Coach's Wednesday News Conference

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

We released [Brad] Listorti and [Waylon] Prather from the practice squad and signed [Marcus] Henry. He'll be on practice squad, and re-signed Paul Raymond [to the practice squad]. They'll be out there today.

In terms of Arizona, we're rolling on them this morning. Defensively, they're able to create the same problems that San Diego created with their zone-blitz package. There's those things that we have to adjust to and the movements related to their zone-blitz package. This is a very tough group of defensive players, a physical group of defensive players, that even if you get those things blocked up, you're going to have to really dig them out in both the running game and also in the passing game, being able to block them once you do get a hat for a hat.

The other thing I like is the way they pursue the football. It's consistent. It's all 11 guys, big guys, little guys. They're all getting to the ball fast. You can see that tempo and that mentality. It will be a really good challenge for us offensively for those three reasons.

In terms of their offense, it's a very consistent running game. When Ken [Whisenhunt] was in Pittsburgh, they ran the ball more than anybody else when he was offensive coordinator. Edgerrin [James], he's been very effective. That sets up the passing game with [Anquan] Boldin and [Larry] Fitzgerald. Boldin is [the fastest NFL player to] 350 [receptions] and Fitzgerald is four catches away from 350, which makes him the third-quickest in history to get there. Both of those guys are highlight films.

With [Kurt] Warner, I played against him at different points when he was with other teams. He's extremely efficient. He makes really good decisions, excellent game manager. When he gets rolling, he's very hard to stop. He's the second-highest-rated passer in the NFL, next to [Philip] Rivers, had a perfect pass rating at the Dolphins. He's been very effective for them.

On teams, this is a little bit unique for me. Kevin Spencer, who is their special teams coach, was actually my college coach at Wesleyan. He's the guy that got me in the NFL. I have a lot of personal feelings for him. From a coaching perspective, I always have respected him even from back in the day when I was playing for him. You can see how sound they are as a group and how consistent they are — all trademarks of Kevin. It's going to be a challenge for us, just like it was last week.

On QB Brett Favre's ankle…

He's going to go out and work. I anticipate him playing on Sunday.

On if he anticipates Favre being limited in practice…

We'll have to see. We'll take that as the week goes on and make sure it's getting the treatment it needs to get, not pushing it too far one way or the other, and make sure he's as prepared as he needs to be.

On if Favre will be limited before he even steps on the practice field...

Maybe to some degree, but all those guys that are going through treatment are limited to some degree.

On DT Kris Jenkins…

Really nothing new there, sort of the same thing as Brett as far as getting treatment. We'll work. We'll put him through what we can get in terms of reps in the program and take it as the week goes on.

On if Jenkins will be limited at practice…

We'll have a program for each one of those guys, get them the reps they need to get in terms of getting the preparation, but also making sure we don't reaggravate the injury and we're moving forward there.

On if he expects Favre and Jenkins to play Sunday…

I anticipate both those guys playing.

On turnovers…

We talk about that every week. It's so important. There's so many different statistics that you can cite in the running game, passing game, third down, red area, all that stuff. When you look at turnovers, turnovers have such a dramatic correlation between success and failure based on the giveaway/takeaway ratio. If you're giving the ball away more than you're taking it away, odds are you're going to lose the game. It's not like a 60/40 chance. It spikes way up there in the 80th, 90th percentile in terms of plus/minus in that category.

On if Monday's game against the Chargers will serve as a learning experience preparing for the Cardinals…

That approach hasn't changed. You have to look at that stuff, then you have to move past it because there's a bunch of stuff that we need to get done for this week. We went through it as a staff, got back late, early, however you want to look at it, but went through that first, got those things that we wanted to correct, the teaching points off that, reinforced that to the players, but reinforced it in the context of moving forward to Arizona.

On incorporating anything from the second half of the Chargers game in terms of the Jets passing game…

We had the empty [backfield] in the first half as well, and it didn't flow as well as it did in the second half. Sometimes that happens, where you get into a package that's working really well so you just keep rolling with it. I didn't really anticipate it being the volume of snaps we had out of empty. When it's working, you keep rolling with it.

On if the empty backfield was a result of softer coverage by the Chargers …

There was quite a bit of pressure off that, too, early. I don't think it was a function of dropping eight and sitting back in zone coverage like a prevent concept. It was a good mix of bringing more than we could block and max-protecting it or just rushing four. Ted [Cottrell] mixed it up pretty good there.

On frustration on third down...

I don't think it's just a function of third-down defense. It's a function of third-down offense. We need to be able to move the chains just as well as we need to be able to get off the field. There's all those different key statistics, and that's another big one.

The disappointing thing is the opportunities we had to make plays there. It wasn't as if their guys were cut free or things like that, but then being able to call the defense, execute the defense, and actually get off the field. There were several times where we had position on the player but just didn't make the play.

On if the Chargers' crossing patterns caught the Jets off guard…

No, not really. Usually the approach, if they're anticipating more man coverage, is some more crossing routes. Typically those are good "man" beaters. There was a mix in the first half from us of man and zone. Some teams are just partial to crossing routes because you get the catch-and-run opportunity as well as if we're blitzing, a chance to throw hot to a guy right in front of the quarterback. It gives you some nice options there. Beat man and be able to throw it quick. If you are in zone, you get a lot of separation, then you get a low player that you can hopefully dump it off to and pick up 8 or 9 yards.

On the Jets' offensive line…

I thought they played really well, the amount of times where they had to communicate out different looks, adjustments. It wasn't the pattern that [the Chargers] had shown. They had shown a totally different pattern in terms of moving [Shaun] Phillips around and locating him. The variation of where they brought pressure, especially out of that empty package, because you have the chance of getting a guy off the slot either side, you could bring some secondary pressure, you have the walkaround element inside.

There's a lot of things that go on during the course of those 20 seconds, where it's five-on-five if they're zone-blitzing, but figuring out which five they're going to bring, that takes some work. You only need one guy to miscommunicate that to have a sack. The sacks we did give up were a function of the play going a little bit longer, some movement. It wasn't a stationary pocket on those things. You have a higher chance of that as the play extends and the quarterback moves.

On Favre and his chemistry with his receivers…

He has a 70 percent completion rate. That's a pretty high completion rate. He's throwing to multiple guys. Everybody got involved last game. I wouldn't say it's just a work in progress for those guys, it's a work in progress for us collectively. There's some things that we need to fix and get a lot better at as we move forward or otherwise it's going to be hard to execute the game-plan-specific things if you're not taking care of the self-inflicted wounds first.

On miscommunication on offense…

You see that every single game. In each offense, there are reads based off what the coverage is, and most routes adjust in some way. If it's press, you run one thing. If it's off you run something else. If it's press post safety, there's some variables there and both sides have to read it the same way.

It's something we're always striving to do defensively, force the receivers to make postsnap decisions, force the quarterback to make postsnap decisions as opposed to giving them a really clean look where you're screaming, "It's three deep, run this route, throw it here." I give credit to the Chargers. They did a good job disguising things. You're going to have some of that stuff.

On Cardinals QB Kurt Warner and how he has resurrected his career…

I don't know his whole history in Arizona. I really have more of the things that I've studied here, based on him being the starter. I couldn't take you through that whole progression. The times where I faced him, he's always been extremely efficient, extremely poised, really nice touch on the ball regardless of whether it's outside or inside, those types of things. That's how I've always known him. I don't really know what his Giants history was or what the history there is.

On what problems Arizona's offense poises…

The last two games, you're talking about some very potent offenses and some very good receivers. Look at [Randy] Moss and [Wes] Welker. They led the league in receptions and production last year. Then you look at San Diego, [Antonio] Gates, [Chris] Chambers and [Darren] Sproles. There's a lot of different options there offensively.

Here with [Anquan] Boldin and [Larry] Fitzgerald, two guys that are big, they're strong, they have excellent hands, very good run after the catch. Fitzgerald's catch against Miami, he goes up, press man, tight coverage. He takes the ball away, comes down, pushes the corner down, makes the safety miss and goes for a long way. Boldin, whether he's catching it short and running or catching deep like he did in Miami on the middle read, he can do both of those. They have great body control, great hands and really good strength.

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