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Nick Mangold Blocks the Heat

Posted Aug 21, 2013

After a relatively cool three-week stint at SUNY Cortland, the temperatures have been turned up on the Jets this week in Florham Park, NJ.  With the regular season just two weeks away, center Nick Mangold and his teammates endured sweltering workouts Tuesday and Wednesday.

“As soon as you step out of the building, you go from air conditioning to heat and humidity,” he told me on our most recent “Jets Talk LIVE” installment.  “It makes it uncomfortable.”

But Mangold is comfortable to be back in familiar surroundings.  While rooming with friend Mark Sanchez has its pluses including more tasty food for Mangold, nothing can replace the time spent between the burly center and his two year-old son, Matthew.

“I didn’t get to see him for 2.5 weeks or a little more than that,” Mangold said.  “I was worried that he was going to be really scared or really excited.  And I was lucky — he was really excited to see me.  We have been playing every minute I’ve been home that he’s been awake.”

The 6’4”, 307-pound Mangold, in his eighth season with the Jets, will have new linemates to the left and right of him in 2013.  Brandon Moore, who retired a couple of weeks ago, spent his entire 10-year career with the Green & White and helped mentor Mangold along the way.

“It was weird at first.  I’ve kind of gotten used to it, but back in the spring it was definitely weird,” Mangold told me of playing without Moore.  “Every once in a while something comes up that just reaffirms Meat’s not with me.   The most recent is we were on the bus and for six years he always sat right in front of me.  But when he wasn’t there, it kind of reaffirmed that he is gone.”

The Jets have a number of candidates to start at guard including Willie Colon, Stephen Peterman and rookie Brian Winters.  With Peterman getting second-team reps behind Mangold at center Tuesday, Vladimir Ducasse actually received some first-team reps.

“We have a lot of people rolling around.  It’s nice having veteran guys come in because even though they don’t have experience with me, they have NFL experience so you can kind of relate to that,” Mangold said.  “We’ve put some good work in.  We still have a ton to do, but it’s been a fun adventure so far.”

Through two preseason games, New York’s AFC representative has had success moving the ball (368.5 yards/game) and scoring points (27 points/contest).  Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg has showcased creativity with his play-calling, frequently changing up personnel and formation.

“Marty and his system have been just a blast to learn and work with.  It’s neat seeing something for the first time especially after doing basically the same thing for seven years,” Mangold said.  “In your eighth year to be able to switch it up, it’s been a good time.”

In Saturday night’s 37-13 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Jets got the run game on track with 176 carries on 40 yards.  They averaged 4.4 yards a clip including an impressive 9.7-yard average from Bilal Powell who exploded for a 37-yard gain in the opening stanza.

“It’s coming along.  As you’re working through, run blocking is a lot of feel and getting accustomed to having the pads on and hitting with others guy,” said the bearded center.  “I think that will come along.  I think so far we are going in the right direction.”

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