View Full Version : In Their Heads

02-08-2009, 12:26 PM
Mangina knows we are in the collective heads of the Browns players and fan base to the point where he doesn't want to give it any more "mystique". :lol:

The utter dominance laid out in this article did get me thinking that as Steeler fans, we do expect to win every Browns game. However, the inevitable truth is that they will eventually wind up winning one. I just wonder what the shock value of that win will be for us and if Cleveland will wind up having a ticker-tape parade when it does come to fruition. :tt2

http://news-herald.com/articles/2009/02 ... 454670.txt (http://news-herald.com/articles/2009/02/08/sports/nh454670.txt)

NFL notes: Check that: Mangini embraces Steelers game
Sunday, February 8, 2009 1:18 AM EST
By Jeff Schudel

Groans and gnashing of teeth could be heard on Jan. 8 from Browns fans everywhere when newly hired coach Eric Mangini answered a question about how he would approach the rivalry with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
"You've got to be able to compete in the conference and win in the conference," he said. "You're going to play spirited games regardless of what conference you're in."
Mangini in essence was saying a game against the Steelers is no more important than one against, say, the Houston Texans or Kansas City Chiefs. It is not the message fans want to hear.

Former coach Romeo Crennel got it. In March, he prophetically said: "Until we can beat the Steelers, we probably won't win the division." And on a day in 2005 when describing the players he would replenish the roster with, former general manager Phil Savage said he wanted players who can help the Browns beat Pittsburgh.

Crennel and Savage never did beat the Steelers. The Browns have lost 11 straight to Pittsburgh dating back to 2003. The Steelers have won two Super Bowls during the drought, and the Browns are on their third head coach.
As it turns out, Mangini really does understand how important games against the Steelers are, as he clarified in a news conference Wednesday. He just doesn't want to be perceived as genuflecting before Ben Roethlisberger and Troy Polamalu.
"I appreciate the rivalry and I appreciate the tradition and I appreciate the excitement behind those games," he said. "I was here before. I remember that. I get that, and we love that aspect of it.

"I got all that stuff and it was fun, but you're always trying to balance that with the fact you don't want to create so much mystique with the opponent that you go into the game with a competitive disadvantage."
Mangini has a point, because there have been games when the Browns seemed defeated before the opening kickoff, such as the final game of 2008 in Pittsburgh, a game the Browns lost, 31-0. And who could forget the Christmas Eve Massacre of 2005 in Cleveland, when the Browns lost, 41-0? By the start of the fourth quarter, Steelers fans outnumbered Browns fans two to one.

The Browns played the Steelers in the second game of 2008. On the Thursday before, Savage said it was the biggest game for the franchise since the Browns were reborn in 1999. Whether Savage's remarks were a factor, no one can say, but the Browns stumbled and made error on top of error in a 10-6 loss.
"What do you have to do to beat that team?" Mangini asked. "I don't think it's even a function of approaching it any differently. It's understood that you can't play in one of the Pittsburgh games without feeling it between the cities.
"What we need to do is make sure we're improving each day and make sure that we're making progress, make sure that every single day we're collectively making the decisions we need to make to get better. It starts there and when you get to that week, you need to understand what you have to do to win that game that week. There's nothing more important than that."

Mangini started with the Browns as a ballboy in 1994. Coincidentally, that is also the year the Steelers began to dominate the Browns like they never did before. The Browns and Steelers have met 27 times starting with the opener in 1994. The Browns are 3-24 in those games.

Offensive philosophy
The offense the Browns run under Mangini and offensive coordinator Brian Daboll might not look much different than what the Browns ran the last two years with Rob Chudzinski as offensive coordinator. The offense, known as "the digit system," produced 402 points in 2007 but only 232 last year.
"I like a lot of elements of that offense," Mangini said. "I like the multiple personnel groups, the shifting, the motion, the no-huddle and the problems that you can create formation-wise with that.
"And then one of the reasons I really wanted to get Brian Daboll was to bring an element of the New England offense, which I thought was extremely valuable. I don't know if that offense has a name."

Daboll was the Jets' quarterbacks coach the last two years. Prior to that, he was the receivers coach at New England when Charlie Weis was the Patriots' offensive coordinator from 2002-2004. Weis took that offense to Notre Dame in 2005 and turned Brady Quinn into a star. Running backs are not often used as receivers in the offense the Patriots use. The run sets up the pass. Play-action is a key element of the offense. Significantly, Quinn is very good on play fakes.

It can be an explosive offense but also a ball-control offense. In 2004, Weis' last year in New England, the Patriots scored 29 passing touchdowns and 15 rushing touchdowns.
Mangini also wants to mix in some West Coast offense, but he was unable to pry Bill Callahan away from the Jets. Callahan, the Jets' offensive line coach, used the West Coast offense when he was head coach in Oakland.
The West Coast offense involves throwing short, high-percentage slant passes to a designated spot.

Running backs are more involved as receivers. The offense the Browns used the last two years and the offense the Patriots use involves more downfield passing.
Mangini wants to blend the offenses to better attack a particular opponent's weaknesses on a given Sunday.

Bengals gear up
Free agency begins Feb. 27. The Bengals, normally quiet in free agency, plan to be aggressive because 10 of their own players will be unrestricted free agents, including wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh, running back Cedric Benson and kicker Shayne Graham.
"We're going to have to be active because we have some guys who are currently free agents and we don't know that we can sign those guys back," Coach Marvin Lewis told reporters.
"We're going to try to be proactive and fill some of the holes we need to fill in our football team."
Houshmandzadeh would look good in a Browns uniform. He says he wants to play for the Eagles.

Ryan will be missed
Rex Ryan, the Jets' new head coach after 10 years with the Ravens, the last six as defensive coordinator, will be missed in Baltimore.
"I think it's a gain for them and a loss for us, but it's well deserved," linebacker Bart Scott said. "It was a long time coming."

Steelers look ahead
The Super Bowl parade was five days ago, so the Steelers are already looking ahead to 2009. Their top priority is re-signing cornerback Bryant McFadden before McFadden has the chance to strike gold in free agency.
Picking last in the first round means picking the best player available. It works out for the Steelers that one of those players might be 6-foot-4, 310-pound center Alex Mack from Cal. Center is a definite area of need for the Steelers. The Steelers would like an upgrade over Justin Hartwig.

Mister Pittsburgh
02-08-2009, 12:52 PM
Steelers are 23-3 dating back to 1994 against the Browns. I don't really think it matters if the coach says it is a big game or downplays it. Either way, they don't have what it takes to knock us off.

02-08-2009, 03:48 PM
they will beat us one day... who knows when but it will happen. I think....

02-08-2009, 04:59 PM
they will beat us one day... who knows when but it will happen. I think....

and they will treat it as the second coming of jesus. as if they just won the SB cause it will be the greatest victory the city has had in 30 years. that's how deep we are in their psyche. they will swarm our boards with trolls, even Co#kface may reappear. all over 1 regular season win. pathetic losers, all of them.

02-08-2009, 05:45 PM
Steelers are defined by themselves and their 6 Superbowl wins. Browns are defined by the Steelers, and the Browns zero Superbowl appearances.

02-08-2009, 06:43 PM
I was talking about Eric Mangini with a friend of mine who is a long-suffering Brownies fan. My point was, in watching the press conference, you want a guy to come in and say this is what we are going to do, this is how we are going to do it, and if you have a problem with it, F you. You want them to at least admit to the fact that what the browns/Bungles have been doing obviously hasn't been working and it is time to change a few things. Mangini couldn't have been farther from that in his opening presser. Talking very hesitantly as if he feared saying the wrong thing, he talked about the organization and it's proud history, talked a lot about the owners, the fans, blah, blah, blah. After watching that, I am convinced that the only team we have to fear, as far as leadership goes, is the Ravens, and free agency might take care of that. When in the hell are teams in this division going to learn that attitude and a little bit of defense is enough to improve their teams dramatically, which is really all the Browns fans want at this point. They want to start by being competitive in the division, handing the Steelers at least one loss per year, and then building upon that. We, and the Ravens to a point, show them year after year after year. Yet, they will never, ever learn.