Mangini: Vilma Outstanding in his Work Ethic

The defensive co-captain has been outstanding as of late

Before the New York Jets met on the practice field Friday, head coach Eric Mangini talked about Jonathan Vilma's practice performance on Thursday. Vilma, voted to his first Pro Bowl in 2005, leads the club with 61 tackles and he picked up his fifth career interception last weekend in a win over Detroit. The 6'1", 230-pound middle linebacker continues to display tremendous practice habits throughout the week.

"I thought a guy that stood out was Jon Vilma," Mangini said of Vilma. "I think that was one of his better days in terms of not just running the defense, but the way he was executing the defense. He has been outstanding in his work ethic and there has been real progress there. The key thing again is to now take that progress and be able to execute the same way and effectively on Sunday."

Read below for the Mangini's complete press conference transcript

New York Jets' Head Coach Eric Mangini, 10.27

Opening statement…

Today will be the same program for us, we will be moving into the "Red Zone", goal line, two-minute drill and we'll clean up the things that we've done on Wednesday and Thursday. We will also work on the first down, second down and third down packages. We will incorporate all that into a move-the-field period where each one of those elements is covered.

Yesterday, one of the things that I was really pleased with was the progress that the defense made in terms of core technique, block recognition, the fits in the running game, the communication. I thought they had a really good day of practice, which is going to be so important because Cleveland has an explosive group of skill players, they can run the football, and can do a lot of things very effectively offensively.

A guy that stood out was Jonathan Vilma. I really thought that was one of his better days in terms of not just running the defense but the way that he was executing the defense personally, and he's been outstanding in his work ethic. It was real progress there.

The key thing again is now to take that progress and be able to execute the same way and effectively in the game on Sunday.

On opponents anticipating the no-huddle…

We've run that consistently throughout the season, so I'm sure in watching the tape they were aware of that. It's something that we'll continue to do throughout the season and it will be different each week. Sometimes it will be a heavier dose, sometimes it may be a little bit lighter, game-plan-based. It's something that we have been able to incorporate and use effectively.

On if the defense worked on the three-four yesterday…

Each week it's different, so there are elements. Yesterday was a heavy third down day, so the fronts there change. You can have an odd front, you can have an even front, you can have both guards and the center covered, so there were multiple fronts there. I just thought in general throughout the practice with the different things that we were asking them to do, technique, hand placement, block recognition, executing the game plan, executing the plan to win the game, all those things saw some progress across the board. Again, the key thing now is to take that progress and apply it to the game we have on Sunday.

On the progress the special teams units have made…

I think there's been a lot of good things and there have been a lot of different people contributing. If you look at some of the special teams award winners, players of the week; Kerry Rhodes earned special teams player of the week last week, Brad Smith being that player one week, so to me that's really outstanding because everybody is contributing, everybody is helping out. Mike Westhoff does such a good job in terms of coaching our scheme and also game planning and I think overall we've really worked hard at it and made a lot of progress, and I'm happy with the contributions from a range of people there.

On Mike Nugent's consistency on kick-off…

It's something that he continues to work on, and he'll always be working on that. That's such an important thing, to be able to get the ball as deep as possible, allow the coverage time to really develop and not have a big separation between your coverage and when they're starting to set up their return. The more you can close that space, the more effective you can be.

On the success of the no-huddle considering the young offensive line…

Whether it's no huddle or whether you're huddling up with multiple shifts in motions and personnel groups and those different things, the no huddle is just another element of that, and I think they've done a good job with all the different pieces to the offense, and the coaches have done a good job working with the players. The players have really embraced it and worked at it. And Chad is a very good manager of not just the game but of the process. They've done well with it.

On if Jerricho Cotchery distinguished himself as the No. 2 receiver before training camp…

The depth chart for us is always fluid, and it's the guy that gives us the best chance to win, whether it's Jerricho, right on down the line. With Jerricho being at the other place and watching him on tape, he was a core special teams player. When he got the opportunities that he did, even though they were limited, he took advantage of them. I remember the New Orleans game last year he caught a couple big balls down the seam prior to us getting ready for him. He always had that physical presence, and did a nice job in the running game. As I got to know him and as we started putting the offense together, he kept showing up and did a really nice job.

On where Cotchery was on the depth chart when Mangini was hired…

They all just started as names, and that evolved. Jerricho distinguished himself early by being one of the off-season award winners, and right away you knew, not only is this guy a good player or has the potential to be a really good player, but here he is in an important time of the year when everybody is lifting and running, and he's distinguishing himself there, as well. Just for the players that are a little bit above everybody else, that distinguish themselves the best in terms of progress, lifting, running, the various exercises, that type of thing.

On Justin Miller being an extra weapon on returns…

He has a chance each time he touches the ball to do something really positive. What I like about the way he runs is it is so aggressive, and it's physical and it's tough and it's attacking. He's a returner, but he's taking the fight to the opposition.

On if Miller's success at returner pleases Mangini…

I want him to continue to make progress in every area, and he has. It's nice that in an area that he has a lot of production and excelled in, that he is continuing to excel and work. So that's positive.

On Drew Coleman's quick progress…

I wouldn't classify it as quick. With Drew it was methodical, taking the coaching, listening to the veteran players, understanding the concept of the defense and then where he fit in the concept of the defense, being the same guy every day, competing at the same level every day. That is really an evaluation for all the players. Do you know what to do, are you doing the things you're being coached to do, and are you the same guy every day, and he's done a good job with that criteria.

On Coleman's lack of experience compared to his progress..

It's like that with this whole rookie group, each week the talent level is very high, each week the type of player that you're facing is very different and presents different problems, so it's continuing his personal preparation, his understanding the game within the game, and then also building on his concepts of the defense and his technique.

On how David Barrett has been practicing this week…

All those guys have practiced to some degree, and we're going to monitor it. With David it's been the same here for a few weeks now, just watching him practice, seeing how he's doing, and he's done some good things in practice. But until we get through the week and get to Sunday, I wouldn't feel comfortable saying one way or the other which way that's going to go.

On the recent success of Leon Washington…

I think it was positive. It was good that he got over 100. He had a lot of help. The receivers did a really good job on the perimeter creating some extra yards for him after he cleared the line of scrimmage, and I thought the offensive line did well getting a hat for a hat. I thought whether it was James (Hodgins) or B.J (Askew)., they did a nice job of creating some holes from the backfield, and then he did well. The play on the sideline there where he was able to stay in bounds, I thought that showed some nice athleticism. I'm pleased with the production that he's had, and it's a group effort.

Friday Injury Report Jets
Questionable: FB B.J. Askew (foot), CB David Barrett (hip), WR Laveranues Coles (calf), WR Tim Dwight (thigh), RB Cedric Houston (knee), & OL Trey Teague (ankle)
Probable:*RB Kevan Barlow (calf), *LB Matt Chatham (foot), *T Anthony Clement (back), *DE Shaun Ellis (back), *DL Bobby Hamilton (knee), *LB Brad Kassell (thigh), *OL Pete Kendall (thigh), *CB Justin Miller (hip), *QB Chad Pennington (calf), *S Kerry Rhodes (thigh), *DL Dewayne Robertson (hand), *WR Brad Smith (thigh) & *DL Kimo von Oelhoffen (knee)

Browns Questionable:CB Leigh Bodden (ankle), S Justin Hamilton (ankle), WR Dennis Northcutt (ribs), *S Brodney Pool (hamstring), *S Brian Russell (ankle), FB Lawrence Vickers (elbow), *TE Kellen Winslow (knee)
*
Out: *T Ryan Tucker (illness)

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