Jamal Lewis, on coach Mangini:
Lewis, who intends to retire after this season, said Thursday that he doesn’t want to be a “babysitter” to Cleveland’s younger players. He wants to win and expressed disappointment that two- and three-hour practices aren’t translating into wins for the team, which has a 1-7 record.
“There’s talent all over this locker room, young and old,” he said before practice. “There’s talent everywhere, but that talent has got to be ready for Sunday, it’s got to be fresh for Sunday. You can work all day, but if you’re going to work like that, you’re probably not going to get what you want out of your players.”
While Lewis doesn’t mind working hard, he said Mangini is wearing out his players. The team captain said he hasn’t approached his coach about making changes.
“This is his show, not mine,” Lewis said. “You got to take care of your crop. If you don’t, when it comes time to harvest, you’re not going to make no money because the crop is no good. That’s that.”
Lewis said the length and intensity of Mangini’s practices are not the issue, it’s that the first-year coach’s approach isn’t producing wins.
Few things here. First of all, if Lewis has an issue with the way the team practices, he might want to take that up with the coach before he talks to the media.
Secondly, I disagree with the Lewis’s take on the talent level of the Browns. They are neither a deep nor talented team. Who are their playmakers? Talented players make plays. Who is the talent on the offensive end? The defensive end? The special teams is talented, I’ll give ya that.
Thirdly, while I understand that practicing too long during the week can make for tired players on Sunday, complaining about practicing too hard/long doesn’t come off very well (when your on a team that’s fucking 1-7). Convential wisdom would seem to say that a team with a 1-7 could probably use some more practice. You know, since they keep screwing up during games, it would stand to reason that they could use some more reps.
I have no great love for Mangini but complaining about practice when you’re 1-7 doesn’t seem like the right way to go.