Jets RB Curtis Martin chatted with the media today. (Jets Insider.com Photo)
The highlight at Jets camp today was RB Curtis Martin addressing the media for the first time since being eligible to come off the PUP list. Is he coming back soon?
Eric Mangini's daily presser began with a questions about the success (or lack-thereof) of Defensive Coordinator Bob Sutton.
Mangini was quick to defend his veteran-coach, who is new to the D-coordinator role but has been with the Jets for seven years as a defensive coach. “He’s outstanding,” Mangini gushed, further elaborating by adding that Sutton is “incredibly detail oriented.”
In a more specific criticism of Sutton’s defense, one reporter asked Mangini to explain the early failures of the team’s pass-rush. “It ties into coverage, into linebackers,” he explained, comparing those troubles with the ones experienced by Jets’ running backs during the first six weeks of the season. This all ties into Mangini’s conviction that everything on the field is a team-effort.
Mangini, a former D-coordinator himself, doesn’t always agree with Sutton’s defensive calls, but the confidence and trust he has in Sutton makes him comfortable enough sticking with those decisions.
The Jets’ rookie-Head Coach has the utmost confidence in his rookie-Offensive Coordinator, Brain Shottenheimer, as well. When asked about Shottenheimer’s call to run with WR/QB Brad Smith on 3rd and 1 against the Dolphins, Mangini cracked an devilish grin. “That one,” he said, “I really liked that one.”
WR Laveranues Coles also had nothing but praise for Coach Shottenheimer. “It’s amazing how talented he is in doing what he’s doing,” Coles raved about the new O-coordinator that has him among the league-leaders in nearly all receiving categories. He added, “He’s not against trying anything.”
The man delivering those passes to Coles was another focus of Mangini’s speech about confidence. QB Chad Pennington, coming off his second rotator cuff surgery, has been one of the NFL’s leading passers this season thanks to his ability to read defenses and improvise on the line.
”I respect his decision-making very much,” Mangini said of his star-QB.
The topic of security was raised because of internet-threats made to eight NFL stadiums, including Giants Stadium, this weekend. “I think that Homeland Security, NFL security, stadium security and Steve Yarnell all do a great job,” Mangini assured reporters.
However, new information released this morning suggests the threats were a hoax. Reports on Sports Illustrated’s website, SI.com, claim that the FBI has apprehended a suspect in the threats. The suspect, a male “young-adult” from Milwaukee, is still being questioned and has not been named because the investigation is ongoing.
Despite the success Coles is enjoying in 2006, he adamantly denies that he should be lumped with the great receivers in the NFL (Marvin Harrison, Tory Holt, Terrell Owens, Chad Johnson, Steve Smith). Coles also felt that WR Roy Williams, the star of the Detroit team that the Jets will face on Sunday, doesn’t belong in that elite group.
When asked if the two recievers belonged in a grouping with the true greats of the NFL, Coles replied calmly, “me and Roy have no business.” When it comes to that elite group of recievers, who have produced outstanding results for years and years, Coles had one piece of advice for fans and players alike: “You just got to sit and watch.”
-Future Hall of Fame-RB Curtis Martin spoke with reporters for the first time since August in the locker room today. The main focus of the interview was the health of Martin’s injured knee.
”I feel myself getting better,” Martin said of his surgically repaired knee, adding that “I’m running a little better.” He did express concern about his ability to make the sharp cuts that have made him such a great running back.
”The one thing I was concerned about was making the cuts; once you get out there, instincts take over and I haven’t been put in that situation,” he admitted. “I don’t know how that will turn out.”
-Martin, who just became eligible to come off the PUP list, has been held back from returning to practices and is likely to start participating in them after the team’s Week 8 game at Cleveland, according to Mangini. Martin was unable to confirm that even then he would be able to play.
”Definitely is not a word I’m going to use,” said Martin. “Hopefully is the word that I will use. You can’t have anything etched in stone in this situation.”
-Mangini took time in his press conference to acknowledge the contributions that veteran-CB Andre Dyson has brought to the Jets’ secondary. Mangini called Dyson a “real solid influence on the [locker] room and a steady performer and just a good veteran presence” and ceaselessly praised his consistent play.
He also said that Dyson has been aiding in the development of younger DBs in much the same way that veteran-OL Pete Kendall has been helping the two rookie-starters on the Jets offensive line.
New York Jets
-FB B.J. Askew (Foot): Questionable
-CB David Barrett (Hip): Questionable
-WR Laveranues Coles (Calf): Questionable
-WR Tim Dwight (Thigh): Questionable
-RB Cedric Houston (Knee): 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
-OL Pete Kendall (Thigh): Probable
-QB Chad Pennington (Calf): Probable
-S Kerry Rhodes (Thigh): Probable
-WR Brad Smith (Thigh): Probable
-DL Kimo von Oelhoffen (Knee): Probable
-DT Shaun Cody (Toe): Out
-DT Shaun Rogers (Suspension): Out
-S Kenoy Kennedy (Foot): Out
-LB Alex Lewis (Knee): Questionable
-FB Cory Schlesinger (Hamstring): Questionable
-OL Rex Tucker (Knee): Questionable
-G Ross Verba (Hamstring): Questionable
The team has a full walk-through tomorrow in preparation for Sunday’s game against the Lions. Be sure to check back to JetsInsider.com for a full game preview!