No Excuses, No Scapegoats

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It is clear that Jets head coach Eric Mangini wasn't just paying lip service when he talked of a "five second rule." Prior to Sunday, the Jets hadn't faced a ton of adversity over their performance because the club played so well throughout the season's first quarter. But the Jets were blanked in Jacksonville and with all eyes on Mangini less than 24 hours later, the first-year coach stood in front of the podium and didn't show many signs of lamentation.

The outcome in Florida was seen as entirely inexcusable by the new leader. Immediately following the loss, Mangini gave responsibility to all units of the team and the coaching staff. On Monday, the rookie skipper again emphasized the need for team progression.

"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," he said. "Everybody across the board had a role in what happened yesterday and has a role in every win and every loss."

Mangini vented some obvious disappointment in Sunday's post game press conference, but Monday's atmosphere inside Weeb Ewbank Hall was saturated with a constructive approach to a new week of preparation. Following a big win, a close loss, and everything in between, Mangini never changes course, except for a few minimal tweaks and turns.

"I spoke to the team this morning and talked to them about the need for consistency and a consistent approach," said Mangini. "Whether we win by 41, lose by 41, win by 1, or lose by 1, the important thing is to take away what you can take away in terms of the positives and learn from the negatives.

"The only value yesterday is going to have is the value of us learning from it, working that much harder and making sure that it doesn't happen again," he added.

Running back Kevan Barlow has been in this boat before. Barlow, who spent his first five professional seasons in San Francisco, has gotten up a few Monday mornings with the bitter taste of defeat in his mouth. On more than one occasion, it was a surprising outcome defeat such as Sunday's in Jacksonville.

"It lingers around," Barlow said. "If you're not competitive and if it doesn't hurt, than something's wrong. You have no choice but to put it behind you and try to move on in this league.

"It definitely hurts to lose like that, but in this league you have to put it behind you and get ready for the next week. In any game, everybody on the field is good, it can happen any Sunday with any team."

Even though Barlow was limited to minimal yardage on the ground, the veteran from Pittsburgh saw some positive aspects in the tough loss.

"The score may not show that we did a lot of good things, but I think as a team we did some good things," Barlow said. "You just have to try to learn from the positives you did out there and try to build off that."

 Notes:

Much like the five second rule, a new number surfaced in Mangini's dictionary; six. "The separation between success and failure on a lot of those plays could be as little as six inches," he said on Monday. "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."… Mangini recalled a lopsided loss from his personal playing days. Although the defeat was in high school, the message remains the same. "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."

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