Mangini Remains Tight-Lipped

The Browns head coach steadfastly refused to answer questions about changes taking place in Berea. Fred Greetham was at this morning's press conference and offers a full report.

BEREA—Eric Mangini looked as though he would've preferred to be any place other than in front of the microphone and cameras talking about the departure of his friend and hand-picked GM George Kokinis.

Mangini had an opening statement and then said he wasn't going to talk about the subject any more—any he pretty much did.

In an opening statement, Mangini said "George is a friend of mine and I respect him," he said. "For a variety of reasons, this didn't work out."

He wouldn't say if there would be a replacement for Kokinis or anything about who would head up the scouting department and the player procurement area.

"In terms of a timetable, I have said all I can," he said. "I understand and appreciate the questions that you have but I can't talk about anything other than what I've said.

"We have a strong structure on the pro side and the college side and will continue to move on," Mangini said. "I know you have a lot of questions, but I'm not going to address anything else."

It was pretty apparent that he wasn't going to say anything else, but questions continued to be thrown his way.

He was asked about Bernie Kosar's role in the process.

"I understand the question, but I can't say any more."

Mangini has been the voice of the organization since he was hired by Randy Lerner, but he clearly doesn't want to address the situation, at least publicly.

Mangini did say it was a decision made by the organization and expressed regret that things didn't work out for Kokinis as the GM.

"It's an organizational decision," he said. "You never go into any situation with the intent of it not working out."

The Process: What Mangini did talk about was, once again, the process of building the Browns back into a good team.

"What we're going to do is going to look at it from a scheme perspective, as well as a player perspective," Mangini said.

Mangini was asked if rebuilding the Browns is tougher than what he originally thought it would be.

"I didn't look at it in terms of how hard it would be, but more the process," he said. "Understanding that each place would have its own set of challenges. There isn't a set pattern. There are things that come up every day, that aren't on the agenda. There is no blue print.

"Consistency is the way you have to approach it," he said. "There's no substitute for hard work. It has been true with my experience with Bill (Belichick), Bill Parcells and it was true in my own head coaching experience in New York."

Mangini re-stated his commitment to making the Browns a winner and said he is open to help.

"My goal is to win," he said. "My goal is to improve. There's never opposition to somewhat who can help us achieve that goal. That was true in New York. Bill would always listen to anybody's ideas and was open to it, as long as it was thought out. I really respected that and appreciate what people are trying to do to help the team.

"Every mentor I've had that approach."

Future Stars: Mangini was asked if he felt that any of the players he has brought in via free agency or the draft could be cornerstone players down the road for the franchise.

"I think that everybody that is here now is contributing and will contribute in the future," he said. "I feel comfortable with the guys brought in and it's all part of the process."

Not Brett: Mangini was asked if third quarterback Brett Ratliff might be the starter when the team returns to the field against Baltimore.

He said "No."

He did say that Ratliff would get more reps during the bye week, overall.

"Sometimes, the third quarterback doesn't get many reps during the regular week," he said. "This will give him some work."

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