Coach's Thursday News Conference

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Transcript of Jets head coach Eric Mangini's news conference before Thursday's midday practice:    

Today we are following our normal schedule, so we will be working primarily on third down. That will be the point of emphasis. Tennessee has always been very good defensively on third down since the time Jeff [Fisher]'s been there. It's really no different this year and that's an area we've made quite a bit of improvement on since the bye offensively. That will be a really good challenge for us.

On Jeff Fisher's longevity with the Titans…

It's incredible. You don't see that very much anymore, the Don Shulas, the Tom Landrys, guys that were there 25, 20 years. It seems to be much rarer than it used to be. It's a real testament to him. He's done it in different places in terms of where the team was, all different types of players, young, old. It's been the whole gamut and he's been consistently successful. It's impressive.

On the progress of CB Darrelle Revis…

Darrelle continues to make really good progress because of the way he works on his technique at practice and his consistency at practice. I had a long discussion with Leon [Washington] yesterday about the characteristics of great players. He brought up the fact that when he came into the league, he really thought that great players were extremely talented — more talented than the other players.

Since he has been in the league, he realizes how hard-working those guys are. They are extremely talented, but they are usually the leaders in terms of work ethic. A guy like Alan Faneca is a great example of that.

Darrelle is moving along that same path in terms of being extremely talented, working on his technique every day in practice and having consistent levels of practice. I really like what he's doing in terms of studying the opponent. That's something that has improved significantly from his first year to his second year.

On if he has made a decision between K Mike Nugent and Jay Feely for Tennessee…

No.

On the reason for his conversation with Washington…

I was congratulating him on breaking the team's record in terms of [career kickoff] returns and being the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week. We were laughing about his early days here and the time that he made the decision as to how he was going to define his career.

Mike [Westhoff] will have players present to the rest of the team. Leon, whenever he presents, it's like a coach. It's thorough. He's the returner so he could easily say "The kicker's going to offset here. The ball's going to come out to the 5. It's going to be this hang time." But he goes through block by block, how we have to block it, who the guys are we have to target, why we need to make sure we have those guys covered, what the reads are, what the adjustment is if the ball is ... kicked somewhere it's not supposed to be.

It's really satisfying to see. He's one of the guys that came in with me and to see his growth and development is great.

On laughing with Washington about the fumbles during practice as a rookie…

It was the fumbling, it was the struggling with the blitz pickup, the route. He was about as in shape as I was [smiles]. All of those things led to a very tough rookie camp.

Then he won the off-season award program, he was the overall winner this year, he was voted the team MVP last year. It's his ability combined with his work ethic and determination. He's another great example of size. He's not the biggest guy in the world, but he finds a way to be consistently productive.

On if RB Curtis Martin had an impact on Washington's work ethic…

I definitely think that Curtis helped out. Curtis helps out a lot of people whenever he's around. His focus is rare. I don't know if he even dated during the season [smiles]. It was all football all the time. That was his focus. When he was injured or dealing with any type of pain, I would ask him about it and he would say that not playing was not an option. It never entered into his psyche that he couldn't play that week. Pain was not going to be an issue. Nothing was going to stop him.

On TE Dustin Keller's confidence…

There is a fine line between confidence and overconfidence. He is very gifted. It's easy to have confidence in him at practice. He makes unbelievable catch after unbelievable catch so the things that he has been able to do in the games aren't surprising. If he continues to work at it and understand defenses as he gets better in terms of the fluidness and the feel of the routes, then he will be that much more productive.

There are times when some of his breaks look a little robotic, it's not that smooth where you're hinting and going, but it's gotten a lot better. If he keeps working at it and drilling it, where the openings are, he has tremendous upside.

On the matchup between DT Kris Jenkins and C Kevin Mawae…

Anytime you put two players of their experience, ability and styles — they are different styles of players — that's always fun to watch. Kevin is very savvy. He's always been a very savvy guy. To see how he's going to approach him will be real interesting.

On Brad Smith…

We always have plays in for Brad that are very specific to him, but the nice thing about where Brad has come in terms of being a receiver is he can just go in and play receiver. He doesn't have to be in for gadget plays or those Brad Smith-specific plays. He can just go in and play receiver. I am very confident with what he can do there.

He is another guy who has consistently improved. It's not a function of forgetting about Brad or putting him on the back burner. Sometimes it's just the way the game goes. We have a lot of guys who can do good things with the ball, so whoever ends up getting it is a plus.

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