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INSIDER WEDNESDAY TEAM REPORT
By Drew Buono
Jets Insider.com Staff Writer
November 8th, 2006
<b>BITTER BELLY:</b> Patriots Coach Bill Belichick still refuses to refer to Eric Mangini by his name. (Jets Insider.com Photo)
BITTER BELLY: Patriots Coach Bill Belichick still refuses to refer to Eric Mangini by his name. (Jets Insider.com Photo)
Fresh off their bye week the Jets prepare to take on a familiar opponent in division leading New England. Both teams are coming off a loss, but the Patriots still lead the AFC East by two games over the second place Jets. The Jets though have had a week and half to get over their loss to Cleveland, the Patriots on the other hand have the home loss to the Colts still fresh in their minds.

The game itself could be much closer than week two’s 24-17 home loss for the Jets. The Jets have improved in almost every aspect since that loss and the Patriots are undefeated on the road not at home. New England also has to deal with the loss of S Rodney Harrison, who will be out for at least this game with a broken shoulder blade. “We hope he will be back out there soon,” said Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. Jets head coach Eric Mangini said during his press conference that, he “will have to see how it (the loss of Harrison) fits into the whole scheme, how they’re going to put the pieces there in the secondary.”

Mangini said that the Patriots have “always done a pretty good job handling adversity” and knows it will be hard to go to New England and play them, especially after a Patriot loss. The Patriots haven’t loss two games in a row since 2002. Mangini addressed this by saying, “they are able to put the game, the loss, whatever the situation was in the past, and move forward.”

Belichick is using that same philosophy with his relationship towards Mangini. The first time the two coaches met, there was an air of unfriendliness especially from Belichick. This time around, it’s ten times worse. Belichick avoided making references to Mangini in particular, only talking about the “Jets” or the “Jets organization.” Mangini is definitely handling the situation better than Belichick, but it is astonishing how much animosity there is from Belichick towards Mangini. It took four direct questions today by the media to Belichick regarding his opinion on the job Mangini has done with the Jets before he finally responded, "He’s the coach, I think he’s done a good job with them." He still has yet to mention Mangini by his name since he left the Pats.

The fans in New England will probably be as receptive towards Mangini as Belichick is. Mangini said jokingly that he expects “balloons, parades, a lot of signs that say welcome home.” If there were one word to describe it for Mangini, it would have to be “magical.”

LB Matt Chatham is “excited” to be going back to New England after being with the team for the last six years. The game though is what’s important to Chatham as the Jets start the second half of the season, “It’s a two month race now and it would be huge to beat a team with a winning record,” which the Jets haven’t done all season.

The Jets are hoping that all that work they’ve put into so far this season culminates with a win on Sunday. Mangini said, “we’ve learned a lot of lessons along the way and again, it comes back to, applying those lessons on Sunday, to take the work we do during the week on Sunday and have a good week of preparation.” Mangini also said that, “it is a little bit easier the second time because, you’re more familiar with the personnel.”

QB Chad Pennington knows that a “division win on the road would be huge for this team” and he considers it a “big game.” Pennington has studied himself from the first half of the season and admitted that it’s hard learning a new offense and being consistent while learning it. He realized that he lacked that consistency in the games against Cleveland and Jacksonville and puts more blame on himself for the Jacksonville game because, “I had three bad throws and that made the game.”

This time, Pennington will hopefully not have to throw the ball all the time against the Patriots now that RB Leon Washington has brought some balance to the offense. If the Jets can play the whole game instead of one half, this game could be even better than the first one.

INSIDER TIDBITS:

- The Jets announced that they released C Norm Katnik and signed DL Keyonta Marshall.

- The team also placed C Trey Teague on injured reserve, ending the comeback attempt of another veteran. According to Mangini, Teague has a “new injury to the same area, but it’s a different injury than before.”

- Teague’s second injury occurred during practice on Monday and Mangini believes that he will most likely need “some kind of surgery at some point.”

- In the locker room, DE Bobby Hamilton took a camera from one of the cameraman and started taking pictures of S Kerry Rhodes while being interviewed. It took a second for Rhodes to realize it was Hamilton taking the pictures, which received a laugh from the safety.

- Mangini will use the next couple of days to decide whether he will fill the vacant roster spot left by Teague through the practice squad or from a person “that comes off the wire.”

INJURY REPORT:
-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
-WR Justin McCareins (Foot): Questionable
-RB Kevan Barlow (Calf): Probable
-LB Matt Chatham (Foot): Probable
-CB Andre Dyson (Ankle): Probable
-OL Pete Kendall (Thigh): Probable
-QB Chad Pennington (Calf): Probable
-QB Patrick Ramsey (Thigh): Probable

TOM ROCK FAN CHAT THIS THURSDAY Be sure to join us for a Fan Chat with Newsday Jets beat writer Tom Rock on Thursday (11/9) at 8PM in the Jets Insider Chatroom.

Tom will be giving the latest info on all the happenings at Weeb including all the news leading up to the matchup with the Patriots that week.

DON'T MISS IT!

The Jets return to practice tomorrow in preparation for Sunday’s division game against the Patriots and Jetsinsider.com will be there with all the breaking news.