Coach's Saturday News Conference

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Transcript of head coach Eric Mangini's news conference with Jets reporters after Saturday's morning training camp practice:    

Today is the fourth practice in our rotation. So what we do is go through the installation of trying to follow the same pattern as a regular work week for us: First down, second down, third down and red zone. This morning was a review, so it would be like a Friday practice. You saw we backed up in our own end zone, and then moved out to the 50. And then going from the 50 into the opponent's end zone, and covering all of those situations in between, reviewing what we installed over the previous three days.

What happens now, we got a little bit of heat, a couple of practices in a row, we're tired and there's soreness. What's important is that you can work through the soreness. Can you put the heat out of your mind or whatever the element is out of your mind and still focus on the things that are going in? The adjustments are being made and that's a challenge, it's always a challenge, but it's especially challenging here in training camp. That's what's important, being able to focus on the task at hand and disregard all of the external things that may distract you from that.

On Kellen Clemens' turnovers during practice…

You have to protect the football. That's first and foremost. We had the two-point play down there with the fumbled quarterback-center exchange. That's the most basic play in football. You do it in peewee league, you do it in high school, college. And it's really first things first.

That's what I was talking about with the heat, fatigue and things like that. You've got to go through the same progression, you've got to go through snap count, you've got to go through getting the ball into your hands, step by step. If you try to go to a broad focus before you take care of those things, then you have the turnovers, batted balls. With the receiver, sometimes it's a high throw and sometimes it's a good throw and goes off his hands.

There were a couple of drops there at the end of the two-minute drive, and those things are all things that are controllable if you just go through your progression. That's what we are looking for, to see as heat, soreness, etc., comes in, who can go through those progressions. Not just at quarterback, with all of these guys, they are all facing the same challenges and the challenges at their position.

On whether he thinks Clemens is feeling pressure…

The mistake that he made yesterday, the interception to [Darrelle] Revis, that's a function that you see with a lot of quarterbacks. They are trying to push the ball into a place where you really can't push the ball. Sometimes you've just got to cut your losses. The play didn't work, and you throw it out of bounds and you punt. If that's the case, you punt and punting is not necessarily a bad thing. It's a lot better than the alternative.

You have to train yourself to do that. You have to train yourself to weigh the risk/reward, and if it's too much risk for the reward, 10-yard completion, 15-yard completion, just sail it out of bounds. What I liked today is both those guys did that. We talked about it yesterday. It was a point of emphasis and you have to get used to it. I think Peyton Manning does that and he does a great job of that. He assesses it. If it's not there, throw it away. Live to fight another day.

On the status of Danny Woodhead's injury…

Nothing certain, but I'd say it's not looking good for him to be back anytime soon.

On whether his injury was on his leg…

Knee.

On whether it was his left knee…

I think so.

On Chansi Stuckey…

I've liked the fact that with the year off and being on IR, he didn't treat it like a year off. Being away from practice and those things that normally are part of the development, Chansi did a good job using that time to stay ahead of the learning curve, to grow. I've seen that in OTAs and I've seen that in the mandatory minicamp. I see that out here as well.

I think he's done a lot of nice things so far. He did have a couple drops here today, and that's part of our being consistent and building the trust between the quarterback and the receiver. You have to get open and then you have to be able to catch the ball. The quarterback will get it to you, and now you have to catch it.

Those drops are part of building the relationship between the quarterback and the receiver and also the trust factor. If you're open and I throw it to you, you're going to catch it. Overall, I think his progress, considering he had a year of downtime with the injury, has been good.

On Ahmad Carroll…

We tracked him for a while. He played in Arena Football and we just wanted to see how he did in that environment. I talked to him initially and then talked to him again later on to see where he was in between those times. We brought him in for a work out and he looked good, so we signed him.

One of the things he needs to keep working on is learning the technique. He's a physical guy and a physical corner, and you don't want to take away from that element, the aggressiveness, the competitiveness, the physical nature.

To not do that, you need to have all those traits, but play the technique better. You can't just default to that one element of "I'm going to beat the guy up." That's great in some situations, but in other situations it just doesn't work. Once the penalty element comes into it, it's detrimental.

On why Carroll struggled at Green Bay…

I didn't really watch him much in Green Bay. You see a guy on tape, but it wasn't so much studying him. I knew him when he came out, that type of thing. It was more of a function that he was available. He was in the Arena League playing there and I liked the things he did on tape there. I'm learning the rules of Arena League. I don't really know it that well. Looks pretty fun. But I can tell if you can hit, tackle, run and cover. Those things are apparent, and I liked the things he was doing there.

On Shaun Ellis being a constant on the defense…

I like Shaun, getting to know him over the last couple of years. I like him as a person and as a player. The best example of Shaun Ellis to me is when we were playing Miami, I guess it was two years ago. The one raining [Christmas night], we won it late. They were driving and had a chance to get a first down on the 2-yard line and Shaun had pursued from the back side and had fallen forward. Through his effort, he had fallen forward enough to prevent the ballcarrier from getting a first down.

That effort, to me, was a great example of what we had been trying to teach throughout the course of that year. That effort was the difference between them kicking a field goal and having four shots from the 1-yard line, which then translated into us getting the ball back, Leon [Washington] getting the screen and eventually winning the game.

To me, that was the linchpin of the series of events that followed, and it was just by sheer effort. It's very easy to not do that at that point in the game, it's late, but to me, that exemplifies Shaun.

On Ellis' evaluation over the years…

The evaluation really has not changed. It's been consistent. When you look at Shaun, he works. He's done everything I've asked him to do, everything we've asked him to do. He's been excellent in the locker room, he's been a good leader on the field. So all of those things have good qualities, and especially in an older guy, because you want those older guys to then nurture along the younger guys.

And Shaun, he's the E.F. Hutton in the locker room: When he talks, people listen. His nickname is Big Cat. You can see why they would listen.

On how Ellis has adjusted to the 3-4...

This is not unfamiliar ground. He came in the 3-4 with Al [Groh] and was playing the same technique — probably dust off that playbook and he was doing a lot of what we're doing. He did a nice job of that. Al and Bill [Parcells] had drafted him as a 3-4 defensive end. That was the thought process when he came out, and it's nice to have those ends that can two-gap, that can play that technique, but then can transfer into a pass-rush mentality. You take those ends now, move them inside on third down to play tackle.

Shaun has the versatility to play inside and outside because of his size and his edge speed. And with anything defensively, sometimes you're the cannon and sometimes you're the fodder. Maybe you're getting a sack and maybe you're setting up the sack for somebody else, but it all ties in together and he's been great about that.

On if there is anything to elaborate on regarding the Brett Favre situation today…

No [laughter].

On whether he discussed Favre with GM Mike Tannenbaum…

We still keep that internal. That's been consistent, too. Mike's the combination guy. He likes to talk different combinations.

On if it's possible to truly assess a QB's potential without seeing him play "on Sunday"…

I think that there's a lot of players that have never played on Sunday, and you have to decide whether or not they can play on Sunday. You go through training camp and you decide who is going to make the roster, and some of those guys haven't played on Sunday.

On if it's possible to assess a QB's potential during training camp…

I think you have a range of time, plays and opportunities in the off-season, training camp. If that's the situation you're in, that's the evaluation you make based off those plays.

On how you assess pocket presence when the QB can't be sacked during camp practices…

Well, we have these preseason games, and they allow sacks there [smiles].

On if it is difficult to evaluate QBs during preseason games because of "vanilla" defenses…

Well, I wish they were all vanilla defenses. You'd love to be able to call the other coach up and say, "Hey, don't blitz." But I've been in games where there's 40, 50 blitzes because that week, their installation progression, it's the blitz week.

Those preseason games in a lot of ways are an extension of the lab that you have with some of the new stuff you want. You don't want to show everything, but there may be some new coverages or blitzes that you want to tryout before it really counts. No, I've seen all ranges of preseason games.

On Kris Jenkins' transition…

I think he's doing a good job. I think he's working at it. What's nice is even when his hands are not inside and he doesn't have the proper leverage, there's a lot of other things that he can rely on to not get moved.

On the advantages of the Huddle Video System…

It's an interesting concept. It's the ability to watch tape over the Internet on a secure line. As a coach, you're always looking to be more efficient. Sometimes if you're not at the office and you haven't told the video guys, "Hey, I need X, Y and Z," then you have the ability to access that stuff through the system. It's not at the same speed as our normal operating system would be, but it does give you a vehicle to study when you are not necessarily in the building.

On Ahmad Carroll's legal issues…

We turned that over to Steve Yarnell, our security guy. I've known Steve since 1997, and when he gives an evaluation, he's been right on with the people that we've talked about. I trust him inherently with that stuff. I wouldn't want him looking into me [smiles].

On what Yarnell would find if he looked into Mangini's background…

Probably that soft, tender side that's there [laughs].

On LS James Dearth's health…

Thankfully he doesn't have to run that far, and that often. But yes, he's fine.

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