Mangini to Angry Fans: I Can't Hear You …

Good news, Jets fans: there's nothing you can say that will hurt head coach Eric Mangini's feelings.

For the conscientious supporter, this should come as something of a relief, particularly in light of the team's recent slide. Leading the AFC East heading into last weekend, the club is now fighting for its playoff life after losing to the the hapless Seahawks. And dropping very winnable games against the Broncos and 49ers weeks earlier (not to mention the unmentionable overtime loss to the Raiders in Week 7) has everything to do with the Jets' current predicament.

Not surprisingly, fans are unhappy with the recent turn of events and are taking their complaints to the airwaves and intertubes. Via the AP:

"'It's inherent with what we do,' Mangini said Friday. 'It's part of what we do. I appreciate that. It's not anything that's a surprise in terms of analysis, discussing the team and all the things related to the team. That's usually how it goes. I appreciate the fans' passion and interests. I get that."

'What I'm trying to do and what we're always trying to do is moving forward and beat the next opponent. That's what we focus on.'"

Mangini sounds like he's running for office with all the non-answers and spin. With one game left in the season, however, there's not much he can say. The Jets have to beat the Dolphins. No amount of talking changes that, although if Chad Pennington comes to the Meadowlands and sticks it to the team that cut him some four months ago, Mangini will have plenty of explaining to do. And he may be doing it to save his job.

In the meantime, he encourages fans to voice their complaints -- it's their right, after all -- but just know this: he can't hear you. Because he's not listening. Not unless you're Terry Gross. Or rapping. Or Both.

"I don't have that active of a social life," [Mangini] said with a smile. "It's pretty much here to home. In terms of radio or any of that stuff, the stations I listen to aren't talk radio. Sometimes it's NPR or a little rap on the way home. It's not heavy sports talk."

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