Courtesy of New York Jets
The 14th head coach in New York Jetsâ€™ history had his first full day Wednesday, meeting with members of the coaching staff. Those staff meetings will continue today on Eric Manginiâ€™s 35th birthday. Twelve years after starting out as the ball boy in Cleveland, Mangini is now the chief officer in New York.
â€œWhat can you expect from me personally? I am going to lead by example to the whole organization,â€? Mangini said to reporters at his introductory press conference. â€œI am going to be passionate; I am going to work smart; I am going to work hard; and I am going to leave no stone unturned. I have a commitment to the organization, the players, the coaches, and the fans. We will work day and night to create a winning team you can all be proud of.â€?
After a wildly successful six-year run in New England, Mangini elected to return to the corridors at Weeb Ewbank Hall. Mangini, a Hartford, Connecticut native, first served with the Jets under Bill Parcells as a defensive assistant/quality control coach from 1997â€™-99.
â€œI think the main qualities that made this job attractive to me were the commitment by Mr. Johnson, and the commitment by the front office to winning and building an organization for the long term,â€? said Mangini. â€œI look forward to building an organization that people can be proud of, thatâ€™s built with character, thatâ€™s built with toughness, and built with discipline. Those things are really attractive in this situation.â€?
A few reporters seemed miffed that Mangini stressed a simple football philosophy. But this was coming from a man who owns three Super Bowl rings.
â€œWhat is my philosophy at offense, defense, and special teams? My philosophy is we are going to take advantage of the strengths of our players, whatever they may be,â€? Mangini said. â€œWeâ€™re going to attack the weaknesses of our opponents and minimize their strengths.
â€œSo I canâ€™t tell you what that is going to look like, but I can tell you that week in and week out itâ€™s going to be whatever game plan gives us the best chance to win,â€? he added. â€œThatâ€™s why we need smart players. Thatâ€™s why we need players that are disciplined. Thatâ€™s why we need players that are willing to play a role.â€?
When asked about defensive alignments, the former New England defensive coordinator stuck to his guns.
â€œLike I said earlier, weâ€™re going to play whatever gives us the best chance to win,â€? Mangini said. â€œSo if itâ€™s 3-4, 4-3, 2-6 – whatever it is – if itâ€™s going to help us beat our opponent thatâ€™s what weâ€™re going to play.â€?
Mangini is very respectful of his past mentors. He didnâ€™t wait for a question before heaping praise on both Bill Belichick and Bill Parcells.
â€œI learned a lot from Bill Parcells. I learned that you need to understand people,â€? said Mangini. â€œHe is a master motivator. He demands perfection and heâ€™s 100% committed to winning.
â€œI canâ€™t say enough about what I have learned from Bill Belichick. He gave me my first shot. Heâ€™s my mentor, my teacher, and I consider him a close friend that I will have for the rest of my life. The thing that I admire most about Bill is heâ€™s smart. Heâ€™s really smart. Bill couples intelligence with an unparallel work ethic.â€?
But Eric Mangini will be different than his predecessors. There is an element of suspense here with Mangini because this will be his show for the first time.
â€œI am not Bill Belichick and I am not Bill Parcells. I am Eric Mangini,â€? he said. â€œI am going to approach it my way. I am going to take the experiences and all the lessons that I learned from those guys, and I am going to apply that to my team.â€?
He could have stayed away from the Jetsâ€™ vacancy, knowing the Green & White have two annual dates with Belichick on the schedule. But Mangini said he had â€œno hesitancyâ€? and â€œif you want to be the best you have to beat the best.â€?
The one thing you can be sure about Mangini is you wonâ€™t outwork him and that work ethic will be invaluable as the Jets look to regain their status as an NFL contender.
â€œThis is building a culture, itâ€™s building a team, and itâ€™s building an organization that can achieve long term and consistent success,â€? he said. â€œUnderstand this is a process.â€?
The process has begun and continues on his 35th birthday.