Mangold looks at a teammate before the snap
*The Jets have an NFL-high and franchise-record seven players named to this year's Pro Bowl. Newyorkjets.com has profiled each all-star this week before practices begin in Hawaii next week. Today's last profile in the series: Nick Mangold. *
It's been a while since center Nick Mangold has been to Hawaii.
"I went out there when I was like 2," said Mangold, 25. "I don't remember much of that, but I've seen the pictures and seen the movies and I know it's a beautiful place."
Mangold, selected 29th overall in the 2006 draft, showed he was NFL-ready immediately and has started every game since coming into the league.
"It's exciting," Mangold said of being selected to his first Pro Bowl. "I'm honored by it and surprised. It's something that you take as a huge compliment, because there are some fantastic people that are going to be out there.
"To be with them is something that's very special."
He said playing in the Pro Bowl will also tell him if he's ready to begin preparing for the 2009 season.
"It takes a little bit," he said. "You've got to let the body recharge. It's a long off-season, a long training camp, and the season is long as well. But you know, you always have that itch as a football player to be back out there."
Rarely missing a play on offense, Mangold clearly knows what it takes to prepare physically for the season. But Alan Faneca, Mangold's fellow Pro Bowler on the offensive line, recently gave praise to the center's intellect.
"Nick always puts himself in a good situation," said Faneca. "He's a smart player and I think he kind of starts off his game being a smart player. Knowing how to attack the guy in front of you, or where you need to be to get, say, to a linebacker, or where a blitz is coming from, and always putting yourself in a good situation to succeed is a great asset.
"I think that's where his game starts. And from there, he takes advantage of it with his ability to block people."
Mangold said he thought the O-line had made strides this season. He gave credit to his teammates and coaches and praised line coach Bill Callahan for helping his individual game as well as the unit.
So Mangold was excited to learn that Jets head coach Rex Ryan had announced that Callahan's services would be retained for the upcoming season.
"That's something I was really hoping for, with the transition," said Mangold, "that Bill would be around."
Mangold didn't know too much about his new head coach, aside from being a passionate coach and a defensive guru, but he's confident that Ryan's passion can translate to the offensive side of the ball.
"Definitely," he said. "Just like confidence flows from guy to guy or coach to guy, I think passion also does as well, so it should be exciting."