Archive for October, 2010

Browns Player Quotes, Oct. 14
Don Delco on October 14th, 2010 AT 3:22 PM

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

RB Mike Bell

(On if he could play Sunday against Pittsburgh)- "I think I can, but I'll judge that after the first day of practice. Physically I will be able to, it's all about my mental preparation and how everything goes with that."

(On if it is discouraging coming to a team that is struggling)- "Not really. It's football, this is a good football team. They have lost a lot of close ones. I'm coming to a good football team, I was on a good football team and before that I was on a good football team. I can't really ask for more. A couple breaks here, a couple of breaks there and they would be an undefeated team right now. I can't really say they are struggling when they have only lost by a couple of points each game that they lost. It's going to be a good year. I played with Peyton (Hillis) in Denver. I know the offensive line does a great job up front, so it's a good fit for me I think."

(On if he is surprised that Hillis has become the feature back here)- "No, I'm not surprised. He did a great job when he was in Denver when I was there and he did a great job in college. He's an athlete, he has great hands and he's a smart player. I'm not surprised.”

(On how long it will take for him to fit in)- "I don't think it will take long at all. I'm used to this going to a different team thing so I think I should be able to adjust pretty fast."

LB Scott Fujita

(On what he thinks of the rivalry with Pittsburgh)- "I know it's a big deal around here. I'm excited too. I've played there, I think, one or two times before. I've always enjoyed playing there. I love those big-time, old school football atmospheres, so I'm really enjoying this experience."

(On if Rob Ryan comes up with defensive schemes that are fun for the players)- "Absolutely, that's one of the things he does. It's going to be unique and new every single week. It's fun because I always talk about how he takes advantage of the guys on the defense. If there's something you do well, he's going to find a way to get you on the field and take advantage of that. It's fun to be a player in that kind of system."

OL Joe Thomas

(On if there is a familiarity between Pittsburgh and Cleveland)- "I think there becomes a little bit more of a comfort level just because they know us, we know them and there's not going to be a lot of secrets out there. They do a lot of confusing things and things on defense to try to confuse us on offense. I think overall, they will have a good beat on what we want to do and we'll have a good beat on what they want to do. It will come down to one on one matchups."

(On how they combat Pittsburgh's run defense)- "I think that the first thing that you see when you watch film is they have got an outstanding scheme. They have got seven guys up front that really know how to play this game. They know how to play the technique, they know how to play their gap, they're very fundamentally sound and it makes offense hard because they aren't going to make a mistake to hurt themselves. You have got to be able to try to beat them, they're not going to beat themselves."

QB Seneca Wallace

(On how long he expects to be out)- "I don't know, I can't answer that. I'm rehabbing every day, I'm here early and the rehab is going good. Hopefully I'm back real, real soon."

(On if the offense was starting to click on the touchdown drive and right before he went down with an injury versus Atlanta)- "I felt good. Things were coming along well in that game and like you said, we had a good drive going and we went down and scored. Unfortunately, we had another drive going and I got banged up a little bit. I think we are heading, definitely, in the right direction."

(On if he and Jake Delhomme have been trying to help Colt McCoy get ready for Sunday)- "A little bit. Carl (Smith), our quarterback coach, does a great job. (Brian) Daboll loves to be hands on, so he's spending a lot of time with him. We try to put a little bit of input, as much as we can, in the meetings rooms. The majority of the time, it's Carl and Brian doing the majority of the talking."

(On if he's ever had this injury before)- "No, this is my first time. It was my first time ever leaving a game with an injury. It's tough because you want to be out there playing but it's part of the game. Injuries happen so you just have to keep rehabbing it."

(On McCoy facing the Steelers on Sunday)- "He's been in a situation where he's dealt with a lot. He played at Texas, it's like America's Team like the Dallas Cowboys. He's been in the limelight before. It's going to be a totally different experience for him. It's not college, you're going to Pittsburgh. It's going to be tough, but with his type of character and the kind of person he's been and coming from an organization in Texas where they're always in the limelight, he'll be able to deal with it."

TE Benjamin Watson

(On what makes Pittsburgh's run defense so good and how they can run the ball effectively against them)- "They're good because they get penetration, they make tackles, they have a great blitz game and they cause confusion. A lot of what they do is based on the blockers getting confused. The biggest thing for us is to identify who's who and then put a hat on their hat. It's as simple as that."

(On getting back to running the ball like they did versus Baltimore and Cincinnati)- "Our goal every week is to run the ball. Sometimes it works that way and sometimes it doesn't. It's the NFL so you can't be consistent like that every week, but that's our goal. It starts with practice, it starts with again identifying who's who. They like to move around a lot and sometimes that's how they make plays, by confusing you. The biggest thing for us is being able to see their looks, slow it down and then get the ball and hit it north and south."

1:54 PM

Hillis’ Emergence Led to Trade: On Thursday, Browns coach Eric Mangini addressed the Jerome Harrison-for-Mike Bell…

Mangini Press Conference Transcript, Oct. 14
Don Delco on October 14th, 2010 AT 1:38 PM

Below is the transcript of coach Eric Mangini’s Thursday press conference, as provided by the Browns’ PR staff:

(Opening statement)- "Good morning everybody. In terms of the guys that missed yesterday it will be the same group here today that will miss. As you know yesterday we traded Jerome Harrison for Mike Bell. I think as Peyton's (Hillis) role has expanded and all the good things that he's done, the plays that we have for him have expanded. Mike Bell is a guy that we liked in the free agency process and really complements and is more of a fit for the type of plays that we use with Peyton. I thought that was a good fit for us. Obviously, Philly thought that Jerome was a good fit for them so it worked out for both sides. We are excited to have Mike here. Scott (Fujita) had played with him in New Orleans and said a lot of really positive things about him as a person. Obviously, we researched him further than Scott but he's a guy who's played with him here recently. We are excited about having him here and getting him working and getting him acclimated to the system and the organization. I really wish Jerome nothing but the best with Philadelphia and the things that he's looking to do. In terms of Colt (McCoy) yesterday, he got the bulk of the reps and I thought that he did a really nice job. I thought for his first opportunity to be in that position he operated the offense well both mechanically in terms of the reads and the things that he has to do in that role. I was pleased with that and Brett (Ratliff) got some work as well and I thought he did a nice job also. Defensively, I think we had a pretty good day in terms of understanding how we have to play this offense and it is an explosive offense in a lot of ways and then they have the ability, like Atlanta, to grind out a lot of yards on the ground and control time and possession."

(On if he expects Mike Bell to be ready to play Sunday)- "We'll see here today Tony (Grossi), but I'd say yes he's probably going to be up and play."

(On if Peyton Hillis will be okay to play by Sunday)- "Yes."

(On if James Davis can help at running back)- "James has had some opportunities and will continue to get some opportunities. It's really going to be based on what he does and what he continues to do at practice, carving out that role on special teams. As we know, things can change pretty dramatically week to week and when you get that chance you want to maximize the chances that you do have."

(On if Davis brings a speed element the other running backs don't have)- "James does some good things in terms of getting vertical but I think that Peyton has done some nice things in the open field and has broken some long runs. I don't really know how he dramatically changes things, I think they all have some pluses in that area."

(On if Bell is an open field game-breaker)- "I'd say he's more of a tough, physical runner. I don't think he's deficient in that area, but I'd say he's had some similarities to Hillis that way."

(On why Jerome Harrison got phased out with the same offensive coordinator and offense)- "I really don't think it was a function of being phased out. I think it was a function of Peyton Hillis really doing a great job expanding his role. Even though it's the same coordinator, same offense things change within the offense, things evolved within the offense and I think that Peyton has expanded his role. Mike is a guy that we had looked at and thought would be a good fit when we were looking at free agents in the off-season. When he became available and with Peyton's expanding role and the type of plays that we run with him this was more of a fit for us than Jerome."

(On if Harrison not being happy the past few weeks played a role in him being traded)- "No, no role at all. Our decision is not going to be based on that at all. If anybody's ever dissatisfied with either their role or their situation you always have the chance to talk to me about that and sit down. That's ongoing and we hadn't had that conversation so my assumption is that he understood his role but that's really what it was. This decision and any of these decisions are going to be made based on what we think is going to help us move forward as a team as opposed to that side of it."

(On if he thinks the Steelers will blitz more against a rookie quarterback)- "They do blitz quite a bit. It is Blitzburgh. I'm sure that they're going to do things that they think is going to beat the protection, beat the scheme and there is always something creative that they come up with each game. That's something that they've done for a long time, they've done well for a long time. It hasn't really been exclusively with young quarterbacks, sometimes when it gets rolling it happens a little bit more. Sometimes it's a feeling that they have based on the style of offense you're playing or the blocking scheme they're playing you see a jump in the percentage of blitzes. Some of it depends on how they are viewing it from a coverage protection perspective in addition to the possibility of facing a young guy."

(On dealing with the size of Ben Roethlisberger)- "He's tough to get down, I think the priority is to get him down. We are always going to be conscious of not doing something that's going to create a penalty but this isn't a guy that goes down easily and when he escapes he usually makes you pay for it. He doesn't make you pay on something short, typically it is down the field 20, 30, 60 however many yards down the field. You've got to hold on and sometimes it's hold on and wait for reinforcements and sometimes it's just hold on and do what you can to get him down."

(On why they were a day late with the Bell trade)- "That wasn't really something that I was doing actively, it was Tom (Heckert) and Philadelphia. With any trade you'd love to get it done as early as you possibly can where both parties have the player for the full work week but sometimes you just can't get it worked out. It just happens that way it's not that you're planning to get him a day late, it's just sometimes that's how it works."

(On how Rashard Mendenhall compares to other running backs they have faced so far)- "He does a really good job. He's got a nice combination of that downhill physical back where he can hit the whole or cut back and stay in between the tackles and then he can bounce it and get the edge and hurt you there, which he has done to a lot of teams. You saw his run in overtime against Atlanta to win the game, that big play so he's got that big play potential as well. He continues to develop and he's a real nice fit for what they do."

(On if he is still anticipating the bulk of the players who have been sitting out of practice to return this week)- "I'd say that that's still the case. We were hoping to get a couple back today but we want to get them at the right time. Joe Sheehan does a good job of that and Doc so we kind of adjust off of their recommendation."

(On if the players who were limited yesterday will get more reps today)- "They could still get a few more reps and be listed as limited because they don't get the full amount of reps. Typically, those limited guys who are limited on Wednesday will still be limited usually on Thursday but the limit increases and there's no real distinction in that sense."

(On if he was still leaning towards Colt McCoy starting)- "I'd say that the lean is more pronounced today. I was really happy with what he did yesterday."

(On what he wants to see McCoy do in practice)- "What happens today is he gets another bulk of the install so he has the first, second down stuff from yesterday which is one component but now he has to be able to have put that in the bank, get the new install for third and be able to execute the new stuff now and recall what he had yesterday. It's a little different for him in that sense where when he was getting reps earlier in the season it was a much more limited amount of reps now it's more the bulk of the reps. We want to see that progression and that same level of operation that he had yesterday."

(On what he took from watching McCoy practicing yesterday)- "He seemed really comfortable. He seemed really comfortable behind center and he seemed really comfortable in that role. He broke the team down yesterday which was the first time he has done that but that's probably what he was used to doing for years and years being in that role and he just fell back into that role."

(On if McCoy will wear the play sheet on his arm during the game)- "We'll see how he feels on Friday and Saturday, if he feels really comfortable with it. It's more for if you suddenly forget or whatever comes up some. It's some crib notes where he can refer back to it and maybe speed things up for him if he needs to or slow things down for him if he needs to."

(On what he meant by McCoy broke the team down)- "Just at the end of practice they all get together and usually someone says a few words and they break down. Pretty much every day that happens, it's a different guy it's the first time that he's done it."

(On their quick strike ability on offense)- "I thought we missed a touchdown last weekend, the ball was just a little bit too far out in front of Josh (Cribbs). I think that would have either gone deep into the red zone or gone for a score. Typically, we get a few of those each game some of those go routes that we threw earlier in the season we were missing. We weren't missing by much but we were missing and I'd like to obviously see those hit. You've only going to get one or two a game to really change the dynamic of a game and those put you in scoring opportunities and it also loosens up the defense some. We are going to throw them and continue to throw them and we want the hit rate to increase."

(On how the offensive line looked with Floyd Womack and Alex Mack both out yesterday)- "I thought Shawn (Lauvao) did a good job with the reps that he got and we've got Billy Yates who's working all three of those spots. Steve Vallos who's worked at center and guard. I thought all three of those guys did a nice job. Steve is a guy that we got early in the season and each week he gets a little bit better and more accustom to what we're doing, so that's been good. Shawn has been getting into a little more of a rhythm now after being back here for a little bit, and Billy he can play in any of those spots and fill in well."

(On if he rotated Lauvao, Vallos and Yates among the two spots)- "Steve took a lot of the reps at center, Shawn worked there a little bit and Billy gets some snaps there from time to time because it depends on which one of those guys is going to be active, which one's going to be inactive. (George) Warhop has like an algorithm that he follows that he shows me all the time. It's better for him to just explain it than to try and figure out this thing that he's got going but I know at the end of the day that the reps work so it's been good."

(On how Mack's shoulder injury affected his run blocking last week)- "I thought Alex did a good job dealing with the injury. It's the first time that he's had to but I thought that he did well considering his limitations during the week. My assumption is that we're going to be solid in the running game each week and the running game has to be coordinated it has to be everybody together, all the o-line, the backs, the receivers, everybody has to be sharp for it to be successful and for it to be successful consistently. We are going to get different styles of stopping the run and we get some more variety now then we have in the past with the ways that people are attacking the running game because it has been something that has been a real plus for us. We are dealing with those adjustments and some of them you can anticipate and some of them you can't anticipate because they are game plan specific to us. That has to be something as we come off the sideline we talk about, we get fixed and then we go hurt them on it the next time. We've got a group that's played together and is very tight. I know there is a lot of variety, but this is a very tight offensive line group. The tight ends are very wired in to running the ball successfully, (Lawrence) Vickers is outstanding, the receivers do a nice job and sometimes if someone's not having as great a day in that group you've got to pick them up, you've got to get them re-centered and we've got to be able to go."

(On what makes Pittsburgh difficult to run against)- "There are a lot of things. Troy Polamalu. A really veteran defensive line group that's outstanding at reading blocks and they've been playing in the scheme for a long time. There are not very many blocks that you can show those guys that they can't react to instantaneously. They're strong. I think the linebacking corps is both tough and athletic. They can go down and strike guards, but they can also fast flow for outside plays. I think the two edge guys that they have in (Lamarr) Woodley and (James) Harrison can shock tight ends, they can shock backs. It's a really good front seven and then you add a guy like Polamalu who is really good. He's really good. I'm not taking anything away from anybody I didn't talk about, I could keep going. I think the corners do a nice job too when they're called upon. Typically when you have that going, nobody wants to let anybody else down. Even those guys that may be a little hesitant about tackling, they're not going to be hesitant because they're not going to let the rest of the group down."

(On if he thinks Floyd Womack will be able to start Sunday)- "Yes, I would anticipate that."

(On if Hillis became the featured back because he was bigger than Harrison)- "No. He got opportunities, he took advantage of his opportunities and I think you guys have all seen how he has run. You have seen the things that he has done and things change. He expanded his role, he earned that role. You bring guys in to add depth, you bring guys in to add to competition, you bring guys in to add flexibility and things evolve from one season to the next, where if someone expands, you adjust based on that."

(On how Delhomme and Wallace are coming along)- "Good. It's like a lot of the injuries that we have, every day you get further out from it. It gets a little bit better and each guy is a little different. You could have identical injuries and one guy heals quicker or one guy feels better quicker or you just kind of adjust. They're not all created equal, in terms of injuries and they all don't heal the same way. You adjust to the situation."

(On if the availability of Delhomme or Wallace for Sunday is less likely today than it was yesterday)- "I think we have got to talk about that probably tomorrow or Saturday. After experiencing this with Jake, in terms of Seneca, you have just got to go as deep into it as you can and see what happens."

10:43 AM

We liked mike bell in free agency. See how quickly we can get him acclimated. Might play sunday.

Browns Fess Up to Bell / Harrison Trade
Barry McBride on October 14th, 2010 AT 10:26 AM

Here’s the press release we just received:

The Cleveland Browns today completed a trade in which they obtained running back Mike Bell from the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for running back Jerome Harrison.

Originally signed by Denver as an undrafted free agent in 2006, Bell has appeared in 42 regular season games with six starts. He has rushed for 1,404 yards on 364 career carries with 14 touchdowns, while adding 27 receptions for 196 yards. Bell spent two seasons in Denver (2006-07) before joining New Orleans (2008-09) where he led the Saints with 172 rushing attempts for 654 yards and five touchdowns in 2009, while helping the team to a Super Bowl title. As a rookie with the Broncos in 2006, Bell rushed for a career-high 677 yards and eight touchdowns on 157 attempts (4.3 average), while adding 20 receptions for 158 yards. Bell appeared in five games with Philadelphia in 2010, where he registered 16 carries for 28 yards and one reception for five yards.

Bell totaled 3,163 career rushing yards and 17 touchdowns at the University of Arizona (2003-06), where became the first Wildcat to led the team in rushing in four consecutive seasons. Born on April 23, 1983, the 6-0, 225-pound Bell is a native of Tolleson, Ariz., where he attended Tolleson High School.

He will wear uniform number 22.

Latest Links from the OBR Newswire
OBR Newswire on October 14th, 2010 AT 9:00 AM

These are links from the OBR Newswire for October 14th from 08:26 to 08:31:

Wallace compares well with peers
Don Delco on October 14th, 2010 AT 8:55 AM

The Big Lead, an independent sports blog, used some good ol’ fashion statistical analysis when comparing the NFL quarterbacks head-to-head by opponent.

Here is what the author, Jason Lisk, said how he came about his rankings:

“I took every quarterback who threw 10+ passes in a game and compared them to others against the same opponent. Players were compared by Adjusted Yards per Attempt, where the Passing Yards is adjusted by adding 20 for every touchdown, subtracting 45 for every interception, and then dividing by the number of attempts. If two players were within 1.0 adjusted yards per attempt against an opponent, I called it a tie. Otherwise, a win or loss was awarded against every other quarterback versus that opponent.”

Make sense? Yeah, it took me a few minutes to comprehend, too, and I’m far from a math whiz. Heck, that’s why I gravitated toward writing.

Anyway, the Browns Seneca Wallace was ranked sixth ahead of Kyle Orton and behind Philip Rivers, Michael Vick, Tony Romo, Matthew Stafford and Tom Brady. Derek Anderson is 39th and Jake Delhomme was 41st out of 43 quarterbacks.

Rank First /Last W L D PCT

1 Philip Rivers 14 1 3 0.861

2 Michael Vick 9 0 4 0.846

3 Tony Romo 10 1 7 0.750

4 Matthew Stafford 3 0 3 0.750

5 Tom Brady 10 3 2 0.733

6 Seneca Wallace 11 4 1 0.719

7 Kyle Orton 12 4 3 0.711

Wallace is in good company at sixth. While construing Lisk’s formula may be difficult, it does help attest to the strong season Wallace is having for the Browns.

11:53 PM

@ryanlesniewski Hillis was on the injury report, but the team is hopeful he will play.

5:05 PM

Jerome Harrison traded to Eagles: Hot News for RB Jerome Harrison