Wednesday Berea Report

Both Mangini & Quinn continue to stress the positives of the offensive offense, plus Cribbs says Monday is exactly why he wants a new deal and the Browns discuss LeBron in shoulder pads...

BEREA— The Browns are in an offensive funk, to say the least, as they've scored only five offensive touchdowns all season. They have scored six or fewer points six times.

Head coach Eric Mangini continues to insist the offense can produce.

"When you go through the tape, you identify the areas that have been problems," he said. "Whatever the area is, you have to go through the process and look at the missed opportunities.

"Again, it starts with the self-inflicted wounds," he said. "The odds decrease in being successful when you do that."

The passing game against the Ravens was woeful. The Browns are dead last in the NFL in offense, ranking 32nd in passing and 26th in rushing.

"You don't try to average 2.1 yards a pass or whatever it is," Mangini said. "We have to have more drives and protect the football. We also have to improve on protection in areas. I'm not making excuses, but it's got to get better."

Mangini said Brady Quinn did some good things.

"I thought he tried to use different tools, but until we eliminate the self-inflicted stuff, we're not going to be able to do much."

Quinn said he saw some improvement.

"We're seeing improvement," he said. "Even if it is small, we're just working hard to try to get better. We have a good group of guys."

After starting against the Ravens twice, Vikings and Broncos, is Quinn looking forward to making his fifth start of the season against the 26th ranked Lions defense.

"This is the NFL," he said. "All the teams are competitive. We're focusing on ourselves."

It doesn't appear the Browns attempt to throw down the field with Quinn at the helm. It's not known if it's the play call or Quinn being more comfortable in dumping off short passes. Quinn said he wants to throw the ball down the field more, but circumstances didn't allow it to be successful.

"We want to take some shots," he said. "There are a lot of other factors in taking shots down the field."

Mangini Mum on Holmgren Meeting: Mangini wouldn't comment when asked if Randy Lerner met with Mike Holmgren as reported on Tuesday regarding the overseeing of the Browns' football operations.

"It's not really something I am going to talk about it," he said. "That's something for Randy to talk about."

What about LeBron: LeBron James said he thought he could play in the NFL and several of the Browns said they'd welcome his help.

"He should come on down," Mangini said. "He's a very gifted athlete and I'm sure he could do whatever he applied himself to."

Quinn thinks he would be an awesome target.

"That would be fantastic if he wanted to suit up," he said. "We'll take him."

DL Shaun Rogers said he thought James could make the adjustment, but it would take a little while.

"I have mixed emotions on that," Rogers said. "He's a great athlete, but he's not a football player."

Rogers said that he meant that it takes time to adjust to the rigors of the NFL. He did say if James spent time training for football he could be a tremendous asset.

"He could be a great tight end," Rogers said. "I'd like to see him running down the seam."

Quinn Upset about Suggs Injury: Quinn said he really feels bad for the low block he made that could sideline LB Terrell Suggs for several weeks.

""I'm not going to lie," Quinn said. "Someone I know (like Suggs), it's not easy to shake off when something like that happens."

Mangini defended Quinn.

"Personally, it looked like he was trying to make the tackle."

Mangini doesn't think Quinn's confidence will linger because of the incident, even though several Ravens have called it a cheap shot.

"I'm comfortable with him going forward, the fact he is a good person and he has confidence in who he is."

Jennings' Role: RB Chris Jennings saw his most extensive action of the season against the Ravens and Mangini said it was due to his improvement in practice.

"I've liked what Chris has done in practice," he said. "His role isn't as significant on third down, as JC (Jerome Harrison) usually handles that."

Mangini said that Jennings has done pretty well.

"I thought he did well and had a couple of good runs," he said. "The thing with Chris is he's gotten better each week. He needs to get experience and get carries in games. I want to see how he does this week. He needs to be able to play special teams."

Mangini was asked if Jennings was getting more playing time because RB Jamal Lewis announced this would be his final season or because Lewis ripped Mangini's practice habits last week.

"That's not how I'm looking at it," he said. "It's more about earning those reps. It's more about a guy who's worked really hard and has improved. It's not about playing Chris more because Jamal said he might retire."

Cribbs Update:  Although, the official injury report isn't out until later Wednesday, but Mangini sounded as though he thought Josh Cribbs could play this week against the Lions.

"We'll probably hold him out today, but I think we'll see him out there tomorrow," Mangini said.

Cribbs was in the locker room and getting around pretty well. He looked as though he had a stiff neck.

"I'm doing fine."

Cribbs said he thought a lot about his future when he was injured.

"It was scary for me because I couldn't move," he said.

Cribbs said he heard from several of the Ravens players on Tuesday to see how he was doing. Cribbs said the possibility of a career-threatening injury is why he wants to get a new contract.

"That's exactly the reason I worried about with the contract," he said. "All I can do is keep playing hard

Mangini admitted that he shouldn't have run that play on the last play of the game and the team trailing by 16 points.

"I talked to Josh about that and I talked to the team about that," he said. "I told the team the same things that I probably should have done it differently."

Mangini insisted it wasn't a designed play for Cribbs to lateral the ball to TE Robert Royal.

"It wasn't a designed hook-and-ladder."

Seeing Eyes: Reportedly, the NFLPA is sending representatives to check into the practice habits of the Browns which were brought into question by Lewis' comments last week. Mangini said he's fine with the scrutiny.

"I'm open with what we're doing and if they want to watch practice, that's fine."

Bottom of the Barrel: The Browns are dead last in offense and defense in the NFL, holding down the 32nd spots in each category. They're highest ranking is passing defense, where they are 19th.

Injury Update: No new information on whether P Dave Zastudil (knee) or TE Steve Heiden (knee) will be available for this week's game with the Lions.

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