Mangini backs off remarks about Lions' injuries

Published Nov. 25, 2009 10:07 p.m. EST

Frustration got the best of Browns coach Eric Mangini, who now regrets suggesting the Detroit Lions faked injuries.

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Cleveland dropped a 38-37 heartbreaker in Detroit on Sunday, losing when the Lions scored a touchdown and kicked the game-winning extra point with no time on the clock. The TD was set up by a pass interference call in the end zone against the Browns.

On Monday, Mangini, who didn't agree with the interference call, also complained about the number of Lions players who had gotten hurt while the Browns were running their no-huddle offense. He didn't flatly accuse Detroit's players of faking injuries, but Mangini questioned why so many of them went out with injuries only to return to the game.

During his news conference Wednesday, Mangini said he wasn't trying to shy away from accountability.

"At the end of the day we're accountable for losing the game and for not making enough plays," he said. "That's me, that's the coaches, that's the players. That's what it was. I think I was frustrated with the situation and probably expressed that more than I probably should have, but at the end of the day we're responsible for it.

"We had plenty of opportunities to win the game and we didn't. That wasn't good enough."

Lions coach Jim Schwartz took offense to Mangini's comments, saying "he's way out of bounds on that," and "that couldn't be further from the truth."

Mangini said he spoke with Schwartz, whom he began his NFL career working alongside in Cleveland under Bill Belichick during the 1990s.

"I talked to Jim for a while," he said. "We cleared the air. I like Jim. We've always had a good relationship so we talked through that. The bottom line is we didn't do enough to win the game. Jim and I are fine."