BEREA, Ohio— Eric Mangini was happy with the production of Peyton Hillis, who accounted for 180 all-purpose yards.
Who wouldn’t be?
“We ran the ball well against a very good defense,” Mangini said. “I thought we ran the ball pretty well against Tampa Bay. I’d like to get that every single week. I really think as weeks go on and as we get better as a cohesive group. I’m not saying it has to be same five guys on the offensive line—and the backs have better recognition. It’s the coordination of the whole group and Peyton ran the ball very well.”
Hillis has scored a touchdown in each of the three games and picked up most of the load with Jerome Harrison nursing a thigh injury.
Mangini thinks Hillis can be the feature back.
“I really felt strongly for Peyton,” Mangini said. “I had seen some of the things he had done against our defense and early in the year in the preseason. He had almost 200 yards of offense. That was not a fluke. He has a great attitude and I was excited when we got him.”
Realistically, Mangini said the Browns cannot count on running for 150 plus yards every game.
“I don’t think it’s realistic that you’re going to run for 173 yards every game, but I was happy in what we did in the passing game,” he said. “The more you can be balanced, the better you can be as a whole.”
Confident in Wright: Mangini agreed with DB Eric Wright’s assessment that he had a bad game, but said he still has confidence in him, despite giving up three touchdowns to Anquan Boldin in the Browns 24-17 loss on Sunday to Baltimore.
“Eric didn’t have a good day and when you have a bad day against a very good player, you’re not going to have a good outcome,” Mangini said. “Eric has played a lot of very good football for us and he’s done that on a very consistent basis.
“He’s very disappointed and my expectations he’ll play a lot better,” he said. “I don’t see it being anything else. He’s playing against one of the best receivers in the NFL and there’s not a lot of wiggle room.”
Wright was appreciative of the support, but still felt the burden on Monday.
“Everybody has been real supportive, which is sort of easy, when you have a game like that when it’s not in your character,” Wright said. “It’s a tough pill to swallow when I accept all the responsibility for the loss. I think everybody played well enough to win the game, but me. I’m going to continue to work hard and take it stride and move ahead.
“It obviously means a lot because the support is there from coach, the other coaches and the rest of my teammates,” Wright said. “I take everything with a grain of salt and look forward to the next opportunity.”
Mangini didn’t feel Wright owed the team an apology.
“I’m not looking for apologies from players in the game,” Mangini said. “I made mistakes. We all could’ve done things better. It’s not whether you say you’re sorry, but whether you do it again.”
Mangini expects Wright to play well sooner, rather than later.
“I know he’ll respond and play a lot of good football for us.”
Mangini was asked if the Bengals with Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens will go right at Wright.
“Cornerbacks have to have short memories,” he said. “You can’t play the position with any apprehension. You play alone and if you make a mistake it will show up.”
Mangini shook his head sideways when asked if Wright would be replaced in the starting lineup.
“Eric is a very talented guy and he’s made a lot of strides,” he said. “He’s going to be out there playing.”
Wallace Start?: Mangini was non-committal to starting Seneca Wallace for the third straight week, but he did complement his performance.
“Seneca had over a 100 quarterback rating and was very efficient,” he said. “He made quick decisions that have to be made get the ball out.”
“Our quarterback went over 100 in rating for the first time in a long time.”
Injury Update: The Browns had several players who missed Sunday’s game with injury and Mangini didn’t give any clear cut updates on the players who were out. QB Jake Delhomme (ankle), RB Jerome Harrison (thigh), DL Shaun Rogers (ankle, hip), WR Brian Robiskie (hamstring) and LB Marcus Benard (ankle) were all out.
Mangini was asked if Wallace would start for the third-straight week.
“I don’t know,” he said. “Pretty much everybody on the injury report, I would anticipate practicing at some point this week.”
Tony’s Play: Tony Pashos played the majority of the game at right tackle when John St. Clair was injured.
“He was in the majority of the game,” Mangini said. “I thought (the offensive line) played well. Eric Steinbach had a really good day.
“With Tony, we have such a comfort level with him. my expectation was that tony was going to do a good job and he did do a good job.”
Jackson Needs Surgery: Now that linebacker D’Qwell Jackson has been placed on injured reserve, Mangini said he will most likely have surgery to repair his injured pectoral muscle.
“With the injury, he didn’t have surgery,” he said. “We tried to let it heal and progress back out and unfortunately, it didn’t respond the way we hoped it would as we increased the stress. It was a progression.”
When Mangini was asked if he’ll have surgery, he said.
“He’ll have a series of tests and at some point he will have surgery.”