Coach's Wednesday News Conference

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

We signed Jay Feely and waived Kenwin Cummings. We signed Stefan Rodgers, who is an offensive tackle, and Brad Listorti, who is a tight end [to the practice squad]. We [released] Stanley Daniels and Larry Brackins [from the practice squad].

In terms of the Patriots, we went through it this morning, defensively — very consistent with what we've seen. The one thing that we know in all three phases is that it's going to be game-plan-specific to us. The things that they've necessarily done in the preseason or did against Kansas City, that doesn't automatically translate into what they'll do against us.

Defensively, they're still very good against the run, a very difficult front to run against. They're able to generate a lot of pass rush with their core group of rushers. They've had a lot of success against us with that, been able to generate a lot of pressure there. It's going to be something that we're going to have to adjust to during the course of the game that they'll do, that we have not seen prior. We'll have to talk about it. That's consistent with how they've approached it.

Offensively, I look at the running backs and every one of them is an explosive guy, right on down the line, no matter who's in the backfield. All of them can make plays. You can see that last week with the over-5-yard average with both their backs. Now with Kevin Faulk back, that's an added problem. They have LaMont Jordan, so there's a lot of potential there, tons of weapons across the board. [Randy] Moss, [Wes] Welker and [Benjamin] Watson, all of them can create problems.

This is a very well-oiled machine. [Matt] Cassel came in last week, backed up, threw a 51-yard pass, turned around, threw a touchdown to Moss, hit Welker on a bunch of plays, 13-for-18 for a [116]-point quarterback rating. It's a very efficient offense. Matt will do an excellent job for them. He's been there a long time. I was there when he got there. He's very similar to what I've experienced with a lot of the quarterbacks in terms of the way he approaches things, how disciplined he is and how much he studies. He's got a strong arm. He can make plays with his feet. I think he'll do a really, really good job.

On special teams, this is an excellent group. They can cause problems in the return game. We saw that with Ellis Hobbs — he had the 108-yarder against us last year. With their punt returners, they have multiple guys they can put back there that are very efficient there. They blocked a punt against us last year as well. Their PAT/field goal block gets a lot of pressure on their coverage teams. There are some designated core teams players that create issues. This is going to be a really good challenge for us from that perspective.

On not having a lot of video on Cassel…

There have been some situations where we've had to prepare for two guys when you don't know who's starting, or this situation where most of the film is preseason-based. You get half a game, three-quarters of a game there with Kansas City. We really faced it in the past in Buffalo. There are some definite things that are different about Matt and Tom stylistically. The system, I think, is going to remain consistent, the weapons he has available are consistent, but how he goes through his whole operation is going to unfold here. Some of that we're going to have to adjust to as the game goes on.

On if the Patriots will have to make changes on offense…

He's a really smart guy. He's had a lot of time in that system, he's been there a long time. The system, there's a lot of consistencies with it, not dramatic shifts year in and year out. He'll do a good job with that. They really didn't change that much in terms of the approach throughout the Kansas City game. In fact, throwing that ball backed up in their own end zone is a good indication of the confidence level they have with him.

On the Patriots defense picking up the slack for an offense that is in flux...

I don't think it is just going to be reactionary. That's a proud, veteran group, filled with a lot of tough guys. Rodney Harrison, he's about as tough as they come. Go right on down the line — [Mike] Vrabel, [Richard] Seymour, Tiny [Ty Warren], Vince [Wilfork], [Tedy] Bruschi. Take your pick, any of those guys. They're tough, veteran guys that have been through 8,000 different scenarios. [Jerod] Mayo is playing well for them and Adalius Thomas. It's a salty group.

On if his mindset changes because the Jets have gone from underdogs to favorites…

We talked about this on Monday. We didn't really go into the season with the mindset of "Hey, we're playing for second place here." That's never really the approach. It's not a function of what other teams have and what other teams do. It's a function of what we do. I really believe that. I believe that we control the things that happen to us based on how we work, how we prepare and how we execute on Sunday. I don't think anybody in the room walks in, whoever the opponent is, and says, "Hopefully, we can keep it close."

On coaches using an it's-us-against-the-world mentality as a motivational tool…

I don't think I've really been saying that. It's a function of us improving us, and us playing as well as we can against the opponent that we have. That's really been my mantra since I got here and that's what I know, that's what I believe and that's what I've seen work over and over again. It's that game, that week and that opponent.

It's something that I learned in my time in New England. Even here at the Jets with Bill [Parcells] and Bill [Belichick], it's always about the focus on that opponent as opposed to anything external. When you get caught up in external things, you're just losing time on what's going to affect the game.

On signing K Jay Feely…

He's been very efficient, was very efficient last year in terms of field goals, does a nice job with kickoffs. He's got a lot of experience. All those things came into play.

On if it helps that he kicked at the Meadowlands for two seasons with the Giants…

That was definitely a positive, having that understanding of the uniqueness of the stadium, the wind shifts, the weather conditions. That's definitely a plus.

On if Feely is definitely the kicker this week…

Yes.

On how long Feely will be his kicker…

Until Mike [Nugent] gets back.

On if he noticed more blitzes from Kansas City after Brady went down…

It didn't look like a dramatic shift in approach. There may have been a few more things here and there, but overall the plan stayed consistent on both sides.

On if Cassel can run a no-huddle offense this year…

Yes.

On what Belichick does that makes him so effective when adversity strikes…

I don't think it's merely a function of adversity. It's also a function of success. We talked about how everybody talks about overcoming adversity, and sometimes you have to overcome success. Both of those are challenging. Bill does a great job of getting everybody on exactly the same page in terms of what's important. That's all it's about. What's important, and what's important now, nothing about the past, nothing about the future. When you get a group of people doing that and really understanding what has to be done to win the game, it's powerful. Bill does an excellent job with that.

On how he prepares the team for the emotion he'll have on Sunday…

Everybody is pretty well-versed in this rivalry. There's been a pretty strong track record of these games and the emotion that goes into it. We've all seen plenty of New England tape, not just playing in the division but just the exposure. There's a lot of familiarity with the team, even from the guys that haven't been here before.

On if he is pleased with QB Brett Favre's preparation…

There are a lot of things I really like. I like the fact that last week I asked him a question on the game plan to win the game on special teams — he could answer it and not miss a beat. It wasn't a setup. He nailed it. At practice, we had a reverse call. He's the lead guy out on the reverse, looking to pick up a block — not that I'm encouraging that necessarily, but that's what he was doing.

When he's not in, it's the defense going against the show team. He's trying to help out any way he can there, whether it's talking to the defensive players or talking to the show team to get them to continue to improve the look. We talked about working with the young guys, to maybe even meet with the guys that are going to be on the show team so they give a better look. All that stuff, you could very easily take care of your responsibilities, take care of things that you have to do and then go home, but that's not how he's wired. That's not who he is. It's those little things that are very impressive.

I remember Jerry Rice, when he spoke to us, he always talked about how he'd go to every single special teams meeting. That was very important to Jerry because he wanted the special teams guys to know what an impact they had in the game. He wasn't playing on special teams but he went to every single meeting. I see the same sort of subtle and not-so-subtle involvement by Brett.

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