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Mangini Walks The Line

By Tyson Rauch 

The National Football League is known as a “copycat league� and it appears that the head coach of the New York Jets is copying some of the procedures of his mentors.  Many of the processes are aimed at building team discipline, conditioning and competition. In addition policies have been put into place that will keep team information secretive in order to keep teams from gaining game planning advantage.  These changes have been welcomed by the followers of the New York Jets.  At what point can a coach take things too far? And at what point does an inexperienced coach start to lose his players?
Case in point:  On Friday night D’Brickashaw Ferguson committed two false start penalties while playing with the first string offense.  He was quickly removed from the first string and benched to think about his mistakes.  Ferguson was then sent back on the field later in the game with the 2nd and 3rd string offenses to get some reps. I understand that the coach was trying to get his point across but what if D’Brickashaw got hurt? What message is being sent then to the team with your starting left tackle out for the year?
There is a fine line between disciplining a player to get a point across and making a move that jeopardizes the success of the team.  Could anyone imagine the backlash if Ferguson got hurt in the 4th quarter of a preseason game? And more importantly what would be the reaction inside the locker room? 
Coach Mangini can keep the players from talking to the media, but he cannot stop them from talking to each other as well as other players across the NFL.   In order for a coach to win in the NFL, he must have the trust and respect of his players.  It appears to me that Eric Mangini is walking the line with some of his bold powerful moves and hopefully he understands the long-term implications of his decisions.  The new coach must remember that respect is not given it is earned and no one cares about who your mentor is but they care more about what your win/loss record is.

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