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 released Stefan Rodgers from the practice squad and signed Brad Listorti, a tight end.

In terms of Kansas City, what I talked about with the team in the team meeting is the fact that this is a younger team. There are quite a few new starters. Historically, when you face a team like this and when a team does play a lot of young players, as the season progresses they get better and better. As they learn more, get more reps, get more experience, they continue to improve.

Offensively, one of the things that they've done consistently well is run the football. The numbers are consistent regardless of which back it has been. They've got two really, really good skill players. [Tony] Gonzalez has basically every tight end record there is. [Dwayne] Bowe had a great rookie season — he's about 29 catches away from breaking the Kansas City two-year record for receptions. There's not much he can't do in the pass game.

Defensively, there are some similarities here to what we've seen in Kansas City and some of what you see from the Buffalo approach, sort of a fusion of the systems, where they're able to generate a lot of negative plays in the running game. They are 10th in generating negative plays. The main thing is they create a lot of turnovers. Their ability to force fumbles is impressive. That's something that's coached, something you see game in and game out. Third in the AFC and sixth in the NFL [in forced fumbles] — that's definitely a way they've been able to create some problems.

Then on teams, I really like what they do in their punt-rush game. They create a lot of problems there. [Bernard] Pollard is probably either the best or one of the best rush ends that we'll see. [Dantrell] Savage has done a nice job changing field position with their kickoff-return game and their coverage units. Especially their punt coverage unit has been very effective. One of the league leaders there.

On Chiefs QB Tyler Thigpen…

He played the Atlanta game. What I like that he did in the Atlanta game, at the end of the half, drove them down and was able to score with eight seconds left, came out in the second half, orchestrated another drive, was able to score there, and put them in position a third time to score. He was able to move the football pretty effectively when he was in.

He made some mistakes that you'd expect from a young guy, from a guy without a lot of experience, but he was able to move the football and complement the running game with some effective passes, especially to Bowe and Gonzalez. He does have the ability to move in the pocket, scramble and hurt people with his feet. When he came in against Tennessee, he orchestrated their points there as well.

On if losing to the Raiders was a wakeup call for what a one-win team is capable of accomplishing…

We don't look at any opponent any differently than we look at the last opponent. We knew that last week was going to be a tough game on the road against a very good defense. They were going to be able to cause some problems there. I don't think that snuck up on anybody. I don't think this is any different.

On the importance of building momentum…

It's really about winning the game. Not momentum or anything else, just winning this game.

On if there are any issues with QB Brett Favre's arm or shoulder…

No.

On if Favre is completely healthy…

Perfectly healthy.

On his thoughts of the reports about Favre sharing information with the Lions…

You can ask Brett about that when he comes in. I don't think sharing information is anything uncommon. From my experiences, the benefit is pretty marginal. What's really important is being able to look at the tape and see what they're doing because oftentimes whatever the information you get, it's based on that team's ability, that team's strengths. It's doesn't line up. There are a lot of variables involved. The gain that you get from that is pretty small.

On if Favre told him he did not speak to the Lions about the Packers game plan…

Brett will talk to you after I'm through.

On if he or other coaches around the league share information with opposing coaches…

Yeah, that's not uncommon, either, especially if you're friendly with a team that is playing your division and you're playing their division and you're not playing each other. That's a great opportunity to do that because they have insight on those teams because they face them twice a year and you have insight on your teams because you face them twice a year and over time. That's pretty common as well.

On if he would be bothered if Favre were talking with other teams as opposed to preparing for the Jets' next opponent…

I know that Brett prepares as thoroughly as anybody else. I don't monitor guys' free time, so they can spend it any way they want.

On if there are unwritten rules for how a team shares information…

I don't think this is anything that's uncommon or out of the norm.

On the lack of downfield passes in the last few games…

Sometimes you get them, but it's always a coordinated effort where you have to be able to run a good route, you have to be able to hold up in protection, you have to be able to make the right read. Some teams have decided to put more support in those areas, and that opens up other things, kind of like the running game where you can average 7, 8 yards a carry.

On if a successful running game should open up the downfield passing game…

It just depends on philosophically what you go into the game trying to stop. There's been games where your approach is let them run the football, but you're not going to give up the big play. You're always trying to prevent the big play defensively because it usually is a huge momentum swing. The more that you can do that, the more that you can keep those things in front of you and force long drives, the odds of the offense making a mistake increases.

On if that was Oakland's strategy…

I didn't get too in-depth in terms of what their specific strategy was.

On if he was able to determine Oakland's strategy from watching the game video...

There were different things mixed in throughout the course of the game. It wasn't typical in terms of the volume of pressure that they were able to bring. The variety of coverages was different than what they historically have been, not just this year but over time.

On what is the offensive identity of the Jets…

What you're looking for is balance. Some games you're going to throw for six touchdowns, some games you're going to rush for 8 yards a carry. Either one of those are really positive things. The end result or what you're looking for is to be able to score points.

More so than anything else, we need to convert on those red zone opportunities, we need to control the turnovers and we need to eliminate penalties. Those things kill drives. To be in the red zone and not come away with points, that's tough, especially in a close game. Or to turn the ball over in the red zone, which is usually going to be at least three points, possibly seven, that makes it tough as well.

On if the offense is being too conservative in the passing game…

We go into each week and we discuss the game plan. It's a collaborative effort. It's never something that's just jammed down the throats of the players. It's all part of trying to figure out what's the best way to achieve success. Numbers are going to vary throughout the course of the season, numbers are going to vary throughout the course of time. You're up one week, you're down the next week. It just depends what the end result is.

On the Jets' offensive line…

I still feel very good about what they've been able to do. This past week was a good indication of what the potential is in terms of running the football. It's getting the balance of run and pass, being able to threaten the whole field every game that is what we're looking for ideally. The level of communication, the things that they've had to deal with I thought overall have been very good.

On being unable to run the ball successfully in overtime at Oakland…

There were some successful drives there that stalled. Some of those were a function of penalties. I think we had a sack. We had one time where we had a wide open receiver and the guy fell down. I don't think it was one issue, per se.

On how concerned he is about WR Jerricho Cotchery and T Damien Woody…

We've just got to see where we are at the end of the week.

On if Cotchery and Woody will practice today…

It will be based on what the plan is. I don't know what level they'll practice at. The plan is always for them to practice, but I'll meet with the trainers and see where we are.

On how he is listing Cotchery and Woody on the injury report…

I don't know yet.

On Cotchery's and Woody's injuries…

Damien will be a leg and Jerricho will be a shoulder.

On if there is any concern that WR Laveranues Coles has a concussion…

We don't take any chances with any of those things. They have to be medically cleared. It doesn't matter what the player wants or what the coach wants. They have to be cleared by the physicians on the sideline prior to ever being let back in the game.

We've spent a lot of time putting together a process that we can go through on the sideline that's very specific based on research and not just a gut reaction. That's been something we've worked at to make sure we're not putting the players in a position where they could further harm themselves.

On how much WR Chansi Stuckey's year on IR helped his development…

We have them here. There may be cases where you let them go home for a little bit of time, but you want them here, especially a guy like Chansi. I think he really took advantage of that year.

You didn't see a big learning curve when he did get on the field because he spent so much time going to the meetings, studying the game plan and getting into that preparation routine. Even though he couldn't do it physically, he was doing all those things from a mental perspective. That helped him significantly as he started the second season without the value of all the reps in practice.

On CBs Justin Miller and Drew Coleman being inactive at Oakland…

Jesse Chatman has helped us on special teams. He plays roles that are different than what those guys play and it usually takes a certain amount of body types that play certain roles to the game. If you're not contributing on defense based on the plan, then you have to be making a significant contribution on special teams. That's always the balance.

Those decisions are tough, but you stress week in and week out from the start of the off-season through training camp how important it is to carve out a role on teams, because if you have that, you're always going to be at the game. If you're at the game, you always have an opportunity to play.

On if having a player with Favre's reputation puts more pressure on him as a coach…

We've got guys with pretty good reputations in different positions. The important thing is for us to be able to incorporate all the strengths of all the different positions and to get something that we can continue to build on and grow with.

There's a learning curve involved in all that stuff, but I like the way that these guys embrace that. I like the way that they work towards the plan each week. They build on the things that we've done. There's no sense of "we need to do this for my numbers" or "we need to do this for my production." It's all a sense of what can we do to move the football and be successful.

On how well he thinks he has maximized Favre's strengths…

Brett's done a good job since he's been here. That's one of the things I really like that he's done is being able to distribute the ball to a lot of different people, which forces them to cover a lot of different people. And then having a balance within the running game, all that stuff will help.

On the perception that Favre has become larger than the team…

One of the things that makes that very easy is that regardless of what the external focus is on, that's not what the internal focus is on and that's not what Brett's focus is on. That makes that part really easy. All Brett wants to do is help the team and improve his performance personally and improve the group's performance. In terms of anything externally or the focus externally, that's nothing that's under our control, so we don't try to control it.

On Favre's demeanor this week…

One of the great things about him and one of the great things that makes him so successful is whether it's adversity or success, he moves on to the next challenge, doesn't celebrate too long, doesn't lament too long. He moves on and looks to the next challenge and how he can meet that challenge.

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