The Browns actually looked like a real football team against the Detroit Lions last Saturday, but there is of course plenty of room for improvement in the eyes of head coach Eric Mangini. One area of particular concern to Mangini is that of penalties, specifically stupid penalties caused by exaggerated celebrations.
Three players in particular from Saturday’s game can be referred to when talking about the problem with celebrations. Receiver Mike Furrey celebrated a catch on third down with a hand signal straight out of the Joe Jurevicius handbook. Cornerback Corey Ivy broke up a pass and felt the need to give a Usain Bolt “To the World” pose while cornerback Eric Wright bowed to the crowd after an interception. Wright’s celebration resulted in a 15-yard penalty that had the Browns start at the Lions’ 20 rather than their 5 (the series ended in a field goal).
These types of penalties get under Mangini’s skin, as they should, and he made sure the team knew about it on Monday. There is nothing wrong with celebrating, but it truly is getting out of hand in the NFL. If you feel you have to include an elaborate celebration after a play you are expected to make, then there is certainly a problem. To be honest, I don’t have much of a problem with Furrey giving a simple signal for a first down, but a lot of these guys take it way too far.
Of course, I’m getting into the area of subjectivity, which is an entirely different discussion. The real point here is that Mangini does not allow the organization to be the circus that it was under Romeo Crennel. Players should carry themselves in a manner that makes it seem like they expect to get that interception, touchdown, sack, etc. every play. Besides, if a team is going to win 4 games in a season, I wouldn’t think there would be much reason to celebrate anything anyway.
The players seem to be buying into Mangini’s philosophy for now (despite the amount of penalties in the first two preseason games) , but let’s see if that continues into the season. For now, I like what I see from him.
Also, has anyone seen or heard from George Kokinis lately?