Cleveland Browns coach Eric Mangini just finished his conference call with Twin Cities reporters and naturally was asked about his experience with Brett Favre with the New York Jets last season.
Favre started strong for the Jets but he struggled down the stretch because of arm problems and the Jets stumbled to a 9-7 record and missed the playoffs. Mangini was fired after the season and a few players criticized Favre as being distance from his teammates.
Mangini was asked whether Favre's stature and his consecutive games streak made it difficult for him to consider sitting the quarterback for a game or two with the hope that the biceps in his right arm would heal. Instead, the Jets went 1-4 to close the season.
"With that stretch there, there were things that we all could have done better," he said. "I could have done a better job as a head coach, the coaches could have done better, there are things the players could have done better in all three phases. I really believe that winning and losing is something that's shared in a team game. You can always find an area where you can improve in. I don't ever think it falls on one person.
"All the decisions that I made during that time period followed the same thing that I believe and that's playing the guys that I think are going to give us the best chance to win that week. It wasn't based on anything else besides that. That criteria applies to everybody."
Several Jets players complained after the season that Favre didn't connect with his teammates in the locker room and kept his distance. Mangini disputed reports that he was a bad teammate.
"I can tell you without a doubt or unequivocally that I never saw those things," he said. "I saw a very good teammate that was focused on winning each week, that was humble, that was professional, that really worked hard to understand what we were trying to accoomplish and really went out to do that each week. Whatever anybody else's feelings were I don't know. But that's what I saw week in and week out. I thought it was especially impressive considering the things he's already accomplished."