Coach's Friday News Conference

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

This weekend we have a coat drive at the stadium. It's in conjunction with Jersey Cares. Last year, Jersey Cares was able to secure 31,000 coats through the drive for men, women and children. As it gets colder and colder here, it becomes more important. We're looking for, ideally, new coats, but if not, coats that are gently used. All types are welcomed. The food banks are about double the demand. Even though the amount of food that has come in has increased, it still does not meet the demand. I'm sure it's the same situation with clothing, especially with coats. This time of year, it's more important that we give back.

We were able to get a full day's work in yesterday. We came in a little bit earlier. We adjusted a few things and pushed them into today. Between yesterday and today, we will be able to cover all the areas that we normally cover during a standard work week.

On if the offensive line is the most difficult position to coordinate…

It is extremely difficult because you have five guys that have to work together. You have so many different looks that you face as an offensive line. It can be the combination of the linebackers walking up in gaps, linebackers walking up on sides, safeties down. Being in the box, there are a lot of different people that can create threats in multiple combinations of ways.

You have to be able to understand as an offensive lineman, "Who do I have as part of this protection and how are we going to work out this problem?" It takes a lot of communication. That communication also extends to the tight ends and the running backs. They are not all in the room together at the same time all the time watching the tape, so that has to be done through practice, conversation and feel. I do feel that it takes a ton of communication and coordination to be really good at it.

On FB Tony Richardson's impact on the running game…

What I really like about Tony, prior to him getting here, was his ability to always find his man. It may not have the same thump as it once did, but he is very effective at finding the person he is supposed to block, getting him taken care of and giving the back a chance.

He is also very good at adjusting when things aren't right. He's seen so many different things over the course of his career. He has a great sense of anticipating a problem, and then reacting to a problem, and fixing a problem. For him, that happens within a split-second.

The other thing that I really like about Tony is the effect he has on the younger players. He is a great example of what it means to be a pro on the football side, but it's also on the very important side which is getting your life after football in place. He's played a long time, but throughout his career he has done a significant amount of work for charity. He's always trying to improve himself in terms of his education. He's taken advantage of those opportunities. He's taken advantage of different internships that are available. He is a great guy to have in the locker room from that perspective as well.

On if Richardson asked for more carries after his 14-yard run at Tennessee…

He did make a point that when he was at Kansas City, he was the primary ballcarrier. He does have quite a bit of skill in that area. He does a good job carrying the ball. He hasn't had many opportunities. Fourteen yards a clip, that's impressive. It was his longest run since 2002. Six years between 14-yard runs — he has fresh legs [smiles].

On the effect of free agency in building offensive lines…

It plays an important role. A team's ability to bring new offensive linemen in, bring them up to speed quickly, get the group together and thinking the same way very quickly gets harder and harder with the offensive line. The market has changed dramatically for guards than it once was. Usually tackles dominate the market. You have to allocate funds to different areas. It all becomes part of a bigger equation. As the value changes for each position, the equation changes which means it's harder to keep them together longer.

On the offensive line being undervalued during free agency…

I don't think it's undervalued. Their market value has increased substantially, all those positions along the offensive line.

On TE Dustin Keller…

He has done a really nice job of taking advantage of the opportunities that he's had. He's done a lot of really good things at practice. He consistently makes outstanding catches at practice. He's been working the same way prior to getting the production that he's had. It's broken a little bit for him. He's gotten the ball more and that's great.

It takes some of the pressure off some of the guys that are out on the perimeter. It forces him to be accounted for in different ways. The more that you can do that to a defense, the more threats that you have, the better chance you have.

On how Keller has improved the overall offense…

Having him and Leon [Washington] on third down, even when he and Chris Baker are in together, because they are both very effective at catching the ball, that puts a significant amount of pressure on the internal part of the defense, the linebackers and the safeties.

Now you can't push as much coverage outside to Laveranues [Coles] or Jerricho [Cotchery]. It opens up some things for Chansi [Stuckey] in the slot. Leon plays a big role in that too, with him being effective out of the backfield catching the ball. Now where do you want the coverage to go? Do you want it to go to Dustin or Leon? Do you want to keep it outside? All that stuff is very helpful.

On RB Thomas Jones…

He's having an outstanding year. We felt very good about Thomas when we brought him in here. He's a guy that we had identified for many reasons — his ability and all the things that were said about him in the locker room, the weightroom, on the field, his toughness and his competiveness. Those things are true this year and were true last year. It's nice to see him having the year that he's having.

On the importance of the Denver game and not having a letdown…

It's like anything else. The victory that you have the week before just makes the next game that much more important. It's an AFC opponent, it's a division leader and an explosive offense. They've done a lot of good things. Playing against Mike Shanahan's teams over the years, they are always well-prepared and create problems because they are game-plan-specific and we see that.

I've been happy with the way that after we complete a game, the focus then shifts to the next opponent and doesn't shift to celebrating the last victory or looking ahead. That's something that I stress consistently. It's not something that has just been brought up this year or the past few weeks. It's been this way throughout the time I've been here.

On if the Jets' improvements are a coach's dream…

It's always what you look for, the collective improvement and consistency. The way that you practice is very important, watching guys improve their individual preparation, especially young guys. It's satisfying to see a guy like Leon, who I've been with the whole time, in his preparation continue to improve, and Darrelle Revis in his personal preparation continue to improve. Those are a few examples. Those are always satisfying because you feel like the messages that you consistently talk about are being heard and acted upon.

On Denver QB Jay Cutler's mobility…

He makes a lot of plays on the run. He makes a lot of really athletic, defensive players miss. There has been several examples in games where they may have a free blitzer or it looks like he's going to get sacked, he makes the guy miss, rolls out of the pocket and reads something big down the field. With his arm strength, everything is a possibility. It's not like he can elude the rush and only throw something 15, 20 yards. It can go 60 as easily as it can go 3.

On the Jets' secondary being tested by the Broncos offense…

I don't see it as a function of purely the secondary. Pass defense, defense, it's all coordinated. The rush has to be able to get there. The lanes have to be disciplined. The plan has to be executed. It's like anything else.

If the corner gives up a deep ball, it seems like it's all on the corner. That's never really the case. It's usually a function of a lot of other factors which allowed that ball to get off. Maybe the help didn't get to where it was supposed to get to. So many other things go into that. If we're going to continue to improve in that area, it's not just the secondary, it's the whole group.

On CB Dwight Lowery struggling on defense…

There are a lot of guys that have been through exactly the same thing. Darrelle Revis struggled at different points last season. He's a good guy for Dwight to talk to and I know that they've had some conversations. Ty Law has struggled throughout the course of his career. David Barrett. Everybody goes through it. When you line up at that corner position, your struggles are well documented. They are highlighted. If you show any signs of having difficulty, then it's emphasized by every team that you face.

The great thing about Dwight is he's internalizing those things and it's really important for him to get it fixed. He's always done that throughout the course of his career. That's why he's become a good player. That's why he's in the position that he's in. When there is something that he feels needs to get fixed, he wants to go out and get it fixed. He wants to get it fixed in a hurry. He wants the answers and he's going to work at it.

On whether Jay Feely or Mike Nugent will kick Sunday…

I'll make that decision at the end of the week. We do some more kicking today and will look at the body of work throughout the week. I'll talk to Mike Westhoff and Kevin [O'Dea] and get their thoughts on it, then I'll make a decision going into Sunday.

On LB David Harris and S Eric Smith…

Both of them have participated substantially in practice. We'll have to see with David where he's going to be. Eric I'll look at and see where he is as well. They're two totally different injuries. I have been happy with what they've done and where they are. We'll see them today and talk to John Mellody [head athletic trainer] and the doctors and the player and make a decision.

On if Harris and Smith are close to returning…

They are both making big strides.

On G Brandon Moore…

His nickname is "Meat" and he plays to that. He is very strong and powerful. He brings a strength to that position which is useful. He's bonded well with the rest of the group. His contribution can't be understated. He's as much a part of their growth as anybody. With Brandon, you have to look at the fact of how he got to where he got, as a converted defensive lineman, moving to the offensive line, carving out a starting role and now playing at a very good level. It doesn't happen very often. It's all because of him and how he works.

I had a conversation with Brandon at training camp and was talking about working on individual weaknesses. That's something that's been very important to him. I could see that on tape. I would go into the offensive line room. Bill [Callahan] might make a correction on his set or hand placement. Then you watch the tape that evening and that's what he was working on. Sometimes it didn't look very good because it was a weakness, but it's what you want him to do. He kept working on it. Eventually it got better and better.

On what he saw in Moore last season…

He's a consistent person. He's a consistent player. He cares. He works at it. He spends time with the young guys. Maybe he doesn't get the same recognition because he has been here throughout the whole time, but he's been very consistent. He's not the most outspoken guy, but he speaks very loudly with the way that he plays.

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