BEREA—Kamerion Wimbley is putting together a pretty good start to the 2009 season.
Sacks are the main statistic that fans look at, but overall, he seems to be thriving in Rob Ryan's defensive scheme. If Wimbley continues his current pace, he would eclipse his career best mark of 11 sacks that he had as a rookie.
After his rookie year Wimbley's sack totals dropped off to five in 2007 and four in 2008. He has four sacks already this season — to lead the team -- and has 31 tackles.
"I've liked a lot of the things that Kamerion's done," Mangini said. "We've tried to put him in different spots, whether it's on sub defense or even in base defense and give him some different opportunities to take advantage of the skill sets that he has.
"He's done a nice job with that," he said. "I know he's probably frustrated, there have been a couple sacks he was close on, kind of left on the field. You have to get close to miss them and he's gotten close multiple times. He has four sacks currently. I think that's what he had last season. I'm looking forward to him continuing to do that. Really, I'm happy with Kamerion."
Wimbley likes the way he's being used.
"It's exciting to be able to do other stuff," he said. "It's good to be out there and getting around the field and be over there making plays."
No matter how well a pass rusher might be playing, however, it still seems to come down to the number of sacks the player has. Wimbley has sacks in three straight games.
"Sacks are one element of it, but I thought his pass drops last week were excellent," Mangini said. "That's an area that he's worked on. I think his execution of setting the edge, the perimeter of the defense, I think that's improved.
"There are a lot of things to be happy about," he said. "I'm really looking for him to continue along the path that he's on."
Wimbley takes everything in stride and says that his biggest goal is helping the team win. But, helping the team win this week most likely includes getting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger on the ground.
"I just think about winning," he said. "Hopefully, you can get to (Roethlisberger) and be able to do a good job against him and against the whole offense. I think that's our main objective."
That might be easier said than done as Roethlisberger's size and strength makes him a tough player to bring down.
"I think when you watch film you just see that he's strong," Wimbley said. "He breaks a lot of tackles. People have him in their grasp and he is able to get out and make plays with throws down the field, scrambles and things of that nature."
"I was just trying to make a play," Williams said.
Williams said he will keep trying to put heat on the opposing quarterback, even though sometimes the fines stick in the back of his mind.
"I just keep rushing and do what I do," he said. "If I get fined every week, so be it.
"Sometimes, (the fines) make you think."
Williams is playing well after a subpar season in 2008 when he battled a shoulder injury.
"Overall, I feel like I'm playing a lot better than last year."
Williams is hoping to get QB Ben Roethlisberger on the ground this week.
"You just have to get him on the ground," he said.
Mangini Likes Jamal: Mangini was impressed with last week's performance of RB Jamal Lewis after missing time with a hamstring injury.
"I thought he had some outstanding runs," Mangini said. "What I liked was the yards he picked up after contact."
One of the biggest plays of the game was when Lewis ran around left end on third-and-8 for a first down when the Browns were trying to run out the clock before kicking the game-winning field goal.
"I thought the third-down run he had to pick up the first down was a key," Mangini said. "The offensive line has made progress and since Pittsburgh isn't an easy team to run on that will be important for us to continue."
If Lewis wouldn't have picked up the first down, the Bills would've had the ball with close to two minutes to play, as opposed to less than 30 seconds. He rushed for 117 yards on 31 carries.
Looking for Trends: Mangini said he took a look at the video of the Steelers/Jets on Nov. 18, 2007 when the Jets defeated the Steelers, 19-16 in overtime.
It was Mangini's second season with the Jets and they finished just 4-12, but had the win over the Steelers.
"It's looking more at the coordinator and regardless of who they have, it's the concept they use," Mangini said. "
Mike Tomlin was the Steelers' head coach and Dick LeBeau was the defensive coordinator.
Mangini said he learned quickly of Browns/Steelers week his first year with the Browns back in the early 90's.
"It didn't take long," he said. "It's one of those things that hits you right in your face."
The Browns and Steelers haven't had much of a rivalry in the past five years as the Steelers have won the last 11 times the two teams have met. Mangini looks at this as a fresh start.
"In terms of those other years, I'm looking at this year," he said. "It's an opportunity.
"We've made progress over the last several weeks, but it is a process," he said. "There is plenty we have to do. It's all about consistency and doing it week in and week out."
Injury Update: K Phil Dawson was questionable on Wednesday's injury report and Mangini said he's making progress.
"He did some minor kicking and it was progress," Mangini said. "We'll see how it goes."
Dawson is glad to be out there.
"I'm just glad to be back at work."