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Eric Mangini's Press Conference: OTA

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Courtesy NY Jets PR Department:    

I’d just like to start by giving my condolences to Marquise Hill’s family. I got to know Marquise in New England. It’s always difficult when you lose someone, especially so young. I just want them to know that our thoughts and prayers are with them and my condolences to the Patriots, all the people there who are dealing with this. It’s very difficult. 

In terms of where we are right now, I’ve been pleased with our off‑season program. Guys have been working extremely hard in the weight room. They’ve been working extremely hard on their conditioning. I like the progress that we’re making there. This is the next phase of the off‑season where we get to work together as a group. The process is installing new things that we’re looking at. It’s reviewing the things that we have as part of the system, shaking the rust off, going through the situations, building on the things that we’ve done. It also gives us an opportunity now to look at working together and working on the different elements of the game plan that we put in daily. With that, I’ll open it to questions.

On how many OTAs the team has held …
We’ve had a couple days with the younger guys, some new players, then the two days we had prior to this day.

On Thomas Jones …
I’ve been pleased with Thomas. When we went and decided to make the trade, we did a lot of research on his character. Consistently, regardless of what team he played with or who we talked to, the recurring theme was his work ethic. Every time I go down to the weight room, he’s there. You’ll see today that there’s real progress in terms of his muscle mass. His work ethic on the field has been impressive. I like the way he practices, the way he carries himself, the way he studies. Those things have all been very positive. 

On OTA attendance …
Pete [Kendall] is not here. The only other player that’s not participating is Curtis [Martin]. All these camps are voluntary. To me, the off season program is extremely important. These OTA days are extremely important. They give us a chance to get a lot of work done to really set the groundwork leading into training camp and into the season. They’re extremely important. 

With Pete, he’s done a lot of good things for us. I can’t express how much he helped those young guys last year. But these are voluntary days. They’re important days. The players do have a right to choose whether or not to be here. 

On discussions he has had with Kendall …
Whenever those discussions take place, those are internal discussions. I’d like to keep them internal. I hope you guys can respect that. 

On players using OTAs as a chance to impress the coaches …
I believe all the players that are here are important pieces,or potentially important pieces. It’s like anything else; it’s an ongoing evaluation, an ongoing process. We have these days, then training camp. It’s all about the players establishing how they can make the team and then how they can help the team win. Everybody has the same opportunity to do that. 

On the Justin Miller situation and the importance of character …
Character is extremely important to us, and personal conduct is extremely important to us. I’ve expressed that to the team. Justin, Mike [Tannenbaum] and I met and we discussed that with him as well. He understands exactly how we feel and
of the system, shaking the rust off, going through the situations, building on the things that we’ve done. It also gives us an opportunity now to look at working together and working on the different elements of the game plan that we put in daily. With that, I’ll open it to questions.

On whether the team plans to take disciplinary action against Miller …
Any disciplinary action, just like contracts, is internal. 

On whether he has heard from the league regarding Miller …

I spoke to Commissioner [Roger] Goodell and Mike spoke with the league as well. That wasn’t just in reaction to this situation. It’s because I support the things that he’s doing strongly, and I wanted him to know that. I also wanted to talk to him a little bit about his ideas and his thoughts. What he’s doing is great. I can’t support him enough on it. 

On the legal process …
There are very distinct steps, and there’s a process here, a legal process that’s in place. We’ll let that process go through the full course. 

On whether Miller has met with Commissioner Goodell …
No.

On possible team punishment for Miller …
No, it’s all internal.

On the NFL’s personal-conduct policy …
We philosophically believe that personal conduct is very important. Regardless of whether or not it’s something that’s league-mandated or not, it’s something organizationally that we fundamentally believe in. It really isn’t reactionary to the things that the league is doing. It’s something that is part of our core values.

On what Thomas Jones can bring to the offense …
Any time you can help the running game improve, I think that expands the offense just because of the type of coverages that you get and the way the defenses have to respond. It’s like adding any player to any impact position — there are things that defenses have to do to respond to it that may open up some other opportunities for players. 

On what drafting Darrelle Revis means about the other cornerbacks …
Drafting corners is always a good idea. You can never have too many corners. There are so many good receivers in the league. It’s one of those positions that is definitely at a premium.

It’s more just having the opportunity to get a player that we liked and insert him in the system and him figuring out a way to help us win and get on the field, which he’s been working at extremely hard. All those rookies have. There’s a lot of transition going on right now where those guys come from very established situations to a new city, new team, new coaches and new playbook. He’s just really sitting with the rest of the group and trying to get better daily. 

On David Barrett …
I think there were some really positive things that he did and some things that we’ve outlined that he can improve on. But that’s true with every player. We’ve evaluated not just the system but each individual player. Then you give that information to the player, you identify those things, you work with them to help improve in the areas of weakness. That’s a great part of the off season. It is a chance to look back, evaluate and then really redirect your efforts. 

On Barrett dealing with injuries last season …
I think injuries will definitely have an effect. He fought through a lot of things. That’s positive. That’s very positive. Now we’ll just move forward and try to correct the things we can get corrected. 

On whether the team will add any free agents after June 1 …
We’re always looking. It’s the same deal with Mike [Tannenbaum] and me. We get together each night, check things out, try to see if we can add some players to help us. That really won’t change June 1 or throughout the course of the season or moving into the future. 

On Justin McCareins …
Justin’s a guy that’s had a really good off‑season. Just like everybody else, he’s working at getting the new installation we’ve had. Just like every other player, he’s competing for a place on the team and also competing for where he’s going to fit in terms of playing time. That’s an ongoing thing and it’s not unique to Justin.

On Chansi Stuckey and the draft picks …

Everybody you draft you hope is going to do well. That’s the thought process behind bringing him in. He’s done some positive things, as well as Jacob [Bender], Darrelle and David [Harris]. We have a long way to go here. Things are extremely new, especially to those rookies. 

On what he has seen from Stuckey …
He’s done some good things. I like his short-area quickness, his ability to come in and out of breaks. I think that’s been what we envisioned. This time and even leading into the early part of camp where guys are learning so much, it’s hard to really get a sense of all those things because there is the thought process of “Do I have the right split? Do I have the right route? Do I have the right route adjustment?â€? That’s before you even get to being able to run everything at full speed and not think and just react. You’ll see changes in speed with all those guys as they get more and more comfortable.

On Andre Wadsworth …
I think he’s swimming a little bit. It’s to be expected working at different positions, being off for quite some time. It’s a pretty big jump. He’s digging in, too. We’ve worked him both at linebacker and defensive end. He’s another guy that you’re looking to build flexibility with. 

On D’Brickashaw Ferguson’s weight …
I can tell you I’m not over 315 right now. In terms of Brick, I think he and I have worked on our weight together. We’re hopefully both going the right direction.

On whether Ferguson has gained weight …
The one thing I’ve learned about weight loss is that it ebbs and flows. Sometimes you get a little bit of a nice peak. Metabolism slows down after 30. I mean, I’m not Jack LaLanne, but definitely it goes back and forth. 

On the second year with Brian Schottenheimer as offensive coordinator …
Where we were at this point last year was basically learning terminology, basic plays, those types of things. Now you have a body of work to build off of, which allows them to play faster, which allows you to do some more things. That’s great. I’ve seen it defensively with the disguises, the level of communication, things like that, where before you’re trying to just get the basics and line up. Now some of the subtleties are appearing. 

On Chad Pennington …
He’s Chad. Whether it’s the rehab or the off season program, whatever it is, he’s doing it as aggressively as anybody. He’s working as hard as anybody. He wasn’t part of those first two OTAs. You could tell he was itching to get back out there. It’s exciting to see him out there, really to see everybody out there working together. This is always a great time of year.

On Kellen Clemens …
With Kellen, it’s different in the sense that he’s a second year player so he does have the experience in the system, but he didn’t play all the reps that Chad played. He’s getting some more reps now. It’s the same type of building; it’s just a little bit different level at this point. Between his work ethic and Tui’s [Marques Tuiasosopo], that room is a good room just like it was last year. 

On the second year of OTAs …
What I’d say is through the OTAs now we’re putting in a lot of new stuff. This is the time to look at things. It’s not just the same body of plays that you had at the end of last season. It gives coaches a bunch of time to look at tape and new things. 

On why Pennington did not attend the first two OTAs …
It was just the way I set up that camp. It was just staggered a little bit differently. It’s selected guys that were in.

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