Originally written on One Jet At A Time  |  Last updated 6/20/13
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Mornhinweg comes to the Jets to "attack." [Associated Press] According to Deadspin.com, Marty Mornhinweg was the worst head coach in the modern era, for his time with the Detroit Lions in '01-'02.  But, thankfully, that's not why he's with the New York Jets in 2013. Mornhinweg is here as an offensive coordinator, to implement his West Coast style of offense. Here's the quick hits of the Mornhinweg offense and how it applies to the Jets. Keeping the drive alive High completion percentages are arguably the base of Mornhinweg's philosophy. Here, we'll use Eagles QB Michael Vick as a case-study. With Mornhinweg (and after his jail stay), Michael Vick had the highest completion percentages of his career.* Vick's resurgence in 2010 saw a 62.6 completion percentage, which was 6.2 percentage points higher than his career-high, five years earlier in 2004. His percentages declined slightly in '11-'12, but his numbers of 59.8 and 58.1, respectively, still surpassed those of any pre-Mornhinweg Vick. One can also take into account Vick's age and health catching up to him, as opposed to a fundamental flaw in the system.  *This takes into account 2010 and on, as Vick was a backup for most of the season in '09. Surprisingly, Vick's average yards gained per pass attempt improved under Mornhinweg, as well, which would be contradictory to the idea that shorter passes were used to gain the higher completion percentages. However, this may be attributed to the offensive coordinators Vick had while back in Atlanta.  In 2001, Vick's rookie season, George Sefcik was the offensive coordinator for the Falcons, but he was also the running backs coach, so running the ball was a large part of his gameplan—48% of plays were on the ground, and shorter passes were a staple to coincide. In 2002, Falcons Head Coach Dan Reeves covered coordinator duties, as well, whose offensive style continued to revolve around the run game and shorter passes. In 2003, the Falcons promoted O-Line coach Pete Mangurian to offensive coordinator, and his style coincided with that of still-HC Dan Reeves. From '04-'06, half of Vick's tenure with the Falcons, Greg Knapp ran the offense, along with a new head coach, Jim Mora. Knapp was given leeway to run his system—a West Coast style of offense—but his philosphy involved even shorter passes than Mornhinweg's.  So, when you think of Mornhinweg's WCO, think short passes and high completion percentages, but don't think he's afraid to air-it-out here and there, as some others coaches running their style of WCO have been. More after the jump... Being light on your feet Something that Marty Mornhinweg has always preached is a quarterback's footwork—the movement in the pocket, the planting at the right times, and stepping into throws.  Mornhinweg and his QB Coach, David Lee, are stressing the importance of footwork to Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith. On Smith: "David Lee is working overtime on many things," Mornhinweg said. "But certainly his footwork." -NYDN This seems to be the one weakness in Geno Smith's game that has received the most attention from the coaching staff. In Mornhinweg's offense, the starting quarterback will be required to play under center for a majority of the time, but Smith comes from a shotgun-style of offense at West Virginia University. So, there will be a certain learning curve involved when it comes to dropping back and setting up for throws, on his feet.  However, Mark Sanchez isn't out of the weeds either. His high amount of turnovers in his tenure with the Jets can be partially attributed to bad footwork. In a press conference after a 2010 loss to the Dolphins, Head Coach Rex Ryan critiqued Sanchez on this. “So much of it comes down to fundamentals and technique,” Ryan said. “In Mark’s case, you can’t be accurate with the football if you don’t have proper footwork. -The Star-Ledger Ryan has not been known for his criticisms of Sanchez, so any should be taken sincerely and severely. QB Coach Lee will be the one really grinding-in the importance of footwork to the quarterbacks, but it all comes back to Mornhinweg's philosophy. What about running the rock? Can't leave out the run game, which really helped (with defense) to propel the Jets to back-to-back AFC Championship Games in 2009 and 2010. While Head Coach Rexy Ryan says the team will play an "attack" style of offense now, running the ball will surely still be very important to the team's success.  How much will Mornhinweg go to the ground game? Here's what he said last season with Philly: "Philosophically, I don’t care as much about balance in any particular game,” Mornhinweg said. “If we have to run the ball 50 times to win the game, that’s what we’ll do. If we have to pass the ball 50 times, that’s what we’ll do. Now, if you take the whole season, you’d rather somewhere around 60/40 – you’re usually going to be a little higher, 60 to 65 percent passing.” -The Inquirer In 2012, the Jets were 27th in the league in passing play percentage, with 52.22% of plays through the air, according to TeamRankings.com. (Jets were 18th in the league with 56.99% in 2011.) So, this may really be a new-look offense, which could be frightening considering the QB situation and WR depth chart.  In contrast, the Eagles were the 1st, 3rd, and 8th in rushing yards per carry in 2010-2012 (ESPN), so Mornhinweg was able to get quality out of the lower quantity of runs.  The Jets obviously don't have Philadelphia's 'Shady' McCoy or Bryce Brown, who stepped up for the Eagles last season in McCoy's absence, but they do have a healthy competition going on with Chris Ivory, Mike Goodson, Bilal Powell, and Joe McKnight all fighting for snaps.  Whoever has the hands to also catch the ball, may have the best chance to stay on the field, as Eagles RB LeSean McCoy has had 300 receiving yards+ in each of his four seasons with the Eagles, including almost 600 in 2010. All stats without attributions are from Pro-FootballReference.com.
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