We’ve heard many accounts over the years of halftime speeches aimed at getting a team focused on the task at hand. (Heck, I still have periodic flashbacks to a grade-school coach kicking a cardboard box full of orange peels across the floor of the locker room.) On Thursday night, Eric Mangini employed an unusual tactic to persuade his team to hold their ten-point lead over the Steelers.
“Coach said, ‘Do not come back in this locker room without a win,’” receiver Josh Cribbs told Steve Doerschuk of the Canton Repository.
“I mean, he said, ‘Don’t come back in this locker room without a win.
Just don’t come. I’m going to lock the door.’ We all looked at him.”
Whether Mangini meant it is irrelevant. The players apparently believed him, and they held on for the win.
That said, given the way things previously have gone this year for the Browns, some of the players might have concluded that getting locked out wouldn’t have been a bad thing.