Mangini couldn't withstand pressure
Eric Mangini was 23-25 in three seasons as Jets coach. (Photo by David L. Pokress/Newsday)
It wasnt just a late-season collapse that cost Eric Mangini his job as Jets coach.
When Gang Greens front office splurged before the season, doling out $140 million in free agency and then trading for future Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre, it put the pressure on the coach once dubbed Man-genius.
The team was built to win now, said Joe Pietaro, editor of New York Sportscene magazine. It wasnt in rebuilding mode.
The Jets yesterday fired Mangini, who compiled a 23-25 record in three seasons and led the team to the playoffs in 2006. After an 8-3 start this year, the Jets appeared to be a cinch to reach the postseason but lost four of their last five games, cutting their season short.In addition to Favre, the Jets added perennial Pro Bowl guard Alan Faneca, offensive tackle Damien Woody, fullback Tony Richardson, defensive tackle Kris Jenkins and linebacker Calvin Pace. But all they had to show for the roster overhaul was a disappointing third-place finish in the AFC East.
In New York, you gotta win, said Franklin Romero, 27, a Jets fan from the Upper West Side. Youre always expected to be great. If you keep Mangini around, youre going to be going in circles.
Not all Gang Green fans, however, agreed that Mangini deserved the ax.
They kind of forced Favre down his throat, said Joseph Moscato, 45, of the Upper East Side. They should have given both [Favre and Mangini] at least two years together.
In fact, a report by Fox Sports surfaced yesterday about Favre being unhappy that Mangini would question the Pro Bowl quarterbacks on-field decision-making in front of the entire team.
The attention now shifts to Favre and whether he will return to New York next season. The Jets first order of business, meanwhile, is a search for Manginis successor. Super Bowl champion coaches Bill Cowher and Mike Holmgren are on many fans wish lists, but Pietaro said he thinks a promising assistant, namely Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, would be a good fit.
They could win with a coordinator, Pietaro said. You saw with Atlanta and Miami that teams could have a quick turnaround and success without prior head-coaching experience.
Aline E. Reynolds contributed to this report.