2006-08-04 / Sports

Mangini Stamps Authority on Jets

By Elio Velez

The New York Jets have already been put through their paces this training camp at Hofstra University by new head coach Eric Mangini, the no-nonsense 35 year old protg of New England head coach Bill Belichick, who has already made his impact on the franchise.

Mangini has been intently focusing this season with basically a brand new team full of youngsters and free agent signings to quickly jell this team to be competitive once the regular season begins at Tennessee on September 10.

It's going to take some time though as the Jets are not expected to have enough talent to compete for a playoff spot. Quarterback Chad Pennington is slowly returning from off-season shoulder surgery on his throwing arm

A revamped offensive line will be anchored by first round draft pick starters D'Brickashaw Ferguson, the Freeport born offensive tackle and center Nick Mangold, and questions at runningback and the secondary are among other questions to be answered this season.

With so many problems to be figured out, Mangini needs all the time he can to find his answers. He is going to find out by putting the team on their heels and on notice with his practice schedule.

The oppressive heat may have changed the length of practice in the previous Herman Edwards head coaching regime. But for the most part, until last Wednesday, where 100 degree temperatures forced Mangini to move the afternoon session from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. for precautionary reasons, the team has practiced in helmets and pads for an average of 2 and half hours on the hottest days of the year..

He has been impressed with some facets of their play so far in camp but when Mangini is not happy with their lack of execution, he will express his displeasure. And if they do not perform the tasks that he wants, as in the case of Norm Katnik, the second year center from Southern California who committed a false start on an 11 on 11 drills in last Monday's practice, there will be consequences.

The 6' 4" center had to run a lap around the field but also others who do not execute the precise drill, are not immune. He was quickly joined by second year linebacker Jamar Enzor and eventually when the defense allowed a touchdown on a goal line drill, they all had to run.

He does not speak like his predecessor Herman Edwards, who was eloquent and captivating with his words to the players and the media. The 35 year-old coach is strict but is well-disciplined and even tempered.

There is no doubt that he will get his point across either with a stare, a grimace or a just a few words. Mangini is installing a system he believes will give the Jets a chance to win a championship.

Because Mangini's word is law..

"I like what's going on out there so far. They are working hard for everything. I learned a little about Eric last season. He is very fundamentally sound. That's my philosophy as well," defensive end Kimo Van Oelhoffen, who won a Super Bowl with Pittsburgh last season and signed with the Jets, said.

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