OBR Daily Blog 9/30

The Browns have signed the 2009 Canadian Football Rookie of the Year. He's a running back, he's used to bigger fields and one fewer down. Well, at least he looks fast.

5:48 PM

@Cavsfan21 Unfortunately, the press only gets to see a few minutes of practice during the season. Not much more than stretching… (sigh).

5:44 PM

@BxLeister5 The Browns had all off-season to deal for a WR, but decided to go with what they have. Not sure I see them changing it up.

Browns-Bengals Injury Report, Sept. 30
Don Delco on September 30th, 2010 AT 4:03 PM


Did Not Participate in Practice (doubtful)
DL Kenyon Coleman, knee
DB Derrick Roberson, hip
DL Shaun Rogers, ankle/hip
DL Robaire Smith, back
OL John St. Clair, ankle
LB Jason Trusnik, head

Limited Participation in Practice (questionable)
WR Josh Cribbs, ankle
RB James Davis, thigh
QB Jake Delhomme, ankle
RB Jerome Harrison, thigh
OL Shawn Lauvao, ankle
WR Brian Robiskie, hamstring
FB Lawrence Vickers, groin

Full Participation in Practice (probable)
LB Marcus Bernard, ankle
OL Joe Thomas, elbow


Did Not Participate in Practice (doubtful)
DE Jonathan Fanene, hamstring

Limited Participation in Practice (questionable)
DE Antwan Odom, wrist
LB Keith Rivers, foot
WR Jordan Shipley, shoulder
LB Dan Skuta, ankle

Full Participation in Practice (probable)
RB Cedric Benson, knee
CB Adam Jones, shoulder

Browns Player Quotes, Sept. 30
Don Delco on September 30th, 2010 AT 3:31 PM

Below are player quotes obtained by the Browns’ PR staff on Thursday, Sept. 30:

QB Jake Delhomme

(On how he feels today)- "We're getting better. We're going to try a little bit today and we'll see how we go."

(On working on dropping back)- "It's coming. I've been following the plan with the training room, kind of trusting them because this is uncommon for me, having an ankle injury. It's better this week than last week, I will say that. That's kind of where we are at right now."

(On if he had any idea when he injured his ankle that it would keep him out this long)- "No, I did not. I knew something was bothering me, but in the course of a game, adrenaline is flowing. I think all of us, everybody in the NFL, you go through some nicks during the course of a game and adrenaline just kind of takes over. No, I didn't think it would be this."

(On if he will be ready to play this Sunday barring any physical setbacks)- "I've been preparing for the last three weeks the same way as I always do when I play. That hasn't changed. We'll see, we'll leave it up to the coaches, but I'm preparing like I have the last couple of weeks though. I haven't missed any meeting time or things like that."

(On if natural healing is the best remedy for his injury)- "Yes, that's kind of what I've been told and I've talked to a lot of other players and things like that. It is what it is. You just do everything they tell you and more. It's very frustrating, but things happen for a reason. I've kind of lived my life that way, that's what I believe and for whatever reason, this has happened. But I'm very excited to go out on the field today."

(On if he has been throwing during his rehab)- "I did throw with my boot on. I think the biggest thing is if you're just standing there or sitting down, throwing or at least have the motion to throw. That's something that I really tried to stay on top of."

(On what he is seeing from the offense the last few weeks he has been out)- "I think one thing is it gives you a perspective of watching guys play. You're still getting familiar with a lot of guys, but watching them play, watching what they do well, watching them through the course of a game. I think that's always a positive thing in a way, so that's something that I've been able to, I don't want to say enjoy, but sit back and watch, ‘Okay, this guy might do this well,' and things like that."

(On how frustrating this injury has been)- "It's been very frustrating, I don't think there's any doubt. It's been very frustrating. It is what it is, it happened, but it has been frustrating."

(On if he has been hopeful about coming back sooner rather than later)- "I think you are always hopeful early on. Yes, I've been hopeful. I've been waiting for the corner to come around a little quicker, but I have been hopeful every week."

(On the prospect of playing a familiar foe in Atlanta next week)- "Yes, but honestly this is the truth, this is a division game. We are searching for a win, winning cures a lot of ills. I think this team is playing extremely hard. I think we are close, I think we are very close. It's a big division opponent against a team who has pretty much dominated the division interleague play so to speak. We know we have a tough task."

(On if he feels close to being back to normal)- "I think I'll have a decent idea after today. That's where we are at, but it's getting better."

(On what he will be able to do in practice today)- "You know what, I'm not sure. I'm just going to go out there and wherever they put me in, they put me in. We are just going to kind of go from there."

(On if he has tested his ankle without the boot yet)- "Oh yes. We've done that and I think the biggest thing is that I will be in a boot after today's practice. Good or bad, I'm going to be in it. That helps in kind of keeping the ankle immobilized for healing. I've seen DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart live in boots all week long and play the course of the season. It just kind of helps if you have some ankle injuries and things like that."

(On if he could be limited in practice tomorrow and still play Sunday)- "You know what, we'll see. I'm not sure honestly. Today is today, that's how I'm looking at it."

(On not being a patient person)- "I think like most people, you get impatient and it's very difficult. When you go to the stadium on Sunday and there's a hollow feeling inside, to me, that's always something that you just don't feel like you're there for your teammates. That's always something that's bothered me a great deal."

(On if there is still something to be made of this season)- "I think a lot. We are going into Week 4, it's still very early. I think you take it one game at a time, but it's very, very early. Strange things happen in this league. You have just got to take it one week at a time and try to build on that"

(On being on teams in Carolina that would go on winning streaks)- "Absolutely and John (Fox) would talk about it a great deal. If we would get a win or two in a row, John would say, ‘Alright, this is it. We are going to get another one.' You start rattling those wins off. We started out 1-7 after our Super Bowl year, I think nobody in their right mind would have thought that. We were decimated by injuries week after week and then we won six out of our last eight. You kept plugging away and things started happening. A couple of times, we went on five and six game winning streaks. You just go with it. You do everything you can for that week. We are in a week to week business, we all know how this is.”

(On if he has been called on to deliver the message to the team that they can get hot at any time)- "I don't think too many people gave us a shot last week. Going into Baltimore, a hostile place, their home opener against obviously a very good football team, I thought we did some really good things. We are getting close. This team is fighting, this team is playing and I think that was evident in how they finished last year being 1-11 and finishing it off. There will not be any quit in this football team."

(On the play of Peyton Hillis)- "He's doing a great job. We've all known what he can do, I think people on the outside really have not. He's a big bruiser obviously, he's pretty nimble and he runs downhill. Anytime you run downhill, you're falling forward and you're gaining that extra yard or two per carry. He's doing a great job, but I think they're a great one-two punch, naturally, with him and Jerome (Harrison). I think the offensive line played really well. I think Lawrence Vickers is one that really doesn't get the credit that he deserves with the attitude that he brings and what he does from the fullback position."

(On if he thinks that he would have made a difference in the close games that he has missed)- "No, I have the utmost confidence in Seneca (Wallace). I think he does an outstanding job. I think we are all thinking we need to get it done, to break through somehow, some way. Collectively as a team, we need to all pull it together and try to get one win. That's the goal."

LB Scott Fujita

(On the Bengals' offense)- "I see a real talented offense that at times, has struggled early. I know they're probably frustrated about it. They've been talking about that publicly and I know they're probably ready to try to get on a roll here. I just hope it doesn't happen against us."

(On if he was prepared for the team struggling at this point in the season)- "I don't think you ever prepare yourself to be sitting here at 0-3. That being said, I like the things we have been able to do, even with the losses. It's disappointing to drop three fourth quarter leads. That's extremely disappointing, but I think we are close. I always talk about the fight in these guys, that's one of the reasons I came here. We put together three solid first halves and a little bit into the second half. Those things are encouraging, but we just have to learn to finish games. Until we can do that, we are not going to win a game. It's as simple as that."

Mangini Press Conference Transcript, Sept. 30
Don Delco on September 30th, 2010 AT 2:28 PM

Below is a transcript from coach Eric Mangini’s press conference on Sept. 30, as provided by the Browns’ PR staff:

(Opening statement)- "Good morning everybody. How are we doing? With us, Jake (Delhomme) will be back today for part of practice, which is good. The same of d-linemen that were out, will be out. I think Derrick Roberson will be out again, the DB. Other than that (Jason) Trusnik may be back today. He had to go throw one more test and he hadn't done that by the time I came down here so we'll see where that is. If not he'll be back tomorrow. I expect all of the defensive linemen to be back tomorrow as well, actually that whole group, (John) St. Clair not sure if he'll be back tomorrow or not. What we're doing today is we're working on third down so it's our standard progression. Typically, you clean up so you have review, do third down work. I thought we did a good job against them on third down last year at different points. Carson's (Palmer) very good in that situation because he can hurt you a couple different ways, he can hurt you, obviously, throwing the ball, but then he can make some things happen with his feet. We unfortunately saw that on fourth down last year. They do some creative stuff on third down as well that we've got to get ready for. I think Jordan Shipley has helped them with their third down package, he does a nice job of getting open, he's got really good hands. That's what we're focusing on."

(On Jake Delhomme's workout yesterday and how he looked)- "I wasn't there for it, Tony (Grossi). That was our plan this week to bring him back on Thursday based on where he was with the rehab. I didn't go through it bullet by bullet with Joe (Sheehan) as to what he did. It was more the timeline of, ‘Okay, we're going to hold him on Wednesday and see where he is on Thursday.' Sorry I'm not giving you better info there."

(On if Delhomme will start if things go well)- "We've just got to see but he's our starting quarterback so when he's ready to start, he'll start."

(On how the reps will be split between the quarterbacks in practice today)- "He's limited today so it's going to vary a little bit by period. Some of the stuff that Seneca (Wallace) had yesterday we may give to Jake and then there may be some plays we may want Jake to have. It's not he's getting just these plays, it's a little bit targeted to make sure each guy is getting what they need so they're both ready. As opposed to just saying, ‘Okay the first X amount of plays give to Seneca and then the next plays go to Jake.'"

(On the Bengals' passing attack)- "There are a lot of options there. There are a lot of options in terms of who they can throw to. I like Reggie Kelly and with him and (Jermaine) Gresham they've got two real good options at tight end. With Cedric (Benson) and Bernard Scott, both those guys can get involved in the passing game to some degree. Bernard Scott is a really elusive guy in the open field being a kick returner and things like that. The receiving core, you've got good options there too, whether it's Chad (Ochocinco), Terrell (Owens), or Jordan (Shipley) and (Andre) Caldwell has done some nice things over the course of time that he's been there. He works in a little bit. There's quite a few options that he has and I think as they all get more comfortable playing together, I figure Gresham's a rookie he's feeling his way through getting. He gets a little better each game. Shipley is a rookie he gets a little bit better each game. Terrell is new even though he's been there throughout the offseason and training camp, it's still new and you go through a process with the quarterback and receiver of figuring out the routes and how he's going to run it and where the best place to throw it is. A lot of options, a lot of them are new, there's a feeling out process, really good quarterback, they do a nice job protecting. I would imagine each week it should improve and they can run the ball and that always helps."

(On how different the passing game would have been in Baltimore if Jake Delhomme played because he is less mobile)- "I don't know, some of those weren't designed rollouts for Seneca. They were a function of where the pressure was coming. Jake can move around in the pocket, it may look different, but sometimes with a quarterback mobile guys tend to extend their movement where guys that are more pocket passers will slide into the pocket to avoid pressure. They're both moving, it's just the pattern of movement is different. That's always important when you're playing a team that has two different quarterbacks like that, to understand their scramble pattern based on pressure. It's different for the defensive linemen. They have to expect them in different spots. I don't know how different it would have looked, it would have been a function of him sliding up or sliding over where Seneca moves a little bit further."

(On if Wallace plays well against Cincinnati, would it change his mind on the starting quarterback)- "I have confidence in both guys and my expectation is that Seneca, should he play, will do a really good job like he has done a good job. If Jake (Delhomme) plays, he'll do a really good job, but Jake is the starting quarterback and when he's healthy he'll start again. I'm really happy with the way that Seneca has performed and I had a lot of confidence when he was going to have that opportunity and he hasn't disappointed. But I also have a lot of confidence in Jake and when he's ready, he's going to start and play."

(On why Delhomme would be the starting quarterback if Wallace does well)- "We went through a lot of this and it's tough to answer hypothetical questions on if this guy does great in this situation what will you do. I can't predict the future so you make those decisions when you make those decisions but based on the body of work that we have Jake, I feel like, gives us the best chance to win, not taking anything away from Seneca at all. Based on what we watched and evaluated, that is the decision that that we made. Jake got hurt, it wasn't performance based and my expectation is that he'll go in and play at a high level when he has a chance to do that. In terms of hypothetical's about if this happens or if that happens, I can't answer those questions because they haven't happened. You have to look at it in that context when it does happen, if it does happen and then make that decision."

(On what Delhomme does better than Wallace)- "It's not simply comparing them. Jake does a lot of things really well. Seneca does a lot of things really well. In looking at what they both do well, I felt that Jake should be the starter. Jake has a great command of the offense. He has a great presence. I think he gets us into good plays, he gets us out of plays that aren't very good, he's got a lot of experience but that's not a comparative to Seneca, it's things that he does well."

(On John St. Clair's status for tomorrow and if Tony Pashos would start)- "I'm not sure what exactly his status will be tomorrow. I think he's gotten better throughout the course of the week, as typically happens with guys so we'll play that one by ear. I thought Tony did a really nice job when he went in but that didn't surprise me. Tony has done a nice job throughout the time that he's been here. At that point, we'll just look at it in terms of how functional is John, could he play, what role could he play if he wasn't the starter, could he be a back up, is it even worth doing that or do you go with someone who is healthier at that point? All those different things come into play but in terms of tomorrow I'm not 100 percent sure I'm hoping he can make a jump here, but we'll just have to see."

(On how Shawn Lauvao looked on his first day back)- "He looked pretty good, it was fairly limited because it was his first time back, but in the limited snaps that he had, he did a good job on his assignments and technique. Now, there's been a big break here since he's played last so he's got to get back into a rhythm. I think today he'll get some more reps so we take the next step and get a better feel for where he is overall after today and tomorrow. Yesterday, being the first time back it's with the understanding that there's going to be some feeling his way back into it."

(On if Lawrence Vickers is practicing today)- "Yes, he will practice today."

(On if Seneca Wallace is uncomfortable throwing to the left side of the field)- "No, I don't see that as being any kind of consistent pattern. I remember the touchdown he had to (Brian) Robiskie in the preseason where he rolled out, he was throwing to his left on the run, pretty accurate. I don't see really any dramatic difference in his accuracy rate one side or the other side. I don't know what the numbers are in terms of amounts of throws right or left, but nothing that jumps off the page where you'd look at it and say, ‘Okay, we've eliminated the left side of the offense.' It's not really the case."

(On how hard it is to balance the quarterback position)- "It's good when you have two that you can talk about. I think that's always a good thing that you have a comfort level with the second guy that goes in and if he goes in he plays really well. I think that's a great situation to be in. I've been in situations both as head coach and assistant where the two goes in and it's not quite what you hoped it would be but it's much better to be in that situation than the other situation. You look at it, you balance it out, you take all new information in and at that point you make a decision. You never rule anything out but typically when the starter's ready, he goes back in and there's a reason for it."

(On if Jerome Harrison will split carries with Peyton Hillis)- "There will be packages for both guys and I feel comfortable with both guys. In terms of numbers one guy will get or the other guy will get, that will be dictated some by what's working, what their plan is. I'm really happy with what Peyton did last week, really what he's done throughout the course of the season so he'll definitely get his opportunities. Obviously, Jerome has done some really good things as well and he'll get some opportunities then we'll just gauge it as to what's working, who's being the most affective, then that may shift numbers one way or the other."

(On what his definition of what Jerome Harrison's role is)- "His role is to go in and to carry the ball when he's asked to carry the ball and do it affectively, and protect the football. I'd say with any player that has any questions, my office hasn't changed, it's right there. I'm here every day, I can clarify things quickly. If there is any uncertainty, it's pretty easy to clear up."

(On if Harrison has asked him about his role is)- "I haven't talked to him about that. I'd be happy to talk to any player about their role at any point and I'm here every day."

(On teams kicking away from Joshua Cribbs)- "Wouldn't you? It's a smart thing to do. Do you let Cribbs run the kickoffs back or not? Same thing on punts, you can see how many punts are being angled to the sideline. It's probably what I'd do too. Why let him ruin the game?"

(On if he has any options left to force opponents to kick to Cribbs)- "It depends on where the punter places the ball. If he places it right at the sideline, you can take more chances, but when you take more chances on some of those things and you ask someone to do something that isn't sound to try to generate a play, you could easily create a fumble or a big hit. Usually, the coverage is going to the same side that the punt is being angled to, so you have got dramatic numbers over there. With the kickoffs, if they kick it deep into the end zone or out of the end zone, there's not much you can do at that point. You could take some of those out. It's not real high percentage football, so maybe you might hit one, but the protection has to hold up that much longer, you're starting nine or 10 yards deeper. You can take some of those chances and you may hit it, but you may also get blown up on the five or seven yard line. We look at all of those things. It depends on how much hang time the kick has. It could be deep with low hang time, you take those out. It could be deep with high hang time, you have got a chance to get crushed."

(On if the chances for a Cribbs punt return increases if the defense keep the team deep in their own territory)- "Yes, if you can keep them backed up, even if you fair catch it, you have got great field position. Yes, keeping them backed up is huge. It's huge because it usually results in some kind of points one way or the other. Being able to get out of being backed up is the same thing. Get one first down and you can change field position. The punter has got to do a good job if you are in that bind, either from our perspective or their perspective. You need some help there. A good kick goes a long way."

(On how tough it is to win a game when they don't win or dominate the special teams battle)- "I don't really think there's been a situation where we've been at any type of competitive disadvantage. Our coverage teams against Kansas City were pretty impressive against two really good receivers. Sometimes in the return game, you're limited by the opportunities that you have. Now, what I will say is the opportunities that we have, we have to maximize. We have to maximize those and I've talked to the team a lot about that. You don't know how many chance you are going to get, maybe one and maybe three, maybe five. Whichever number it is, they have to count. I think the other thing that you get is teams get excited about playing against Josh, just like you get excited about playing against any player of that level. Everybody on our side has to be that much more ready to take somebody's best shot. We have a good plan and we have got good players on special teams. It's important to them, they care deeply and it's a priority. It's a priority for me, it's obviously a priority for Brad (Seely). Brad is, I think, arguably one of the best special teams coaches in the NFL."

(On if it is any disadvantage for Delhomme and Wallace playing in the AFC North after having been in the NFC for so long)- "It depends on what division they were playing. Over the years, you see different people through the divisions. You definitely get more comfortable with the teams that you play a lot. Every year, we play some teams that we only play one time. I don't think it's necessarily a disadvantage Jeff (Schudel). You get a comfort level when you're playing teams over and over and you really understand their personality, you understand their philosophy, you have some history there. I was in the AFC East forever. Between the Jets, the Patriots and the Jets, there were a lot of games in the AFC East that you've seen where it's like, ‘Okay, remember back in '97? They did this, this and this.' The other thing that happens too is as teams change coordinators, that coordinator's personality gets fused into the new team. Sometimes it's a little bit about which coordinator you're playing as opposed to which team."

(On if he would ever tell his defense to let another team score to try win the game later on)- "Depending on the situation, yes you would do that. You talk about it offensively too, if someone lets you score and you don't want to, doing what Jacksonville did last year where they took a knee. You have got to have both of those plans in place. In New England against Denver, we took a safety one time when we were backed up because we knew that if we kept going, they would probably get good field position. It worked out well that time. Sometimes those things can backfire."

(On if letting a team score is against his core philosophies)- "No. You're fighting to score in time, so if you give up all of the time, it's going to be hard to score. It's the same thing when I was in New York and we played Cleveland. We kicked a field goal in order to onside kick it and have some time. We could have kept going and tried to get the touchdown, but even if we had gotten the touchdown and then onside kicked it. In getting it back, we wouldn't have had any time to try to do anything. You're sort of looking at it as we need nine points, 10 points or whatever it is. We need a field goal at some point, go ahead and kick it, onside kick and have the most time to try to get the touchdown. Some people keep working just to get the touchdown. That's great, they get it and you have got 25 seconds to do the next thing."

(On if Jamal Lewis could have taken a knee instead of scoring to end that game)- "Yes, it did prolong the game. I would have liked him to have gone down, not scored, shorten the game and recover the onside kick (joking)."

(On if Wallace should have preserved a timeout last week when there was going to be a delay of game penalty)- "Yes. Backed up on the one-yard line? Yes, you don't take that timeout because you lose a foot. Nothing good really comes after one of those timeouts. I've had a third and 20, third and 18, you take a timeout because you want to get in this great play and then you give up a sack. It's like, ‘Great job fellas. We blew a timeout and got sacked. What were you talking about? What did you guys say during that timeout? Throw it away?' Some of those things, the communication we had already passed that point. It's not like we could've said, ‘Don't take a timeout.' We didn't really anticipate being in that situation, but he knew it afterwards. Some of those things, you have just got to be reminded of. It happens, you just don't want it to happen again."

Party Like It’s 1980-89
Don Delco on September 30th, 2010 AT 12:51 PM

Browns All-Pro left tackle Joe Thomas and his wife recently held an 80s party for some of his friends and teammates. No worries, Browns fans. There were no gun shots. No arrested. In fact, it seemed like it was a party you or I would attend. Simple, clean adult fun.

Of course, I’m a little bummed I wasn’t invited. I have a sweet Jack Nicklaus get up to look like the golfing great form his 1986 Master’s win. I wore to an 80s party last year to much acclaim. Maybe next time, eh, Joe?

Anyway, Josh Cribbs was also in attendance. He took some photos and posted them on his Twitter account (@JoshCribbs16).

Here are the photos.

Yes, that’s Josh Cribbs as an 80s rocker using the side pony tail. Good stuff.

Looking forward to the next party, Joe. I’ll be awaiting my E-vite.

12:46 PM

Delhomme On The Mend: Week one starter Jake Delhomme has returned to practice Thursday. If he progresses positivel… http://bit.ly/c60pTG

10:45 AM

Jake is our starting qb and if he’s ready, he,ll play mangini said.

10:42 AM

Dl starters miss thursday but mangini expects them to all return friday.

10:41 AM

Jake will practice thursday.

Latest Links from the OBR Newswire
OBR Newswire on September 30th, 2010 AT 9:00 AM

These are links from the OBR Newswire for September 30th from 08:09 to 08:13:

Browns Import Latest Player
Don Delco on September 30th, 2010 AT 8:05 AM

Cosmo Kramer was not interested in going to the Super Bowl with Jerry because he watches the Canadian Football League. Yeah, so that’s my link to the CFL, an episode of Seinfield.

The NFL network televises CFL games. I’ve watched for a few minutes. Three downs, HUGE field and players who wish they were playing in the NFL.

Now, one of those players got his wish thanks to the Cleveland Browns. Earlier this week, FoxSports.com’s Adam Caplan told the OBR the Browns signed 2009 CFL Rookie of the Year running back Martell Mallett.

Mallett joins a long list of rookie of the year award winners in the CFL that include the likes of Aaron Hunt (DT), Barrin Simpson (LB), Frank Cutolo (WR) and Jon Volpe (RB).

Well, Kramer would know who those guys were.

Anyway, Mallett, who played his college ball at Arkansas Pine-Bluff, actually does have some skills. Last year with the BC Lions, he ?set a single-game franchise record with 213 yards rushing against the Montreal Alouettes.

Below is a link to a highlight video of Mallett on YouTube. The dude can play.

The next Ben Gay or Earnest Byner? You be the judge.

Mangini Pile-On Continues in National Media
Barry McBride on September 29th, 2010 AT 9:57 PM

The mood has changed a bit here locally from last year, when the local media was brutalizing Eric Mangini and hyping any negative thing an agent or player would tell them. Why that’s stopped, I’m not sure, maybe it’s not fashionable anymore.

In any event, the national media continues to bag on Mangini by default, seemingly oblivious to some of the positive signs we’ve seen here in Cleveland. The latest is a fairly predictable list from the gang at AOL, who rank Mangini in the list of NFL head coaches in front of only non-coach Al Davis.

Which is like saying Derek Anderson isn’t the worst NFL starting quarterback because he’s better than Shaun Smith.

These best/worst articles do pull page views, though, as any web geek could tell you. I guess it worked… here I am linking it (sigh). They sucker me in like everyone else, and I waste my time reading the opinion of someone whose opinion I don’t really care about, simply because it’s presented in a linear numeric form.

Come to think of it, these articles are sort of the same reason your local chain restaurant has someone standing outside all day dressed in a clown or chicken suit holding signs and waving at traffic. Pay attention! Pay attention! Hey! Chicken! Eat! Read this list! This week only!

Click here if you like guys dressed up as chickens, I guess. Just don’t blame us if you get indigestion if you stop to eat.

9:52 PM

(Subscriber) Scouting Report: Sam Aiken: Fox Sports’ Patriots expert Jon Scott on the Browns new wide receiver. http://bit.ly/cZQixi

Browns-Bengals: TV in Midwest Only
Barry McBride on September 29th, 2010 AT 9:32 PM

Television networks try to target sophisticated, intelligent programming at niche audiences. The mass of humanity gets Celebrity Idol Shark Dancing*, but the smaller audience gets the good stuff.

Which is why CBS is only showing the Browns and Bengals to a tiny area of the United States of America. Yep. The rest of ‘em just wouldn’t get it.

From the The506.com, click here for the TV coverage map.

* NOTE: I would totally watch that.

Mangini Press Conference Transcript, Sept. 29
Don Delco on September 29th, 2010 AT 3:35 PM

Below is a transcript from coach Eric Mangini’s press conference on Sept. 29, as provided by the Browns’ PR staff:

(Opening statement)- "Good morning everybody. Today, offensively the only two guys who will be out are John St. Clair and Jake (Delhomme). I think Jake will practice here potentially tomorrow or the next day so I'm looking forward to that. Defensively, we are going to be a little light on the defensive line Robaire (Smith), Kenyon (Coleman), Baby (Shaun Rogers). All three will miss today and Derrick Roberson, DB will miss today as well. I think that's everybody, I expect all those guys to be back later either tomorrow or the next day. Everybody else should be out there and participating.

"I was talking to the team this morning, we need to start the week the right way get the game plan, focus on the game plan, focus on the things that we've been working on. That takes great individual concentration and commitment to get those things worked out and collectively doing the same thing. It's all of us, it's the players, it's coaches. We know where the areas are now we need to address them in the context of our next opponent. With Cincinnati, I think that playing them twice last year and playing them over the years, there's some similarities between what they are able to do with the giveaway takeaway ratio and what Baltimore has been able to do with the giveaway takeaway ratio in terms of wins and losses. Where it's a dramatic amount of wins when they're plus in the giveaway-takeaway ratio, that's since Marvin's (Lewis) become the head coach. When it's even, it levels off when it's minus one it goes the other way. Marvin's done a great job in terms of producing takeaways. They have been fourth since he has been there and then producing points off of takeaways which I believe is also fourth since he's been there.

"I liked a lot of things we did in the running game last week for obvious reasons. I thought we ran the ball well against Cincinnati the first time we played them last year and not as well the second time that we played them last year. There is a certain way that we have to do that and I think the players understand how we have to do that but that's one component of that. When we throw the ball I think they've got a really nice complement of rushers. They've got a lot of different guys that can get to the passer whether it's Antwan Odom, or Michael Johnson, or Robert Geathers right on down the line. Frostee Rucker he does a nice job, Pat Sims, all those guys can generate some pressure and then they'll bring different game plan pressures. They have some core ones and have some game plan ones and those will show up at different points and we need to be able to handle that.

"Defensively, from our perspective, I think that we weren't very good against them in the running game last year. Really, either game although the first game was a lower average on a high amount of reps but there's ways that we need to improve that that I think we have a pretty good handle on. The passing game they've got a lot of weapons (Chad) Ochocinco, he is one of the best in the league. Then you add in a guy like Terrell Owens who can take some coverage off him, Jordan Shipley's done a nice job as a rookie playing there in the slot. Jermaine Gresham first round draft pick, I think he's a talented guy. With Carson Palmer, like (Joe) Flacco, he can hit any throw. He can go deep, he can hit the comebacks, he can hit the in-cuts and he's been a good player for a long time so some challenges there.

"On special teams what it's going to come down to, similar Kansas City, is some very good returners. Quan Cosby was second in the NFL in punt returns and he's a really talented elusive guy. Then you got Benard Scott who can take it to the house at any point as a kickoff returner, he also plays on offense. Him and Cedric (Benson) splitting reps there so that presents a couple problems there as well. With (Adam) Pacman Jones when he was doing it a lot, he's got tremendous ability in that area. Now, whether or not they use him, that's really their decision. We are going to have to do a great job covering and we're going to have to continue to improve our return game."

(On if they are a better team now than they were at the end of last season)- "I think what the players understand and looking at the tape is where we have improved and some of the things that we can do really well. The other thing that they understand is probably more important is where we need to improve. This is a really good group that works at those things and now it's a function of turning that work into results. One of the things that was disappointing throughout the early part of last year is I felt like we were getting the work done here and it wasn't registering in terms of wins and that's a tough thing from a lot of different perspectives. It was really nice when that work translated into wins but there's a way that it had to happen and there's a way you have to play football here. One, it is consistently, two, its controlling the things that we can control and that's penalties, one, that's turnovers, two. Take those things and improve in that area and good things happen. That has to get done, we've addressed it, we've looked at it. All that being said that has to happen and that takes everybody. You can't have, ‘I got one penalty in three games,' ‘I got one penalty in three games,' start putting 45 guys together, that's a lot of numbers. Same thing with protecting the football. When you carry the ball or have the ball in your hands you carry all of us with you and we've got to protect the ball. On the flipside of that defensively, I thought we left a really good opportunity on the field last week where we had a chance to intercept the ball and probably would have gone for points. You don't want those to be left on the field. They're too big of a play. In practice every chance that you have to catch the ball, you have got to work on it and you got to work on the JUGS. You guys have seen us do the JUGS drill where they'll turn and I used to have to throw the ball and my arms not very good so it would go all over the place and sometimes DB's would complain about it and the comment is, you're not the receiver. No quarterback is trying to throw to you. When the ball comes it's not going to be a perfect throw, it's not going to be like you're working on your time together, it's reactionary. You have to work on reactionary catching and that's something I think we can improve too. Same thing with communication and mental errors and things like that, we minimize those and production increases. I've been happy with the way the guys have worked, but it doesn't take many to change outcomes."

(On if he is going to change up the assignments for the three corners after Eric Wright's game last week)- "We change assignments every game so that's not reactionary. It's just what we do, it's game plan specific. Mike Adams played a lot of corner for us last year. He's played in the slot which is typically a cornerback position and he's done that well and he's improved so I think we've got four guys there that can do different things. I haven't gotten to know Derrick (Roberson) as well as I'd like to because he's had some injury situations, but I'd like to think that he can continue to improve defensively. In terms of changing assignments based on last game, one game, that's not it. It's more changing assignments based on the next opponent."

(On Mohamed Massaquoi's numbers this season and if he has improved)- "I think he has improved, the numbers aren't there but he's made strides in a lot of areas. I don't think it's just purely numbers based sometimes the improvement comes in other areas. Would he love to have a lot more catches? Yes. Would we like those numbers to be different? You always would, you want your guys to have a lot of catches. It's a function of getting your opportunity when it comes, taking advantage of it. He had a pretty good game last year against Cincinnati, kind of one of his biggest early games there. I think he'll continue to improve."

(On how Massaquoi has improved)- "I think the route running has improved. I think his releases have improved. I think his run blocking has improved. I think his understanding the offense has improved. I think his comfort level in the system and being an NFL player has improved. That's typical with going from the first year to the second year."

(On if Massaquoi is getting open)- "There's sometimes where he's open, he might not be the primary read. Sometimes the coverage, based on the position that he plays you get more coverage rolled over there to the X receiver than you do to the Z receiver. Sometimes it's game plan, sometimes it's just based on the way the numbers work out typically the X gets a little bit more coverage because you have a tight end on the other side and you have to count for him with the secondary."

(On the matchups with Eric Wright and Sheldon Brown this week)- "I feel very comfortable with both guys so if we wanted to play them left and right we could do that. If we wanted to match them up I feel comfortable matching them up as well. Ideally, when you go into a season, that's why I never practice corners just left and right, you practice them on both sides, you work them inside, you work them in a lot of different spots because you don't know when you're going to want to go to a matchup type concept where you're going to be on this guy, you're going to be on that guy. I feel comfortable with both guys playing either receiver."

(On if Jake Delhomme will play on Sunday)- "I anticipate Jake coming back. We'll see where he is. Yes, I want Jake to be healthy and that's not a knock on Seneca (Wallace). I want all of our guys to be healthy. Jake did some really good things for us offensively and again that's not in reaction to Seneca it's in reaction to the good things Jake has done."

(On if it has been a setback for Shawn Lauvao to not be out there the last few weeks)- "It's not great when anybody misses three weeks and as a young guy you tend to build reps so he missed those reps. With that being said, with Shawn I thought he made a lot of strides throughout the course of camp. I know he's a very contentious guy so he's been part of everything. He just hasn't gone through the physical repetitions he should have fresh legs though when he gets out there."

(On if the have to balance Joshua Cribbs as returner and at wide receiver)- "Yes, we balance all of his reps. Really, any player's reps are balanced between what's their role offensively and defensively and what's their role on special teams. You look at it as a cumulative number as opposed to each one individually so we do balance that. Josh hasn't had as many opportunities to this point as he had last year whether it be the deep kickoffs that we had last week or some of the pop-kicks that Kansas City was doing. In terms of his numbers of return opportunities, it's down. That doesn't necessarily surprise anybody. They are going to find ways to slow him down, to slow us down in that area. It makes a lot of sense and we're always working to try to take advantage of the things that they're doing and be able to hurt them in those areas in order to get them to kick back to Josh. Now, if the kicker kicks long there's nothing you can do about that. Mike Nugent has a strong leg, I had him in New York."

(On if Cribbs' extended role on offense might cut back his time on his return duties)- "No, he will return the punts and the kicks. If he needs a breather, he will get a breather on offense. When that ball is being punted, when it's leaving a kicker's foot, he will be back there."

(On if Massaquoi only had one target last week because of reads, the way the game went or the game plan)- "It's some of all of that stuff, Tony (Grossi). I thought the offense moved the ball really well against Baltimore throughout the course of the game. The thing you can't do against a team, really any team, but especially against Baltimore is you can't force an issue for the sake of forcing an issue. You have to understand where the ball needs to go, make sure it's delivered on time and move the chains. I thought that we did a really good job of that throughout the course of the game. We had some more running plays, which that's always a good thing. You're not going to try to force something for the sake of getting somebody some numbers."

(On if it is difficult to get the offense going without a "go-to receiver")- "I really believe in team concepts. I would expect that any receiver that is out there could be a ‘go-to receiver.' It's the same thing defensively. Things work well when you've got 11 guys working in coordination. If you look at the running game, it's never going to be based on purely the back or purely the line. It's everybody has to work together to make it go. Defensively stopping the run, the passing game, all of that stuff, you can have the best corner in the world, you can have the best whatever, but if everybody is not working in conjunction, then it doesn't matter. My expectation is that when you have the chance, you capitalize on it."

(On if the team can win with the running back being the leading receiver each week)- "Yes, you can win a lot of different ways. To me, the running back is the leading receiver, tight end leading receiver, receiver leading receiver, it doesn't matter. As long as we can move the ball, score and win the game, we'd run the Wing-T."

(On Bengals corners Johnathan Joseph and Leon Hall)- "I like both their guys. I looked at Leon a lot, he came out the same year as Darrelle (Revis), so we were talking about both of those guys. He's a really bright guy, he's a really good kid. He's tough, he supports the run well. I've seen a lot of improvement from him over the years, which is what I would expect because of the type of person that he is. He plays with good technique. I would imagine, not being in the locker room, but I would imagine he has a lot of leadership ability. With Joseph, I don't know him as well. I think he's a very fluid guy. He does a nice job in zone and man and he's another guy that will come up and support in the running game. I think both of those guys have played well and played consistently well. I think Pacman (Adam Jones), for the time that he been in, has done a nice job. He had the pick there against Baltimore. He's got outstanding ability and he's played well for them in the times that he has played."

(On if the Bengals' corners are good enough to free up other players to blitz more often)- "It's varied. I think they have confidence in them if they want to blitz. They'll play some man-to-man, post safety, when they are on an island, but it's a mix defensively. It's not just this one philosophy, ‘We are going to blitz all the time and you guys have to hold up. We are going to play post safety.' There's a variation in order to take advantage of what the opponent is doing that week."

(On if Mike Holmgren has told him he is seeing the improvement that he wants to see)- "Mike and I, we talk frequently, whether it's after the game, whether it's yesterday, whether it's during the course of the week, at practice. I don't want to talk for him, but I think as a coach, he understands some of the things that have happened. As a coach, like I am, he's frustrated with some of the things that have happened. That's one of the real positives that I see in having Mike. When I talk to him about the game, there's a level of understanding there. We can have a conversation without a translator. That's really good. You can say, ‘Here it is.' He will give me his thoughts and there's really good give and take and some good ideas that come out of that. The only way I can equate it is that you don't have to translate it into, I don't know how to characterize it. He understands it."

(On where Alex Mack stands in his second season)- "I think that Alex is light years ahead of where he was at this point last year in terms of his ability to operate the offense and the offensive line. His comfort level is much higher. At this point, this is game four of his rookie career and he was swimming. Now, he's comfortable in that position and he's made some really smart calls and he recognizes things quicker. Not that he didn't do that last year, it's just he's a year into it now. It's his 20th straight start for us, which is not easy to do coming in and playing that position. The other thing I like about Alex is he gets the whole concept of working on weaknesses and making sure that you get those right, and he plays with a tremendous motor. You can see him on some of those downhill plays or screens where he is getting into the second level. He's in the screen, he's running, he's helping make things happen. To me, that's a great trait. I think that with him, he'll get better each year because of who he is. You add experience to that, he'll continue to grow in that spot."

(On if Peyton Hillis would have had as good of a game as he did last week without Mack playing like he is)- "I don't think it's just about Alex Mack. To me, it's the group. When the group blocks well, you have that type of success. When the group blocks well, the backs block well, the receivers block well. It has got to be coordinated. It only takes one guy on the offensive line to not get his block or block the wrong guy or give up some penetration and the play gets crushed in the backfield. I don't see it as just him."

(On if Eric Steinbach is playing better than he has since he has been here)- "I think he's had a really good start to the season. I thought he was really physical last week. He's a smart guy. Him, Joe (Thomas) and Alex have worked together now for a year, which is really positive. They have got a good chemistry together over on that left hand side. He's worked on things that we have identified that we wanted him to work on. I'd say I think he's playing better now."

(On Terrell Owens coming back from injury to play in Super Bowl XXXIX and him still playing at 36 years old)- "It doesn't surprise me. The fact that he played in that game shows you how important it is to him, shows you his inherent toughness, his competitiveness. You go into that game with not really having a lot of prep time, not really knowing exactly how it's going to go and he played really well that weekend. He's played well wherever he's gone. He's got good run after the catch, he's a physical guy, he's got excellent hands, he's smart and he's with a partner that takes coverage off of him too. I think they've done a nice job with (Jordan) Shipley, having him in the slot. A very consistent guy, he's done a nice job. (Jermaine) Gresham, Reggie Kelly, it's potent. The quarterback can get all of those guys the ball and does."

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