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Nick Mangold's message to fans: 'All is not lost'

New York Jets center Nick Mangold walks off

New York Jets center Nick Mangold walks off the field at practice during training camp at the Atlantic Health Training Facility. (Aug. 18, 2011) Credit: Joe Epstein

Nick Mangold never gets too high or too low. And neither should you.

At least, that was the offensive lineman's message during an early-morning interview Tuesday on WFAN's "Boomer and Carton" show.

"It's one game, it's a bump in the road," the Jets center said of Sunday's 34-0 beatdown at the hands of the 49ers. "We're going to keep getting back to work and we're going to right the ship. All is not lost."

That was Mangold's message to fans who, understandably, are questioning the level of talent and coaching that exists on the Jets. The offensive lineman -- who was in studio alongside Giants safety Antrel Rolle -- said the criticism of the team is warranted. But as always, Mangold was quick to offer optimism in the face of adversity.

"What we did Sunday, it was a terrible performance,” he said. “But at the same time, there’s still 12 games left. It’s a long season, this is one little bump in the road.”

Mangold reminded listeners of the Jets’ 45-3 Monday Night spanking at Gillette Stadium back in 2010 – a Week 13 loss that signaled despair throughout Jets Nation.

“The sky was falling then, too,” Mangold said. “And we ended up going to the playoffs and doing very well.”

That year, the Jets returned to Foxboro and defeated the Patriots, 28-21, on their home turf in an AFC Divisional Championship Game.

“So these things happen,” the Jets center said of crushing defeats. “It’s unfortunate, it’s horrible and you never want them to happen. But they happen. And you get back, you work harder and you right the wrongs.

Mangold also was asked about the struggles of the offense – particularly the running game. The Jets are ranked 24th in the league with an average of 86.5 rushing yards per game. (The Redskins are No. 1 with 175.5)

Asked why the holes aren’t opening up for their running backs, MAngold said it’s a case of “six guys doing it right and one guy messing up.

“And then the next play, we’ll have the other six doing it right and then another guy will mess up,” he said, adding that Tony Sparano’s new offense entails “all the same stuff, you just call it different things.”

“I think the big thing is being on the same page, being connected and working as one unit,” Mangold said. “And unfortunately, we haven’t gotten to that point yet.”

The lineman also defended the play-calling of Sparano, who called for a direct-snap to Tim Tebow on the second play of the game, right after Mark Sanchez hit Santonio Holmes on an 11-yard pass on the Jets’ opening drive.

“It’s what we believe is going to give us the best option to win,” Mangold said. “You know, I don’t make the decisions. I do what I’m told. Tim’s an awesome football player. He’s explosive and can do it and I think we’ve got to get our playmakers the ball. And if that’s what we need to do to win, I’m for it because I just want to win football games.”

The lineman also took some of the blame off the shoulders of Sanchez, who he believes is unfairly criticized. “When he first came in as a rookie he handled (the pressure) very well, and he’s continued to be able to put that on his shoulders. It’s tough, though. When you don’t get protection — how do you throw the ball if you’re not getting protection?

“So a lot of the blame goes to him, but we try to reinforce, ‘Hey, it’s not your fault. We’ve got to help you out and we’ve gotta get better.’ “

With key injuries to Holmes (foot), Dustin Keller and Stephen Hill (hamstrings), it’s unclear, at this point, where the Jets offense will come from. But Mangold believes the Jets have enough playmakers on the roster – they just have to get them healthy.

“When we do, and when we execute as the plan dictates,” he said, “good things can happen.”

Mangold and Rolle will be making a special appearance at a Manhattan Chase bank fan event from noon to 2 p.m. Tuesday to celebrate the launch of the Jets and Giants debit cards. 


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