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Coach's Friday News Conference


Transcript of Jets head coach Eric Mangini's news conference before Friday's midday practice:    

We are on a normal Friday schedule. Yesterday was another good day of practice. I was really pleased with the defense's pursuit to the ball. That was something that we emphasized and they've been doing a good job with. It's another way to improve conditioning when you're always getting 11 hats to the ball and start conditioning yourself to do that.

There are a lot of plays that open up from chasing the ball. You don't know what the receiver is going to do, you don't know what the running back is going to do, and you generate those opportunities by running to the football.

In terms of today's practice, we are going to be inside the fieldhouse. I am so used to saying the bubble, but it's a little bit bigger than the bubble. We'll work in there today.

This weekend we'll be wearing our Titans uniforms, which we wore last year for a couple of games. It's always fun to recognize the history of the organization.

On how the secondary can "shut down" Arizona WRs Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin…

They are very rarely shut down. They are both excellent receivers. One [Boldin] was the first to 350 catches and the other one [Fitzgerald] is four catches away. That's a lot of production for two guys over time with different quarterbacks, different defenses and different years. It's impressive. They're impressive on tape.

A couple of plays in the Miami game really illustrated how dangerous they are. Boldin can hurt you short with a catch-and-run or he can get deep on you. Fitzgerald made a great catch on the corner in tight coverage and was able to avoid the safety and go down and score. They are difficult to deal with.

It's a function of being sound and understanding what we're trying to get done in each defense and not giving them too much presnap information. We have to respect and appreciate the things that they are going to do out of different formations. There's not one answer. It's a group of answers and a group of things that we have to do.

On Arizona's offensive line creating more opportunities for RB Edgerrin James…

He is a very good back and has great vision. He can see some things that other backs can't see and be able to hit them. He's been a physical running back which carries him for some yards after contact. It's an aggressive offensive line that's well coached and also extremely physical. Ken [Whisenhunt]'s very committed to the run. They always have been. He was as an offensive coordinator and you see that now with the Cardinals.

On if he has any concerns about CB Dwight Lowery facing the Cardinals receivers…

There are things that he did [at San Diego] that are correctable. There are things that he did that if he had another opportunity to do it, he would do it better. Dwight is very good at self-correcting and working on the weaknesses he may have or the things he needs to improve on.

Every week there will be two or three guys that will create challenges. Sometimes it's going to be a little fast guy, sometimes it's going to be a big, physical receiver. You have to have the ability to gauge what you need to do against all those different styles of players.

On how comfortable he feels with QB Brett Favre playing on his sore ankle Sunday...

I feel pretty comfortable, more than a few days ago. He hasn't missed many games in the last 16 years.

On how he feels about NT Kris Jenkins' rehab…

Good. He participated in practice yesterday. He's been on a consistent treatment program. We'll keep going with that and gauge where he is on Sunday.

On if he expects Jenkins to play on Sunday…

Yes, I expect him to be ready to go Sunday. I always expect those guys to be ready to go on Sunday, but you have to see how it unfolds. Each guy is different. Each injury is different. Each timetable is different.

On if he is concerned Jenkins' back injury will recur during the season…

A lot of guys play through injuries. A lot of guys have to deal with that. It's a long season. We have preseason and training camp. Very rarely, as the season gets going, is everyone 100 percent. As much as you may not be at 100 percent, whoever you're playing is facing similar challenges. You work through it.

What's important to me is player safety and putting guys in a position to be successful. That's why we've put so much time, effort and thought into our treatment program and the process of getting players back.

On RB Leon Washington…

Leon is a dynamic player. He's a really good story. He's a good story because he came in from college and probably wasn't drafted as highly as maybe he thought he should have been. He struggled a little bit early and was corrected multiple times. He took that and he got better. Then he came back the next year and he got better.

He carved out a real niche for himself on special teams. He contributes on the offense. His arrows are pointing up and will continue to point up based on how he works and the things that he does. The fact that he was voted a captain on special teams as such a young guy, that's a real honor and an indication of how well-respected he is in the locker room by all the players.

On the Jets' return game…

We spend a lot of time on it. You have to give a tremendous amount of credit to the whole group. Those returns don't happen in a vacuum. Everyone's involved. They work extremely hard during the course of the week, Mike Westhoff and Kevin [O'Dea], and Ben [Kotwica] helps out a lot with special teams.

Those guys do a really good job of scheming and then communicating how we're going to get that scheme done, going out and practicing it, executing it. We've had multiple returns since Mike's been here that have gone for a long way. Even before I got here they went for a long way. Mike's done a great job with that over time.

On CB Justin Miller's recovery…

Good. He's moving along. Anytime with injuries, time is definitely a huge factor. It's difficult when you're in the course of a season because you can't get off it and be able to get prepared for the game. He's working out in the treatment room and working out on the field. He's like the rest of the group. We'll evaluate on gameday.

On LB Calvin Pace…

I like his approach a lot. I saw that in our meeting. I liked his intensity at practice. He's a high-motor guy play in and play out. He works hard in pads or no pads. Wednesday, Thursday or Friday, it's the same level of intensity and the same level of effort. He's really embraced the different roles that we've asked him to play and tried to do all those roles as best as he can. He's a good guy in addition to being a really good football player.

On Pace in the Jets' pass-rush

Pass rush is so tied into coverage, so he does have some flexibility in terms of his ability to rush effectively, but also his ability to drop effectively in zone coverages and play most guys man-to-man. In terms of size, he's an ideal size. He's very fluid for his size, so it gives you a lot of versatility there.

On if Pace's transition to dropping in coverage has been a smooth one…

He dropped in coverage a decent amount in Arizona. It was a little more package-specific as opposed to playing a pure outside linebacker, all the time in the 3-4 where at any point you can be in coverage or you could be rushing. He's done a good job with it.

When you are transitioning to a new role, even though it's not completely new for him, there are some things that take some time and understanding how routes are going to unfold and how offenses are going to attack you in different zones. That gets better as you see the reps and build on each experience.

On embracing Arizona's offensive challenges from a defensive perspective…

We've seen a lot of good players here. Every week it's going to be some new challenge — multiple running backs can be explosive or a combination of a really explosive receiver and tight end. Anybody that's put on the field is put out there because they can create problems. Even though some guys are more in front than others, there is always going to be some challenges from the guys on the field. Most teams can create that and most quarterbacks can hurt you in a lot of ways.

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