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WEEI » This Just In » Mangini: BB relationship 'work in progress'
Tue, 09/13/2011 - 8:30am  

Mangini: BB relationship 'work in progress'

Former Browns and Jets coach and current ESPN football analyst Eric Mangini joined Dennis & Callahan Tuesday morning. The former Patriots assistant discussed his relationship with his old boss, Bill Belichick, as well as what Mangini is perhaps most infamous for: instigating SpyGate.

"It's one of those things where the end result wasn't the goal," Mangini said of the scandal. "I owe so much to Bill, I appreciate what he's done for me and my intention was never to hurt him or the [Patriots] organization, the Kraft family. Yeah, there's a lot of regrets, I didn't want to hurt him or the Patriots by any stretch."

The videotaping controversy, dubbed Spygate by many, started in 2007 when Mangini, then coach of the Jets, accused Belichick and the Patriots of videotaping Jets' sideline signal-callers during a game between the two teams. The accusation led to an investigation by the NFL, the outcome of which was heavy fines and penalties for Belichick and the Patriots, as well as the suspicion that New England had used the same practices during its Super Bowl run earlier in the decade.

"I wasn't happy where the end result," Mangini said. "How it could have been different, how different decisions and events could have taken place, I'm not sure how it would have played out differently. I just didn't want it to play out the way it did."

Added Mangini about his current relationship with Belichick: "Probably like the New England defense, it's a work in progress."

Following are more highlights from the conversation.

On the Patriots offensive explosion against Miami Monday night: "It looks exactly like it always looks from Tom [Brady] and the offense in the sense that its such a well-oiled machine. It doesn't matter who you plug in there, it works and it functions at a high level. The only way to stop that is to disguise your intentions and to disrupt it and Miami didn't really take that approach last night and Tom tore them up.

The other great thing about New England's approach is that once they find a weakness, they exploit it and they exploit it over and over again until you fix it. And they find ways to not let you get a quick fix to it. That's been something that's consistent over time and it's the exact right approach. ... They'll do whatever it takes to win the game that week and that's different than a lot of teams and their approach."

On tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez: "The one thing that has been impressive about Gronkowski is some of the catches that he's come up with. As a blocking tight end, he's made some very athletic catches and he's made some pretty explosive plays that you don't typically get from that type of player. That's what makes him difficult to deal with. And on the other side, with Hernandez, he's so good in the passing game that you have to figure out how you want  to deal with him. Do you want to put in a DB and play him in a nickel package, where in that instance he has the advantage in blocking? Or do you want to play him in your base defense, in which case he has the advantage in covering him?"

On the Patriots defense being a work in progress: "It's definitely a work in progress. What's going to be interesting to watch is when they're confronted with a lots of shifting and motioning and various hard-to-adjust-to formations, how well the guys handle that. And a really high-tempo no-huddle, how well they deal with that. Those things are very challenging defensively. And with a new defense and all the answers not quite ingrained in the players, there's going to be some growing pains there."

To hear the interview, go the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page. For more Patriots news, visit the team page at weei.com/patriots.




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