Mangini: You Play Like You Practice

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The New York Jets performed well during the season's first quarter, but they haven't scored a first quarter point just yet.

"You want to be able to play well in all four quarters. It's important that you don't spot an opponent points or field position or any of those things," said first-year head coach Eric Mangini on Thursday. "I've been happy with the finish and the fight and the way the guys deal with adversity. I think this is an area that we need to continue to improve on and work on. Unfortunately they're not going to cancel the first quarter of any games for us. We definitely need to do better there."

Read Below for the Complete Mangini Press Conference Transcript

Opening Statement…
I thought yesterday was a good day of practice.  We started the week fast.  I believe you play like you practice.  It's always good to get off to a quick start.

Today, we move into third down.  Third down is going to be extremely important this week, as it is every week.  With the time of possession that Jacksonville has had, and where they stand in the league in terms of time of possession, it's even that much more important.  It's a good team defensively to be able to sustain drives is important.

I have talked to you a lot about the offensive line. I've really been pleased with the way they performed the last couple weeks against some really good fronts.  I think a lot of that goes back to the role of the veteran guys.  Yesterday, Anthony Clement was working with Brick (D' Brickashaw Ferguson) after practice on his technique. 

We always talk about leadership.  I think leadership comes in a lot of different forms.  It's not always the pregame speech.  You can be a leader in whatever way your character allows.  Brandon is more of a quiet leader.  It's his consistent work ethic at practice, his toughness.  I really like that about him.  I think he sets a good example for the younger guys.

Pete (Kendall) has been doing a lot of work with Nick (Mangold) and Brick in terms of their game-week preparation; getting into the routine and finding a way that works best for them to prepare for that opponent.  I think those three guys have really, in all different ways, collectively helped the overall performance of the line and helped the young guys.

On the big third down plays that the defense has given up…
I think each one is a little bit different.  If there's just the one problem, you'd really be able to zero in on it.  There are different things that come up. It could be the rush, it could be the linebackers, or it could be the secondary.  Also week-in and week-out, as you game plan, it's so important that you understand even though it may have the same word, the blitz may be called the same thing or the coverage may be called the same thing, you tweak it based on the opponent, to try to take advantage of something that they do. There's that element of game planning and improving that side of it as well.

On what Pete Kendall brings to the team as he returns…
Pete is very smart and he's a very good communicator.  He studies a ton of film.  To have him out there, not only as a player, which I think he's a very good player, but also to help facilitate the communication on the offensive line, that is important. As looks change, it's so radically different on first and second, and third down, or if they go to an odd front as opposed to an even front, all the different things that go into play there, communication is a big asset.

On the challenge that faces the offensive line this week…
It's a good front.  It's a really good front.  They've (the offensive line) been tested quite a bit through the early part of this season.  There have been good players, good fronts and real challenges every single week.  Each guy has faced a different challenge.  It could be the speed edge rushers or the size, the power. This is no different.  It's another solid group of defensive linemen that play well together and have played well together for a while now.  It will be good work for them.

On JAX Marcus Stroud and John Henderson…
They're very powerful.  They're very strong.  They generate a lot of push in the pocket.  They generate a lot of penetration in the running game.  It's different than teams that may completely penetrate and may use smaller guys to penetrate.  They're big guys that can do that, but can also anchor against double-teams. It's not really one or the other.  They bring both of them to the game.

On the size and speed of Stroud and Henderson…
They're big, fast, powerful guys.  They're very good players.  They're extremely good.  When you add two guys like that to complement of other weapons that they have, a good secondary, it's a good group.

On what makes Kendall so effective…
Whenever we talk about the laws of physics, there's an example: in passing camp, maybe early in training camp, I don't remember, but we had a really small guy against a really big guy.  The big guy was driven back.  It was purely leverage and angles.  That's what it comes down to most of the time, what kind of technique do you have, what is your base like.  Is it wide?  Is it narrow?  Where is your hand placement? Pete does a good job with leverage and angles.  Every time you have some kind of size mismatch, technique is very important there.

On the status of C Trey Teague…
He's on the same program he's been on.  He's trying to move along as quickly as he can.

On what dimension Teague will add to the line when he returns…
He has a lot of flexibility.  He's played across the board on the offensive line.  He's another guy with veteran leadership, and a veteran presence.  He's a good guy.  He really fits in well with the rest of the team, has done a nice job since he's been here. Obviously, it's not the situation he'd like to be in.  He'd like to be active and playing.  He's working towards that,  but he's been doing as much as he can to help us in the role that he has right now.

On not being able to score in the first quarter…
You want to be able to play well in all four quarters.  It's important that you don't spot an opponent points or field position or any of those things. I've been happy with the finish and the fight and the way the guys deal with adversity.  I think this is an area that we need to continue to improve on and work on.  Unfortunately they're not going to cancel the first quarter of any games for us.  We definitely need to do better there.

On what the team can to do improve in the first quarter…
You try all different things.  It could be the practice routine.  There's a combination of things.  I've been a part of teams that struggle in the first quarter in the past or struggle in the fourth quarter.  You're always looking to try to find the correlation or the one thing that is the source.  It's not always something you can quickly put your finger on.

On if there is a point when the first quarter situation becomes a mental hang-up…
No, I don't think so. We look at the first issues in terms of what's happened this year and things that happened in the past, a lot of these guys weren't here.  With the issues in Tennessee, with not winning a road game in a long time, that was never something that we talked about.  We look at it more in terms of this year, this season, the things that we're doing. Really, that's just one element of a game that we want to improve on.  Any area where we're not performing like we want, we're always going to try to get better.

On Shaun Ellis' two sacks…
Those were two really important plays last week.  Talking about leverage and angles, he's a powerful man when he plays with good leverage and good angles.  Yesterday, he almost broke somebody's back in practice. The other thing he was doing, and has been doing a good job at, is really working with the defense, he and Jon (Vilma) are improving the pursuit throughout the play.  The ball is thrown, trying to get 11 hats to the ball, that type of thing.  Not only the type of things he's been doing individually, but the things he's been working on collectively.

On Ellis generating a pass-rush…
I think it's always good to be able to generate the pass push with three or four.  It's a big asset to not have to pressure consistently. Sometimes there are elements of the game plan, where you have a good guy coming out of the backfield, and the defensive linemen are responsible for taking a piece of them.  It's not always just pure, 'here is third down, let's rush.'  It's, 'here is third down, what are they going to do, what are we doing, and what type of either rush or push and how do we fit in the passing game.'  It's a little bit more than just straight rush.

On Ellis' leadership and traits that stood out to Mangini…
He was a captain in college.  That's always a good sign.  When a guy has a history of filling that role, I think that always indicates that his peers respect him.  It's not just at this level it's been at different levels. Again, it's working with the whole unit to improve, not just focusing purely on your play.

On naming a captain and expecting more from him…
I didn't name those guys captains.  Those guys were voted captains.  I think it's an honor when your peers view you in that role.  Any time that you have a leadership role, there comes responsibility with it.  You wouldn't have achieved that without that respect.  In achieving that, it also comes with some extra responsibility.

On if Mangini is disappointed with the false start penalties this year…
I didn't set a number.  Well, my number is zero.  What we have done pretty effectively, and we saw it throughout the course of the regular season and last game is we use a lot of different cadences.  Chad has been doing a great job with mixing it up. You saw the different times that we've been able to get our opponents to jump.  That takes a little edge off the rush, especially if they're trying to time up the snap count. I think overall those guys have actually done a really good job with the amount that we've varied the cadence, and staying on-sides.  Now, obviously, we're looking for zero.

On Kevan Barlow…
He's gotten better each week.  I think he's second in the league in touchdowns (tied for second) or something along those lines.  It's going to be that way with any guy that you bring in later; there's a transition there.  As they get used to the coaching staff, the players, the scheme, you see improvement, or you usually see improvement.  I think Kevan has improved.  I thought that was a really good run, a really solid NFL run. I am looking forward to a lot more of those.

On when a player is no longer considered a rookie…
I haven't really thought about that actually.  I think right now we're at eight games. We are pretty well along within the course of the season.  Now, there's always a difficult period in the season where you get to that point where those guys have a month off, getting ready for their Bowl game.  There's nothing like that here.  So that's another part of the learning curve. Twenty games is a long year if you're not used to it.  You know, with guys like Pete, Anthony, Brandon and Trey, they talk the young guys through the season and are helping them along. I think that's a real asset.

On James Hodgins being up to speed…
It's similar to Kevan's situation where, he's pretty early in the process here.  We're doing some work after practice.  What I was happy with, he was getting somebody else lined up.  I wasn't happy with the guy he was getting lined up, but I was pleased with the fact that he could do that. He's another guy, that has played in a lot of games.  He's been around.  Usually when you bring those guys in, the transition is a little bit quicker.  There still is a transition, but it is quicker.  He plays with good power.  He's got a good, low center of gravity.  He's got a nice pop when he makes contact.  Hopefully, we'll see more of that as we go. The tough thing is the amount of backs you're going to bring to the game if you add one, you have to subtract one from somewhere else.

On Chad Pennington's cadence…
I'm not sure.  I'm not really sure how much he used it.  Although I do remember in preparing for him, there was always an element of that. I philosophically believe in it.  I think the more that you can change things like the snap count the tougher it is to get any kind of jump. The same thing with formations and things.  You're always trying to counter tendencies that an opponent may have on you so their reaction time is as limited as possible. Just like everything else he does, he's able to take it to a very good level, a very high level.

On how Pennington changes plays in the no-huddle offense…
He's getting the information.  He's operating the whole show.  He's giving the receivers their information, the running backs their information, the line their information, the cadence, evaluating the defense, running the shifts.  There's quite a bit of stuff that he does from the second the call comes in until the moment we snap it.  Then there also has to be the awareness of the play clock, so there is a longer motion.  You can't necessarily have the longer cadence. It's understanding the play and where those opportunities are.

On whether Pennington made the decision to hurry and force IND to call a time-out last week…
No, that's something that we work on.  When he sees an opportunity, just go.  Any time you get the opportunity to take advantage of something, then he should go.

On how he and offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer decided to run the no-huddle…
Philosophically it's what you believe in and also at what level you can operate it on.  There are times where we do huddle up.  It will vary. Some of that stems from the work or the experience that I had with Ted Marchibroda in Baltimore, just in being in those offensive meetings with him, understanding the pressures that are put on defense, then also being on the other side, getting ready for a team like that.  We went through the whole history of the no-huddle one day in a squad meeting, where it evolved, who did it first.  I think throughout the development there, it's had some pretty good success.

On if Schottenheimer used the no-huddle in San Diego…
They did use it quite a bit.  It was something we talked about in his interview.  We saw it unfortunately at the other place.  It was pretty effective there.

On if he see's a trend with the no-huddle…
I'm not sure on that.  I think that each person has their own feelings about it.  There is some real value to huddling up at some point, just collectively getting together there. I think each year in the NFL there is some kind of trend that takes hold for that year.  I know, again, defensively one year there was a ton of empty, another year it was the tear screen, the wide receiver screen.  Everybody had it.  Each year there's a little bit of a fad that catches on. This is something that's been pretty successful over time.

On the Jets using the no-huddle frequently…
We like it a little bit (laughter).

On a percentage of success with the no-huddle for the Jets…
I never really broke it down like that.  I don't have a percent.

On if it would be a high percentage…
Yeah, I'd say it's on the high side.

On most defensive coaches not liking the no-huddle and why Mangini favors it…
I really think it stems back to that time I spent with Ted.  He's a great guy to learn from.  He was one of the best at it.  It was really effective, really interesting.  I saw the pressures it put on people, being on the other side of ball.

On whom Ted Marchabroda ran the no-huddle with…
Jim Kelly in Buffalo.

On if Kelly had full power…
I'm not sure exactly how Ted did that.  I'm sure there was a lot of flexibility to adjust things.

On who was the first to run the no-huddle…
It was in the AFC championship game.  I think it was Buffalo.

On if it was in 1989…
No, before that.  I'll have to go look at my notes.  There was a big controversy because they actually asked the officials not to allow it.

On how the no-huddle got started…
That was another way to try to get around it.  I feel like I'm back at Wesleyan studying for the exam, now I'm getting quizzed on it. The general sort of evolution was run in a game by accident, and they saw how well it worked.  The next group took it up, made it more of a base offense.  That worked really well.  As you got hurt by it, you adapted to it.  You sort of embraced it.

On Buffalo only using running and passing plays with the no huddle…
They were pretty good at those.

On Pennington having a broader playbook to work with…
Yeah, it's been pretty broad.

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