Coach's Tuesday News Conference

101407_mangini_titans_week6_postgame_presser.jpg


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

We made one roster move. We signed Brandon Renkart to the practice squad.

This week, in terms of our bye-week approach, the coaches went through last night and analyzed our first- and second-down package. What we would normally be doing in terms of getting ready for an opponent, now we're doing on ourselves, really looking at the things we've done in that area. In terms of installation, this replaces the installation. It's reinforcing the things that we've done well, improving on the things we haven't done well, but it's within the same framework of a regular practice week.

Today we do first and second down. Tomorrow will be more of a third-down emphasis. Then the guys will get a break. Then we'll come back on Monday and that will be a red area/goal line emphasis. It will follow the same general format.

The reason I've set up the week the way I have is you're trying to achieve two objectives during the bye week. One is to improve, and the second is to take some time to get away from football, recharge your batteries, and come back here for not the second part of the season but the remainder of the season. That's why I like to have these days strung together for the players, giving them a chance to reload and come back recharged.

On if the bye-week schedule is similar to what he did the first two years with bye weeks...

A little different the first year, same as last year.

On if there is a formal update on S Eric Smith's condition…

No.

On if he anticipates Smith playing after the bye week…

He's going through the process in terms of the league.

On if he anticipates Smith playing after his suspension ends…

Yes.

On if Smith is appealing his suspension…

He and his agents, his advisers, will look at all the options. I'm sure they'll proceed with whatever decision they decide to make.

On if he was surprised by the suspension or he expected it…

It's really a league decision. I definitely support the commissioner's initiative to protect the players and to do everything possible to promote player safety, but I'll just reiterate that Eric Smith is a good player, he's a good person, and he'd never do anything intentionally to harm somebody else.

On if a coaching point is derived from a situation like this...

It's difficult because you don't know. Both safeties were converging. You don't know, necessarily, who's going to get there first. You're not sure where the receiver is going to end up catching the ball. Is he going to jump in the air? Is he going to catch it on his feet? Is he going to turn? You're obviously trying to break up the play. That's the first objective. It's hard to predetermine where that ball is going to be caught or the exact position of the receiver.

On if he takes certain precautions with players after they engage in such violent hits…

We spend a lot of time working on this. We have a whole series of tests that a player goes through. We do some tests in the off-season, obviously when there is no injury. That sets a baseline. Then we'll do the same test prior to any type of injury like this to see where you compare to the baseline and give you some objective information on that. That's been good for us. Then we will monitor it throughout the course of the week and follow up with tests to see progress or no progress.

On the running game…

We've run the ball really well at times. This past Sunday, there were some substantial runs in terms of 6, 8, 10. The key thing now is to not have those complemented by zero, minus-2. You're going to have some 1- and 2-yard gains. Avoiding the negative plays affects the running game as well.

We'll keep improving the whole balance of the running game. I can't emphasize enough how important the receivers are on the perimeter. Those guys did a lot of work during training camp on their blocking. It's shown up in some occasions. We want that every single play because that's how those intermediate runs become long runs.

On if it is difficult to get RB Thomas Jones involved with so many options on offense…

It's more a function of trying to get the offense in a rhythm however you can get that rhythm. Sometimes it is going to be four, five, six runs in a row. Sometimes it's going to be a heavy run emphasis. Other times it's going to be a combination of being able to go inside run, some kind of dropback pass, outside run, maybe a screen. You want to be rhythmic offensively, but you also want to disrupt the rhythm of the defense.

You're trying to achieve those goals simultaneously. Sometimes to get to the second goal, it's a function of not coming back with the same pattern. Even though you may be looking to get 25, 30 runs, it's how you get to those runs and how they show up. How the game is going dictates a lot of that too. We were behind by a lot in San Diego, we didn't really have many plays in the third quarter this past game against Arizona. It ebbs and flows.

On if the dynamic of the offense will change with RB Jesse Chatman returning…

I'm not really sure. He has to come back, he has to show he's in shape, he has to show he can contribute, he has to contribute on special teams. We really haven't been looking at his return as a dynamic changing event. It's more a function of him carving out a role. The first thing, he's got to get to the 45.

On what made him give Chatman the benefit of the doubt…

It's definitely case by case. You look at what that player's done since he's been a New York Jet. A lot of things happen in other places, and you don't know what the specifics were of that. The only thing I can evaluate a person on is how he's been here and how he's been as a player, as a teammate, as a citizen.

I thought that he had been very good in all those areas. In my mind, having an honest conversation, being up front with each other, was a prerequisite of moving forward and getting to that conversation. The good citizen/good player/good teammate was a prerequisite to that.

On the impact of not having more games to evaluate during the bye week…

It's always better to have more information because you get a greater sense of ... a lot of times at the halfway point you've faced your division opponents once, or you tend to, so you get a feel for the things they're doing. You got a good sense of where you are, your strengths, your weaknesses, things you really have to emphasize, things you may have to completely throw out that you liked.

At the quarter-season mark, there is a body of work, but it's a more limited body of work. You're going to try to do the same things, but there's more of an element of projecting into the final 12 games.

On how close WR David Clowney and K Mike Nugent are to returning…

I'd say they're both making significant strides. David, hopefully, will be involved to some degree either this week or next week. That will be depending on how well he does with the limited involvement we give him. If he's doing well, it will increase, and if there's any type of a hint of a setback, we will pull back.

On Nugent...

The same thing. The important thing's not to have a setback, but also be able to push it to the right level so that his prep is proceeding.

On a timetable for their return…

I don't really like to give a timeline, because it's different. We're definitely working to get over the hump here.

On the offensive line…

I've liked what these guys have done since training camp. The biggest thing to me, the most telling thing and the easiest predictor of their continued development is their level of communication. I sat in that room the most during training camp and during OTAs. You have a bunch of veteran guys or really mature young guys in there, and they're talking. They've seen a lot of things. They talk through the problems. Bill [Callahan] does a good job with that group.

When you have veteran guys and a good group of young guys, and they're all working together, it's key. The offensive line is a lot like the secondary. You all have to see it the same way. You all have to understand what the other guy's trying to get done. You all have to understand how the elements that aren't part of the offensive line or aren't part of the secondary are fitting into the package. With the O-line, it could be the tight end, if he's in protection, the backs, if they're in protection. With the secondary, it's the linebackers. The key thing is communication and that group moving as one.

On if coordinator Bob Sutton is being more aggressive with the pass rush or if the increased number of sacks can be attributed to LB Calvin Pace and DT Kris Jenkins…

I don't think it's a fundamental shift defensively. Our approach over the last three years has been so specific. You can talk to the players. Each week they get a game plan — it's not like we pull the pages out of the playbook and say, "You remember this defense?" There's a lot of adjusting. There are a lot of things you have to deal with and the problems are completely different. You're trying to constantly incorporate a pressure element into the package.

Some weeks it works better than others. Against New England with [Wes] Welker and their ability to hit him on the tear screen, it doesn't lend itself to a lot of pressure because it's almost like you're giving them what they want. It's been the same way. Offenses have been pretty creative with the ways that they are throwing the ball short and turning those into deep gainers. It's not just the running-back-type screens. It's the perimeter screens from outside coming in, the No. 2 guy going out. Now you bring a bunch of stuff inside and they're on the perimeter. It's two-on-two with a blocker.

On if he has experienced a signature moment with QB Brett Favre…

One of the things I feel good about and I really believed when I talked to Brett initially on the phone is that we have a lot of good people in the locker room. We have a lot of people that really care about football. Not just that, they're just good guys. That was something that I emphasized to him is I felt he'd be very comfortable in our locker room. He'd be pleased with the people that we have in our locker room. In the organization, there's a commitment to that.

It's satisfying to see that he has built that chemistry. You want to see that chemistry with the whole group, whether it's a new guy like Alan Faneca, Calvin Pace or Damien Woody, those guys being able to come in. And it's not like "You're from Pittsburgh, you're from Arizona, you're from Green Bay, you're a rookie." It's "We're all Jets." The more I look at successful teams and think back to the successful teams that I've been on, there is that sense of moving forward together.

I think I told you guys about the piece I showed the team on the Miami Heat. Their defining moment was they were 10-10. I think they were playing Detroit. It was a similar situation. There were a lot of new guys, some guys that had a little bit of a higher profile, but at that point they came together and collectively decided what they wanted to be and how they wanted to proceed.

Bill Curry, when he came in, spoke to the team. He talked a lot about some of the same things — the great Green Bay teams he was on, Super Bowl I, before Super Bowl I, the NFL Championship at that point, the Baltimore teams with Don Shula. He wasn't talking about just their ability. He was talking about the people, the guys that he played with and the relationships he formed.

On Curry speaking to the team..

Mike [Tannenbaum] introduced the idea. I had known Bill Curry from afar. I'd never met him. I think it was tough for him to put on a Jets shirt, being a part of Super Bowl III [smiles]. I'm sure his teammates wouldn't be that pleased with him. Mike really spearheaded it. I had a chance to sit down with him. He was great. He was fantastic.

On if Tannenbaum knew Curry…

I'm not sure if they had a preexisting relationship. I'm honestly not sure. I thought it was a real plus idea by Mike.

On when Curry came to speak to the team…

He spoke to the team the night before the [Arizona] game.

*On if questions regarding the chemistry between QB Brett Favre and WR Laveranues Coles will end after their performance against Arizona…           *

If you'll guarantee me we don't have to deal with those questions moving forward, I'd be perfectly content with that [laughter].

Every week there's going to be questions. There's going to be things we need to deal with. One game doesn't dramatically change things one way or the other. It's stringing games together, stringing practices together. That's who you are. Your habits become who you are.

On Favre making an effort to be a team guy…

Dealing with Brett on a day-to-day basis, you wouldn't know that he was any different than anybody else or that his résumé was what it was coming in. I hate to be cliché, but he's just a regular guy. He relates well to everybody. He relates offensively, defensively, to older guys — but who is older than him [smiles]? All the younger guys, varying ages, and the coaches.

On if some of the other players were surprised by how down-to-earth Favre is…

There's an element of awe, especially for some of the young guys that have been playing Madden with him for years. Now he comes in. You just try to keep those guys from asking for an autograph early on, but now he's just part of the group.

On if he sees Favre's confidence level changing from week to week…

Brett's a pretty confident guy. He's confident in all those situations. What I really, really think is a great teaching tool from guys that can watch him is it doesn't matter whether he threw a pick, he threw five picks, fumbled the ball, threw six touchdowns — he just moves on to the next play.

You're constantly trying to reinforce that, and it's hard. It's hard to do that. It's hard not to get caught up in the emotion of something really good happening or the emotion of something really bad happening. He just goes back out and competes the next play like nothing's happened. He said it before. So many times you talk about overcoming adversity. There's also the element of overcoming success. He deals with them both the same way. It's a great model.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content

Advertising