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Serby's sunday Q&A with Mangini


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NY Post

July 23, 2006 -- The Post's Steve Serby chatted Friday with the Jets' new coach:

Q: What are your emotions, days away from the start of the Eric Mangini Era?

A: I am incredibly excited about the opportunity. I think this is the best place in the world to have this opportunity. I couldn't ask for a better owner and better people to work with.

Q: Do you expect a honeymoon period?

A: I'm gonna work the same way now as the next year and the year after. Every day is really the same approach.

Q: New York won't scare you?

A: I love New York. I had such an incredible experience here (under Bill Parcells). I love the fans here. This was really a special place for me in my career.

Q: Some are convinced the franchise is cursed.

A: I believe that every year is its own distinct period in time and its own distinct opportunity. Each year, the same number of teams get to compete for the same thing. I view it as what's happening now.

Q: How do you like being called Boy Wonder?

A: I didn't even know people were calling me that to tell you the truth.

Q: What can you tell Jet fans about what kind of team they can expect?

A: A smart, tough, hard-working, competitive team; I want a team that football's really important to.

Q: One quarterback to win one game?

A: Joe Namath.

Q: Why Namath?

A: Because he had one game to win, the biggest game at that time, and he did it.

Q: Best Bill Parcells motivational ploy?

A: When I sat in my first meeting when he addressed the team and talked about three things guys can do to be successful - be on time, pay attention and work hard. I still have the notes.

Q: How does Bill Belichick's motivational approach differ?

A: They're both great motivators.

Q: Will you be more Parcells or more Belichick?

A: I've learned so much with both of them, there are things I do every day that draws from those experiences.

Q: When you and GM Mike Tannenbaum go out to dinner, what's a typical bill cost?

A: Probably more than when two other guys go out to dinner (chuckles).

Q: You have two young boys; how are you at changing diapers?

A: I think I'm pretty good at it now; my wife does correct me every now and then. I think I'm better with (2-year-old) Jake than (5-month-old) Luke - Luke has a smaller size so it's a little more challenging. The extra material gives me a little more leeway.

Q: Most humbling Browns ball-boy experience?

A: (Chuckles). That whole experience was humbling, seeing I had just graduated from Wesleyan. The family was like: "What are you possibly thinking?" We had a group picture together and I'm in the middle about a foot taller than those kids and a lot older.

Q: Your dad (Carmine)?

A: He was amazing in terms of whatever I was involved in, he'd be there watching. He helped me learn how to throw a football and baseball. He was just a real special person ... I appreciate more now as a father how smart he was, how caring he was. I remember one time in downtown Hartford, there was a homeless man, and he took off his jacket and gave it to this guy. He did a lot of work with the St. Elizabeth House in Hartford.

Q: Why was the homeless such a cause for him?

A: He passed away when I was 16; I never really asked him why that was the cause he felt so strongly about. He was generous with a lot of people.

Q: How did you propose to your wife?

A: In a sailboat at sunset in Chatham, Mass. With roses and champagne and a captain named Jack who wore a tuxedo T-shirt - he said he wanted to dress for the occasion.

Q: That wasn't even the most romantic thing you did for Julie.

A: (Laughs). I'm still living off this - for her to be reminded of it wouldn't be a bad thing. I called her boss and checked to see if she could take Friday off and I booked a flight for the two of us to Paris for the weekend (for her 30th birthday).

Q: Coaching the Kew Colts in Australia?

A: We had a 44-year-old, ex-Vietnam vet named Fossil; we had a 6-5, 16-year-old we called Stick; we had bouncers at nightclubs - just an eclectic group of people.

Q: You must have been a small heavyweight when you won the Double L state championship in high school.

A: (Chuckles). I'd be better suited for that now. At that point, I was probably like 215.

Q: Provide a scouting report on Eric Mangini the Wesleyan nose tackle.

A: I would say very good motor and good instincts.

Q: Quick hitters: Romeo Crennel?

A: Unbelievable coach; great person; great friend.

Q: Tom Brady?

A: A great competitor; great leader and just a really good person.

Q: Tedy Bruschi?

A: Very passionate and a great leader.

Q: Red Sox or Yankees?

A: It would be the Cleveland Indians (brother-in-law Mark Shapiro is GM) for me.

Q: You worked summers at Max Bibo's Deli in Hartford; did you make sandwiches?

A: I did make sandwiches, I did all the cleaning up and prep, I delivered.

Q: You were a substitute teacher?

A: You're going to a radically different environment every day; I taught from kindergarten through high school.

Q: Three dinner guests?

A: My father and my uncle (Frank); the third wouldn't matter at that point for me.

Q: Favorite athlete outside football and why?

A: Dan O'Brien. I just think his story, the things he overcame, were incredible, and the success he had in the decathlon is just amazing.

Q: Favorite movie?

A: "Shawshank Redemption."

Q: Favorite actor?

A: Robert De Niro.

Q: Favorite actress?

A: Charlize Theron.

Q: "The Simpsons" and "Family Guy" are your favorite TV shows?

A: And I really like "The Office." It's pretty funny.

Q: Favorite meal?

A: New York strip steak and twice-baked potatoes.

Q: Favorite New York restaurant?

A: Il Mulino.

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Been reading Serby online at the Post off and on for a few years.

Strikes me as a dipsh**.

Just curious, what do you New Yorkers think of him?

Vandoug speaking only for myself I hate Serby and do not read the NY Post is the first piece of advice I would give to anyone

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Serby can write only one of 2 stories each week about the local teams-

The Jets or Giants are going to win the SUper Bowl based on yesterday's game, or the Jets or Giants are the worst football team ever based on yesterday's game. This is the level of insight he has, something like offering a 4-year old either a bowl of Lucky Charms or a plate of dogsh!t, alternating days. He does get interviews because after Richard Todd tried to shove him into a locker, he's pretty tame and now he's old.

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Q: Coaching the Kew Colts in Australia?

A: We had a 44-year-old, ex-Vietnam vet named Fossil; we had a 6-5, 16-year-old we called Stick; we had bouncers at nightclubs - just an eclectic group of people.

My question is, what's an ex-Vietnam vet? You're either a Vietnam vet or you're not.

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Q: How do you like being called Boy Wonder?

A: I didn't even know people were calling me that to tell you the truth.

He is going to drive the reporters crazy. His post game press conferences are going to be 3 minutes long.

He answers the questions in almost as few words as it was asked. Gotta love that. Nice change, lol. Now let's hope the team responds to him!

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