Monday Berea Report

Eric Mangini hits on several aspects of the Browns' first win of the 2009 season, including improved OL play, the JUGS machine getting a workout this week, and the fact that there is no quarterback controversy...

BEREA—The obvious improvement of the Browns offense can be in direct correlation to their ability to run the ball.

Last week, Jerome Harrison rushed for 121 yards, while Jamal Lewis followed up with 117 yards Sunday against the Bills.

"I like the way we ran the ball, I like the way we played defense, and played special teams," Eric Mangini said.

It also might not be a coincidence that rookie center Alex Mack is playing better as he learns the ropes of the NFL. He is helping out in the running game.

"Over the past several weeks, Alex has made a lot of strides," Mangini said. "He's pretty good at lining the target up and finding him."

Mangini said the main reason is Mack is getting comfortable with the NFL game.

"The game has slowed down for him and it's good to see his progress," he said. "He sees where he fits and what he needs to do."

Lewis said the offensive line is coming together.

"Any time a rookie comes in, it takes time to make the adjustments needed," Lewis said. "Alex is a fine player and it takes a little while to get the chemistry down and for them to gel."

Another possibility is the fact that Hank Fraley is starting right next to him at right guard. Fraley was the center for the last two years and helps Mack call the plays. Fraley replaced Floyd Womack, who replaced Rex Hadnot when injuries occurred. Womack was active for the Bills' game, but Fraley stayed in the lineup.

"Hank has helped Alex out a lot being right next to him," Mangini said.

Lewis toted the ball 31 times against the Bills.

"I'm not going to say it's more of a run offense," Lewis said. "We went out and started running the ball pretty well, so we stuck with it. It was a positive thing for us."

Mangini said everything starts with establishing the run.

"It set up a lot of opportunities for us to play complimentary football," Mangini said. "We ran the ball a lot and were able to play defense and play field position. The end goal is to win and however that comes about is a good thing."

Dropsies: Mangini said he is not happy with the number of passes the Browns have dropped.

"The number of drops were way too high," he said. "I think wind played a part in it. Some of the throws could've been better. A couple of times guys were worried about what was going to happen after the catch."

Mangini said the receivers will practice a lot on their catching.

"We're going to wear out the JUGS machine and make a conscious effort to improve in that area."

One notable drop was by TE Robert Royal, who looked to be wide open and hit in the numbers by QB Derek Anderson. Royal has a finger that was injured.

"It's not pretty," Mangini said of Royal's finger.

"I thought the throw we had to the tight end should have been able to have been brought in," he said. "Robert cares what he's doing. He never wants to let his teammates down. I know he will work on what he needs to work on. He wants to convert when those opportunities come up. He wouldn't use that as an excuse."

Players Off: As a reward for winning their first game of the season, Mangini gave the players Monday off to go along with their normal Tuesday off.

"I thought after getting their first win it would be a good opportunity for them to have a day off," he said.

No Controversy: Despite throwing for just 23 yards, Mangini said there is no question who will continue to start.

"DA will continue to start," he said.

Anderson was victimized by several drops and was 2-of-17 for 23 yards and a QB rating of 15.

On James Davis Injury: A report that said RB James Davis was injured after practice in an "opportunity session" while being hit not in pads by a LB who was in pads was not true.

"If something like that happened, it would never be something sanctioned by the team," he said. "I talked to the league about it and the last thing we want to do is put somebody in position to get hurt. I feel good about our position."

Mangini confirmed Davis would require surgery on his shoulder.

"Being on IR, he's going to have to have surgery at some point."

The OBR Top Stories