BEREA, Ohio—It wasn’t supposed to be this way for Eric Wright.
Before the season, Wright was counted on to be one of the young pillars to go with Joe Haden for years to come.
Wright was beaten three times for touchdowns by the Ravens’ Anquan Boldin early in the season and has had been beaten repeatedly, including getting beat by Santonio Holmes for a 37-yard touchdown in last Sunday’s loss to the Jets on the game’s final play.
“First and foremost, we’re playing ‘Bell’ technique to protect the deep pass,” Wright said. “You’re never going to stop a one-step slant in that technique because it’s impossible.
“But, I had an opportunity to make a tackle and I didn’t and it’s going to fall on me,” he said. “I’ll take it in stride and look forward to this week.”
Wright said as a corner, you have to have a short memory.
“You just have to keep practicing, keep pushing, keep working, keep chopping wood and get ready to bounce back and get ready for the next game,” he said. “Obviously, I have to do it again because the last play was what it was. I had an opportunity to make a tackle to put us in a position to possibly win the game with a tackle.”
Wright said his play against the Jets was solid, but when a mistake is made at that position, it’s obvious to everyone.
“You can play 99 out of 100 plays play pretty solid and to let a play like that go at the end of the game, it’s going to fall on you.”
Eric Mangini said at the cornerback position, it is definitely more noticeable.
“I think with any position like that when you make mistakes they’re a lot more visible than any other position and he had a really outstanding year last year and there’s been times this year where we’ve seen that level of play,” Mangini said. “That’s what I expect from him each week. There really hasn’t been a drop off in the way that he’s worked or competed at practice.
“I continue to expect him to be able to correct that and correct the mistakes and move forward,” he said. “He had the interception the week before and that was a real plus and we’ve just got to get into a consistent pattern with that.”
Wright admitted that he’s had a disappointing season, thus far.
“I haven’t had the year I expected to have,” he said. “I think, after going through a whole season in (2009), mostly press man coverage and giving up limited production, I think I gave up only two touchdowns and limited production, and to have a year like this has been personally disappointing.”
Wright has 38 tackles with nine passes broken up and an interception. He thinks he will bounce back.
“Obviously, I have a responsibility to the team to have more production and play better,” he said. “You have teammates who look in your eyes and you don’t want them to say they don’t believe in you anymore, which hasn’t happened yet. I’m just going to keep pushing and working.”
Wright didn’t make any excuses, but said sometimes fans don’t really know what the responsibilities are on certain plays.
“Certain plays happen you don’t want them to happen, but they do,” he said. “There have been certain things that I didn’t do what I was supposed to do. Other times, things didn’t pan out the way I thought things were going to happen.
“Obviously it’s a team game and sometimes things land on you that really aren’t your fault.”
Focusing: With the Browns just completing a stretch of games against the Falcons, Steelers, Saints, Patriots and Jets, it could be easy for the Browns to let down a little in facing the Jaguars, even though the Browns are just 3-6.
“They’re 5-4,” Mangini said. “They’re resilient. They’re tough and they’ve found ways to win games. Win or lose, we have to continue to focus on the next game.
“I’ve seen growth in that area and we’ve been able to do that,” he said. “That should be week in and week out, regardless of anything external. That’s how you know when you’re growing as a team. I’ve seen it over the course of the season.”
QB Colt McCoy agreed.
“I can guarantee you that we as a team are going to be focused,”
OL Shuffle: With both OL Eric Steinbach and OL Floyd Womack not practicing, OL Steve Vallos worked at left guard and OL Shawn Lauvao at right guard. Mangini did say that he is hopeful that Steinbach and Womack will be back. OL John St. Clair is back practicing at right tackle after missing several weeks with an ankle sprain.
Jake’s Progress: Delhomme is listed as questionable. With the release of QB Brett Ratliff, Mangini was asked if Delhomme is ready to be the third quarterback this week.
“I would expect that,” he said. “Jake could be the third guy but will have to finish out the week (to see if he can be the second guy).”
Injury Update: DB Mike Adams (abdomen), LB Eric Barton (thigh), LB Marcus Benard (illness), CB Sheldon Brown (shoulder), WR Josh Cribbs (foot), LB Scott Fujita (knee), DL Shaun Rogers (ankle), OL Eric Steinbach (calf) and OL Floyd Womack (knee) all missed Wednesday’s practice. QB Jake Delhomme (ankle) and DL Kenyon Coleman (ankle) were questionable with limited participation.
Adams, Benard, Barton and Rogers were back at practice Thursday. Coleman sat out Thursday as per the normal rotation with Rogers.
“I’m still hopeful for Cribbs and Brown this week,” Mangini said.
Benard Update: LB Marcus Benard said he was dealing with a lot of stress and that contributed to his fainting spell last week.
“I fainted a little bit,” Benard said. “My body got a little weak. It was stress related. Personally, I have a lot going on and I just have to take care of my body a little better.”
He said it didn’t affect his game.
“I played hard and I was focused.”
Against the Jets, he picked up another sack to give him a team-leading 5.5.
Benard said that he had a son born on Monday morning that contributed to some of his stress.
Mangini on Fan Conduct: A report that a young boy wearing a Jets jersey was tackled by a Browns fan after the game. Mangini blasted the fan that did that.
“That’s ridiculous,” he said. “I would be furious if someone did that to my kid. As a parent, I would be angry. That shouldn’t happen.”