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Thursday, January 13, 2011
Keep Brady off field, Sanchez in pocket

By Tim Graham

When coming up with experts who can provide a proper breakdown of Sunday's playoff game between the New York Jets and New England Patriots, few have better perspective than Eric Mangini.

The former Cleveland Browns coach spent seven seasons under New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and was head coach of the Jets from 2006 until 2008.

Mangini drew up effective game plans against both teams this season. His Browns were the last team to beat the Patriots in Week 9 and lost to the Jets in overtime in Week 10.

Mangini made the ESPN rounds Thursday to offer his insights on the game.

He said the secret to beating Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is to keep him off the field for as long as possible, and when he's out there, don't give him any information he can use to skewer your defense.

"You've got to constantly be disguising, and everybody's got to do it," Mangini said. "It's a lot like Texas Hold 'Em. Nobody can be the tell. Nobody can give away what [defense] they're in because if he knows what it is, he's going to be able to get the ball to the right place.

"He'll do a lot of things to gather information. He makes it hard for you to hold onto your information and not give it away to him."

As for the Jets, Mangini stressed keeping Mark Sanchez in the pocket.

"He's excellent in the move-the-pocket-type plays the Jets run," Mangini said. "They build that off the play-action, but in the drop-back game that's a key component, too.

"You want him in the pocket to make sure that he's there, reading the coverages and winning the game from that way. When he gets out and plays breakdown, he's gotten better and better at making plays down the field."