Coach Mangini Press Conference Transcript: 9/25


New York Jets' Head Coach Eric Mangini, 9.25

Opening Statement
In terms of the players of the week;  offensively it was Brandon Moore; defensively Kerry Rhodes; on special teams it was Drew Coleman; and our practice player of the week, which is always an extremely important award; Anthony Schlegel.

Offensively we had two really important drives.  We had the drive before the half, which we scored a touchdown, left very little time for them to come back and mount a scoring drive. At the end of the game, we had a drive that went almost six minutes, and we also scored a touchdown, and I thought those were extremely significant in the game.

Three-for-three in the red area was very important and the fact that we didn't turn the ball over.  I was pleased with the pass protection, not only by the offensive line but the running backs and tight ends who also played a key part in giving Chad some time to throw the ball.

We need to continue to improve in the running game.  That's something we consistently work on.  We made some progress this week, but each week we want to get better in that area, and need to continue to improve at the beginning of the game, not have the three and outs there early. We need to get some drives going early, and that's something we will focus on and work on this week.

Defensively, we were much improved on 3rd down this week as opposed to last week.  It was 25 percent versus 57 percent.  Red area again was a key factor, which it will be in every game when they were one- for-four.  The fact that we were able to force three turnovers including one for a touchdown against a team that hadn't turned the ball over was extremely important.

But like anything else, we need to make strides in the running game, as well.  Our run defense needs to continue to improve, and it's across the board.  It's the D line and the linebackers, the secondary, the coaching, all those things need to get better.

Penalties is another thing that we stress. They played a part in last week's scoring drives and they played a part in this week's scoring drives, and that's something we want to consistently decrease and be very good at.

On special teams, I was really pleased with the coverage units, two very good returners and a very good group of special teamers.  I thought that Ben did a nice job of punting the ball.  I believe he placed four inside the 20, which was a key part of containing their punt return game.

Overall on the fake field goal, that was a nice play, with the hands team on the onside kick, that's something we need to work on. So two different situations, one went the way we wanted it to and one didn't.

The game in general was a good win against a tough division opponent at a place that's been historically difficult to play.  I was pleased.

Today, like all days, win or lose, we are going to try to build on the positives and correct the mistakes that we had. There are plenty of things to teach off of and to coach off of, and then we're going to shift our focus to the Colts.

On what this victory means for the team…I think the important thing is finding a way to win and finding a way to finish the game.  It's something we stress all the time.  Each game that we've had has been so different and each set of circumstances has been so different, and the adversity that we face in each game is a little bit different.
Being able to respond to that adversity, being able to adjust to the different situations and ultimately finish the game is the most important thing, and finish is a core Jets value and something we stress day in and day out.

On the onside kick from the Buffalo game…
That's one of those tough plays.  You've got a lot of guys barreling down on you, and you obviously want them to touch the ball before you do.  But that's a hard situation to be in.  This is the first time I think Mike has said in 26 years he's had that type of onside kick, so it's something we'll work on a little bit more here.  It's a hard situation.  He had to make a decision, and unfortunately he touched the ball before our opponent did.

On Matt Chatham wiping his brow after the game was over…
I didn't see him wiping his brow, but I think there were a lot of people wiping their brow at the end.

On the Jets line formation prior to the onsides kick…
Usually when a team line is not in formation they eventually shift back out and get to a little bit more of a standard set there.  I felt pretty comfortable with the way that we had it set up.  I think that if we played it a little bit better, it would have been a different outcome.  It wasn't a moment where you felt like we're unprepared for what was going to happen, we didn't execute it the way that we had hoped to.

On RB Leon Washington…
Well, I know you've heard me say this a ton of times.  The progress he's made from day one to right now has been significant, and he's made that progress because of the way that he works at practice and finishes runs and stays after practice and is taking the coaching and spending time with some of the older guys.  I know Curtis is lending his ear quite a bit, and you can't ask for a better mentor than that. His role will be determined by the game plan each week and the way he takes advantage of his opportunities.  In preseason he did a nice job on special teams with some of those opportunities, and then yesterday getting the ball there on the screen and a couple of the runs that he had, I think all that helps. The more that he takes advantage of the opportunities, the more they'll come to him.

On Washington's attributes adding a dimension to the game…Some of that is package based and the types of runs that you're running, whether it be inside or outside protection bases.  There are a lot of different elements that go into it, and each week we look at the types of runs we're going to run against that opponent, the types of fronts they play, the pressure package that they'll bring, and try to minimize their strengths and attack the weaknesses and also play to our strengths, whether it be Derrick, Kevan, Cedric or Leon.

On having the right personnel for the running game to improve…
I think for the Buffalo Bills it was the right package, and that's how it'll be.  We're going to approach it based on who they are and what we're trying to get done against that team. There were plays to be made that we didn't make, and it's, again, such a collective thing where one time it could be a back, one time it could be a lineman, a tight end, the receivers, right on down the line.  Even though plays will break through the line and get into the perimeter, you just see the role of the receivers and secondary run support just -- everybody has a part.

On how the running back combination will work against Indianapolis….
We haven't gotten into the bulk of the Colts work yet, but with the Bills we liked the types of runs that we had.  Cedric has been doing a really good job in practice.  He created that opportunity to be in the game, and then he had a couple chances there to run the ball, and he did a good job scoring late in the game, and that's always what we're looking for is the hard work at practice, carving out some sort of niche at the game, then getting a chance in the game, taking advantage of it and the opportunities continue to open up.

On the decision to keep RB Derrick Blaylock inactive against BUF…It's not just one player, it's also the other players that are in competition and their roles on special teams.  There's more than just that one factor that goes into it. Cedric had done a really good job over the first two weeks, and I thought it was important for him to have a chance to be at the game.

On the momentum that the team gained from the efforts of S Kerry Rhodes…
Whether it was last week where he had the strip sack or this week where he had the strip sack and, he had two of them; any time you can create a turnover it's usually a nice momentum changer, and then to be able to pick up the ball and actually score on it, it's always a good lift for the whole team, and those are important plays.

On Rhodes being an efficient blitzer…He has definitely had a couple good games.  I think there's some areas he can improve on, but one thing that I think he's done well the last couple games, and we talked about this on Friday, is his understanding the technique of the person that's blocking him, understanding how they're blocking, if they're sitting heavy you should throw one type of move or if they're light in their stance then you should throw a different type of move.  That's important in the pass rush. You may not always come clean, but if you get to the point where you have to beat your blocker, it's the understanding of what they're going to do and entering into the right type of move.

On D'Brickashaw Ferguson's protection performance…
I thought Brick had a good day.  I thought overall that whole group had a good day.  It's been an explosive group. The interior part, the offensive line, did a nice job, but the tight ends and running backs played a key part, and Chad's cadence helped.  All those factors together I think really played into the success that we had of being able to block them.

On how Ferguson is progressing…I thought he played well, and I think all three of those defensive ends that they use are tough, high motorand relentless. It's a challenge when they play in and play out and the way they rotate those guys through, there are no breaks. There's never a break week in and week out.  But then to have different guys with the same type of motor each play, your focus has to be incredibly sharp.  And Brick I thought did a nice job.

On what drew Mangini's attention to Brandon Moore….
It was his consistency.  Consistency in the passing game and consistency in the running game.  I thought he had some nice physical blocks, played with really good toughness, and it carried over. I think the group fed off that.

On Anthony Clement's change in stance…
We like to change up the stances pretty consistently, so every time you're in a two-point it's not a pass, every time you're in a three-point it's not a run.  Some guys feel more comfortable blocking speed rushers from a two-point.  Sometimes it's just purely a decoy if you are going to run the ball to try to get the anticipation of a pass, so a little bit of that was just changing up for the edge pass rush and also changing up for a different look.

On starting Derrick Strait over Erik Coleman…
It was similar to Cedric's situation.  Derrick had had a good week of practice. Each week that group in the secondary and with the offensive line and across the board, different guys are going to play based on what they do during that week, and I thought Derrick did a nice job.  I've always liked his versatility to be able to go down and cover, cover a receiver or play back and -- he did a nice job with the calls and the adjustments.

On how the team works on the three-and-out situation…Believe me, we worked on it.  I think some of it is just execution.  It's just so important to be able to execute early the same way that you're able to execute late.  In different games one has been a little bit better than the other, and consistency; there were plays to be made, it just wasn't exactly what we were looking for on the play in terms of the overall execution of the group.

On if offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer scripts his first series of plays for each game…
We talk about the approach in the opening of the game, but some of that is depending on he may put a personnel group out there anticipating the match-up, say a sub defense and they say regular and maybe that's now the way the game is going to go. So the next time you go out, the play that you really would have had against the sub group, that's where you could come with something like that.  There is an element of that, but it's not a set-in-stone type of thing.

On teams showing different looks being attributed to the Jets slow starts…
I don't think that's completely the case.  I think New England had that look, but it wasn't something that was completely foreign to what we had practiced, and we had worked on the 4-3 throughout the week.  Whether it was Buffalo or Tennessee, some of it just comes down to -- I think it was New England where we just overthrew a pass or dropped a ball and then made a good play.  If some of those drives would have kept going, we could have easily kept going, and we just didn't quite execute.

On how the run game has been adjusted…
It's really each week, it's just going to be the opponent.  We approach all of them a little bit differently.  When you have multiple fronts and multiple looks and multiple coverages, the communication and understanding where everybody fits.  And that's why communication is so important, because if you want a game plan week in and week out, you need to be sound, and part of being sound is everybody fitting and everybody understanding where everybody else fits. Furthermore, it's everybody taking care of their job first and trusting that the guy next to you is going to take care of his.

On what it means that the team was able to respond after the quick TD by BUF…
It's something we've talked about for a long time, the whole five-second rule, and they hit the touchdown and the game goes on.  The important thing is going in, correcting it and moving on to the next series.  There's nothing we can do about that at that point except make sure it doesn't happen again and move on.  It's really the same situation at the end of the game where they scored.  That's so far over at that point, now you've got to move onto the onside kick, the next series of defense.  It's just so important to not get too caught up in those things and move on to the next play because the next play is always the most important play.

On the run scheme with Willis McGahee changing in the second half…
The runs were relatively similar to what we had seen in the first half.  We fit some of them up a little bit better, and I think the course of the game may have dictated some more passing.  So probably a combination of the two things.

On if the Jets made adjustments for McGahee…
There were some changes that we made three or four different things that we did in terms of the some of the backside of the defense and the approaches against different personnel groups, and that will be pretty consistent. Once you go in, you talk about it, really get a chance to take a look at the pictures and sit everybody down and go through the problems that you'd like to get fixed.

On the run defense in first-and-goal situations…
Really physical, they did a nice job up front, the down guys getting some push and then the linebacker Brad Kassell came in and had a really nice push on one of their down guys. It's just a little bit like a scrum; whoever gets the most movement wins, and the gap integrity was pretty sound.  Bobby made a really nice play on the backside with that bootleg, good situational awareness play. 

On the players buying into Mangini's philosophy…
I've said for quite some time, I've really liked the way the defense works since the mini-camps.  Their effort has been consistent. I think there's been some progress made. There's still a ton of progress to be made, but it's important for the consistency of approach, and whether it's week 4 or week 16, every single week, every single day is exactly the same.  Their individual preparation is exactly the same or improving, and that's what's going to continue to help us make progress.

On being tied for first in the division…
It grabs me better than the alternative (laughing).  I think that it's something we're striving for.  It's a lot better than the alternative, and I'm happy. I'm really happy with the way these guys have worked, and I'm happy with the way that in each of the different situations, they've finished, and I like some of the toughness they've shown both physically and mentally, and I think that's so important, and now consistency is important.

On P Ben Graham's improved performance this week…
Ben is a pretty consistent worker.  I don't think in his style or his approach there has been much difference. He's a real consistent guy.  I think he's hitting the ball well.  To answer the question, stylistically, nothing has been altered.

On how Mangini thinks the Patriots feel about being tied in the division with the Jets…
You're going to have to ask Bill about that (laughter).

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