Monday Player Interviews

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Transcripts of interviews with selected Jets players during locker room media availability Monday afternoon:    

WR LAVERANUES COLES

On Eric Mangini not returning…

I let him know how disappointed I am for him and I don't think he deserves all the blame for everything that went on this year. I know that kind of happens when your head coach gets let go. He doesn't deserve the total blame for the way the season went and I let him know that and I voiced that. He put his best foot forward. I think he put a lot of time and effort in trying to get us prepared to win ballgames, but of course we came up short.

I have a lot of confidence that he will be a head coach again in the NFL. I told him to do it the way he wants to do it. I am sure wherever he lands he will be successful and we will stay in touch.

On the level of support he had from the players…

I don't know. I supported him. He was our head coach. Anytime you have a head coach come in you have to support him and I think that is the main thing you have to do is support your coach no matter if you agree with the decisions or you don't agree with the decisions. I supported him.

On what Mangini said today…

He thanked the guys for all the hard work and the effort we put in over the years and that he's watched a lot of us grow. He thanked us for being the players that we are.

There is a lot of hard work and effort that went into playing for Coach. He got it out of us every day and I think he understood that and he let us know when he was tough on us. It wasn't because he wanted to be a butt, but it was because he wanted to get the best out of us and he wanted to win. I think him relaying that message and letting the guys know that he truly cared about us, it was very important.

RB THOMAS JONES

On his reaction to Eric Mangini not returning…

I guess surprised. I don't really keep up with all of that stuff, as far as what's going on outside of football. I was surprised. That's just the nature of business. You have to take it day-by-day and year-by-year in this league. There's nothing guaranteed. I like Eric a lot. I have a lot of respect for him. I have a lot of respect for his ideas and what he tried to get across to the team. At the end of the day, we have to make the plays on the field. We didn't do that this year.

On if one guy can be blamed…

Everybody is involved. It's not just one guy. All 22 guys who are playing on the field at each particular time have to come through. The coaches, it's their job to put us in the best position to be successful. It's not just one guy. It's not Coach Mangini, it's not one guy on the offense, one guy on the defense or one guy on special teams. It's everybody. Everybody is at fault for us not making the playoffs and kind of having a disappointing ending to the season.

On his feelings about the end to the season…

I always believe that things will work out the way that they're supposed to. I think Eric will end up in the place where he's supposed to end up. I think the team will go in the direction they're supposed to go in. I think everything happens for a reason and I think everything happens for the best.

Like I said, I wish Eric the best. He's a great person. He's one of the hardest-working coaches I've been around. He's very dedicated. He was dedicated to this team. He was dedicated to this organization. At the end of the day we have to make the plays on the field and we didn't do that.

On having a personal-best season…

It's definitely bittersweet. At the end of the day you want to win the Super Bowl. That's why you play. That's why you work out as hard as you do and go through all of the OTAs, minicamp, training camp and a 16-game season. That's why you go through all of that, to go to the playoffs and win the Super Bowl. It's definitely bittersweet.

I think I worked really hard this year, like I do every year. My line did a great job blocking for me and giving me holes. Schotty [OC Brian Schottenheimer] and the offensive coaches, Coach [Jimmy] Raye, he's one of the best running back coaches, I think, ever to coach in this league. I don't know how many Pro Bowl running backs he has coached. He knows so much about the game. He has taught me so much about the game that I can't even put it into words. Things that I didn't even think about before, he has taught me. I'm very thankful for that — me, Leon [Washington] and Tony Richardson, and the other young running backs we have.

You're definitely surprised, but at the end of the day you can only control what you can control.

CB DARRELLE REVIS

On his reaction to hearing Coach Mangini not returning…

I found out this morning. Ty Law called me and told me to turn on "SportsCenter." It was on there as breaking news.

I don't know. I didn't know what to expect from losing last night to this morning. It's tough. It's a business. Eric and I are very good friends. We were just in the team meeting now and that's what it is. We know it's tough in this league. Guys get switched around a lot — players as well as coaches getting fired and hired again. You just have to be there for a guy like that. I'm sure he's going to be somewhere else next year coaching and doing his thing.

On Mangini's message during the team meeting…

He just said to stick together. He said we're a good group of guys and we care about each other. He said that the head coach is going to come in next year and to embrace him and have a relationship with him.

On if Mangini was emotional…

Yes, he was a little bit emotional. I think a lot of guys in there were emotional, including me as well. You don't want to see things happen like that, but in this business you know they are. You just have to give your heart out and your hand out to a guy like that who has worked hard.

WR JERRICHO COTCHERY

On if there is a sense of responsibility for the season…

Definitely, from my standpoint I know I feel that way. I feel that we let him down and we could have done a better job of making plays. It's tough. Eric is a great guy. I had gotten a chance to know his family. He's a great man. He's a great man, period. It's just tough to see him go.

On if he thought this decision was a possibility after losing to Miami…

Just from hearing about it throughout the media, we're all human, so we hear things throughout the media. I just knew there was an idea of it maybe happening. I didn't think it would actually happen, but it has. It's just a part of the business. Eric is handling it pretty well. It allowed the guys that are close to him to handle it pretty well.

On Mangini applying the things he has learned to his next job…

He will learn a lot. Anytime in life when you have things that go wrong, you have a lot of things that go wrong, if you're a smart person you can learn from those things. [Bill] Belichick had a tough go in Cleveland and they didn't say he was a bad coach. He was a smart guy, he took those things and he learned from them. Now look at what type of coach he is now. He has won a lot of games over in New England. I think Eric is a great, talented coach. He'll be able to do well somewhere else.

On if Brett Favre should play another year…

Whatever he decides, I feel like he still has some great football left in him. He wasn't able to spend the off-season program with the team, so I definitely think that plays a role into it. For him to be able to spend the off-season with a lot of the guys, I think that will help out a lot. You just don't learn everything about an offense or about a team in a couple of months. I think that will definitely help.

K JAY FEELY

On if Mangini lost his players during the season…

No, I think he is a great coach. He works hard, prepares well and I enjoyed playing for him.

On where the team goes from here…

I think this a team that has a lot of talent, a lot of ability, and hopefully I will be a part of it and hopefully they will realize that in the coming year.

On his feeling when he learned that Mangini would not return…

My feeling was disappointment and sadness because I liked him personally and anytime somebody gets fired I don't find any joy in that. I know that it affects their families, it affects their kids and that it's not just one person. Sports is a business, but we are all human as well, and there are human feelings and human elements.

TE DUSTIN KELLER

On his feelings…

It's definitely a tough day, especially with the season over, and then we get news like this with Mangini. He is the coach that brought me in and he had a lot of high expectations for me. I definitely thank him for everything that he has done for me. He has taught me a lot and you can't say enough about him.

On how he took the news…

It's hard because ever since I first got here it's been a lot of work. I have talked to Mangini one-on-one a lot. As far as at whatever level, he is definitely the most personal. I know I could talk to him about whatever. This didn't seem real at first. I know it's only my first year and I've only spent a year with him, but I can't thank him enough.

On if the players feel as if they let him down…

In a way, because I know expectations were set so high for us, as they should be. We have a great group of guys and a lot of really good players and we should have had a better season than we did. There is nothing we can really do about it now. You have to move on.

S KERRY RHODES

On what his reaction was when he heard Eric Mangini will not return…

My initial reaction was shock. Even though you hear the rumors and hear the possibility of it happening, you don't really see it happening coming off a winning season. It's tough, but the reality of it is he is not going to be here next year. Now we have a whole new staff coming in. I don't know if it's a whole new staff, but it's just uncertainty.

On how he found out that Mangini will not return…

[Mike] Tannenbaum and Woody [Johnson] called me this morning. I found out early. Then the reports came out.

On if he thinks Mangini deserved to be removed….

In this league, when you're the head coach or the quarterback and things don't go well, you're going to get a lot of the blame. He knows that. It comes with the territory. It's just one of those things that happen.

TE CHRIS BAKER

On the team's reaction to Eric Mangini not returning…

We were a little bit surprised. I didn't see it coming, especially coming this fast. It's obviously part of the business. We just have to move forward from here

On if some of his teammates feel responsible for Mangini not returning…

Everybody feels different about it. We went out and worked hard, played hard. We just didn't get the results we wanted. In this business things happen. That's how it fell today. It's just part of the business and we all understand.

On one guy not being the reason a team fails…

That is definitely true, especially in this sport. There are 11 guys on the field at one time. It's a collection of guys, it's not just one guy. That's obviously the case here.

On if Mangini "lost the locker room"…

No, he didn't lose the locker room at all. Guys went out and played hard. It was execution more than anything. There was never a point, since I've been here. Even when Herm [Edwards] was here, guys went out and played for Herm. It never got to a point where guys were like "I'm not going to play for him." You're not only playing for him but you're playing for your teammates. Guys always went out and played hard. We just didn't get the results we wanted.

G BRANDON MOORE

On how he found out that Eric Mangini would not return…

Terry Bradway [senior personnel executive] gave me a phonecall to give me a heads-up that Eric had been let go so we wouldn't find out through the media.

On his reaction…

I was shocked and disappointed. It goes along with not accomplishing things — changes will be made. We didn't reach some goals we set out for. People were shocked, but it's part of the business. We all have to be held accountable. We get released when we don't live up to what we're supposed to be doing. It's part of the business.

On if the decision happened quickly…

I don't know the usual timeline for firing coaches, but to each their own. They chose to do it quickly so that they could get right to the business of hiring a new coach.

QB KELLEN CLEMENS

On his reaction to Eric Mangini not returning…

I was a little surprised this morning. I got a phonecall that just said, "Hey, we've let Coach Mangini go." I wish him all the best in his endeavors. As far as the guys on this team, we'll just wait and see who our next coach is and embrace him. Hopefully we'll start getting ready for next year.

On if players feel a sense of guilt…

I think there's a sense of responsibility for all of us. I don't know if guilt is the word I would use. We're all out there on Sundays giving it our best. I think the 2008 season was frustrating and disappointing in a lot of ways. We'll play the cards that we're dealt now and go forward.

On learning from Brett Favre…

It has definitely helped. I was having a conversation with my wife about a very unique opportunity to learn from two guys [Favre and Chad Pennington] who are very, very good players who aren't very similar in a lot of ways. It has been a good opportunity for me this year to sit back and learn. We'll see how things shake out next year. People have been guessing on Brett Favre's future for the last four or five years and have been wrong most of the time. We'll see.

On if he is ready to be a starting quarterback…

Absolutely, I feel ready to become a starter. That's going to be my approach going into the off-season and going into the OTAs and all of that. I feel ready to become the player that I was drafted here to be.

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