Coach's Wednesday News Conference

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8/20/08 Training Camp Practice Photos

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

Today is the last open day of training camp. It has been an exciting training camp. We have had a lot of fans here. Over the times I've been here, whether it was this time or the last time I was here, it's always been great to have the energy from the fans. It gets a little bit long during training camp at times and there are days when the coffee is just not getting it done, but having them there, having the kids here and having the passion here is always great.

We'll spend a lot of time after practice signing autographs for the fans — just being able to spend time with them is pretty unique. It's going to be our last day here at Hofstra. It's a pretty special day.

On WR David Clowney's status…

There is no change in his status from yesterday. We'll just have to see how it goes.

On if the Jets will keep Clowney on the roster…

Those are all decisions that we have to talk about. Going into this game, there are definitely a group of guys that with this game and the Philadelphia game, seeing how that pans out and where they fit in. There are a lot of tough decisions to make. We have to go through that process before any finality.

On Clowney's performance before his injury…

He had an excellent training camp. He, to me, is like [Brett] Ratliff is at quarterback, a guy who came in, who started a little bit slower, had a lot of assets physically, really worked at it mentally and physically in the off-season program. You could see the results of that work translating into the games. Sometimes it happens in OTAs, sometimes it happens in training camp, but then to actually see it executed in games, that's the progression you're looking for.

On "translating" the terminology of plays called to what QB Brett Favre is familiar with…

There are definitely elements of that. Where he is with the different players, going different places, there are a lot of things that we had to adjust terminology-wise. If you could have some of those terms be terms that he's familiar with, the group's learning new terms. Whether you call it "watermelon," whatever word you want to come up with, everybody's learning a word. If it's something he associates with, the rest of the group had to learn a new word anyway. It's been a positive of having to change the things that we've changed.

On if he is concerned with changing the way the plays are called so close to the start of the regular season…

It's not a shift in what we were going to do anyway. Offensively and defensively, what you have to do, you have to constantly change signals and code words. You do it periodically to make sure you can't get a beat. Every time you call this word, it's a run, every time you call this word, it's a pass. You have to constantly change that up. You want to use old words that had meant something totally different or use old signals that once had to be something totally different. That's always good. They're seeing one thing, they're anticipating one thing and it's the total opposite.

On balancing RB Thomas Jones' carries and Favre's snaps…

Thomas got a ton of reps in camp. He missed a lot of time last year. We've seen running backs in preseason not get carries and come out opening day and look pretty good. It doesn't have to be pure game reps, it's reps however you get them.

On if Jones has suggested how many carries he needs in preseason to be ready…

We really haven't had that conversation. I would be open to listening to that if that was a concern. The volume of reps that he gets in practice has been a lot. Some of the reps he's gotten have been doing other things whether it's the passing game, screens or protections. All those reps count. He's not a guy who just carries the ball. He's going to do all those other things as well.

On if he has determined how much Favre will play on Saturday…

No, not really.

On if he treats Favre's second preseason game the same as other players' third preseason games…

I don't know what preseason game this is in his career. It has to be 100. I don't look at it as his second or first. The ones play 10 to 15 reps in the first game. It's just working with each other, more familiarity each day he builds on things.

He got the guys out of curfew last night, if he could answer what the team's core values were. I thought I had him. I don't know how he pulled that one out. The room exploded. We did a modified name game, and he was able to name the number I asked for. He was playing for the group and he won.

On what the team's prize was…

An hour off meetings and no curfew.

On if he feels like he accomplished everything he wanted during training camp, offensively and defensively…

Yeah, definitely. I think there's a volume of new players, draft picks, free agents and new coaches. There are a lot of things we've gone through in terms of games, the Green & White game, OTAs, all that stuff. There's still a lot of people that aren't as familiar with necessarily how we do it or they don't have the reps within the system to build on, so you're incorporating all those elements.

There's been a lot of good work. I like the cohesiveness on the offensive line. They played really well as a unit the other night. That group, offensively as a whole, their level of communication ­— I know Brett is newer to the mix ­ but it didn't feel that way. He didn't have a sense of "What's the call? What are we trying to get done here?" There was never a feeling like we should have covered that a little more. I was pleased with that.

Defensively, it's the same thing. We're rotating over a corner. Eric Smith is working in with the first group. I've seen some real positive things there as well. With Shaun [Ellis] being out for a little while, I got to see Mike DeVito getting special work and C.J. Mosley and "Jenk" [Kris Jenkins]. On special teams, coach Kevin O'Dea — anytime you change coordinators, everybody's learning. That's the process as well. It's kind of the same thing.

One time you call it an 8-box, and in this system you call it a 6-box. It's the same exact number of people. How do you want to call it? How do you want it phrase it? Some of the stuff from the last couple of years are still very much part of our system, so it's not a complete overhaul. There are some things that are fused together. With teams, too, with as many guys competing for spots as there are, you're putting a lot of different people in different areas. It's a little different each day. Somebody does really well, they get bumped up. It may not be bumped up in the spot that they were practicing the day before, but the window is in another spot.

On there being fewer and shorter training camp practices this year…

I don't know what the numbers come out to over three years. I think they're actually pretty close. When I went through and calculated in the recovery days, there were some things we had done early in training camp the last two years where we didn't have a practice and I shifted that around. So the balance sheet comes out a little closer than you might think.

On if the practices are shorter…

We're just that much more efficient [laughs]. I switched some things around there, too. It's a little bit of experimentation, a little bit of evaluation, talking to people, seeing how other people do it. So it may be different next year, even with the daily schedule. I looked at a lot of different schedules around the league and talked to different guys. You're just trying to get the best one for you. There are some ideas that I really like that we've incorporated and some other things that I didn't like as much. It ends up being the Jets' schedule, but I like the ability to pick and choose and change things.

On WR Marcus Henry…

I like Marcus Henry. What I like about Marcus is he's able to play multiple positions. He's learned the "X" receiver, he's learned the "Z" receiver. He's learned inside in the slot. What's nice about that is he got a lot more reps this past preseason game because he wasn't limited where you can only play him at X or you can only play him at Z. That's always good to have that flexibility.

That's one of the things Jerricho [Cotchery] did really well early in his career. You could put Jerricho wherever you needed him and he could do it well. That just kept creating opportunity, so I think that's one of the real positives about Marcus. He's a big guy. He has good hands. He's getting his introduction to special teams. He did a little bit in college and we've talked about that, but it's different rushing the punt and blocking. It's different being on kickoff at 6'4" and running down there — there's no pass interference on kickoff. You'd better get your head on a swivel. I'm sure, talking to him about that, it's a whole new world. He's done it well and willingly, it just takes some getting used to.

On the development of CB Dwight Lowery as compared to CB Darrelle Revis at this time last year…

He's practiced a lot more than Darrelle did last year at this point. He's an intense guy. When we talked about him, we talked to his college coaches and the people that dealt with him. They all said that, but usually they say that about every guy they talk about. You have to sort through and gauge it. But he is [intense]. He seems like he's all football all the time. When you give him a correction, very rarely does he come out and make the same mistake. That's helped him a lot. Each day he's adding another brick to the pile, so it's been pretty quick development.

On CB Justin Miller getting more reps…

He and David [Barrett] have worked with the ones throughout OTAs and training camp. Justin did not get a lot of reps last year because the injury happened so early. He was doing a really nice job going into the season at cornerback, and he's been doing a good job this year as well. It's a little deceiving, because even though he's further along in his experience, last year he didn't get the reps we were hoping to get him. He's made a lot of progress as well.

On if he'd like to name one starter at right cornerback…

A lot of times it's game-plan-specific. Darrelle is going to start, I can say that definitively. If it's not clear­cut at the other position, then you're definitely going to look at who you're facing and what's going to cause them problems and what's going to cause you problems. I really like the ability to go into a game plan and say, "OK, we get these four DBs and they've got these four receivers. When they come out in this group, you're going here, you're going here, you're going here."

What you have to get is, every one of your DBs has to play all the different spots. That was a nice thing when we had Otis [Smith], Terrell Buckley and Ty [Law, in New England]. That group was an older group. It didn't matter which spot you put them in. They had enough familiarity with all the spots. They could play "star," they could play outside, they could play "money." Offensively, you couldn't tell whether it was man or zone or you're matching up like on like.

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