Coach's Monday News Conference

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

After watching the tape, I really don't feel much differently than I felt after the game. I think that none of the three phases really played the way that we're capable of playing. I don't think that we, by any stretch, played complementary football or complete football. Obviously, I need to do a better job of coaching, and each individual needs to do a better job getting ready for the games and being able to go out and execute.

With that being said, I watched the tape and the players got a chance to watch the tape. What I ask of them is the same thing that I ask each week, win or lose, is that you go through and view it with honesty and see what you can do to improve, make sure that you take the corrections, internalize the corrections, get those fixed, and then move on to San Francisco. That's what we'll be doing here later today.

On how he would do a better job coaching…

I think anytime that you go out and don't perform as well as you can in any of the three phases, then, obviously, there are things that we need to get corrected. I think that throughout the course of the week, it could have been more consistent. That's really a function of what I have to do to make sure that it is as consistent as possible.

On if he would have done anything differently during the game…

I think on the reverse play with Brad [Smith], I probably would have changed the ballhandling and made it more of an underhanded pitch instead of an overhanded pitch. I think that would have softened it a little bit. I didn't feel like the conditions made that exchange impossible. I thought that it was very reasonable, but I think that could have helped that.

On the fourth-and-1 play, I liked the concept, going with big people, to hard-sell play action. We really felt like the safety would suck up and we'd have a chance for a big play to Chris [Baker]. When the safety didn't come up, I would've had a better outlet answer when that happened. We had an outlet. I just don't think it was as good as it could have possibly been so that Brett [Favre] had a better opportunity to get the first down. That part of the play didn't work. Those were two things.

On if Jerricho Cotchery had possession of the ball when it was ruled a fumble…

He was laying on the ground. It looked like he had possession of the ball. The defender came in, rammed into him, and he lost possession of the ball. That's what it looks like to the untrained eye, and that's what it was ruled.

On if he would send that play to the NFL…

Yes, that's definitely one that you would want. We'll want some more clarity on it, in terms of what the coaching point is going forward with a player laying on the ground, and how we should approach it defensively in terms of attacking a player on the ground.

On if the Broncos were faking injuries…

Player safety is a priority and I respect that. It's a physical game. In terms of if there's anything else to it, I couldn't tell you.

On if he'd ask the league about Denver's injuries…

Again, it's individuals. It's hard. I don't know how you would be able to get clarity on that.

On if it's easy to overlook practice errors during a five-game winning streak…

No, not at all. Something that has been stressed over and over again is how important, win or lose, the approach is. The other thing I keep explaining and keep stressing is, as we move on through the course of the season, you can continue to get an edge in a lot of areas based on how you work, how you condition and how you prepare.

Each week that should get better. As we spend more time together and as the younger guys get further along in their process, you set a bar for practice, and you should meet or exceed that bar. Each week, you set a bar for preparation and you should meet or exceed that bar. With experience and with working together, all of those things need to continue to improve.

Each game makes the next game that much more important. Anything beyond that week really has no significance. That approach hasn't changed. It won't change because it's the truth.

On if the missed tackles were due to the weather…

It's football. We play outside. It's cold, it's hot, it's windy, it's noisy. It's New York. We're not in Tampa. We're not in a warm-weather climate. It's going to get cold.

One of the reasons that we consistently practice in the elements is to get used to the changes, the way that changes the game — a slippery ball, a heavier ball, how much contact, the change in the feeling when you have contact, whether it's tackling or catching the ball, and that type of thing — so that it's experienced, understood, and you can draw on those things when you actually do get in that situation in a game.

On the effectiveness of the opponents' use of tight ends…

We face some good tight ends. As you've seen, our tight ends have been very effective as well. It's always a good option. If the coverage outside is handled, it puts a lot of pressure on the defense when you're able to spread the ball out and get it to a lot of different people. That's why it was important for us to continually involve our tight ends in the passing game. You can see how many balls [Dustin] Keller has caught here in the recent past.

On if defending against tight ends is an area that needs to be addressed…

Most of the teams we've played, their tight ends have been heavily involved in the offense. Kansas City, [Tony Gonzalez]'s heavily involved. New England, [Benjamin Watson]'s heavily involved. Tennessee, [Bo Scaife]'s heavily involved.

A good tight end, a good receiving tight end, or multiple good receiving tight ends, they can create problems. Usually the matchup there is going to be on safeties or linebackers. Play action becomes a big part of that because they're involved in the runs and you can sell the runs more. I don't think it's necessarily unique to one team. I think we're trying to continue to involve our tight ends as well.

On if this loss is more upsetting than others…

Usually losses don't make me happy. To me, I think that when you've set the bar high in terms of your preparation, your consistency and your execution, you want to see that same consistent level. That's where your expectation is. When that's not met, that to me is a different type of loss.

On the pass defense…

We really want to be as effective as we can against everything. What made it difficult yesterday was that we weren't very effective against the run. When they can run the ball effectively, that then changes things in terms of what you have to do defensively, which now opens up even more things in the passing game.

What we've been doing very well is at least being able to eliminate that phase and that part of it. It's allowed us to do some other things in terms of the passing game.

On the Jets' pass rush…

The last two teams have been two of the best teams in the NFL at protecting the passer. With their style of play with the bootlegs, especially with [Jay] Cutler, there were opportunities where we had guys clean and he was able to make them miss. He has made guys miss throughout the course of this year. He's been very effective at that. What you need to be able to do when you have those opportunities is execute on those opportunities. We have faced two excellent protection teams the last two weeks.

On Vernon Gholston…

He had a significant shot yesterday. There were plays to be made. His opportunities were based on his ability to make those plays.

On the number of plays Gholston was in on defense…

I don't remember the exact number, but probably twice as much, or three times as much as the week before.

On Gholston's performance…

I think that he needs to continue to improve.

On the risk of being aggressive at the safety position…

The aggressiveness needs to be tempered based on what the risk/reward is. When you're the last player back there, and if you don't make the play, it is going to go for a touchdown. You can't take the same chances that you would if you were, say, a low defender, or a three-deep safety who is down as a curl-to-flat player. There are players behind you and you're backed up. You may be able to take a bigger chance there. As the deep safety, you have to, worst-case scenario, secure the tackle.

On the Broncos' coverage of Laveranues Coles…

They did a lot to take Laveranues out of the game. Usually there were two guys on him, one low and one high, or if there was a high player, there was someone coming underneath him. Obviously, one of their game-plan-specific things was to push a ton of coverage his way.

I really think that's part of the reason Thomas [Jones] was able to score on the long run. The free safety had widened so much to get over the top of LC that when Thomas broke through, there was too much width between him and the free safety for the free safety to be able to effectively chase him down.

On if Denver's effectiveness running the ball was due to its zone-blocking scheme…

I think it was a combination of things. I think the zone-scheme is very good. I talked about this earlier in the week. A lot of teams run it but really Denver is the team that made it a staple. Year in and year out, they find backs that run it very effectively.

I think [Peyton] Hillis is a good example. He's one of a number of backs they've had this season. He did a nice job. He ran tough, he ran low to the ground. There were a couple of times where he was stopped and was able to bounce back outside. Some of it was a function of us needing to tackle better and needing to have the gap integrity and the fits sounder. It is a difficult scheme to defend, especially if you don't see it very often. I thought we did a much better job with it the week before. [Tennessee was] a very similar scheme.

On zone-blocking…

It's just a fundamentally different way of blocking. It's not a lot of just scheme-blocking, where it's down, two-on-one, trying to get movement. It's more flow, get everybody moving, stretch it, and then the back finds whatever holes are there. If it's front-side, outside, he takes that. It could be in the C-gap if the outside linebackers widen, or it could be a quick cutback if the backside linebacker end has gone too far to the front side. It's very fast flow by everybody.

On the number of Jets missed tackles vs. Denver…

I don't have the final numbers. Some of that depends on how hard you're grading the tape. It was, to me, much more than we should have. I honestly don't have the final numbers.

On if the loss is upsetting because of the lost opportunity to gain a two-game lead in the division…

No, I don't talk in those terms. To me, it's about consistency. It's about the way that we do things, the way that we approach practice, the way that we approach our preparation and the way that we approach each opponent, each game. I thought that we've done a really, really good job with that.

To me, you set the bar, you meet the bar and you exceed the bar. Each game in the season you should be getting better at that. You're either gaining an edge, a significant edge, or you're letting that gap decline, or someone is getting an edge on you. My feeling is that each week of the season, we should be able to get an edge.

On if he has talked to his players about the situation with Plaxico Burress…

No, nothing specific to that. Dave Szott [director, player development] and Steve Yarnell [vice president, security] do a very good job with education. We do everything we can to help our players make good decisions. That's something we'll continue to do. Whenever possible, we're going to provide as much education and help as much as we can so the players can do the right thing.

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