FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- With the Patriots preparing to face the Browns on Sunday, the relationship between head coaches Bill Belichick and Eric Mangini is a natural story line.
Belichick deflected the topic Wednesday.
"Right now, it is just trying to get my team ready; get the Patriots ready to play the Browns," Belichick said. "It’s not really about any personal thing, it’s just, I’m trying to do a job, so is the rest of our team [and] so is their team. We will see what happens on Sunday."
Asked what he expects the post-game handshake to be like, Belichick said: "Hopefully I’ll have a smile on my face. That’s what I’m hoping for. Hope we come out on top – that’s what we’re going up there for. But, hey, we know it’s going to be tough. Cleveland’s a good football team. They play everybody tough and we know it will be a tough game."
On a conference call, Browns coach Eric Mangini was asked about the relationship between the coaches, which has been strained since Mangini left New England in 2006 to become Jets head coach.
"I think all that stuff, we’ve moved on from. I am in a different place right now, being in Cleveland and not the division," he said. "We’ve been through that over the years and we view it the same way – it’s just really about football."
Asked if he's run into Belichick at NFL events such as the combine, Mangini said, "Not really conversationally. We see each other, but it’s between meetings and things like that. It is not some sort of extended type of deal."