Eric Mangini took over as head coach and in his first year the Jets made the playoffs. He did this with players that Herman Edwards and Terry Bradway left him.. Mangini and GM Mike Tannebaum have been building this team during the last three years and now we can say that they are there players not Edwards or Bradways.
Mangini who is younger then his starting QB is obviously married to the 3-4 defense that he learned under Bill Belicheck. The off season moves (free agency & draft) tell us that he is still very much in love with the 3-4. Now his newly acquired future hall of fame QB is telling him to simplify things as he doesn’t want to think, he wants to react.
Last week I posted an article regarding Chemistry (I & II) that mentioned these scenarios as I could see them happening. Mangini and Tannebaum are still very raw and wet behind the ears. They are trying to be coaches, management, and friends all at the same time. Perfect examples are Laveranues Coles and Chris Baker. Coles and Baker wanted longer term commitments with the Jets.
Coles got his wish and before camp opened he signed a longer term contract then he currently had (Baker is still waiting as he was promised one). All we heard from Tannebaum and Mangini is that Coles was a great guy who they wanted to be here for the long haul. So the Jets brass sign Coles to a longer deal knowing he is past his prime, fighting foot plus other injuries that come from wear and tear, and Jerrico Cotchery is now the number one WR and is much younger then Coles.
Coles leveraged his opportunity to get a longer deal because he knew what happened last year with Pete Kendall and Pennington would beat out Clemmons. The deal makes sense if the intention was to keep Chad Pennington under center as Pennington and Coles have built great chemistry while being close friends. This is where communications can hurt chemistry.
Often times we hear the phrase “Players play and coaches coach”. This is why you need to keep it to the business and not get emotionally involved with personal relationships in the business world. Mangini and Tannebaum could never experience this before as there tenure included being a ball boy or taping practices of there opponents.
Jets owner Woody Johnson knows this year is a measuring stick for his team. After three seasons and 2 years of off season maneuvers the results of this season will be a tell all story if Mangini and Tannebaum will stay with the Jets. Not many NFL brass would consider a 38 year old rat (spygate) with hardly any coordinator and or head coaching success. Is this a dictatorship or an open door relationship where players can approach you?
Part of communication is listening. When your future hall of fame QB tells you that we need to use the guys to the best of there abilities, listen to him. Mangini has tried to listen to his players like having a less brutal camp this year versus years past and even giving his players unexpected days off. But what Mangini needs to do is be more vocal and get in his players faces like Bill Parcells or Jon Gruden.
In a brutal sport that is compared to fighting in a war my question to you is, “Would you want a friend or a leader fighting along side of you when you are at war?” How about less gum chewing on the sidelines and more verbal in your face communications (to both the players and assistant coaches) on how to win the war. In my opinion Mangini relies on his staff too much as he doesn’t have the experience or knowledge that a NFL head coach needs to have.
Maybe that’s why he chews gum all game and shows no emotion because he has no clue on what is going on. Just like the end of the Browns game when he decided for a FG instead of the win during a pre-season game. Time is vital right now with two weeks to go before the season starts.
To be succesful Mangini needs to play with the hand he was delt, meaning like his QB said, “We need to simplify things and use the guys to the best of there abilities so everyone is on the same page and reacting not thinking” Will Mangini listen? Or will he play his last poker game in the NFL?