Dan Leberfeld: Obviously the atmosphere is way different. Mangini had a lot more rules for his players, and liked to control what the players would say to the press. Rex has a lot less rules, and lets the players speak their minds. The offense and special teams are the same because Rex kept Brian Schottenheimer (offense) and Mike Westhoff (special teams) as the coordinators of those two units.
Rex's defense is very different than Mangini's system. Mangini played more of a classic 3-4, and while Rex uses a lot of 3-4, it's definitely a different approach than Mangini, featuring a lot of funky blitzes that can come from anywhere at any time. Rex is also a lot more cooperative with the media than Eric.
Q: Some people were ready to put the Jets in the Super Bowl after they started 3-0; is this really a Super Bowl contender?
DL: I think they are a Super Bowl contender because aside from Indianapolis I don't see a dominant team in the AFC. San Diego looked like they could make a major run this year, but have had some bad injuries like Jamal Williams. The addition of Braylon Edwards certainly helps the Jets' chances of going to the Big Game. He gives them the large, athletic, playmaking wide receiver they have been lacking.
The defense and special teams are top-notch.
Q: What is your prediction for Monday night's game, and why?
DL: I think the Jets are going to win. If the Jets defense was able to hold Drew Brees to no touchdowns and under 200 yards passing in the Superdome, what are they going to do against the inexperienced Chad Henne? And remember, even with the Rhodes Scholar candidate Pennington, the Dolphins had major issues against Rex's defense in Baltimore, and the Jets use the same playbook.
I think the Jets win a close game.