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Jim Cordle learned from 'the best' in Jets center Nick Mangold

Jets center Nick Mangold talks with reporters during

Jets center Nick Mangold talks with reporters during training camp. (August 1, 2013) Credit: Hans Pennink

As Jim Cordle is preparing for the biggest game of his NFL career on Saturday, he knows that his college mentor will be there. He’ll just be on the other sideline.

“I came in and got to learn from the best: Nick Mangold,” Cordle said of the Jets’ center and his predecessor at Ohio State University. “He took me in and taught me a lot that definitely helped me out. He was a three-year starter at Ohio State.”

Cordle, in his fourth NFL season, has called these next few weeks “make or break” for his career. He’s the starting center after a rash of injuries to David Baas and David Diehl forced several permutations of the Giants' offensive line. When the music stopped, Cordle found himself with a chair. The one right in the middle.

“He’s starting in a NFL third preseason game,” coach Tom Coughlin said when asked if this was an opportunity for Cordle to showcase himself. “I’m hoping that it’s looked at that way.”

Cordle said even if it wasn’t starting, he’d still be looking to make a statement.

“Each week you’ve got to get better,” he said. “That’s how you’re evaluated in the preseason games. I’m still working on it. I’m just playing for a roster spot. I happen to be out there with the first group, so I’ll play as hard as I can.”

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