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Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Rex Report: Mangold, go to Olympics!

By Jane McManus

CORTLAND, N.Y. -- Rex Ryan hasn't given up on trying to get Nick Mangold to change his mind.

The Pro Bowl center's sister, Holley Mangold, is competing for Olympic weightlifting gold in London this summer, and Ryan gave permission for Nick to attend. But he has said he feels his place is in Cortland for the Jets' training camp.

So has Ryan made any recent headway with Mangold?

"I think so, but we're not there yet," Ryan said. "But I'm laying a guilt trip on him and everything else. And you know what? His teammates understand."

Mangold will no doubt get questions about it Thursday. Ryan added that if Mangold is gone, guard Matt Slauson will get more reps at center. The Jets have been rotating lineman in and out of spots and liberally switching between first, second and third team.

Ryan said the goal was to get linemen familiar with other positions to avoid the problem from last year, when a rookie was asked to step in for Mangold for two games when he suffered a high ankle sprain.

With Vlad Ducasse kept out of team drills with a knee injury, Austin Howard got some of his reps at right tackle. Howard has been talked up by Ryan and Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum.

Despite all the soft-tissue injuries, Ryan said the Jets will work on goal-line drills Thursday.

As for having the quarterbacks wear wristbands to get the offense down more easily, Ryan backed away from that idea in his Wednesday news conference.

"Mark (Sanchez) is on top of it," Ryan said. "I think he's got a great grasp of it. Right now he's taken over and this is his offense."