Mangini on Cassel: "They'll Rally Around Him"

What did the Jets head coach have to say about the Patriots this week? Here are some notes from our friends at Scout.

On whether adjustments were made to the game plan since Matt Cassel is starting
It's hard to say what exactly they're going to do with him. I don't know if it's adjustments or contingencies, or however you want to look at it. You have to see how it unfolds because it is totally different. They've had a week to prepare for him being the quarterback, as opposed to him coming in and running the things that were specifically Tom (Brady)centered. Some of that is going to declare itself as we go on.

On whether he thinks the Patriots will shorten the playbook for Cassel
During the season, you never use the whole playbook anyways. It's a much smaller percentage. It's very team specific. You get to practice those things in the context of that team, those adjustments, the probability of adjustments and things like that. The difference, I'd say, is that Matt has been there for a long time. Matt has been in that system, which each year it grows and it evolves, but he's been there through the process of OTAs, training camp, preseason, during the regular season taking the second team snaps and has been in the room with Tom (Brady). Tom is such a great example of how to prepare, how to study and all those aspects. To have a mentor like that is really unique for a young guy.

On Cassel...
I was there a year with Matt. In terms of his raw ability at that point, you saw all the things that you're looking for, the ability to make plays with your feet and the ability to make all the throws in terms of his arm strength and his size. He's a very smart guy. He's very likable. I'm sure he has good chemistry with the offensive players. I know it's not like being the first guy, but he does have relationships there that he has built up over time. He has a what-you'd-anticipate-from-a-quarterback personality. I think the guys will rally around him and he'll do a good job leading them.

On defending the Patriots' running game
You always want to be able to play good run defense. That's key. It's always important to be able to run the ball, as well, offensively. This is a very disciplined line. Dante Scarnecchia, who I've known for a long time, is one of the best coaches that I've ever seen and obviously one of the best offensive line coaches. It doesn't matter who's in the game, it doesn't matter who he's coaching, they are always very disciplined. Their technique is outstanding, and they're able to take advantage of any technique errors you may make, any mistakes you may make.

They have explosive running backs. All four running backs are very good, so it doesn't matter who is in. There is no time to exhale. All the issues that they create in the passing game that you have to be ready for, it's not like you can just say, "Okay, we're going to go put extra people in the box and stop the run," because now you're dealing with a bunch of people outside. It has to be a mixture of safety down, no safety down, be able to stop the run with seven and be able to stop the run with eight. They've always been a very good running team. I think that it has stayed consistent, so this will be a great challenge for us.

On Randy Moss saying the Patriots are still the team to beat
They have won six out of the last seven division championships and they were 160 last year. Again, you can't minimize the impact that Tom (Brady) has had but he doesn't stop the run defensively, he doesn't cover kicks and he doesn't return kicks. Those groups are deep, they are good, they are experienced, they are tough and they are seasoned. All of those things come into play. Just look at the three phases, it's a pretty complete team from top to bottom.

On whether he agrees that the Patriots are the team to beat

I think that it is what it is. They have won six out of the last seven, they were 160. They have the team that they have and we have to go out and play against them.

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