- Jane McManus, Reporter & Columnist, espnW.com
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From Nick Mangold’s revelation that he was afraid he’d have to cancel a trip to wine country with his in-laws, to Dwight Lowery’s assertion that planning his wedding didn’t get in the way of following CBA negotiations like a hawk, there was a lot to discuss today in Florham Park.
Players discussed summer vacations, work uncertainty, and where the Jets stand to be when free agency is in full bloom.
“Whatever it takes,” said QB Mark Sanchez. “Mr. (Mike) Tannenbaum’s, Mr. (Woody) Johnson’s and Rex (Ryan’s), that’s like their third-down conversion. That’s them trying to throw a touchdown pass. That’s them getting a sack. What we do on the field, well, this is what they do in the offseason. So, I know they’ll position us, and acquire the best talent we possibly can, with the finances we have. But whatever it takes, whether it’s adjusting contracts, delaying payment, whatever we have to do, our team will do it. I know that. We’ll be unselfish with it. We’ll get it figured out.”
He followed that up by revealing that he’d already talked with his agent about reworking his contract this season. We have the full story here.
Sanchez talked about his regrets from last season, and Mangold added that it was very difficult to be aware of mistakes they made in the AFC championship lost and not be able to fix the problems in the spring. The Super Bowl is still the goal.
“We feel very strongly that we can do that and we feel the same way,” tight end Dustin Keller said. “As Rex said, we are going to win the Super Bowl and we have all the ability in the world to do it. It’s just a matter of getting over that hump, winning that game and hopefully winning a Super Bowl for the second time, but we definitely have the ability to do that.”
Mangold said he wasn’t tired of the Super Bowl talk at all. Said Mangold, "I'd be really disappointed if he came out here and said, 'We'd really like to get to .500.'"
Brandon Moore, the Jets player representative to the NFLPA, talked about the new settlement and what it means in terms of player safety. He said that Ryan has always been a player's coach in that regard.
“We took a stance that player health and safety was non-negotiable,” Moore said. “That was the stance we kind of took going into that. I think the new rules will help change the cultural makeup of football. You set the standard on that, with all of the medical research that’s out there, as far as the head trauma and the continuous hits to the heads, through the helmets and things like that.”
He also addressed the fact that Jets linebacker Bart Scott has been 0concerned about head trauma and will step away from some of the harder contact drills in practice.
“Nobody’s really technically gotten rid of two-a-days,” Moore said. “I think it’s getting cleaned up, and players’ health and safety is a big part of that. Now, Bart, I think he’s cleaned it up himself. That may have been taken a little out of context. But, in this system, here with Rex, we haven’t had a problem with that. Rex takes care of his guys. But there are a couple of systems out there that maybe weren’t coming up with the times, as far as taking care of the guys, and protecting them in the best way they could.
Sanchez felt that the new rules, as he understood them, struck the right balance.
“I’m still hearing a lot of it and still learning what we can and can’t do this week, what practice is going to be like, what we’re not allowed to do anymore at practice,” Sanchez said. “But I think overall, it hit a lot of the points that the players were concerned about.”
Although most of the players admitted there is something to be said for the bonding that comes from the isolation of training camp in Cortland, at least one Jet was more practical.
“There is not much to do in Cortland,” Lowery said, “as you guys know.”