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Coach's Monday News Conference


8/4/08 Training Camp Practice Photos

Transcript of Jets head coach Eric Mangini's news conference after Monday's morning training camp practice:    

I talked to the team yesterday about the Green & White [practice] and explained a little bit more about why we do it. It's to go through and give the new guys, whether it's players or coaches, a sense of our gameday operation: the warmup, pregame in the locker room, halftime in the locker room and the bench mechanics. It takes the rust off the coaches. They are in the booth and that whole level of communication extends throughout the organization.

The trainers get to work on the things that they do and the doctors get to work on the things that they do, PR, marketing, right down the line. We try to simulate as much as possible, just so organizationally we are moving forward before we get into a game situation. Mike Tannenbaum gets to work on the things that he does. We had food in the booth so he could have six hot dogs [laughter], refine the second-guessing, all of that stuff is good for everybody. It works for everybody.

We came back in. I went through a Monday procedure so I explained to them what we do as a coaching staff is we do an AAR report, which is an After Action Report. It's a military term, coming from Ben Kotwica and Bob Sutton, who are both military guys. It is immediate feedback on what we did well, things we did poorly, preparation errors, mismatches, critical errors and all those things. The staff fills it out and we go through it, and I'll meet with the team. I'll go through those things step by step and show some film that has some points that either reinforce it or that you can learn off of.

The important thing for the group to understand is that when we come in after a loss, everybody stings. Everybody feels that pain of a loss, so the coaching points can sting a little bit deeper, but that's not what they are intended to do. When you come in after a win, it's all party hats and noisemakers and the coaching points now can be a little bit glossed over. Teddy [Atlas] says, "Success is like a martini, it relaxes you." That can't happen, either.

What we have to do on Monday is come in and have honest time and look at the things that need to be corrected and need to be fixed in order to improve, whether it's the pain of a loss, the excitement of a win, whatever it is, all that's great. I understand both sides, but we have to learn from it. We have to move forward, take the coaching and grow. I wanted to go through that process with the team as well, move into this stretch here right before the Browns so everybody understands why and what we do.

On assessing the quarterbacks after watching the video…

One of the things that jumps out at you right away is third down and fourth down. I thought defensively we did a really good job. I thought offensively we didn't do a very good job and it's consistent with problems that you're going to have on third down in the sense that the more you get behind in the count, the more it's third-and-10, third-and-8, third-and-11, percentage-wise the odds are significantly decreased that you're going to convert.

You have to stay ahead of the count on first down, second down and get to a situation where it's third-and-manageable. That was one thing that jumped out at me. I thought we had some good opportunities on third down, but we didn't capitalize on them. I thought the start of both halves could have been sharper offensively. That's another area that you want to come out and be able to move the ball down the field or get a positive drive, whatever the case may be, so that was another area we talked about.

I like the fact that both quarterbacks were able to hit big plays — the big play to Dustin Keller, the big play to Jerricho Cotchery. With this game, you're happy, and then you're not happy, you're happy, and then you're not happy. You're excited that the defense had such a good day on third down, then you're not excited that the offense didn't. I don't really know what the perfect world is from one of these besides learning and [coming out] injury-free.

On if he has decided on the starting QB at Cleveland and if the naming of the starter will have any significance…

No and no. Yeah, I'll look at it, marinate on it and make a decision, but it won't be any sort of earth-shattering news.

On if the penalties Saturday were technique or mental mistakes...

Some of it was just flat-out cadence. Cadence can be such a weapon if you can do it well: the ability to quick-count, which means the defense has to be set the second that you get there, the hard-count, which means that they have to hold their water, not jump offsides, and a lot of times the coverage of the actual defense declares the ability to audible. You may have one thing called, then audible to something else and change the snap count there.

There are a lot of different things and there's a lot of information going on, but nothing can work unless the snap count works. The better we are at it, the more of an advantage it is offensively because we know what it is. If you can use it and stretch the defense presnap with it, that's a positive thing.

On Chris Baker coming back today and what he bring to the offense…

I'm excited to get Chris out there and having Laveranues Coles back today. Both of them are going through the protocol, so it's a process of easing them in. But having Baker, Bubba Franks, Jason Pociask and Keller, there's four really good [tight end] candidates and they are all intelligent guys and they are all guys that can do different things.

We talk about the ability to build "21," with the two-back formations, and "12," make them all look the same and run the plays in each group the same way. Using Franks and Baker, one time Franks is the Y and Baker is the F, the next time Baker is the Y and Franks is the F. That gets hard and it should be easy for us and harder for our opponents. I'm excited to have [Baker] back. I think it's good for us.

On if he was happy with how Baker worked when he was on the PUP list…

There's really no way not to work hard in that scenario. Sal Alosi and his crew drive the troops pretty hard.

On if all interceptions are graded equal with the quarterbacks…

There are definitely different scenarios. For example, say it's the last play of the half and you're throwing up one of those Hail Marys to try to get it in the end zone and it happens to get picked off. That's the cost of doing business. You're trying to get there, and it is what it is.

Say it's a fourth-down play and you've got to keep the play alive so you try to make something happen. Obviously you don't want an interception, but you have to give your guy a chance to get the ball. You have to do that and that could be a situation there.

A receiver could bat the ball up in his hand — that's a pick. It could get batted at the line of scrimmage. Now really, you share some of that because the ball should be over the line of scrimmage, but you know those are a little bit different. They are all bad, but they all are a little different.

On his expectations of Vernon Gholston…

The acceptable minimum to me is him playing up to his ability. In terms of growth of a young player, each guy develops differently, but if your effort is consistent and you're doing everything you can do to control your growth to move the process forward, then to me that's the acceptable minimum.

It's not acceptable if you're not progressing as quickly as you should and you're not working as hard as you should. I'm not targeting that specific for Gholston, but to me, any acceptable minimum is based on your ability to maximize your gifts.

You look at it as what they are doing to control the process. If someone is working as hard as they possibly can, and they may be taking a little bit longer and the information may come a little bit slower, then that's something that you can understand and you respect the process there. It's more frustrating, difficult, when you think someone isn't doing that, and at that point that's a real problem and we meet on it and get it fixed.

On if he has been satisfied with Gholston's progress…

Yeah, I really think that he's being hit with a ton of information that he can't draw on anything really from OTAs or the early part of training camp. It's all new. The neurons haven't snapped together yet.

On how much involvement Leon Washington will have in the offense with his big-play ability…

It's really game-plan-specific around here, so to set minimums — a guy has to get X amount of snaps — it gets skewed because the game can change so dramatically early. Suddenly you're down by 14 or you're up by 14. However it skews, you go in with your plan — "Hey, this is what we would like to do with him, get him, between offense and special teams, 35 reps, 25 reps," whatever it is — now suddenly the game changes and you may not get what you want.

What you don't want to do is be plugging in somebody because you set a certain criteria and it just doesn't fit the flow of the game.

On what FB Tony Richardson brings to the running game…

He's savvy. He understands how the play is supposed to work and he understands how the play is supposed to work when what was drawn in the book doesn't show up on the field.

He's one of those players that gets concepts. He gets that this is what we are trying to achieve: "Against this look, we should block it in the playbook like this, but the look's changed." He still understands this is what we are trying to achieve: "These are the things they are doing that are a little bit different and now this is how I have to adjust and how we have to adjust."

I really like even on the blitz pickup stuff, when the blitzes come from a lot of different directions, the way he's able to sort through things and the way that you see him, Alan Faneca, Damien Woody, Brandon Moore, the older guys are able to sort things out and pass things off. They get what's supposed to happen.

On the importance he placed on getting a fullback in the off-season…

You always want to have the ability to put a back in the backfield and have a lead blocker. There's so many situations where that's positive. Then you want the versatility to be able to put that guy on the line of scrimmage even if he's a movement-type player and run those types of plays.

We've had a lot of different fullbacks here. I don't know what the number is, but I mean it's significant. The more that you can get a couple of guys that are consistently doing those things, I think that's a plus.

On if Richardson is more flexible than most fullbacks…

He's not just a milktruck, he has a little bit of wiggle. I'm sure through arthritis and everything, maybe a little bit restricted [laughter], but he still has some fluidness.

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