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Transcript: Eric Mangini postgame news conference


Browns head coach Eric Mangini praised the Falcons for their running game and what they were able to do defensively Sunday

Opening Statement

"I thought the guys played hard throughout the course of the game. I thought we had some different injuries at different points and guys tried to fight through them and overcome them. With Seneca (Wallace) going down and Jake (Delhomme) going in, I thought Jake did well for him being limited, in terms of what we could do. He's made progress, but it's still a pretty limited package. Really though, what we need to be able to do is run the ball more effectively and consistently week in and week out and stop the run. This is a team, in the Falcons, that has two very good backs, a very good offensive line and a commitment to the running game. We can't let those short runs turn into long runs like the one that (Michael) Turner had. We need to be able to consistently learn to run the ball and balance things off. For us, we have to go back, look at the things we need to fix and get ready for another really tough game next week."

On if Delhomme was still hurting

"He was limited, which is why we started Seneca, but I thought he had enough mobility to be the two. I didn't know how much he'd have to play, but when Seneca got hurt, we had to go with the plays that we had to try to let him operate effectively."

On if Wallace could have gone back in if Delhomme got hurt and was unable to continue on

"I think it would have been tough to do that. We talked about it a little bit and I think it would have been tough at that point for him to go in."

On if they will look at other quarterbacks this week

"It is early, Tony (Grossi). I have to see what Seneca's (Wallace) status is and we'll know more about that tomorrow. Usually, that's when you get a better indication. Even Tuesday, depending on tests and how well the injury responds. I'm not sure."

On if they considered putting a healthy Colt McCoy in instead of Delhomme

"Yes. I think Jake was the better option, which is why we went with Jake and at times he moved the ball really effectively. We had gotten a few first downs there (and were) driving to tie the game when (Kroy) Biermann made a really nice play and batted the ball and the pick and that's an outstanding play on his part. Then we moved the ball effectively again and at least could have gotten three (points) there, tried the onside kick and see where we were at that point."

On Joe Thomas' performance

"It's hard at this point to really give you a good indication, Jeff (Schudel), just because I don't isolate on him, but he's facing one of the elite pass rushers in the NFL. Again, I didn't focus in on Joe specifically throughout the game."

On if they thought to challenge the linemen's touchdown

"Yes. I talked to Dick McKenzie and he felt like he had it, which is why we chose not to challenge it at that point. He was pretty confident in it."

On if it was an easy decision to go with Wallace as the starter

"We went through the course of the week and there were times where it looked better than others, so we were optimistic about it. This is a fast defense, this is a defense that does pressure quite a bit. I just felt like Seneca, with his mobility and things that he could do, would give us a better chance to operate the offense and do some of the 'move in the pocket plays' that were effective early in the game."

On how Jerome Harrison was able to run as well as he did at the end of last season

"As we talked about and at that point, Jeff (Schudel), it's a group effort. He's a part of it, but the offensive line is a part of it and we are all a part of it. I talked quite a bit this week about how this is a different challenge, in terms of the running game, and they were. Give Atlanta credit, they did a nice job in the things that they did and they were able to create some negative plays. I really think it's a group effort."

On if he got out of the Wildcat what he was looking to

"We ran it three or four times. We had the pass and a couple of the runs there. I think if that drive had kept going, it would have kept working into that drive. Then once they got the touchdown, we were really out of it (the Wildcat)."

On if Peyton Hillis reinjured an old injury attempting a tackle on an interception

"I haven't gotten that, Tony (Grossi), from our guys. I think it was the same one, but we should know more (tomorrow)."

On Hillis not looking 100 percent today

"I'm sorry to interrupt, but yes, he was fighting through it and I thought he did a nice job with it. You saw his hands, he had a pretty incredible catch on the touchdown. He was trying to fight through it and it was a pretty gutsy effort by him. I thought it was a gutsy effort by Jake, but it just wasn't enough."

On the run blocking today as opposed to the last two games

"I think that's a combination of things as well. I think there were some yards that we left on the field as running backs. I think there were some opportunities that we had, in terms of blocking the front and blocking the looks, where we didn't do a very good job. When you get negative runs, it puts you behind the eight ball in terms of getting the first down and that pushes you (back). You don't have as many good options on those second and longs as you do if you're facing more of a second and five, that type of thing."

On if Sheldon Brown was supposed to have help on the touchdown by Roddy White

"With the formation that they had, it was a Cover 4 zone that we had. He's got to stay high and push a little tighter inside."

On if it frustrating to have a game with penalties and turnovers setting them back

"That's something that's ongoing. We are going to be better than we are penalty-wise. One was on the quarterback, we had a personal foul after the play, which is unacceptable. The cadence issues, there's no excuse for them. I think sometimes the difficulty is when you have two voices and you have two different quarterbacks with totally different styles of cadence, that sometimes brings it as well. It's concentration and we should be a two to three penalty a game team."

On if he could have potentially gone with Joshua Cribbs at quarterback with as injured as Delhomme was "Jake did move the ball at different points and moved it effectively. It's tough to have too much of a package for Josh. There's so many things he's already doing that to give him too many of those plays, it would just be hard on him."

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