Coach's Friday News Conference

121908_practice_snow_320.jpg


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

Yesterday's practice was pretty good. We had two really sharp days offensively. Defensively, we're getting a good idea of what we need to do to stop the things that they do. We're getting a good feel for that. We need to clean up some things here, moving into today. And we will be outside today.

On if practice outside today is because of the gameday forecast in Seattle…

Yes, it is supposed to snow out there. We're going to enjoy it. Plus, I think Brett [Favre] wants to make some snowballs [smiles].

On the benefits of practicing outside…

I've always seen value in that. You can't simulate it. You can talk about it, you can try to educate on it, but until you do it, it's different. We practice a lot in the rain and the cold, all the different elements. It's real value to it if you can draw from the experiences the next time you face that stuff. With this situation, we're talking about just a couple of days.

On if he has ever practiced in snowy weather…

Yes, in New England a couple of different times.

On if the Jets have practiced in snowy conditions during his tenure…

We did. The worst time was Thanksgiving two years ago. It was cold — cold, wet and windy. There were times I was like "This was not a plus decision."

On the irony if Delta canceled or delayed the team's flight…

We've all dealt with air travel, so there will be a chance of that.

On if he has thought about a delayed or canceled flight due to the weather…

We talked about it a little bit, but there's nothing we can do about it. We don't want to sit on the runway for five hours.

On if there is any way to avoid a delayed flight to Seattle…

I hope so. Mike [Tannenbaum] and Clay Hampton [senior director, operations] take care of that. They tell me when to get on the bus and I will.

On today's itinerary due to the inclement weather…

Practice is coming up pretty soon. We adjust to whatever.

On any concerns about K Jay Feely, who struggled at Seattle a couple of years ago…

No. We've all had bad days at different places, we've had plenty of bad days in different stadiums, and you go back the next time and deal with that day when it comes up.

On concerns that Feely will allow his past performance at Qwest Field effect his play…

I hope that wouldn't be the case. A lot of kickers have short memories. They have to have short memories. If they keep thinking about the one they miss, inevitably that's going to be the outcome of the kick you're facing that time. We've all had bad days at different stadiums. We've all had great days at different stadiums. The place that we had great days we wish would carryover automatically next time.

On if he is confident in Feely's mental fortitude…

He's a really competitive, aggressive player. He never once struck me as the type of guy that let that setback set him back the next time. He is inherently competitive. I felt that the day we signed him, the way he covers kicks in practice, the way he is involved on the show team — things that are unique from a kicker's perspective. He has a very aggressive personality for a kicker.

On if he limits QB Brett Favre's throws in practice as the season winds down…

We do that with Brett and we did that with Chad [Pennington] last year and the year before. You're trying to maximize the plays that they have in practice. Maybe it's a new route or something they haven't thrown as well as you would have liked it. Even though you've thrown the route multiple times it's still a part of the route that you need to work on. That would be reps you would give him. If it was a certain timing aspect with a specific receiver — maybe it's him and LC [Laveranues Coles] or Jerricho [Cotchery] on a specific play — you would give him those.

Then you may take him out for the ones that he's thrown 500 times and done pretty successfully. You've managed the process, understanding that you wanted him to be as fresh as possible going into the game. That's carried over to other players. You tend to give more consideration to guys who get up in age. Older players, you'll take some reps off them as the year goes on because, unfortunately, those reps hit them a little bit harder than the younger guys.

On LB Vernon Gholston…

Vernon has had one of his best weeks, if not his best week, of practice since he's been here. I really like the 1-on-1 pass rush drill that he had yesterday against the tight end. I saw a lot of explosiveness. I saw good changeup in his moves as he came in to rush. With rookies, you don't know when things are going to happen or when it's going to start to sink in and the clouds break. It eventually does happen and the curve spikes dramatically.

On if being inactive last week made an impression on Gholston…

It wasn't purely for that purpose. We needed different guys on teams. Anytime you go from active to inactive, it definitely helps you become a little more introspective. Maybe you discover some things that you can improve on with the extra time.

On if it is satisfying to see Gholston have a positive response to being inactive…

You would never want a guy to go the other way. Whenever it's an issue of someone getting reps that you had or someone getting a play that you had, any of those situations where you may go from starting to splitting time, you want the player who the time has been split with to respond in a very competitive fashion. That's what I've found over time that happens.

If they don't, that's another set of problems. But all these guys are inherently competitive. They want to be out there helping, doing what's best for the team. That's one of the things we look for in the draft and free agency.

On if Gholston has discussed with him what he needs to do to return to the active roster…

We spent a lot of time together. We watched some of his college tape together a couple of weeks ago. I talked about different things that he could do specifically. He talked about some things he felt he could do specifically. He's willing and he's working. I have no qualms about the way he's trying to prepare each week. He's working at it. The development happens differently for each player. That's one thing that has been consistent with my experience with young players.

On if he noticed any differences in Gholston while watching his college film as compared to now…

Some of it's apples to oranges. He was always with his hand in the dirt. That's what he did every single day. That's what he practiced. He had a lot of reps built up over the time he was at Ohio State. You're looking for similarities in a very different set of circumstances.

The things that can be consistent in both positions, I tried to highlight those, and the things that are different, I tried to guide him along that path to improve those areas or take some of the things that he did at Ohio State and apply them to what he's doing here.

On if the Jets considered drafting LB Jerod Mayo…

When we make those decisions, we do so based on a huge body of work. I spent a lot of time with Mayo. He's an impressive guy as well. He's all football. He was very productive in college. I really anticipated him being a good player. I spent a lot of time with CB Leodis McKelvin. I thought he would be a really good player.

A lot of these guys, you wish you had more picks so you could get them all. You make your choice and our choice was Vernon. It was based on a whole body of work. Vernon is developing. You never put the pressure on the timeline. It's just putting the pressure on to consistently improve which he has worked at over time.

On if Gholston has made enough positive improvements…

You get to do positive things not just on Sunday. There are positive things that take place every day. A great example of development is D'Brickashaw Ferguson. When you look at D'Brickashaw his rookie year to where he is now, it's night and day. It's not even close.

Brick was another guy that worked extremely hard. He was thrust into a starting role right off the bat. He had the benefit of all those reps. Where he is today versus that first year is miles and miles apart. That's a credit to him. He's been diligent and working at it. Being named alternate to the Pro Bowl is tremendous. I told Brick when I talked to him how proud I was of him because I know the things that he has done to get to that point.

On how the offense communicates on the field…

A lot of it is hand signals. Some of it is unspoken, not hand signals, but it could be giving a wink or a nod. You have to build up a level of understanding of what each other needs to do and what you're doing on that play so that you can communicate in a subtle fashion or in a fashion that's not going to be completely disrupted by noise.

I feel good about the fact that noise has been such a consistent part of our practice routine that guys are extremely comfortable in that environment. It's not the exception here, it's the norm. When we do go somewhere, it usually doesn't have a significant effect on what we try to get done.

On if it is difficult for the offensive line to communicate…

They are close to each other so they can yell stuff, they can pass it down the line. It's different than the defensive backfield where you have one corner 50 yards away from the other corner and it has to go to the safety whose 20 yards away. That's more like the game of telephone where you're hoping the message gets to the other side but you really don't know how much it's changed in between the people that sent it. With the offensive line they are all close so it tends to be quicker and more effective.

On how the offensive line communicates if the QB is in a shotgun situation…

We usually go with a silent snap count. It will be some combination of either hand movement or foot movement. You'll vary them from series to series so that the defensive line can't get a jump on it. It ends up being a silent count most of the time.

On if the right tackle watches the center snap the ball to know when to go…

Yes. Through peripheral vision you have to see that the ball move. In college and sometimes in pro football, the players lock hands and when the guard lets go then the tackle knows the ball is snapped. That's his indicator. There is some value there because now the player can focus completely on his blocking assignment and when he gets the acknowledgement through the hand movement he can go as opposed to looking and reacting.

On the Trina music video RB Thomas Jones was featured in…

I've seen the video. I showed the whole team the video. When you know a guy in one context and you see him completely out of that context doing something that he's just as passionate about, you're excited and happy for him. It's also a good opportunity for some ribbing because you don't know him that way. The guys appreciate the video, the things that he's done and the fact that he does have diverse interests. You want that.

On if WR Brad Smith will be active against Seattle…

We'll go through today and see where he is. All the concussions are different. They have [Jordan] Babineaux, who got a concussion last week and it looks like he's going to play this week. I don't know what process they go through in evaluating that, but that's a good indication of how each injury is different. You have to have a process in place to evaluate the differences in the injuries. Brad has had a good week of practice so far, so I'm still encouraged based on what I saw yesterday.

On if he will gradually work Smith back in…

Once you're cleared to play, you're cleared to play. That's one of those injuries that is not necessarily rep-based that's going to reinjure it. When you clear somebody, you assume that they're fine to participate fully.

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

Advertising