OBR Daily Blog 10/7

One of the many weapons the Falcons have on offense is former Chiefs tight end Tony Gonzalez. In a conference call Wednesday with reporters, Gonzalez looked back fondly on the Dwayne Rudd helmet toss game of 2002.

Browns-Falcons Injury Report, Oct. 7
Don Delco on October 7th, 2010 AT 4:24 PM


Did Not Participate In Practice (doubtful)
DL Kenyon Coleman, knee
OL Alex Mack, shoulder
DL Robaire Smith, back
DB Nick Sorensen, Calf
OL John St. Clair, ankle

Limited Participation In Practice (questionable)
WR Josh Cribbs, ankle
QB Jake Delhomme, ankle
RB Peyton Hillis, thigh
OL Shawn Lauvao, ankle
WR Brian Robiskie, hamstring
DL Shaun Rogers, ankle/hip

Full Participation In Practice (probable)
RB Jerome Harrison, thigh


Did Not Participate In Practice (doubtful)

Limited Participation In Practice (questionable)
WR Michael Jenkins, shoulder

Full Participation In Practice (probable)
LB Curtis Lofton, knee
LB Sean Witherspoon, ankle

Browns Player Quotes, Oct. 7
Don Delco on October 7th, 2010 AT 4:21 PM

Below are Browns player quotes from Thursday, as provided by the Browns’ PR staff:

QB Jake Delhomme

(On how he feels after practicing yesterday)- "I feel very good. I'm very encouraged, I feel very good after yesterday. I think I did a lot more than I did last week and it didn't blow up on me. I feel encouraged. The coaches will make that decision, I think it will be evident by what they see in practice with how well I move and how manageable I can be with this system and what we have going. I'm very encouraged, I feel good after yesterday."

(On if he trusts his ankle more)- "I just think that's just time. I think that's the same thing with Shawn Lauvao. Both of us are very similar, he's about four days ahead of me in this process. It's been very similar in the things we feel and whatnot. It was actually nice."

(On the challenges that the Falcons' defense bring)- "I've played them a bunch. Certainly, I think it starts up front, they can get after you a good bit. I think John Abraham is fantastic. He can really rush the quarterback and is extremely explosive. (Jonathan) Babineaux doesn't get enough credit, very disruptive. They have some penetrators up front. Kroy Biermann, I've kind of been able to watch his development since he was a rookie. They get after you up front and they rotate a lot of guys. Their linebackers, Curtis Lofton has started since his rookie year right in the middle. Mike Peterson, certainly, and (Sean) Weatherspoon didn't play last week, their first round pick. (Stephen) Nicholas has been a starter for them. They really do well and this is their first year with Dunta Robinson and we all know how solid he is. They can create problems and they do such a good job because their offense is outstanding at keeping the football. Running it, throwing it, they do a great job, so this defense can really stay fresh. They come after you a good bit. That's something that's key. When you have a fresh defense, you can ask any one of our guys, you can really just kind of pin your ears back and get after it."

(On how much his familiarity with Atlanta will benefit him)- "Somewhat, but I still, this is a new team. They have some new players. It helps somewhat, but still, hopefully we are starting to establish our identity of who we are and what we can be. We need to just kind of go with that."

(On if they can rely on mostly running the ball)- "I think so. I go back to when we went to the Super Bowl in '03 in Carolina. You can ask anyone, we were a run first, run second and run third football team up until about Week 8 or 9, when we didn't have Stephen Davis for a couple of weeks due to an injury. We had to throw it a little bit and guys made plays. We just kind of evolved and we just kind of developed from there. Certainly, I think in this division, you have to run the football. Where we live at, I think you have to run the football. Ground and pound is certainly key. When you do that, teams are going to have to stop the run and that's when you have one-on-one opportunities. Be it wide receivers or tight ends, you have to make the most of it."

(On if having him back in the lineup will open up the passing game)- "We'll see. I think Seneca (Wallace) has played outstanding. I think he has done a phenomenal job. I don't know much, but certainly I think we are who we are. I truly believe that. I think we are a football team that is physical and runs the ball well. When you are who you are, you need to be that."

(On what his chances are to play Sunday)- "I feel good where I am at. I think the coaches can make that decision, but the film doesn't lie. They will be able to see through the course of the week whether I can be effective or help or hurt our team. I'm going to go out and do what I can do. Whatever reps I do get, I'll leave it in their hands. I do feel good about where I'm at right now, but it's about the team and giving us the best chance to win. That's what it's all about. There's nothing greater than last Sunday, those 10 minutes in the locker room after the game. Job well done, mission accomplished. That's what you play for."

(On what he is going to have to show himself so he knows he is ready to play)- "I don't know about showing myself, I just think a feel. Can I do it well, can I do it effective enough and am I not going to limit us somewhat on offense? Like I keep saying, the film does not lie. You can be as naïve as you want and thing like that. The film doesn't lie."

(On what he remembers about his last home game against Atlanta)- "We lost Jordan Gross for the year in the second quarter. He broke his tib-fib, that's what I remember. His foot was hanging, I showed that yesterday in our film room. We played well that game. We went with a no huddle attack for the most part in that game and we did some good things. We were able to get a touchdown with two or three minutes left on a toss on third and short. We played pretty well in that football game. We were hoping to kind of establish ourselves and kind of kick start the second half of our year. We lose Jordan, we had to shuffle everyone and we had a quick turnaround on Thursday night against Miami."

(On if it was a tough blow to lose Gross in that game)- "I think it did hurt. He's not only a top tackle, but certainly a leader. But that's the NFL. We say it so nonchalantly. Guys get hurt, it's the truth. That's this game."

(On comparing Peyton Hillis to Stephen Davis)- "I think they're both very physical and they run downhill. Peyton is physical now. Roy Williams is a man. I don't think there's any other way to put it, Roy Williams can bring it and Peyton brought it a good bit last week. I think Stephen was a very good running back. I've had them, naturally, at two different points in their career. Stephen was certainly towards the end where Peyton, he's as fresh as can be."

(On if he sees the team's toughness increasing each week)- "I think so, I see that. I see it in practice. I think we have some talented guys, some very smart guys. Guys are making plays. This team is a very unselfish football team and I think we are doing things the right way. We have been very close our first three games. We had chances, but we didn't get it done. We were able to finish last week. We are learning and growing as a team. I think we are going in the right direction. Certainly, we are going to have a chance this week to see if we are moving because this team could easily be 4-0 if not for losing the opener to a darn good football team in overtime."

(On if he feels more confident that he can avoid the pass rush)- "Yes, I feel more confident this week than last week, I will say that. I don't know how swift I would have been last week. Yes, I do feel a lot more confident this week."

(On if he knew that this team would be a run oriented in training camp)- "I think we knew we had a chance. I think we were working on many things in camp, be it pass game and where guys fit and different things. I think you learn as you go. Let's be honest, we split carries a ton with J.C. (Jerome Harrison) and Peyton in training camp. But with the injury to Jerome, Peyton has got a lot more carries and that's how things work out. You just kind of go with it and once you find it, you ride that horse."

LB Scott Fujita

(On wanting to build off of that first win)- "You'd like to, yes. Like I said last week, we have to build on that one win. It felt great and everything, but we have to find a way to get things rolling in the right direction. Sitting here at 1-3, obviously that's not where we want to be. I'm hoping that we've turned the corner and I feel like we have."

(On Tony Gonzalez)- "He is without question the best tight end of all time. He's still one of the top few in the league. Everybody talks about how he's not as fast as he used to be, but he's still catching seven, eight, nine passes a game. He's still getting 80-90 catches a year and multiple touchdowns. Without a doubt the best tight end of all time."

RB Peyton Hillis

(On if he notices himself wearing the defense down throughout the course of the game)- "From time to time. You have to be persistent every week, you have got to keep coming at them and hopefully you can tire them down. That's when the big yardage opens up. We have got a heck of a team and a good offensive line, that's what helps in that. Hopefully we can continue that."

(On if he is having the best time of his football career right now)- "Most definitely. You're playing in the NFL and you always dream about carrying the ball in the NFL. It's just a dream come true. I have got to give thanks to the Lord on that and my coaches and my teammates for what I've been doing here lately, for doing what people call kind of successful. I don't like to think that it's just an opportunity that a guy had and he took advantage of it. I want it to be a routine thing. I want to be known as being consistent and going the whole year through, being the man or getting to tote the rock and do good things for his team."

(On his favorite thing about running the ball)- "Just moving the ball, converting the first downs and putting points on the board. That's what really counts, that's what really matters. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter who you knock down or whatever, but it's who puts the most points on the board at the very end. The more that you can run, the more that you can convert those first downs, the more time of possession you can have to rest your defense, the better you are going to be off."

Mangini Press Conference Transcript, Oct. 7
Don Delco on October 7th, 2010 AT 3:41 PM

Below is the transcript from coach Eric Mangini’s press conference Oct. 7, as provided by the Browns’ PR staff:

(Opening statement)- "Good morning everybody. We thought yesterday overall was good. I think there are some things that we really need clean up in the running game on both sides. They're outstanding running the ball, they're averaging 37 carries per game, close to 150 yards rushing per game. There are a lot of runs that aren't just your traditional runs. There's some scheme runs that force you to fit differently than what you typically see week in and week out and I think they do a really good job of that. That's going to be a challenge defensively. Offensively, the movement, the things that they do with their defensive line to create negative plays, we've seen movement up to this point it's just it's a different approach to it. That's something we are getting used to as well. I think both sides, us being able to being able to handle the running game and us being able to run the ball effectively is going to be very important on Sunday. Today, we move into third down. They are a really good third down team. They're in quite a few third and shorts which is probably carry over from the way that they effectively run the ball. That's going to be our focus today and we will touch on a few other things from yesterday."

(On how Jake Delhomme did in practice yesterday)- "Pretty good, he did more than he did last Wednesday. He felt pretty good this morning which is positive. He'll do a little bit more here today and then we'll just keep playing it by ear through the end of the week. Seneca (Wallace) got a substantial amount of reps too so both guys will be prepared to play on Sunday, and make sure that Jake if he can is right to take advantage of that opportunity."

(On if Delhomme is looking better than last week)- "Yes, and I think that's going to be the case each week that we go. He's going to look a little bit better, he's going to feel a little bit better so I wasn't surprised by that. The real issue is how it is the next day as you keep adding volume. He said he felt good this morning, we'll see how it goes this afternoon. We've got to keep doing a few different things we need him to do and test those through the course of the week, so I'm optimistic."

(On what is supporting Delhomme's ankle)- "I think it's just taped, I think that's the procedure. I'm not totally up with what they put on."

(On if Brian Robiskie's inactive status was strictly health based)- "It was completely health based last week. He was able to practice some but it just wasn't really running at full speed so that's what it came down to last week. He looks better like all these guys that are kind of progressing, he looks better. The guys that are out today, I didn't really cover that. They are, (John) St. Clair, Alex Mack offensively, defensively it would be Robaire (Smith), Kenyon (Coleman) and Nick Sorensen. Baby (Shaun Rogers) should do something here today. I think that's all the guys that were on the list."

(On if the defensive line were healthy enough to practice every day would they be in more on passing downs)- "We did quite a bit of this last year and typically in a 3-4 defense what happens is the defensive ends on first and second downs become defensive tackles and then the outside linebackers become the defensive ends because our ends are about the same size as most typical 4-3 defensive ends. You're always going to see more linebacker types on third down or in substituted defenses in this philosophy. How you want to mix and match the rest of the group you have flexibility. Sometimes we'll go with all linebackers, sometimes it will be one d-lineman, there's sometimes when you can keep the whole base front in if it's early down substituted defense and play like a variation of 3-4 from the Nickel. I don't think it's purely a function of them not being able to practice the same amount of reps, it's a little bit more of philosophy and opponent."

(On if they played defense like that in New England)- "Usually all three of them (defensive linemen) didn't play on third down. (Richard) Seymour was usually in there, Vince (Wilfork) typically was not in there, Ty Warren would be in there a little bit here and there, he and Seymour could switch up. Willie McGinest would go down, Rosevelt Colvin would go down, he would be a down lineman. Mike Vrabel would go down, he'd be a down lineman and mix them up. You could play odd fronts, move two or three of them around. Ideally, what you do is you force them to identify one of them as a down and then you drop him and rush the other guy. It's pretty common."

(On why he likes the 3-4 defense)- "There is the first and second down component where I think the main reason I like it is because it is balanced and you have flexibility with which rushes you bring and how you want to cover. Then to take those outside linebackers and be able to bring them into sub downs I think that adds flexibility because you can switch roles easier. This time I'm rushing, you're covering, and they're all guys that are used to covering and rushing as opposed to trying to drop defensive linemen or switch with them it gets a little harder."

(On if there is a difference between which receivers Delhomme and Wallace feel comfortable with)- "Seneca and Josh (Cribbs) have real good chemistry and that has been the case since Seneca started working. Now that being said, he's thrown quite a few balls to the tight ends. I think his distribution hasn't been overwhelmingly bias towards one guy I just know that they've had that chemistry over time. With Jake, he's pretty consistent with just going to the read, going to the open guy. I can't really think of one guy that really pops out with him."

(On how close Delhomme has to be to 100 percent for him to start)- "I don't think Jeff (Schudel), it's going to be 100 percent. I don't think very many people at this point, I know we are only through a quarter of the season, but very few guys are operating at 100 percent now. I think what's going to be important is, can he do all the things we're going to ask him to do? Can he move well enough to protect himself if he has to? How well is he throwing the ball? The mental side I'm completely comfortable with. Now it's just can he do what he needs to do to operate effectively? If we don't feel that's the case that would be the reason we would keep him down, as opposed to him being 100 percent physically. He probably feels great from a lot of other perspectives."

(On if his ankle is affecting the way Delhomme is throwing the ball)- "I thought overall he threw the ball well. There's going to be some things that you adjust to just because of getting used to throwing it with the ankle. I thought overall it's been pretty good"

(On if the Cincinnati defensive backs got hurt tackling Peyton Hillis)- "Yes, Peyton's a load, he's a load. I didn't see him after those plays so maybe I'm making too big of an assumption but there seemed to be a correlation between hitting him and being subbed for."

(On Peyton Hillis' physicality)- "I avoid him in the hallways. I don't want to dislocate my shoulder (joking). Now these two guys that Atlanta has coming in you better buckle up your chin strap for both of them. (Jason) Snelling and (Michael) Turner they're both physical, good balance, low center gravity and they're going to challenge us play in and play out. It doesn't matter which one is in you better be ready to strike because they are going to hit which I appreciate that."

(On if anyone has gotten the best of Peyton Hillis)- "There's going to be a collision and some it will depend on just the physics, who's lower but it will be noisy."

(On if they go through extra trouble to scout a guy like Michael Jenkins who hasn't played yet this year)- "We do that pretty consistently especially in the early part of the season, we have games that we have broke down from the offseason and you put that information into the computer during the offseason so that you can access it when you play a team and that's any new opponent. You're always getting a jump on that so you have files whether its video or thoughts for when you go into that week and then you look at the games that they've played. I don't think it's us having to scramble to get that, we've had that stuff in place."

(On Michael Jenkins)- "I think the size is a big issue, he's a big target. I think he moves well, I think he runs good routes and I think he's got good hands. They're pretty healthy in terms of their injury report and they should have pretty much everybody playing this week. When you add another really good player to a mix of players that I think are playing well it just adds to the challenge."

(On what the factors are for Cribbs bringing the ball out of the end zone on kickoffs)- "It's how deep it is in the end zone, hang time, both those things play a factor. If you get a deep high ball you know that the coverage is one, they've a long time to run and you've got to run an extra seven, eight yards just to get to the end line. Then you talk about returning it 28 yards just to get back to the 20 and they've had that extra time to come down if it's got a lot of hang time. Sometime it works when you bring them out. Back in New York we hit one back back in the end zone, guy brought it out went 108. Sometimes it works, you just hope it works for you."

(On if Michael Koenen's touchbacks are mostly in the dome)- "I wouldn't say that. He's got a good leg and when he hits it, he places it pretty deep. I don't think it's just dome related and going back thinking about the tape we've watched it's been both situations."

(On if he's been pleased with the run defense)- "I have been pleased in a lot of ways. I think there are some plays that we've given up in the games to this point that we shouldn't have given up. Whether it was a missed tackle on the edge or we didn't fit quite right. That number to me should be better than what it is. What I do like a lot is the group recognizes the blocking schemes well, they've been playing the technique well, the safeties I think have been sound in terms of getting the guys down when they need to get them down, I think the corners have been very productive. That secondary component is huge because one or two missed tackles and an eight yard run goes for 60 and we had a few of those last year."

(On if the biggest improvement has been on the back end)- "I think that's part of the improvement the corners and the safeties have done a better job, but I think up front too. Another year in the system and the type of guys that we have, they are recognizing schemes better. I think that they've done a good job understanding the type of back they're facing because Cedric Benson is very different then Bernard Scott and the types of runs you're going to get are different. There are the plays and there is the player and the guys have that awareness on the field which I think has helped us."

(On if they will be double-teaming Roddy White)- "I think that one thing that we try to do each week is have enough coverage variation to where you can't count on what it is. Ideally, if we do decide to do that some plays, when we do that it looks like another defense that we have where we are not doing that. That's always the challenge from a secondary perspective is to have enough answers for the plays and the playmakers, but make them all look the same to the quarterback so he doesn't get pre-snap reads. It's hard to do. Ted Marchibroda always taught me to look for the tell and that was a big thing for him where it wouldn't necessarily be the whole framework of the defense. You just find one guy that based on where he is, he is going to tell you what the defense is. It's really a good approach. We talk about that defensively, don't be the tell. In poker they wear the sunglasses so they don't know if you're bluffing or not. You don't want to be the one that's giving up the answer to the defense. The real good quarterbacks, they get ways whether it's cadence, hard count or quick count. It could be different things to try to keep getting pre-snap information. That's what we are always trying to do offensively too is who can we identify, how can we identify it and once you do, then go attack it."

(On what makes White a difficult receiver to cover)- "I've seen enough of him catching it short and breaking tackles and going for a long way. He does a nice job at the line of scrimmage of getting the defensive back to move, which creates some opportunities on deep balls like fades. There have been some balls, that really were going to be contested balls down the field, that he goes up and gets. Another thing that I like about him is that he blocks. He's talented and he blocks. Him forcing that fumble last week, to me, that's a sign of character. He did the same thing last year. You talk to guys about the game is never over. He's done it twice and there's some depth there. Without knowing the guy, just watching him play, there's some of, to me, what looks like real football character in addition to his ability."

(On teams potentially passing more against them because they have a strong run defense)- "I think it usually goes both ways Tony (Grossi). If you are good against the run, you tend to get more passes. If you're not very good against the run, your pass defense tends to look better because everybody is running the ball and you're not giving up those yards. What I'd like to do is be consistent in both areas. How exactly that plays in, I'm not sure what the plus or minus would be yard-wise."

(On how Eric Barton has played so far this season coming off of an injury last year)- "I have had a lot of faith in Eric and he has played or me for a long time, I have a ton of respect for him. He is playing a different spot than he played last year, but it's exactly the same spot that he's played in the past. I think he's done well. With Eric and Chris (Gocong) and Scott (Fujita), those three guys are really, really bright guys. The three of them combined see a lot of things and they communicate real well and that's huge. Outside of their ability, that's huge for a successful defense to have guys like that that can get things right. It allows you to do some more things defensively in terms of formation adjustments, play recognition. It's really important. Eric is really bright, really bright. The other two guys are really bright, so that's fun to coach that."

(On having a balanced defense against the Falcons)- "It's a challenge because they can do all of the things that they can do in the running game. I said the other day that this is a really sound team. They have all of those things, they can move the quarterback in the pocket and create some plays there. They can throw it deep, whether it's wear you down with the run, then run a play action and get everybody to suck up, create separation with the defense and hit you that way. Some of it is holding up in base, some of it is trying to get the run blitzes on your terms or get the pressures on your terms. They make it tough and Matt Ryan makes it tough. There are times too where they have got the run called and the corner is off and he raises up and throws a slant to the wide receiver. It's like, ‘Okay, we've got this stopped. It looks like it's going to be a good play for us.' Then he throws it out for 15, which I appreciate. It's smart football. If it doesn't look good, he's off then throw it to him. That's the type of guy Matt is. Having dinner with him and spending that time with him, he's going to keep getting better."

(On if Jerome Harrison is in his doghouse)- "No, not at all. He'll probably have some opportunities this week and every week is different. No, that's not the case at all."

(On if Harrison has voiced any displeasure or if he has talked to him)- "No, we haven't had any talks or anything, but I'm always open to that. To me, Peyton played really well last week and he got more opportunities, but it's not a function of Jerome being looked at any differently."

(On why Harrison was in at the end of the game for only the three kneel down plays)- "I can tell you Tony (Grossi), I wasn't thinking about very much at that point besides, ‘Can we eat up all of this time right now and get in the right formation?' I wasn't thinking about who was in, I just wanted to make sure that we had the 11 and they were in the right spot. There was nothing more than that besides, ‘We can eat this up, right? Okay, great.'"

(On if he feels good about Alex Mack playing Sunday)- "Yes, and Shawn (Lauvao) did a nice job yesterday with his chances."

Browns Make Practice Squad Moves
Don Delco on October 7th, 2010 AT 3:37 PM

On Thursday, the Browns signed defensive back DeAngelo Smith to the practice squad and released defensive lineman Boo Robinson.

Here is the background on Smith, as provided by the Browns’ PR staff:

Originally drafted by Dallas in the fifth round (143rd overall) of the 2009 NFL Draft, Smith was released by the Cowboys on September 5, 2009 and awarded off waivers to Cleveland on September 6. He was inactive for the 2009 season opener against and was waived by the Browns on September 16. After signing with Detroit on November 18, Smith appeared in the final seven games of the season, recording nine tackles on defense and eight special teams tackles. He spent the offseason with Cleveland and two weeks of the 2010 season on the Browns' practice squad.

In Smith's four-year collegiate career at the University of Cincinnati (2005-08), he appeared in 47 games with 28 starts, recording 126 tackles, 12 interceptions, 21 pass breakups, three forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries. He also fielded 17 kickoff returns for a 20.8-yard average and 23 punts for a 9.5-yard average. Born July 17, 1986, the 5-11, 200-pound Smith attended Independence High School in Columbus, Ohio.

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Browns make a practice squad move – Boo Robinson is released, and DB DeAngelo Smith is back with the club.

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Latest Links from the OBR Newswire
OBR Newswire on October 7th, 2010 AT 8:00 AM

These are links from the OBR Newswire for October 7th from 07:29 to 07:33:

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