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Eric Mangini's Rookie "Trip" Being Overdramatized by Media

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via <a href="http://www.courant.com/media/photo/2009-05/47222818.jpg">www.courant.com</a>
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How can you tell when the news is slow? When the only thing the media has done recently about the Cleveland Browns is complain how head coach Eric Mangini's voluntary rookie trip to his football camp in Connecticut is "a form of hazing." Or, as the Plain Dealer reported via a league source, "I've never heard anything like it."

Curse you Eric Mangini -- you followed the league rules, and instituted a nice little way to get the newcomers to the team more acclimated to things they'll be experiencing throughout their NFL careers. Unfortunately, the media needs a story.

Media #1: Hmmm...we can't keep talking about the quarterback debate, can we?

Media #2: Sure we can -- this time, we'll say that since Mangini hasn't named a starting quarterback, there is validity to the thought of Derek Anderson starting!

Media #1: Sounds good...I'm going to cite you as my anonymous league source.

Media #2: Wait, hold off on that story. I just heard Mangini and all the rookies are headed out to Connecticut for his football camp.

Media #1: I smell blood.

Media #2: We'll paint it like this: rookies forced against their will to participate. Quick, find as many agents as you can and ask if they liked this scenario!

Media #1: Too late, I've already published their spite as fact.

OK, I'm sure it's not that ridiculous, but you have to wonder sometimes.

From a player's perspective, I do agree that it would have been a slight disadvantage not to participate, for obvious reasons. It might not have affected the playing time of rookies such as Alex Mack* or Brian Robiskie*, who are guaranteed roster spots, but all of those UDFAs couldn't have had that same mindset. Likewise, Mack and Robiskie can't shrug off the practice, seeing as it could come off as arrogance. If you're an avid OBR reader, columnist Rich Passan had his say on the whole scenario. I'll be the optimist and look at the brighter side of things:

*Note: I am unaware if every rookie actually participated.

Nearly 800 players in grades 8-12 attended the camp, drills and games of 7-on-7 sprawling all over the Colt Park fields between Bulkeley and Dillon Stadium along Warwarme Avenue, which was shut down.

More than 50 members of the Browns organization attended, including about 20 players. About 25 members of the Jets organization also attended, as well as many others Mangini has gotten to know during various stops in his career, including his time with the Patriots. In all, there were about 350 volunteers.

Link

In the future, hopefully Mangini can bring that type of experience to the Cleveland area:

On if he will do something like that in Cleveland - "I would love to. I would like to be involved in the community as much as possible. Julie (wife) is looking forward to getting involved in the community, and the more things that we can do in a positive way in this area would be great.

It's a great group of people, they have been fantastic to me, and her and our family and the coaches' families the way they have embraced us. I am excited about being able to do some things to give back."

In other news, Steve Doerschuk of the Canton Repository has a story on Browns DL Corey Williams, and his motivation to improve this season.