Coach's Monday News Conference

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

It's good to be able to get away for the weekend. We gave the players and coaches some time off. One of the benefits of playing on Thursday night, obviously there were a very quick series of preparations for us to get ready to play the game, but you do get a chance after the game to get away for a little bit. It gives us a chance to recover from some of the bumps and bruises that we have up until this point, then start on the next week of preparation.

Part of our work over the weekend and a little bit through today was to go back and look at some of the things that we've been doing well and some of the things that we've been doing poorly. It's similar to a bye-week-type format and we get more into our preparation for Tennessee. That's what we're doing now and we'll be on a regular schedule for the rest of this week.

On if he watched Tennessee play Sunday…

I saw part of the game, but I had some competing interests at the house. [My sons] were pretty active. I did see a good percentage of it. I would much rather watch it on the coaches' copy. You see a lot more that way. It was interesting to sit back and watch some of it on TV.

On if he prefers a normal schedule after a Thursday game…

I really like the chance to get the guys away from the building for a little bit, to get off their feet, relax and do all the things that they typically do during a bye weekend. Over the last couple of years, our byes have come later rather than earlier. This was a bit different for us this year. It's nice to have this time.

On if the Titans' can't-lose mentality is difficult to prepare for…

You always want your guys to have the mentality that they can't lose. That's a great spirit to have in any locker room. I'm sure they're really happy that they have that right now. We go into every game with the assumption that we're going to win as well. It's what you're looking for in a locker room. It's much better than sitting there and waiting for the other shoe to drop in any given game: "It's going well, but what's going to happen?"

On if the Titans' mentality is motivation for the Jets…

Not really. The fact that they're undefeated, they haven't lost, I wouldn't imagine that it's hard to believe anything else at this point.

On the Titans…

They are good in all three phases. They have the ability to rush the passer with their down linemen. They can bring combinations of blitzes if they want to do that. They play man coverage. They play zone coverage. They play some combination coverages, half man, half zone. It's varied from that perspective. They do a nice job of stopping the run with eight in the box, seven in the box.

Offensively, a nice balance between run and pass. They can hurt you deep. They can throw a screen pass that goes for a long way. It's a balance on teams. It's a lot of the same. They are well-coached, disciplined, in good shape, talented and they perform at a high level.

On if he likes that the Tennessee game comes after an emotional New England game…

This time of the season, you're looking to play at a consistent level because each game becomes that much more important when you get down to the last six games. A lot of things are decided over the last six weeks, so you're looking to play at as consistent a level as you can. You work as hard as you possibly can to avoid a letdown in any situation.

On how the Titans are different with QB Kerry Collins as opposed to Vince Young….

Most of the tape that I have watched has been with Collins. I haven't watched as much of the tape with Vince Young, so it's hard for me to make that comparison.

On what has stood out about Collins' performance this season…

He's been very effective at managing the game and the offense. It's well-run. It's efficient. All those things that you look for from an offensive team, they've shown and do very well.

On if Collins looks different now than he did with the Giants…

I don't think that ability has changed one bit. Yesterday, there were a couple of deeper balls in the second half. He's always had that capability and can hurt you with that at any point. Their receivers are big and can make plays down the field as well. It's not a function of him not being able to do that. Maybe it's called for a different approach based on whoever they are playing. That's a good sign when you win whatever way you need to win that week.

On his view of why the Titans are undefeated…

They play complementary football. They're talented in all three phases. They're well-coached. They score a lot of points in the second quarter and the fourth quarter, which makes you believe that they're very well-conditioned. They don't make a lot of mistakes. They haven't turned the ball over much offensively, and they've been able to generate a lot of turnovers defensively. That always goes a long way to winning and losing.

On if the Jets scouted RB Chris Johnson…

We looked at all the different backs. He's fast. You saw the speed in college and you see the speed now where he can get to the edge and go.

On whether Mike Nugent or Jay Feely will kick this week…

We'll go through the week and take a look at it. It's not anything that we look to decide on Monday. We'll go through the whole course of the week, see how they're kicking and make the decision at the end of the week.

On if the short week inhibited the Jets' preparation time to be able to make defensive adjustments at New England…

There were a lot of things that we could have done better in our core defenses, regardless of what they were doing. We could have been more coordinated with our pass rush. When you don't have that level of coordination, the quarterback is able to scramble, which he did very effectively last game. He accounted for half the rushing yards.

It wasn't just the plays where he was running the football, but the plays where he was able to get out of the pocket, those time clocks where you're covering for six, seven seconds or less than that. Now that gets extended — a receiver is able to read away. He catches it. The people are displaced and a play that should be 4 or 5 yards goes for 10 or 12 yards. Our coordinated pass rush can continue to improve. That's regardless of what the scheme is, what the defense is or what the call is. In terms of coverage, there are definitely some things we could do better there as well.

The level of preparation was the same for both teams. It wasn't like they had some distinct advantage over us. There are core things that we can look at, which is what we've done here, some today, some on Friday, a little bit over the weekend, where we can improve in the things that we do week in and week out.

On how CB Ty Law played against the Patriots…

Considering how long ago it was since he played a game — he had to play more reps than we had anticipated. We had some different things come up on the sideline where guys had to come out for a little bit. He did a nice job stepping in and competing.

Even on the touchdown pass, it was a well-thrown ball and an incredible catch. There really was not much space there that Ty left for Randy [Moss] to work and for Matt Cassel to work, but they got it where they needed to and he made a great catch.

On if he worked with Titans defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz in Cleveland…

We were together in Cleveland and Baltimore. He was defensive assistant in Baltimore when I was the offensive assistant.

On Schwartz as a coach…

He's very smart, very disciplined, well-prepared, thorough — all those things stand out about him. I've seen that over the years with his defenses. He's able to take advantage of things that you do, tendencies that you have. He's open-minded in terms of his approach to how he's going to win the game. I was always very impressed with him when I worked with him, and he's doing a great job now.

On the progress of RB Leon Washington…

It's a function of him improving because of the way he works, and his confidence builds because he prepares that much harder each week. Whatever role you give to him, he embraces. He embraces it on a very deep level.

If he's going to be the kick returner, he's going to be the best kick returner that he can possibly be. He's going to understand the whole scheme. He's going to understand what we're trying to achieve from a game-plan perspective. He's going to understand where the kicker is going to put the ball and how the wind will affect that. He's going to go much deeper into his level of preparation, or as deep into his level of preparation as he can.

Same thing with punt returns. That's an area where he's continued to improve. It wasn't something that he naturally had done. We've asked him to do it. He's gotten better.

As an offensive player, whether it's first and second down, third down, whatever the case may be, he goes in and he enjoys that challenge. The more you give him, the more excited he is. There's never any sense of doubt as to how he's going to perform.

On if Washington learned how to prepare from veteran players…

I'm not sure. You'd have to ask Leon specifically who he counts as his mentors, but he's had some very good older players to learn from. Even though Curtis [Martin] didn't play his rookie year, Curtis was around that whole year and got to be able to spend some time with Leon. A guy like Tony Richardson, who has a wealth of experience, is a great example of a pro.

[RBs coach] Jimmy Raye has worked with a ton of great running backs. Thomas Jones may be a little bit different stylistically, but he's another guy with an excellent work ethic, drive and competitiveness. To be in that room with people like that as well as his natural desire to get better and absorb everything he can to improve has really been positive for him and for us.

On what makes Tennessee DT Albert Haynesworth such a good defender…

He's got great size. He's got great short-area quickness. He's got excellent explosiveness. He's a big man that can move and combines that size with great natural strength and power.

On if Haynesworth was the type of player they envisioned when considering DT Kris Jenkins in the off-season…

It's different because with Haynesworth, he plays in a 4-3. That's one style and it's totally different than the 3-4. There are elements in Kris that they share in terms of size, power, quickness, all those things that make Kris so difficult to deal with week in and week out.

On what pleases him about this team…

What has pleased me and what I'm continuing to look for is complementary football and all three phases being able to contribute to the success that week. Each phase, understanding what they have to get done in the game in order to win the game and how they have to play it in order to help the other phases be successful. Complete football, not having dropoffs late in the game, being able to deal with whatever adversity comes throughout the course of the game.

Sometimes you're going to be up, sometimes you're going to be behind, sometimes it's going to be tied. There's going to be a lot of different challenges that you face. You see those, you deal with them, and you move on. I've been pleased with that, too, with our consistent work ethic in practice, in meetings, day in and day out coming in and being the same individual, the same group of guys and making progress there.

On if the Titans defense will be the toughest the team faces this year…

I haven't looked at the defenses that we haven't faced coming up in the next games after that, but they're very talented. They do a lot of different things. They present challenges in their base stuff, but then they add to those challenges with the changeups in scheme. Jim does a really nice job of attacking weaknesses. There are going to be a lot of things that we have to deal with that they present just by lining up against us and that they present through their game plan.

On if S Kerry Rhodes can call either heads or tails on coin tosses…

I don't know who calls what. There's a group of [team captains] that go out there. I'm not sure how they come to a consensus or what they do. It's worked out pretty well.

On if he thinks it's fair to rely on a coin toss to determine whether you are on offense or defense…

I don't think it's a function of the coin toss. It's a function of what you do when you go out and execute. We had multiple chances against Oakland and didn't win that game. The ball went back and forth. I played against Buffalo [with New England on Dec. 17, 2000] where it came down to the final two minutes of overtime before we ended up winning it.

I've been through all those different mixes. You get a chance to play defense, and sometimes going out and playing big defense is the best thing you can do because you get them backed up or they have to punt from — maybe it's not backed up, but from in their own territory, you get a good return and you're in good shape.

On what he said to Bill Belichick at the conclusion of the game…

There's nothing scripted. It's a postgame handshake, so nothing special.

On why an offensive player did not call the coin toss…

I have nothing to do with it. I don't ask. They go out there. Whoever calls it, I tell them what we're going to do if we win, if we lose, and if they defer. After that, they're on their own.

On if LB David Harris will practice this week…

We'll have to see how that goes. He, Eric Smith and Bubba [Franks] are all making progress, so we'll just take it as we go. We're not going to go until Wednesday. They'll be working out here between today and tomorrow, but we'll see where they're all at Wednesday.

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