Coach's Tuesday News Conference

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

We signed Larry Brackins, wide receiver, and released Nate Lyles yesterday, so he took his roster spot.

After looking at the game, offensively I was pleased with the first group. I thought we did some good things there. I was hoping we could have kept that first drive going. We had the sort of mishap there on the screen that shut down the first drive. I liked the second drive. I think we still need to improve our third-down percentage, although there were some great opportunities there.

I thought Kellen [Clemens] made some nice throws. We just didn't convert in terms of the receivers catching the ball, and those are just concentration errors. You have to look it in and tuck. Those things are definitely correctable. Overall, I liked a lot of the stuff we did offensively, especially the two-minute drive at the end, having the ball with 1:09 left, three timeouts, being able to move down the field and at least put ourselves in position to either win or tie at that point.

Defensively, I thought we did a good job on third down, I thought we did a good job in the red area. We had the long plays in the running game. They really should have been shut down based on the checks that we made, a couple of missed tackles and a couple of missed assignments. The good lesson from that play was that Cameron Worrell runs the ball down and then a couple of plays later we get the pick. It was a good way to reinforce how important it is to finish plays.

And then on teams, there was improvement on the kickoff return team, I thought there was improvement on the punt return team, and I thought kickoff coverage was better as well. Obviously, that overall performance is not as good as you hope when you miss two field goals, especially the one we had there at the end.

On Clemens and the backup quarterback position…

I didn't think Kellen played badly this past game. There were three drops that he had that could have easily been long completions, two third-down conversions. I think he got stepped on twice by the center. When you look at it in that context, the numbers aren't really indicative of how he played and the decisions that he made.

Ratty [Brett Ratliff] definitely did some good things, but there are some decisions he made where it was the right idea, just not quite where he made them. We checked over to a run on one play that we really should have stayed with the pass. Another one we adjusted the run going from left to right and we ended up running into a lot more people than we wanted to. With some of those things that are subtleties, I like what he's doing, but a couple of those decisions we need to clean up with him.

I was pleased with that last drive. You're always looking to see how you're going to perform in that situation.

On David Clowney…

No, David won't be out [there] for a little while. We'll just take it day by day and kind of gauge it.

On the severity of his injury…

I don't know yet. We'll see.

On the injury…

Shoulder.

On Laveranues Coles not conducting interviews…

He's not avoiding me right now, so that's good [smiles]. We talk all the time. He has been great, great in meetings, great in everything we've asked him to do. He's been perfect.

On Coles not speaking with the media…

Everybody is different and everybody makes their own decisions. Like I said, he's been great in terms of our conversations and with the team and with the guys.

On if Coles will practice today…

Yes, we're going to do some work today. We did a little work last week. Again, we're just trying to make sure that we manage it. Some of it is really more precautionary than anything else and making sure that we're really over the hump before we move too quickly.

On the importance of Coles and Brett Favre getting game experience together…

They've gotten some drill work in, and the important thing is to get Laveranues ready for the regular season. With any of these injuries, especially now, you can even be a little more cautious than you may be in the regular season. Not that they're disregarding the regular season, but you do have a little bit more time.

On if he was hoping for overtime experience against Washington…

If we had had six seconds, then we would have taken another shot. Usually plays take six seconds. We could have gone for the win there, but I actually wanted to get [Erik] Ainge some reps, so I thought we'd go into overtime and let Ainge rep it out.

On Mike Nugent's missed kick…

The snap was a little off. That being said, I think he's like 98 percent from there. I haven't played golf that much, but I've missed those putts that are about from me to this microphone [laughter].

On if he talked to Nugent about the kick…

Yes, I talked to Mike about it. Mike is such a conscientious guy. Nobody is going to be harder on Mike than Mike is. That's because he's a perfectionist. He's always trying to improve his stroke, his mechanics and all those things. He doesn't miss very often from that distance. But I did talk to him about it and just said, "Look, we have to move forward." I don't anticipate that happening again in the future.

On his meeting with Favre…

We talked for a while. We talked about everything — his adjustment, New Jersey, the drive, hunting, the offense, defense, Green Bay, two-minute drives. It was a range of conversations.

On what he emphasized with Favre during their conversation…

It really wasn't anything just specific to the game. It was more in the context of where he was in terms of learning the offense and things that he liked. I just wanted to talk to him a little bit about things he liked in Green Bay that he ran really effectively.

What's nice with Brett is, it's a new set of eyes on the things we do. To get his perspective on the way we call things, the way we protect things and the way we run things, it's interesting to hear because he's got such a wealth of knowledge. He's been with quite a few head coaches. He's been in a lot of situations. To get his feedback, it's great, great for me.

On if Favre wants to scale back the offense…

No, it's not really that. It's more he's hearing everything for the first time. When I had to learn the offense, I heard everything for the first time. There are some things where I may look at it and go, "I wonder if there's a better way to call that?" Then to get his perspective on it, and I know what my perspective on it was, some of the things I think we should adjust. It wasn't any sort of whole scale changes. It was just trying to find the best way to do things.

When I was doing cards in New England, [Brian] Daboll was my assistant, so I used to do the cards at night and it was late. I'd make him check it because it's like writing a term paper. After you've looked at it 100 times, you miss 10 things. So he would check it and he'd find some mistakes that I made or found some things that I could have drawn better. That was good, and it's good to have that perspective, that feedback and that's what we're trying to do.

On how much Favre will play against the Giants…

I don't know. The Giants playing as recently as they did, I'm not sure what their perspective is going to be on play time. I haven't really set that yet, and I'd like to see some more Kellen and Brett [Ratliff], as well. I'll probably work it out as we go through the week and see how the game goes.

On the importance of game experience for Favre…

He looked pretty fluid last game with the little time he had and some more practice. Mechanically, there weren't very many errors in terms of operating the offense. I really haven't set a distinct time, like he's going to go definitely through the third quarter, it's going to be 30 plays or something like that. It'll be more than last week.

I also want to gauge where he is in terms of his arm, where the score is, and all that stuff will kind of play in. I thought about keeping him in last week, and then thought about it two seconds later and pulled him out.

On Kris Jenkins…

Jenkins, he is a load. It's good to have a load in there. He's doing a better and better job with technique. Every now and then he'll revert back to the 4-3 days and throw a swim move. I've just got to reel him in. He can do some of that more on sub. He does eat up a lot of space and he eats up a lot of people. Even when there are two on him, he doesn't move very far, which is good.

On if Jenkins will create space for Eric Barton and David Harris…

With the two guard bubbles, those guys are going to be in coverage so they're still going to have to deal with the guards. What it does do, though, is if they're trying to get movement, they may have to stay on him longer, which means they won't be able to get up to the linebacker so quickly. That's always positive.

The key thing is for him to be able to control that guy, not get the movement and play on either side. When you do that, you have to push the runs a little bit wider. Vince [Wilfork] does a really good job with that in New England. It's tough to run right up in there because he is so physical and the line doesn't go very far.

On if Favre will have input into how long he'll play against the Giants…

It'll be an ongoing discussion. We'll talk about it before the game, we'll talk about it during the course of the game. You just don't really know how it's going to play out. If the offense is on the field for a long time, they get a bunch of reps and that might change things in terms of how deep they go in the third quarter and whether they play the whole third quarter.

On if the Giants will serve as a barometer for the Jets' level of play…

I think they're very good. I thought Washington's offensive and defensive lines were very good as well. They have a pretty salty group up front — London Fletcher, Jason Taylor and [Andre] Carter. There are a lot of problems that they present. Their offensive line is a mature offensive line. They do a really good job. I thought that was good work last week.

Then you're moving to the Giants and obviously they're a very good team. They're very well-coached, tough, present some problems in terms of the speed they can create off the edge, the speed they can create on the perimeter. They do some creative things with zone-blitzing and the different types. It's not just one zone blitz, either — it's post-safety zone blitz, it's split-safety zone blitz. I think collectively that'll be good work for us, too. On special teams, I didn't see the game last night, but I think they played pretty well there, too.

On Dwight Lowery…

We worked him with the ones some of this past weekend, and he did a pretty good job with that group. He'll get some more work with the ones and the twos to see how he keeps progressing.

I've liked what he's done on punt return. He had done it quite a bit in college but I hadn't thought of him in that light when we were drafting him. It was a nice element but not a huge element. He's done a nice job there, too. I thought the punt that he caught on I think the 13, 14, in a lot of traffic, he made a couple guys miss. I'm curious to see how he develops there as well.

On Leon Washington…

He's dangerous. He's dangerous with the ball in his hands. With the tight end group that we have, with Leon on third down, now you've got some options. If you don't want to go outside, you don't want to go to the slot, you dump it in Leon's hands and 5 can easily become 50.

He's an elusive guy and plays a lot bigger than he is. He can play on first and second down and creates some different problems than Thomas [Jones] creates. We work both those guys in our sub group and our regular group so that they're not so specialized that they can't cross over. Now it creates some different problems for the defense.

On Washington's ability to return kicks…

He has great vision. He sees the blocks unfold. He doesn't see the block in front of him, he sees the block on the next level. A lot of his long returns last year, it wasn't about who was directly around him — he was already looking down the field. He can make guys miss because he has that great short-area quickness. He makes that guy miss and then sees how it's unfolding.

The screen in practice the other day I thought was a great Leon play. The offensive lineman is out front and he's hiding behind the offensive lineman for about 5 yards until the defensive player commits, then he jets out. It's that kind of patience and understanding, how he's going to set up the block to open up space for himself.

On Coles and Favre getting game experience together…

They've worked together. They've worked together in some drills. I think both those guys have a lot of experience. Coles will get open and Brett will get him the ball. I think there is some getting used to it in terms of the nuances of a guy looks out to another guy and they both understand exactly what they're doing. Both of those guys pick up things really quickly and they both have always had good relationships with their counterparts, whether it's a quarterback or receiver. I don't imagine it will be that much of a big adjustment.

On Vernon Gholston…

I thought he really improved in base. There was plenty of room to improve, so I'm not saying it's here. I thought there was a real sense of improvement there, a better understanding of the pass-coverage element, where he fits. I think in sub, a lot of people feel his strength, and now he has to have that other pitch. He has to bring the speed so when he goes speed to power, it's more impactful. That's something we'll keep working on with him. Each day he chips away a little bit. It'll break for him. It's just a question of when.

On the running backs and Thomas Jones…

We're trying to see a lot of different guys and a lot of different combinations. The nice thing is that Thomas has gotten some decent work in sub and in third-down work, which we weren't able to do in the preseason last year because of the injury. That helps us. We can have either back in there, and Leon getting the work at base, and they sort of alternated.

I thought Thomas made a great block on Jerricho [Cotchery]'s catch, the over-route by Jerricho. Thomas saw the guy hug late and came back and cleaned up the hugger. That's the type of stuff that having that work in sub and reading all that stuff and doing that really is invaluable. Even though it's not him carrying the ball, it's another really important element of what he has to do.

On if there was an audible on Favre's sack vs. Washington…

It's tough because we had another element to the play which Brett was looking at. I don't think that the defense that they had called was necessarily designed to do that. They had two guys outside of the tackle. I'm pretty sure one of those guys was supposed to go inside the tackle, one was supposed to go out. If that would have happened, the tackle would have taken the outside element, Leon would have come inside, blinded that guy and been able to turn around.

It was just a strange distribution of defenders. I didn't call up Washington to see if they ran it right [laughs], but usually you have all those gaps taken care of. It was just one of those plays where Leon tried to adjust. Brett was over on the front side, came back and kind of lost Leon in the mix. It just happened.

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