Coach Mangini's Wednesday News Conference

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Transcript of head coach Eric Mangini's news conference with the New York Jets media before Wednesday's afternoon training camp practice:        

We have the assistant coaches available today, so I know you guys are excited about that, probably about as excited as I am about it [smiling]. I know they're fired up. It should be a good day.

When I was putting together the coaching staff, one of the goals was to get a group of guys that were innovative, to get a group of guys that were intrinsically motivated, a group of guys that would sit in the room, disagree but not be disagreeable. When the final plan was in place, regardless of whose idea it was, everybody would move forward to promote that plan. I've been really happy with the group of guys we have and the way they've worked together.

I talked a lot about Brian Schottenheimer, how he and I hit it off in his initial interview. What I liked about him was his innovative approach and the fact that he wasn't necessarily married to one idea, one concept. He was very open to discussing different ideas and trying different ideas. I think that's important for any system if you're going to have growth and consistent growth. He's done a good job with that.

With Bob [Sutton] — an incredibly successful coach for a long time at Army — he's been a resource for me not just defensively when we bounce ideas off of each other but also from a head coaching perspective, to be able to discuss different things and how he had done it. He really had an impressive record when he was in that role. He's got a very good, even-keeled personality. I really like that aspect of him.

With Mike [Westhoff], I think you saw last week and you see most weeks how creative he is. The return that we had was very specific to Atlanta and we were successful multiple times with those returns. He's always got some sort of game plan, scheme that really targets a team's weaknesses. He pushes the players hard. He's very demanding. But he, too, is open to new ideas and has a wealth of knowledge to draw on with his many years in coaching. Enjoy talking to those guys

On if Darrelle Revis will practice today …

We're pretty close, but we'll kind of see how it goes here. That's the best I can do right now. I'd love to tell you definitively, but really that's where we are.

On how excited he is to get Revis back on the field …

We're excited about having him, obviously drafting him where we drafted him, and knowing the person he is. That's why he's here. On the flip side, I didn't send Mike [Tannenbaum] out for any party hats or noisemakers. It will be good to get him out there. He's got a lot of work to do.

On if he'll sit down with Revis …

We'll definitely sit down, have a conversation. I told Julie to clear out the guestrooms. We'll have Jake, Luke and Darrelle's room.

On if Revis will be his dinner guest …

[He] might have to be on the same diet I'm on [smiles]. Yeah, we'll spend a lot of time with Mike [MacIntyre] and Bob [Sutton]. You try to accelerate the learning as much as you can. It's a process, like anything else, where he's going to have to work really hard at it. We'll help him along with that. I had a chance to sit down with his mom last night. It was great. She was fun to talk to. I know she's going to push him hard, too. When you have a guy like Darrelle, with the character he has, you know it comes from the family support that he's had. Being able to spend time with her, you can easily see how he became the young man that he is.

On if having Revis play Friday vs. Minnesota is out of the question…

I don't think anything's out of the question. It's just really seeing where he is, assuming that everything's taken care of here in a timely fashion and making good decisions in terms of that. We'll have to see how that is.

On if he is satisfied with the physical condition Revis is in …

You know, those things are hard to tell from purely an eye test. We saw a fight the other night, Lennox Lewis vs. Hasim Rahman. The announcer said, "Truth and lies come out on fight night." He was talking about Lennox Lewis' conditioning. You find out pretty quick once you go on the practice field how well you've been working out.

On why this is the first time assistant coaches have been made available …

It's a pretty busy time of year for us. There are a lot of things that we're doing. We're here pretty late every single night, trying to maximize their time, and really focus on getting things as far along as we possibly can. So they've been working extremely hard.

On if he expects Revis to catch up quickly …

Training camp is different. With full pads on, it's different. My experience is that each rookie player and each new player in a system develops at their pace. You try to do everything you can to get them involved in the system as much as possible and catch them up on those reps. One of the greatest teachers is experience, having that time in camp. But we are where we are, so we'll have to adjust and try to plan as effectively as possible.

On how much time he spent with Revis on Tuesday …

I didn't spend any time with Darrelle yesterday. I wanted to spend time with his mom. She was heading back to Pittsburgh, so it was a small window. I had some guests at camp the last couple days so I wanted to spend time with them, too, and go over what they saw. That was a pretty long meeting.

On the possibility that Thomas Jones will play on Friday …

I think with that whole group, it will come down to where they are right up to game time, very similar to a regular-season game. We'll go through that same process because that's important for the medical staff, for the players and for the coaching staff. You try to simulate that process because you have a lot of gameday decisions dealing with injuries in the regular season. Obviously, just like them, we'll be smart about it and make the best decision. But that's another good thing to go through procedurally.

On linebacker David Harris' overall progress …

I liked the way he aggressively attacks the guards. That's something you saw in college. It was a little bit different in college because of the scheme they played, but that's a skill set that you have to develop. It's a feel, all those things. I liked where he was in the process with that. He's also a fluid guy for a guy that is stout. Sometimes you give in one area to gain in another area, and I liked the combination I saw. We're putting him in positions where he's got to make a lot of calls and do a lot of things very similar to what he did in college, but it's now working with a new group, a new scheme and new adjustments. I thought he did a pretty good job considering how early we are in the process.

On the chances of Cedric Houston returning …

We talked about this yesterday. Cedric made a personal decision, which I respect. Mike [Tannenbaum] and I are always open to any possibility, but that's not something that is in the process or anything like that.

On the possibility of coaching against former assistants …

I'm familiar with coaching against guys that I have relationships with and spent a lot of time with. I'm sure it would have been just like that in terms of working against someone that you worked with so long, coaching against any of those guys. Brian [Schottenheimer] is a good coach. I was happy when he got the opportunity to interview for the head coaching job in Miami. I'll always be happy for someone who has a chance to advance like that in that role.

On if it's inevitable that Schottenheimer will get a head coaching position …

I think with coaches that distinguish themselves, they're usually going to get opportunities. That's part of the game. I think those are great things. I think when you work hard and you create an opportunity like that for yourself, you're able to do that. I be would incredibly happy for him and support him as much as I could.

On the possibility of the Jets signing RB Corey Dillon …

I spent a lot of time with Corey and got to know him, even though I was on the other side of the ball [at New England]. We used to joke a lot in practice. It was a good relationship for someone that you didn't spend a lot of time with in meetings and things like that. I've always respected him as a player. But really we're focusing on the guys that are here. But, like anything else, we're always open to possibilities.

On linebacker Victor Hobson's progress from last season …

I really liked what he did in the sub package last year. He has a good sense of where the holes are going to open up. He's got good acceleration from the point when he crosses the line to contact with the quarterback. With some guys, the speed is even the whole time, but with him, he's got that little burst to close quickly and he's got a nice sense of where the schemes are going to allow him to crease.

On what he's seen from DL Eric Hicks thus far …

Talking to Dick Vermeil, he said that Eric was his tempo setter at practice all the time and what high regard he had for him. That's really what you see. You see a guy that's a professional in his approach, regardless of learning a new scheme, being in a new system and getting to know people. He has a way that he practices, a way that he prepares that's very consistent and is an excellent example for younger players on how to play in the league for a long.

On if Hicks is better suited for the 3-4 …

There's a lot of elements of both. This is something he's getting familiar with in terms of the 3-4 versus the 4-3. But the ability to go in and out of those things and the flexibility to play both, his experience in that system will help him when we do go into the other looks. He's really embraced the teaching that Dan Quinn and Bryan Cox have been giving him in terms of the base technique as well.

On the quarterback rotation Friday vs. Minnesota …

I haven't finalized that yet. Brian and I like to sit down later in the week, really as close [to the game] as possible. We'll talk through the reps, talk through how we want to see the different combination of people. The other thing that affects that is the flow of the game and that happens, it happened last week, where you kind of targeted a certain number of plays for guys, but just the way the game unfolds it doesn't work out that way.

On if he feels a sense of urgency to get a better look at the QBs …

We got a lot of looks at those guys. We had some extra periods postpractice to see Brett [Ratliff] work some more, see Brad [Smith] work some more, to give those guys that maybe didn't get as many reps during the course of a normal practice another opportunity to show what they can do. That's been very effective for us.

On whether Chad Pennington will throw a pass Friday …

I don't know. I think it's a possibility [smiles].

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