Lewis says Mangini overworking Browns throughout week

Published 3:35 am Friday, November 13, 2009

BEREA — The Cleveland Browns are being beaten and beaten down by coach Eric Mangini.

That’s Jamal Lewis’ take.

Frustrated by another losing season, the veteran running back blasted Cleveland’s first-year coach on Thursday, saying Mangini is pushing his players too hard in practice. But Lewis, who is one of Cleveland’s six captains and intends to retire after the season, has not taken his complaints to Mangini.

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“Hey, this is his show, it’s not mine,” Lewis said. “It’s his show, it’s not my show. Not anybody else around here’s show. We’re just the crop. You’ve got to take care of your crop. If you don’t take care of your crop, when it comes time to harvest, you’re not going to make no money because the crop ain’t no good.”

Lewis believes Mangini’s rugged, lengthy practices of up to three hours have hurt the Browns (1-7), who have been outscored 209-78 and have lost four games by at least 21 points. By the time they get to kickoff, Lewis says, the Browns are tired and worn out.

“There’s talent all over this locker room, young and old,” Lewis said. “There’s talent everywhere, but that talent has got to be able to be ready for Sunday and to be fresh for Sunday and be ready to go out and be efficient on Sunday. You can work all day, you can work seven days a week. But if you’re going to work like that, on Sunday you’re probably not going to get what you want out of your players.”

Earlier, Mangini said he has changed his approach and adjusted his practices this season.

Lewis was asked to comment on the coach’s stance.

“Next question,” he snapped.

Mangini ran a tough training camp, one with much more contact than any held by former Browns coach Romeo Crennel. Also, the team has practiced in full pads more under Mangini than in the past.

Lewis laughed when he was asked if he had been in pads more than usual.

“I’ve been in more pads in half this season probably than I have been in three or four seasons in Baltimore,” he said.