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Eric Mangini press conference: Wed. Oct. 21
(Opening statement)- "Good morning everybody. How are we doing? Just in terms of
practice today, we're going to cut practice down a little bit. We just have to make some
adjustments. We had the flu cases and some more guys have come down with it. We're
actually working with quite a few less players. It'll probably shorten the player
availability, in terms of not as many guys to interview. Guys that won't be here today:
Jerome Harrison, Alex Mack, Anthony Madison, Brodney Pool, Shaun Rogers, Robert
Royal, Chansi Stuckey, Jason Trusnik, Brian Schaefering, Lawrence Vickers, Corey
Williams, Kamerion Wimbley. We're trying to, the first signs of any type of illness, get
the guys home and out of the building. We're working as hard as we can to promote
things to prevent the illness, obviously stressing important things like sleep and hands
and things like that. It's that time of year and unfortunately we have quite a few guys who
are dealing with it. We'll adjust practice. We'll work around it and continue to move
forward on Green Bay.
"Looking at Green Bay, this is a team that presents a lot of challenges. Offensively, I
think they're playing really well. Aaron Rogers has been very efficient throwing the ball.
He has a 104 quarterback rating. They do a nice job, not just hitting the receivers, but
then the receivers do a nice job with the run after the catch. They're able to get a lot of
guys out quickly and he's able to get the ball to them. They've moved it efficiently against
everybody they've faced. Defensively, I don't know Dom (Capers) that well, but I've
always respected and admired the job he's done. I think they're playing very well
defensively. One of the things they do an outstanding job with is turning the ball over.
That's always a point of emphasis for us offensively, and this is a team that's very good at
it defensively. It's the 3-4. It's not exactly like our 3-4, but there are elements that we've
seen before, throughout the course of the season or the preseason, obviously, the first
time we played them, but that's evolved since we played them. I think they're getting
better each week. On special teams, I thought just looking back at the preseason game, I
think we've made strides since then on special teams. I thought they did a nice job against
us on special teams in the preseason. Especially their coverage units, I think are solid, and
they create a lot of pressure on things like PATs and field goals. You saw in our
preseason game, with the holding penalty and got quite a bit of push. They blocked one
already this year. That's something that we'll have to deal with."
(On how he will adjust practice because of the flu)- "We'll cut back on some reps. We
may keep it the same time, increase the amount of time in between plays, but take some
plays off it, extend the walk through a little bit. I'm going to talk to Brad (Seely) and the
coordinators maybe about the post-practice meetings. [I am] just trying to get them some
extra rest, give them a chance to just be as vigilant as possible with this."
(On if the players with the flu have undergone H1N1 testing)- "A lot of these were
really new this morning. It wasn't something that was apparent on Monday, so it's new.
We'll go through all those things. With HIPAA, things like that, we can't discuss it, but
we will go through and see where we're at."
(On if the team is taking more preventive measures against the flu than normal)-
"We're being really aggressive preventatively. If there's any sign of it and we think it's
heading that way, we'd much rather try to minimize the effects on the player and also the
possible exposure to the rest of the group."
(On if they are seeking league guidance on the flu)- "We're researching that now.
Houston had a similar situation. There are provisions if a team is hit by quite a bit of flu
cases. We will continue to research that and go through the process and see where we're
(On what he means by ‘provisions' for teams hit with the flu)- "The exact rule, I don't
have all the specifics, but there are roster exemptions where you can bring up practice
squad guys to play in the game, without having to release somebody. Things like that,
that they've put in place."
(On if any of the players with the flu are in the building)- "They're all home."
(On if any of the coaches have the flu)- "No, they may not feel great, but that's typical
for a Wednesday. A little tired, but nothing that I've seen where we'd send them home
(On if any of the players with the flu had received a flu shot)- "I'm not sure. I didn't go
through player by player with that. I'm not sure."
(On if there are any positions completely affected by the flu)- "No, we'll have people
for each position. Vickers, we'll have to adjust there, fullback."
(On how he will adjust the defense without having D'Qwell Jackson)- "We have a
couple different options. I actually thought that Kaluka (Maiava) did a pretty nice job for
his first extended exposure inside. David Bowens started last year inside, five games, so
he's played there. Jason has played there some, Jason Trusnik. Barton can play with
MIKE or WILL, so that gives us some flexibility, depending on if you wanted to go with
a bigger guy or wanted to go with a not as big guy. It gives us some flexibility there, just
because he's played both spots."
(On if he knows how Jackson injured his shoulder)- "It might have been on one of the
catches by (Heath) Miller."
(On if Jackson finished the first half with the injury)- "I'm not sure exactly where it
was. It was pretty late in the half."
(On if he has spoken with Jackson)- "Yes, I talked to him yesterday, texted with him a
little bit last night. I know you're shocked by my savvy, but yes, did a little bit of that.
D'Qwell's such a good guy. Even though he's not playing the field, he'll be very active in
meetings. He'll work with the young guys. He'll work with whoever. That's who he is.
His concern isn't him. His concern is getting ready for Green Bay. When I texted back
and forth to him, he's like, ‘Don't worry about me, let's go on [to] Green Bay.'"
(On if Jackson has surgery scheduled)- "Yes, the timeline exactly, I don't have right
(On why he did not include David Veikune in the list of players who could play
inside linebacker)- "I made a mistake, Tony (Grossi). I should have added him to that
list as well. David's made a lot of progress inside, playing the MIKE. Because he's been
there, I didn't think to list him with the group."
(On why he moved David Veikune from defensive end to inside linebacker)- "I saw a
lot of parallels with him and (Tedy) Bruschi, in terms of body type, in terms of the ability
to rush from an inside position, which is unique in itself. Tedy in 2000, when he first
moved inside, [there was] quite a bit of transition, because it is. It's a different world.
Once he got used to it, he was very effective. I'm not saying that the lines are going to
follow exactly the same way, I'm just saying body type, past experience, speed, the
ability to come up and take on guards, all those things I thought David would do a real
nice job with. Even height, some of that, [inside linebackers] tend to be not quite as tall as
the outside [line]backers."
(On why Maiava went in during the second half at Pittsburgh instead of Veikune)-
"Kaluka plays the WILL and that's what D'Qwell plays. It was the easiest, based on the
reps that we had allocated during practice. It was the progression that we had set, if
something happened to D'Qwell. [They play] the same position."
(On if Veikune will get reps at WILL)- "No, what I was saying is could move Barton to
WILL and Veikune to MIKE. Barton's played both. He's advanced enough where he
could play either at any point."
(On if it is disappointing that Veikune has not gotten many defensive reps during
games since he was as second round pick)- "No, not necessarily. As we've talked about
before, everybody develops differently. That's not an easy spot. You have to be able to
get in, run the huddle. You have to be able to call out all the adjustments. You have to be
able to make all the run-pass reads. There's a lot of stuff going on there. It is a big
transition going from end to that spot, but you have to do it at some point. I thought the
value of him getting that experience, working at that spot, looking at it, again, short term
and long term, thought that would be best for his development."
(On if Michael Gaines was signed because Steve Heiden is still hurt)- "I think it's
going to be the same as last week, where we have to go through the week and see where
he is. The thought process was to bring somebody in at the beginning of the week and
just have another person available should it not go the way we want it, hopefully it will.
That was really the thinking there."
(On Greg Jennings and Donald Driver)- "They're outstanding. They run really crisp
routes. Especially with Jennings, his ability to make people miss after the fact, even when
we were looking at Brett (Favre) in New York, there were a lot of big plays, what you
consider big plays 40-yard plays, 50-yard plays, and the reality was they weren't actually
40-yard throws down the field. It might have been a slant to Jennings for 10, where he
broke it for 40. He has good strength, good change of direction, things like that. Driver's
made some unbelievable catches, a couple one-handed grabs on the sideline. He has
excellent hands, speed. They're good size guys as well."
(On Aaron Rogers)- "That's a tough draw when you have to replace Favre in Green Bay.
He, obviously, has tremendous maturity. You can see the development that he's made
over the course of time. It's a pretty impressive quarterback rating, his efficiency, in terms
of completions. I don't know him personally, but just in watching him, I image he's a
pretty hard worker and really has developed his craft over the years."
(On if the Browns were interested in Clay Matthews before the draft)- "I liked Clay
and spent a lot of time with him, out at USC. [He's a] smart kid, actually talked a lot
about the Browns, talked about his dad. [He is a] really interesting guy, too. [We] talked a
little politics, talked [about] a lot of topics that you don't traditionally have in an
interview with a player. He's a very intellectual guy. He's a tough guy. He's a physical
guy, all those things."
(On if Clay Matthews is like his father)- "Yes, pretty good genetics."
(On if Ben Roethlisberger picked on Maiava when he went in)- "I wish it was just
him. He's picked on a lot of people. I don't think it changed his approach that
(On the importance of team speed on defense)- "It just depends on how you're built.
Some teams are built really small and fast and some teams are built bigger. Both have
merit. Both have some great things to them. Some of the issues we had this past weekend
were run after the catch. There was the play to Santonio Holmes, which was a comeback
for about 15 yards. It ends up going for 30 more yards after that. The over route the Hines
Ward stepped in front of. We had some chances to tackle him at that spot, but he gained
some extra yards. Those things, it's not about speed or anything. At that point, it's about
leveraging the player and getting him down. Those yards all count towards passing yards.
You can't let at a 15-yard completion be a 40-yard completion. You saw it in Denver,
same thing. You have to be able to take your hit, whatever it is, but minimize it to that
and not allow it to mushroom into something more."
(On if Brandon McDonald relapsed against Pittsburgh)- "I don't think it was a
function of that, Tony (Grossi). I think we had other opportunities too. Sometimes as a
corner, you are going to miss a tackle, and that's the reality. You're sitting there on an
island, you're trying to breakdown. It's going to happen. There are other guys that need to
help you at that point. I think it was a group effort."
(On if he hopes to see Coye Francies at cornerback more)- "We give him a lot of reps
each week. He needs to continue to develop and that's what I'm looking for. I think there's
been some progress. It's a little bit like when we were talking about Brian (Robiskie)
early in the season, there are certain roles on special teams that he plays and he has to
play them better than the next guy that we're bringing, otherwise, if you're not a starter,
that other guy wins."
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