"A glaring change from last year is Mark's development and his understanding of the NFL game," noted Mangold. "When he was coming in, he barely knew anyone. Now you look at him he knows everybody inside and out, and knows the playbook inside and out. He keeps performing and finding ways to win. Last year it was hit or miss whether he was going to be there, now you look at him and you know he's there."
Mangold maintains that the source of New York's confidence stems from last year's playoff run. Last season Gang Green developed an unbreakable bond and rapport that resonates with this year's squad. The Jets All-Pro center contends that the Jets' success is a product of their work ethic, focus, and most importantly, an unwillingness to take anything for granted.
"I think it started last year, when you look at the season overall," claimed Mangold. "Down there in the middle of season, fighting back, making the playoffs and fairing pretty well in the playoffs. I think it showed that nothing is predetermined and if we keep going out there and keep working, we're going to get things to fall our way. Guys took that from last year, put that into this year and I think you're seeing it on a smaller level each game reflecting last year's season. It just shows the resolve the locker room has to win. "
With the all three of the Jets' AFC east rivals losing this past Sunday; Mangold stressed the importance of New York seizing the opportunity and generating some headway in the divisional race.
"We caught some good breaks with other teams losing," Mangold remarked. "This sets us up with a good opportunity and we have to make the most of it. You don't get these breaks all the time, when they happen you really need to take advantage of it."