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INSIDER FRIDAY TEAM REPORT

By Richard Forestano
Jets Insider.com Staff Writer
October 24th, 2008
Popular topic of discussion on the day: Injuries. Media members barraged head coach Eric Mangini with a slew of questions ranging from whether WR David Clowney will make is much awaited debut as a Jet to why Mangini and the Jets are the only team that won’t comment on hamstring injuries. Mangini getting noticeably heated fired back with quick to the point “answers.” The injury questions began to subside, but were flamed again by one reporter who kept insisting that Mangini comment on the “leg” injury to K Mike Nugent.

“I don’t talk about injuries,” Mangini said. “It’s something I believe in philosophically and I hope you can respect that.”

Mangini was told that even New England comments on leg injuries. That didn’t sit too well with him. He responded with a tone that was indifferent from the voice level that Mangini usually hits.

“It’s something we’ve consistently done and I don’t anticipate changing it anytime soon,” he said of his stance on not commenting in detail on injuries. “I can verify what I put on the injury report.”

On David Clowney: “He’s in the discussion but not yet finalized,” he said.

At one point the media director tried to intervene and the reporter said, “You don’t dictate the questions.”

Mangini stifled the situation with, “Are there anymore questions.”

Oh yeah, there’s a football game to be played this week. Gang Green takes on arguably the worst team in the NFL in the Kansas City Chiefs this Sunday, but then again, many felt that last week against Oakland was a sure thing too.

Before Week 1 while looking and the Jets schedule, if anyone said that Week 8 against the Chiefs would be a must win game, they’d have been fitted for a straight jacket. But here they are at 3-3 staring under .500 in the face, Gang Green must do what any “decent” team must do, win the games that are supposed to be won. But then again everyone thought that last week would be a breeze against Oakland and TE Zach Miller and QB JaMarcus Russell thought otherwise.

“Every game is a must win game in this league,” LB Calvin Pace said. “As a team, our goal is to win. You’ll never hear of a team that has a goal to lose.”

Strong words from a strong man. Mangenius and Co. need to make a statement against the reeling 1-5 Chiefs, who will be without its star RB Larry Johnson Sunday due to a violation of team policy. Also, Gang Green won’t have to deal with QB Damon Huard, who was put on injured reserve due to partially torn ligaments in his thumb. Third year QB Tyler Thigpen will make his third start of the season at the Meadowlands this Sunday.

“We just try to get better each week,” WR Chansi Stuckey said. “We just try to get better in the run game and passing game each week.”

The Jets, even though the Chiefs are in town, need to put make a statement that they are in fact in “it” to win it and dominate the Chiefs so that they can concentrate on the game ahead, at Buffalo.

“We don’t concentrate on a game that’s two weeks away,” DB Vernon Gholston said. “Yes we like to be prepared but right now, we’re focused on the Chiefs.”

Also, former Gang Green helmsmen Herman Edwards will be returning to East Rutherford for the second time. His most notable contribution to the franchise was leading them to the postseason in 2001, 2002 and 2004. Jet players remaining from that regime: Six.

“He’s a good coach,” LB Eric Barton said. “I only had him for a year but he’s a good guy.”

Practice Report

Absolutely nothing. Today felt like it was as if they almost tried not to show the media anything. Oh wait, that’s normal. The only interesting thing that occurred was watching David Clowney return a kick. That would be something to see: Leon Washington and Clowney back deep on Sunday. Now only if Mangini decides to activate him. They’ll need him if Coles can’t go.

INSIDER TIDBITS

A Stand-up guy

While media was throwing questions left and right at S Eric Smith, he looked at the media with puzzlement on his face because he wasn’t sure if he could answer any of the questions asked. WR Laveranues Coles stepped in and said, “I’ll answer the questions. Shoot at me; I’d rather take the questions than get on him.” Coles began to talk about this Sunday and said that the Jets brought in doctors to give them [Coles and Smith] tests and that it was the doctor’s decision on whether he’d go Sunday. “At this point right now all we can do is do what the doctors say what we’re capable of doing,” Coles said. “We are told that we’re not allowed to talk about certain things,” he said. Coles reiterated that said that in any case, he didn’t want anything misconstrued because it could end up being “conduct detrimental to the ball club.” And that they’d [the team] would appreciate if the media would ask questions they can answer. “It’s difficult for us and emotions can fly a little bit.” Preceding that, Coles was adamant that he wouldn’t speak to the media. One of the players came by jokingly saying, “The man will take no questions.” Coles then said, “My teammates have spoken.” Coles displayed the actions of a true professional and a leader. He came to the assistance of a player in need. “These guys are my family,” he said. “I don’t like seeing them in that situation.”

Celebrating 40 years of History

This weekend the Jets are celebrating the 40th anniversary of its Super Bowl III Championship team. 36 players from all the decades of Jets lore will be in attendance. The Jets were 17 ½ point underdogs against the Baltimore Colts. “It’s a very important part of our history and we’re looking forward to that,” Mangini said.

Injury Report

S Eric Smith worked on the kick return team during practice. It’s still unclear as to whether or not he’ll play this weekend. TE Bubba Franks was not at practice. Mangini said that there’s a possibility that Franks could play this weekend. However, Franks has not practiced this week. WR Jerricho Cotchery and Laveranues Coles were at practice but were limited to running routes on the sidelines. “He [Coles] needs to be medically cleared,” Mangini said.

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