Coach's Wednesday News Conference

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Transcript of head coach Eric Mangini's news conference with the New York Jets media Wednesday morning:         

We put Justin Miller on IR. I'm extremely disappointed for him. I thought he had an outstanding off-season and I really liked the way he was working at his craft. He and Bryan Cox spent a lot of time together and Bryan was helping him along, giving him some insight on things that helped him grow as a player and as a person and I saw that. I saw that quite a bit. I saw it at practice and at the meetings. He takes some of the most impressive notes of any of our players and those things all add up. It's tough, it's tough. He's been working and improving his cornerback play. It's just a difficult situation for him, but I'm sure he's going to attack it the same way he's been attacking the rest of this off-season and the early part of the season.

We signed offensive lineman Will Montgomery, so he is on the active roster.

I know there has been some interest with the situation with Baltimore. I talked to Brian [Billick] yesterday. We had a good conversation. It was important for me to talk to him and make sure we didn't have a misunderstanding. We don't coach things that cause penalties. We don't believe in getting penalties and it's something that we work to minimize at all times. We talked last night and I felt very good about the conversation.

In terms of Miami, I really like their offensive system. Obviously I like their system and that's one of the reasons Brian [Schottenheimer] is here. I think Cam [Cameron] has done a good job putting it in and it will grow each week. It creates a lot of problems, it creates a lot of different matchup situations and it creates a lot of formation adjustments. That was one of the things that attracted me to Brain initially, to bring him in for the interview, that system. Cam was the guy running it in San Diego and they're doing a good job running it now.

I think Chris Chambers is having a good part of the early season. He's an excellent player and he's really thriving early and I think he will continue to thrive in this system. Ronnie Brown, he's been a guy that's had a lot success and has done a good job against us in the past. He creates challenges just like Willis [McGahee] created challenges last week. So there are several different weapons with Ted Ginn and Marty Booker, all those different players. Trent Green has the ability to spread the ball around. There's going to be some challenges there.

Defensively it's another talented group with two guys that are really impressive. I love watching Zach Thomas play. I love his instincts, intensity and his finish. Talking to Mike Westhoff, who spent a lot time with him, him explaining his approach to film work and his professionalism and his leadership, you see that play in and play out. The volume of tackles he makes and the amount of adjustments he makes and the fact that he's able to take on guys that are bigger than he is and be stout at the point of attack. To be able to shed those guys and flow through the traffic and make plays, it's impressive. With Jason Taylor, he's a guy that can change the game at any point, he can ruin the game at any point. He's got a tremendous amount of sacks, applies constant pressure and has an awareness of where the football is so when he goes in for a sack he's usually getting the ball out and usually gets the ball out down the field.

So those are two guys that are challenging. Add in Joey Porter, Dom Capers and his scheme — he's one of the early innovators of the whole zone-blitz concept and he presents some issues there schemewise that, again, we're going to have to be alert for like we talked about last week with Rex [Ryan]. On teams, good coverage units, and with Ginn, he's an explosive guy. That's a guy with some rare speed and some ability to stretch the field. That's going to be something that obviously we're focusing on. He'll present another great challenge in that area for us.

On how to deal with secondary blitzers …

You handle that a couple of different ways. Sometimes, based on the slide of the offensive line, they may have the defensive end and any other element that comes off the edge, say it was on the open side. So they could be responsible for a secondary blitzer. Sometimes it's the tailback or the back in the backfield where he may have the blitzer off this side and the blitzer off that side and he's got to scan both. It also could be the quarterback's pickup. So he knows, "I'm blocked up here, but I've got to handle the fourth element over here," so he's not worried about pickup here but if he sees that corner, star, safety blitz, it's not picked up. The interior of the shell is not handling that. He's got to beat it with the football.

There are a few different ways you address those things and each play is different. It's so important that everybody understands who's handling it. There are a lot of keys as to when these things come. When you see guys walking around, that's all to try to break the keys in and disguise it. You have to have the awareness of "This is the front. Out of this front, we're probably going to get weak safety blitz or snake blitz" or whatever the case may be. So you need that alertness presnap to anticipate the blitz is coming.

On whether he continually reinforces the importance of getting sacks and interceptions …

We work on it all the time. We have a board at practice that tracks forced fumbles and interceptions and batted balls and touchdowns so you can see at the end of each day where you are. We do spend time looking at players that you could target because maybe they don't have the best ball security, don't protect the back of the football, they don't protect the tip of the football, they carry it away from their body. The quarterback, where does he hold the ball? Does he hold it chest level? Does he, under pressure, drop it to one hand on his right side or by his waist?

So you're trying to give those guys the awareness: Apply pressure, if [you're] there, you obviously want to get the sack. But in addition to that, know where the ball is going to be, based on that player, and pressure the football based on where you anticipate it being. There's quite a bit that goes into that and it's a process, like anything else, and we focus on the process, not just the numbers. That's what we're looking to improve, getting better at doing those things.

On Leon Washington, Brad Smith and Darrelle Revis as kick returners ...

We got Darrelle some work in the preseason, not as much as we would have liked to, obviously. He did a lot of good things in college as a punt returner. I like some of the things Brad did in the preseason as a kickoff returner. Leon, I think he's really made strides from last season both as a punt and kickoff returner. I didn't know where he would be at the start of last year in those areas. He worked at it.

One of the things that's important with both of those spots is understanding the return you're setting up. Last week we had a right return on and we just couldn't get past the first element to get to the wall that was building. There was a chance there, but it's understanding "Where do I need to get? Who do I need to beat? Which guy is going to be picked up? Which guy am I going to have to make miss?" I think they're getting better at that stuff, but it takes a little time to transition to the new system.

On why he hasn't used Revis on punt returns …

I think Leon's done a good job with that stuff and I liked what he's done, not just last year but through the preseason. We have been close on some of those. Some of those we've got to do a better job of handling the outside flyers. You've got to give them a shot to catch the ball. There may be one player he has to make miss. It can't be multiple guys. So that's the same thing. You have to give them a chance to get going and then he's probably going to have to make somebody miss to get to the wall. That's usually what happens. But it's a group effort.

On whether it's a matter of if he's comfortable with where Revis is …

We don't feel uncomfortable with Darrelle back there. We work him quite a bit at practice. We just like where Leon is. Darrelle does have a lot of things defensively that he's working on, but he's continuing to get reps there. Sometimes the other thing you can do is put two guys back, one short, one deep, one left, one right, if you've got a punter that will spray the ball around a little bit.

On where his comfort level with Chad Pennington is in terms of taking a full load this week …

We'll see here today. We're ahead of where we were last week, obviously. We'll make sure that we're getting him enough reps so that he can be prepared, but not going so far, especially early in the week, that he has to scale back on Thursday or Friday. So we'll monitor that. We've got a plan in place, we'll see how that goes. You may have to adjust it as you go, but it's definitely something we're going to follow and monitor.

On whether he gives Kellen Clemens extra work in practice in the event Chad couldn't finish the game …

With monitoring Chad's reps there, as opposed to just saying it's definitely going to be a full workload or it's definitely going to be this number, you can adjust the reps for Kellen as well.

On what he likes about Will Montgomery …

A lot of things. When Dan [Henning, former Carolina offensive coordinator] was here, he was another guy we had talked about when he was visiting. When he became available we looked into it and brought him in last week to talk to him. So he had spent some time with him. I liked what he did on tape. I liked his motor. I really liked his motor. I thought he showed good finish on the second level, good toughness. He's a smart kid. Now it's just a function of fitting him in and letting him compete and seeing where it works out.

On whether Montgomery plays guard or center …

He's played both guard and center. He's got some flexibility to go out to tackle. With all those guys, especially if you end up going into the game as a backup offensive lineman, you have to work them across the board just in case something happens.

On whether he cleared up the allegation of violating an unwritten coaches' rule with Billick ...

In terms of an unwritten rule, that wasn't something that Brian and I talked about. We were talking about this situation specifically. In terms of unwritten rules, you'd have to talk to the people that are bringing that up. I feel very comfortable with where we are in the situation and the people that I know throughout the league.

On whether he's concerned about any backlash against him …

As I said, I feel very comfortable with the people I've known and know throughout the league. I feel very comfortable with the situation.

On whether he'll use the no-huddle offense more …

We actually go no-huddle pretty much every single play of a game. There was a little bit more huddle last game because of the noise and because Kellen was working with the first group for really the first time. So there was a little more huddle than normal. You can change the tempo with the no-huddle and you can speed it up if you want to. That's where you traditionally see, in two-minute situations, a sped-up version. But for us, everything operates from a no-huddle principle.

On D'Brickashaw Ferguson's growth …

I thought Brick showed a lot of progress last week. That's a tough defensive group to play against. There were some excellent examples of the progress he's made throughout the off-season and the progress he's made throughout camp. That's what you want to see as a coach, that continued growth. He plays one of the toughest positions in football. He plays against usually the best pass rusher on every single team, and it's week in and week out. There are no games off. He's continuing to work at his craft and you see the fruits of that labor. But it's always going to be a challenge. When you go and you have to deal with Jason Taylor, he makes a lot of people look like they're struggling.

On whether he's surprised at the early respect Revis has been shown …

He's had some balls thrown at him and he's competed well on those balls. He's doing a good job at the line of scrimmage, jamming receivers and being in the right spot, playing with leverage. I think he's doing a very good job tackling after the catch, whether it be him in man-to-man or in a zone-defense situation coming up and tackling. Every game plan is different, and why they chose to throw on one guy or another, some of it is purely read-based or player-specific. You don't know necessarily what the thought process is from the other offensive coordinator.

On how he feels Wayne Chrebet should be remembered …

Here's a guy that comes in as a free agent and I can remember the first time I noticed him, I was with the Ravens. I was breaking down tape and I can't remember who he was playing against, but I kept saying, "Who is this guy?" Because it was one catch, and then two catches, and I was doing the other team's defense and he just popped off the screen. This was the first year he was emerging, and I remember going in and mentioning and talking to some of the other offensive coaches at the time about Wayne.

That was just the introduction to all the great things he would do over the years. Difficult to cover. We double-teamed him, we double-teamed him with a safety, or with a star and the linebacker, we tried to jam him and then double-team him, and he found a way to get open. He had a great sense of where the leverage was going to be and where he could fit into that gap that you had vacated defensively and catch the football. I thought he was extremely tough. I know he was a problem to deal with every year defensively. You just love those guys that come in and say, "I'm not leaving. I'm going to make my mark on this game and this team." Wayne was one of those guys.

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