By Drew Buono
Jets Staff Writer
September 8th, 2006
If today was any implication of how the team will perform on Sunday, then there is good news for Jets fans. Head coach Eric Mangini and the players were all loose and having fun today before their afternoon practice. Mangini, who is about to coach his first NFL game, was more emotional today than he was all of training camp. But, the catch is he was joking around another team and not his own.

Mangini was particularly kidding around when it came to the question of the infamous kiss between LB Joey Porter of the Pittsburgh Steelers and head coach Bill Cowher. “I don’t know what to say, I’m speechless” was Mangini’s answer with a smile on his face when asked about what he thought of the incident.

The players equally had a laugh when asked about some of the events that unfolded last night. RB Cedric Houston called the kiss “surprising” and was laughing as he watched it last night. He also commented he wouldn’t kiss Mangini if he scored a touchdown on Sunday against Tennessee.

Houston is also excited about playing this season. “I feel more comfortable and I have more experience this season,” replied Houston about the upcoming season. He also said that he wasn’t “worried about the game” and that in fact, he wasn’t “worried about anything” in regards to the regular season.

QB Chad Pennington smirked when asked about throwing the techniques of Dolphins head coach Nick Saban. In last night’s game, Saban threw his red flag signaling a challenge against the Steelers scoring a touchdown. The referees never saw the flag on the field because it didn’t go far enough for an official to see it. Pennington agreed that it was a “good idea” to practice throwing with Mangini before the game.

RB Kevan Barlow doesn’t feel any difference from playing in San Francisco and is “ready to go” on Sunday. If he has a bad game though, he will quickly realize that the media here is a lot different than out in San Francisco.

It’s also different for Mangini who, is about to coach his first regular season game. He said the game that he felt the most nervous before was the, “Super Bowl against Carolina,” which was two and a half years ago when he was with New England.

Mangini believes that the only reason why this game is important because, “it’s the start if the season.” His goal is to win the game and to make progress with the team and the individual players.

When asked about pre game rituals that Mangini might have before a game, he answered “none” and that he only “prepares, focuses and stays consistent before a game.”

Mangini though is impressed with the pre game rituals of S Kerry Rhodes and CB/KR Justin Miller. “They’ve made improvements and they did that by coming and visiting me beyond business hours, I like to see that from my players” said Mangini about his young players.

Mangini also commented about RB Derrick Blaylock’s toughness and how he understands the physics of the game. He referred to Blaylock’s ability to understand leverage, angles and techniques.

Will see how loose the 2006 New York Jets are on Sunday against Tennessee. If they can keep the momentum going from the preseason and come out with a win that could really give them some confidence heading into a brutal couple of weeks against some very good football teams.


- It seems that most likely RB Curtis Martin will not make the trip with the team to Tennessee, instead staying here to rehab his right knee.

- Mangini’s family is very excited about his first game as a professional coach, as his brother is flying in all the way from Australia for the game.

- The team practiced today without full pads, going light today before leaving for Tennessee.

- P Ben Graham continues to impress, punting the ball twice in a row over 60 yards.

- Another funny scene from the locker room came from DE Bryan Thomas, WR Laveranues Coles, and LB Eric Barton who again were arguing over the most flamboyantly dressed player on the team. Thomas answered that Coles was and Coles playing around threw himself on to Thomas who ended up in Martin’s locker, while the rest of the team got a good laugh.


New York Jets
-OL Trey Teague (leg): Out
-CB David Barrett (upper leg): Questionable
-WR/KR Tim Dwight (lower leg): Questionable
-LB Matt Chatham (lower leg): Probable
-G Pete Kendall (lower leg): Probable

Tennessee Titans
-TE Erron Kinney (knee): Out
-DE Antwan Odom (knee): Out
-T Jacob Bell (back): Questionable
-WR David Givens (hamstring): Questionable
-G Benji Olson (upper leg): Questionable
-S Lamont Thompson (ankle): Questionable
-RB LenDale White (ankle): Questionable

Game time is at 1PM on Sunday, local TV on CBS 2 and local Radio on 1050 ESPN Radio and WRCN 104.3 on Long Island. Be sure to check back to JI after the game for a complete recap!

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