Coach Mangini Press Conference Transcript: 9/27

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New York Jets' Head Coach Eric Mangini, 9.27

Opening Statement
We released Norm Katnik, Trevor Johnson, Ryan Myers.  We signed James Hodgins fullback, Ryan Riddle linebacker, and Cody Spencer linebacker. It's always a difficult thing to do.  I really liked the three guys that we let go.  I think they did an outstanding job.  I wish them well.  I saw an opportunity to improve the team and we want to do that.

Another note, Kerry Rhodes was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week. 

Also, I want to send out my condolences to Reggie Wayne's family.  This is an incredibly difficult time.  Our thoughts and prayers are with him.  We wish him nothing but support in this terrible time.

In terms of the Colts, offensively Peyton Manning is one of the best quarterbacks to arguably play the game.  He's incredibly smart and incredibly accurate.  He does a great job reading coverages and putting them in good plays.  They have an explosive group of play-makers; they can score from anywhere on the field at any time on the field.  It's going to be a big challenge for us defensively. Defensively, this is a team that is very opportunistic. They do a great job turning the ball over. Dwight Freeney has had an impressive career for such a young player.  They are able to generate a lot of pass-rush and a lot of turnovers.  Their speed and motor is outstanding. I think Tony Dungy, everywhere he goes, he wins.  They've won the most games there since '99, the Colts.  The most successful team in terms of winning games since '99.  Tony has won there.  He's won in Tampa Bay.  He's another guy that's an outstanding coach and outstanding person. This is going to be a really important week for us to play good team football against an outstanding football team.
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On who will be replacing Katnik on the offensive line…
We've been working a lot of different guys there, between Wade and Adrian and Pete and Trey.  They're all involved in the mix this week.  We'll just see how the week unfolds, how they practice, and we'll make a decision as we move on.

On how Pete Kendall and Trey Teague are progressing with their injuries…
Each week that we move along, they both are making a lot of progress, moving forward working at it.  We'll continue to monitor their progress and get them as involved as we possibly can, get them prepared to play.

On if Kendall or Teague is closer to being ready to play…
They're both at different stages.  Just have to see how the week goes.

On Manning and Indianapolis' win over Jacksonville…
He's a tough guy to contain.  It's very hard to contain him.  They won the game.  The end result is they won the game.  He's a big part of every win that they have.  Each week he's just able to get them in really good plays pretty much all the time.

On preparing for Peyton Manning compared to preparing for Tom Brady…
You're talking about two tremendous quarterbacks, two really smart quarterbacks, two quarterbacks that make good decision after good decision.  Offensively, it's totally different. The opponent is going to be totally different.  The problems that the Colts present are different than the problems that New England presented. The one thing that both of those guys do really well is accentuate the strengths of their teams and exploit the weaknesses of their opponent. The problems may be a little bit different in terms of the scheme, but you're talking about two pretty good guys there.

On being confident defensively against the Colts because of Mangini's prior success when facing them…
I think what helps any defense or any team is being able to consistently finish games, understanding not only the game plan but what we have to do to win the game.  It's really no different this week than it was the previous three weeks. We need to understand what we're going to do in terms of our attack, then what we need to do in terms of winning the game. That's the most important thing.  I think as guys see how those two things play out, the success or failure we have by doing it or not doing it, that's what will build confidence.

On being offensively more aggressive when facing a team
It's going to have to be a team effort.  It's going to have to be good defense.  It's going to have to be really solid offense.  Like I said, this is a team that can generate turnovers defensively at any time, and they do it week in and week out. I think it's plus 40 that they've been with Tony.  That's pretty good give-away, take-away ratio.  It's important to play good, sound offense and complement it defensively.  The field position game is going to be key as well in special teams.

On who will start at the running back position…
I'm not really sure yet.  It's Wednesday.  Each week we let it unfold.  We'll work several different guys at that position and see which one fits the best.

On positions with in the offense…
Wade has worked hard.  He's learning a little bit more each week and working at it, similar to Kevan Barlow's situation.  The guy played a lot of football prior to coming here.  I think that's helped the transition along.  He's able to relate things back to the system that he was in.  Any time you can do that, it speeds up the learning.

On Chad Pennington's performance thus far…
It's great to see.  It's great for him.  It's great for the team.  It's especially important because of the way that he is, the way that he works, the consistency that he has, the type of professional he is.  He's such a good example for everybody else because of his approach.  I'm obviously very happy for him.  We have a lot of things collectively we have to work on.  It's a tribute to him.

On Pennington's arm strength compared to last year…
You know, we didn't really face him last year.

On if he saw film of Pennington…
He was banged up a big amount of time.  I can only really go by what he's done here.

On how Pennington has been able to make his comeback…
Hard, hard work.  He's here all the time anyways.  I mean, whether it was lifting, the rehab, the running, strengthening exercises, he did it all.  He did it all the way that Chad does it, which is all day, every day.

On what he expects if the Jets fall behind the Colts this week…
I don't think it's a good situation to be in against anybody.  It's not really what you'd like to do, New England being down 24-0.  That was far from ideal.  You always want to be in a situation where ideally you have the lead and things change in your direction. What's important is the way that the guys responded to those early deficits, the way that they fought back, eventually they gained the lead and maintained the lead.

On how D'Brickashaw Ferguson has prepared for this week's challenge…
He's had some pretty big challenges here throughout the season.  He's faced some good pass-rushers.  Buffalo's group was outstanding. The important thing for Brick is getting into a consistent preparation routine, so week in and week out understanding what he has to do on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.  The veteran guys have been good about Trey and Pete, working with them to get them into a routine.  Part of that routine is understanding who the pass-rusher is, or if it's a combination of pass-rushers, and what the game within the game is, what that guy's strengths and weaknesses are, how he's going to have to approach each one in relationship to the blocking scheme.

On Leon Washington making a statement at running back last week…
I thought all three of those guys did some positive things.  I thought Kevan made some big runs.  Leon played some plays.  Cedric, when he got his opportunities, scored a touchdown.  That will be an ongoing process.  We'll look at it during the week. A lot of how much they play is going to be the package for that opponent and the way the game unfolds.  If it transitions from more of a 21-game, one personnel group to another personnel group, the reps for that running back could change as opposed to what we had gone into the game thinking.

On if Mangini want's one guy to emerge at running back…
I'm really happy if all three are productive.  I think that's positive.  I think the more that those guys can contribute when they play, they each present a different problem for an opponent in terms of a style that they have.  Any time you can roll in guys with changes of pace, I think that's something that they have to prepare for.

On why Derrick Blaylock was inactive against Buffalo…
It was a combination of a lot of different things. I thought Cedric was doing a really nice job.  I really wanted to give him an opportunity to be active and to get him a little bit of play time. Kevan has made some progress.  Leon has made some progress.  Some of it's related to special teams, the distribution of his roles versus the other guys' roles that we had. It wasn't really one factor.  It was a multiple of things that we looked at and made a decision on.

On the fullback position…
I'm not really sure.  I mean, that's changed.  We've gone with multiple receivers, a little bit heavy there. We have been heavy on fullbacks.  Each week it just changed a little bit because the role, say, for BJ on special teams, may increase that week, where you may need another fullback to spell him on that.  It could be Sean Ryan.  He may add a couple things on teams so you might need to bring Zach.  We'll adjust with that.

On how Mangini will handle substitutions for the Indianapolis game…
I think there are opportunities to sub in during the game.  He does a really good job, though, if you sub in at the wrong time, he can hurt you by going up and quick counting, getting the quick five-yard penalty there.  He's a smart guy.  He does a lot of really good things not just in getting to the play that they want to be in, but also situational awareness, understanding what's happening, understanding what the defense is doing.  That's a real edge for him.

On applying what he learned at New England against the Colts…
We'll look at those games and talk about those games.  The thing that Peyton does so well is he evolves.  Each year the problem he created the year before, now he creates a new problem.  That's what makes him a special guy, he does a lot of self-scouting.  He does a lot of opponent scouting.  He can generate some new things for you to deal with.

On the corners being physical with the receivers…
I think it's always an element of each game plan.  I feel like the Colts are still in the division with how frequently I've been involved in facing them over the past.  Every year it's a new approach and every year it's something different.  It's important to have something different because if he sees it, and knows it, he'll beat it.

On the importance of the secondary against Manning…
It's going to take the full group.  It's going to take everybody.  It's going to take the linebackers.  It's going to take the defensive line.  It's a complete offense.  Every one of their skill guys can score.  Every one of their skill guys is talented with the ball in their hand.  The offensive line has been first in the league in sacks allowed the last couple years.  They're really explosive as an offensive unit. You can't do it with just one group.

On opportunities to blitz…
I think opportunities are always out there for blitzes.  The important thing is hopefully you call them at the right time. I wouldn't say that you have to rule anything out.

On Cowboys' WR Terrell Owens alleged suicide attempt…
This is kind of the first I'm hearing of it.  I honestly don't know about the situation.  I wouldn't really feel comfortable commenting on it.

On the Colts with out Edgerrin James…
They are still scoring a lot of points, moving the ball up and down the field.  They look pretty good.  I think Edgerrin is a great player and was a great player for a long time.  Rhodes and Addai are doing a nice job. Anybody who touches the ball has a good chance of being productive for them.

On what he looks for in practice to choose starters…
Each week, what we're looking for is the group that is going to give us the best chance to win and what role they play on the defense; how they fit into the defensive plan or really the offensive plan, like we talked about with the running backs, receivers. As that unfolds between today's preparation, which is primarily first and second down, moving into third down, the red area, you have to take into account who you're playing against in terms of the actual personnel, what the scheme is, what you're trying to get done, how your personnel fits into that as well. Then it's always going to come down to practice, consistency in practice, preparation.  And each guy, every week during practice, has an opportunity to create opportunities.  We're going to take the best guys that give us a chance to win.

On choosing who plays based on the opponent of the week….
It will be like that across the board.  It will be like that whether -- maybe you want to go with five wide receivers, four-wide receivers, Kevan in one package, Leon in another, Cedric in another.  A lot of it is the opponent and the game plan, what you have to do to win the game.

On the running game…
I think there has been some really good plays and some plays that we'd like to have back.  It's across the board defensively in terms of the running game.  We need to be more consistent with our fits.  You know, whenever you play multiple fronts, change things around, you have to be able to adjust and understand how the fit changes with the new front.  There's progress, then there's some things that we just need to continue to work on.

On the nose position…
We run a lot of different things.  Each guy has some strengths.  Dewayne has done a good job throughout the pre-season, regular season, working at the technique.  Now Rashad has gotten some reps there.  Kimo has played there.  They've also played outside at the end.  The key thing is to be able to move those guys around, change the shade from head up on the nose, maybe you want to offset, maybe play an even front.  It's the flexibility of those guys, as well.

On what C.J. Mosley needs to do to improve…
We look at those guys each week.  Sometimes the bulk of your reps come on show teams, sometimes you're working with the first group.  As the opportunities present themselves, really taking advantage of them and showing you can contribute to the game that week and that you're making progress. He has made progress.  We'll evaluate that weekly.

On Ferguson facing Dwight Freeney….
It's not really just Brick.  It will be the whole group and the scheme in terms of which protection you want to use against that front, then how we are going to incorporate the backs, the tight ends in the protection.  We used a little more of that last week.  It's kind of been mixed in throughout the early part here.
It's not just him, it's collectively the protection, the back fits, how that all is going to play out.

On a difference in Freeney's game…
He's looked good. He has incredible speed off the edge.  He can go from speed to power where it looks like he's coming on a pure speed rush, transition to power, drive a guy back.  He's relentless.  I don't think that's changed. I got to know him a little bit.  He worked at my football camp in Hartford.  He's a Connecticut native, came down and worked with the kids.  He was a really good person, had a really great message to the kids. Now to see him, he's a great role model, the way that he plays, the type of effort he consistently gives.  I think it's outstanding.

On if he has ever seen a spin like that before…
I've never really thought about that.  It's pretty good, though.

On how Manning's intelligence…
I just respect him so much, and I respect him because as good as he is and as consistently good as he's been, there's no resting.  He's constantly trying to improve.  He's constantly trying to get an edge.  Regardless of how many games he wins, he keeps pushing.  That's impressive.

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