Cleveland Browns coach Eric Mangini said this week that he suspected the Detroit Lions of faking injuries to slow down his team’s no-huddle offense.
Lions coach Jim Schwartz didn’t take kindly to that suggestion, saying Mangini was “way out of bounds.”
Today Mangini said he talked to Schwartz, whom he’s known since both of them were just breaking in as assistant coaches, and came to an understanding.
“I talked to Jim for a while,” Mangini said today, per Tony Grossi of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “We cleared the air. I like Jim. Always had a good relationship. The bottom line is we didn’t do enough to win the game. Jim and I are fine.”
Mangini’s comments came across as sour grapes after his team blew a 21-point lead against one of the few teams on the schedule it had a legitimate chance of beating. But Mangini said he wasn’t intending for his comments to come across like he was making excuses for the loss.
“It wasn’t like I was trying to shy away from accountability,” Mangini said today. “At the end of the day, we’re accountable for losing the game. [I was] frustrated with the situation. I probably expressed that more than I should. We had plenty of opportunities to win the game and we didn’t. That wasn’t good enough.”
For Mangini, clearing the air with Schwartz was probably a good idea. He’s already burned his share of bridges in his coaching career, and he’s going to need some good relationships with some other head coaches around the league, unless he wants the Cleveland job to be his last.