BEREA — The 17-14 loss to Tampa Bay on Sunday in the season opener was certainly disappointing, as the Browns outplayed the Buccaneers for most of three quarters and blew an 11-point lead. But coach Eric Mangini said he isn’t worried about his team taking a defeatist attitude.
“This isn’t that type of group,” he said Monday. “There is nobody in there that I even have the sense feels that way. A lot of guys are new. A lot of guys don’t know what ‘here we go again’ means because they weren’t part of that in the past.
“Everybody understood what happened and what needs to be fixed to prevent it from happening again. I don’t think anybody feels that way, from top to bottom.”
Monday in Northeast Ohio would’ve felt completely different if Jake Delhomme hadn’t thrown a second-quarter interception and Peyton Hillis hadn’t fumbled in the third quarter. The Browns would be 1-0 and the region riding high. Instead, Sunday’s visit from Kansas City takes on much greater significance. The Browns can ill afford to go 0-2 with a difficult schedule ahead.
“Obviously it’s our season opener at home, you always want to get that one,” linebacker Chris Gocong said. “It’s less about that than it is about getting our confidence. I thought we had it going into this game and we kinda stumbled a little bit and we need to get that back and get that swagger.”
Gocong shared the sentiment of many teammates. He believed they were on the way to a win when the momentum swung.
“I felt like we had it in the bag,” he said.
Nationalfootballpost.com reported veteran defensive end Jarvis Green will visit the Browns today. Green, 31, has a history with Mangini and defensive coordinator Rob Ryan after spending 2002-09 with the Patriots.
Green (6-foot-3, 285 pounds) has 46 career starts, including 12 in 2009, when he had 36 tackles and a sack. Green signed a fouryear contract with Denver in the offseason but was cut last month. The Browns have some depth concerns upfront.
View from the top
Mike Holmgren is 0-1 as Browns president and was feeling the disappointment Monday as he kicked off Ring of Honor week at Cleveland Browns Stadium.
“It was a shame,” he said. “We can’t turn the ball over like we did, but the guys played hard. I liked their enthusiasm. Get rid of the bad things.”
What does he expect in Week 2? “We just have to keep improving,” he said. “Turnovers are killing us right now. I want them to start feeling like good things are going to happen instead of, you know. And they will, they will.”
- Mangini was pleased with the performance of right guard Floyd Womack and right tackle John St. Clair, who hadn’t played together in the presesason. Delhomme wasn’t sacked but faced increased pressure as the Browns were forced to throw late. “I thought Floyd actually played really well and I thought John, for the most part, played well,” Mangini said. “I thought especially for Floyd coming back and this being his first game back, he did a good job.”
- Mangini didn’t call timeout on fourth-and-4 with 1:35 left because he wanted to save all three timeouts and the team has practiced that situation numerous times. A false start on St. Clair was followed by an incompletion.
- He said receiver Mohamed Massaquoi made the wrong read on a deep second-quarter incompletion in which Delhomme threw to the middle of the field and Massaquoi cut toward the corner.
- He said linebacker Eric Barton slipped while recovering a fumble in the fourth quarter. Teammate Jason Trusnik lay on him to make sure the Browns kept possession, but if Barton had picked it up cleanly, he had no one in front of him or around him.
- Rookie guard Shawn Lauvao (ankle) had his left foot in a walking boot Monday. He was inactive Sunday.
- CBS play-by-play announcer Spero Dedes must not know Browns history. When referee Jeff Triplette threw a flag that bounced under a player’s helmet Sunday, Dedes said, “The referee almost took an eye out with that throw.” Triplette threw a flag that hit Browns lineman Orlando Brown in the eye in 1999, precipitating a shove from Brown, who sustained serious damage to the eye.
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