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INSIDER MONDAY TEAM REPORT

By Andrew Scharff
Jets Insider.com Staff Writer
December 10th, 2007
Jets RB Thomas Jones ran for over 100 yards in the Jets loss to Cleveland yesterday. (Jets Insider.com Photo)
Jets RB Thomas Jones ran for over 100 yards in the Jets loss to Cleveland yesterday. (Jets Insider.com Photo)
Let the Spygate talk begin!

The Jets loss yesterday was just five minutes old and already Jets head coach Eric Mangini had to take questions about the Patriots and Spygate. So when Mangini faced the media on Monday afternoon, he faced more questions about the Patriots, perfection and Spygate.

It was a bigger than usual crowd in the media room at Weeb Ewbank Hall. The Jets and Patriots are getting ready to meet for the first time since the whole Spygate incident occured. In what the media will make the storyline for Sunday’s game, Mangini tried not to.

Mangini to avert the media away from the Spygate issue by starting his press conference talking about how pleased he was with team’s ability to get in a position to win the game. After the first four or five questions being about the play calling and play execution, it was time for the cat to come out of the bag.

Although everyone in the media room knew what the Mangini’s response would be to Spygate subject he still had to stand behind the podium and face the fire. For 15 minutes Mangini was asked every possible question about the team he formerly coached.

He was asked about everything. From Patriots attempt at perfection to the perception he expects to receive when walks out to sideline. With every question posed, Mangini was just making sure he didn’t give the Patriots any added motivation to cover the 24 point spread already put out by the odds makers.

“I’m sure it will be as warm as it always is when we head up there,” said Mangini. “We know they have passionate fans. We encounter a lot of hostile environments. Whenever you go on the road, you get that.”

Mangini accomplished his goal by not giving the Patriots any added motivation as the tight lipped head coach made sure he wasn’t saying anything that would end up on Sportscenter.

After the football part of his 20-min press conference, Mangini then faced questions regarding the Patriots and chase to perfection. He refused to anoint Sunday’s game as the Jets Super Bowl. Mangini, who didn’t acknowledge their perfect record, made it seem that this will be just a normal Sunday, when actually it will be anything but.

“Really it’s a game against a good football team, a very good football team,” said Mangini. “The consistent approach that we’ve taken throughout the course of the season is going to be the same. That’s what you need week in and week out, is a high level of preparation. That’s what we’re always striving for.”

After being asked about the Patriots quest for perfection, the topic was Spygate. When the Spygate topic originally came about all Mangini and his players said about the topic was a league matter. Well on Monday, Mangini held his stance.

As I’ve said, I’ve really said everything I can say about this. It’s a league matter, and it’s in the past. We’re moving forward,” said Mangini. “I understand why you have to ask the question, but it’s a league matter. That’s really where it is. I’ve said all that I can say on it.”

Insider Tidbits

Come On Anthony

TE Joe Kowalewski was asked if he is going to make any guarantees this week. The second-year tight end said after what he saw happen to his former college teammate Steelers S Anthony Smith, he will not say a word. Kowalewski said it is pretty much a certainty that their will not be any guarantees coming from the Jets locker room.

Kowalewski defended his former teammate by saying Smith just fell into the media’s trap.

“He’s a very prideful and confident guy. He just fell into the trap. I knew after hearing what he said he wasn’t going to back down from that statement,” Kowalewski said.

No Moore

LG Brandon Moore will be in for a long week. Moore, who always available in the locker room, left a bunch of reporters after not wanting to talk about the Patriots. Moore was being asked the same questions that all the players were asked on Monday. He was questioned about being 24 point underdogs, the Spygate incident and the Patriots chase of perfection.

Play-Calling

In the football part of Mangini's press conference, he was asked to evaluate his calls. Asked he would have done anything differently in the fourth quarter Mangini said no. He was pleased with the decisions he made. Mangini felt that K Mike Nugent did a good job on the onside kick, that he why he elected to do it three times. As for the two-point conversion call to Baker, Mangini liked the matchup Baker was in.

“Well with any of those decisions, you always make the decision you feel is the right decision at the time. Those were decisions that I felt good about at the time,” said Mangini. “And looking back, there were reasons based on our preparation and understanding that you can be in that situation at any point in the game.”

Jets open as 24 1/2 point dogs

In what is likely the largest point spread in a very long time, the Jets opening odds from Las Vegas are +24.5 against the Patriots this week.

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