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Ryan, Sanchez Discuss Replacing Mangold

On Wednesday New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan provided an update on Nick Mangold’s ankle injury, as well as provided insight on how the team will replace the All-Pro center.  Here are some of the quotes from the press conference.

On whether Nick Mangold’s status for Sunday has changed…

“His status hasn’t changed at all. He’s off of crutches, which is a good sign, but I just think we’ll see. I’ll never say never, but I don’t see it happening this week.”

On how much Mangold is lobbying to play…

“Pretty well. He’s smart. We’ll lean on the trainers to help us there (with), obviously, traveling across country and everything else. Again, we’re not 100 percent ruling him out, though. He seems to be doing pretty well.”

On if Colin Baxter seems to be picking up things …

“I think so. This is only the third week that he’s been here, but he seems to be doing well. I’ll tell you who’s been a big help for him is Rob Turner. Rob comes in like he’s playing. He still does, and he’s been great. He sits beside him (Baxter) in the meetings, does extra things with him and he’s been outstanding. You could always kick (Matt) Slauson in there to play center and put Vlad (Ducasse) at guard. (Caleb) Schlauderaff is coming. I don’t think he’s there. I think he’s a little behind where Baxter is, just for the simple fact that he’s coming from a much different system. I think once he catches up to speed, he’s going to be a guy that we’re happy with.”

On potentially moving Slauson to center…

“I mean, we could do it. There’s nothing prohibiting us from moving Matt to center and Vlad (Ducasse) to guard because they do have more experience. That’s certainly a possibility, but right now if Nick can’t go, our first option would be to put Baxter in there. Again, I think the young man is just going to get better and better. You talk about a crash course now, I mean he was just kind of thrown into it. Rob Turner yesterday was telling me, he’s like, ‘I’ve been around Mangold forever, he’s played 82 straight games, right, he’s never missed a start.’ Unfortunately Rob’s hurt. He’s like, ‘Why didn’t you do this when I could have gone in there?’ But that’s the way it goes. And we’ll need our entire roster. Before it’s all said and done, everybody on the practice squad is going to have to step up and all the backup roles. That’s what happens every year. Again, this is the National Football League, every single guy is going to have to contribute.”

My take: While I appreciate the fact that Mangold is doing his best to get onto the playing field, there is no way he should play on Sunday.  It is a very long season and the last you want is to lose an All-Pro center for an extended amount of time. In addition any plan that includes Vlad Ducasse on the field is a bad one, end of story.

Sanchez discusses Baxter and the Raiders- In his Wednesday press conference quarterback Mark Sanchez discussed how the Jets will handle playing without Mangold.

On preparing for the game knowing Nick Mangold may not play…

“We’ve got Colin Baxter rolling with the ones. He did a great job. He’s getting more and more comfortable. It wasn’t an easy position for him to come in last week. It’s one thing for somebody to go down in the fourth quarter, and take a couple of snaps, one or two drives. He came in for 50-plus snaps. For his first go, he did a pretty good (job). We’ll get the snap count down, and little things like that. The nerves are gone. He’s ready to play. He’s doing a great job. He’s playing confident. That’s the thing. We’re just building him up all week. He’s shown great strides already since Sunday.”

On whether he has spent extra time with Baxter this week…

“Yeah, after practice, talking over some stuff, going over some calls. In my head I’m thinking, “What would Nick want me to do?” It’s good for me to brush up on some of those protection issues and be ready to roll.”

On how Mangold’s absence will affect the running game…

“Nick does a good job of pointing things out and communicating. It just puts more pressure on the rest of us. That’s good for us. That’s a good challenge. We’re spoiled having Nick Mangold in there. He’s the best in football. Hands down. He’s awesome. It’s a good test for me, brushing up on some MIKE points and understanding exactly how some of these plays are blocked, and putting us in the best play possible. Those guys are doing a great job helping Colin and Colin’s doing really well for himself.”

My take: It is going to be very interesting to see how this plays out as the Raiders are going to test Baxter early and often.  If Richard Seymour and company start getting penetration, Sanchez and the Jets offense could be in for a long day.

Cromartie wins award- Coming off of a two interception performance New York Jets defensive back Antonio Cromartie was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week.  Hopefully AC will continue his high level of play as the Jets prepare to take on some of the best teams in the AFC.

This Article Was Written By Tyson Rauch

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