On the second day of mandatory minicamp for the Cleveland Browns, head coach Eric Mangini held another press conference. One of the nuggets of interest Friday was the fact that quarterback QB Derek Anderson did not participate in the afternoon session. The Plain Dealer is calling it a calf injury, but nobody from the team was available for comments. I don't expect this to be a serious injury, and wouldn't be surprised if Anderson is back on the field Saturday.
Now, let's get to the highlights from Mangini's press conference. I'm listing fewer highlights today than I did yesterday, because I found many of Mangini's responses to be similar, depending on the question. You can view the full transcript here.
(Opening statement) – "I thought that this morning’s practice was good, with a lot of improvement from where we were yesterday. The emphasis this morning was on the red zone, goal line and then we had the review part to it, which was an element of our no huddle and some two-minute [drill], which you saw there at the end. This is following the same installation pattern, just at an accelerated rate. Yesterday was first and second down in the morning, third down in the p.m., we came back with red zone this morning, and now we will do a review, and sum it all up here in the afternoon. Tomorrow, we will be able to review special team’s situations, as well as do even more of a broader overview of all of the things that we have put in to date."
Thoughts: The Plain Dealer reported that Brady Quinn fared well in his two-minute drill, going 4-of-4 and setting up kicked Phil Dawson for a 37-yard field goal. Brett Ratliff, in the same drill, hit Joshua Cribbs three times in a row to set up Parker Douglass for a 33-yard field goal. Mangini talked quite a bit about special teams in the rest of the press conference, but I did not include those highlights. It sounds like Saturday's practice will focus on actually implementing special teams more.
(On if the offense has struggled or if the defense has done well in the two minute drills) – "I think it depends on the day. There were moments in the two minute drive today where things changed dramatically. It went from a fourth-down situation, the cornerback should have come off and trapped the out breaking route by number two, and the game would have been over. He didn’t do it, they got the first down. They ended up stopping the clock, now they are in a good position and it was one of those decisions where there wasn’t enough time if the ball was completed inbounds to get another play. It’s a great teaching scenario where the quarterback, and the receiver and everybody has to understand what we are dealing with. If the ball is completed inbounds the game is over, short of the end zone.
Any type of penalty – I am not sure if Brady had a timeout left or not in his drive – with no timeouts any penalty, the game is over. You have got to make those decisions. Is it two shots to the end zone? Is it one quick out to try to get closer to the end zone and take the shot? It’s all those variables. During the course of that drive it went back and forth. The offense was moving, they got stalled, it looked good for the defense, the defense gave up the conversion, offense came back out, it looked like they would have a couple shots at the end zone and it just went back and forth. That is where the real value is, everybody has to be thinking the whole time."
Thoughts: After seeing how flat out irresponsible Romeo Crennel's coaching was when a game was on the line (clock management, among other things), it's at least a positive to hear that Eric Mangini is aware of the important "variables" late in a game.
(On what he sees Joshua Cribbs doing other than returning kicks) – "We’ve really only worked him on offense to this point. I wanted to do that to get him the most familiarity with the system. Like all the guys at this point, there are good things and there are things that aren’t as good. Some of it is just familiarity – new system, new routes, new expectations in terms of depths and reads, sights and hots, and tons of information. We will keep moving down this path, see how it goes, and at some point, hopefully it builds flexibility into where we will work on defense as well."
(On if Cribbs has just worked at wide receiver so far) – "Through these camps, yes."
Thoughts: Cribbs won't be testing any other positions until training camp. I don't think anything else was expected. Will a Cribbs holdout resurface before training camp? Probably not, but we shall see.
(On what he has seen from James Davis) – "He has really done a good job. He’s picked up things quickly. He doesn’t often repeat the same mistake the next day, which is positive. I have been extremely pleased with what he has done with his opportunity. There is a great example of a young guy getting a lot more reps then he normally would because of the situation we have. He is a guy that has maximized that opportunity."
Thoughts: After all of the praise going towards Jerome Harrison, it was about time that James Davis received his due. Again, I'm happy that a player like Davis is getting reps as opposed to having a Jason Wright on your team.
(On what he likes from Robert Royal) – "I played against him for quite some time when he was in Buffalo. I saw him every year and he always was a good player in terms of the passing game, but also had that balance of being solid in the running game, and being able to be put in the backfield or off the line for the passing game as a protector as well. Very rarely do you find someone that can do all three of those things."
Thoughts: Royal fits perfectly into Mangini's philosophy. If I would have understood his philosophy a little more before he was hired as our head coach, I probably could've hand-picked Royal as a candidate for Cleveland considering what I've seen him do in Buffalo the past several years. Not too much, but much improved over a Darnell Dinkins.
(On if Beau Bell needs to change his overall nature to become more vocal) – "Yeah, but there are a lot of guys who change their nature when they get on the field. Some of the most laid back guys in the world turn into animals when they hit the field and then they go back to where they were once they are off it. I think that’s fairly common."
Thoughts: The early reviews for Beau Bell clearly aren't as flashy as they've been for other players. Just one of those vibes you get...with the former Jets being added to the roster this year, Bell will have a hard time getting to show if he's an animal on the field or not. Steve Doerschuk of the Canton Rep is a little more upbeat on Bell's assessment though.
(On how Mohamed Massaquoi has looked) – "He is another guy that has done an outstanding job with his opportunities. I thought he had a really good two-minute drive yesterday. He caught about four or five balls and showed excellent awareness in terms of if the blitz was coming late, he was able to get underneath the DB and got a key first down. He made a really nice catch on the sideline. It was out of bounds, it was well overthrown and he went up and got it. He’s diligent in the classroom. He absorbs as much as he can. Both he and (Brian) Robiskie, working together and being in the same position, being able to push each other, and having veteran guys there to feed off of, I think it’s a great situation for us."
(On Massaquoi’s hands) – "He’s caught most of them that have been thrown to him. Like I said the catch the other day, was impressive."
Thoughts: Smart football. If you can't build the most physically talented team in football, go for players who can adapt to the coach's philosophy. I hate to question the intelligence of former Browns players, but some of them, most of whom are no longer on the team, just made dumb plays left and right. Perhaps it didn't help them that Crennel often brought out the infamous monkey scratcher image.
Here are some media reports from Day 2 of training camp, including a possible explanation from WFNY as to what Braylon Edwards' injury is:
Braylon Edwards' unspecified injury explained (Rick, Waiting for Next Year)
- Calf injury hobbles Browns quarterback (Cabot, Plain Dealer)
- RB Jerome Harrison impressing Eric Mangini (Grossi, Plain Dealer)
- Cribbs update; Mangini on Beau Bell (Doerschuk, Canton Rep)
- Mess up and run (Doerschuk, Canton Rep)