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Jets Owner Retains Confidence in Mangini

New York Jets head coach Eric Mangini (left) with New York Jets owner Woody JohnsonIt is difficult to gauge based on this year’s version of the New York Jets whether this team will be a carbon copy for the 2008 season or if they will be more like the 2006 version that went to the playoffs.  Regardless of which version shows up next year, they will still have head coach Eric Mangini manning the sidelines next season.

In a rare interview with Rich Cimini of the New York Daily News, Jets owner Woody Johnson said that despite what the Jets have gone through this season, he still has confidence in Mangini, adding, “Not at all. Not at all.  Eric is the same Eric that I hired a couple of years ago.  I have a lot of confidence in the program he’s trying to develop and who he is as a person.  Both he and Mike (Tannenbaum) have my full support.”

What’s unusual about this year’s version of the Jets is that this team is basically the one from last year (minus guard Pete Kendall, plus running back Thomas Jones); they have been relatively healthy so this makes the regression that much more mysterious.  Johnson also added, in reference to his team’s performance – and take it for what it’s worth, “Obviously, I’m disappointed, just like the fans are, with the results in terms of the scores.  But I think we’ve made some good progress.  We’ve been in every game.  From that standpoint, there’s a reason for optimism.” 

Johnson also endorsed Mangini’s decision to change quarterbacks at this juncture of the season, adding, “Kellen (Clemens) deserves a chance to play.”  It will be interesting to see of the Jets can do what they did in 1999 (in ’99, they went from 1-6 to finish 8-8); going from 1-8 will be a bit more difficult; that doesn’t mean that it can’t be done – just that it is very unlikely based on their remaining schedule and their current team situation.

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