By Drew Buono
Jets Staff Writer
October 6th, 2006
The Jets are ready for Jacksonville and are no way still lingering after last week’s game against the Indianapolis Colts. Head coach Eric Mangini quickly described his team’s goals for Friday’s run through practice before flying to Jacksonville. Mangini said that the red zone and the two-minute drill are an extremely important part of Friday’s. The two-minute drill is especially important for the defense now, as it will become a major focus for the team from this point on. “It’s important that once a team gets into our red zone that they only come out with three instead of seven,” said Mangini about his defense.

For Mangini it’s all about “11 guys finishing, executing plays, that’s the goal.” Mangini also said that, “the harder you study, the more you prep, the easier the game will be for all 11 guys.” Mangini still focuses his ideas and concerns about the team as a whole, never referring to one side of the football as weaker or another side as better. It’s a team effort for Mangini and he won’t accept anything less than a concise group effort.

WR Laveranues Coles has been a key part of that group effort for the Jets. The AFC Player of the Month for September has been a player that amazed Mangini from afar when he was an opponent, but is even more amazing to watch as a player on the same team. Mangini really likes, “the core toughness of Coles” and that will only help in getting him the ball more and turning him back into the superstar he was a few years ago.

One of those players who will have a chance to join that group effort this week is RB Derrick Blaylock. Described by his coach as a player who “prepares the same every week as if he is a starter or not,” Blaylock told reporters that he approaches every week as if “I’m the guy whose starting.” It still isn’t a final decision on if Blaylock will play or not, that decision will most likely be made on Sunday, but Blaylock said there may be a chance he finds out Saturday night. It would be surprising if Mangini didn’t use Blaylock with the injury to Cedric Houston because, the running game is starting to produce on the field and Mangini likes having three running backs at his disposal.

Blaylock understands the game and knows that being able to play, “depends on if you want to use this guy or not and it depends on the numbers.” Blaylock is always “ready when they call your number.” In reference to the run game, G Pete Kendall is happy where the offense is right now but knows the team has to improve more and more each week.

“We have some new players up front and some new running backs, so we just have to keep working to get it right,” said Kendall about the new characters to the offense this season. To Kendall, the run game is a “thing that hasn’t been taken fully advantage of as of yet.”

RB Kevan Barlow is happy to be a Jet and likes the direction of the offense under the “leadership of our quarterback.” He feels that the team, “is starting to get together.” He laughed when responding to why he has so many touchdowns early this season, “it’s easy when the holes are so big.”

Overall after a quarter of the season, the Jets are 2-2 and have looked good in parts of every game, whether coming back after being down in a big whole or finding ways to stop teams from coming back late in the game. Not many if anyone thought this team would be as competitive as it has been so far and then next four weeks could decide if the team can actually be a playoff contender or not.


- During practice today, LB Jonathan Vilma decided to play around with CB Andre Dyson. He jumped on his back on the sidelines, scaring Dyson so much so that, it took him a minute to regain his composure.

- During Mangini’s morning press conference, a cell-phone went off while he was asked a question and Mangini was quick to say to the reporter that he was “gonna have to fine you for that.”

- P Ben Graham looked good today in practice, punting the ball 45-50 yards in the fall weather.

- Mangini commented on his back-up quarterbacks saying how he liked their hard work for staying after practice and continuing to work with skill players to get in more reps and run through the whole script.

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-RB Cedric Houston (Knee): Doubtful
-CB David Barrett (Thigh): Questionable
-WR Laveranues Coles (Calf): Questionable
-WR Tim Dwight (Hamstring): Questionable
-OL Pete Kendall (Thigh): Questionable
-OL Trey Teague (Ankle): Questionable
-DL Dave Ball (Hand): Probable
-RB Kevan Barlow (Calf): Probable
-LB Matt Chatham (Foot): Probable
-OL Anthony Clement (Shin): Probable
-DL Shaun Ellis (Hip): Probable
-DL Bobby Hamilton (Knee): Probable
-FB James Hodgins (Knee): Probable
-OL Adrian Jones (Thigh): Probable
-CB Justin Miller (Hip): Probable
-QB Chad Pennington (Calf): Probable
-WR Brad Smith (Thigh): Probable
-S Eric Smith (Knee): Probable
-S Kerry Rhodes (Thigh): Questionable
-DL Kimo von Oelhoffen (Knee): Probable