Berea--At least he's not flipping a coin—at least for now.
It's hard to believe, but Eric Mangini said he is not ready to name his starting quarterback. It's not known if he has made the decision and just doesn't want to announce it to keep the Vikings guessing for the Sept. 13 opener.
"No decision yet," Mangini said Monday morning when asked immediately if he's made his decision. "We're going to go through the whole process.
"What I really like about both guys is that they have done some really good things," he said. "Cadence is very important and they have both done well in that area."
Mangini cited that he liked the high completion percentage against the Titans (78 percent) and the fact the offense didn't turn the ball over.
Mangini said he is not worried that not having the starter in place could cause problems with the offense.
"There are several ways it could work," he said. "I experienced (the quarterback competition) in New York my first year and I think it made both guys much better.
"The positive is that you get a couple of quarterbacks working with a lot of different people," he said. "There's always uncertainty and injuries and one of the important things is to have the flexibility there."
Mangini is holding consistent with his idea of always having a contingency plan.
"Whatever the situation is you're not sending in a guy who hasn't worked with the other guys," he said. "It's the others guys working with them, as well."
Hood Released: The Browns released three players and re-signed one prior to the roster cut-down limit of 75, which is Tuesday. The team has 78 on the roster now and will have to make three moves by Tuesday. The final roster must be trimmed to 53 by Sept. 5.
DB Rod Hood, TE Nate Jackson and LB Robert McCune were released, while OL Branndon Braxton was re-signed. Hood was the most notable cut as he was signed by the Browns as an unrestricted free agent and was expected to be one of the top three cornerbacks, but had a bad preseason. McCune forced a fumble on a kickoff against the Titans after being signed just in the past two weeks. Jackson was also a recent pickup. Braxton was with the Browns earlier in training camp, but was released. He is an undrafted free agent rookie from Oklahoma.
Coordinated D: Mangini talks a lot about having the defense being well coordinated in his press conferences and he felt the Browns have made strides in that area.
"Defensively, we were able to turn the ball over when we did," he said. "A good example of coordinated defense was when Robaire (Smith) caused the play that Alex (Hall) undercut (for the interception). I like the way that worked. We still need to improve upon our communication.
"When we do things right, and we play coordinated defense, a lot of positive things can happen."
"I'm more concerned with the coordination of the defense (than the secondary)," Mangini said. "We got picked on a couple of plays. It's the difference between a third down conversion or a sack and we didn't get the right fit. It was just one spot that was off. There are a lot of things that are not secondary based."
LB Eric Barton agrees with Mangini.
"Sometimes, it looks like the DB's fault," he said. "But it's not always the case. It is the execution of the whole defense."
Cribbs Mum: WR/KR Josh Cribbs was asked if he has any different thoughts on his approach to the regular season, if he doesn't see progress on his desired new contract.
"I just go back to what Jim Brown told me and that was to keep doing what I'm doing and things will take care of themselves."
My Bad: Mangini said the chop block that was called on RB James Davis on a punt that pinned the Titans back inside the 10 was on the coaches.
"We need to do a better job of teaching him what he's allowed to do when another player is engaged in a block."
Tucker Out: A report in the Chronicle-Telegram said that OL Ryan Tucker has had arthroscopic surgery on his knee. Mangini does not talk about injuries, but did say that Tucker will not play this week against the Bears.
"He will not practice or play in the game against the Bears."
Worth Quoting: Mangini was asked about DL Robaire Smith, but he used it to share an interesting story. He said that Smith had ordered a pizza at the team hotel and Mangini intercepted it and took it up to his room.
"I delivered his pizza. He didn't tip me and he didn't offer me any and I like pizza."