After the Cleveland Browns 6-3 victory over the Buffalo Bills, head coach Eric Mangini talked with the media in one of his weekly post-game press conference. Here are some highlights and notes, with the full transcript available for viewing here.
(On if the number of drops had to do with the wind)- "I think wind played a part in it. I think some of the throws could have been better. I think some of them were just a function of not looking the ball into the tuck, trying to run. I think that was a couple times, where guys were more worried about what was going to happen after the catch, instead of securing the catch. There were some throws that were right on target, we had great opportunities for and we didn’t bring it in. We looked back before we put it in and it’s just not going to work. We’re going to wear that JUGS machine, going to get a billion balls there. They’re going to get a lot of balls from D.A. (Derek Anderson). We’re going to conscientiously continue to improve there and we have to do it because you can’t leave those opportunities on the field."
Reaction: Anderson has always had problems throwing when the weather elements are a little rough, although much of this past Sunday's struggles had to with the receivers not being able to hold onto the football. The receivers were often heavily covered though, due to the predictable nature of our play selection.
(On what he would tell his team if he were in a situation like at the end of the third quarter again)- "Snap it and go. I think that it was so different than anything anybody had anticipated, [there was] almost the assumption that the official had stopped things. That was one of those where, if you get that, go. Lock up the one guy, it was one or two guys, but go."
(On if he ever had a situation like the one at the end of the third quarter before)- "Not quite like that."
Reaction: They are referring to the situation where we lined the punt team on the field, but because the third quarter was about to expire, Buffalo thought we'd just run the clock down. If we had snapped the ball before Buffalo called a timeout, we probably could've had a 70+ yard touchdown with our 11-on-2 advantage.
(On if he thinks the team played well in all areas against Buffalo)- "I thought there were a lot of good things yesterday. We want to be able to throw the ball more effectively, that’s obvious. Penalties were down, three for the game. We were able to protect the quarterback well. We were able to run the football well. I thought we played good defense. There were some moments here and there where we could have played better. We were able to turn the ball over. I don’t know how many times we had it inside the five after we punted. We held one of the best punt returners in the league to very limited yards. We did some nice things in the return game, maybe not as dynamic as the week before, but still were able to generate yardage there. There were a lot of places where there were good things. We had some new players working in."
Reaction: The pieces are coming together. The number of "dumb" mistakes have been reduced the past two weeks, and it's almost to a point where all that remains is developing the chemistry between Anderson and the young receivers. That's what we lost from the QB competition in the preseason.
(On how much of Robert Royal’s problems can be attributed to his finger)- "It’s not pretty at all. Robert cares deeply about what he’s doing. It affects him. He never wants to let his teammates down. He never wants to be in that position. He deeply cares about everything that we do. I know that he’s probably going through a process of working on what he has to work on, and we’ll do that with him. The finger I don’t think helps, but he wants to be out there. He wants to play. He wants to contribute and when those opportunities come up, he wants to convert. He’ll work on doing everything he can to make sure that he does the next time he has a chance to."
Reaction: Royal's finger is affected? Memo to Eric Mangini: play this guy named "Steve Heiden".
(On if there is a correlation between Alex Mack’s play and the improved running game)- "Over the last few weeks, I think Alex has really made a lot of stride. There are multiple plays on tape where he’s getting good drive at the point of attack, whether it’s him alone or whether it’s him as part of a double team. He does a nice job down the field. Sometimes it’s pulling on some of those outside runs and sometimes he’s on the backside of that and he’s not going to be a puller, the way that he’s able to cut off linebackers. He plays with a high motor. He’s pretty good at lining the target up and finishing the block. It’s nice to see his progress each week. I think it is a function of, as he’s played more, not just things have slowed down, but he’s slowed down a little bit. There were times early where, right idea, right place, just a little too quick getting there, a little too quick if you want to execute the assignment. I think he has a better sense now not just where he has to fit, but how he has to fit and at what tempo the fit needs to be at."
Reaction: I think all of us have been very pleased with how well Alex Mack has done. He has not been overwhelmed, and whether or not it means anything, you have to wonder if having Hank Fraley lining up next to him at guard as aided his development -- that's an extra leader on the line to assist the rookie if necessary.