Tricks Were A Treat

Eric Mangini said at his Monday press conference that he is very fond if trick plays, and the Browns used three of them in the 30-17 win over New Orleans on Sunday.

BEREA, Ohio — The Browns ran three big trick plays that accounted for 150 yards in the win over the Saints. Mangini said the team has practiced them all year and would not run them if the opportunity wasn't there.

"I've always liked them," Mangini said.

First trick play: A 62-yard punt return by Eric Wright on a throwback across the field from Josh Cribbs, which set up a field goal.

"It's more about the opportunity to help you win," Mangini said. "I don't think those plays were over the top risks. If it wasn't there on the punt, Josh (Cribbs) just runs it. Cribbs made an amazing throw to make sure it was backwards. (Wright) got tripped up a little bit and that might have slowed him a bit."

Second trick play: A 68-yard run by Reggie Hodges on a fake punt.

"It was nice execution play by Reggie and the rest of the group."

Third trick play: A pass from Peyton Hillis to Colt McCoy for 13 yards, which picked up a first down.

"That was another play that we worked on," Mangini said. "We've worked on that a lot and you have to be on the right hash mark."

Having the punt return on video with Cribbs throwing could loosen up the defense against Cribbs.

"Typically, what happens is things slow down because you're forcing your opponent to defend the whole field," Mangini said.

Notebook

Confidence not a Problem: Most Browns fans would think if the Browns could beat the defending Super Bowl champions on the road with a rookie quarterback, anything is possible.

They head to the bye with a 2-5 record, way off the pace in the AFC North.

Eric Mangini was asked if the win over the Saints gives the team more confidence heading into the bye.

"I don't think this group has ever lacked confidence," Mangini said. "This is a good group of guys who work hard every day and they are not going to be intimidated. When our guys play, the opponent is going to know they were up against a tough, physical opponent."

Mangini was asked if the win could propel the team like it did in 2009 when the Browns defeated the Steelers for the start of their four game winning streak.

"I really believe that anything is possible, but the most important thing is never make your focus on what is s nine weeks down the road," he said. "The only thing we can get to is the next game and win that one and the one after that.

"That's the one (scenario) that works. I've been in situations where we were doing well and guys are looking down the road and you lose a game and then another one."

Mangini said the win helps validate what the Browns are doing each week.

"I think it's a really important part of reinforcing what we can do and what we need to do each week," Mangini said. "That's the greatest importance of this performance.

"I think it obviously reinforces what we can do when we do things in a consistent way, playing Browns football. That is, complimentary football without turnovers and mistakes. To be able to get a win like that reinforces that it doesn't matter who we are playing or what is being said externally saying about us."

Mangini said the coaching staff was able to use the bye effectively last year and it reflected in the team's performance down the stretch.

"I'm a huge believer if we use this time wisely, we can make significant jumps for the second half of the season," he said. "We want to go into the second half of the seasons as a better team."

QB Picture: Mangini didn't shed much light on what he will do at quarterback when the team returns to action on Nov. 7 against the Patriots.

"I was most happy with Colt's (McCoy) play and how he improved in some areas," Mangini said. "He's a work in progress, but he made some really good decisions not taking a sack and throwing the ball away.

"I've been encouraged by what he's done and to see the poise he's shown. There are a lot of things he's improved upon and I'm encouraged by his play."

Mangini said he can't make a decision until he knows the health status of Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace.

"We have a chance to get one or both of them back for New England," Mangini said. "When we get to that point, we can make a decision."

When pressed again on the subject, he said there were many variables.

"What I don't know who else is going to be available," he said. "I know Colt is available and Ratty (Brett Ratliff). We have part of the puzzle, but not all of it.

"(If Wallace) is healthy, how healthy is he? 100 percent or 80 percent?"

Mangini said the decision on who the coaching staff feels gives ‘us the best chance to win that week.'

D Bo's Play: Mangini was asked about the play of David Bowens, who had two interception returns for a touchdown in the win.

"The last time that happened here was in 1960," Mangini said. "I've been around David for a while and he has a way of coming up with plays like that."

Mangini said he helped the Jets beat the Cardinals with a big play near the end of the game.

"There was a game against Arizona where we were rushing three guys and he got a strip sack and we kicked a field goal."

What are the odds of that happening?

"The odds are about the same of winning the Powerball."


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