Mangina was terrible at everything. He had a good first season with an easy schedule and was horrific each and every single season he ever had after that both here and in Cleveland. Great talent evaluator my ass he drafted a Boar-Hunter in the 3rd round of the best draft the NFL has had the past 10 years, traded up for Kelly Clemens and ofcourse there's the Vernon Gholston debacle.
He also drafted Ferguson, Mangold, Revis , Davd Harris, Leon Washington and solid depth/role players such as Brad Smith, Drew Coleman, Dwight Lowery, and Eric Smith.
Plus signed solid UDFA such as Mike Devito, Robert Turner, Wallace Wright, James Ihedigbo, Jason Trusnik and of course Danny Woodhead all of whom were decent to solid depth players who contributed.
Thats not too bad for a 3 year haul. You see, Mangini knew the importance of depth/role players and players who were hard working, fundamentally sound, and team oriented. Many of these guys were not pro-bowl types but they contributed to the team in different ways on a regular basis. Rex ignored this and thats why after 2 back to back AFCCG appearances the team has disintegrated.
Did Mangini have flaws? Absolutely. The guy was stubborn and spent too much time trying to be like Belicheck. It stunted his growth as a HC. He screwed up with Vilma (his biggest mistake as a Jet) and should have been more flexible with his Defense to utilize his talents. But thats part of the growing pains of being a young inexperienced HC. Think about it, before being HC he had 1 year as a DC (we all know Belicheck was the real DC), 5 years as a Defensive Backs Coach, and 3 years as a quality control coach. Thats it. He inheritted a terrible team that was in a bad cap situation and managed 2 out of 3 winning seasons and a playoff birth. How many guys with that little experience can make the same claim? I bet you cant name one. Thats pretty impressive by any standards.
What would have happened if Mangini wasnt fired? Who knows. By all reports, he was ready to hire Rob Ryan as DC and promote Bill Callahan to OC. Would that have made a big difference? Would we have made the AFCCG? I dont know, maybe. Who would have been QB? Definitely not Sanchez since we know Mangini was not a fan of Sanchez coming out of USC.
Bottom line is Woody made a decision to hire an inexperienced but bright young coach to build his team but didnt have the patience to stay the course and allow Mangini to grow through the bumps. Being in the NY market thats understandable. Why did he (and others on this site) show patience with Rex is beyond me. Maybe cause he was funny and more likeable.