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Rich Cimini Chat Transcript – 06/21/06

[http://JetNation.com NFL Talk]: RichCimini has entered at 8:05 pm
[Max] 8:05 pm: Hi Rich.
[RichCimini] 8:05 pm: Greetings. Sorry I’m late
[Max] 8:06 pm: No problem Rich.
[RichCimini] 8:06 pm: Fire when ready. Let’s stir it up
[Max] 8:06 pm: Alright Rich…
[Max] 8:06 pm: We are waiting for our host R44 but I will start it off.
[Max] 8:07 pm: So far (a few months in) what are the most noticeable differences between Herm and Mangini?
[JetNation NFL Talk]: R44 has entered at 8:07 pm
[RichCimini] 8:08 pm: wow. What’s the difference between Angelina Jolie and Roseanne Barr? Everything is different.  Eric is far less colorful and candid, but extremely structured and disciplined. Players tell me he’s quiet, laid back, but you always know he’s there.
[R44] 8:08 pm: Thanks Rich, a question all jet fans want to know — Hows Kellen Clemens doing and could he start as
a rookie?
[RichCimini] 8:10 pm: There’s no way KC will be the opening-day starter. He has a strong arm, maybe stronger than Ramsey, and a quick release. But in minicamp he was holding the ball too long and appeared indecisive at times — what you’d expect from a rookie. If the team goes in the toilet, you could him starting in the second half of the year, but not in September
[R44] 8:10 pm: Rich, any rookies, drafted or undrafted, that have surprised the Jets staff so far?
[RichCimini] 8:11 pm: coaches usually don’t admit they’re surprised about that sort of thing. I think Schlegel has been a surprise, just how quickly he has picked things up. Eric Smith, the safety, a guy I wasn’t high on, also has flashed.
[R44] 8:12 pm: Any negative surprises so far, rookie or veteran?
[RichCimini] 8:14 pm: Teague’s broken ankle, obviously, is not good. I don’t think Dyson has stood out, but he’s a vet and he should be ok by camp. Dwight is built like a tank, but he’s small and I don’t see him as a factor at receiver.
[4HCrew] 8:14 pm: Thank you Rich for taking the time to chat with us.  What veteran player do you see having the most difficulty with Mangini’s “new” way of doing things?
[RichCimini] 8:16 pm: That’s a great question. I think he unloaded the vets who might have been problems (like Mawae). I think everybody will buy in, although D Rob and B Thomas may not fit in long term from a scheme standpoint. Askew could be another guy who falls out of favor. Maybe Barton.
[TaborJet] 8:16 pm: Is the center position Mangold’s to lose since the Teague injury?
[RichCimini] 8:17 pm: Definitely. He was going to play soon anyway, so it might as well be now. I saw Teague today hobbling on crutches.
[StillerPaul] 8:18 pm: Do you expect ‘Brick to be starter at LT opening day?
[RichCimini] 8:18 pm: No question. He’s the guy.
[GimmeShelter] 8:18 pm: Based on mini camp Rich, were there any  signs Pennington may able to be our opening day starter?
[RichCimini] 8:20 pm: My guess is that Chad will be the OD starter, perhaps by default. We in the media tend to over-analyze these minicamp practices, which, in the big picture, are meaningless. Chad always looks bad in practice (even before the shoulder problems) so it’s hard to gauge him. He’s a gamer, so let’s wait to the games. But, yes, I’d be surprised if he’s not the starter.
[80] 8:21 pm: I’d like to inquire about Brian Schottenheimer… what kind of coaching style does he bring to the NYJ,
and do you see him having an impact on one quarterback more than the others?
[RichCimini] 8:22 pm: Clearly, he’s going to impact Clemens the most. Schott was instrumental in the decision to draft him.  I met Schott today, very confident, very personable. But, really, who the heck knows if he’ll be a good O.C?
[GreenBeans] 8:22 pm: Hi Rich, thanks for your time tonight. Does Leon Washington have a place on the team? 
General impression type stuff.  Thanks!
[R44] 8:23 pm: Good question from GB in ACC land.
[RichCimini] 8:23 pm: I can say this about Leon: He has one of the strongest handshakes I’ve ever encountered. If that translates to yards, I don’t know. I predict he plays specials as a rookie, maybe returning kicks. Don’t see him cracking the backfield rotation.

[Max] 8:24 pm: Rich any thoughts on Bryan Thomas?  Where will he end up playing — can he make the switch to OLB?
[RichCimini] 8:25 pm: Right now, he’s at weak outside linebacker. I’m skeptical about his chances of succeeding.  Bryan has straight-ahead speed, but he doesn’t move well laterally and I
[RichCimini] 8:25 pm: don’t think he can drop into coverage. The previous regime didn’t think he had LB skills. We’ll see. This is his last year under contract, so he needs to bust out.
[Max] 8:26 pm: Thanks Rich…I worry about his awareness, I fear he might be lost in pass coverage.
[R44] 8:26 pm: Rich, how has the Brad Smith quarterback to wide receiver experiment fared so far?
[RichCimini] 8:26 pm: too soon to say. he has a leg injury in camp and was limited. He has a hard time getting off the line, which is a big thing. The Jets might have reached on that pick
[R44] 8:28 pm: Speaking of “Smith’s”, can you elaborate just a little more on Eric Smith from Michigan State? He wasn’t a popular pick on message boards, but he’s a good athlete…
[RichCimini] 8:29 pm: And very bright. If you can remember only one thing about Mangini’s safeties, it’s that he wants guys smart enough to put people around them in the right place. I have a Mich State source who says Smith was a real solid pick, that he was the glue to that team.
[R44] 8:29 pm: Yes, Smith was recruited by Ivy League and Big 10 schools — that says a lot.
[greengal] 8:29 pm: Thank you for coming Rich. How did Nugent fare in mini camp given his less then stellar rookie season?
[RichCimini] 8:30 pm: Nugent was a little inconsistent in camp. He was okay as a rookie, he just doesn’t have a big leg — which is why he was a reach with that pick.
[greengal] 8:31 pm: That is why there were a lot of expectations for him. Thanks Rich
[RichCimini] 8:32 pm: Absolutely. High pick, high expectations. I think he’ll be an 80% kicker, but don’t expect any 50 yard game winners.
[4HCrew] 8:32 pm: Rich what was your reaction to Mangini’s hiring of a mostly inexperienced staff? And how long do you think Westhoff will stick by him?
[RichCimini] 8:33 pm: I was very surprised he hired such an inexperienced O.C. Having the ageless Jimmy Raye around really helps. Westhoff will stick by Mangini. Westhoff got a huge contract, so he’s happy.
[80] 8:33 pm: What’s a realistic ceiling for the Jets this year?
[R44] 8:34 pm: Nice question 80
[RichCimini] 8:34 pm: Right now, I’m thinking 6-10. I’d like to say better, but they just don’t have the talent. I mean, sure they could win 8 games, but that might be a stretch.
[jetheelz] 8:35 pm: 2 part question…..with the jets drafting another rb in washington what is cedric houstons role going to be now…and what are your thoughts on the new superman film?
[RichCimini] 8:36 pm: What, there’s a new Superman film? I’ve been so busy breaking down tape of the 07 draft that I haven’t noticed.
[RichCimini] 8:36 pm: Only kidding. Haven’t seen the flick yet.
[RichCimini] 8:37 pm: Cedric is a backup. Always will be. He doesn’t have that special quality to be a No. 1 runner.
[Barton] 8:38 pm: Rich, thanks for answeing our questions…… So all I hear is that every position is up for grabs, that the best player will play no matter what BUT does that apply to Curtis Martin and the rest of the running backs on this team? We all know Curtis Martin isnt any good anymore and that Cedric the Entertainer is much better, so is there really going to be a competiton for the starting RB spot and if so, what is your prediction on who the starting RB is entering week 1?
[RichCimini] 8:39 pm: Curtis will start, but he won’t carry nearly as many times as he did in the past. I don’t think the starter at RB is as important as other positions because there’s so much rotating. Look for backfield by committee.
[Smizzy] 8:40 pm: Is this the yr J.Cotchery becomes a household name? Or are my expectations to high?

[RichCimini] 8:41 pm: Household name? Maybe in the Cotchery household. I like JC, think he’s got some talent, but he doesn’t have the separation speed to be a No.1-type guy. The Jets would be very happy if he develops into a solid No. 3.
[NYJ37/12] 8:42 pm: Rich, I dont understand the popular “the JETS  dont have enough talent to compete this year statements”.  They lost Mawae (old) Fabini (sucked) Abraham (absent) and Law (selfish).  They have young talent, not no talent.
[RichCimini] 8:44 pm: How many blue-chip players do they have? None. Maybe Vilma, but I think he’s going to hate this new scheme. Ellis is a red chip, so is Coles. DBrick can be a blue chip. That’s about it.
[NYJ37/12] 8:45 pm: Vilma’s a gold chip, Ellis is a blue chip. overall not loaded with all-stars, but who is?
[RichCimini] 8:46 pm: Ellis isn’t a blue chip, not after last year. Hey, this team is rebuilding. It’s going to take time. If Mangini is a good coach, maybe they can get there sooner.
[NYJ37/12] 8:48 pm: thanks for your time, enjoy the season.
[R44] 8:46 pm: Rich, have there been any undrafted rookies that have impressed the staff and have at least “a chance” to make to the 53 roster?
[RichCimini] 8:47 pm: I’d be lying if I threw out some names of undrafted rookies. Sorry.
[Buddha] 8:47 pm: Rich – does Clement from UCLA have a chance to start at OT ahead of Jones?
[RichCimini] 8:48 pm: Clement really looks the part. He’s huge, but he’s a classic journeyman type. I’d be surprised if Jones isn’t the starter.
[GimmeShelter] 8:48 pm: Any thoughts on Ramsey, Rich?
[RichCimini] 8:49 pm: Yeah. He really struggled in minicamp and he seemed frustrated. Strong arm, tends to force the ball. Seems like a nice guy. I just can’t see him beating out Chad — presuming Chad is healthy.
[R44] 8:50 pm: Rich, what is up Andre Maddox at safety? Is he back 100% and ready to compete for a job?
[RichCimini] 8:50 pm: To be honest, I didn’t get a medical update on Maddox.
[R44] 8:51 pm: Thanks Rich.
[RichCimini] 8:50 pm: I’ll take a few more and then I have to run.
[twinjetfan] 8:51 pm: With Trey Teague injured, how do you expect Mangold to respond to being forced into the starting role?
[RichCimini] 8:52 pm: Nick is a bright kid and mature, from what I’ve been able to gather in my limited exposure to him. He might struggle because he’d have to make the line calls, but he has a heady guy next to him (Kendall) and I think that will help.
[4HCrew] 8:52 pm: Rich two parter.. do you think Vilma will be able to succeed in the new defense? Also how do you see the safety position panning out, Rhodes and Coleman?
[RichCimini] 8:54 pm: Vilma will never admit it, but I think he’s very concerned about how this is going to work in a 3-4. He saw what happened to Ray Lewis in Baltimore and he knows he’s not suited to take on guards. This situation bears watching.
[RichCimini] 8:55 pm: Right now, Rhodes and Coleman are the favorites, but I don’t think Coleman is as entrenched as some might believe. Remember what I said before: Eric wants cerebral safeties. Coleman made alot of mental e’s last season.
[80] 8:55 pm: What veteran do you see as being on the shortest leash with the jets this year?
[RichCimini] 8:57 pm: Vet on the shortest leash…a few guys may have to fight for their jobs — D Rob, Chad, Curtis, Hobson, Barton, Coleman.
[Max] 8:55 pm: You mentioned that the Jets don’t have much talent and that they have a young staff.  Do you feel that they are headed in the right direction?  Was this offseason a good one for the Jets?  Not for next year but for the long haul.
[Max] 8:55 pm: Thank you for your time Rich.  It is appreciated…as always!
[RichCimini] 8:59 pm: Are the jets headed in the right direction? Hmmm. If you evaluate this offseason as a single entity, I’d say no, they didn’t bring in a whole lot of talent, especially considering they had a lot of cap space after the initial purge. However, if you take this offseason and look at it in the context of a larger plan, which it is, then I think they’re headed in the right direction. The key is to follow up with another great offseason, bringing in more talent.  They brought in Boy-Scout type players,
[80] 9:00 pm: hahahahaha….eagle scout here…aint nothin wrong with that!
[RichCimini] 9:00 pm: smart guys, good leaders, try hard players…but now they must supplement it with real talent.  And a lot depends on Clemens. If he’s the real deal, they have a QB of the future. if not, they’ve got problems.
[RichCimini] 9:00 pm: Hey, I was an Eagle Scout, too.
[R44] 8:57 pm: Thank you Rich, look forward to having you back.
[Smizzy] 8:57 pm: Thanks again for your time Rich. We really do appreciate you stopping by.
[Max] 9:00 pm: This is true about Clemens, they cant tie up any more money in the QB position.
[Max] 9:00 pm: He kind of has to work out!
[RichCimini] 9:01 pm: You’re right. If not, they can pick up Brees if/when the Saints don’t pick up his option after 06.
[Max] 9:02 pm: Rich….actually one more thing.  Does the locker room have a different feel to it?  Is there a sense of urgency that was missing the past few years?
[RichCimini] 9:02 pm: Well, the Herm bobble head doll that stood in the corner is gone.
[Max] 9:02 pm: lol
[Max] 9:03 pm: Thanks again Rich.  You have helped out this site so much.  We could never thank you enough!  http://jetnation.com
[RichCimini] 9:03 pm: Gotta run, folks. Great questions, as usual. You fans are great, This is still the best Jets website.

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