INSIDER WEDNESDAY TEAM REPORT
By Andrew Scharff
Jets Insider.com Staff Writer
December 5th, 2007
There are many NFL head coaches, assistant coaches and even college coaches that are in the Bill Parcells Football Family Tree. Two of those coaches that are on this prestigious tree are Jets head coach Eric Mangini and Cleveland Browns head coach Romeo Crennel.
When the Jets host the Browns this Sunday it will be the second time that these two friends face each other. The start of the Mangini-Crennel relationship dates all the way back to 1997 when Mangini and Crennel both joined the staff of Bill Parcells when he was the Jets head coach.
When Parcells left in 1999, Crennel went to Cleveland and Mangini moved up north with Bill Belichick to New England. But it wouldn’t be that long until Mangini and Crennel were reunited. In 2001, Crennel joined Mangini and Belichick in New England. Crennel was the defensive coordinator, while Mangini was the defensive backs coach.
Together Mangini and Crennel won three Super Bowl titles in four years as members of the Patriots coaching staff. In 2005, Crennel took the head coaching job in Cleveland and when he left Mangini stepped into the defensive coordinator’s position.
Now everybody knows how well Belichick and Mangini get along, but it is totally different story for Crennel and Mangini. They are very close friends and speak on a regular basis.
“RAC (Romeo Crennel) is a great friend and a great guy. I was lucky to be with him here for three years,” said Mangini about his close friend Crennel. “He was a guy that I’d go to with questions. He was a guy you were always glad to be able to go and work with day in and day out.”
Mangini says he speaks to Crennel on a regular basis and he also says since they are both currently head coaches in the league, they can draw on similar experiences to talk about.
“RAC is a guy that I can call with a lot of different issues. It’s a little different than maybe talking to coach Parcells or Marty (Schottenheimer),” said Mangini. “It’s good to just to be able to run some ideas off of him because he has also been going through things for the first time.”
Mangini was asked at his morning press conference if he will call Crennel this week to find out ways to stop Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow.
“You know, he wasn’t available when I tried to call. I don’t know why. This is one week that he’s out,” Mangini responded.
Renewing Old Rivalries
When Browns QB Derek Anderson and Jets QB Kellen Clemens meet on Sunday at the Meadowlands, they will be rekindling a friendly rivalry that goes all the way back to the high school days of both quarterbacks. Both Anderson and Clemens hail from Oregon. Anderson is from a town called Scappoose (which is located northwest of Portland), while Clemens is from Burns, OR.
One of the first meetings between the two came in 2000, when Anderson and Clemens met at Oregon University for the State’s 3A semifinals. Anderson got the best of Clemens that day, but three years later Clemens would return the favor.
In 2003 with Clemens a member of the University of Oregon and Anderson a member of Oregon State, Clemens and Oregon beat Anderson and Oregon State 34-20. In that game Clemens threw for three scores, while Anderson only throwing one touchdown and two interceptions.
The rubber match between the two quarterbacks went to Anderson. Oregon State beat Oregon 51-20, as Clemens threw three interceptions and Anderson threw for four touchdowns. Last season when the Jets traveled to Cleveland, both Clemens and Anderson were backups.
But this season is different. Both men are now starters. Anderson is trying to lead the Browns to the playoffs, while Clemens is trying to show the Jets coaching staff he can be the Jets quarterback of future.
With the Giants. The G-Men signed RB Danny Ware off the Jets practice squad last night. Ware will take the roster spot of injured Giants running back Derrick Ward who was placed on IR. Ware will probably see sometime in the Giants backfield, but primarily he will be behind RB’s Brandon Jacobs and Reuben Droughns.
Along with Ware leaving the Jets also released WR Evan Prall from the practice squad. To replace Ware and Prall the Jets signed a pair of players from schools that are in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA). RB Alvin Banks and WR Shaine Smith were both signed to practice squad late Tuesday night. Banks, who played his college football at James Madison, attended training camp with the Jets as a rookie free agent. Smith, who played his college football at Hofstra University, was signed by the St. Louis Rams on May 10th. Smith was waived by the Rams on August 31st.
Mangini’s Players of the Week
Mangini announced his Players of the Week for last week. RB Leon Washington and WR Laveranues Coles were the Offensive Players of the Week. Mangini liked the way Washington ran the ball against the Miami defense. As for Coles, he impressed Mangini by playing hurt (high-ankle sprain) and making big contributions on third down.
“Before the snap, I was feeling a lot of pain. Once the ball was snapped, I was able to push through it,” said Coles about his performance. “Once the play was over, (the pain) was there again. It was one of those things where I was fortunate enough to make it through the game and help contribute to get us a win.”
Defensive honors went to LB David Harris and S Kerry Rhodes. Mangini liked the job Harris did in the running game. Harris led the team in tackles. As for the performance of Rhodes, Mangini was really liked what he did through the course of the week. S Eric Smith was the Special Teams Player of the Week and the most important award of Practice Player of the Week went to DE Eric Hicks.
On Sunday a roster spot for the AFC Pro-Bowl team will be on the line. When the Browns and Jets meet this Sunday, the two best kick-returners in the NFL will meet. Browns returner Joshua Cribbs leads the NFL with 31.2 yards per return and two touchdowns. Jets RB Leon Washington is second in the NFL with a kick return average of 30.5. Washington has one more return touchdown than Cribbs. It is lock that one of these two men will represent the AFC in the Pro-Bowl.
WR Jerricho Cotchery, who is rumored to have suffered a broken right index finger, missed practice again on Wednesday. Cotchery has not spoke to the media since sustaining the injury…The Jets should look into to signing assistant secondary coach Jerome Henderson. Henderson did bag drills with the secondary and he was looking pretty sharp…Other than that everything was pretty much status quo on the practice field.
New York Jets
Did Not Participate in Practice
WR Jerricho Cotchery (finger)
Limited Participation in Practice
WR Laveranues Coles (ankle), TE/LS James Dearth (foot), C Nick Mangold (calf), DT Dewayne Robertson (knee)
Full Participation in Practice
TE Chris Baker (back), WR Chris Davis (shoulder), TE Joe Kowalewski (shoulder), WR Brad Smith (back), WR Wallace Wright (thigh)
Did Not Participate in Practice
DE Simon Fraser (illness), TE Steve Heiden (ankle), LB David McMillian (knee), LB Antwan Peek (knee), DE Orpheus Roye (knee), RT Kevin Shaffer (knee), DL Robaire Smith (Neck)
Limited Participation in Practice
DL Ethan Kelley (knee), CB Eric Wright (knee)