Mangini: Committed to Core Jets' Values

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During the spring of 2005, Eric Mangini interviewed for the defensive coordinator position in Miami with Nick Saban.  Mangini, who ended up as the Patriots defensive coordinator in '05, actually worked with Saban in Cleveland over a decade ago.

"Nick, he's incredibly thorough in everything that he does," Mangini said.  "He's very detailed-oriented. He works extremely hard and he's smart. That's a pretty good package."

Read Below for the Complete Transcript

Opening statement…

A couple of things in terms of housekeeping, Rashad Moore will not be practicing today. He is excused for personal reasons. We released Derrick Strait and signed Hank Poteat yesterday. With Derrick, he did a good job for us, and it is similar to Trevor's (Johnson) situation and Ryan Myers, it was a situation where we thought we could improve the team. I have a lot of familiarity with Hank, and he has a lot of familiarity with the system. So I wish Derrick well and hope things will work for him moving forward.

In terms of Miami, we'll start our preparation for the week. I think that Nick Saban is an outstanding coach. He's done well everywhere he has been, whether it be on the college level, as a head coach or coordinator in the pro level when he was at Cleveland or head coach at Miami. He's very smart, and very detailed-oriented.

I spent a little bit of time with him in Cleveland. It was a cup of coffee there. Then I interviewed with him down in Miami. I respect him as much as I can respect any head coach in the way he approaches things.

In terms of their offense, they have skill players on offense that can score. They do good things in the running game. They do good things in the passing game. Each one has a unique skill set and present a different set of problems. And they're all explosive in their own way. Defensively, they are outstanding versus the run and do a lot of things.

In terms of their pressure package, whether it's Zach Thomas or Jason Taylor, those guys are perennial Pro Bowl players. And there's good reason. It shows up week-in and week-out with the way they perform and with the way they affect the game defensively.

With their special teams, once you pass the 50 you're in (Olindo) Mare's field goal range. Also, I think Wes Welker has done a great job, not only with punt returns but with kickoff returns. So that will be a challenge for us, as well.

When I spoke to the team this morning, I went through the Miami scouting report and then closed with the getting back to points that we make each week, which is the core Jet values. We talked about those, and reiterated those. And the reason they're so important, the reason they are core Jets' values are because they are what works and they are what's successful. We need to commit to those and work on those. That's going to go a long way to determining success or failure week-in, week-out and throughout the course of the season.

On signing Hank Poteat…

Hank has familiarity with this system. I've coached him personally and he was with us there late in the preseason, so he has got some exposure to the coaching staff and the players, and I think he will transition smoothly into the group.

On the difference in the situations with Poteat and Strait previously compared to now…

Things change week-in and week-out, and whether it's the depth of the corner position or Hank doing different things than Derrick does, both in terms of defensively and on special teams. We looked at the big picture and thought that would be more helpful at this point and that's why we did it.

On if trading and resigning Strait created an uncomfortable situation…

Not a bit. I think that's just how it goes. Troy Brown was on the streets for ten weeks. Keenan McCardell was in and out. And sometimes it's just the process. I really liked the things that Derrick did, just like I liked what Trevor did, and Ryan Myers as well. But when you look at the big picture you're always trying to upgrade the team.

On if Poteat being released by New England sparked the release of Strait…

It's one of those things where another player becomes available, whether it's Hank or somebody else, Cody (Spencer), Ryan Riddle, (James) Hodgins, right down the line, you just look at it and look at where you are in terms of the overall team, not just the unit but also special teams, and you try to incrementally improve each week.

On if Poteat being released from New England played a factor in Strait being released…

It's one of those things, if you're going to improve it, you're going to have someone that you like and that you hope can do that. Availability definitely plays a role.

On if Poteat may play this week…

Definitely.

On Miami's QB Joey Harrington…

Each guy is so unique, and I thought he was very effective last week and we had a little exposure to him, the other plays we played him on, so we'll look at those notes and look at the things he did during preseason and things he did in Detroit. You're always trying to gauge the player within the system, but the player as a whole, strengths and weaknesses, and you gather that information purely from the current films and sometimes you have to go back and do a little research and dig up old notes.

On coaching a comeback player (referring to Saban/Culpepper and Mangini/Pennington)…

I'm sure each head coach goes through their own procedure to evaluate a player's readiness. Nick is a very thorough guy and everything he does is incredibly thorough. For me personally, it was determining who, at that point, was going to be the leader of the offense and who, at that point, was going to distinguish themselves in a positive way. Chad did that over time and it became very clear. At that point that's when we made our decision.

On when Mangini interviewed with Saban…

It was last year.

On how close Mangini came to taking a job in Miami…

You know, I was very happy with my decision at that point. I interviewed there in Cleveland and all three were excellent opportunities.

On if the interview was before he became a defensive coordinator…

Yes.

On if he was interviewing to be a coordinator at the time…

Yes.

On if he literally got Saban coffee in Cleveland…

I'm sure I set up an interview and did something like that. I probably drove him to the airport when he went to Michigan State. That's the magic of the NFL.

On Saban's personality…

Nick, he's incredibly thorough in everything that he does. He's very detailed-oriented. He works extremely hard and he's smart. That's a pretty good package.

On Mangini's intensity compared to Saban…

I spent the day with Nick. You have to ask somebody who knows us both.

On if Mangini is eager to see how the team responds after Sunday's loss…

I'm anxious to see how the team responds every week. Really, for me, it's consistency of approach. Each week has been so different and so many different things have happened in the game. That's something that we all like, even prior to starting the season, the amount of adversity we face, whether it be in the game, through the season, with injuries or with victories, all that stuff, there are different elements that you have to deal with and address. The most important things are consistency, focus and viewing each game as its own entity, we worry about that and not about the past or the future.

On Harrington's traits to watch out for…

There is some exposure there from preseason, there's the last game, there's the work that he did in Detroit. We played against him at the other place, so I have those notes. Collectively, through this year, some of last season and some historical information you piece that together. You have to put him within the context of their offense, as well, so that changes things.

On what kind of player Harrington is…

I thought he was very effective passing the ball. I thought he moved their team really well at the end of the first half. I thought that there were a couple of throws where there was some good coverage and disguise. One of those was kind of slightly behind the receiver and bounced the wrong way for them. But overall, I think he did a really good job and was effective, not only running the offense, but also throwing the football.

On going back to basics this week with the defense after Sunday's loss…

Really, there is a balance each week. The way practice is structured, early in practice it's really a focus on fundamentals, the core things that you have to do position-by-position. And that's so important because there is so much game planning that goes into each opponent that fundamentals can get lost at times. As soon as you start losing track of those, it doesn't matter what game plan you have, because if you don't block well, you don't tackle well, you don't play with leverage and angles, you don't have good foot work or hand placement, the other stuff really doesn't matter.

On Poteat playing Miami two weeks in a row…

I'm sure it's like Groundhog day for him. I think there will be some value there at that exposure. It's a good turn of events for him to face the same opponent in consecutive weeks. All that stuff has value any time you can hopefully gather some information. And we try to do that whether it be Tennessee and talking to Andre Dyson and Brad Kassell, or whoever it is along the line, trying to gain some insight into your opponent.

On evaluating the secondary…

It's like the rest of the group. It's consistency. It's something as simple as the receiver making his break and not looking back for the ball. Closing the cushion first and then looking back for the ball, which is pretty fundamental, but it's not easy to do. The natural tendency as you get to the break point, you look right back for the ball and then that's where more separation comes, because your body has to go where your eyes go. It's just the nature of things. It could be as small as that, or it could be exactly where the fits are in terms of field role run support, where if you are on the back side you have to keep all 11 guys inside of you. If you're the safeties and the point of the funnel, understanding where your back side safety is, where the corners fit. Sometimes it's not the group, it can be one guy, but that's true across the board. It just takes one person not doing their job and trusting that someone else is doing theirs to where you think you may be fixing a problem, but really it just creates or generates some new opening or new opportunity offensively.

On Poteat transitioning…

Hank, he's a tough guy, he's physical versus receivers. He's done a good job in the roles that he's been asked to play. He'll be in there with the rest of the group and competing. That's something we always wanted, is to try to improve the level of competition and the level of overall performance. He's played a few different roles within the scheme, whether it be just in base, or whether it be in nickel or dime, the substitute package, playing inside or outside.

On Ben Graham adjusting to the culture in America…

Ben brought me a cooler full of meat pies yesterday. I guess there is a distributor here in the States. And it was fun to see those. He's one of the captains, as well, and it's great to get his perspective in a meeting, because he comes at this world with such a different viewpoint. We'll go through our insight and feedback then he'll provide some feedback based on what he did with Geelong and some of the things he did there, which are radically different, and it's always nice because it's a good source of new ideas. He's been great.

On communicating with Laveranues Coles about his playing time…

We chat here and there. I wasn't necessarily going to schedule a meeting. I don't have anything scheduled.

On seeing where Coles is coming from…

It's pretty open in terms of anybody can talk to me at any time and I feel free to talk to anybody at any time. I think that's important. I always hope if there is anything that needs to be discussed, that we do that, and that's always important; not just in Laveranues's case, but any player's case. There have been good discussions throughout the season with a lot of guys.

On Mangini's coaching style compared to Saban's…

A lot of our conversation when we met was on secondary play. I think being a part of a similar system, the terminology that we were on the same page in terms of language and approach was good and positive. I do like watching the secondary and working the secondary, but I like working with all these guys. It's the fun part of the job.

On if Mangini is familiar with the slide-step…

I'm familiar with the slide-step. We could probably chat about that for quite some time.

On if he likes guys who do that…

We're not exclusively a slide-step team. There's slide-step, there is shuffle-step, shades of gray.

On if Poteat plays both…

He's done some of that. It's been more of a corner than a safety.

On MIA's Jason Taylor…

I think any time we have to face Jason Taylor, it's a great challenge. It's an exciting challenge. He can explode on any play. So you need to be ready every single play. He has got a lot of different things that he can do. So for all those guys, it's an opportunity, and they've seen some good pass rushers here. He is another elite guy. He's got the most sacks since 2000, 80 sacks. You just don't fall into 80 sacks. With Zach, he's impressive. I really like the way that he makes plays sideline-to-sideline, his instincts, his toughness, his competitiveness, he's got it.

On what he's looking for from QB Chad Pennington this week…

Chad has the competitiveness that we talk about. He hates to lose. We all employ the five-second rule, and that's something he's applying as well, and he's moved on to Miami. He's played a lot of good football. There are going to be games where throws get away from you and decisions get away from you. The important thing is to correct it and move on. But he's played a ton of good football.

On if Chad's performance shakes his confidence…

Not one ounce.

On if Mangini see's the Australian Football League as another source for NFL players…

I think the AFL has a lot of great athletes. It's trying to find exactly where their skill set would fit in here, and there's not a lot of carry over between the two. I think those athletes are outstanding. Even Rugby, the Rugby league, both of those have some players that could translate very well here, but still it's not just the athletic ability, it's learning the game, and that curve is a little bit more significant than, say, just being purely a punter.

On how Wade Smith has progressed…

He's made good progress. You can plug him in a lot of different spots, center, guard and tackle. And he's got really good feet and movement and athletic ability. He gets better each week.

On W. Smith on special teams…

He has more of a minor role on teams, yes.

On Cedric Houston and Trey Teague…

I like to think they always have a shot. Cedric has made good progress and, I should get an update on Trey.

On if Curtis Martin will play next week…

He and I have talked about that a little bit. It's not something we're setting any timetable on. It's more of going through the process, seeing how it feels, getting into more football-specific activities. It could be as early as that or it could be right down to the wire. The key thing for us to make sure that when it does happen, it's the best decision, it's the right time and he's completely ready.

On what the first practice is that Martin can play…

I would have to check on the exact date, but the way that Rich outlined it is, it starts in the sixth week, and then you go to the ninth week. After the week six game, you have three weeks to bring him up, he doesn't come on the roster at that point. You have another three weeks at that point to practice him, see where the progress is. It's at the end of that period you have to make a decision either to activate him to the roster, which would mean you create a spot, or go the other direction.

On when Mangini thinks Martin will be ready…

We'll see how it goes, but that is the window there for us.

On the second and third week windows…

The second three weeks, at whatever point you bring him up, then you go on the clock. But you have a three-week window here at any point to bring him up.

On if a decision is made after the first three weeks…

Correct. Or if you bring him up, then you have another window there to look at him before you have to make that decision. So there are two different blocks there.

Wednesday Injury Report Jets
Questionable: FB B.J. Askew (foot), CB David Barrett (hip), WR Laveranues Coles (calf), RW Tim Dwight (thigh), RB Cedric Houston (knee), OL Pete Kendall (thigh) & OL Trey Teague (ankle)
Probable:*DL Dave Ball (hand), *RB Kevan Barlow (calf), *LB Matt Chatham (foot), *OL Anthony Clement (shin), *DL Bobby Hamilton (knee), *FB James Hodgins (knee), *OL Adrian Jones (thigh), *CB Justin Miller (hip), DL Rashad Moore (personal), *QB Chad Pennington (calf), *S Kerry Rhodes (thigh), *TE Sean Ryan (Chest), WR Brad Smith (thigh), *S Eric Smith (knee), & *DL Kimo von Oelhoffen (knee) & *RB Leon Washington (hip)

Dolphins Doubtful:WR Marty Booker (chest) & QB Daunte Culpepper (knee)
*Questionable: *CB Travis Daniels (knee), TE Justin Peelle (knee), & LB Derrick Pope (hamstring)
*
Probable: **TE Randy McMichael (ribs)

  • Denotes players who participated in practice
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