Cleveland Browns Head Coach Eric Mangini addresses the New England media during his conference call on Wednesday, November 3, 2010.
Q: What is your quarterback situation? I saw two guys are already not practicing this week, where does it stand?
ER: It is probably the same as the last couple of games. Seneca [Wallace] has got a better chance of coming back this week than I think Jake [Delhomme] does, although they are both getting closer. Right now, Colt [McCoy] will take the first reps and we will see where Seneca is tomorrow and Friday.
Q: The Patriots traded Randy Moss and haven't lost a game since. The Minnesota Vikings have now released him. What are your thoughts on that whole story?
EM: Well I think the pick up of Deion Branch was huge. I think he's a really good player and he knows the system and works well with Tom [Brady]. I think that's helped a lot. And offensively, it is such a well-oiled machine that whoever is playing has the opportunity to make plays. Tom does such a good job with distributing the ball across the board. And then the way they can run the ball effectively there are a lot of people that you have to defend against and a lot of different schemes that you have to defend against. The players that they have there have done a great job with it.
Q: Serious question, what kind of handshake do you think you and Bill Belichick will have after the game?
EM: I am sure it will be firm and brisk. You know, textbook. It will be in business schools for years to come.
Q: He gave Brad Childress a two-hander. You hoping for one of those?
EM: Well I haven't gone through the range of shakes that are available. I might have to seek an outside consultant.
Q: What have you seen out of Colt McCoy? The past two games it seems like he has done a great job for you guys.
EM: He really has. It is different than anything I have experienced because I think Colt had a more difficult time going from being the man at Texas, getting all the reps and all that work, to coming here where he was really the three/four [on the depth chart], not getting many reps, not getting the consistent flow. And then when he got the opportunity with the two injuries, it felt very comfortable for him. He didn't really miss a beat. That was really positive to see from my perspective. A lot of young guys when they go in, there's real jitters, but Colt, with that role, just seemed at home: broke down the teams, spoke to the team the night before he started. It was natural; none of it was forced and that is one of the most positive things I've seen.
Q: Mike Holmgren said yesterday that he kind of pulled rank with the selection of Colt. Can you explain how that went down?
EM: Well we had a range of guys there and one of the guys that we were actually seriously considering got picked a couple of picks earlier, and then we were trying to make a decision and we talked about it, and Mike wanted to get Colt. At that point, I looked at it like a big opportunity to see what he could do.
Q: Joking about the handshake aside, is it safe to assume there is less drama to a Belichick/Mangini game this time around and that your relationship is better with him than it might have been in the past?
EM: Yeah. I think all that stuff, we've moved on from. I am in a different place right now, being in Cleveland and not the division. It is just... we've been through that over the years and we view it the same way - it's just really about football.
Q: Have you run into him recently in combines, coaches meetings, anything along those lines?
EM: Not really conversationally. We see each other, but it's between meetings and things like that. It is not some sort of extended type of deal.
Q: What have you thought of Benjamin Watson, leading you in receiving? Has he been a little bit of a surprise?
EM: He's been great. He's been great. I knew Ben pretty well from my time [in New England]. He's such a good guy and a good teammate, and that was a priority in getting those guys as free agents. And then he gives us something in terms of his ability to stretch the field vertically and I think he has done a good job blocking as well. So I have been happy with all the things he's done.
Q: You came up through the Parcells/Belichick tree and now you're working for a guy, Mike Holmgren, who came up through Bill Walsh, the west coast offense, how different has it been, if at all?
EM: Mike has been great about his approach, and he has been there to bounce ideas off of and talk to, which has been really good. You don't really get that as a head coach. It is kind of exciting, too, because being in one family for as long as I was, you don't get exposed to a lot of the other ideas and ways of doing things. So, to have that, and to be able to ask questions about that - about philosophies, how things developed, practice schedules, approaches - typically, you don't get a chance to do that. So, that has been real good from a development standpoint for me.
Q: What has typically been your involvement with Mike from week-to-week?
EM: We will get together during the week - nothing scheduled, it's not the same time every week or anything - but we'll do that, whether it's in his office or my office and then we'll talk at practice as well. So it's not scripted, but it is consistent over the course of the week.
Q: Mike came in and, like you said, it was a completely different family of coaches. With the way things were going for you for a while last season, did you think he was going to retain you?
EM: There were a lot of questions, obviously, at the end of last season about how he was going to prepare for this season and things like that, but the meeting and discussions wasn't going to be something I was going to prepare for because I really believe in what we do and the decisions that we made. They weren't all right, but there was a rationale for all of them...
Q: Can we interrupt you for a second?
TOM BRADY [passing through room on way from press conference]: Hey, what's your plan to stop Tom Brady this week?
EM [Laughing]: He is such a god in every area. I don't think it's humanly possible. I mean, you talk about football player, movie star...
TOM BRADY: You wouldn't say that if we were just sitting here talking.
EM: I am just so happy I get to talk to him some time.
TOM BRADY: I'll see ya; take care.
EM [to media]: That's great; hopefully that won't be the closest we get to him.
Q: What is the best piece of advice that Holmgren has given you?
EM: You know, some of the things that we have talked about aren't football related and he's raised really great, successful kids and that is something that he and I have talked a lot about because I've got the three young boys. [So we've talked about] just how he's maintained perspective, how he's balanced coaching and family, and that's hard to do. He's had some great insight there. I don't want to be a bad dad in order to be a good coach.