Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 3/13/12
What happened to the Jets' offense in 2011?
It may seem like a distant memory back in 2010 when after five weeks of football only one starting QB hadn’t throw an interception. That lone quarterback was Mark Sanchez -- you heard that right, Mark Sanchez! So how did we get to this point where the offense never took off in any phase in 2011? The running backs couldn’t break a big run and Sanchez was sacked every time he dropped back.
The real problem was the offensive line. Yes with two Pro Bowl players, this was the weak link that caused the offense to fall apart.  A team like the Jets has to win in the trenches to be effective.  I project the Jets will draft in the first three rounds to fix this issue.  You can find gold in the mid rounds when drafting for the offensive line. This has to improve, and for the Jets to get better, the line has to open up the running lanes and protect Sanchez long enough to push the ball down the field.
At running back I expect calls to be made to veteran players to improve this position in free agency. I wrote a piece on Peyton Hillis and I think he would be a day one starter and a perfect fit. If this doesn’t happen the Jets have also talked to Ronnie Brown - someone who can fill Tomlinson’s role. I don’t think Joe Mcknight is ready to be a No. 2 back in the NFL yet. I would keep him on special teams and select plays on the offense like screen passes. This position has to have an upgrade, it's just a matter of do you want to go the cheap route and pick up someone who has maybe two years left in the tank or a veteran who can be the starter for the future.
The wide receivers; where do I start? Plaxico Burress couldn’t beat man coverage and Santonio Holmes just plain quit. I think this starts with the coach. Tony Sparano has his work cut out for him but I think he can put those attitudes in place. I expect Burress to be gone and Edwards to be coming back at a discounted price. I expect this position to take a big step forward next year. Mark Sanchez is heading into his fourth season and has to take the next step forward this year. The way the Jets extended his contract, and it makes it easy for them to get out of it year to year if it doesn’t work out.
Offensive coach; I think Tony Sparano is the perfect fit for the Jets' offense. Then again I would have supported anyone who wasn’t named Brian Schottenheimer. Tony will play into the strengths of the Jets' offense by running the ball heavily and allowing Sanchez to make plays on play-action bootleg passes. If you watched the Jets in 2011 you had to have wondered why the Jets weren’t using bootlegs or screens. The deep ball had all but disappeared from the offense when passing. If your going to fool the defense on play-action at mid field don’t throw the 5-yard check-down -- push it down the field and make a big play. To me it seemed like Schottenheimer couldn’t coach situational football to save his life. I think Sparano will take charge day one and let every player know that this is his offense.
I think the Jets' offense is ready to take the next step in 2012. I expect the Jets to add to the offensive line in the Draft and make calls to Edwards and Peyton Hillis. Those are the three positions that have to addressed  
Note: I will be addressing the Jets offense in my next piece.  If you have questions or comments feel free to email or comment. Keith.kunzeatfootballnation@yahoo.com  

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