Tedy Bruschi defends Eric Mangini

Browns coach Eric Mangini is taking verbal slings and arrows from all directions, but at least one person believes the criticism isn’t fair.

ESPN football analyst Tedy Bruschi, one of Mangini’s former players in New England, came to Mangini’s defense on NFL Live with an impassioned plea for “patience.”  He said Mangini knows defense and how to put a gameplan together.

Fellow analyst Trent Dilfer, who played in Cleveland, blamed Browns owner Randy Lerner for the team’s troubles.  Dilfer said that Lerner listens too much to public opinion and makes “knee-jerk” decisions when times get tough.

Dilfer’s point has validity, but Bruschi’s could be questioned.  Mangini lost some of his responsibilities as defensive coordinator before leaving the Patriots because of questions about the defense’s direction.  Numbers fell on New England’s defense across the board when Mangini took over.

Mike Nolan, Gregg Williams, and Rex Ryan are among the defensive minds that have made immediate impacts with new teams this season — Nolan with relatively little talent.  Cleveland is dead last in yards allowed per game this season. 

34 responses to “Tedy Bruschi defends Eric Mangini

  1. Florio is right about Bruschi. You can question the validity of his statement. He is, however, wrong about Dilfer. Every Browns fan knows Dilfer is still upset for getting benched in Cleveland a few years ago. If he didn’t suck so bad, he would’ve got benched. Also, he has the same agent as Derek Anderson.

  2. I think Mangini has the potential to be a good coach if he has his personnel. I think he was getting somewhere with the Jets before Favre came along and changed the whole complexity of that organization. Mangini runs his locker room similar to guys like Tom Coughlin, tough and busy… when you are at the stadium, you are there to work, and you want to work.
    For a long time people in the new york giants locker room didn’t believe in Coughlin’s attitude towards, football and neglected to buy into it. Once his fourth year came along, he had brought in mostly guys that believe in that way of football. Tiki had left and Strahan had “retired” for the training camp, so there were new leaders in the locker room that offseason (guys coughlin brought in). Yes, he eased up a bit, but the players still bought into his tough camp, and made the most out of their time.
    I think Mangini could do the same if he is given some time to get the right personnel, which he was working towards in NY before Favre…

  3. Mangini really misplayed his cards.
    He pissed everybody off and now that he’s in quicksand nobody is going to give him a hand. Especially his players.

  4. Trent Dilfer has been banging on the Browns since he was benched. He has also been an outspoken apologist for Derek Anderson. I guess when you get to the Super Bowl on the coattails of Ray Lewis, you become an expert.

  5. “Cleveland is dead last in yards allowed per game this season”.
    When your offense cannot produce on the field, the defense suffers too.

  6. Jbb, Mangini was 4-12 before Favre. I don’t call that getting somewhere…..and improving to 9-7 under Favre doesn’t seem as negative as you make it out to be. If one man throws off the whole game plan, it wasn’t much of a plan.

  7. I think Tedy B. had a few too many “Bruschis” before making that statement. I don’t put much stock in an analyst who probably doesnt even watch the Browns on a consistent basis. I question anything coming from BSPN analyst and anyone who probably thinks Mike & Mike are quality sports journalists and important social commentators to boot. Notice how much the Patriots defense declined when the reins were handed to Mangini and how much both offense and defense have gone into the toliet in Cleveland this year. I wish there was a clip of Jim Mora screaming “Patience….. Patience ?!!? (instead of Playoffs ) to play for Tedy because Cleveland fans feel that way when we are told to have “patience”.

  8. Mangini is as good as fired. It wont happen during the season, but it will happen. Anytime a team swithces their GM, the the GM comes in and always fires the coach they inherited. It’s unfortunate for Mangini because 1 year just plain and simple isn’t enough time to judge a coach who took over a 4-12 team. The only question is who gets hired on to be the coach for the 2010 season. It will NOT be a big name coach like Shanahan, Holmgren, or Gruden simply because these coaches are control freaks who want all the power and they wont go to a situation where there is a GM in place who has final say on all decisions….they just wont do it….so it’ll end up being a coordator or assistant. Dont count out Rob Ryan who is currently on the Browns roster. Mike Nolan would be a solid pick, he would really help out that defense and he brings discipline as well.

  9. Nobody is capable of fixing the Browns’ problems in just one year. It’s going to take at least three years before the Browns fans are happy.

  10. daffy87 says: ” . . . 1 year just plain and simple isn’t enough time to judge a coach who took over a 4-12 team”
    Unless that team goes 2-14, or worse? Particularly if it looks like the coach a) couldn’t establish a working relationship with players who had performed well for another coach, b), was clearly instrumental in getting rid of said players, c) evidently brought in replacement players who are not performing as expected.
    “so it’ll end up being a coordator [sic] or assistant. Dont count out Rob Ryan who is currently on the Browns roster. Mike Nolan would be a solid pick, he would really help out that defense and he brings discipline as well.”
    Because Nolan worked out so well in San Francisco?

  11. Even though the ingrate Mangini warrants no consideration, Teddy will still provide it. That’s just the sort of man he is and why he’ll probably never make it in the “cut them up” world of sports journalism. Bruschi is just being the gracious, considerate man he is at heart.

  12. I agree that eight games is way too short a time. What’s happened here is that the team has gotten noticably worse. It appears that Mangini has alienated some of the players.
    I think so many of the deals they made have turned out to be really lopsided for us. We traded away Sanchez to the Jets. They got a decent starting rookie QB and we got a bunch of no names.

  13. The coach and gm are easy targets, but that team has so little talent on it’s roster it’s unbelievable.
    What kind of ownership hires a coach and gm and fires them within the year? Was there ever a plan in place or are they throwing darts at the wall? Where is the stability? The whole thing is just a mess.

  14. Yeah, poor Mike Nolan. Strapped with getting production out of Champ Bailey, Brian Dawkins, Andre Goodman, D.J. Williams, Elvis Dumervile. Renaldo Hill, Andra Davis, Mario Haggan…all productive where ever they’ve been.
    Don’t make Nolan a diety just cuz you missed the boat, Rosenthal.
    Life’s a bitch when you’re one of the lemmings, I guess.

  15. I think one thing we can all take from this article is that Patriots Defensive Coordinators should be left in New England. Romeo Crennel was a major bust and Mangini had 1 good season with the Jets and now he’s really showing us how to run a football team (NOT). BB runs everything in NE and if someone thinks otherwise then can just check the track record of patriots assistance once they leave the frigid confines of Foxborough (Josh MacDaniels excluded until he starts losing more games 30-7)
    I also believe that if the Browns keep Man-gina after this season they might as well start calling their owner Al Davis because only the cryptkeeper of Oakland can make a decision that horrible.

  16. Defensive Coordinator was a very inflated title for Magini. He was just a Protege’ of Belichick, who was always on training wheels while with the Pats. I think things would have been a disaster if Bill wasn’t basically running the D while he was there. As much as Belichick has been vilified he was always a guy who remembered to take care of his people. Mangini is not qualified to be a head coach. He got lucky in New York for a short while. If Belichick had not given Mangini his first gig, Mangini would be unemployed or working a dead end job. I think Tedy is being gracious as usual when speaking about Mangini.

  17. NoHomeTeam – What players performed so well in previous years? Edwards and Winslow both had one good season under their belt, they were both inconsistent and had off the field issues. K2 missed 44% of the games from the time he was drafted through the 2008 season. Braylon only had one year with 1,000 yards or more. It wasn’t that these players were underpreforming…they had Romeo Crennel before, a 100% player friendly coach who everyone loved and wanted to win for…so why did they not win 10+ games every year with Romeo? They had one freak season of good with romeo and 3 years of terrible play…the guys on the roster just weren’t that good or they were good and were wildly inconsistent. It’s absolutely untrue for anyone to say Mangini has a playoff ready roster or inherited a playoff ready roster. He inherited a clusterf-ck of a situation with little talent on both sides of the ball.

  18. Mangini deserves to get absolutely trashed, he traded a pro bowl receiver (Braylon Edwards) for a bologne sandwich. That’s how you end up with a joke offense like cleveland, by trading your best playmaker for a bologne sandwich.

  19. Tedy worked closely with Mangina for many years while Mangina was coming up. Of course he is going to have some good things to say about him. Mangina didn’t burn bridges with players when he left only with management and some of the coaching staff.

  20. Maybe Man-gina has realized the coaching gig isn’t as easy without those hidden cameras stealing the other teams signs.

  21. I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it: The Cleveland Browns’ fans deserve so much more than what Eric Mangini offers. He will be fired and likely catch on somewhere as a position coach. (Not with the Patriots, as Belichick wouldn’t piss on him if he was laying in the gutter burning to death.) After this debacle, Mangini should never be an NFL head coach again. The man needs professional help for his head.

  22. Current Parcells-Belichick mentored head coaches in the NFL are Tom Coughlin, Sean Payton and Josh McDaniels.
    Those three names alone should tell any idiot that if you are lucky enough to land a coach mentored by Charlie Tuna or the Hoodie…you give the man time to get the job done.
    Ironically Mangini is hearing the same crap from the talking heads, writers and fans that both Parcells and Belichick themselves heard during their second time around as head coaches in New England when they both had 5-11 records in their first years there.
    Mangini is going about breaking down the team in much the same way his mentors did…patience, patience, patience.
    There are gonna be a lot of people out there eating crow in a couple years on this one, trust me…

  23. I’m so sick of hearing about what Browns fans deserve. How are they any more deserving than any other teams fans? They bitched about Romeo and his lack of discipline, so Randy cleans house and brings in Mangini. Immediately everyone in this town was calling for his head. When he tried to instill some discipline he was criticized for it. F- Browns fans. You’re a bunch of beer muscle, beer brained whiners. You’ve already got what you deserve. A huge pile of crap. When you look at it it’s like you are looking into a mirror.
    F- you all. Especially DP Mike. A DP is a exactly what you deserve. Losers.

  24. Dilfer still has an ax to grind with Cleveland and Bruschi’s taken one to many hits to the head. Fact is that Mangini replaced over 40% of the roster with his guys and ended up with less talent than what he was left with. He had 3 picks in the top 60 of the draft and only one is contributing anything on Sunday’s after coming into a 4-12 team. Maualuga was still on the board when he took Robiskie who didn’t even dress on game days for the first 3-4 weeks of the season. He brought in a first yr OC who couldn’t find his azz–le if his finger was in it. This team continues to challenge for the all time worst statistics in franchise history every friggin week and people say give him time? No improvement whatsoever week to week and he continues to stick by Daboll. I would be different if there was some growth or positive sign but there isn’t. His sheer willingness to stick with a guy who should be sent back up north to join a curling team is reason enough to fire him. I wasn’t crazy about hiring him but was willing to give him a chance. Now, not so much. Time to cut bait and move on with hiring a GM first who then picks his guy.

  25. @a$$-wipe Johnson…
    I know that you’re trying to part of the solution, but you’re actually part of the problem. YOU’RE ENABLING Lerner with some sort of absurd confidence that everything is alright. He’s got this knee-jerk mindset with a major sports franchise and if I wasn’t sure I thought that this knucklehead was turning into the grand pocket minion: Dan “the schmuck” Snyder. The guy is going to go through lost causes for coaches like underwear. Hey maybe we can lure Steve Spurrier from SC?
    Lerner, take my advice, and do the entire fanbase in Cleveland a favor by pulling your bottom lip over your head and swallowing. Bring back Schottenheimer… instant street cred with the city and someone who KNOWS talent and he won’t pull a “Gibbs” with this football team.
    Don’t give Man-Moron anymore slack unless he’s gonna hang himself with it.

  26. “Numbers fell on New England’s defense across the board when Mangini took over.”
    I am NOT a Mangina fan by any stretch of the imagination, but to pin the 05′ defensive woes of the Patriots on him is a bit unfair. That was a team that ran a 3-4 defense, which was heavy with linebacker importance, and had lost Bruschi, Johnson, Phipher (all starters) before the season as well as Law and Harrison in the secondary.
    Going 10-6 (probably could have gone 11-5 – see Miami final game of the season) and only losing to Denver in the 2nd round of the playoffs because of a late phantom pi call wasn’t too bad.
    And everyone seems to forget that Mangina almost split wins and losses against the Pats while he was HC of the Jets. Herm the worm can’t claim that.

  27. The comments on these article are getting worse and worse.
    A few things:
    1. There seems to be a lot of comments about Mangini “alienating” his players. Can someone provide something to back this up? It seems the media is constantly trashing Mangini, but I’ve never heard a player actually do it. The only malcontent on this team was Braylon, and this was predictable due to his prima donna attitude.
    2. “he traded a pro bowl receiver (Braylon Edwards) for a bologne sandwich.” Yea, how’s that trade working out for the Jets? Sanchez has as many interceptions while throwing to Braylon as he has touchdowns. As for Kellen, he hasn’t made TB any better either. We got Massaquoi for him, who looks like he might develop into a pretty solid WR and we still have a 5th rounder from that trade. The NFL isn’t fantasy football.
    3. TyroneCarterIsTheMan – great post
    4. Mangini isn’t a very likable guy and this is probably the main reason for all the scrutiny. Really, did anyone look at that schedule before the year started and think the Browns would be 4-4 right now? Mangini is doing the right thing, stripping this team down to it’s base and then building it back up from scratch. This team was never going to go anywhere with shmucks like Braylon on the roster.
    You (in this case Lerner) made a commitment to rebuild with Mangini, so you have to let him rebuild. It might be painful, but it has to be done. There are some building blocks to work with and fortunately the strengths of this team lie in 2 of the 3 most important areas: Defensive Line (this unit is very solid) and Offensive Line (the left side of the line from the center over is as good as anyone’s). The 3rd is a franchise QB, which has plagued this team since it’s return. Get that QB, a stud RT and a quality RB along with a few playmakers on defense and this team is back on the map again in 2011.

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