Found September 22, 2013 on
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The ‘same ol’ Jets’ mantra is beginning its resurrection during this first quarter of the 2013-2014 NFL season.
The New York Jets replaced one inept quarterback with another this offseason, the head coach is the same, and the results against familiar opponents bear the results we’re used to seeing over the past few years.
The one key change entering this football season has been the Jets’ new offensive coordinator, Marty Mornhinweg.
It would seem from the surface that Mornhinweg is the type of offensive specialist who would mesh well with head coach Rex Ryan. Everyone knows Ryan as the defensive guru, while Mornhinweg’s resume displays his offensive coaching abilities to be far greater than his two predecessors, Tony Sparano and Brian Schottenheimer.
However, once you scratch away and peel back the surface on M-Squared, you’ll find his offensive schemes are counter-productive to Ryan’s ‘ground-and-pound’ offensive style.
“The old football mentality about run preference is I would love to run more than throw,” Ryan told reporters after a recent practice. “But the way the game is played today I want to also attack downfield.”
That doesn’t sound like the Ryan New Yorkers know. That sounds less like the guy who coached these Jets to back-to-back AFC Championship Games through dishing out on-field punishment, and more like a lame-duck coach who’s allowing himself to be told what he needs to do in order to keep his job next season with this team.
Marty and Rex can’t mesh and coexist coherently; the numbers don’t lie.
Rex was most successful when his team ran the ball more than it threw, wearing down the opposing defense to be carved up during a game’s final quarter.
Running not only allowed for the Jets to beat down the opposition, but it gave the passing game more options with one-on-one coverage, and kept offensive talent such as Tom Brady and Peyton Manning off the field for longer stretches of time.
Marty’s success as a pass-first coach has had its limitations.
These Jets resemble more of last season’s Philadelphia Eagles (Mornhinweg’s last stop), than Bill Walsh’s West-coast style San Francisco 49ers (Marty’s first coaching locale).
We know how the latter story ended.
Indeed Marty’s Methodology can work, but not all playing fields were created equal.
In order for Mornhinweg to replicate even some of the records his Eagles teams set over the last decade – completions, net yards, third-down completion percentage, and net passing yards, among others – he must mold his coaching style to resemble that of Rex.
In order for quarterback Geno Smith to continue to develop – albeit with less ‘baptism under fire’ than he’s been receiving to this point – Marty needs to take some of the defensive attention away from the rookie out of West Virginia and spread its focus towards the Jets’ running game.
Even though at this point “it’s the most I’ve ever run the football,” says Mornhinweg, it may yet not be enough for Smith’s improvement and progression. The running attack helps build momentum and establish an offensive flow and rhythm early in a game, and without the ground weapon a young QB can easily be lost in the crowd.
However, if Mornhinweg decides to continue his torrid passing pace via Smith, not only will the Jets give last season’s 4-12 Eagles as run for its money, but ghastly and costly errors by Geno late in games (see late week vs. Patriots) will continue to plague this Gang Green club.
If you still don’t believe me, the proof is in the pudding.
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