Archive for September, 2010

11:28 PM

Browns-Ravens: Joe’s Game Review: Joe Brownlee shares his impressions of the team’s latest narrow loss.

11:28 PM

Browns-Ravens: Report Card: TSX tallies up the marks for the Browns third straight loss.

Transcript: Eric Mangini, 9/27
Barry McBride on September 27th, 2010 AT 9:24 PM

(Opening statement)- “Good afternoon everybody.  In talking to the guys, one of the things I talked to them after the game and I shared it with you and I talked to them again today about, that I really liked the way that we started the game, the way that we played the game. Going to Baltimore and dealing with that environment, dealing with all the things that go with that, it can affect a team one of team ways and I think we chose the right way to be affected by it and responded in the right way.  I thought they fought hard throughout the course of the game, thought it was a physical game and I was pleased with that.  Obviously, the mistakes that are made in terms of penalties remain a problem and needs to be fixed, but that’s a starting point.  I was really happy with our offense in terms of not having any turnovers. I think that’s the starting point there. The other thing offensively is we ran the ball really well and that’s a very good defense and a very tough defense to run the ball against. I thought Peyton (Hillis) did an excellent job, I thought the line did an excellent job, perimeter, Josh (Cribbs) and Mohamed (Massaquoi) and whoever else was out there those guys turned some medium plays into big plays.  That’s how I envision us being able to run the ball and that’s my expectation for us to run the ball in that physical style.  I thought the protection held up pretty well through the course of the day against a very good pass rush.  This is the first time we’ve had a quarterback with over a 100 quarterback rating, I think against any Ravens defense so that was positive as well.  It was efficient and we’re able to move the ball effectively pretty much throughout the course of the game.


Obviously, there’s the series that we had in the fourth quarter where we were backed up wasn’t very good and hurt us and I think some of the other drives and penalties played a big part of it. Defensively, we had a real good opportunity early in the game to intercept the ball and I think that might have gone the distance and couldn’t quite do that.  Don’t think we disrupted (Joe) Flacco enough and when you don’t do that, he’s tough and he’s got a lot of weapons whether it’s (Todd) Heap or Anquan Boldin or go run it down the run if you don’t disrupt him he can sit back there, he can create a lot of problems which he did for us. Now the running game overall we were pretty effective.  That one long run early where we didn’t do a great job on the edge, but other than that, they responded much better in the running game than we did last year when we faced them. On (special) teams, still got to get the return game going whether it’s the punt returns or the kick returns, we didn’t have a lot of opportunities on kick returns because of the depth of the kickoffs, but the opportunities that we get we got to make them count. We’ve just got to turn that back into what it should be which is a weapon.  I thought the coverage units were solid throughout the course of the day. What I’m looking for from the team is for them to understand the positives from this game and there were a lot of positives in a lot of different areas. Come back on Wednesday ready to build on those and get the corrections that we need to get corrected here today and come back.  That to me is a lot more the style of play that I expect especially offensively from the Browns.  I was pleased with that and got to put that in perspective and fix what needs to be fixed.”


(On if it’s hard to go on knowing it is difficult to make the playoffs at 0-3)- “I think that’s the important thing is to understand the progress that we’ve made and the areas where we’ve made it and how we have to play  and what we are capable of doing when we play that way. That’s one of the important lessons that have to come out of this game. That being said, the issues that need to be corrected are not going to correct themselves.  That’s a conscientious, determined effort, a collective effort to fix that and it is each individual making sure that their holding up their end of the bargain to get that done. If we do that the outcome will be different.  Playing that way, physical, tough, intense, emotional, that’s what we need and now we need to fix the other areas which are under our control.”


(On why they decided to throw the ball deep when it was third and two)- “It wasn’t a decision to throw deep.  We had the underneath part of the route but with the coverage that we had, it was press man-to-man with a post safety and we had a one on one match up with Josh, Seneca (Wallace) liked the match up so Seneca took the match up.  Now we need a better throw to give him a chance but there are other elements to that route that were much more stick specific, first down specific.  He saw it, he liked it, he has that ability to make those decisions, I thought he made a lot of really good decisions throughout the course of the day and I don’t think that was a bad decision throwing it deep to Josh.  You just got to give him a chance to go get the ball.”

(On Eric Wright’s performance on Sunday)- “Eric didn’t have a good day and when you don’t have a good day against a really good player, it ends up being a bad day.  I can tell you this that Eric Wright has played a lot of good football for us, all throughout last year matching up against best receivers and doing an outstanding job.  I know how important it is for him to be right and how important it is for him to play up to his expectations and our expectations and he’s done that on a very consistent basis.  He was disappointed and my expectation is he’ll play a lot better next week.”


(On if something else was behind why Eric Wright played poorly)- “I don’t see it as being anything else. I think the things that he said is probably how he felt, and you’re playing against one of the best receivers in the NFL with an outstanding quarterback, so there’s not a lot of wiggle room.  You make a mistake it’s going to get exploited. That being said, he’s done a lot of good things and I’ve got a lot of confidence in him.  I know that he’ll respond the right way, I know that he’ll continue to improve and I know that he will play better the next opportunity that he gets.”


(On if Eric Wright is sick or anything else is going on since he said he didn’t feel like himself)- “Nothing, I’m aware of nothing. Nothing that he and I have talked about.  Sometimes you’re off, that’s what he said, and that’s how he felt.  I have nothing to add to that.”


(On the third touchdown pass)- “Anytime you blitz there’s trust on both parts. You trust the secondary they’re going to hold up and you trust the front that they’re going to get there.  It’s just the way it is, you go all in and somebody walks away with the chips and unfortunately they did.”


(On if Eric Wright is in jeopardy of not starting)- “No”


(On why the blitz hasn’t been as successful as they hope)- “It was there we just we just had to hold up for another half of beat, it was there.  It was there and the technique wasn’t where it should be, we didn’t have the right depth.  It doesn’t take long to get there but you got to be able to hold up long enough to let it happen.  Flacco threw off his back, foot laid it up and a guy ran under it.”


(On if the safeties were supposed to be helping Eric Wright on the third touchdown pass)-“On that one, no, they were blitzing.”


(On if the safeties were supposed to be helping Eric Wright on the first two touchdown passes)- “One he could have gotten some help that was man-to-man and he had the tight end, but the tight end blocked so he could have gotten some help there.  As a corner in that situation you don’t know what the tight end is doing so you got to play it like you got no help. So if you get help, great, but you have to make the assumption that you don’t have help in that situation.”


(On how you help a cornerback with their confidence after a bad game)- “Cornerbacks have to have short memories.  That’s the way it is because they’re going to be back out there and they’re going to be tested again.  You need a short memory and you need a high confidence level and you need to know that you’re good, you need to know that the next opportunity that you’re going to have you’re going to play better.  Otis Smith had the shortest memory of any cornerback I have ever been around.  There were some plays that he gave up and he’d come back the next week and play much better. Ty Law was the same way, you can’t play with any apprehension when you play that position because you are typically alone and you are alone often and when you make a mistake it goes for six.  You guys have interviewed a lot of cornerbacks they usually have pretty high self-esteems and that’s for good reason because they have to.  I have a lot of confidence in Eric. I’ve coached a lot of guys I’ve seen a lot of different talent levels. He’s a very talented player and he’s made a lot of strides.”


(On if other teams are going to go after Eric Wright)- “They’re welcome to.  He’s going to be out there, he’s going to be playing.”


(On Eric Wright uncharacteristically getting turned around on the third touchdown)-“You don’t want to do that but I can tell you that Boldin has beaten a lot of people.  He’s turned a lot of guys around; he’s made a lot of plays. Sometimes you get turned around in coverage.  Sometimes you can respond to it, sometimes you can’t respond to it, sometimes you think the guy’s breaking to the seven and he’s breaking to the post and that’s what receivers are supposed to do.  They’re supposed to hint away from where they’re going, sometimes a hint and come inside and sometimes a hint and then stay outside.  It’s a game out there.  You’re playing the game and then you are playing the game within the game which is you against that person.  You’re always trying to throw them.  One time you’re pressed, the next time you’re pressed and you’re bailing, the next time you’re pressed and you’re quick jamming, the next time you’re pressed and you’re playing cover two.  You’re constantly trying to disguise your intentions to not allow the guy to be able to play as fast as he wants to, but it keeps going throughout the course of the game.  It’s the same thing for pass rushers.  You don’t want to keep throwing the same punch. You got to change it up, you got to disguise it and whoever does that better usually wins.”


(On the wide receivers)- “I’d say this plan was very specific.  Go to the read that we had designed and if it’s not there get it to the second read quickly.  Seneca had over a 100 quarterback rating and I thought he was very efficient. We haven’t done that against the Ravens ever, been over 100 yards in quarterback rating, I don’t think.  You’re not going to sit back there and wait for things to happen.  There are quick decisions that have to be made and whoever gets the ball gets the ball, but the key thing is to get it out, make the play and move the chains.”


(On why this was a break out week for the running game)- “I thought we ran the ball pretty well against Tampa Bay, we had over 100 yards there, even more than that.  I really think as weeks go on and you get better as a group, as a cohesive group, and I’m not just saying it has to be the same five guys on the offensive line, but as you get more used to working with each other and its coordinated and it’s consistent and the backs get a better sense of how it’s being blocked, it improves.  There were some outstanding plays made that I don’t know if anybody will even recognize it.  On Peyton’s long run, Josh Cribbs knocks down the cornerback, knocks him down, and then runs 20 yards and blocks a safety.  That part of that run was as important as Lawrence Vickers coming over and getting his blocker, or (Eric) Steinbach came in and sealed and Mohamed had a great block on Ray Lewis on one of those plays.  It’s the coordination of the whole group which makes it go and I thought that Peyton did a really good job running the ball as well.”


(On if Wright came to him and apologized about his performance yesterday)- “No.  I’m not looking for apologies from anybody.  I made mistakes in the game, the coaches made mistakes in the game, and other players made mistakes in the game.  What I’m looking for is recognizing the mistakes you made and identifying how you can get better and committing to doing that.  We are all going to make mistakes, we are all going to do things, we all can do things better, but it’s having that honesty of saying, ‘This is what I can do better, this is how I’m going to get it fixed and it’s going to start on Wednesday and it’s going to carry over into the Cincinnati game.’  To me, it’s not whether you say sorry, it’s whether you don’t do it again.  That’s what I’m looking for, corrections, progress and moving forward.”


(On if they are going to stick with Peyton Hillis at running back after yesterday’s performance)- “Yes.  I really felt strongly about Peyton when we had the chance to trade for him, really strongly about him.  I had seen some of the things that he had done against our defense, which I felt was a good defense at that point and against other good defenses.  Some of the things he did in the early part of the year, in training camp.  I think he’s a good player and I think he’s very tough with the ball in his hands.  He had close to 200 yards of offense between his carries and his catches, that’s, to me is not a fluke.  He is a good player and I think he’ll continue to get better.  He’s got a great attitude.  I was excited when we got him and I hope everybody sees why.”


(On if he would like it if the team’s identity was the ability to run the ball between the tackles)- “I don’t think it’s realistic to say that you’re going to run for 173 yards every game, that’s pretty unrealistic.  The ability to run consistently in each game is really important to me because that opens up everything else.  That being said, I was happy with what we did in the passing game.  There was a lot of efficiency there against a very difficult defense because you have got to be able to hold up in protection.  They do a nice job in terms of reading the patterns and getting on those guys fast, so that balance, the more that you can be balanced, the more that you can threaten a team in multiple ways, the better chance you have of sustaining drives, of scoring points.  It’s when you get unbalanced, one way or the other that teams can really zero in and attack that and it’s harder to maintain that edge.”


(On if Seneca Wallace will get a third straight start this Sunday)- “I don’t know.  I think that pretty much everybody on the injury report, I would anticipate practicing at some point this week.  That’s my initial feeling here on Monday, but Wednesday could be a totally different story.  That’s my sense of it now.”


(On how much Tony Pashos played yesterday)- “He was in the majority of the game.  Hopefully we’ll get Shawn (Lauvao) back out so he can get in the mix this week.”


(On how Pashos and Floyd Womack looked playing on the right side of the offensive line)- “I thought they played well.  I thought Eric Steinbach had a really good day.  With Tony, there is such a comfort level with him going to play.  It wasn’t like we were sitting there thinking, ‘Oh shoot, we’ve got to put this backup in against the Ravens.’  It was, ‘Okay, throw Tony in.’ My expectation was that he was going to do a good job and he did do a good job.  That’s positive.”


(On D’Qwell Jackson being placed on the injured reserve when he was expecting to possibly play this Sunday)- “He didn’t have surgery when it was initially injured and the thought process was to give it time, let it heal and then progress him back out.  It was different than the last one he had gotten, so that was the program that we were on.  Unfortunately, it just didn’t respond the way that we hoped it would as we increased the amount of reps, the amount of stress.  That was really the option that we had.  It was the progression and surgery wasn’t going to be the option initially, but as we got through it, it just didn’t respond the right way, so we had to make the move.”


(On if Jackson may need surgery now)- “I know he had a series of tests.  I think at some point, he is going to need surgery.”


(On if wide receivers aren’t getting open enough to get catches)- “I think there were some opportunities we had where we could have gone there, but you’re on a pretty quick clock.  If it’s not there, you got to go to step too quickly.  The tight ends got a lot of chances; I think that as Seneca extended the plays a couple of times. I thought Josh did a nice job of getting open on those extended plays.  The one deep ball there that he had down in the red zone, I thought that was a really good throw, really good catch, really good awareness. There was another time where Josh came back, he was over on our sideline, came back to the ball and made a play.”


(On if there was a hot receiver open on the deep attempt to Cribbs on a third down play late in the game)- “James (Davis) was coming out of the backfield, but they jammed him up as he was coming out.  He would have been in the flat, but they didn’t really let him get to the flat.  He was heading out there, they decided to jam him up.  We didn’t have to throw it hot really because the way that ended up playing out.  The decision was made based off of having post safety coverage, man-to-man on the outside, one-on-one with Josh.  That was the thought process.”


(On how Matt Roth played and him having two penalties)- “He played well.  Outside of those two plays, but I hate putting an asterisk beside anyone’s name, he played well.  That has to be fixed.  We can’t do it.  We can’t do in on third and three when the game is on the line.  You don’t want to do it, ever.  Period.  The one time you may do it is end of the game, three seconds left, they throw the ball in the end zone and you pull the guy down because you’re beat.  We did that to Buffalo one time, six times, until we finally covered them.  That’s it.  That’s not one of the ones that you like.”

(On Benjamin Watson’s roughing penalty)- “I’ve known him a long time.  I think he’s as sick about it as you can be.  He knows it was dumb, it hurt the team.  It makes you feel good for two seconds.  He knows, he knows.  I’m not telling you anything that I didn’t say to him and that he doesn’t know.  I wouldn’t expect him to do it 99 out of 100 times.  Why he decided to do it at that point, you can ask him.  I don’t think it will ever happen again, it’s completely uncharacteristic.  I don’t know what led up to that moment, but he shouldn’t do it and I can’t imagine he’ll ever do it again in his football career.”


(On if he fines players for penalties)- “That’s not collectively bargained, I don’t think.  There might be a lot of gray area.  No, you don’t.  The way you can affect guys is extra running, conditioning, play time.  That’s how you handle that stuff.”


5:24 PM

@fte88 Wallace has made a decent case to start, and Mangini seemed non-commital during press time today.

5:23 PM

@BxLeister5 WR Roy Williams just doesn’t seem like a Mangini/Heckert sort of player. I wouldn’t think they would want to deal for him.

4:51 PM

Peyton’s Place: Mangini is proud of his running back, while Eric Wright takes the blame.

My favorite quote today
Barry McBride on September 27th, 2010 AT 4:22 PM

“He looks like Csonka.”– Steve Mariucci on Cleveland RB Peyton Hillis’ 25-yard run in the second-quarter vs. Baltimore. Hillis rushed for 144 yards and a touchdown.


3:19 PM

Our Year in Limbo: What does the 2010 Cleveland Browns season mean? Barry has the answer: Welcome to another year …

2:58 PM

Dqwell will probably need surgery to repair his pectoral injury.

2:46 PM

Wright not in danger of losing his job.

2:38 PM

Ran ball very well against a very good defense. Didn’t disrupt flacco enough and it cost us. Mangini

All out blitz: Wright or Wrong?
Don Delco on September 27th, 2010 AT 1:39 PM

Perhaps the Eric Wright bashing has reached its crescendo. Perhaps the frustration of another Browns 0-3 start will call for more Wright bashing in the days to come. Hey, it is sports. There are no rules. Bash away if you’d like.

Baltimore Ravens wide out Anquan Boldin finished with eight catches for 142 yards and three touchdowns. He was open all day and the blame fell upon the player assigned to cover Boldin, Eric Wright. The blame is mostly warranted.

But let’s take a break from the Wright bashing and ask this question: Should the Browns have blitzed?

The blitz is in reference to the following instance.

With 9:20 remaining in the game, the Browns led 17-14 after a 1-yard touchdown pass from Seneca Wallace to Ben Watson. On the ensuing drive, the Ravens drove 42 yards in nine plays and reached the Browns 27-yard-line. The Ravens faced a third and 5.

Of course, two plays earlier in the drive the Ravens picked up a first down on a third and 13. That should have never happened. But onto the key play.

The Browns defensive coordinator Rob Ryan dialed up the all-out blitz leaving Boldin one-on-one with Wright. It was a battle that favored Boldin all day. The blitz included the safeties, which meant cornerback Wright had no over-the-top help.

Flacco-to-Boldin for 27 yards and a game-winning touchdown.

What about a bend but don’t break defense? Dropping more in coverage does not guarantee a stop on third down, but it decreases the chances of the Ravens completing a 27-yard touchdown pass. In a day where the secondary was getting torched and there was a lack of a pass rush, why put your defense in a bad position?

This is Monday morning quarterbacking at its best, but the CBS cameras focused on Ryan after the touchdown and it appeared, at least to this somewhat subjective reporter, Ryan was instantly regretting his decision to blitz.

So was Eric Wright.

Suggs: “Never heard of (Hillis)”
Don Delco on September 27th, 2010 AT 12:36 PM

Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs was on the Dan Patrick Radio show on Monday. A day after Browns running back Peyton Hillis gashed the Ravens defense for 144 yards on 22 carries, Suggs explained why the Browns had success on the ground before falling to Baltimore 24-17.

“Never heard of him before in my life,” Suggs said. “I know who he is now, though.”

“He had a good day. We really didn’t expect him to have that kind of day he had.”

Listen to the segment here.

Hillis was a bright spot on a day that ended like most Sundays in Brownstown — with a loss. Hillis was just what the Browns offense needed to attack the Ravens defense.

In addition, it appears the Browns may have re-found their offensive identity, the same identity that netted the team four wins at the end of 2009.

Line up and play smash-mouth football.

Whether or not that type of offense wins in today’s NFL is a debate for another time. For now, giving Hillis 20-30 carries a game should keep the Browns competitive during this difficult stretch in their schedule.

Latest Links from the OBR Newswire
OBR Newswire on September 27th, 2010 AT 9:00 AM

These are links from the OBR Newswire for September 27th from 08:32 to 08:34:

10:29 PM

Fan View: Moral Victory, Schmoral Victory: Jeff B. is about patience this year, but isn’t excited about a third cl…

Latest Links from the OBR Newswire
OBR Newswire on September 26th, 2010 AT 9:00 PM

These are links from the OBR Newswire for September 26th from 20:44 to 20:48:

  • ESPN – Kevin Kolb’s time will come – As much as it surely disappointed him, Kolb accepted the switch. To remain the Eagles' starter was a no-win proposition at this time. But just because the starting job is Michael Vick's now, it doesn't mean it won't be Kolb's in the future. "He wants to be out there and he wants to play, and his day will come here," Reid predicted about Kolb.
  • Fanhouse – Ravens vs. Browns: Quick Hits – The Ravens looked sharp, as they were expected to, with two touchdown passes from quarterback Joe Flacco to wide receiver Anquan Boldin to put up 14 quick points. But similar to the Browns' last two games, they didn't back down while sticking with their game plan by run the ball down the Ravens' throat.
  • Plain Dealer – Another close defeat can’t hide the facts – Here's the good stuff that fans may not want to hear right now — the offense returned to its identity of last season.
  • AP – Boldin, Flacco carry Ravens over Browns 24-17 – Anquan Boldin made himself right at home in Baltimore with a sensational performance against the Cleveland Browns.

Browns Postgame Notes
Don Delco on September 26th, 2010 AT 5:34 PM

Below are postgame notes following the Browns’ 24-17 loss to the Ravens on Sunday, as provided by the Browns’ PR staff:

—Running back Peyton Hillis totaled a career-high 144 rushing yards with one touchdown and added seven receptions for 36 yards. His rushing total was the sixth-most ever against the Ravens and most since 2005. Hillis has recorded a rushing touchdown in all three games this season. He posted a career-long 43 yard run in the second quarter and his seven receptions tied a personal-best, a figure he first achieved on November 2, 2008 against Miami as a member of the Denver Broncos.

—Hillis is the first Brown to reach the 100-yard rushing plateau against the Ravens. He became just the fourth back to rush for more than 100-yards against the Ravens in their last 54 games and the sixth in their last 71. Hillis' one-yard touchdown in the second quarter marked the first touchdown allowed by the Ravens this season.

—Dating back to 2009, the Browns defense has not allowed a rushing touchdown or a single player to reach the 100-yard rushing plateau in five consecutive games.

—Tight end Benjamin Watson recorded his first touchdown of the season, on a one-yard pass from quarterback Seneca Wallace. Watson now has 21 career touchdown receptions and Wallace has 27 career touchdown passes.

—Quarterback Seneca Wallace finished 18 of 24 passing for 141 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions. With a 75 percent completion rate, it marked his best percentage, in games where he has attempted more than one pass, since a 77.3 clip against Atlanta on December 30, 2007.

—Wallace had a passer rating of 103.0 today, it marked the 10th time in his career that he has posted a quarterback rating of 100 or better.

—With no interceptions today, the Ravens had a streak of 11 consecutive games with an interception against the Browns snapped.

—The Browns did not commit a turnover today for the first time in the last six regular season games. Prior to today, the last time the Browns did not have a turnover was on December 10, 2009, in a 13-6 win over Pittsburgh at Cleveland Browns Stadium.

—Wide receiver Joshua Cribbs tied a career-best with five receptions, totaling 58 yards. He also added 20 yards rushing on two carries.

—Defensive back Sheldon Brown has appeared in all 131 regular season games in his career, which began with Philadelphia in 2002. His streak is the second-longest among all active defensive backs.

—Kicker Phil Dawson converted on a 38-yard field goal in the first quarter. He now has 230 career field goals and trails Hall of Famer Lou Groza (234) by four for the Browns all-time lead.

—Offensive lineman Joe Thomas has started all 51 career games at left tackle and has not missed an offensive snap since joining the Browns as the third overall pick in the 2007 draft.

—Linebacker Eric Barton totaled a team-high and season-best nine tackles in the contest.

4:22 PM

VOTE!! Gameballs and Goats!: Persecute the guilty. Save the innocent. It’s time to pick three gameballs and three …