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Mangini Press Conference


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(Opening statement)- "Good afternoon everybody. Just watching the tape, it reinforced a lot of things that I felt coming out of the game. I was really happy with the way the guys played and happy that they were rewarded for it. I think that throughout the course of the year they have worked hard and things haven't always gone the way we wanted to go, but we have made strides. Sometimes those strides are apparent and sometimes they are not as apparent.


You look at a game where a guy like Marcus Bernard contributed two sacks or Brian Schaefering with his sack and a half and the play time that he had. Kaluka (Maiava), Evan Moore, Chris Jennings, Mohamed (Massaquoi), right on down the line - some of the new players, guys playing different positions. They've worked hard to learn the entire system, trying to build in versatility, things like that that have come into play and I think like any part of the process this stuff is learned. It is learned over time.


I was happy that they were rewarded for that. I also just wanted to thank the fans that came out last night. They were pretty amazing, especially during that last drive ho loud it was. It was cold. It was cold where I was sitting. It had to be cold where they were sitting. They fight through everything so it's great to have them."


(On how important it is for players elevated from the practice squad to take advantage of the opportunity)- "I think it's extremely important. It's important for the guys to know that if they work hard, if they continue to improve that they have a chance. They have a chance to come up to the 53 and then they have a chance to come up to the 45. That's why, organizationally, we spend so much time, whether it be the post practice work with those guys or the extra meetings or things like that, to continually develop them because you don't know when you are going to need to call on them. You want to make sure that they are progressing the same way the other guys are who may be taking more of the game plan specific reps. That stuff has huge value. It's good to see those guys get a chance and take advantage of that chance."


(On having to teach new players on the roster)- "There is some element of that and it just depends when they get here. How extensive their background is before they get here. A guy like Matt Roth, he has things to draw on from his NFL experience, defenses that he can associate. Usually, that learning curve is quicker. Some other guys that you may get late you have to accelerate everything. There is a sense of community and everybody takes part in it. It's the coaches, the guys at their position they help out. Guys at other positions, they help out. We embrace guys that come here and everybody wants to help them be successful."


(On if Joshua Cribbs looked better on tape today)- "It looked pretty good yesterday, too. He did a lot of different things and he did them well. Whether it was his returns, him running the ball, catching the ball, making tackles, it was a pretty impressive performance. There are so many different elements to it. He is a fun guy to watch."


(On if there is anything new with Cribbs' contract)- "Nothing right now. It's something that we are looking into and want to, obviously, move forward with."


(On if something will get done with Cribbs' contract)- "Yes, I imagine that something will get done."


(On the ideal number of plays for the WildDawg in a game)- "It's hard to say. Some of it depends on the effectiveness. Some of the other stuff depends on balancing that out with the fact that he is the returner on both kickoff returns and punt returns. What you don't want to do is eliminate his effectiveness there because it is such a huge field position change, or the potential for that every time he touches the ball. You are balancing out the snaps at receiver, the snaps in WildDawg, the snaps on special teams and he does the coverage units as well. He gets a full game, reps wise, from all those different spots."


(On the win against Pittsburgh goes a long way towards next season)- "For me it's really just a great opportunity for the team to experience some of the fruits of their labor. To be able to do that against a team like Pittsburgh, who we haven't beat in a long time. I think it's outstanding. There's that intensity. There's that rivalry. There's that special feeling with playing them. These guys have worked hard and I know you're probably tired hearing the word process, and I've said it 1,000 times, but learning how to win is part of that.


Learning how to deal with adversity is part of that. Learning how to play complementary football is part of that. I think we did a lot of those things last night. It's great to be able to now point to that and say, 'ok when we do these things, we can all see what happens.' I've never questioned the way these guys have approached things, but it is nice to now say, 'When we do this, look what's possible.'"


(On if he got a special message from anyone)- "I got a message from Randy (Lerner). I talked to Jim (Brown) after the game. A lot of different friends around the league sent some notes. Andy Reid sent a note. You appreciate things like that just because it's nice of them to take time to do that."


(On if he talked to Randy Lerner in person)- "We just exchanged texts and I'll talk to him a little bit later here today. It was pretty late when I finally got out of the locker room and got going and I think he was heading back to se will catch up."


(On what was said in the text message)- "It was a nice, positive message"


(On if he is worried about his future)- "That really hasn't been my emphasis at all or focus at all. What I'm concerned about are the guys, the team, coaching team and continuing to move forward. I believe in what we do. I know it works. I know it is going to work here. I know we are going to win a lot of games here. I know we are going to have a team that week in and week out the city is going to be proud of. These guys are good guys working towards the same goal. That to me is the essence of winning. It's going to happen."


(On if the players coming closer together)- "I see them getting closer and closer as they get to know each other more and spend more time together. Everybody interacts with everybody else; it's not by position group. They have a good time with each other. They support each other in meetings. It could be me asking a question and they try to help each other out. They use words like 'family' when they talk about each other. That's what you are looking for. You are looking for chemistry. You play harder for guys that you like. There's a different level of intensity when you care about each other and really understand that everybody is working for everybody else."


(On if there is any uncertainty about bringing someone in)- "I think anybody that we can bring in to help is a positive thing. I believe in what we do. I believe it to my core. I've seen it work. I know it works. I am confident in it. I mean that in a sincere way. I've seen it. I've experienced it. I believe in it. I believe in good people. I believe in hard work. I believe in discipline. I believe in a team. Those things are truth. It's truth in sports. You have those things, you win. I've experienced it."


(On if he has talked to Lerner about next year)- "That's never been talked about. I wouldn't look to do that. My emphasis, my focus, everything is on this year, is on these guys, is on moving forward each day."


(On Rob Ryan's defensive scheme)- "A big part of playing good defense is being on the same page. What we always look for every play, defensively, is communication, disguise and pursuit. Really, the starting point is communication. When everybody know what we are playing and it's sound across the board, each person understands their role in the defense. Usually, you play good defense. There were times during the earlier part of the season maybe we did too much. There have been times where maybe we could have done a little bit more.


Finding that balance, and you have to get used to this defensive approach I think. I think it's different than a lot of approaches because it is so game plan specific. You do a lot of things in training camp, you study core concepts on how to run the defense, but week in and week out it's different. It's specific to Pittsburgh. There's a lot of learning that goes on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday so there's a lot of adjustments that have to take place. Communication is so important. It's a shock to the system I think, when you first get exposed to it.


I remember when we went to the Jets initially with (Bill) Parcells and (Bill) Belichick and that group. It's just dramatically different when you get a whole game plan on Wednesday and there's 10-15 new defenses in it or changes in the way that you are going to do it, if you haven't done that before it's hard to get adjusted to. Once you do, then the guys start looking forward to Wednesday to see what the plan is, and that is different."


(On how to judge Brady Quinn's performance with the wind)- "The wind definitely played a part in it. You are looking for accuracy. I think there were some throws that we could have been more accurate with. I thought some guys made some pretty nice catches as well. I am always looking for mechanics, regardless of the weather. I thought Brady did a nice job with that throughout the course of the night last night. The wind does play a factor in some of those throws and you have to take that into account but it factors in for both guys. You can do some different things when you have wind than when you don't."


(On if the players are coming around to him now and buying into the system more than when he first got to Cleveland)- "I really have found that anytime that you make a change, and you are dealing with that change, it is difficult. You have to learn about each other. Everybody loves progress but not a lot of people love change. Usually they go hand in hand, most often they do. That's also part of the process, part of the growth, is understanding what the objectives are, understanding that everybody is working toward the same thing and understanding that we all depend on each other.


Our success and failures are all going to be based on how work together and how we operate s a group. It does take time. I never really have looked at it as selling guys on it. I look at is as teaching and exposing guys to new ideas. Exposing guys to ideas that may be different, that may be out of their comfort zone but you want them to try it. You want them to experience it. You want to show them how it works. It's nice when they can see it work and feel it work and really understand it."


(On if he has the support of the players)- "I haven't felt at any point where there wasn't support. I think that often times it takes a while to understand that the open door is truly open. It's not a slogan. It's not what you say so you can refute something someone else says. It's true. Sometimes it's hard for young guys to come up and talk. Sometimes it's hard for anybody to come up and talk. It can be a little bit like going to the principal's office. You have to try to convey as much as possible the importance of doing it and the value in doing it."


(On if he came into Cleveland more heavy-handed than he would have somewhere else)- "I know this might be hard to believe, but I actually came in here a lot less heavy-handed than when I went to New York. I swear. I thought I was making major concessions. Like I said, it takes time. My high school coach used to say, 'Discipline isn't something you do to somebody. It's something you do for somebody.' I've never wanted to instill discipline for the sake of being in charge.


That's not what it's about. It's because it helps you win games. You have one breakdown in 11 guys, it affects the whole play. You've got a community. We've got guys from all over the country. We have got a range of ages. Like any community, there's got to be rules so that everybody can operate efficiently. That's all they are there for and nothing else. I don't want guy's money. I don't want to exert power to exert power. I want the group to operate efficiently. That's the goal. It's it."


(On what he would say to a football 'czar' about his record)- "I would imagine that anybody who would merit the title 'czar' would look a lot deeper than just the record. Like I've said, I'm transparent. There's been rationale for all of the decisions. There's been a thought process. Some of it's been good, some of it's been bad, but there's a reason behind it. Anybody who comes in can take a look at it. They can sit down and talk to the coaches, sit in on any meeting, watch our practices. They have seen other practices, watch our practices. See how we operate. Come to our meetings. See how we teach. See how we function as a staff because it's good and it's right. I'm confident in it. Come take a look because it's a good product."


(On if he has told Cribbs that they will take care of him)- "He and I have talked about that and he knows how strongly I feel about him and the contributions he makes and all of those things. You want to move forward with the next steps. Timetable don't know; structure don't know. All of those things are to be determined, but he knows how I feel about them and he's a guy I really appreciate more than just for what he does on the field."


(On how he would sell himself to a czar)- "I feel good about the approach we have taken here. I feel good about the things that we have done here. I don't feel good about what our record is and nobody does. I understand the situation I initially came into. I understand the things that we have done throughout our time here to continue to move it forward. Anybody that comes in I am excited to talk to. I feel good about it. I don't feel like it's going to be a function of selling. It's just going o be a function of showing who we are, what we believe in, the things we have done, and I think that anybody who comes in will appreciate those things. At the end of the day whatever happens, happens."


(On if he is more comfortable with his job now)- "I feel going into the offseason, you are starting at a totally different launching point than where we were last year going into the offseason. You are talking about hiring a staff, evaluating the players, moving into free agency, trying to get ready for the draft, moving your families. There are a thousand things that go into entering into an organization.


Going into an offseason where that's not the case, than you are focusing more on free agency, the draft and your frame of reference is a lot different because you have sat in the meetings with the players. You have gotten to know them. You have seen them play. You have seen them play your schemes. It is radically different. Your starting point is so much more advanced than where it was. I can get home now. That's real progress."


(On if he will enjoy the fact that they beat Pittsburgh)- "Yes, definitely. Even last night I probably stayed up later than I probably would have that's because I was here back in '94 and '95. I don't think we beat them those years and it sucked not beating them. It's nice to beat them. It's important and it's important to the city. It's important, I get that. I got a note from the guy who dropped off the paper this morning. I really appreciate it and I get it."


(On David Bowens' leadership)- "He is outstanding. He was outstanding when he wasn't calling defenses. He's got an energy that's contagious. It's important to him. It's important for him to do everything the right way. He works with everybody. He involves everybody into the defense. To go in and to play a new position, now he's played there before, but he hasn't been the signal caller before so that's new. To be the captain, all of those things are new. I think he's handled it great. The guys give him a hard time for being old and having gray hair and things like that.


That wisdom has been a huge benefit. I can appreciate a little bit with the age with an experience the other day. Julie went to Jake's school and they were discussing the word cold. She was in the back of the room. C-O-L-D, they took the C out and just had blank space and they wanted the kids to fill in a letter. The first kid went and I think he said T or B so then they call on Jake and say, 'Okay, Jake what do you have?' 'D-A-D' Julie was thinking, how sweet he misses his father. The teacher says, 'Why D-A-D?' 'D-A-D, dad, old.' Everybody sees things differently. Everybody when they get a chance operates differently and I appreciate the age jokes.


(On if someone comes in and cleans house and if he thinks it would be a mistake)- "I think whoever comes in, whatever happens I am excited to work with that person. Like I said, I believe in the things that we are doing. That's in the future and really that's not my focus what so ever."


I know there's a lot of posters out there who are going to bash the coach for whatever reason but I felt like he was fairly open in his discussion and answers. I appreciate the comment on discipline. I think that a lot of people make presumptions about the coach's personality or his ego but I think that these comments would suggest that he's all about the business of football.

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He answers questions intelligently and thoughtfully. He preaches the same message everyday. Whether its a business the armed forces, your children, its how you build something special. Believe in what your doing and the journey that it entails. Stay true to you're core beliefs regardless of external pressures and don't change because people outside looking in say so. That takes serious conviction of character and a hell of a belief system, especially as much horses**t as Coach Mangini has endured this year.


Some of the Mangini haters will classify it as arrogance but there wrong..As Coach Mangini says "If you change your core beliefs then you really don't believe in anything." Good life lesson for us all.

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its funny, with all the mangini hate, we are now roughly at the record that almoast all the sport anylists predicted we'd be at, 2 wins. and those were taken into account just by looking at our personel, menus any coaching factored in, yet alot of people were upset and suprised that we didn't do well this season, even tho everyone that knows alot about football was trying to tell everyone to expect a lousy season. last 3-4 games, there has been alot of improvement, and it seems every game we take a big step foward toward becoming an actual NFL team. and every savage romeo guy thats removed from the starting line up seems to make a great improvement. DA, JL, BE, most of our LBs.


the further this team gets away from the romeo/savage team, the more they improve from what i see.


so far it looks like mangini has the ship going in the right direction. another year, and draft and we could be well on our way out of permanent sucktitude.

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