?Browns Head Coach Eric Mangini press conference 8-31-10
(Opening statement)- "Good morning everybody. For practice today, Ben Watson is back so he will be out there this afternoon. John (St. Clair) is still not back so he will not be out there. Nick (Sorensen) won't be out there, Robert (Royal) won't be out there. In terms of practice yesterday I thought one of the best things that we had was the weather. To be able to practice in that heat and granted it wasn't extreme heat but it was more heat than we got throughout most of training camp. I think that was great for us because it's what we're going to see in Tampa Bay and just like with the rain, or the cold, the wind or the snow it's hard to coach what that feels like. It's hard to coach the preparation for those things so it was nice to get that and it will be nice to get it here today. It's a good reminder to the fellas as to the importance of proactively hydrating, how it's going to feel at different stages during the game. The first game is always hard because the adrenaline level from everybody is so high. The intensity level ratchets up significantly, I'd say even the young players they have gotten some exposure to that here in the preseason and even last game. It's an indication of what's to come, but it's different. It's different when you play a real game that counts and I think we are fortunate to have the weather that we have. Today we will continue our preparation on Chicago and there are other things that we do throughout these practices, its mixed throughout the practices, whether it's some exposure to some of the things we will see from Tamp Bay or it's some things that we want to work on getting fixed from, it could be anyone of the preseason games things that we still need to work on as Browns."
(On if Robert Royal will miss practice)- "Yes, his ankle but he should be fine. It's more rest than it is anything dramatic."
(On how much Montario Hardesty is expected to play against the Bears)- "I don't know, I'm not sure how much yet. A little bit will depend on how well we do offensively, how many carries we can get him early. I have a range of plays in mind but whether that happens in the first quarter or second quarter I'm not really sure, Jeff (Schudel), but he will play."
(On if Hardesty will start against the Bears)- There are going to be different groups offensively so he could be the first line."
(On if Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace will sit out the game)- "They are still going to be working even if they are not on the field. They will be very involved in the game, and I really like that about our guys. I don't know if you guys watch the sideline towards when that first group comes out or even the second group comes out, everybody is engaged on the sideline, everybody's cheering for each other. There's no sort of party going on on the sideline where guys are disinterested. Its guys helping each other out and I look for that, I expect that. We have all worked very hard, the guys that are going to make the team, the guys that are going to be on the practice squad, the guys that are going to have to move on and we should support each other and help each other as much as possible throughout this time and throughout the season."
(On if the weather was a factor in why some players had to walk off the field yesterday)- "Yes, it was a factor but it was a combination of things why that happened and it wasn't anything serious and we are very proactive if there's any chance that guys could be affected by it. We're very proactive with that, and those incidents were good reminders to guys and good lessons for some guys in terms of hydration and nutrition, getting the right fuel in your body. We haven't had a lot of it, we've barely had any of it. It was hot right before we got back and then hot yesterday and in between it was okay. There were nice days, didn't get any rain, as you guys know, but didn't deal with that."
(On if Delhomme and Wallace will play in the game against Chicago)- "No, they will not play in the game."
(On how some players lose a lot of weight during sessions and what the indicators are for good health)- "What we do every day is before practice they weigh in, this is all throughout camp, is before practice they weigh in and then post practice they weigh in. It's not an official weigh in you have got to get guys over that fact, it's not like we are going down saying, ‘Oh my gosh, he's heavy.' It's just to get an indication on how many pounds of fluid you have lost during practice. You can try different things in terms of the way you hydrate to make sure it's as effective as possible. Whether it's pre-practice or post-practice to limit the amount of fluid loss that you have in a day and also an indication of how much you have to put back in. Typically what you want guys to understand is if you're thirsty it's too late. Not too late in a dramatic sense but you have to be ahead of the game with that."
(On the medical advancements since he has been in the NFL)- "I think we have made tremendous strides as a league. I think the other place where it has helped is college football and high school football. My brother-in-law is a high school coach and the things that he's trying to do to keep his guys hydrated and that to me is really important. We have doctors available all the time, we have trainers available all the time, we have resources where some places especially on the high school level don't have those same things available to them. The education is important, those kids have two-a-days during the summer and if you're not looking out you could have a real tragedy on any level. That's one of the things that I'm happy to see, is the way that the advances we have made have trickled down and helped some of the kids."
(On if the NFL has taken the lead on medical advancements and it helping college and high school athletics)- "Yes, and it's great when that stuff happens. My nephew was playing pee-wee football a few years ago and just hearing from my sister, so it's a little bias it's got a mom bias to it, but hearing just some of the things that take place. You want to see those kids get protected. The more education that is out there the better, and all the coaches want their kids to be safe sometimes it's just the function of getting the information out to everybody."
(On if the rookies like Joe Haden, T.J. Ward and Shawn Lauvao will play Thursday)- "Yes, they'll get time this weekend, it's important for them to get time. They've really had a limited exposure to the league and to what we're doing so this is an opportunity for them to get some more experience. I think that is always a valuable thing. Then there's some guys that have a chance to make a push one way or the other and also it's tape for them should they not make it here for other people to evaluate and say, ‘Okay this guy looks like someone we might want on our practice squad or someone we might want to have on our 53.'"
(On if Colt McCoy will start the game and how much time he and Brett Ratliff will split at quarterback)- "I haven't decided who is going to start and who is not going to start. To me, they'll probably play a half each, maybe mixed up first and fourth or first and third. I want to talk to Brian (Daboll) and then I will go from there."
(On if he is going to wait until after practice to make today's cuts)- "Yes, Tom (Heckert) and I have talked a lot about that and Mike (Holmgren) as well and a couple things that we are just thinking about and want to see how practice goes, so we'll make a decision then."
(On if Ndamukong Suh should have been ejected from the game last week)- "There's a lot of protection in place for quarterbacks and it's a good thing. We got hit with an unnecessary roughness in the red zone and you want your quarterbacks protected. As I said in meeting him and getting to know him, my impression is he's a good kid, and sometimes you make a poor decision you make a mistake and we have the officials out there to make decisions on ejections. The league also has a process in place for sort of post game reminders for the guys. We'll leave it up to them."
(On what have been some of the things that has impressed him the most about Delhomme in preseason)- "His command of the offense, I mean that not just in terms of scheme, he runs the offense, and there is no doubt about it. He controls it and does it in a way that it's not because he is the quarterback that guys are following him, it's because he's the leader that guys have been following him and that's been impressive."
(On how the quarterback situation has changed since last year with Delhomme)- "We were just at a different place last year and we were trying to find the right answer and you see that happening around the league currently where teams are trying to make decisions. You try to gather a bunch of information and at the end of the day you are just trying to make the right decision. That's where we were at that point last year so you do it you try to make the right one and I think people understand that's what's happening."
(On if starting quarterback's numbers being good in the preseason is an outcome of defenses not showing anything)- "I think that's part of it. I think you want to consistently improve, I think some of the quarterbacks that we have faced are really good. I don't know if there is just one answer to that where you would love to say ‘Hey it's just preseason so the numbers are what the numbers are,' but we don't want those numbers we want better numbers. We're not trying to be successful, we are going to be successful, so the trying part is nice but we are going to be successful."
(On his impressions of Delhomme's game against Detroit)- "I'd say I agree with you. He had an outstanding game and we had drives of 14, 11, 12 converted on fourth down, did a good job ID-ing the defense and changing the protection. Used some of the tools that were available to him when looks were bad outside of just changing the protection, converted on fourth down, didn't have any interceptions. The one minus was the fumbled exchange on the five, or whatever that was, that (Peyton) Hillis picked up and ran, wasn't very good. And I think there was one other one that he could have had a shot on a deep ball but he threw it a little shorter and it was complete so wasn't like his read was bad or the play was negative or anything it was just there was a chance there. I'd much rather be talking about that, he hit the short one for a first down instead of the deep one."
(On if his confidence in Delhomme has increased with his play in the preseason)- "I've liked what he's done since he's been here. The performance has just reaffirmed what he has done in practice to that point."
(On the effect Delhomme has had on others in the locker room)- "I think it's just a function of who Jake is. He's a really good guy. He's fun to coach, he's smart, he has a presence, the guys like him. That's him. I'm sure when you talk to the people in Carolina, that's what they say about him as well. It's just who he is and I'm happy we got him."
(On how made up his mind is about the roster cuts taking place this week)- "I think that the majority of the decisions are pretty firm and I'd say that there's quite a few that need to be decided. The performance can help and it can hurt, it goes both ways. The other thing that comes in to play here is there's going to be quite a few guys available that aren't currently available right now. That's another component of this is they're competing against the guys on our roster, but there's a wave of players that become available at the same time. Decisions that you may make off of your 75 may change when you infuse however many guys it is."
(On if cuts are another step in the process of learning to work together with Mike Holmgren and Tom Heckert)- "Yes and no because we have met periodically to discuss, ‘Okay, what do you think?' I keep a running chart of where I think guys fit. I talked to Tom a lot about it and then myself, Tom and Mike get together. We talk about it and then we go practice and play another week and it's kind of the same thing. It's not like we all have three independent lists so we come in the last day, ‘In Philly we did it this way, in Seattle we did it this way, then this is the way I do it.' It's been an ongoing dialogue. This will be the completion of it, but that's been ongoing."
(On the Ring of Honor)- "I like the Ring of Honor. I think it's a great thing and I'm happy we are doing it."
(On if he thinks Jim Brown's comments will be a distraction for the team)- "In terms of that, I got to know Jim last year. I really enjoyed getting to know him, enjoyed his insight. He became a friend. That's been my experience with Jim and he is a friend. In terms of any of the other things that have happened, those questions are best left for Jim and Mike."
(On if he has been pleased with the wide receivers)- "I've been pleased. I hope you guys see some of the progress that Brian (Robiskie) has made, both through camp and in games. Mohamed (Massaquoi) had the one game where he wasn't able to participate, but again last week had the really nice play on the slant for 29 yards. He's grown as a receiver, his consistency has improved. Chansi (Stuckey), you saw some of the things that he can do, not just in catching the ball, but some of the catch and run plays that he makes. To me, Josh (Cribbs) is another guy, I think he lead the team in receptions this week. It's just good to see. The other thing that's good to see is the ball goes to a lot of people and they catch it when it's there. That makes it harder to defend. When you have to defend one guy, at least you know where to concentrate the forces. When you have got to defend them all, then you have to spread out. That's a positive thing, forcing the defense to defend the whole field."
(On if Robiskie will be the second starting wide receiver)- "For us, it's not about who starts the game. It's never really been about that, it's more what packages they play in. On any given day, somebody else could start the game, but that doesn't mean that we don't have faith in the other person. It just means in that package, he was the starter. When the play-by-play comes out, his name will be on there. I have faith in all of those guys whether it's him or Josh or Chansi or if we start with 22 personnel, which is two tight ends, two backs and one wide receiver. It's not really about who starts it, it's how meaningful of a role they can have. I think all of those guys can have real meaningful roles for us."
(On if Colt McCoy has made improvements and David Veikune's chances of making the roster)- "Colt has shown growth, I think he was 10 for 14 last game. I think there were a couple decisions, again, that he needs to improve on, but he improved on the decision making from the earlier games. We are not where we need to be, but it has been better than what it was. That's going to keep coming with time and experience. In terms of David, he's going to get plenty of opportunities to play this weekend and he has made a lot of strides. I think he did pretty well last game when he played. He's played both inside, he's played outside as a rush end, he made a couple of tackles on special teams. All of those things are positive. I wish he could have played all of the games, but he didn't. He will get a lot of chances here this weekend and I expect him to do a good job of it."