Mangini: That's Part of the Job

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Eric Mangini met with the media on Monday afternoon, a day after the New York Jets beat the Miami Dolphins 20-17 to even their record to 3-3. Mangini announced that running back Curtis Martin will remain on the Phyiscally Unable to Perform (PUP) list for at least two more games.

"I felt good about his progress and his approach throughout the whole thing," said Mangini of Martin. "You can't ask for a better approach and a better person. He's been great and working really hard at it."

Read below for Coach Mangini's entire press conference transcript

Opening statement…

In terms of the players of the game, offensively, it was Chris Baker. Defensively, it was Bryan Thomas. On special teams, it was Brad Smith. The practice player of the week was Wallace Wright. Offensively, I was pleased with the fact that we came out on the first drive of both halves and scored some points, no turnovers and scored 17 points in the second half. I thought all those things were positive. On defense, I'm really pleased with the key stops we had there on 4th and 1, 3rd and 2, on the 38, and the 3rd and 2 on the four-yard line. Those were all key plays in the game. I thought overall the run fits were better. It's still something we need to continue to improve on, but I thought we made progress from last week. On special teams, I was really pleased with the job that we did against Wes Welker, who I believe is one of the more underrated returners in the NFL. I think he does a really good job.

On the status of Curtis Martin…

He will not come off until after the Cleveland game at the earliest.

On what was the deciding factor for Martin to hold out…

I spoke to the doctors. Mike, Curtis, the doctors and I talked and said that would be the best time, at the earliest, to do that.

On the bye week being a factor in the decision…

Yes, we would take into account the bye coming up there, just to see where he is, and where things are at that point and make a decision.

On if Martin was a part of the decision…

All the decisions that we make involve Curtis. We've talked to him, and Mike and I have talked and got together, obviously with the feedback from the doctors. I want to make sure that he's ready to go when we make that decision. It's an ongoing process, so we just evaluate as we go.

On if Mangini feels encouraged by Martin's progress…

We're going to see how it goes. I felt good about his progress and his approach throughout the whole thing. You can't ask for a better approach and a better person. He's been great and working really hard at it.

On the odds that Martin will play this season…

Each week that we go here, we'll evaluate it and see where we are. I think having the two additional weeks is going to be an asset.

On if the other running backs factored into the decision…

I wouldn't say that's the overriding factor. It's really based on each situation, each injury, and trying to make sure that the player is fully ready to participate when he participates. I think the additional weeks will be positive.

On if this plan factors any plans for tomorrow…

No.

On if Martin will start practicing with the team after the bye week…

We'll evaluate it after Cleveland.

On the if the bye week will be the earliest time that Martin will practice…

Yes, that would be the earliest that we'll talk about bringing him up to practicing, so he wouldn't have to be activated. That would be the earliest.

On Martin practicing during the bye week…

You could bring him in during the bye week. You could have him start practicing.

On two weeks being enough time for Martin to practice…

Each guy is very different, and with Curtis, he's really different.

On if Mangini understands how outsiders feel about the Martin situation…

We're really basing it on the best thing for the Jets and the best decision that we can make. I'm sure there's been some other things that have been done where people may say, "What's the point?" But every decision is made for the same reason, to help the team win, help the team be successful, and that's how we view this decision as well.

On being encouraged that Martin will return…

Well, that's the nice thing about PUP, you have this vehicle and you have these different windows and we're going to make sure that we do everything we can during those windows and make good decisions. That was the reason that we initially placed him on PUP. It's a good tool that's within the framework of the rules.

On how much time Mangini has spent monitoring Martin…

I wouldn't say that I'm down there at the pool, but it's something that each night I get an update from the trainers, not just on Curtis, but on any player that is receiving treatment. It's something that we do daily. If there is any change in status between the normal meeting, then they'll update me as quickly as they can.

On the fourth quarter of the MIA game…

I think that most Jets/Dolphins' games end up pretty exciting, and this is what we expected. We expected it to be a tight game. They're always tight. There's been some major comebacks and some really dramatic finishes, and that's how the series goes. I think they made some really positive plays in the fourth quarter. They made some good plays. And there are some things we could have done better offensively and defensively, there are areas we'll continue to improve, and there are some opportunities we had that we didn't handle as well as we could have. But it will be something like last week, we'll look at it, evaluate it and continue to try to improve on it.

On the Jets' having close fourth quarters…

A lot of time these games get pretty tight in the fourth quarter. The Patriots/Jets' game was a little bit in reverse. Things were out of hand there early and got pretty tight there at the end.

On teams having trouble with the no-huddle situation…

It's been a very effective tool for a long time, and it does put pressure on defenses. It's part of the reason that we run it and we incorporate it. I think it's historically been a very effective tool. It's something that totally changes the tempo of the game and it's really something that you need to continue to work and get better at, both offensively and defensively, because it is such a different phase of the game. Just like the red area, when you move inside the 20, things change as well, and it's such a game-specific area that you have to get good at.

On Mangini's concerns with the pass-rush…

Well, there were a couple of plays there. Dewayne had a nice hit on the quarterback. There was another time where we had a free blitzer, but they got the ball off quickly. Some of that is built in, where when you do blitz and they throw the ball short, you have to be good at coming up and making the tackle so that the six yard gain doesn't go for 16. It all ties together where, especially in the blitz game, you have to hit the right gap so the blitz gets home. And then if they make the right decision and get it off quick, you have to make sure that quick pass is just that, a quick short pass, now the clock is running, the tackle is made, they don't get out of bounds. That's one of the things about blitzing, usually somebody's band is going to play, either ours or theirs, and we would like it to be ours.

On Mangini's satisfaction with the pass-rush defense…

There are areas of improvement there as well, and the one where Dewayne did come free, and Shaun was on the left, he wrapped around tight and came through clean on the game. It was a four-man rush, and Harrington got the ball off. He overthrew it. We had a guy coming down leveraging the crosser. That was one of those four-man plays that came clean. It's not just a mixture, or the straight rush where it's just straight one-on-one. There are the games where you have two guys working in conjunction with each other. Sometimes you may bring one and drop one like the zone blitz. So it's all those different things that you have. When you do those things or bring a lot, you need the back end to hold up and have that translate into positive things. I thought they made some good plays. Like the middle read to Welker. I thought was a really good throw and catch. There were a couple of those mixed in there, similar to what happened in New England in the first half of last week's New England/Dolphins game.

On the Jets getting ahead of themselves when they have a team down…

I don't know if it's just that. Someone would argue that New England is a veteran team with a lot of experience. They had a team down 24-0. You would think in that situation, being a little further along in the program, you could argue that that should have been a knife-through-the-heart type deal. But I think as you execute effectively, offensively or defensively, good things happen. We're always trying to execute as effectively as we can, and there are some things that we do need to improve in all areas. It's not just that area offensively. We need to do a little bit better job there on the last two drives. We had a shot on the first long run that got called back with the holding. Then Chris made a nice play on the sideline there to get it to 3rd and short. It all plays in together at the end of the game.

On pressuring the QB in fourth quarter drives…

When you mix in the man and zone there are going to be different areas. If they're throwing the ball underneath, some of those passes were shorter throws. Like I said, you can either stop it there for six or it could go for eight, 10 or 12. There were some chances there to stop it shorter than we were. We didn't do as good a job as we could have and that's something we'll keep working on.

On his philosophy with being aggressive with the pass-rush…

Philosophically, you go in with, here is their two-minute philosophy, what's the best thing against that. Depending on the score of the game, sometimes time becomes more of an issue than anything else. So you wade through time, timeouts, two-minute warning, their two-minute philosophy, I think all those things factor in.

On his connections with other new head coaches around the league…

I met some of them at the owners meeting. I got to know Scott Linehan a little bit. Brad Childress I had known a little bit before he had gotten the job. You kind of meet and talk about some of the different issues that you're facing early on. It's always interesting to hear their perspective and share their perspective. Then you talk to guys like Romeo, who are a year removed from it, and they can give you a different insight. Then there are some guys who have been around a long time with a totally different view of the world. That's valuable too.

On if being head coach has been what he expected…

There is stuff each day that comes up, and I say, well, I hadn't really thought about that. But that's really what the old guys told me. They said that there is always stuff that comes up that's a little different than you planned, a little different than you expected, and that's part of the job, figure out, adjust to it. Just like in a game, it's really important and you draw on the experiences that you have had in the past, maybe seen that same situation as an assistant coach, and you make the best decision you can to help the club win.

On what has come up that he did not expect…

I can't think of something that can be very specific. There are a ton of little things. I couldn't give you one great one.

On facing a fellow rookie coach…

Not really. To me, it's just Detroit. Next week it will just be Cleveland.

On not having a lot to go on as far as the coaching style of Rod Marinelli…

Yes, but you have got at least five, six games where you can watch the tape. I think that's valuable.

On building a program with comeback wins…

I told the players yesterday, wins are like children, they're all special in their own way. The key thing is going through the game and handling adversity, finishing. The adversity; is going to come in so many different shapes and so many different forms that the important thing is recognizing that is what it is, you deal with it, you move on to the next play, and you don't get too caught up in what has happened, because it's going to affect what you really need to do, which is focusing on the next situation. We've had a lot of different situations throughout the course of the season, and injuries, and things that come up, that it's just going to keep happening. It will happen through the full season, and how we deal with it is going to be the most important thing.

On protecting Chad Pennington with the TEs and receiving routes…

That first 3rd down Chris Baker caught that nice pass, and remember, B.J. caught the ball to the flat there that he turned up and got a 1st down. There were different plays where the check down comes into the play. Sometimes you keep Moore in to seal an edge or maybe you're trying to take a shot down the field or trying to get vertical and they may check and release. The important thing is, whatever the protection is, that it's solid, and then go through the route progression. Each progression, after the guy handles their initial responsibility, has some kind of flair control to get outlets underneath and stretch the field vertically and horizontally.

On players around the league bad-mouthing teammates and coaches…

I think the most important thing for us is that we focus on the next opponent. That's what I want us to do at all times, then focus on the next opponent. Whatever situation comes up, the key thing is the team and the victory and working towards victory and making progress. That's really how I view everybody's approach week-in and week-out.

On seeing other players bad-mouthing their teams and having confidence in his own system…

I just really believe that the best environment is an environment where everybody can do their job as effectively as they possibly can, and that it's a good working environment where everybody can focus on what's important. And what's important is the opponent. And what's important is complete attention to that across the board. And that's what I'm always looking for. And that's the type of working environment, that I believe in and I've seen be very successful. I think that's a good approach.

On Laveranues Coles suggesting to coach Schottenheimer that they run verticles…

They play pretty aggressively in their coverage. They match routes very aggressively. I think when you do take that approach, there are opportunities, especially on the double move, where you come in and sell one thing and then convert it. There are some good chances there down the field. Part of the process for getting down field is good, sound protection. I thought the line did a nice job on that, and the backs and tight ends helped out. Feedback is always very important around here. It's something we encourage.

On Bryan Thomas…

I really like Bryan's game this week. He made good plays in the running game. He did a real nice job against the tight ends and the tackles. He played just, good, solid football, playing within the scheme, being able to take advantage of his natural strength and his natural ability. He was a big part of a lot of very important plays in the game, and I was pleased with that.

It's the same with Chris Baker. He's a guy that continues to work, continues to get a little bit better. It's not always going to be with dramatic numbers, but in his overall contribution in the running game and passing game, in protection. I was really happy with both those guys.

Brad Smith, also, the guy breaks a ton of records in college football as a quarterback and comes out and makes three tackles on special teams. That's what I'm looking for, selfless, play whatever role, figure out how to get to the game, figure out how to make the team win and do whatever you can do to make that happen. He comes in, has a short yardage third and one conversion, goes down on a kickoff, tackles guys inside the 15, goes out and runs a route. It's just good -- that's great. I love that.

On Brad Smith possibly playing a role on defense…

You know, if we signed him up and put him there, I'm sure he would do it as well as he possibly could. That's so encouraging to see across the board, from all three of those guys. And then even Wallace Wright is a player and contributor at practice, played receiver, played defensive back, took every rep for show team on special teams, that's a real value.

On what happens when there are selfish players on a team…

Well, they would be ending their career here. We're committed to smart, tough, hard-working, competitive guys, guys that are selfless, guys that football is important to. That's what we're going to draft. That's what we're going to bring in through free agency and that's the type of team we're going to have. Philosophically, that's what Mike, Mr. Johnson, and I believe in, and that's the New York Jets.

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