A Good Day for the New Coach
Since his arrival on January 17, Eric Mangini has been eager to lead his new team's 2006 journey. After months of preparation, a top-ranked draft day and a successful first official day of rookie camp, the New York Jets are excited to have officially begun their challenge.
"This was a really good day for me. It was a really important day for the coaching staff, the organization," said Mangini, a rookie to the head coaching scene himself. "It was fantastic to finally get out of a meeting room, to stop talking about the scheme and the playbook and free agency and the draft. Now to actually get these players in here that the organization worked so hard to get, to see them on the field, it was really personally satisfying for me to do that. It was a lot of fun."
Even though Mangini was impressed with a few things, he still feels that these rookies have a long way to go, especially in contrast to the veterans.
"They're behind, they need to close the gap and they need to close it quickly," said Mangini. "My message is universal, it doesn't matter who you are or how you got in this room, you're all in the room, and what are you going to do with his opportunity?"
Throughout the course of the practices, the young coach was seen hopping around from drill to drill, offering his insight and even getting involved. It's not just that he was excited to be coaching his first official practice, Coach Mangini feels that there's no better way to get your point across than to get it across yourself.
"I enjoy teaching. I enjoy helping the players get better. I think in any area that I can help them get better, I'm going to," said Mangini. "I think it's important they hear from me, 'This is what I want.' There's no way you can make that clearer than if you're telling them and showing them yourself."
While Friday's workout was just the first of many to come, the Jets and Mangini look forward to not only working with their skilled corps of newcomers, but also molding them into successful pieces of their design.
"It's about figuring out a way, how they fit, how they can help us win," he said. "That's what we're trying to do, is give them opportunities to show us where they fit and show us how they can help us win."