Coach's Monday News Conference

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Transcript of Jets head coach Eric Mangini's news conference Monday afternoon:    

A little bit of housekeeping to start. Jesse Chatman is back. He'll be able to work through the week with an exemption. Then starting next week, we'll have to make some kind of decision in terms of the roster. But that, again, won't be until next week. We released Ben Graham and resigned Will Montgomery to the active roster, and released Paul Raymond from the practice squad.

The players of the week this week. Offensively it was Brett Favre, defensively it was Calvin Pace, and on special teams it was Vernon Gholston — having four tackles, it was a really positive day for him. Our practice player of the week, which we always emphasize, was C.J. Mosley. He did a great job simulating [Arizona DT] Darnell Dockett for us and was really important in terms of our preparation.

I thought, after looking at the game on tape, there were positives in all three areas. I thought offensively any time you are able to put up the amount of points we were able to put up, it's always a good sign. Our ability to put up points in the areas that we did, we had some in the two-minute situation, we had some in the four-minute situation, we had some at the end of the game and our last three drives we were able to score on all three of those drives.

I thought overall the protection was very good, again, for the second week in a row. What I said to that group, just as we talked about last week, the week before and the first week, is there are things we need to improve. We need to continue to improve on third-down. There were positive things in the running game, but that needs to be more consistent. We had a penalty on the goal line, which negated a touchdown. We were able to overcome that, but that won't be the case every week. We also had a penalty in the four-minute situation, which they declined, but it still stopped the clock. Those types of things are things that we have to eliminate.

Defensively, you look at the second half, you don't have the balance of the whole game, but in terms of the whole game, forcing seven turnovers, five sacks, multiple quarterback pressures, being able to set up scores and being able to score defensively, all those things were extremely positive. We'll be able to take some time now and look at the things that we did in the second half and make sure that we're able to correct those problems moving forward. The important thing is if momentum does shift, like it did in the third quarter, being able to regroup, come back out and regain momentum on a positive side. There were dramatic momentum shifts on both sides.

On special teams, I really liked the coverage units. I thought they did a nice job. I thought there was a little bit of a drop in the kickoff coverage late in the game. I really liked our field goal rush, the one that we got there. Kris Jenkins ends up getting it, but there are multiple guys that had a chance. That can continue to be a positive thing for us. With the hands team and the onside kick team, we've probably seen a season's worth of those in the last two games. Those will be areas that we'll work on as well.

This week will be like last year's bye week and the year before. We'll spend the bulk of our time working on us in all three phases — first and second down, third down, red area and goal line and two-minute. We'll look at what we've done through the first quarter of the season, evaluate those things, make sure that we can improve on the things we haven't done well and make sure we can reinforce the things that we do like, and possibly expand those packages.

On the two-point conversion at the end of the game…

They had pretty much walked up and down the field and scored at will. I've been part of those games. I remember in Cleveland, specifically, we were playing the Bengals at Cincinnati. I think it was in 1995. There was 1:04 left. They were able to score quickly, get the onside kick, score again and force overtime.

Between fast strikes and the onside kicks, the way those things were going, I just made the decision to make it a three-touchdown game in order to tie, as opposed to win. It really felt like they were doing a good job moving the ball. I made that decision to make it that score.

On the defense in the second half…

We knew that they had used that personnel grouping quite a bit. Especially coming out, knowing it was going to be no-huddle situation, I felt really good about the package we had because we spent a lot of time working on 10 personnel and had a lot of different ways to attack it, whether it was zone blitzes with the safety, zone blitzes with the two edge guys, zone blitzes with the linebackers, playing two-deep, five-under man, dropping eight and playing three deep, dropping eight and playing two deep, or blitzing. We did all those things. We did all those things throughout the course of those drives.

I don't want to take anything away from Kurt Warner or the excellent receivers they have, but you have to be able to execute a lot more effectively than we did. It's little things, and little things can become big things. We had them stopped there on fourth down. The guy was able to push it for a few more yards and get the first down. Late in the game, there was another fourth down, I think it was fourth-and-10. Not only do we not stop him, but he was able to get out of bounds. All of those different factors, I think it was a combination of us not executing well and them executing very well. It has to be a lot better.

On anticipating the Cardinals' offense after a 34-0 halftime lead…

I don't think there were any surprise as to what they were going to do. That's the grouping they had used in those situations. Like I said, we had spent quite a bit of time working on it. Obviously, we didn't do well enough.

On Graham's release and if Reggie Hodges will be healthy…

Like I said, when we signed Hodges, we liked him coming out, we liked the things he did here. It's unfortunate, his early stages here, not being able to have an opportunity. I want to give him that opportunity and see how that is.

On if he was disappointed with Graham's lack of hang time…

You know, our net was very good. The gross wasn't bad. It is more difficult to cover those punts without the hang time. You want to have the combination of the two. It's always something we're looking for, that balance between hang time and distance.

On if Jesse Chatman will be re-signed…

He's back this week, so he's definitely practicing.

On if Chatman will be on the active roster…

That's what I'm anticipating. Unless something changes over the course of the week, that's what I'm anticipating.

On if Chatman was able to work out on his own and stay up to date with the team…

We were not able to have any contact with him while he was away. That's the way it's set up. We respect that. Now, it's a function of him coming back, seeing where we are, how quickly he can get up to date on those things and how quickly he can contribute either offensively or on special teams. Even if he's on the 53, it doesn't necessarily mean he'll be on the 45 right away.

On if it is less stressful going into the bye week after a win…

To me, it should be viewed exactly the same way because those have been productive weeks for us. You only get one shot at this. You only get one chance to improve the team with this time. It has to be taken the same way. If you look at it any differently based on a win or loss, you could end up losing that time and regretting it in the future.

On if he is taking a more aggressive approach on third and fourth downs because he is more acclimated with Brett Favre and the offense…

The first fourth-and-1 we ran the ball, we were able to get the first down. The fourth down, I thought that was a good opportunity with the play action, setting up the run early. To be able to take that opportunity there and have the balance between the two I think is really important. I'm not opposed to going for it on fourth down. Really, it's a function of what's going to work at that point. I thought the run was a good call when we called it. I liked the shot when we called it.

On the offensive growth…

I think it has been steady. I think the offensive line has been very consistent. I think different guys are contributing different weeks. Dustin [Keller] is getting more involved in the offense. You really saw all different players contribute — Brad [Smith], whether he was running the reverse or running routes, Chansi [Stuckey], Laveranues [Coles], Jerricho [Cotchery] and [Chris] Baker.

The important thing, to me, is not just the plays but all the different players being involved as well because I think they all have something really positive to contribute, and the ability to take advantage of all those positive things. Ideally, put the maximum amount of pressure on the defense as possible.

On the empty package on offense…

That was one element of it, and it was good to have that. But I don't think we scored any of the touchdowns out of the empty package. I think all the touchdowns, I'm not sure, but I'm pretty sure they all either had one back in the backfield or two.

On if they decided to move the ball around more to the receivers after the San Diego game…

It's not that I didn't like the things we did out of that package. What you're always looking to see is can you score out of big people? Can you score out of multiple wide receivers with a back in the backfield or regular personnel? I think there was pretty good balance throughout the course of this game, in terms of how we were able to get the points we got and how we were able to move the ball down the field.

It wasn't just this was the only set that was working, or this was the only personnel group that was working. That's what you're trying to strive for offensively. Regardless of what group you put out there, there's rhythm, there's flow and there's continuity. That's one of the things I was pleased with.

On Leon Washington starting instead of Thomas Jones…

The starters, offensively and defensively, that's never really going to be of any major significance because everybody plays. You could start in a two-tight-end set, and it could be two tight ends with Leon, it could be two tight ends with Thomas, it could be two tight ends with Baker and Keller, or Keller and Bubba [Franks]. The personnel groups change each week. They're not necessarily a function of who you want to announce coming out of the tunnel.

On if Laveranues Coles speaking with the coaches this week about being more involved in the offense was a factor in trying to get him the ball early…

No. Whenever we can get Laveranues the ball, I'd vote for it. Sign me up. He has gotten better and better each week in terms of his injury and his rehab. He's been able to work more and more with Brett. You want guys that want the ball. You want those guys. You hate to have a guy say "Give it to Jerricho [Cotchery] a little bit more this week." You're always looking for guys that want it.

He's competitive. He wants to contribute. It's for the right reasons. It's not selfish. He just thinks that he can help and he works that way. He works the same way whether he's getting the ball or not getting the ball, if he's on the backside of the route or if he's drawing attention to open somebody else up. There's no inconsistency with how he runs patterns or how he approaches week-in-and-week-out game planning. However he can get it, I'm always happy.

On if he thought the hit S Eric Smith made on WR Anquan Boldin was dirty…

Knowing Eric as well as I do, he's a good guy. He's a good kid. He's never looking to do something that's out of the rules. Ideally nobody is. That's just not his personality or anything like that. You don't ever want to see someone lying on the turf, not being sure what his status is. I'm sure that the last thing he'd ever want to do is that. What he wanted to do was break up the play or prevent him from scoring. Nobody wants to see that situation.

On if there was something that could have been done differently on the play that injured Boldin…

It's tough. You never coach to go head-to-head. That's something you never coach. Sometimes that stuff happens. You don't want to see it. You don't want to see it versus your guys, your guys doing it to somebody else's guys. Nobody wants that. I know it's the last thing that Eric would want, as well.

On how Smith is doing…

He was a little groggy after the game. He seemed a lot more alert today.

On if Smith has a concussion…

As far as I know, "groggy" would be the classification I would give it.

On if Smith was shaken up emotionally by what happened…

He definitely felt the hit as well. I know it was widely talked about. Knowing him as a person, that's the last thing he'd ever want to do is harm somebody like that. That was not his intention whatsoever.

On how he feels about the timing of the bye week…

It was good timing in terms of making the transition in the organization. We weren't sure where the building was. When it initially came out, it gave us some leeway if we had to do some work in the building. Julie [Mangini] is due next week. It could be this week. All the kids have come early. I wonder if this will be a bye baby this week, come out this week. Dad's a football coach. Maybe he will. From that perspective, it could be really outstanding timing.

On Coles playing at a high level with a thigh injury…

Different guys are questionable different weeks — probable, questionable. They play at different levels. Good to see.

On Coles injury improving…

Yeah, we'll see what he's listed at next week.

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