No Built-In Mulligans for Mangini's Jets

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Some people think it's inevitable for young teams to have games where basically everything goes wrong.   A day after a tough defeat in Jacksonville, Jets head coach Eric Mangini told reporters that he doesn't share that view.

"I don't like the concept of built-in mulligans," he said.  "I think the important thing is consistency and execution. If you don't execute, you could have 16 clunkers. If you execute effectively and consistently improve, a lot of good things happen."

Read the Complete Press Conference Transcript

Opening statement…

As I said yesterday, they pretty much beat us in every phase of the game; offense, defense, special teams; they also beat us in terms of coaching. They started fast. They played physical. It's hard to win with four turnovers, a blocked punt, not playing well against the run, and giving up big plays. That's going to be true whether it's Jacksonville or any team that we face.

I spoke to the team this morning, talked to them about the need for consistency and a consistent approach. Whether we win by 41, lose by 41, win by one, or lose by one, the important thing, again, is to take away what you can in terms of the positives and learn from the negatives. The only value yesterday is going to have is us learning from that, working that much harder and making sure that it doesn't happen again.

On the Jets starting slow…

I think a point of emphasis all week long has been playing fast and starting fast. That's something we always want to do offensively, is play fast. And that's something that collectively we need to do a better job of doing.

You can't spot teams 7seven points, 14 points, 24 points, and 28 points. And we talked about this late last week; it's got to be four quarters, four good quarters of consistent, well-executed football.

On the team being prepared to start fast…

I think that everybody has a pregame preparation routine and whether it's the practice during the week, whether it's the preparation directly prior to the game, whether it's the approach prior to the game, that's something that collectively needs to get better. We've done some different things and we'll continue to do some different things, and it's something we're aware of and working on. Like every other issue we had yesterday, it's going to take everybody.

On how he gets the team to move forward…

I think the important thing is throughout this process, and this is something I told the team, there are no excuses and there are no scapegoats. Everybody across the board had a role in what happened yesterday, and has a role in every win and every loss. The important thing is to figure out how you can individually improve and how we can collectively improve, commit to that, learn from the mistakes and build moving forward.

On which Dolphins' quarterback he will prepare for…

We'll look at both quarterbacks and study both quarterbacks. We had that situation here this season. One game we were preparing for three. It's always important to be able to analyze and study usually the first two and sometimes three, as was the case in Tennessee.

On if he notices any difference in Daunte Culpepper…

You know, I hadn't faced Culpepper with any regularity when I was at the other place, but he was an excellent quarterback the times we did face him. He has won a ton of football games and he has been very effective. I know the kind of coach Nick is and how he does such a good job of putting his guys in a position to succeed. I have nothing but respect for him and the things that he's done, not only at the Dolphins, but everywhere he's been.

On if the Jets will send the two roughing the passer penalties to the NFL…

It will not just be those calls, it will be any calls disputed throughout the game that we want clarification for. Those will be part of the package. With penalties, it's nothing that you can challenge and it's nothing that you can control once the call is made. It's like any other adversity, whether it's a fumble, whether it's a bad kickoff, whatever the situation is, you can't do anything about it, so the best thing is to move on to the next play and deal with that situation. That's how I view penalties and how we need to view penalties collectively.

We coached the players off those today and tried to give them the points that we could. Anything that's ever disputed throughout the course of a week, the league does a good job of taking the feedback and analyzing it and giving clarification.

On how little things can completely change a game…

You know, another thing that we showed quite a bit of this morning was the difference in some of those plays that may have gone for six points, that could have gone for three, or plays that we could have gotten off the field, but didn't. The separation between success and failure on a lot of those plays could be as little as six inches. And those six inches can result in six points, whether it's the 4th and 1 run, whether it's the touchdown run that they had, whether it's the goal line pass that they had, down the line, a better execution there, and it could have gone completely different.

But when you're facing a team that's executing well and you're not, whether it's Jacksonville or anybody else you're playing, six inches can result in a lot of points.

On what he can tweak to improve after the loss…

Each week we've done different things, talking to the captains or evaluating the things that we've done. We've changed things along the line, and always in the pursuit of performing better. We'll continue to do that. Nothing is so set in stone that there is not room for adjustment and for us to adapt in order to improve performance.

On Laveranues' playing time…

Laveranues is extremely competitive and passionate, and those are great qualities. We have five good receivers who can all make plays and I think it's important that all of them play. You have that opportunity to stress the defense by using a multiple group of receivers with different talents. Laveranues played the most snaps of any receiver yesterday. The game plan, is to try and use all the different offensive resources that we have.

On if Laveranues played less plays than usual…

He played the way that we had planned to play it. Like I said, with the group of receivers we have, they are all productive and all have different skill sets that stress the defense differently and that they have to prepare for. It will adjust week-in and week-out and it will be the same thing. We'll see how it is with running backs and different spots.

On if Chad was being sacked because no one could get open…

There were several different factors in there. Sometimes that's not all just receivers; it could be the flare control, or the check downs. It goes back to execution across the board. And sometimes a throw isn't going to be down field, it's going to be underneath, it's going to be to the back or to the tight end. The important thing is to go through your progression and take what the coverage allows.

On if Laveranues played less then usual…

It changes, because remember, Tim was out for a while so we had four. Now Tim is back and Brad is emerging a little bit, so being able to roll those guys through and the different problems that they present, I think that has a real value.

On if Laveranues played less plays then usual…

There's nothing more to read. The way we look at it is, we have a good group there. We want to be able to use all the assets that we have throughout the course of a game, and they each present a different challenge for the defense.

On if Laveranues has irked him with his comments…

I think that Laveranues is passionate. I think he's competitive. I think he's tough. I feel very strongly about him in a very positive way. As a competitive guy, you're going to be emotional, and the important thing is that we all collectively look at the things that we can do better. There are plenty of them. There are plenty of them from yesterday and there are plenty of them from the four weeks prior, and we need to continue making progress as a group.

On if Laveranues' wrist was a factor in him playing less plays…

It was more the way we had gone into the game and what we tried to do to incorporate all the different receivers. He's extremely tough, so a tweak to him is a hiccup for most of us.

On why he would not want Laveranues in more…

I think that all the different skill players bring something different to the table. You saw some of the things that Leon brought to the table; and Cedric, when he played, some of the things that he did, and Chris has been productive. Brad has made plays. Tim has made plays. Justin has made plays. And the group collectively, sometimes the coverage is going to roll to one guy and the other guy is open. And that chemistry between the whole group is important that you don't become one dimensional and you're able to spread out the package.

On how he gets the team to come back…

We face adversity in a lot of different forms. This is going to be one form of adversity. With the rest of the season to come, there's going to be plenty more. How we respond to this is as important as how we responded to the adversity we've faced in the past few weeks. It's so important that you learn from it, you build on it, and you move on. That's what we've done. We're working on Miami now. That's where we are. We're getting ready for the Dolphins.

On what he sees in the Dolphins…

I haven't studied them that extensively, but I know how good Nick is. They have good players on both sides of the ball. They can score points, play good defense and special teams. They've always had good players.

On what happened on the blocked punt…

It really wasn't something that was that out of the ordinary. It's something we looked at. To get back to that whole six-inch deal, a little bit better technique, a little bit sounder across the board and I don't think that would have been an issue. A little bit better play on the play before. A 61-yard punt, they're down at the 18-yard line. You give them an opportunity. You have to punt again, and that's what happens, you go from their 18 to your eight in a blink of an eye.

On the effect of penalties…

They create problems whatever shape and form they come in. One stalls the drive; one gives them an opportunity to block the punt. They're backed up. One, the ball should be at the one-yard line and they should be punting. Another one they should be off the field. You've seen it throughout the season, 2nd and 20. There have been plenty of them. And penalties are controllable. Penalties are like turnovers. In the football world they just cause problems unless you're generating them.

On how the team works on preventing penalties…

Penalties are something that we don't coach. We don't condone. We have officials at every practice. Mike Westhoff does a really good job, as anybody in the league in terms of the way things are going to be called. It's something that we stress, it's something that we emphasize, and it's something that kills you. It kills you. It's like turnovers. They really dramatically affect the game.

On how he corrects penalties during the game…

When you look at a penalty sometimes, you try to coach off it and you try to make sure that it doesn't happen again. The ones that happened this weekend were very different than ones that we've had so far this season. We coached off them and we hopefully, got that corrected and worked to get it corrected. My assumption is that they won't happen again.

On if he will bench a player based on penalties…

I think it depends on the situation. Each situation is a little bit different. It's not something that I condone or I think is in any way positive.

On if benching a player is a good teaching tool…

Rich says each week; whoever gives the best chance is the guy we're going to play. And each week guys create opportunities. As much as it may be a question of someone losing an opportunity, some of that is a function of a guy creating an opportunity.

Drew Coleman got more playing time this week because he's been making a lot of progress. That's how we view it. It's an ongoing, fluid process. We're all trying to improve and create opportunities for the team to succeed.

On if Brad Kassell will start over Eric Barton…

You know, it was a little bit different package there defensively. Just based on the package, that was something we wanted to do with Kassell, I thought Eric, the opportunities that he had this week, overall did a pretty good job.

On if the defense against the run is regressing…

I think there are plays to be made, plenty of plays to be made and plenty of things that, it's just either technique or it's one person maybe trying to cover for another person, whether that creates a new problem. But when you look at it as a group, it's consistency, getting back to the core concept of just doing your job first and taking care of your responsibilities and making sure that you execute it the way that it's designed to be executed.

On the job Leon Washington did yesterday…

I thought Leon ran the ball well with the chances that he had. I thought that he made some people miss. I thought that he ran threw some arm tackles. I thought he was physical. I liked the way he handled the ball. That's a positive for him and for us, and any time you see a guy improve, that's really what you're looking for.

On if he has ever lost this badly…

San Diego last year. Buffalo one year was 31-0. My whole freshman year of high school, I played JV and varsity. One week we lost 150-0. You just come back the next weekend and play hard and try to improve. College, there were plenty there.

On if it is inevitable for every team to have a game like this…

Any way that you go into a game, based on the way you prepare and the way you execute, it's just going to be what it is. I don't like the concept of built-in mulligans. I think the important thing is consistency and execution.

If you don't execute, you could have 16 clunkers. If you execute effectively and consistently improve, a lot of good things happen. And that's what we're trying to do, consistently improve and take away the things that we can take away from this weekend, work that much harder and make sure that it doesn't happen again.

On if the players are confusing their 3-4 assignments with their 4-3 assignments…

No, I think the important thing is understanding what your job is in each of those things, and whether it's the 3-4 or 4-3 call, multiple blitzes, multiple coverages, multiple different things and they all have adjustments, you may pair down some of the 3-4 if you're going to play some 4-3, so it all balances up in the game plan tally sheet. Regardless of what it is, fits are so important, as well as consistency and understanding the type of runner that you're facing, understanding the type of quarterback that you're facing, not missing tackles. The six-yard run that turns into the 60-yard run. Secondary run support, whether it's 4-3 or 3-4, it doesn't change; it's cover three or cover two. Your fits are your fits.

On if a divisional opponent makes a team more focused…

I think any time you play a division opponent, it's so important. Victories are so extremely important in the grand scheme of things. And I think the important thing is we're playing a team at home. They're doing a lot of good things. Coming off the week we had and being consistent and preparing, those are the important things.

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