Posts Tagged ‘Eric Mangini’

Game versus Bills will tell all about 2008 Jets

Friday, October 31st, 2008

First off I’d like to address all the fans who have emailed me busting my chops that I haven’t written in my blog since week one of the season. I apologize and really am quite flattered that anyone actually cares about my opinions. The reality is, I’m not a professional writer and to put an article together for me is a long process unless I am truly inspired.  

I am inspired this week because I think this game against Buffalo will be the litmus test on what type of team the 2008 NY Jets are and will ultimately decide if the team has any chance of being a playoff team. I know some will say that one game does not determine a season, however, based on the way the Jets have performed in recent weeks, if they get manhandled on Sunday I believe the season is lost.

The Jets are in a tough spot. They are heading up to a hornet’s nest in Orchard Park where a good Buffalo team is coming off an ugly loss in Miami. They will be pumped up to redeem themselves in front of 80,000 rabid Western NY Bills fans who have no love loss for the Jets. Buffalo is coming off a 2007 sweep of NY where in game one last year at Ralph Wilson Stadium, Bills rookie QB Trent Edwards made his NFL debut, torched the Jets for 234 passing yards and established himself as one of the brightest young QB talents in the league. Since then, he’s only gotten better, leading the Bills to a 5-2 start and tie for first place in the AFC East.

The Jets, on the other hand are a team that I just can’t measure. On paper, this team should be dominating the AFCE. They have great talent on both sides of the ball plus Brett Favre. Despite this, they are a game over .500 and have lost games to the putrid Oakland Raiders and nearly lost to the even more awful Chiefs. Not once this season has the team risen to the occasion and handily beat an opponent. Even in the game where they dropped 56 points against the Cardinals, the defense collapsed in the second half and the game wasn’t secured until the 4th quarter.

The most frustrating thing to me as a fan this season has been watching Head Coach Eric Mangini operate. I’m at a loss as to what kind of coach this guy is. The more I see him, the less I am impressed with him. The game planning and play calling this year has been awful. It seems he’s always trying to reinvent the wheel rather than just hitting a team the way he should. How do you not pound the ball with big doses of Thomas Jones and Leon Washington (who btw, is this team’s MVP so far) against the Chiefs who are the worst rushing defense in the NFL? A mere 24 rushing attempts against this team was ridiculous. Why in God’s name did they spend millions on guys like G Alan Faneca if this is the course they are going to take.

The most irritating thing about watching Mangini is his lack of emotion. I’ll preface this by saying I like Mangini and think he’s a good guy and enjoy his dry sense of humor at press conferences and I want to see him succeed as the Jets coach.

Will Head Coach Eric Mangini give Jets fans a trick or treat this Sunday?

Will Head Coach Eric Mangini give Jets fans a trick or treat this Sunday? (Jets Insider.com Photo)

I know his personality may not be that of a Bill  Parcells or Jim Mora but come on Eric, show something to the masses that indicates you give a crap. After the Raiders loss, in his post game press conference he calmly  spoke about how he was comfortable with the way the team played in the overtime. Are you kidding me? The play calling was awful and the execution was even worse. Eric, can you for once take responsibility for a bad game? Can you imagine Bill Parcells or Bill Belichick’s post game press conference after a loss like Oakland? They would be livid. Parcells’ reaction would be something like this:

“We’re not a good team right now, and I haven’t done a real good job as a coach getting this team ready. I do assure you though that changes will be made, players will be accountable, and I will do everything to my ability to make this a better team.”

For once I’d like to see Mangini say something like that. He got this job based on his pedigree, spawning from Parcells and Bellichick but so far besides his bunker mentality with the media, has shown nothing that he’s anything like either of them.

Anyway, I’ll stop ranting and get back to the game.  Beating the Bills in Buffalo would be such a boost for the Jets.  Being the Pats play the Colts on Sunday night and could easily lose that game, a win in Buffalo for NY could give them a share of first place by Monday morning.   Also, I think it would give them a lot of confidence which is very important in the coming weeks, since after the Rams next week they play three extremely tough games against  New England and unbeaten Tennessee on the road,  then a tough Denver team at home on Nov 30. Losing this week would make the Jets task so much harder as they will be playing catchup.  The Jets will have to get their pass rush in order and get some pressure on Edwards on Sunday as Miami last week had success rushing Edwards and pressing the Bills WR’s and making plays. Kris Jenkins needs a big game as the Bills will try to establish a rushing presence with FB  Marshawn Lynch. Offensively the Jets must play smash mouth football and get the ball more often to Washington who seems to make a play every time he touches the ball. They also need to corall Favre and insist he doesn’t make the same type of careless mistakes he made against the Chiefs because if he does, the Bills will make it a very long day for Gang Green.

All in all, this is a game the Jets can win and if they do I think could be the start of a special season. If they lose, they certainly won’t be out of it but in my opinion the road to a playoff spot will be a long and unlikely one.

Keeping with the Halloween spirit, will Mangini and Co. give Jets fans the usual trick they are used to or for once, reward us with a treat? We’ll see on Sunday.

Publisher’s Notes

-It’s been really cool visiting new tailgates every home game for our 2008 JI Tailgate Challenge contest. We’ve met some really nice Jets fans and a slew of characters to say the least. If you haven’t checked out the videos from our visits please go to the following link and check it out http://www.jetsinsider.com/jets_insidervision.php. Very funny stuff. Also, if you have a great tailgate party, it’s still not too late to get involved check out the contest page ( http://www.jetsinsider.com/2008_tailgate_contest.php ) and drop us a line! We may just visit you!

-Does it seem like the Steelers are on every prime time NFL game this season? Enough already!

-Shout out and congrats to Super Jets and JI Fan Jay Mohr who’s sitcom “Gary Unmarried” on CBS is doing excellent in the ratings. Maybe as soon as he gets some of that syndication money he can buy the team from Woody.

 -Shield fans…how good is this final season? With four episodes left, all hell is going to break out in Farmington. Who will survive? Props also to my new favorite FX show “Sons of Anarchy” which is the same quality as The Shield.

-I’m Coaching the last game of my five year old’s youth flag football season tomorrow where we are going  for a perfect 8-0 year. Not only have the Notre Dame Mites not lost a game, they’ve only been scored upon twice all season. Eric…you know my number…call me if you need some advice!!!

-One last thing…I would be remiss as a Dad if on this beautiful Halloween day I didn’t post at least one picture of my daughter Maggie’s first time trick of treating. Have a fun and a safe Halloween!

Week One Observations

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

Now that we have a week of Jets training camp in the books here are a few observations:

Week One Battle at QB Winner? Chad Pennington.

Although he hasn’t been flashy, Chad has played mistake-free football and his arm has shown some life. He attributes the improvement to changes in his footwork and delivery and it seems to have helped. Kellen Clemens’ 6 INT’s in 10 practices has actually put him behind third stringer Brett Ratliff. These developments have Clementines (my name for Clemens loyalists) reeling but remember folks, training camp is a marathon, not a sprint. Lots of time for Clemens to emerge.

QBs Chad Pennington and Kellen Clemens

QB's Chad Pennington and Kellen Clemens

Which brings me to my next topic. Why all the hate for Pennington? It amazes me the venom on the JI messageboards towards Chad. Some fans seem to put him in the same category as the Anti-Christ. Granted, Pennington had an off year in 2007 (with a horrible surrounding cast) and has had several setbacks due to injury over his career but the guy is a warrior, works harder than any other player and like it or not, right now he’s the best QB on the roster. Lighten up, folks (especailly you Clementines)….if Pennington ends up the starter, support andembrace. I have faiththat with the improvements the team made, Pennington will surprise a lot of people.

Mangini is not concerned about his job. After reports surfaced today that Jets head coach just purchaed a $4MM house in NJ worthy of an episode of MTV cribs, it’s obvious that Eric Mangini feels he’ll be around for a while. On the other hand, rumors are that Bob Sutton is renting.

Mike Tannenbaum should not do interviews. Look, I understand that the team is trying to be  “media friendly” by having Tannenbaum available to reporters, but conducting a 15 minute Q&A with the answer to every question ”It’s an internal matter that we can’t comment on” is a waste of everyone’s time. It would be more respectful to everyone to just issue a “no comment” and stay in your office, Mike.  

One thing I did enjoy though, is WFAN loudmouth Mike Francesa not getting even a tidbit out of Tanny on his show last week after he touted all day that Tannenbaum would come on the air and set the Brett Favre rumors straight for his audience.

TE Chris Baker: He’s been on PUP for a week for this alleged back strain and according to Mangini today, no definative return time is in sight.

The way I see it is either Baker’s back injury is a lot worse than he’s led everyone to believe or the team may be putting him on ice while they see how the team’s new TE’s emerge. With rookie Dustin Keller and veteran Bubba Franks having a great first week, Baker could be more expendable than first thought.

Bubba Franks

Bubba Franks

WR to watch: David Clowney. The 2nd year former 5th round pick of the Packers is making noise his first week, showing deep speed and good hands. A person who should be alarmed is Brad Smith, who could be the odd man out with the emergence of Clowney.

I had to laugh at the blog bitch slapping that former Patriots team writer Tom Casale gave Bill Bellichick and Co on his way to a new job.

http://www.jetsinsider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=173690

You can’t make this stuff up! Obviously you can’t question Bellichick’s success as a coach, but maybe this will open his eyes and he’ll finally realize there’s repercussions for acting like an arrogant, miserable human being to everyone on a daily basis.  The part about an alleged Bellichick sex tape is a bit creepy (can you imagine that hitting the internet? Let me puke now.) but the tidbit on Tedy Bruschi was priceless. Karma’s a bitch, Bill.   

And finally…Brett Favre is not coming to NY. Not that there was ever really a shot, but every day that passes makes it less likely. Being the 3 time All-Pro hasn’t even given the Jets the courtesy of any dialouge shows he’s not interested in being here. The conclusion to this quandary should be interesting but the road won’t end in Hempstead.

And They’re Off! First practice impressions

Thursday, July 24th, 2008

The Jets kicked the 2008 season with their first training camp practice this morning. A early shower turned into a breezy cool session which was refreshing, considering the stifling heat lately. I won’t go into specific practice reports (I’ll leave that up to the writers…..full AM report coming) but here’s a few observations.

First off, as I’m sitting here in Magini’s press conference, his first news of the day is that Vernon Gholston is “Close” and he expects him signed in the “near future”. Although he didn’t say it would happen today, I imagine it will happen within the next 24 hours and there is a chance he could be on the field later today. Sources tell us they have agreed to a deal and are just cleaning up the details.

Here are some practice notes:

Mangini was serious when he said he was going to be kinder and gentler this camp as the first session was under 2 hours. The last two seasons before, practices regularly went 2 1/2 hours or more.

Give Chad Pennington practice one over Kellen Clemens. Both QB’s took reps with the starters and Pennington looked overall much sharper than Clemens. Clemens first pass was intercepted by Eric Barton and although he did have some nice throws there were several wobbly and overthrown balls.

Rookie QB Eric Ainge, who is still recovering from surgery on his throwing hand looked like it was still  bothering him as he threw a few wounded ducks trying to go deep.

FA NT Kris Jenkins looks like he’s be curtailing his visits to White Castle. He visibly looked fit and slimmer than he did at minicamp. When speaking to C Nick Mangold, who is on the other side of the line against him in practice, he described him as a “massive physical specimen who is almost impossible to get around”.

On the other side of the line, T D’Brickashaw Ferguson doesn’t look like he’s bulked up much this off-season and during reporters questioning after practice, you could see that it’s a sore subject for him that he’s tired of talking about.

I had a chance to speak with new Jet Alan Faneca and besides being very cordial and looking in incredible shape, he seemed very comfortable with his new environment. Obviously, $40MM in the bank could make anyone comfortable but he mentioned the synergy between him and his new teammates has been great. He, Mangold and Brick all said that they have been leaning heavily on each other. Faneca for guidance in the new offense and the youngsters on Faneca for veteran technique help that they lost when Pete Kendall left last season.  

Chris Baker spoke to the media after practice. He’s still on PUP and rode the bike on the sidelines during the session. During his Q&A he seemed to be in a much better place, not bashing the team and saying he’s confident a resolution of his dispute will be soon.  No word on when he’ll be acitve (he’s still nursing a back injury) but it should be sooner than later.

The CFL was in the house! Something I’ve never noticed in covering camp for the last several years is that there were two reps from the CFL scouting Jets players. One was a scout from the Edmonton Eskimos and the other was the General Manager from the Montreal Alouettes. I was informed that a large number of CFL players are taken from the pool of undrafted free agents who don’t make NFL rosters so a lot of these scouts make their rounds to NFL camps this time of year looking for talent. Can you say Danny Woodhead?

Hot off the presses, here’s your first look at the 2008 Jets at the inaugural camp practice:

http://www.jetsinsider.com/forums/gallery/browseimages.php?c=175

 

Late practice at 5:30. Weather is supposed to improve. Come on down!

More later. Be sure to take advantage of all the JI resources including breaking news, detailed camp reports daily and the largest NY Jets camp photo galleries anywhere on the internet.