By Mark Walters
Jets Staff Writer
September 19th, 2008
As the team had their final walk-through before heading to San Diego tomorrow, talk has been about a possible shoot out on Monday Night as the Jets face a high powered 'Bolts offense while Brett Favre and Co. dreams of feasting on a Chargers defense that has been porous the first two weeks

If he hasn’t said enough about the high-powered San Diego offense this week, Head Coach Eric Mangini proved his knowledge of this Monday’s opponent by stating how many all-purpose yards Chargers’ offensive triple threat Darren Sproles had last week against Denver.

“317,” Mangini stated when a reporter said that Sproles had something like 300 yards against Denver.

Mangini was sure to mention that facing San Diego is more than just Sproles.

“It’s Tomlinson, Gates, Chambers, Rivers, Sproles; just go right on down the line. They’re all explosive; they’re not limited by one distinguishing characteristic. They can run the ball, they can throw the ball deep very effectively, they can dump it off and get 50, 60 yards. They threaten the whole field.”

Against the Chargers' offense will be the Jets’ 3-4 scheme, which will look to stifle an offense that has averaged 31 points a game. The Jets’ defense has held its opponents to an average of just over 16 points per game.

Speaking about San Diego’s offensive threats, S Kerry Rhodes said that because of all their weapons, he doesn’t think they even game plan for who they want to get the ball to.

“A lot of times, they throw to whoever’s hot or whoever’s feelin it that game,” Rhodes said. “You have to go into the game with base stuff on your mind of what you want to do, but once the game gets going you have to make adjustments.”

Mangini stressed that his team must avoid self-inflicted wounds such as assignment errors and penalties to beat San Diego. Gang Green racked up 60 yards on six yellow flags last week against New England, a problematic statistic against any opponent.

Field position was also on the short list of protocol for the coach. On nine possessions against New England, the Jets’ average starting position was their own 21-yard line, compared to the Patriots’ average of its own 42.

“We’re looking to play complimentary football and I think last week is a really good example of how much field position plays a role in success or failure. The more you can start drives in positive territory as opposed to on your own 20-yard line, the more success you’re gonna have,” Mangini said.

A component of the offense that the coach wants to see improvement at is being just as strong in the second half as they are in the first half. San Diego has proven itself to be a second half team in its two games this season.

After giving up 329 yards of total offense in the first half against Denver, the Chargers’ defense forced two three-and-outs and gave up a total of 10 yards in the third quarter. It helped San Diego claw back from 18 points down to take the lead.

When asked about it, G Alan Faneca said that you don’t game plan for that.

“They’re a good halftime adjustment team,” Faneca said. “Some teams’ coaching staffs are really good at that and you have to be prepared for that. You have to come out in the second half and see something you didn’t see or see an adjustment to something you’ve already seen.”

Should the game turn into a shootout, Offensive Coordinator Brian Schottenheimer is confident that his team can match the high-flying San Diego offense.

“They’re very good, but we can play any type of game we need to play. We have a plan in place that we feel very comfortable with going out into this game, and if we need to adjust we’ll be ready to adjust,” Schottenheimer said.


Monday Night Madness

When asked about the added intensity and emotion of playing on Monday night, Coach Mangini said that it comes down to execution.

“It’s really such a big part of the football season,” Mangini said. “It’s a unique thing, so there is that excitement. But once you get past the excitement and over that initial thinking about it and enjoying the concept, you start rolling. Sunday night, Monday night, Tuesday night, Saturday, midnight, and it just ends up being a game.”

WR Jerricho Cotchery was also excited about the idea of playing Monday night.

“It’s gonna be special. I stayed up and watched a lot of Monday night games when I wasn’t supposed to,” Cotchery said. “You sit around and watch college football all day Saturday, you watch the NFL all day on Sunday, and you have all day to think about the game on Monday night. It’s gonna be a lot of fun.”

Homecoming for Schotty

Jets’ Offensive Coordinator Brian Schottenheimer served as the quarterbacks coach for the Chargers from 2002 to 2005. When asked about his return to southern California, he said he’s excited about it.

“Both my children were born there, a lot of good memories,” Schottenheimer said. “A lot of things started for us out there with those players. It will be good to see the players before the game, but hopefully we’ll find a way to get a victory.”

When asked about his father, former Chargers Head Coach Marty Schottenheimer, Brian said that that’s clearly been moved past.

“They’re a very good football team. I have a lot of friends on that team, both coaches and players and it will be fun to go out there and compete with them,” Schottenheimer said.

All Welcome in Schottenheimer’s Office

Before Offensive Coordinator Brian Schottenheimer sat down with the media Friday afternoon, he took a look around the new Atlantic Health Center’s media room, noticing the small cubicles for beat writers.

“You’re welcome in my office any time,” Schottenheimer joked to a small group of reporters.

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