Coach's Monday News Conference

Transcript of Jets head coach Eric Mangini's news conference on Monday afternoon the day after the 28-24 win over Kansas City:    

Looking at the tape, I thought one of the positives was that we scored offensively on the first drive, the first touchdown that we've scored. So this is two weeks in a row where we have been able to do that, and that's been a point of emphasis of ours. I thought we did a better job on third down offensively, another point of emphasis of ours.

I liked the resilience that we showed at the end of the game. There were a lot of things that could have put us a little further back than we would have liked to. That resilience we showed on the last drive, similar to the week before, the resilience there at the end of regulation, it's good to be able to do that and trust those guys to be to able do that in those times. We work extensively on two-minute drives and it's good to see that pay off as well.

The other thing is that there are a lot of moving parts through the course of the game, both offensively and defensively, and whenever you have that, you are going to have a lot of changes on special teams with the guys that were injured prior to the game and the guys that got injured during the course of the game.

Defensively, I thought we did a much better job in the second half. I liked what we were able do toward the end of the game, especially in that four-minute situation, holding them and getting them to three-and-out with four sacks and four tackles for loss. Those were all positives.

Obviously, we need to clean some things up. I thought we had some technique errors where we had guys doubled and they were still able to catch the ball, and you really can't have that. If you are going to try to take somebody away on a certain play, you have to be able to take that away and you have know that that part of the coverage is secured.

On special teams, I really give Leon [Washington] a lot of credit. He made some outstanding runs and outstanding effort there. I thought Reggie [Hodges] did a nice job punting the ball. I really felt like we had some great opportunities, one, to block a punt and another one to block a field goal. We executed the rush well, we just couldn't quite get our hands on the ball.

There are a lot of things that we have to improve on, a lot of areas that we have shown progress in, and that's what we'll be focusing on this week.

On improving before Sunday…

I'm very confident that we can get it corrected, and I'm very confident that we're working towards that. It's a function of us continuing to focus on that and carrying that focus into the game, and consistently do that throughout the course of the game.

On if the players came out flat vs. the Chiefs…

We did score on the first drive. We did stop them on their first drive. We came back down and were in a position to score again, [but] missed the field goal. I don't think it was a function of coming out flat. There are definitely things that we didn't do as well as we should have done, but I thought worst-case scenario it should have been 10-to-nothing to start the game.

On injury updates for Jesse Chatman, David Harris and Eric Smith…

I would say with Jesse, it doesn't look real good. This could be season-ending. We'll confirm that, probably today. I'd say he's the one that looks the worst in this situation. Like I said, odds are it's going to be season-ending. Everybody else is in various stages and they are all getting different tests, whether it's X-rays, MRIs or just seeing the doctor. So we'll have a better handle on that going forward, we'll have a better idea on Wednesday.

On if Chatman's injury is his knee…

Yeah.

On if Harris' injury is his hamstring…

No, it's not the hamstring. Really, they are going through the process now of evaluating exactly what it is. It isn't the hamstring.

On if Harris' injury is short-term…

I don't know that yet. It could be. It could be something that's just soreness. It could be something that's a little bit longer. I don't really know yet.

On Brett Favre's physical health and if anything will keep him out of practice this week…

It doesn't look that way. I don't anticipate it being that way. I think that he has the general soreness that he usually has. It's the increasing age [laughing], you're a little stiffer, longer. It wasn't really anything specific, nothing that I talked about with the medical staff where we were really pinpointing anything. It was more overall soreness.

On if Favre hurt his forearm…

Like I said, it was nothing specific like that. More of a general [soreness]. He probably just needs to be iced up for a little while.

On if it was a specific body part…

No specific body part. General soreness. I don't know if that's a classification [smiles].

On if Kellen Clemens was closing to playing…

He was just sitting there going through the warm-ups just in case. I don't know how many in a row Brett has started, but I'd say the odds weren't great for him [Clemens] based on Brett's track record.

On if Favre will learn when it is smart to gamble in this system…

I think there are a lot of years of gambling going on, in terms of making some unbelievable plays, and making plays that, again, you would like to have a chance to do it over again. That's what he's done. He's been very successful. He's thrown the most touchdowns and the most picks.

I'm not, in any way, saying that that's something we are striving for, to keep that trend intact. We are going to look at it in all of the different levels — things that he can do better, things the receivers could do better, the [offensive] line, plays and selection. It's never one guy's fault. We'll look at it from the top-down and see where we can improve, collectively.

On if Favre would have fewer interceptions with more time in the system…

He had a lot of time in that Green Bay system and those numbers were what the numbers were.

On if the swings from good to bad plays make him nervous…

You would definitely like it to just be all good stuff. You're very confident when he's got the ball and there's time on the clock and there's a chance to go down and either win or tie the game. The week before, it's, what, 1:21 [on the clock], no timeouts and we are in our own end zone. It wasn't like you look at that situation and think there's no shot here. It's looking at it and saying, "OK, I'm not sure how we are going to do it, but we are probably going to do it."

On using the two-minute plays more throughout the game…

We opened up with that against Oakland and ran the no-huddle, that philosophy. It's nothing that we are opposed to. We had it up again this week. It's part of our natural package and each week it will be different whether or not we want to insert it, but we've always got that as an option at any point to start a drive that way or run a whole drive that way. That's something that we continue to work on, he's getting a lot of reps at and he's very comfortable in. We are not afraid to use it at any point.

On the phrase "offensive identity"…

I think you're always looking to try to classify things, but our identity is the fact that it's game-plan-specific. I think that's really what our identity is. Like I said, it can be heavy emphasis on the run, it could be heavy emphasis on the pass, it could be could be the no-huddle, it could be empty. It's not just one package. It's the package that we think is going to help us move the ball and score the most points.

On why they didn't rush more against Kansas City…

We did run the ball pretty effectively. We ran the ball, and Leon had the long run. There were some other good runs throughout the course of the game. They also had a very young secondary, starting two rookie corners, two second-year safeties and had not gotten a lot of pressure on the quarterback. All of those things are pretty positive. I feel really good about Jerricho [Cotchery]. I feel really good about Laveranues [Coles]. Like I said, they do have a very young secondary and had not been putting a lot of pressure on the quarterback up to that point.

On if he should have gone after Kansas City's obvious weakness…

I would say that Oakland wasn't particularly strong against the run, and we ran it for 250 yards and scored 13 points. You can look at it either way. Both teams had issues in that area, and one game we scored 28, and really it could have been more than that. I don't know if significantly more, but it easily could have been more than that. Another game, also a weakness, we were very effective running the ball but could only create 13 points.

On if Favre's transition into the offense has been easier or harder then expected…

You don't necessarily know what level you are going to be able to put that at without getting to know the player better, the player getting to know the receivers better and the personnel getting to know him better. It's a process and it's an ongoing process. It is however many weeks you said and it's very different than the amount of time that he had spent with the Packers. It's an ongoing process. We keep trying to refine it each week and make it as effective as possible.

On if Favre's brevity with the team has made game-play-specific planning more difficult…

No, philosophically that's what we believe in and that's who we are. That's our identity.

On if anyone has to reassure Favre on the sidelines after throwing an interception…

There doesn't have to be a lot of that with Brett. Brett has mastered the five-second rule. I appreciate that. I respect that. I think that everybody can learn from that because you're going to make mistakes and you're going to have really good things happen. They're both going to happen during the course of the game. If you get too caught up with either one, and you move on to the next play then you're not taking advantage of those opportunities because you're caught up in the past. Then you're just lost.

On the toll that the Lions/Packers rumors took on Favre…

Brett and I addressed this situation when it first came up. In terms of his preparation or his focus, or any of those things, it was very consistent throughout the course of the week. From my perspective and the preparation perspective, it was the same as it has been.

On if Favre was distracted by the rumors…

No, one of the things that's so impressive about Brett is regardless of what's happening, he's working on that task at that moment. He's got a great ability to focus.

On a difficult part of the schedule coming up against Buffalo, New England and Tennessee…

I think the next game is the only game that we're worried about. I think our identity is being game-plan-specific. The terms that are often associated with games or stretches or whatever the case may be, those are just terms that are associated with those thing. I don't think that it's anything that we view internally any differently.

KC was our focus last week, Buffalo is our focus this week, and it will be the same thing, because so many things are going to happen through the course of the season. Really, none of them affect the things you should be focused on, which is the next opponent.

On the players being excited about the win but upset with their level of play…

I give Kansas City a lot of credit. I think they played hard, I think they did a good job. I think Herm [Edwards] did a good job. The only thing that you can look at is what you have to do against that opponent. If you start taking into account expectations of how you perform or what you should do, and not work on the things that you have to get done to win that game, like I said, it doesn't help. It ends up affecting things in a negative way. The only focus should be on who we're playing and strengths and weaknesses, and the game-plan-specific things.

On the players being disappointed in their performance…

I can tell you this, it's a lot better feeling this week than it was last week. I would much rather have this feeling than the previous feeling. Now, we got another week to work, to improve and to get better. Any disappointment should be channeled into work to improve.

On OL Robert Turner playing tight end…

It was a little unfair, him versus [Tony] Gonzalez in his opening debut, but I thought he held his own.

On how much Turner has practiced at tight end…

We do practice him and we practice Wayne Hunter there. We actually practiced three or four different guys there. We do that on both sides of the ball. There are some guys that work on defense and some guys that work on offense, and it's just because you don't know how it's going to go at any given point.

We felt comfortable with where we were in terms of Chris [Baker], but it just happened right before warmups and no one expected that. I'm glad we had done the reps prior to that so that we had something to draw on, more of in case of an emergency-break-glass situation. The glass got broken there before we broke a sweat.

On if it is a giveaway that the Jets would run the ball when Turner was the only TE…

The type of front that they play, it was a much better matchup for us. Understanding that matchup, even if we were going to run, we felt comfortable with it. He did work some of the two-tight-end sets, and there were some passes mixed in there. If we thought it was going to be more of an extensive package, there would have been more balance in the attack, but there really wasn't. We didn't go in anticipating playing that many snaps of it.

On if being game-plan-specific is hurting Favre's growth since it changes every week…

No, it's not a total overhaul of the offensive system. It may be just run out of a different formation. It could be the same play, just a different formation. Most of the terminology and the reads are consistent, you just want to get a specific coverage, or you may want to get a specific matchup — Laveranues in a certain spot or [Dustin] Keller in a certain spot.

It's not a dramatic overhaul of what we do, there's a lot of carry over week to week. It's just maybe how it's dressed up and then some other things that are new, but not in such a volume that it would be different than anything else he's experienced.

On if Favre is still enthusiastic to play…

I haven't specifically addressed his enthusiasm. I don't see any change in his approach or his personality. He's a consistent guy, and he's great during the week of practice. He makes sure that everybody is working, but he also adds some levity to the practice, which is always good. He has that enthusiasm that you want. He's got that love of the game that's inherent in him, and you feel it. You feel it and people feed off it.

On if Chansi Stuckey was supposed to finish his route on the last interception…

Yeah, he should have kept going on that. Worst-case scenario, if the guy does catch it, you have to be able to make the tackle. It's a turnover, but it's not a turnover which results in a touchdown. He could do a lot better job on that play of finishing that route. I don't know if he thought that it had been taken away at that point, and he was going to try to read out and get open. That's something you should definitely finish and, worst-case scenario, make the tackle.

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