BEREA—One of the best acquisitions of the Eric Mangini era was when he claimed Matt Roth off of waivers from Miami last season on Nov. 25 and played four days later. Roth literally stepped in after a couple of days of practice and was productive with seven tackles and a sack in his first game against the Bengals.
The 6-foot-4 275-pound outside linebacker played the final six games with the Browns and had 28 tackles and four sacks.
Can he pick up where he left off last season?
“That’s the plan,” Roth said. “I hope to keep working and help the team win.”
Roth likes the depth the Browns have at linebacker and thinks it can be a very good unit.
“We have a lot of talented linebackers and hopefully, we can move guys around and be productive.”
Eric Mangini is very happy to have Roth with the Browns.
“I was happy to pick up Matt last year,” Mangini said. “He used to create problems for us in New York. He’s very, very physically tough. I’m excited to have him for a longer period of time working with our coaches.”
Roth tries to use his size to his advantage, and so far, it’s working.
“I try to be real physical and so far it’s working.”
Why did the Dolphins let him go?
“You’ll have to ask Miami about that,” Mangini said.
Mangini said that DE Shaun Rogers will work at end, most likely leaving more time to DL Ahytba Rubin.
“Shaun is going to work some at end, both right and left,” Mangini said. “The reads are consistent with what you have at nose guard. It will give us some more depth on the outside.”
Rogers is on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list but was seen catching passes at the JUGS machine. Mangini said that Rogers has lobbied for playing time on offense.
“He’s lobbied for playing tight end in the goal line.”
Big Backs: RB Peyton Hillis and FB Lawrence Vickers have been paired up in the backfield and both weight 250 pounds.
Mangini likes the duo together.
“It’s good size,” he said. “Peyton has played fullback and tailback. His ability to play both of those spots is a reason we brought him in there.”
Hillis also is a good pass receiver and had gains of close to 30- and 40-yards in the scrimmage on Monday.
Hillis is glad to be with the Browns.
“I’m just trying to fit in,” he said. “Vick is a big back and with both of us in there we can get the tough yards.”
Hillis said he will do whatever is asked of him.
“I’ll be satisfied with pretty much anything,” he said. “I’m blessed to be here.”
Lauvao Shines: OL Tony Pashos missed the am practice, but Mangini said he thinks he will return for the evening session. With Pashos out, OL Floyd Womack is at right tackle with rookie Shaun Lauvao at right guard. OL John St. Clair sat out with an arm injury.
Mangini likes the versatility on the offensive line and Lauvao worked some at center.
“I believe in that because you can get into injury situations,” he said. “(Lauvao’s) doing a good job with what we’re asking him to do.”
If Lauvao wins the starting job at right guard, Mangini said he wouldn’t hesitate to play two young guys next to each other.
“There wouldn’t be any hesitation,” he said. “I think Alex (Mack)could help him along.”