Some Suggestions for the Jets

The following are all quotes from Tim about the Jets this season:

“But [Mark Sanchez is] still a rookie quarterback that’s going to have to win games on his own (that’s a shot at you, Mr. Flacco) without a 1,600-yard running back (and you, Mr. Ryan). Those guys don’t often succeed. The defense will be good, but it’s unreasonable to expect Rex Ryan to turn it into the Ravens’ D in one season.”

“Hey Jet fans, give me a call when you play a team with two healthy wideouts.”

“Smart play by Maurice Jones-Drew, and now the Jets have virtually no chance to make the playoffs.”

“The Jets are 1-6 since I instituted the Jets Bash of the Week. I win.”

At least Tim acknowledged these errors: “I’ve been wrong on virtually everything I’ve said about the Jets, from the bad start to Sanchez getting better during the season (he actually got worse) to there not being a 1,500-yard back in the backfield (Jones was close enough) to Ryan not being able to turn them into a premier D in one season.”

But, then he made one more:

[Referring to the Jets-Chargers game]: “Unfortunately for [the Jets], they’ll need Mark to lead a big drive late, and he won’t be able to do it.”

And, what did I presciently say at the beginning of the season?

“The Jets have one of the top offensive lines in the game, with everyone returning from last year. I see no reason why the Jets can’t successfully follow a similar formula to the Ravens of last year.”

“My biggest defensive worry is Lito Sheppard. He’s very overrated and not a great coverage corner. I see opposing teams picking on him a lot given Revis’s tremendous talent. Nonetheless, I see the Jets matching up to most teams quite well defensively.” My biggest concern against SD and my biggest concern about Indy is containing non-primary receivers and the tight end, consistent with my concern about Sheppard early in the year.

“On Special Teams, Leon Washington is awesome, but Reggie Hodges should not be punting in the NFL. His low net yardage on punts continually puts the Jets at a field position disadvantage.” And, Hodges is gone!

With that said, here are some suggestions for the Jets this week:

  1. Continue to Move Revis Around the Field: In Sunday’s game, Revis covered Tomlinson, Naanee, Jackson, and Gates at different times in the game. In total, Rivers through four passes to zones where Revis had primary coverage or to the man Revis was guarding, and the quarterback had one completion (to Tomlinson) for negative four yards. Most people seem convinced that Revis will be glued to Reggie Wayne this week. I don’t see why the same rationale for moving Revis around against the Chargers doesn’t still hold. In the Week 16 matchup, Dallas Clark had 54 yards and Austin Collie 94, both largely in the first half (you know, when they played). Clark is my biggest worry in this game: Lowery and Sheppard just don’t match up. Why not put Revis on Clark occassionally and double-cover Wayne? Gates was wide open on several occasions when not covered by Revis and luckily there were a couple of drops or overthrows to limit the damage. If the Colts and Manning know that Revis is simply going to be covering Wayne the whole time, they can plan around that. But, it makes it harder to plan when you don’t know who Revis is covering.
  2. Throw a Screen Pass, Damn it: I don’t get it. Ever since Leon went down, so has the screen. Brian Schottenheimer* is blessed with one of the best—if not the best—offensive lines in football. A screen to Shonn Greene or even Thomas Jones would be perfect for a 2nd-and-12 type situation, which we ran into quite a few times on Sunday. And, this could still fit the Schotty’s “conservative” play-calling paradigm.                                                                                         * I’ll call him “Schotty” for now on: I don’t particularly like the nickname but I   hate spelling his name out.
  3. Pass on First or Second Down More Often: The Jets have a very strong running game, and I’m fine running the ball 60% of the time. But, when there are no screens and 60% of those running plays are runs to the right, the Colts are sure to pick up on that. There’s a certain value to being a bit unpredictable. It means that eight men won’t be in the box as often. And, if there are eight men in the box, Sanchez has a better chance of completing a pass anyway. These can just be low-risk slant passes; no need to worry about Sanchez interceptions. Accordingly, I thought Schotty’s best play call Sunday was the 3rd-and-goal play action to Keller. He probably should have called that play on 2nd down and this wasn’t exactly low-risk, but it was the sort of play the Chargers weren’t expecting.
  4. Have Brad Smith Throw a Pass: Maybe this was Schotty’s plan the whole time: Let’s have Brad Smith never throw a pass during the season out of the Wildcat, so when we do the Wildcat in the AFC Championship game, the opposing team will be totally caught off guard. But, seriously, Smith can throw (hello, college quarterback in the Big XII), but he NEVER does. Why not? At this point, the Colts are absolutely not expecting it, and if they throw early in the game, it again forces the Colts to think twice about putting eight in the box for wildcat formations, which could help us tremendously.
  5. Keep up the Blitzing: Manning does have a quick release, and blitzes won’t be as effective against him, but still, Indy has possibly the worst offensive line in the playoffs, and San Diego was getting a lot of yards off of us at the end of the last week’s game when we were only sending in three or four people, one of whom—Shaun Ellis—was incapable of tackling the quarterback due to the giant club on his broken hand. It brought back awful memories about Ted “I don’t believe in the blitz” Cottrell as Defensive Coordinator. Also, it’s harder to read a blitz scheme against a 3-4, particularly with the Jets whole just-stand-around-the-line-and-casually-chat approach.
  6. Be Very Alert on Defense: Manning will hurry up and try to draw a 12 men on the field penalty. Let’s be aware of that and avoid it.
  7. Hope Matt Stover misses multiple field goals: Why not?

3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by doc on January 20, 2010 at 8:55 PM

    Good article, Josh, however it wasn’t necessary to flame Tim, although he deserved it! I won’t say where I influenced Josh’s thinking, but I have been screaming about the screen pass for 2 months now.


  2. Posted by Phil on January 21, 2010 at 12:56 PM

    Hell of a run we’re on!. Here’s to keeping it going.


  3. […] Josh is enjoying this: ‘Bout time. I’ve been waiting for that treatment for weeks. […]


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