Coach's Sunday News Conference

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Transcript of head coach Eric Mangini's news conference with Jets reporters before Sunday's afternoon training camp practice:     

We'll be outside unless the lightning keeps up and then we'll be inside if that's going to be an issue.

In terms of practice, the morning practice yesterday was the review of the first cycle of installation and the afternoon transitioned to the start of the second cycle, and we'll keep following this progression today.

You can see as the volume of information increases, guys swim a little bit and that's why it's so important to study at home and to get on top of the information. Once you do get back to your dorm or if you have any questions, make sure that you get those things answered because when you combine the extra installation or the normal process of installation with the new information, heat, fatigue and those type of things, it becomes much more important to focus and take advantage of all the opportunities that you have to just be able to go out and play.

That's what you're always looking for: That they know the information well enough and that they are playing and not thinking and not being tentative.

In the early part of camp, one of the groups I've been really happy with is the wide receivers. Laveranues Coles was in with the early group and we spent a lot of time talking about press-man technique and what were some things that you can take advantage of in press-man technique. We talked a lot about hand placement and where the defensive back's hand is going to be and how you can use his hand and arm against him and he's really worked at that, but he's also worked at it with the rest of the group.

Jerricho Cotchery and those guys have really utilized it in the team drills and it's the same thing with hand placement in the running game. I saw some runs yesterday where they broke through the line and the secondary element, the corner or the safety, was covered up and controlled by the receiver and that's all about hand placement. It's those guys conscientiously working on it and getting better at it and where the runs went instead of 5 or 6 yards, then they go for 10 or 12.

I don't know how exciting that is but it's exciting to me to see that progress, and it's such an important part of the running game. And it comes into play so much in releases at the line of scrimmage, guys like Brad [Smith], the bigger receivers, more so than even the smaller receivers, because they tend to be larger targets.

On how Vernon Gholston is progressing…

We talk about swimming. He's swimming because he started later than the rest of the group and now he's got all that information flowing in. The younger guys that were here had a chance to digest that in smaller chunks and he doesn't have that chance. He's got to eat the whole plate right away.

On Leon Washington…

Leon had an excellent off-season. He was actually our overall off­season award winner this year and you can see that. You can see the work that he did in the off­season translate on to the field, in all the different areas, kickoff return, his punt return, his play at running back, his explosiveness in picking up the blitz. All that stuff has gotten better.

On the strides Washington has made since his first camp in 2006…

I'm sure we both think back to that first training camp [smiles]. That's a good lesson because you want to make those quick reactions on who a guy is, and you want to know, "OK, is this the guy we drafted?" Sometimes it just takes more time and each guy progresses a little differently.

I think Jason Pociask is having a really good camp and there's a guy that's diligently worked at it, moving into his third training camp, with first one being abbreviated by the injury. I see progress there. I see progress with Brick [D'Brickashaw Ferguson]. I see his strength increasing and his technique improving.

With all those young guys, it's very satisfying as a coach to see progress with the younger players through the course of experience and you like to think a little bit of it's coaching. But that's one of the rewarding parts of this job.

On if he was happy with Washington's role last year…

We had less overall plays last year. The way the games went, at the time you're trying to put together what you think is a good mix, and I can say that he's having a good camp. I'm sure we're going to continue to try to get him as involved as possible. In terms of absolute numbers, I don't have a specific target like you've got to get 200 carries.

Some of that, too, is how much he's doing on special teams. He has a lot of different roles. Some of it's package-based where he goes a game or two without packages and isn't as big, those numbers could get a little skewed or he could go two or three games where he's featured.

On if he thinks Washington's quickness has improved …

I think it's a combination of him having a really good off-season. Physically, he improved and matured, so that was positive and part of the quicker is, he understands things better. It's not as much processing the information as just playing. That's the point I was trying to get at with Vernon [Gholston] and all these guys. You want them to know it cold so they are not out there thinking, [but] reacting. They're able to use their gifts.

On how they determine off-season programs…

We do it with every player on the team. We go through and identify things as a staff. We have players identify things. We meet with each individual player. We establish the core things collectively that they are going to work on. Then a plan is put in place so the off-season can be used as effectively as possible to make sure those things are worked on and they get better at them.

On how the new players are adjusting to their new team…

They really haven't missed a beat. It's a good locker room, seems like they all get along really well. I haven't been hanging out with them, but from my interaction, it looks like they have gotten along real well.

On Damien Woody practicing today…

Well, we will see here. I think we've got a shot today and we've just got to kind of see how it goes.

On Woody's injury…

His eye.

On if he has anything to report on Brett Favre…

I really don't. I'm sure they are working out up there. I'm sure they are working through that and we are working through the rain.

On if QB Brett Ratliff has improved from last year…

Brett was Leon-esque squared in his first camp. He struggled. He came in, great guy, great worker. But getting out the play, it was like an act of Congress to get that done in the huddle. You saw the physical attributes. He's got size, a strong arm, and he's a smart guy.

That quarterback room sets a pretty high bar for work ethic, and he's right there with them. He's impressive in terms of just continually absorbing the chunks of information and getting better. The guy that's here now versus the guy that was here a year ago, it's night and day.

On if it's routine to have Ratliff taking reps with the first team…

It's a couple of different things. Some of it could be throwing him a bone. It's like calling a guy up to draw the play in front of the team and see how they respond. It serves multiple purposes.

On how Ratliff is responding…

Pretty good. Some of those that weren't "bones" that weren't as good as the other ones, but I would say again, it's so extreme in the other direction in terms of his progress, that I really wouldn't have thought about doing that very much last year.

On if he is bothered by an interception from Kellen Clemens…

I get bothered by mistakes from everybody. I'm like an equal-opportunity-bothered guy. You never want to see mistakes. You spend a long time working on making sure there aren't mistakes. But there's been many mistakes. You saw yesterday the defense wasn't lined up, we had a play called offensively, we snapped the ball, he threw it out there and gets a quick completion. That's a great awareness play.

There's going to be some of both. There's been some mistakes, obviously some more apparent than others. The one mistake you can't have is you can't turn the ball over. Running backs can't fumble. Receivers can't fumble. Quarterbacks need to make good decisions. It's the risk/reward we talk about. That makes me even more annoyed.

On if mistakes are more magnified at QB as opposed to from a second-team LB…

I don't think any of the players want to make mistakes. With that second-team linebacker, there's some that could be viewed as being even greater because that's a question of how many mistakes do you make before you go home. Everybody is under pressure to perform at a high level to establish that they should be on the team.

On QBs' mistakes being more magnified …

It's the position they play. They shouldn't make mistakes at the position they play and they are not trying to and we're not trying to have them do that. Yesterday we had a breakdown in communication in the secondary. One of those two-minute drives where the corner squatted, David Clowney ran the 9-route and the ball was out of bounds at the 3. When you give up six, those are costly mistakes, too.

On Danny Woodhead getting injured…

Danny is a great kid, he worked like crazy, and to have an injury like that so early in camp, it's disappointing. You never want to see anybody get injured and when you see a guy like that who has worked so hard to put himself in a position to compete and make the team, it's disappointing. But he'll rehab the injury and he'll get another shot.

On his level of involvement in criticizing players such as Clemens…

He's working with Brian [Schottenheimer] and Brian [Daboll], so he's got two layers of getting on him before I even get to him. Sometimes when you're in a hole, you've got to stop digging. I'm going to see what the level of talking-to he got to prior to me getting to him.

On if there is a point in training camp where mistakes start to count…

There's not a mathematical formula with that and it's training camp. All of the quarterbacks have done good things and they have all made some mistakes. What I'm looking at is a body of work and not day one, day two, day three but over the course of training camp and the preseason games: "What's the overall balance sheet? What does it look like? Who gives us the best chance to win?" As opposed to going day by day and saying, "Chad Pennington is up 4-2" or "Kellen is up 5." It's not really like that.

On Kerry Rhodes...

I think that Kerry is emerging and can continue to emerge and get better, because he's got a lot of natural ability. He's a very smart player. He's got excellent ball skills. I have not seen him act but I think he's got a better chance in the short term emerging as a safety as opposed to emerging as leading man. I'm not "hating on him," as he would say.

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