Browns lame duck head coach Eric Mangini has retracted his earlier claims the Detroit Lions faked injuries on Sunday in an attempt to slow Brady Quinn and the Cleveland no-huddle offense, now ‘fessing up to the Plain-Dealer’s Tony Grossi, “we didn’t do enough to win the game.”
“It wasn’t like I was trying to shy away from accountability,” Mangini said today. “At the end of the day, we’re accountable for losing the game. (I was) frustrated with the situation. I probably expressed that more than I should. We had plenty of opportunities to win the game and we didn’t. That wasn’t good enough.”
The Browns lost to Detroit, 38-37, when a pass interference penalty in the end zone gave the Lions an untimed play from the 1-yard line. They scored the tying touchdown and kicked the winning extra point with :00 on the clock.
The next day, Mangini said there were several occasions when Detroit players halted the Browns’ offense with an injury, only to re-enter the game later.
Lions coach Jim Schwartz said Mangini’s comments were “way out of bounds” and “that couldn’t be further from the truth.”
Not to defend the intensely unlikeable Mangini too much, but there was at least one instance of a Lions player — on offense — leaving the field with an alleged injury, only to return moments later and throw a game-winning TD pass. Why question the legitimacy of the heroic Matt Stafford’s ailment? Simple – how could the Lions in good conscience allow the no. 1 overall pick from the ’09 draft to re-enter the game with an already-damaged shoulder? While the conclusion to last Sunday’s Toilet Bowl was undeniably exciting, shouldn’t someone on the Detroit sideline have thought about protecting Stafford — and the club’s massive investment?