Coach's Friday News Conference

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The transcript of head coach Eric Mangini's news conference with Jets reporters Friday morning:       

We went through the normal routine for Thursday practice yesterday. We worked through the two-minute situations that come up, an area of real strength for us offensively over time last year and this year. We weren't as good as we'd like to be last week.

Defensively, we were continuing to work on that and continuing to try and improve in that area. One thing that did come up yesterday, we worked on two-minute both Wednesday and Thursday. There were some really good two-minute situations that came up, one that we had very similar to the Houston-Miami situation last week: Backed up on the 3-yard line, have to go a long way to get a field goal, short amount of time but multiple timeouts left. "Nuge" [Mike Nugent] hit a deep one at the end to win it, so some real positive things come out of that every single week.

I like to do it at the end of practice. That's another thing that Ted Marchibroda taught me, the importance of doing it when the guys are most fatigued. It serves a conditioning role, but it's also very similar to what you face throughout the course of the season. It's always at the end of the half when you're most tired, always at the end of the game when you're most tired. We've had those situations every single game — the end of the half against New England, end of the half and end of the game against Miami, end of the half and end of the game against Baltimore, right on down the line where the offense or defense was in that situation. Every one is so different depending on the timeouts, field position and what you need. You can't drill that stuff enough.

On what makes Kenyon Coleman good in the 3-4 ...

He's very strong, naturally strong, and he does a lot of work in the weightroom. He's got excellent balance and very good hand placement, so when he comes up and strikes, he gets his hands inside of the offensive linemen and can control them. He is patient at the line of scrimmage, which is what you have to do in the traditional 3-4, because you are playing a two-gap defense. So you're responsible for the one to your right and the one to your left.

It's not always a case of you being totally square on the offensive lineman and throwing him off at the last moment. That comes into play. Sometimes they'll take a step to their left or right and you've got to put the offensive player's body in the other hole, while your body occupies the second gap that you're responsible for. He's trained in it working in Dallas with Bill [Parcells] and with that system, so that helps, too. He's got those reps built up. All those things are positive elements for Kenyon.

On Leon Washington's qualities …

He's done a really nice job and I think the qualities that make him good on kickoff return are core qualities that he has. He's extremely tough and extremely resilient and he's aggressive in terms of taking on potential blitzers. For a guy his size, he's stout and attacks those defenders and sets a good wall there for the quarterback. Then when he does have the opportunity to get out, he's so nifty in the open field. He has really good change of direction, very good vision.

Sometimes with the explosive plays, they come at different points. We had the play against Miami [last season], the screen there that I thought was blocked OK, not great, and then Leon made a lot of things happen. With him, he's always going to get the most that he can get, and sometimes those plays just come in bunches. But it's really a testament to who he is and how he works.

On Washington's ability to contribute explosive plays on offense …

You're always looking for explosive plays. The play at the early part of the game vs. the Eagles where it was a direct snap, he did a nice job there. You know, sometimes that's receiving out of the backfield and sometimes it's as a runner. You just don't know when they're going to hit. You'd love them to be every single game and he works at them and we're working at them.

On how he's been working to get the run and passing game more consistent ...

It really goes back to the core values that we have, the concept of trust. Trust means you're going to be in exactly the spot you're supposed to be. You're going to take care of the responsibility you have to take care of and you know the person next to you is doing the same thing. Sometimes what can happen as games unfold, and whatever the score may be, if you're behind or pressing, one guy may get out of position, one guy may try to make a play. Oftentimes that creates a bigger hole and a bigger problem than it solves.

As long as everybody is in the right spot, the schemes will function and if they don't, you can come off to the sideline and you can get it corrected. You understand exactly where the hole is or whether or not you have to change the defensive or offensive call, which is always difficult. If someone's not in the right spot and you think that's not a good call, you look back at the tape and realize you should have stayed with it. It was a person out of his spot, not a function of a poorly designed concept against that offense or defense.

On the benefits of talking with veteran coaches …

It's a great opportunity to learn from their experience, similar to the younger players who learn from the veteran players who have been through those experiences. It's great to hear their ideas, how they handled it, what their reaction was, how effective it was. Whether it's talking to Bill Parcells or Ted Marchibroda, Dick Vermeil, Marty Schottenheimer, all of those guys have been outstanding sounding boards and very generous with their time and information. I appreciate that and I hope someday that I can help someone the same way that they've helped me.

On when it's more beneficial to take their advice …

It's really beneficial at all times. It could be a question about the draft. How did you run the draft? What were the key priorities in acquiring players out of college? What did you look for? What did you have success with? What didn't you have success with? There are so many different issues that come up day to day that all those guys have been through. It's any range of issues — travel, coaching staff, scouting, free agency, game-planning, success, failure. Whatever the case may be, they're great and they all had different approaches and they all worked.

On whether he's ever heard James Dearth refer to himself as "Ocho Cinco" …

Not directly. I don't know if that's something that he uses as like his e-mail address or his CB, what do they call it, handle? Yeah. I'm not sure how he uses it or if he does, but he's an explosive guy.

On if Dearth is a laid-back guy …

James, he's a great guy, and what you love about him is he has his role as the long snapper, but he's always trying to do something more at practice and always trying to help out any way he can. He's played some plays for us on offense, and we know we do have an extra tight end at the game. He'll know what to do and everything about the game plan and be ready if he's called on dfsand try to be as productive as possible in terms of tackling. He's a selfless, selfless guy.

On Joe Torre's situation …

I had not spent any time with Joe and I don't really know enough about the situation. I have a lot of respect for him as a coach and the things he's accomplished and I wish him well in whatever he decides to do.

On his thoughts on lasting 12 years in New York as a coach or manager …

I'm in Year 2, so hopefully we'll have this conversation in 10 years.

On what Washington has improved on from last year to this year …

Leon's improved in leaps and bounds. What I really like about Leon is his professionalism. What I love about Leon is his intensity, especially on gameday. There's never a situation where he's not excited about getting in there. He's one of those guys that, if we were playing basketball, would want the last shot. He wants that situation and you appreciate and respect his intensity and his approach. Being an undersized guy, he's never intimidated. Doesn't matter who he faces or what the challenge is, he's going to meet it head-on.

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