You can bet Jets Head Coach Eric Mangini will be working his team hard this week to try to bounce back from a devastating loss in Buffalo yesterday. (Jets Insider.com Photo)
A third of the way through the 2007 season Gang Green is 1-3 and in a place they weren’t planning on being. But head coach Eric Mangini isn’t worried as he believes that the players in his locker room have the right attitude that is needed to steer the Jets back in the right direction.
Mangini told his team a story today and it involved a conversation he had with former Chargers coach Marty Schottenheimer, who is the father of Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer. Marty was in town last week when the Jets beat the Dolphins.
Mangini was asking the elder Schottenheimer how he had gotten to 200 wins and how he was able to get consistent performances from his teams year in and year out. Consistency is something the Gang Green is lacking this season. The Jets offense will perform great one week and then lay an egg another.
Schottenheimer told Mangini when he was player he got into a game against former Jets great Joe Namath, he missed sacking Namath on a blitz allowing Namath to get a first down. Schottenheimer remembered that Namath kept going right at Schottenheimer during the drive. He ended up scoring on Schottenheimer.
But the gist of the story Schottenheimer was getting at was not the score, but that Schottenheimer didn’t let go of the first play. Mangini said Schottenheimer told him that because he kept remembering the play he missed, it affected him on plays later in the drive. And Schottenheimer said that was the lesson that he applied to all his teams.
“I told the team the play that you’re playing is the most important play and that you can’t get caught up in what happened before because every single game is coming down to a handful of plays,” said Mangini about what Schottenheimer told him.
And that was what Mangini did today. The team met to look at tape of 17-14 loss to Bills yesterday and Mangini showed the team a handful of plays that he thought if his team played those plays better the final result of yesterday’s game could have been different.
Mangini also stressed to the team that 1-3 is not the end of the world. Mangini has been apart of teams that have been 1-3 and still have made it to the playoffs. He stressed that work that is needed to get the team back to where it should won’t be easy but he is confident with the group of players he has in the locker room, he is confident Gang Green can turn things around.
“The answers are in this room,” Mangini said during his Monday press conference. “There’s no magic pill on defense, there’s no magic pill on offense, there’s no magic play on special teams that’s going to change things. What’s going to change is us collectively playing better.
When the Jets acquired RB Thomas Jones from the Bears, the Jets thought they would have a pretty formidable running game. Jones and the rest of the running game have yet to show what they can do. Jones only carried the ball 12 times for 35 yards against the Bills. The Jets rank 15th in the AFC in rushing yards per game and 14th in rushing yards per attempt.
“It’s a long season, we have only played four games. We still have12 games left all we can do is focus on each game individually and that’s what we are working on with the running game,” said Jones.
Nugent Was Ready
As the Jets were driving to get Mike Nugent set for a possible 55 yard game tying field goal, Nugent was ready if his number was called. Nugent missed 37 yard field goal as the second quarter was ending. Nugent said after the game he misjudged the wind.
“The biggest reason was for obvious reasons to help us get points on the board,” said Nugent about hoping to get a shot to tie the game in the final seconds. “But also I wanted to make up for what I did at the end of the first half.”
Impressed By Buffalo Rookies
DL Eric Hicks was one of many Jets impressed by the two Buffalo rookies QB Trent Edwards and RB Marshawn Lynch. Edwards in his first start won and looked like a seasoned veteran out there, while Lynch really ran tough and earned every yard he gained.
“He was impressive especially down around the goal line. We saw on film that he liked to finish plays and had a nose end zone. He is only a rookie and he is going to get better and we are going to have to face him again,” said Hicks about Lynch. “Trent was impressive as well, he stood in there took some hits. He played a good game and got his first win.”
Washington is Feeling Jets AND Mets Misery
One of the biggest Mets fans in the Jets locker room is RB Leon Washington. He was probably not too happy that Mets were eliminated on the day where the Jets lost and skipped the media lockerroom session today.
The team is off tomorrow but they will return to the practice field on Wednesday as they start preparation for the Giants. As always stay logged on to JI.com for all latest news on Gang Green.
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