Antrel Rolle and Nick Mangold are at Chase Bank today in Manhattan promoting a new Jets and Giants debit card that is being introduced. MasterCard and Chase have teamed up to make this happen and are allowing fans to come out and meet with Antrel and Nick from 12-2PM, at Chase Bank on 60 East and 42nd Street. After the meet and greet they will be answering questions and comments on twitter using @MasterCard. Beforehand I had the opportunity to interview Nick Mangold, starting center of the New York Jets.
Q. What will you, Antrel Rolle, Chase and MasterCard be doing this afternoon in Manhattan?
A. Yeah we will have the opportunity to hang out sign some autographs and take pictures with fans. Spend a little time there and end the day doing a twitter chat using @MasterCard. People will be able to get their new Jets and Giants debit cards. You will be able to get it at the Jets Shop at the stadium or online.
Q. You always want cohesion with offensive lines. Has the shuffling of Slauson and Ducasse at left guard interfered with that, how have they been?
A. We’re fortunate that Vlad has been around for awhile. So it is not like we have a new guy coming in that we don’t really know. You have to roll with the punches as guys move in and out. Just like with injuries you have to be prepared for that. So far I don’t think it has caused too many disruptions. With time we’ll all get better.
Q. The running game has been as great as it has been in the past. Are there any improvements that can be made to be used going forward?
A. Yeah when you look at it and watch the film, there are yards that we are leaving out there on the field. We are getting three and four yard gains, where if we held our block a half second longer, or the back made a little bit of a different cut they could be 10 and 15 yard gains. And those things add up over the course of a game. It is a bunch of little things that are holding us back, but fortunately for us they are all correctable. Hopefully we get that rolling and as the season progresses we can rely on it.
Q. Obviously Sunday’s game against the Niners was not very good. How do you keep focused and keep yourself in the game when you fall behind by so much?
A. It’s the pride of doing your job. If you go out there and admit defeat, than you shouldn’t be playing. You go out there with pride, wearing a Jets uniform with your name on the back, you compete to the best of your ability.
Q. And as a veteran, are you vocal with the rest of the offensive line, trying to keep their heads in the game, or do you let your actions do the talking?
A. Yeah I’m not a rah rah guy. I’ll say the things that need to be said, but most of the time I let my preparation and work during the week set the example for how we need to play out on the field.
Q. Austin Howard has been playing good football at the tackle position. What have you seen that you liked and what can he improve upon going forward?
A. There is always room to improve with any of us. You know I still have tons of stuff that I have to work on. But Austin has done a fantastic job coming in for us. He has worked his butt off this off season made a great impression on the coaches. He has all the physical tools, just needs to work on the mental side of the game.
Q. The media brought up all the issues in the locker room last season, are there any concerns that those issues could break out again?
A. No, you know we learned our lesson last year. We’re not going to let stuff like that affect us. We have entire group of new guys with better chemistry. We are going to make sure that we do not go down that path this year. It did not help us last year, so no reason to let it happen this year.
Q. Looking ahead to next week, are there any things about the Houston Texans defense that you think you can take advantage of?
A. They are a heck of a defense. It is going to be a difficult task for us. They are playing great football and we are going to have to step our game up this week.
Q. Do you think the presence of Tim Tebow has affected Mark in any way?
A. No, I think that Mark is a competitor. You know every week he is going to be competing. If anything I think it should have made him better. You know when we give him protection and the skill guys are doing the right things, Mark can pick things apart.
Q. Do you think it was unfair to Mark, to bring in a backup quarterback with so much hoopla surrounding him?
A. No, I mean that may be a better question for the folks upstairs who made that decision. But I think that ever since Mark has come into the league, he has handled New York and the media quite well. He doesn’t let that stuff affect him.