From the Other Side: Cleveland Coaches Q&A's

Coach Eric Mangini, defensive coordinator Rob Ryan and offensive coordinator Brian Daboll check in with the media in advance of the clash between the Cleveland Browns and San Diego Chargers.

Browns Head Coach Eric Mangini press conference 12-4-09

(Opening statement)- "Good morning everybody. How are you guys doing? Today what we're doing is we're going to clean up some things from yesterday in the third down work that we did. I thought there were some good things defensively, but this is similar to, say Baltimore, with the shifting and the motioning and things like that, so you have to really understand what the final formation is and where the different pieces are. They have so many ways to build formations and so many players that can really produce big plays if you're not exactly sound on what you're doing, so that's something that we'll review a little bit here this morning and also go through the red area and goal line and move forward from there. That'll be the focal point this morning slash afternoon."

(On how he will approach the short week coming up)- "We experienced the same thing last year [in New York]. We played New England on Thursday night. The nice thing about that and the nice thing about our situation is it is a conference opponent, so there's some familiarity with who you're playing and what the scheme is. I think those games are always a little bit tougher when it's someone out of conference or you have no exposure to. That's tough. It's tough as it is just to get the same level of preparation. The other nice thing is both teams are working the same amount of time. You may not be able to do all of the things you'd like to do in a typical week in terms of changing the scheme or how extensive the plan can be, but the familiarity does help. You have to be conscious of where the guys are physically. You can't really take the same approach from that perspective either. You're balancing that. You're balancing the level of install."

(On if he will back off reps for some players in the San Diego game in preparation for the Steelers game)- "No, probably not. That wouldn't be the approach, typically. I haven't done that in the past."

(On if he is going to let the players play their normal amounts on Sunday and see what happens on Thursday)- "No, I mean you look at it. I've played these games before. You try to play the best players that give you the chance to win. It would be hard to go through and say that's the right number of reps in each game. You don't know how many reps either sides going to have. Are you going to have 65 snaps on defense? Are you going to have 75? Are you going to have 50? You don't know until the game plays out."

(On if they will be moving guys around in the secondary)- "The positive thing for us is that Mike (Adams) has played both corner and safety so he has that ability. Hank (Poteat) has played bother corner and safety. Mike Furrey's been working on defense. Ray Ventrone has gotten reps throughout the course of the season and some reps in games. [It will be] a combination there."

(On if he is comfortable starting Furrey at safety)- "Yes, I'd be totally comfortable. He's started 11 games there in the past. I'm not sure how many interceptions he had, I think he had four or five interceptions and was third or fourth on the team in tackles, somewhere in that range. [That is] pretty incredible. He started 11 games and either the next year or the year before he had 98 catches. That's pretty versatile."

(On if Brandon McDonald's role is still in sub defense)- "He's been rotating through as well. Each week what we do with that, Mary Kay (Cabot), is just evaluate the week of practice and look at how they did and the matchups and kind of finalize it towards the end of the week."

(On how the secondary has looked during the course of the week)- "We have gotten a couple new guys. What we try to do in practice is mix the players in different periods so they are working with different people. They get the same number of reps that they would, but you want to have those different combinations because you don't know when they're going to be working together. That's something we've always tried to do. It's not always the same guys getting the same reps all the time, hearing the same voices all the time. That's always helped us. We try to do that defensively every week with every position, because you don't know."


Coach Eric Mangini
Jim McIsaac/Getty
(On how challenging the possibility of having four new defensive starters is)- "It's challenging. We don't have a lot of guys in the same spots that they were in at the start of the season. I think [there are] like three or four. Look at David Bowens, he started but he was outside. Both inside linebackers aren't there. Nose [tackle] isn't there. Really, if Kam (Kamerion Wimbley) couldn't play, and I'm optimistic that he can, that would be different. Same thing with Kenyon (Coleman), if he's not able to go [we] really have to see where he's at, that's another new spot. There's quite a few new guys. What you like is to see the way the other guys respond. I think Jason Trusnik is a good example of that. [We] really brought him here to play a role, continue his role on special teams, continue to develop as an outside linebacker. [He] ended up starting, then he's moved to inside linebacker. He's played both spots in the same game. He's led the team twice in tackles. David Bowens, working at outside linebacker then he goes inside. Ahtyba (Rubin), him getting the chance that he's getting. Mike Adams working at corner and safety. I think it's a really great opportunity for guys to establish themselves as real solid contributors."

(On if Bowens is even more of a coach on the field now)- "Yes, he's great that way. He understands the whole defense. He's able to help communicate the calls. I really think the group has done a nice job. You're always working to get a high level of communication and having some new pieces in, that heightens it and I think they've responded well. They've done a lot of stuff as a group outside of just what we do in the typical day, working together on their own, making calls, sort of simulating the game through tapes so that they all have to communicate and I think that's been helpful. I've seen some progress. There hasn't been a significant amount of mental errors considering that there are so many new pieces."

(On if he spends more time teaching in practice than he would like to at this point in the season)- "You're constantly teaching. Some stuff you do have to spend time on that you wouldn't typically spend time on. Some of it [is] learning guy's names. We've had quite a few new faces come through, but it's good though. What's exciting about it is it's a challenge. You saw what Matt Roth was able to do. [He] comes in, [is] here two days. Being a veteran guy, being in a similar type system that helped him, but everybody was helping him. Coaches were helping him, he was working hard himself, David Bowens knew him from Miami. The guys really responded to him. It's almost like a real sense of community, everybody trying to help everybody else out to be successful."

(On how the Braylon Edwards trade has worked out so far)- "I think with any trade you have to really let it play out, but I've been happy with Jason (Trusnik) and I've been happy with Chansi (Stuckey). Chansi's been able to come on a little bit more over the last couple games. He had that one set back with the injury, but I think he's getting more and more comfortable working with the group that we have. We have the potential now for two other young players here in the future and you have to see who those guys end up being. [We] probably won't know the value for a couple years, like drafts, you can't really evaluate a draft for two or three years down the road."

(On if Kaluka Maiava could start this week)- "Yes, he could start. He could start at any point. He works like a starter does. I'm not hesitant at all to ever start him. I think he's done a really nice job for a young guy. Most of those guys, they're getting ready for bowl games now and this is a whole new world. They'd be off doing exams. I don't know how long it is until a bowl game, but there's a lot more football to go and they've already played a lot of football. They're all working through that as well."

(On if he looked at Maiava as a situational player when he was drafted)- "You're really looking at him as a third and fourth down player when you [draft him]. He's not a tiny guy. He's 235 [pounds]. Typically though, we're looking about 250 [pounds] for those inside guys. D'Qwell (Jackson) had similar size. [I've] had a few guys kind of in that middle range that have been very effective. They may not be able to go down and take on the blocker exactly the way that a thumper would, but they find ways to do it very effectively. Roman Phifer played inside there. He was a bigger guy, but his style wasn't the just blow it up type."

(On if it important to give Brady Quinn these last five games to define he is)- "I think every game that you play you have a chance to define those things. I think that every game that you play you learn some things and you develop a little bit. The important thing is to keep that development going. On the flip side of that, sometimes when you aren't playing you have to use that time as well to continue your development."

(On if Brian Robiskie could be active this week)- "Yes and really every week is a week that he could be active. It's not a set pattern where he's going to be down for two and up for three. Every week you have that chance. He had a nice day yesterday and I anticipate he'll have a good end of the week here today."

(On what he is not seeing from Robiskie that has caused him to be inactive when Matt Roth stepped right in and played)- "Matt Roth is a much older player, a much more experienced player. He has a lot of reps in the system, a lot of play time. It's not really apples-to-apples. Often times with [being] inactive, it's not a function of what they're not doing, it's a function of what somebody else is doing. A big component of that when you're in that fourth, fifth receiver role or fifth corner back role, fourth safety role, you have to contribute in a meaningful way on special teams or you have to have a very specific role in a very specific package that you do better than somebody else. If you don't have one of those two things that always guarantees that you're on the 45, then it's going to be a week-to-week type situation."

(On what Mohamed Massaquoi needs to do to gain consistency)- "It's hard to say that, ‘if you this one thing you're going to be productive.' Sometimes the coverage dictates how many balls you get. If you're rolling over the top of somebody or it's heavier in your direction you're going to get less balls. Sometimes it's a function of does the quarterback get the ball to you? It's not just one defined element there. He's another guy that will continue to grow and continue to mature and hopefully be a guy that can have those productive games week in and week out."

(On if Massaquoi is performing equally well in all games)- "With receivers, it's different. Your production is often dependent on what the defense does and someone has to get you the ball. It's different than a running back where they get those touches and you can determine how many touches they get. With receivers, you can't guarantee how many touches they're going to get in a game."

(On if he was expecting more out of Robiskie)- "I'll tell you, with draft picks it's different. Every guy's different. Every situation is different. I've seen it go a lot of different ways. You get some undrafted guys that come in and play a ton. You get some guys that are drafted high and they may not play as much and [it] really hits the second year or it hits later in the season. I don't think there's any set pattern for draft picks or young guys in terms of they have to develop over this timeline and this is the grid. It just doesn't work that way."

(On if Alex Mack is a good NFL starter or a good rookie)- "I think he's played pretty well throughout the course of the season. That's not an easy position to play. From my perspective, I think he's played well. Do I think he could do a lot of things better? Yes, but that's true with every position. He's come in, he's played every snap. He's done a good job mentally. He's done a good job physically. He's been consistent. I think he's got a long, bright career here." (On how disappointing it would be to have the game blacked out)- "I know everybody is working to make sure that that isn't the case. Obviously, we'd love to have all the fans there and all the seats filled. It's a great feeling. It's a great environment. I am always excited to have if that'd be the case."

(On if he gets a sense around town that the fans' frustration level has grown throughout the season)- "I am not really out of the building very often, I see my kids. I understand their frustration. We're all frustrated. We all want better results. We are all committed to getting better results. I understand it. I get it. We're working to fix that every day, diligently, consistently as a group and it will happen."

(On what he is shooting for as they go through the last five games in relation to his career)- "For me, it's not really about the career. With me, it's about being the best possible head coach I can be and preparing the team as well as they possibly can be prepared. To giving them the best possible opportunity to be successful every week. To making sure that we are consistently making progress and building both short term and long term. As I've said before, sometimes the progress isn't as apparent as we'd want it to be, but as long as we're moving forward that's what's most important to me, is to consistently be moving forward."

(On if he has a seen a situation like this with so many injuries and roster turnover before)- "In New England a couple games, I don't know what the stretch was, but you guys remember Don Davis? He played linebacker, a really fast linebacker. He started for us at safety. Troy Brown, who was a receiver, he started at star. Earthwind Moreland, I think he came in off the street, he started at corner. Randall Gay, he was a rookie free agent, he started at the other corner. I can't remember who we had inside. Larry Izzo at one point played some safety for us. You mix and match and they did a great job. Those guys did a great job. Watching Don Davis, he was 240 [pounds], playing safety, he was fluid, smooth. He did a good job. Troy, he was transitioning into more of an O and D player."

Browns Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan press conference 12-4-09

(On how tough the injuries are to adjust to)- "First of all, I'd like to congratulate Ed Domsitz on making another state championship. I think he's at Alter High School now. He's doing fantastic. I may have to call him to get some reinforcements, because his team always seems to win. Really, with this injury situation, this is the type of year and also the timing of the year where you have to have your roster ready to go. It's an old cliché, the next man steps up. I'm not sure who originally quoted it, but it's what it is and we're going to be ready to go with who we have. We have some good players here and they're looking for an opportunity to prove it, that they can play at this level and in this league and we're going to find out."

(On the biggest issue with replacing starters)- "Our communication's going to be the biggest test. It would be one thing to play a static offense, but we're playing Norv Tuner's, we call them a circus offense, because they move everybody around and shift and move and motion. It's a difficult task but we've done extra time studying. We're going to kill our film guy. Mike O'Connor, we call his Snacks, this guy's made more tapes than probably anybody, but we're using them. We're teaching them. We're spending extra time with the new guys to get them up to speed. We have to be perfect on defense. These guys are setting all kinds of scoring records it seems like to me, but we're going to be ready. We're ready for a great test against a great opponent."


Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan
Tony Dejak/AP
(On Eric Wright riding the bike during practice)- "Hopefully he's not doing any bicycling [on Sunday]. Hopefully on Sunday he's playing ball. That's what I'm hoping for. I haven't imaged the defense without him yet. If it comes down to it on Sunday, so be it. I'm guess I'm going to have to wake up and go, ‘Let's get something else going.' I'm counting on him. I'm hoping he can be ready to go. With their receiving corps, especially with (Vincent) Jackson, we need Wright, no question."

(On if he has ever been through anything like this with injuries before)- "No. I've only been coaching, I think this my 12th year in the NFL and I haven't seen it. I've seen a rash of injuries before, but there's quite a few of them out there, especially on the one side of the ball. I've seen teams lose a ton of players before, but on one side of the ball, I think we have one starter at his original spot, Eric Wright. Now he's on a bicycle, I've been told. I don't know. It's interesting. From the opening day roster if you look at it, there's a few changes."

(On how to defend Antonio Gates)- "There's a lot of problems with defending this team. I've had a lot of experience doing it. We haven't won many games doing it, but I think we've had some pretty good plans against them. Gates is a real unique player in the fact that he can control his body and catch balls even in tight coverage. Maybe that's the basketball in him where he's used to being in tight spaces. I think he does that particularly better than any tight end in football where he can control his body, get between guys and still come up with the ball. You have to have a lot of coverage there. You have to mix it in with zones and man coverage. We have a lot up there for him. We know who he is. I've identified him. My first couple years I was accused of not identifying him because he'd score a touchdown about every other throw. We know who he is and we're going to make it tough on him."

(On playing against Gates multiple times)- "A lot and you'll see improvement there. It was hard not to get better. That guy was killing me in the red zone. He kills me everywhere."

(On knowing Gates well as a player)- "Yes, I do and I respect his ability. We had first round draft choices on him and it didn't matter."

(On Philip Rivers)- "I love Philip Rivers as a competitor. I think he's a fierce competitor. He's a very vocal guy, likes to take runs at defensive coordinators and I like taking runs at him. He's a fun guy to play against. You can see his leadership. [It] just oozes off the guy when he walks out there. He's a leader and a great player. He makes all the throws. He holds on to that ball like a warrior does. You like those guys because you can knock the crap out of them, but they keep getting up. This is a guy that's played with broken bones. I appreciate him. I have all the respect in the world for him. I think he's a great leader and one of the best quarterbacks in football."

(On what separates Rivers from Tom Brady and Peyton Manning besides a Super Bowl)- "That's a huge thing, that Super Bowl. I know it sounds like one game, but there's so much to winning a Super Bowl and to getting there. To me, I can only speak for being around Tom Brady. He was just such a competitor also and he's around great teams, but when they chips are on the line I think I'd choose Brady over any quarterback, just because I saw how he responded and made us win and put rings on our fingers. Philip Rivers really reminds me a lot of Tom Brady other than the fact that he doesn't have those Super Bowl rings. I know he's been in Hawaii before and I'm sure he'll be in Florida this year."

(On if Rivers' completion percentage is surprising because of his motion when throwing the ball)- "I'm surprised it's that low. From the tape I've been watching it looks like every ball's complete. I'm not a big guy. I don't coach quarterbacks. I know what they look like and throw it. He's not pretty, but man he's effective. He really is."

(On LaDainian Tomlinson)- "The best player that I've ever seen on a field is L.T., without a doubt. He's obviously a sure Hall of Famer. Nobody's helped him to get there more than I have. He's killed me more than probably any other coach. Please don't look it up and make me sick. What a great player, man is he a great player. He can catch it. He can throw it. He can run it. He's done all against me and my teams. We know it's coming. He's just so hard to stop. He's so quick. You can never see it in practice. He's so quick. He can cut like nobody else in football. He can still run. The guy's just tremendous. When he wants to catch it he catches over 100 passes in a season."

(On if he still fears Tomlinson even though his average is not very high)- "I fear the player. I do. I fear the player and I respect the player. He's phenomenal. He's still great. How he averages 3.4 a carry, I don't know. Maybe they're giving it from the one and he gets one yard so he only averages a yard. He looks great. He still looks great. He's still a great player."

(On how he convinces the players they can still compete and play)- "Our guys love to play. That's the one thing, we have some empty seats in the defensive room, but we have a lot of great heart in there. I hate the [dang] Detroit game, I do, because that wasn't us. I think we're starting to play better. We're starting to fight. We're doing things better. We had that one crappy game, which I hate, because I really think we're starting to understand what we have to do. We're preparing. We do extra like I said. Snacks throws out more tapes than anything. We have some unbelievable tapes out there if you guys ever get a chance to see and how we break down an opponent. Our guys know them inside out. They prepare every week harder than most teams I've ever been around. You take some of the guys off and the next man steps up. The thing I've been impressed [with] is how hard they're working to win. I know no one wants to hear it as fans, but [shoot] it's the truth."

(On Brandon McDonald saying he worked mostly with special teams this week)- "That's not the truth. I think a young man gets disappointed a little bit, like we all do if someone rips you or whatever. No one likes to hear negative news or whatever it is. We all have to come back and compete and do it better and Brandon has. During the week, he wasn't working as hard as he should be, but right now he's on point. He's a good competitive player. He's going to keep working to get better. Despite what he says, I know different."

(On if McDonald was given fewer reps because he wasn't working as hard as he should have been)- "No that wasn't it at all. I think he's been working hard. I think he had one day there where he wasn't working as hard on defense, but that's the only day I've seen since I've been here. The kid's a hard working guy. He's a tough kid, a competitor. I'm sure if you had to ask him all over again [those] would probably be different comments. You probably just caught him on a bad moment."

(On if there will be different wrinkles in the game plan because of the injuries to the defense)- "We're always going to try to do our best and come up with some things that we can be successful with. I know last week everybody hated the fact that they ran the ball all over us, but I like the fact that he only threw for 90 yards of offense. Sometimes you pick your poison and you set game plans up the way you think can help you compete and try to win. It didn't always look great, but in that game plan we weren't taking offense to a four yard run, five yard run or whatever they averaged. We wanted to win the game. Each plan will be different. This plan will be different. We're always trying to put our players in the best place they can be to be competitive and win. This plan will be no different."

(On Ahtyba Rubin)- "Rubin's looked really good all year, he really has. This is a young guy that's, to me, making strides each week. He's in front of the huddle. He's taking some pride in that now. I look for good things out of Tuba. He's a guy that's really working hard and he's a force in there. I know (Nick) Hardwick's been hurt, so this next center here (Scott Mruczkowski) is a local kid. He's going to have his hands full with Rubin. He's a load."

(On if Rubin will be a starting quality player down the road)- "I believe so. I really do. I think Rubin is what you want in a 3-4 nose tackle, absolutely."

(On if he hopes the powers that be will understand that the team has dealt with adversity this season and not blow it up)- "I do my best. If they blow that up, I think that'd be a huge mistake. We have the right leader in Eric (Mangini). I know you have the right coordinator in me. If they want to do something else, they'd have to hire two [dang] coaches to be better than us."

(On if he thought San Diego was crazy when they fired Marty Schottenheimer after a 14-2 season)- "[Heck] yes I did, but that's not my decision. I don't know what goes into that and I wasn't behind their doors. Marty Schottenheimer's been one of the best coaches in football for a long time. Win 14 games, man that'd be hard to lose a job over that."

(On the NFL being a nutty business)- "You can't coach scared. When I was young you always worried about it. Now, I know I'm a great coach and I can coach for anybody in this league, with or without a decal, but I want to be here. I want to be here for the Cleveland Browns. I know we have a lot of good young players. I want to compete and kick some [butt] at the end of this season right now, because it's not over yet. This season's not over. We're going to do some great things, next year too and the year after."

(On if he thinks he is in a crisis and needs to take some risks)- "No. My only crisis that I deal with my wife Kristin, she's going to get me straight, but football [shoot] I can coach so I don't worry about it. She's in charge, she's the boss. When I'm out here I'm going to do the best job I can. Not too many people are going to be better than me. Very few, maybe one, maybe and he's retired. Bottom line is I'm going to do great. I don't feel any tension or pressure. I want to win. [Heck] we're all sick of losing, but [heck] I'm going to call it the best I can to help us win."

(On if he would be surprised if the game is blacked out Sunday)- "Yes. I think our fans our great. [Heck] we haven't had a great year, but [heck] our fans are great. They're in there now and they were in there that one game when supposedly they weren't going to be. I heard them yelling like crazy and I don't hear that well so they have to be yelling awful [darn] loud. I love these fans. The ones you bump into when you are out of the office on that rare occasion, they're great people. They just want to win and they want a great football team. We're going to give them that. Despite what everybody says, and not you beat writers, because you know. I think you know we're going to be good, but some of the other people outside looking in, they don't know [anything] in my opinion."

Browns Offensive Coordinator Brian Daboll press conference 12-4-09

(On Jamal Lewis)- "He was a power running back for you. [A] downhill guy, direct runner, strong, smart player, veteran. [He] could help out the young guys, whether it be in the classroom or on the sidelines. [He was] a good competitor. You lose a veteran."

(On Chris Jennings)- "He's a bigger back. He can run through arm tackles. Again, he has some speed to get to the edge, but he's more of an inside runner still too. He's a young guy. He's come out, he's made a couple plays, but he's like a rookie in this league just getting his feet wet. He's wide eyed at times in terms of protections or possible reads. He's a guy that wants to do well. He works at it. Jamal, I think, was really good for him when were out there, particularly in walk throughs or anything like that. He has a long way to go here."


Offensive Coordinator Brian Daboll
Mark Duncan/AP
(On the running game)- "Jerome (Harrison) had that good game [against] Cincinnati. [He is] a smaller back, can get to the edge, has decent speed, some decent vision. He can run inside and outside, but is a little bit smaller than obviously the bigger backs, particularly up here in the north east. Chris is that bigger back that is more of an inside type of guy and then you have Josh (Cribbs). You can use Josh, not necessarily that you're going to put him back there just to hand him the ball, but Wildcat, reverses, things like that that you have to have him ready to go."

(On if Brady Quinn gets happy feet when under pressure)- "I think he's improved with that, Steve (Doerschuk), from last year, watching him on the tape. There were times this game where, whether you saw it or not, he's got a couple guys that are from me to my hand away from him. He's moving. He's trying to keep his eyes. What I talked to him about, too, is he just doesn't have to be that pocket guy that everybody talks [about]. He has some athletic ability to escape and make a play and try to dump it in maybe a little bit of a check down. We've been working on that as well."

(On Quinn being poised)- "I think the thing for young guys, you get poise when you have some good protection on a consistent basis where you're able to drop back, hit your spot, let it go. When you have to move a little bit or you get hit sometimes, when you're a young guy, I think sometimes you get a little bit happy. I think he's been, I really do, I think he's been improving that area of his game. In Detroit it was pretty good. He had some pretty good protection. He was back there. He hit his back foot, shuffled one, made a nice throw. Some of the other ones, the protections broke down a little bit. I think he's doing a better job than he has, but [he] still a ways to go here."

(On if Quinn is being too careful)- "Steve (Doerschuk), I don't get that sense at all. The Detroit game, I don't want to keep going back to that game, but instilled some confidence. Last week, I know he wishes he had some throws back, particularly early on and the third downs, but it wasn't just the throw. We had a little bit of pressure that shouldn't have been there for him."

(On Quinn's inaccuracy)- "I don't think he's been completely, terribly inaccurate, Scott (Petrak). I think that, again, there have been a lot of situations this year where he's had to move a little bit where he didn't need to move or there was a guy coming here and that's caused some of it. In throwing with new guys over and over, I think a lot of that just comes into play."

(On if Quinn is throwing the ball okay)- "Yes, and I think he's doing a good job with his reads. In this league if you throw it off by two inches it's a break up. He had that one to Stuck (Chansi Stuckey) early on to the right, in the right flat there on the little option route that was a little bit low. We had one on another one on, I think it was third-and-eight, where it was a little bit inside. One out of the two he had some guys in his face."

(On his game plan for San Diego)- "Saturday night, if Eric would rather run the ball more or anything like that, but no, we go through a game plan thinking, ‘These are the runs we need to do. These are the passes we need to do.' We put them together and unless the head coach says, ‘Let's get to running it a little bit more here,' that's kind of throughout the game or maybe the night before just, ‘Hey, early on get it going,' but no, not right now. They've on a six game winning streak. They've scored 32 [points] and they've given up 13 [points]. They're a pretty hot team right now, in terms of the last six games starting out a little bit slower. We played them last year at the Jets and they put it to us a little bit out at their place."

(On the left side of the line)- "I think that at times it's been good and at times we've got beat. I think Joe (Thomas) is an outstanding player. I really think he's a premier left tackle in this league. This is my first [year] dealing with (Eric) Steinbach and he's a veteran guy. You have (Alex) Mack as a young rookie who's a stout player. Like all of us, it's been good sometimes, it's been crappy other times, too many [crappy] times."

(On Quinn's athleticism)- "I'm not sure if he ran that in college. [It was] a play we ran with Tom (Brady) at New England. I think we scored twice against Miami on it. He's an athletic guy. He scored on the quarterback draw down there in the red zone. He has some good straight line speed. We're not looking to run Wildcat with him or anything like that, but he made a nice play on that little quarterback throwback. He has some athleticism back there. That's why I talked to him about, ‘Sometimes [you don't] have to just stand back. You can move around and make some plays and be creative with the football. You have some athletic ability. We've been talking about that too. We have him on the move a little bit more, if you haven't noticed the last couple weeks, of moving the pocket, creating the different passing lanes for him and things like that."

(On if he has to convince the team that the game plan is good because he is a first year coordinator)- "No, I don't think that at all. They're a very respectful group. They see the product out there when you show them tapes of very similar plays at different places. They can be successful if we do them this way. I think there's a strong belief in the locker room. We have to do a better job of going out there an executing them."

(On who the players are in the plays he shows the team)- "[There are] a variety of different of guys. [There are] some from New England with the system there. [There are] some from Denver's. If team's play them. We got a couple times where San Diego played Denver twice. One time Denver got them. One time San Diego got them. You can see it from the Detroit game. It's just about execution. Calling it at the right time, going out there, executing it on time, protecting it, throwing it, getting open, being on the same page and you have to get some level of confidence to do that and to do it consistently. You can't have one good, two good, two [bad]. You can't do that or else it just goes down the tubes that way. I have a lot of faith in it. I have a lot faith in the system. I have faith in the players to get it done and we'll just keep grinding it out."

(On how the team has handled all of the injuries and their mind set)- "[They have handled it] professionally. I haven't noticed much of a difference at all in the meeting rooms or out on the practice field. The other day, I think Wednesday, it was a little bit flatter, kind of slow on Wednesday. Eric got on them after practice. We got on them a little bit in the morning and they've responded well. They're excited to play and they're professionals. They want to go out there and be excellent at their craft."

(On if Jerome Harrison was in the dog house)- "No, I think each week it's a different combination of things. It starts with performance at practice and who we identify as having a good week of practice and that's the guy that we're going to go with. You have to show you can do it on a Wednesday, a Thursday and a Friday. In past experience of places that I've been, those guys that practice a little bit better usually play a little bit better."

(On how much coach Mangini got on the team)- "He's not like a huge yeller or a rant or anything like that. He clearly lays out what his expectations are. If it's a slower practice or if it's not up-tempo or if it's not as energized as he would like it, he's a man about it. He says, ‘Look, this isn't going to get it done. Here's what we're going to do. Tomorrow we're going to come out and fix what we need to do.' He does it in a real manly manner."

(On the chance of Brian Robiskie being active against San Diego)- "The last week, that was a product, I think, of the practice. I think the one guy had a better practice and he was out there. This week, Brian's had a good week of practice so we'll see where that gets him. He had a good day today. He made a lot of plays out there in the passing game. Most of them were on the show team, but all that stuff counts. He was running around and plucking the ball pretty well, so we'll see where he's at come our Saturday night meeting."

(On knowing when to play younger players)- "I think the first thing, Steve (King), is you want to do whatever you think you need to do to win the game, regardless of what the situation is. That's what we're all here for. We haven't got that done yet, but that's what we're striving to do and that's what our aim is to do. With young guys, if they're ready to go that week, they're going to go. I've been part of situations, particularly just talking about receivers for a minute, where I had two young guys come in that I coached at New England. One was Deion (Branch) and one was David Givens. They just developed a little bit differently. I think Dave Give had about 17 balls thrown to him, 10 drops, if I'm not mistaken, he didn't have a ton of play time. He comes back the next year, [had a] great offseason and he did a whole lot better. If he's ready to go for Sunday and he's had a better week of practice then he's going to play. That's kind of how we approach it."

(On keeping Robiskie from getting down on himself)- "I think different guys respond to it differently. He's had a pretty good attitude. I told him the other day, I said, ‘Look, there's times where I get yelled at and my first thought is [forget] that guy, you're going to be getting on me, but you take a step back and you think about it and they're just trying to get you better. You take it in stride and you move on and you have a good attitude.' That's what I told him. I think today he really let loose. He had fun out there today, which was good. We talked about it a little bit before practice and I was on him a little bit, just joking with him. ‘Play a little bit more loose. Just go out there and let it flow.' We'll see where he ends up with that."

(On if the offense is getting better)- "I made a little goal chart up after the bye week and put some goals up there that I don't think were unrealistic goals from where we were at. We've improved in some areas, particularly in the red zone and not turning the football over. I've said it week in and week out, we have to do a better job of executing on a consistent basis. We can't have those bleeps, those mess ups, where you come back on Monday and you watch it and you say, ‘Alright guys, we practiced this three times and we didn't have it in the game,' and we have to correct that. When you're a team that hasn't been winning a lot and that happens, you can't do that because then you're like, ‘Oh shoot.' You can't do that. You have to go. You have to make sure that you're on top of your stuff, make the right adjustments and go out there and have a positive play and have another positive play. Those are the drives, the few ones that we've had, that we've put together. The other ones have been stalled by mental error or dumb mistake or untimely call or something like where you have to correct those things."


SD Super Chargers Top Stories