Coach's Monday News Conference

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Transcript of head coach Eric Mangini's news conference with the New York Jets media Monday afternoon:        

Talking to the team this morning, I really reiterated the message I gave them after the game. Watching the tape, it was consistent with the feeling throughout the course of the game that you can't go out and score in the first five series of the game, the first five times you have the ball, and then come back and have a three-and-out, a fumble, a three-and-out and an interception for a touchdown. You can't go out defensively, hold the team to 10 points, then allow three consecutive touchdown drives. On special teams, you can't punt the ball 20 yards and have inconsistent blocking on the kickoff return, one is pretty good and the next one's not as good. One week the snapping is good, one week the kicking is good, the next week the snapping is not good, the kicking is not good. It's got to be consistent in all three phases. It can't be up and down.

Same thing with coaching. We need to do a better job — myself, the assistant coaches — with the scheme, the adjustments, getting the adjustments communicated, getting the scheme communicated. That needs to be improved. That needs to be more consistent. It's collective. There's not one phase, there's not one person. It's truly a group effort. Whenever you're in that situation, it's a group effort. We're going to focus on it as a group.

On whether he is evaluating the overall operation for immediate changes this week …

I'm going to look at everything. I'm going to look at everything and really evaluate it across the board and see where we can gain some more consistency. It applies to all the areas.

On if he's made a decision on Chad Pennington after viewing the video …

I'm going through the process of evaluating everything. With Chad, I thought he did a lot of good things, got us in and out of some really good checks and made some really nice throws. Obviously the throw with the interception he'd like to have back, there are a couple of reads I'm sure he'd like to have back and I'd like him to have them back. He's one part of the process. It's a complete process.

On why he's not willing to state Pennington is his starter …

I'm going to go through the whole process and look at things across the board.

On what his timetable is on making a QB decision …

I don't have a set timetable right now. Once I decide, then I'll let you guys know.

On what has changed to question Pennington as the starter …

It's just wanting to go through the complete process of looking at all the different phases: coaching, playing, the different combinations of people that are possible, the different things we can do schematically, the different ways we can address the start of the game, halftime, practice, and find a pattern that's going to be more consistent and more successful.

On whether he feels he made a mistake by not reevaluating the process sooner …

No, I don't feel that way at all. This will be the same moving forward. Each decision is made on what I feel is the best for the team and what gives us the best chance to win that week. That approach isn't going to change whatsoever. It's really specific to this week.

On if it's fair to say Pennington had his best game of the season vs. the Bengals …

I hadn't looked at it in the context of the other two games in terms of all the different decision-making processes that went into those three games collectively as a body of work. Today I was watching the game from yesterday. That's what I'll do now tonight and over the course of tomorrow, is look at all these different areas.

On if it's possible that he won't announce a QB change …

I hadn't really planned how any decision would be made. It's not just specific to that decision.

On whether the coordinators are involved in his team evaluation …

I'm going to look at everything. Look at everything, evaluate everything and move forward in the best possible way.

On being 1-6 and not giving Kellen Clemens a chance to start yet …

What we're looking to do is to win the next game. It's specific to the next game and all of the different combinations of people that will give us the best shot for that game.

On whether he's spoken with either of the quarterbacks …

I've seen them in the hallway. I haven't met with them.

On Jonathan Vilma appearing to have a difficult time against the Bengals …

Jon was dealing with some injury issues yesterday that I think dramatically affected his play. He wasn't alone on defense at all. There were plenty of different issues in different areas, whether it was the front, the outside linebackers, the inside linebackers, the secondary or the sub defense. There were plenty of plays that were rough plays.

On whether Vilma's injury was the reason he was in and out during the third quarter …

It was something he was working through. He's a tough guy, but it's something he was working through.

On Andre Dyson being inactive …

I thought that Drew Coleman has had a very good couple of weeks of practice and I wanted to give him an opportunity and give Hank [Poteat] an opportunity to start the game. I thought that he's been practicing well. With all the different positions, it's based on practice and based on the opportunities you get in the game. I thought both those guys deserved an opportunity.

On whether Erik Coleman not starting was a result of injury …

No, that was a coaching decision. It was really the same situation. I thought that [Abram] Elam had done a good job and had been doing a particularly good job in the running game. I wanted to give him an opportunity.

On if taking Elam out was because of his fourth-quarter penalty ...

There were a few different things during the course of that drive that I thought Erik at that point needed an opportunity.

On whether he's thought about getting more involved in the defense …

You've got to look at all three phases. I'm going to work as hard as I can, defensively, to make sure we get these issues corrected, and they need to get corrected. It needs to be more consistent at every single position on defense. That's the way it's going to improve, with guys playing the right fits in the running game, guys playing the right fits play in and play out, better tackling and better execution of games and blitzes. You can go right down the list. It all needs to get better. It needs to be coached better and it needs to be executed better.

On whether he's getting input from the other coaches in regards to the evaluation …

We meet after the game and go through the evaluation of what we did in terms of a unit, offensively, defensively and on special teams. Then each position coach writes up their players with a summary of their game and production. We look at both of those. I'm always involved with those guys and Mike [Tannenbaum]. We look at it as a group, take feedback from the group and then make decisions.

On how this evaluation differs from his normal weekly evaluations …

It's just looking at combinations of people and looking at ways we can continue to improve. It's really about consistency, because there have been areas that have shown marked improvements and then areas where we've stepped back. We were very effective in the red zone and we were very effective on third down. The last two weeks we haven't been offensively. We've made some strides in the running game offensively, but you don't want to make the strides in that area and drop back in the other area. You've got to really evaluate: Is there a correlation between increase in one place and decrease in the other? You have to be able to address the problems and maintain the things you do positively.

On whether there is a way to characterize what has gone wrong …

It's consistency. That's the main thing. It's consistency and the ability to play a complete football game. If it was just one area, then that would be something you could address with complete certainty and change that or do whatever you need to do. We've addressed different problem areas throughout the course of the season and then other areas pop up. It's not just in terms of scheme or specific area. It's also the consistency in execution.

On if he feels he miscalculated what he had going into the season in terms of talent …

We felt very good about the team coming in and I feel very good about these guys that are here. I like the group of guys. I like the things we do in terms of practice and preparation. We've been close in a lot of games. There have been some great examples of really good football. But you can't have those punctuated by the handful of plays that make the difference in the game. There is such a small margin for error in any game. You string three, four, five of those plays together, you're not going to come out on the positive side.

On if he feels that withholding a decision on the quarterbacks undercuts Pennington's authority as a team "leader" …

It's not unique to Chad. It's not specific to Chad. It's not unique to one person. It's collective. I think any time you're doing something collectively, it encompasses everybody.

On whether it's more frustrating because the inconsistency reflects on how he prepares the team …

It's frustrating because I've seen so many good examples of well-executed football. I like the way this team works. I like the people we have in the locker room. They have worked very hard. Whenever you work hard at something and prepare well and don't come out on the positive side, it's frustrating. It's something we're going to continue to move forward on and correct.

On whether he's thought about easing up on the team …

There's not going to be any day off. I feel that through the course of last year and this year, we've done a lot of evaluation on the way we practice and have made a lot of changes in the practice schedule. We've trimmed down some of the reps, have altered the placement of the different drills, when we do two-minute, putting it more on the front end of the week as opposed to the back end of the week and getting the feedback from the captains, making some changes there in terms of the amount of time we spend in pads or don't spend in pads. There's been a lot of good feedback on that, both from the coaching staff and from the players. I think we've done a good job with getting to a process that's been a good process in terms of the practice week. I'm comfortable with where we are there.

On whether this has been humbling after the success of last season …

It's really consistent with how I felt, that each year is its own year. I talked about that for a long time. This year is going to be different than last year. Next year is going to be different than this year. What you do in any given season is based on the things that take place during that season, not what happened in the past or what can be in the future.

On whether this season hurts him personally after what he did last year …

I look at it as us trying to win games week in and week out on that week. That's really what it's about. The important thing is to not look back or look forward. That gives you the best opportunity to win. Philosophically, that's what I believe in. That's what I'm doing. That's what we need to continue to do as a group.

On how the team went from consistent last season to inconsistent this season …

You see that throughout the league. You see that throughout all different sports. You see that every single day. I've been a part of that in the past. If you don't just focus on what you have to do and you don't do the things to win that week, that's really the only thing that's important. Anything that happened last year is ancient history.

On whether inconsistency could be a result of a lack of focus …

It's execution and it's always going to come down to a handful of plays. You don't know when that play is going to take place. It could take place in the early part of the game, it could take place on the last play of the game, it could take place anywhere in between. I think Marty [Schottenheimer]'s story, the way he put it, is very a good depiction on how most games go.

On whether he feels this season has been wearing on Pennington …

I think Chad is a competitive person who has a great work ethic and does whatever he can do to help the team win. That's always been his approach. That will always be his approach. Everybody collectively wants to see better results than we've had. That's the focus of the group, is getting better results.

On when he would announce the starting QB …

I don't have a timeline.

On if they would have to know by tomorrow for game-planning purposes …

They prepare to be the starter each week.

On whether the interception-return TD was a function of Cincinnati's defense or Pennington's inability to throw down the field …

We got a good look at the deep ball to Laveranues [Coles] that was thrown out in front of him, I don't know exactly how many yards down the field [57 yards], but it was significant. A lot of times in two-minute, especially with no timeouts, you have to be very conscious on the sideline because each play is going to cost a minimum of 16 seconds. Any completion, if you're going to throw it underneath, you have to try to throw it underneath to where they can get out of bounds. If it's there down the field, and you're thinking it's a big enough chunk, then you take that shot. It's always a yardage vs. time, cost-benefit ratio that you have to do in all those situations.

On whether the interception had anything to do with Pennington's arm strength …

No, not at all. It was more how the coverage is unfolding and how we didn't have the timeouts there.

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