Thursday Berea Report

Mangini raves about the Packers' passing game, plus the Browns get two very key defensive players back from bouts with the flue...

BEREA—After getting shredded by Ben Roethlisberger, Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes, the Browns secondary limped back to Berea to prepare for the Packers. The Browns gave up over 400 yards to the Steelers last week through the air and gave up multiple big plays.

Now the Browns will welcome the Green Bay Packers.

Led by Aaron Rodgers, Donald Driver and Greg Jennings, the Packers have an explosive passing game, as good if not better than the Steelers have.

Rodgers has thrown for 1,456 yards with eight touchdowns and just two interceptions. Driver has 395 yards, while Jennings has 304.

"Aaron Rodgers has been very efficient throwing the ball," Eric Mangini said. "He has a 104 QB rating. They do a nice job, not just hitting the receivers, but then the receivers do a nice job with the run after the catch.

"They're able to get a lot of guys out quickly and he's able to get the ball to them."

The corners know they, once again, have their work cut out for them.

"It will be a challenge," Eric Wright said. "They have great receivers and an accurate passer. It will be a big challenge for us."

Brandon McDonald was victimized repeatedly by the Steelers and said he's ready to bounce back.

"We have to fight through and learn from our mistakes of last week," McDonald said. "We have to be tight in coverage."

Mangini said that he doesn't put all the blame on McDonald for his performance against the Steelers.

"I think we had other opportunities,"  Mangini said. "Sometimes, as a corner, you are going to miss a tackle, that's the reality. You're sitting there on an island, you're trying to breakdown.

"It's going to happen. There are other guys that need to help you at that point. I think it was a group effort."

Mangini also knows the same thing could happen with Jennings and Driver, if they're not checked.

"They're outstanding," he said. "They run really crisp routes. Especially, with Jennings, his ability to make people miss after the fact, even when we were looking at Brett (Favre) in New York , there were a lot of  big plays, what you consider big plays 40-yard plays, 50-yard plays and the reality was they weren't actually 40-yard throws down the field.

"It might have been a slant to Jennings for 10, where he broke it for 40," he said. "He has good strength, good change of direction, things like that.

"Driver's made some unbelievable catches, a couple of one-handed grabs on the sideline," he said. "He has excellent hands, speed. They're good size guys, as well."

McDonald said the corners have the ability to slow down the Packers.

"We have guys who can make plays, if we put pressure on them," he said. "(Rodgers) is a big-arm guy and he has big-play guys he can get the ball to. They have receivers who can get open and make play. They also run well after the catch."

Rodgers holds on to the ball until his receivers get open. Last week, he was sacked five times.

"We have to cover as long as we can," Wright said. "As corners, that's our job.

"He has a lot of belief in his receivers," he said. "He gives them time to create space. Hopefully, that will work to our advantage and we can get some sacks."

Wright said the corners can correct the mistakes from last week.

"We have to do a better job in tightening up on our responsibilities," Wright said.

Wimbley, Rogers Back: There was some good news on the sickness front as LB Kamerion Wimbley and DL Shaun Rogers returned to the practice facility for the Browns after missing Wednesday with the flu.

"We have them back and there are no new cases, so that's a positive," Mangini said. "We're going to be as careful as we can with this going into the weekend."

Mangini said he's hopeful Wimbley and Rogers will bounce back quickly.

"Kamerion probably could've come back yesterday, but we wanted to make sure we did everything to make sure it was eliminated," he said. "He looks pretty good."

Wimbley was glad to be back.

"I would've preferred to have been out there last week," he said. "I hated to miss the game. I feel good now. I haven't done too much, so I'll see when I get out on the field."

Mangini said there were no new cases reported.

"They're all at home and in contact with our medical staff," he said. "They're being monitored and we feel good about it."

Mangini said the plan is still to stay in the team hotel on Saturday night.

"I think we'll be past it."

Bad News: Mangini said that two of the players were positive for what he termed ‘type A' flu. To get a roster exemption from the NFL, there must be six players with that type of sickness.

"We have two that are influenza A, which is presumed to be ‘swine flu', so that's my understanding that you have to have six cases to get the exemption."

Mangini said this is a new experience for him in his coaching career.

"Nothing in the coaching manual prepares you for this," he said. "It gives you an additional teaching opportunity, as things can change dramatically from day to day."

Cribbs Returns: WR/KR Josh Cribbs missed Wednesday's practice with a knee injury, but Mangini said he thinks he'll return to practice on Thursday.

"I anticipate Josh being out there today."

Dawson Making Progress: K Phil Dawson said he's making progress in his return from a calf injury.

"It's all part of the process," he said. "I come in every day and do what they lay out for me."

Dawson said he kicked last week and didn't suffer a setback.

"This is driving me nuts not playing."

Hank the TE: With the flu and injuries to TE's Steve Heiden and Robert Royal, Hank Fraley has been working at tight end. Fraley was moved over there for some plays against the Steelers.

"I'm just going out there and helping out in any way I can," Fraley said.

Fraley, who had been the mainstay and captain at center the past two years, has been at center, right guard and now is playing some at tight end.

"This has been totally different than normal for me," he said. "It's just football, though."

Fraley was asked if he's been taking turns at the JUGS machine catching passes.

"Maybe I will today after practice."

He was also asked if he's going to have any passes thrown his way.

"I can't tell you that," he said with a smile.

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