Skip to main content

Coach's Friday News Conference


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

On Sunday we have our annual food drive, which benefits The INN [Interfaith Nutrition Network]. We did the same thing during our Green & White Game this summer and raised quite a bit of food. We're looking to do significantly more here this Sunday. Anyone can bring non-perishable items and drop them off at the stadium gates.

The INN is an incredible place. It does a lot of good work. It's based in Long Island. Just meeting the people that have worked there and worked with the Jets over time, they are a really special group of people. Hopefully, we can do something positive on Sunday in that area.

We have 50 members of the Armed Forces coming today to practice. It's in honor of Military Appreciation Day, which we will also be celebrating on Sunday. We can't thank the members of the military enough for the sacrifices they make and their families make to keep us free and to protect our country. It's a very small token, but a really important token.

On WR Wallace Wright's performance on special teams…

Wallace is leading the AFC in special teams tackles right now. With special teams tackles, it is hard to get a defined statistic, but as much as we can see, he is the leading tackler. He has had multiple tackles inside the 25-yard line on punt and kickoff. He's caused penalties on special teams. He's really defined a great role for himself in that area.

The positive about that, very similar to the Jerricho Cotchery situation, is that gets him to the game every single week, that gives him an opportunity to play in the game. He keeps developing as a receiver as well. I like how much he's been able to contribute in that one area. It's allowed him to be in a position to contribute offensively each week.

On how important it is for Wright to carve out a teams niche…

It's so important. Mike Westhoff talked to the special teams group about this the other morning. If you want to go to the game each week, you have to be able to take care of your special teams responsibility each week. You have to be an outstanding member of special teams. That always guarantees that you'll get to go to the game. If you're guaranteed to go to the game, then that increases your opportunity to play in the game.

There are a group of players each week who we have to make a decision on who we're going to take and who we're going to make inactive. It really comes down to what they can do on special teams. It's extremely important. It allows that opportunity for you to get in the game at some point even if you are not a starter.

On P Reggie Hodges…

We started with a little hiccup when he had the injury initially, but he had a really impressive workout when he came in. Since he's had his opportunity to punt, he's done a nice job with his hangtime. The distance gets better each week. He has the potential to get some long ones off. He has the combination of hangtime and distance and that type of leg strength.

His role as a holder has been very good. He's had a couple of snaps that were hard to handle and he's done a nice job getting those snaps, putting them down and putting them in position to be successful with the field goals.

On preparing for a short week…

Each Friday after we complete the work that we have to do — with the practice here today, we grade the film and go through those final steps — we start work on our next opponent anyway. That's always been my experience. You try to get a head start on Friday. You get a preliminary scouting report from the personnel department, you watch some tape, you get a feel for who they are and you try to be as aggressive as you can in that area knowing that you can come back in on Saturday and refocus on the team that you're playing.

It's not different in the sense that we always start our preparation ahead of time. It's a little bit different in the sense that the game is so much earlier. We actually have to be that much more proactive here today and, to some degree, tomorrow.

On if it helps to face a familiar opponent such as New England in a short week…

The carryover, the experience that you have with that opponent helps because you aren't being exposed to players or systems for the first time. There is a lot of history between the two teams. That is a plus as opposed to a negative.

On if any part of his message to the team will be to just focus on the Rams and not look ahead to the Patriots…

I wouldn't address it from that perspective of don't think about the next game. It's a consistent message of this is what's important. Next game, next week, that's all going to take care of itself, but this is what's most important.'

On if it is possible to not look ahead to the next opponent…

I believe you have to be able to fight human nature. What human nature does, if you're winning you tend to not see mistakes to be as damaging as they potentially could. If you're losing, you tend to look at mistakes in a much harsher light than you would.

The Teddy Atlas message of "Success is like a martini — it relaxes you," that fighting of natural tendency of trying to be the same each week, I realize that it exists. Everybody's made aware of that. We work on countering that. That's what makes a successful team successful: the ability to treat each week the same.

On teaching the team to treat each week the same…

One of the most important things is awareness, knowing that's the tendency. Everyone recognizes that. You just can't leave it unsaid. You can't not address it. You can't just leave it out there. We address it and make sure that we're always channeling in on the job at hand.

On balancing kickers Jay Feely and Mike Nugent…

It's a good situation because Jay has done a really good job for us to come into a new environment and kick the way he's kicked. He had a really big field goal against the Raiders. Last week's field goal at the end of the game was as important as any that we've had.

Those are pluses. The misses, you don't want those at any point, but each field goal kicker where I've been has had some misses. We're going to look at that situation closely and make sure Mike is completely healthy. Jay has given us that luxury of time with the way that he's played.

On if he is comfortable with Feely…


On calling it a "Wildcat" formation when OL Robert Turner goes in motion…

I don't think it would have that nickname. What would we call that? The "Buffalo"? The "Otter"? I've heard the Fred Flintstone [laughter]. I'm not really that excited about that.

On if he likes utilizing an offensive lineman in the TE position…

We've used offensive linemen in the past to play those types of roles. A lot of teams will use offensive linemen to play those types of roles. Defensively, a lot of times we'll label it as "21-Pig" if the guy's in.

You see it throughout the league. A lot of times O-lineman are used as tight ends on the goal line. It's just a different front that you have to deal with defensively, obviously, size alone and the matchup against our outside linebackers and creating that same challenge for teams that we play. Some teams will add an extra linebacker if you put in an extra tackle or they will add in an extra safety if you put in an extra tackle. There are different ways to do it.

On if Turner has good hands…

They're OK. I haven't thrown a lot of go-routes to him.

On if he has spoken to Cleveland head coach Romeo Crennel…

I have not spoken to Romeo in the last couple of weeks. We spoke two weeks ago. We've shared so many experiences. We shared a bunch of experiences here with the Jets the first time I was here, then all the time we spent in New England.

He is an unbelievable guy. He is a great coach. That team is well prepared. They are well disciplined. He's always trying to put them in the best position to be successful. I'm sure he does. I have complete faith in him and nothing but respect for him.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content