Courtesty NY Jets PR DepartmentÂ
Tannenbaum: A quick wrapup. Thanks for hanging in there everybody. Today, in the sixth round, Jacob Bender; tackle from Nicholls State. He played in 42 games this year and he played against Adam Carriker. Other notable pros from that same conference, the Southland Conference, are Jeremiah Trotter, Terrence McGee and Josh McCown. We liked his position flexibility. He had a visit with us, which went really well, so we were excited to get Jacob. Then in the seventh round, we drafted Chansi Stuckey from Clemson, who had 141 receptions for 1,760 yards and seven TDs. So throughout the course of the last few days, including Thomas Jones, we feel good about what we accomplished. We anticipate being aggressive in free agency. As Eric said a few minutes ago on NFL Network, and if anyone is listening to us right now: We are the land of opportunity. So if you are not drafted, you will be hearing from us.
On how many rookie free agents he expects the team to sign â€¦
Tannenbaum: Our goal is to fill out the roster, so it will be approximately 15 or so, give or take a few. And then we will have some other undrafted free agent tryout players. Last year a couple of those players actually made our team, so we believe in opportunity here. We will be contacting a number of those players as well.
On Bender â€¦
Mangini: What we did like about him is that he showed some position flexibility. He has very good toughness. I think that coming from a little bit of a smaller program, weâ€™ll be able to continue to develop his skill set. It comes back to meeting with him and spending a day with him and seeing what he was like as a person. His football recall and his ability to learn I thought were all positives. I really like his inherent toughness.
On Benderâ€™s position flexibility â€¦
Mangini: Weâ€™ll work him at all different areas and try to see where he fits best and where his best opportunity lies. We didnâ€™t draft him necessarily saying heâ€™s only going to be here, only going to be there. Weâ€™re going to look at him and then make the best decision after that.
On Benderâ€™s ability to play guard and tackle â€¦
Mangini: More guard and tackle than center.
On the improvement of the team via the draft â€¦
Tannenbaum: We had no preconceived notions on trading up as we did. We just thought there was great opportunity both with Darrelle and David, so defensively we felt like we helped two positions. We feel like we canâ€™t have enough corners, canâ€™t have enough linebackers. Thomas Jones, obviously heâ€™s going to help our production out at running back with Leon [Washington] and Cedric [Houston], so we feel good about that. And, then again, today, starting out with Bender, itâ€™s a position as Eric mentioned, offensive line again has a lot of flexibility, so we feel like the depth there has been improved. And with Stuckey at wide receiver, he will have a chance to compete as well. You canâ€™t have enough receivers, as we know in this league. I feel like the depth, the competition, the character, which is obviously very important to us as an organization, and the talent of the team have all been approved and the fact that all these players could have some flexibility was appealing to us.
On the Patriots trading for wide receiver Randy Moss â€¦
Tannenbaum: We are just focused on the Jets this weekend. Thatâ€™s where our focus has been all weekend long.
On whether the road to the Super Bowl goes through New England â€¦
Mangini: I think that the road anywhere starts with the next minicamp and then training camp. Last year was last year and I donâ€™t think they were the ones that won it. I think that this is a process and weâ€™re starting on the process.
On whether he is surprised that the Patriots traded for Moss â€¦
Mangini: I think he is a good player. They are a good team and why they do the things they do, the question is better for Bill [Belichick].
On whether the Jets pursued a trade for Moss â€¦
Tannenbaum: We donâ€™t want to comment on any other player except the ones weâ€™ve acquired. Thatâ€™s just something we donâ€™t like to do organizationally.
On whether the Jets tried to make any trades today â€¦
Tannenbaum: The phone really didnâ€™t ring too much today and the opportunity just wasnâ€™t there. As you see now, with two drafts in the books for Eric and me, we donâ€™t really have any preconceived notions. Again, if we sat here Friday afternoon, I would have been shocked that we traded up twice like we did. This is how the process unfolded. Those were just opportunities we thought were there. Today we stayed where we were.
On Stuckeyâ€™s injury history â€¦
Tannenbaum: Weâ€™re obviously aware of it. Whether we make a selection in the first round or the seventh round, we have a lot of good people in the room, including the trainer, and itâ€™s the totality of the information. Based on all the information we had, we were comfortable with the selection where we were in the seventh round.
On selecting only four players in the draft â€¦
Tannenbaum: It wasnâ€™t based on anything else except where we were in the first round and the second round. To try and trade up for the players that we did wasnâ€™t a statement we had about the organization, the team or anything except this yearâ€™s draft, what we had coming in and the opportunities that were presented to us. With that said, we do have some free agents that we are trying to sign.Â
On taking quality over quantity â€¦
Mangini: I think philosophically, we just look at it pick by pick and try to make decisions at that point of the draft. And like weâ€™ve talked about yesterday, there were a lot of scenarios that we went through and that we talked about prior to the draft, and as different things unfolded we made the decision at that time as to what you think is best to improve the team.Â
Tannenbaum: And just a followup on that, the point I want to emphasize that I heard Ozzie [Newsome] say the other day is that there are curveballs in there, you just donâ€™t know where they are. We had a lot of scenarios, but again it was just based on what happened when it happened and what we had available for us. As much planning out as you can do, the unexpected happens, so you just have to act accordingly.
On how the Patriots’ wide receiver acquisitions affected the Jets’ thought process â€¦
Mangini: You look at your depth on the team. You look at the different areas youâ€™d like to improve. This is an ongoing process. We will do it here with the rookie free agents and we will do it at some time as players become available. So I wouldnâ€™t say itâ€™s reactionary, Iâ€™d say itâ€™s more a function of us trying to get better, as opposed to purely reacting to external forces.
Tannenbaum: I think this is a function of us being more proactive. This process started in January for us and will continue until Saturday night before opening day. It has to do with the fact that successful teams have depth at corner, going back to yesterdayâ€™s first round.
On whether the Jets entered the draft with defensive improvement on their mind â€¦
Mangini: We talked about a lot of different positions at the pick that we had at 25 and it wasnâ€™t exclusively defense. It wasnâ€™t something where we were only going to draft on one side of the ball. It was really looking at the players that we thought would be available and going through the whole process of researching and gathering information. We definitely had some players in that area that were offensive players. It wasnâ€™t necessarily set that way. As the opportunities unfolded we looked to take advantage of them.