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Coach Mangini on the First half of the season…

(On pleasant surprises from the first part of the season)- “I’ve been happy with the way that we’ve worked throughout the course of the first part of the season. I think that defensively we’ve shown a lot of flexibility in terms of what we can do, and what the players can handle from a game plan perspective and their ability to identify things that are being done offensively and use that in a proactive way. I feel like we’re passing the ball better offensively. I feel like we’ve done a better job against in the run game defensively. I think our coverage units have been outstanding on special teams. I think Ahtyba Rubin has really established himself as a young emerging solid player and I love the guy’s work ethic and I love his finish. He’s really stood out to me because he got the opportunity last year and then he’s built on that and his technique is sounder and his effort. There was another play last week where he makes a tackle 15 yards down the field. Typically you don’t see guys his size make those effort plays game in and game out. That’s going to go a long way for him and that’s going to go a long way for us to have some like him in the middle of our defense with that type of work ethic and toughness and dependability. I’m really pleased with him. I’ve enjoyed watching how Scott (Fujita) and Chris (Gocong) have worked into the defense and the things that they’ve brought. I think Matt Roth has continued to develop as a linebacker and he’s still doing the things that he was doing last year but he’s evolving as an outside linebacker in this system. I think we’re doing a better job defensively with playing everybody which is important to me because you want to keep guys fresh throughout four quarters. T.J. Ward has done some really good things as a rookie. He’s got some other things that we really need to get corrected and we’ll work on. I think Joe (Haden) continues to evolve. I think Colt (McCoy) has done a great job with his chances which I’m really pleased with. Carlton Mitchell has come on. It may not have translated into the game but he got his first chance to be active, made another really good catch last week, like his work ethic.”

(On the disappointments from the first part of the season)- “We’ve improved our tackling but it’s not where it should be there’s too many blocked tackles, guys are going in and just hitting with their shoulders and that can be better. A play that was frustrating to me Tony (Grossi) was the one with (Rashard) Mendenhall where we had him backed up, we had him for a one yard loss and he bounces out and goes 25 yards. That shouldn’t happen. Even the Michael Turner play where he breaks through the middle of the field, we have two opportunities to tackle him for a much smaller gain and it goes for much more than it should. Those plays I don’t think should happen. We have improved a lot in that area but that shouldn’t happen. I think we’ve had some missed opportunities on big plays defensively where they could have been big plays for us and they end up being big plays for our opponent. They were small misses but again that margin for error is so slim against good teams that that’s what’s going to happen so I want to improve there. We’ve had some big plays in the passing game and you can go back to what I was talking about a second ago that I think we can improve on there. Offensively, I feel like we should be able to run the ball against any team that we play regardless of scheme. It’s going to be different each week but that should be consistent. I liked what we did especially in the fourth quarter last week where we were able to run the ball the way we did but that shouldn’t just show up sporadically. I’m looking for consistency there. In terms of protection, I think the lines done a good job communicating out the different looks that we’ve gotten, but there’s been some times that we haven’t held up as well as I feel like we should, and I think collectively like we feel like we should. I don’t know if I’d classify them as disappointments as much as the expectation is high and I want us to meet that expectation week in and week out.”

(On how close he thinks his team is to being consistently good)- “I think, Jeff (Schudel), that that’s going to depend on us doing two things consistently well, which is not turning the ball over and not getting penalties. When you’ve handled those two things, then you have the chance to play consistently well every single game. They’re critical. We’ve made some strides in penalties in terms of the last two games, those have been down. Not having the turnovers last game, that was extremely important. You’ve got to get over that part, you can’t beat yourself and then hope to beat the opponent. You have to start with not making those mistakes, those self-inflicted wounds and beating yourself, and then pour the effort into beating your opponent.”

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