve got to do all those things we did right then, now. That takes some time, so can we? I think we can, but it’s based on us really understanding what we did and doing all over again and I think teams are going to look at some of the stuff we did and have some different answers that we’ll have to adjust to.”

(On if Tony Pashos; injury is posing problems in finding clarity on the right side of the line)- “It’s like anything else, the best way to make a case for yourself is to be out on the field. That’s the starting point. Injuries happen and I get that, but that’s really the most compelling argument you can make and I think Tony we’ll be back out, like I said, towards the latter part of the week. That’s my expectation and like I said, that could change. He’s doing some good things and I’m looking forward to seeing him again in live competition.”