Wright's Alright Following Car Wreck

Eric Mangini addresses CB's early-morning accident, the latest incident in what's turned into yet another tumultuous week for the 1-5 Browns...

Eric Wright is apparently OK.

As such, the Browns third-year cornerback has to be doing a lot better than his head coach.

Wright appears to have walked away unscathed – at least physically – from an early morning traffic accident on Friday in which he reportedly rolled and totaled his car while trying to navigate the I-77 south exit to I-490 west on wet roads while driving home from a Jay-Z concert in downtown Cleveland. It occurred at about 2:10 a.m.

"We're hopeful he can play (on Sunday against the Green Bay Packers at Cleveland Browns Stadium), and we're really happy he's safe," Mangini said Friday at his daily press conference, about 10 minutes after he had met with Wright following his return from Cleveland Clinic for further evaluation.

Mangini said that if Wright is healthy, he will start against the Packers. Thus, it appears as if Mangini will not level any discipline on the UNLV product.

"We don't have a curfew year-round," the coach said.

But the bigger question is: Why is Wright out at that time of night – or morning – about 2½ days before a game? Shouldn't he have been home getting his rest?

After all, this is a team – and a defense – that has struggled for much of the year. The defense was torched for 417 passing yards and 543 total yards, the fourth-most allowed in team history, in a 27-14 loss in Pittsburgh last Sunday. The cornerbacks, Wright and Brandon McDonald, had one of the worst games of their careers. And to make matters even worse, the Packers have a quarterback in Aaron Rodgers who may be playing even better this season than the Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger.

"I wouldn't necessarily be out at 2:10, and I'd much rather that all the players be home at that time," Mangini said. "He was in a car accident, but there no other (illegal) things involved. Like I said, I'm just glad he's safe.

"I'll talk to him later about the best practices."

The best practices, as in Wright conducting his life, not the best football practices. And that could be a terse, one-way conversation when it happens.

"Sometimes things like this are the best teachers," Mangini said.

He can only hope that's true. The defense – and team – already have enough issues. Neither can take any more hits.

It's not been a good week for the first-year coach. His team fell to 1-5 with the loss to Pittsburgh, a game in which the team's tackles leader, inside linebacker D'Qwell Jackson, was lost for the season with a shoulder injury. The news of that occurred on Tuesday, but by Wednesday, everybody was already on to the fact the Browns had 10 players miss practice that day with the flu, a situation that has since gotten much better – mercifully.

Then Wright is in an accident.

"It was a little different week,"  Mangini said with a laugh.

Along with all this, this week's issue of Sports Illustrated and this month's issue of Rolling Stone have articles and caricatures of Mangini that are far less than flattering, to put it mildly.

"I don't read Rolling Stone and I don't spend much time on the national sites," Mangini said. "Everybody is entitled to their opinions.

"Things happen. There are challenges every year. You're not planning for it, but something pops up and you've got to go with it."

But rarely does this much pop up, and all at the same time.

We'll find out on Sunday how the Browns handle all these issues. It could either help them take some steps forward, or it could break their backs, if that hasn't happened already.


The OBR Top Stories