Mangini: There Has Been No Decision

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Coach Mangini

 The New York Jets have another week to decide whether to activate Curtis Martin off the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list or place the future Hall of Fame running back on injured reserve. Jets head coach Eric Mangini reiterated today that there has been no decision made on Martin.

"We'll take the full-time there and sit down with Curtis, Mike (Tannenbaum) and the doctors, like we have throughout this process, and make a decision that's best for us, best for him, and move forward from there," Mangini said. "That's one of the nice things about the PUP. It gives you this vehicle and it gives you the allotment of 21 days where the player can - even though they're in good shape physically - get back into the football specific things that they have to do."

*Read below for Mangini's complete press conference transcript

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New York Jets' Head Coach Eric Mangini, 10.31

Opening statement…

Today we are going to be on a typical Wednesday schedule, but it has been adjusted. The coaches went through and looked at the first eight games of the season, based on the cut-ups, they identified the problem areas and broke those down. They went through the adjustments and on paper with the players, then showed them the plays. We are going to walk through them, we'll practice them, and then we will go back after practice and we will correct them off of the tape. It will be like a typical Wednesday in terms of first, second and third down emphasis. Tomorrow we will move into the third down blitz emphasis and follow up next Monday with "Red Zone" and goal line. It will be like a typical week, the days are a little spaced apart and instead of preparing for one opponent, we will be doing more of an overview of the first eight games and working on it from that perspective. There will be more individual work today to get back to a training camp mentality in terms of technique, fundamentals and basics, which can sometimes get lost in the preparation for a game.

One guy that I have been happy with through the first eight games, and I have mentioned him before, is Chris Baker. When we initially talked to Chris when he was resigning, we talked about some of the things he had done prior to resigning with us and things that he was going to do moving forward. He had a real commitment to improving, not just physically, but in terms of being a pro and a complete football player. I have seen that development. He has done a great job reshaping his body. He has done a great job in terms of the protections. Last week he did a nice job with the tough pass rush of Willie McGinnest. There were several different times when he was isolated on him. He has also made big plays when he has had the opportunity. He has also made good situational awareness plays when he has had the opportunity; he caught a ball against Detroit, and then tried to get the first down, he couldn't get the first down, but he stayed in bounds and that shows the awareness of not just where the sticks are, but also how important the time was at that point. He has made really good choices. He is committed to his craft. I see his development as the season goes on. His position is not always the 80-yard completions or the flashy plays, but it is such an important job and a big part of the offense.

On incorporating Baker as a receiver more…

I think he's done a good job when he has had an opportunity to catch the ball. The offense is designed in such a way to go with the reads, go with the things that we've game planned. Chris has definitely been a good option. If we can work the ball to him, we know that he'll do a good job in terms of catching the ball and capitalizing on it.

On the status of Curtis Martin…

We'll view his status at the end of the week. We have until Tuesday to come to it. It's got to go one way or the other on Tuesday. We'll take the full-time there and sit down with Curtis, Mike (Tannenbaum) and the doctors, like we have throughout this process, and make a decision that's best for us, best for him and move forward from there. That's one of the nice things about the PUP, it gives you this vehicle, and it gives you the allotment of 21 days where the player can, even though they're in good shape physically, get back into the football specific things that they have to do.

On the report that Martin will not return and the alleged player or team official who said that…

I don't really know who that would be or where that information came from, so it's hard for me to really make a determination on it, unless you assign a name to it.

On what purpose the extra week serves for Martin if he has told others that he will not return…

I'm going by the conversations that I've had with Curtis. We talk quite regularly. Really, I'm basing this decision on information and discussions that I've had specifically with Curtis. That's what I go by.

On if Martin has communicated that he isn't ready to play…

We've talked about this throughout the whole process. If that were the case, then I know we would have probably taken a different course of action. You know, we have this complete window and we're going to use the complete window to maximize the 21 days if he, in fact, is able to do that.

On reports that Martin is becoming less involved with the team…

Curtis has been here every single day except days where I've told you about where I've personally excused him for something. Those have been few and far between. He has been a huge asset to those guys. He's like everybody else. Every morning I look out. Every morning there's Curtis, second row from the end, four or five seats in.

On if Martin had expressed concern of not being able to return…

We've had ongoing discussions. The important thing was we had the window. That was based on medical information, information through discussions with Curtis and Mike. The only thing that we can base our decisions off are those things as opposed to whatever other conversations may or may not be out there.

On if there is an advantage to the team to keep Martin from playing the entire period…

What I'm saying is there has been no decision. What we did is, look at this week, think about this week, for the two days of practice here, it would be better served to push it back.

On the progress and success of Justin Miller on kick-off return…

It was fun on the kick-off return for a touchdown. It wasn't fun on the return to the nine-yard line. What I love about Justin is when he has the ball in his hands, he's fearless and he's aggressive and he takes the fight to the kick-off team. The way that he hits those seams, and sometimes those seams, they're pretty small, but he hits them with such speed, such aggressiveness, such a level of intensity, those guys have to make a decision whether or not they want to, especially those kickers, tackle him. He's powerful for his size.

On Miller at the cornerback postion…

He's developing. He has good natural ability for the position in terms of change of direction, speed bursts, strength and ability to jam at the line of scrimmage. Like any young player, that's got to be refined. The difference between kickoff return and playing corner is with kickoff return, you know, that attacking mentality is often a huge asset. At corner you need to be able to combine that with reading, reacting and adjusting the route. It takes a little bit longer to develop that set of skills.

In terms of natural ability and some of the positive things we've done, there is plenty of natural ability, there are plenty of positive things. The rest of it needs to continue to develop. I thought two weeks ago against Detroit he had one of his best days that he's had. Then last week he had some plays that, I'm sure he'd like to have back. They weren't for lack of effort or toughness or competitiveness or any of those things. They're just some technique things he could do better. He's working at it. He works with it quite a bit not just in the standard amount of time.

On Miller's colorful personality…

With defensive backs in general, there are usually quite a few colorful personalities. There have been a lot of guys that I have worked with that have those colorful personalities. Justin has been great. He has done everything that I've asked him to do. He has come to see me at different times to talk not just about our scheme but talk about how other corners I've coached have played things, whether it be Ty Law, Otis Smith, Terrell Buckley. There's been a boatload of guys that have come through that all have radically different approaches. Aaron Glenn, Ray Mickens, big, small, fast, slow, good ball skills, poor ball skills, good instincts, average instincts. I try to give him insight on the different approaches.

On Mangini's first meeting with Miller…

I saw him play in college. I did some work on him while he was in college. I saw the ability that he had. He played a little bit, again, it wasn't something that I was watching. I was watching more the offensive side. There was more getting to know him, analyzing the things in the different reports, talking to him about the strengths and the weaknesses in those reports, based on that information, it looked like we could work on. Then as you get to know a player more and more, you're able to give him specific feedback based on a shared experience.

On Miller coming out of college after three years affecting his development…

The younger you are, the less experience you have in the college game, you have to get that year back. It's tough. The more experience, the better off you are. The more things you've seen, the easier it is to adjust to things because you can draw on playing that type of receiver. You can draw on playing that type of scheme. He's working at it. That's what all these guys are doing, is we're all collectively working at the different things we have to get better at. You can't coach natural ability. With coaching, you can improve. The more talented you are, the more that improvement can be.

On the passing game so far this season…

I think we made some really good plays in the passing game. I think the running game, there's been some routes where they weren't as crisp as they should have been and Chad puts the ball in the right spot, the receiver doesn't hit quite the right spot. The receiver comes back and is in the right spot, maybe Chad puts it a step behind. One of the things that Brian (Schottenheimer) always talks about is the me to you, the whole concept of me-to-you communication where you just know where the guy is going to be. It's nothing that's verbal; it's just understood, the importance of quarterbacks developing that with the receivers. They've been working on that quite a bit. Sometimes, you know, the schemes can disrupt a little bit of the me-to-you. But as you continue to work together within a system, you see those schemes, they experience that together, it's just like we were talking about with Justin, that's going to be better the second time through.

On Chad Pennington's focus…

The great thing about Chad is he goes with the reads. He goes with the progression. He understands what we're trying to get done and where the softness is. He's not biased. If you're open, you get it. If the read takes you there, you get it.

The backs and tight ends have had some opportunities. You're always trying to get everybody as involved as possible because you want a vertical stretch on the defense, then you want a horizontal stretch so they have the maximum amount of area to cover. That is something we'll continue to work on is after you get through your protection, continuing to get into the route, what we call flare control.

On Patrick Ramsey and Kellen Clemens getting more reps in practice during the bye week…

To some degree yes, because we're not as pressed to get ready for that opponent Patrick will get some more reps. We're also going to target the reps Chad gets to the biggest issues related to the passing game.

On allowing Brad Smith to throw the ball in a game…

Some of those plays were based on check with me if it is this look run, if it is this look pass. Some of that stuff is built in. Even though it looks like it's all basically run, the other stuff is there, but you're looking for the higher percentage one. When in doubt for Brad, run. However, Brad does the things he does on offense, downs the punt on the one, then has a great play on the punt. That's what I'm looking for.

On if the league has discussed Sunday's judgment call with Mangini…

We put in our plays and we got our communication back. I can't really tell you what that was because it's internal and that's the way those things have to stay.

On what Mangini saw in Smith when he was scouting him…

The type of runner that he was, the way he would break tackles, the aggressive approach that he took as a quarterback. You never know how that's going to translate, especially when you put him out there as a flyer where there's not a lot of rules out there. It's sort of the Wild West. On kick-off, I mean, that's a great example. Here is a college quarterback. A college quarterback with several records as a quarterback, one who can down the ball on the one, make a play on punt, make a play on kick-off, run for a first down, catch the ball; that's what we're looking for.

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