Coach's Monday News Conference

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8/11/08 Training Camp Practice Photos

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

We have the next phase of the installation. For Brett [Favre] there's an element of installation still going in. For the rest of the group, this is really review and it continues to be a review. There may be a few things here and there that we add, but overall today is like a Friday with a little bit more time. You can pick and chose what you want to focus on. That's what we always use the fourth practice of any cycle of installation. That's what we are going to be doing this afternoon.

What I continually talk to the team about is the role of special teams and how you make the team. I'm trying to make that point that you're not competing against the guy in your room, you're competing across the board. That's a big, important thing to understand. Sometimes that gets lost. Like the young, general assignment reporters. They're competing against the high school guys, the dudes that do lawn bowling and the people at other papers.

That's the situation. When they jump, they jump. That's really a point of emphasis. I want to see a jump on teams and make sure that we're progressing not just in terms of technique but also guys are making the best case they can make for themselves as we start making more and more decisions.

On what QB Brett Favre had for breakfast this morning...

I didn't get my report this morning. I'll have to get that later. There are enough reports coming through, it's hard to keep up with the second-to-second updates.

On if he has spoken to WR Laveranues Coles…

I have spoken to Laveranues recently. I spoke to Laveranues right after we made the decision that we made. We had good, honest conversations. Laveranues and Chad [Pennington] were good friends. Each situation takes different people different amounts of time to work through. It's not a function of any sort of feeling towards Brett. It's a function of relationships developing at different times. People adjust to things differently and different timetables. He's been great in meetings and practices. There has been no real change with any of that stuff. He's a good, good guy.

On if Coles is not speaking because of his relationship with Pennington…

It's really a function of everybody adjusts to situations differently, but I can tell you that as far as a teammate, as far as the things that he's been doing from a football perspective, as far as my and his relationship, organizationally, all that stuff has remained unchanged. He's been outstanding in every area.

On managing the transition of letting a player go that has been with the team for a long period of time…

It's one of the unfortunate things about this business, and it's one of the hardest things as a head coach that you have to deal with. There is the business side of it, and that comes into play with contracts, comes into play with things like this, and that's the reality of what we do.

There's a personal side of it where you get close to a person and you spend time with a person, and it's never easy, it's never fun. It's nothing that I relish doing. It's difficult. You're telling someone that you have to move, you have to change your life, your family has to move and all the things that they've been very comfortable with, that's changing. It's hard. It's a hard part of the process. It's an unfortunate part of the process, but it's part of the process and everybody goes through it in different ways at different times. It's just a reality that you deal with.

On his impression of Favre's retirement news conference in March…

I didn't really follow it that closely. That's not any lack of respect. It was more working on things here, and it wasn't something that I closely monitored.

On the Bill Parcells quote, "Whenever a player thinks about retirement, he's already retired"…

I have heard that before, but in this situation, does the inverse apply? As soon as a person thinks about unretiring, are they unretired? So I look at it that way.

On if that is confusing…

My glass is half full. It's the same thing. That may be true in that situation, and I think the flipside could be true, too, where you want to make the transition back into something and you can move in the other direction just as quickly.

On if he thinks Favre still has a hunger to play the game of football…

I like your choice of words. I'm definitely a man that can appreciate hunger [laughs]. I think that anything like this, it's fun, it's exciting, it's a challenge. It's like taking over the job of head coach — it's a new challenge, it's exciting. You know it's going to be a lot of work. There's going to be a lot of things that are foreign to you that you've got to figure out, but at the same time it fires you up and you enjoy going through that experience. It's a fun opportunity.

On if he has seen something in Favre that lets him know he is ready to play football…

I remember the first time that we met in person, it wasn't until right before the Cleveland game, and I was in my area and he came in. We started talking, and we were talking about the playbook and learning the playbook and all the things that go into making the transition. Now we're heading out to play Cleveland shortly, usually pregame that's not really what I am talking about, and I think he had to go do his press conference, so there were other things happening.

But it was contagious, and it was very easy to get into a long conversation about the things that were going to happen in the near future because it was that type of environment, and you felt the passion.

On if he has eased up on FB Tony Richardson with the "old" jokes now that Favre has joined the team…

He's just another target. We're becoming target-rich with old guys. I like old guys. They're good to have around. The rookies did a skit last night. They took a couple of shots at Brett, and I'm sure there's going to be some more, whatever the picture is, whatever the reference is. There will be something before any of them were alive or cognizant. It's not just me. I'm sure we'll get a couple jokes from a couple other guys, too.

On what the rookies did during their skit…

I was focusing on the guy that was playing me, so I didn't get the whole joke. Kyle [DeVan] was me. I guess we have similar body types. I didn't think it was that impressive an impersonation. The whole skit, it was just different guys on the team, somebody was Jimmy Raye, somebody was Bryan Cox -- right on down the line. I forget what it was, some reference to age. There will be more. I'm sure there will be more.

On if he gave the players any acting tips…

Yeah, I did some youth theater in Connecticut — seventh and eighth grade, Hartford Stage Company, very impressive performance. I thought about that path, Hollywood, all those problems. Just thought I'd stay here and entertain you guys.

On what happened during the skit…

They haven't really been that funny with the exception of [Erik] Ainge. He's funny. Some of his throws have been funny [smiles]. With the exception of Ainge, the group has been like milquetoast, and that's not the way it works. We want to get to know them. We want to see their personalities, so we give them a few minutes to entertain us, and if it works, great, if it doesn't, we meet on it. I don't meet on it, but the QCs [quality control coaches] and the rookies meet on it to upgrade the entertainment.

On which player made the reference to Favre's age during the skit…

It was Kyle [DeVan] as me.

On who played Favre…

Brett [Favre]. He was himself. It was like an interaction, squad-meeting-type thing.

On if the rookies incorporated Favre into their skit...

Yeah, for about 20 seconds before they realized that he wasn't going to be an active participant. It wasn't like improv where he was going to get brought up and start juggling or throw out names or verbs.

On if there was a Cameron Diaz appearance…

No, but if she wanted to appear, we'd be open to that [smiles].

On if Favre will have a chance to watch the Packers preseason game tonight…

They're not free tonight. He won't be free for a while.

On what the receivers need to do to adjust to Favre's passes…

He's definitely a full-field quarterback. What I mean by that is, some guys will drop back and they look one direction, and the other half of the field you can pretty much write off. They're not going to come back to that side. A lot of the routes in that situation are designed, even if they start on the backside, to come into his vision on the front side.

With Brett, everybody has to play at all times. You just don't know when suddenly your number is going to be called. If you weren't anticipating it, you can end up with a Wilson between the facemask, or if it's a defensive back it can be a 70-yard completion. So that takes a little bit of an adjustment. Then the velocity he comes out with. Sometimes you think, well, there's really no way this ball is going to get there, and it's there.

On if Favre poses a challenge for the offensive line because of his improvisation…

No, that's really consistent with a lot of quarterbacks. As an offensive lineman you can't assume the play is ever over. If the play does break down, someone pressures or whatever, there are scramble patterns of quarterbacks where they may have flushed to the right or the left or up the middle, scramble to throw, scramble to run, and you may have to get used to each quarterback's scramble pattern. There are rules built into that, too, for the receivers and the offensive line. You try to play to strengths when things break down.

On how amazing it is for a quarterback to play in so many consecutive games in the NFL…

In any professional sport, to play consecutive games and to play at a high level for as long as he had, that's tough. Either you get dinged up in the game or you could get dinged up at practice. It's not an easy feat.

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