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It’s time to take a final look back at Monday Night’s win over the Dolphins in BGA Extra - now with limited access to coaches film! After the jump, I respond to your questions from the comments in the original BGA post, which you can access here if you missed it.


After your discussions in recent weeks about Patrick Turner’s promise as a down blocker on sweeps, I saw him enter the game, line up as the split end to the left, yelled “toss,” and there it was–and it looked like all of the Dolphins also knew it was coming–they stuffed LT. Schotty a bit predictable there?
Well, Turner was in the game for four snaps and they didn’t run the toss sweep on all of them. On that particular play, the Dolphins did appear to be ready for it and, as a result, McDaniel and Allen were able to beat Ferguson and Mangold’s blocks.

However, on the very next play, they ran a fake reverse to Jeremy Kerley. As you’ll know, when they run a fake reverse, they “always” run up the middle. However, on this play, they went play-action and the fact that Yeremiah Bell clearly reacted to the run (thank you, coaches film!), meant he had a bad recovery angle on Dustin Keller, who cut back across the middle for a 27-yard catch. This is an example of what I’m talking about when I discuss developing and breaking tendencies. If the next time Patrick Turner lines up in the slot, all the defense cheats to that side expecting a toss sweep and they instead run a draw play to the fullback or some kind of counter action, this could be a huge gain.

Once again, the coaches film reveals a great example of this on Miami’s first play. This was brilliantly designed. Charles Clay lined up on the tight end’s shoulder on the right side and as Matt Moore handed the ball off, all the offensive linemen shifted over to their left and the fullback powered ahead into the line. Clearly this was a run designed to look like it was going up the middle, but with a cutback lane to the left, something the Jets no doubt saw them do on film and expected. Jamaal Westerman spotted this and started to move into position to fill that cutback lane, but only then did he realize that there was actually a secondary cutback lane on the outside if Reggie Bush bounced it that way. He tried to recover to get outside contain, only for Clay to come over for a delayed double-team. Westerman was dead-to-rights and Bush was basically one-on-one with Antonio Cromartie in the open field. Not a good matchup for the Jets. Bart Scott, who probably had the initial cutback lane covered, made a despairing attempt to slow down Bush as he bounced it outside, but had no realistic chance.

What Westerman did seems to be indicative of the lack of discipline and guys “trying to do too much” that the likes of Smith and Leonhard have been discussing, but the play itself is a good example of how if you get a defense to think they know what’s coming, you can exploit that. For that reason, I am certain that a lot of these tendencies are by design.

Green Lantern:

I’d like to know the amount of play action passes we have done compared to last year, it seems like we have cut back to me. Play action passes are easy for Sanchez.
Courtesy of a graphic that ESPN showed during the game, the amount that they run the ball has reduced from 59% of the time in 2009 to 49% in 2010 and 39% in 2011 and the amount that they throw playaction passes has dropped from 31% (first in the league) to 20% in 2010 and 18% this year. Once the running game gets a little better, I’m sure that will pick up.


How many pass plays were thrown over the middle of the field in the game? I only remember one to Holmes and that was sort of a busted play. It seems that most pass plays that this team runs are to the sidelines and nothing over the middle of the field. Is it because of Sanchez’s height or his tendency to throw a high ball that can go over the receiver’s head and get intercepted? Maybe that’s why most of these passing plays are so predictable.
Sanchez was nine for 14 going over the middle, for 143 yards and a touchdown. Both Jeremy Kerley’s catches were on crossing routes, as was Holmes’ touchdown. You had Keller and McKnight coming back over the middle for passes that were admittedly probably designed to go to the outside. There was the shovel pass to Tomlinson, a quick slant to Burress and two more short completions to the backs.

The contention that they don’t go over the middle doesn’t really hold water. What about the Jacksonville game where they went there over and over again? It seems to me like they attack the middle when it’s open and the outsides when the middle is flooded. When I studied this last year, the Jets threw over the middle 53% of the time, which compared closely with Manning, Brady and Roethlisberger (who were all between 53% and 58%).

Big A:

It would be great if you could gives an analysis/breakdown of the Jets passing game for BGA Extra. Receiver sets vs. where the pass went (short, mid, deep, out, in, etc.) and what was the outcome (if there were any trends).
In terms of where they threw the ball, Sanchez was 9 for 14 over the middle, as noted above. He was 1 for 4 on passes over 20 yards, but 10 for 13 on passes shorter than ten yards. He only threw two passes to the left side, but was 4 for 9 going right, for 53 yards.

In terms of formations, here’s how it broke down:

Pro set (HB, FB, TE, 2 WR) – 2 for 5, 36 yards

2 TE set (HB, 2 TE, 2 WR) – 1 for 3, 27 yards

3 TE set – 0 for 1

4 or 5 WR set – 2 for 2, 9 yards

3 WR set (HB, TE, 3 WR) – 9 for 14, 129 yards, TD


You made an interesting notion about how McKnight has established a Smith-like effect and is contributing in games in different ways and becoming factor. How do you see his impact progressing in the immediate future of this offense?
In the immediate future, I still see a Smith-like role for him. He’ll probably get a few touches a game in a variety of packages tailored towards him (toss sweeps, bubble screens, wheel routes, etc.) and will maybe make at least one or two plays a game to contribute, whether that be in the return game, kick coverage or on offense. I wonder if keeping him fresh and then unleashing him in more of a feature back role at the end of the year would give the running game a shot in the arm, like Greene did in 2009.


I’m happy to see you noted Plax’s slow routes. Drops happen, but lazy routes and lack of effort is inexcusable. The Plax situation scares me because I doubt he would respond to coaching. He strikes me as a player with a big ego. Do you think benching him would be the best move, if he continues to give less than 100% effort?
Perhaps, although I couldn’t say for sure that it was a lack of effort. He might just be struggling with his conditioning or getting old. I’m not familiar enough with his game to know if he always looks like that – although it did seem like he slowed down towards the end of the game, which could be due to tiredness or frustration.


It seems as if every time Tomlinson comes in the game he rips off a nice run for 8 or 9 and then they take him out. Is he a better option than Greene when he is fresh because he gets to the hole or the edge quicker whereas Greene takes a while to rev up and the Jets line doesn’t sustain blocks for so long? If so, shouldn’t he be getting 7-8 carries a game instead of 2-3? And wouldn’t McKnight in shining armor have the same effect? I think Rex is adamant on Shonn being the “bell-cow” and this is hurting the team. He is a complimentary back and he doesn’t want to face that.
The jury is still out on whether Greene will ever be that lead back and the idea of using McKnight more is one they’ll have to look into at some point. As for Tomlinson, I’ve already pointed out how he played at an elite level last year until he reached the 100-touches plateau, so limiting his touches is smart. He’s averaging five carries a game, which seems reasonable. Anyway, while it may seem like he always makes an impact, he was 5-16 against Dallas, 6-8 against Jacksonville and 3-(-3) against the Ravens. He’s only actually averaged over four yards in two of the six games and in one of those he only had two carries.


Another thing I’m noticing is that Sanchez is much more comfortable in the pocket when the field is spread with at least 3 and even more so with 4 receivers and he gets jittery when the Jets have a tight formation and the middle of the field is all cluttered up (or maybe I just get jittery). He is also comfortable rolling out. The Packers do this a lot with Rodgers and seem to know how best to utilize his athleticism. Sanchez is pretty athletic and if you roll him out you and have him take deep drops like Rodgers does, he will have more time to survey the field and diagnose the defense and he can run pretty well also. Is there any statistical evidence to support these two claims?
That could well be true. I haven’t ever looked for patterns when they go to a bunch formation, so I can’t substantiate it. In terms of rollouts, remember that these were working against the Raiders, until they adjusted to them. It’s definitely a challenge for the coaches to get the best out of him.


Has Plex gotten separation at all this season, and why can’t Mark throw an accurate jump ball?
These two aren’t really on the same page right now, but hopefully it will get better over the course of the season. Burress is so big, he only really needs half a step on a defender to be “open”. Once they get on the same page and get their timing down, he should become a bigger part of the offense.


Have the Jets under Schotty ever tried a bubble screen? It’s a hard play if you’re being blitzed or facing 8 men in the box. I think that’s why a regular RB screen is so tough for Sanchez, too. I wonder why the Jets don’t run more quick outs when the CB plays off the WR. Also, I like crossing patterns, Schotty doesn’t drag his receivers across the middle of the field. He has a ton of pre-snap movement, but very basic patterns.
The Jets used to run them quite a lot with Cotchery and sometimes with Brad Smith. They often used to rely on Braylon Edwards to make the block from the slot WR position. This year, I think they tried it a couple of times with Holmes, but it didn’t really work for them. Cotchery had some modest success with this play over the last few years and my analysis showed that Sanchez doesn’t struggle as badly with this type of pass as he does when throwing to his backs. I don’t know who they would rely on to make the block from the slot, though, although I was quite impressed with Logan Payne’s blocking in preseason.

I can recall Sanchez being intercepted quite a few times when trying to throw an out pattern, so maybe they have shied away from those for a reason.

In terms of crossing patterns, I mentioned above how they completed three in the last game (for 56 yards and a touchdown). Is it fair to say they don’t use these? According to PFF’s database, they’ve thrown 19 so far this season. Tom Brady has thrown 20 and Aaron Rodgers has throw 18. Drew Brees has thrown 26 though.


It doesn’t seem like the jets are nearly as aggressive on defense as we’ve come to expect from Rex. In the first year, I recall that whenever the jets had the other team in third and long, especially if the QB was below average, the jets would send the house (6,7 rushers) and everyone in the stadium knew it was coming. This was effective in it’s predictability because the other team would throw it hot and the jets DBs would sit on the short routes and we would often get the qb throwing off his back foot, just throwing the ball up, taking a sack and most of the time throwing low and incomplete. Last year we did this less esp. at the end of the year and this year, we have hardly blitzed at all. Is this because we are keying the run more, or have teams left extra guys in to block? What’s changed since then? And why didn’t teams adjust that year? It seems like our personnel is better now than it was then other than Rhodes being gone because he shut down tight ends. Is Rex relying more on his players than crazy schemes because they are better? I think Jenkins push up the middle was a big contributor. Do you think they drafted ellis to fill this role on third downs?
They need to be able to do both. As time goes on, teams get more effective at stopping their blitz packages because more film becomes available. In an ideal world, they’d like to be able to create pressure without blitzing and that’s what we’ve seen more of this year.

The Jets’ pass defense is badly exposed when they blitz but don’t get there, so it’s incredibly risky to do that all the time. Last year, the secondary struggled with a lot of breakdowns, so they really had to cut back at times, but this year has been slightly better – albeit still with some bad individual mistakes – which allows them to mix it up.

I actually think they miss Rhodes more in terms of his range in center field than his ability to shut down tight ends.

As for Ellis, he played some DE with DeVito at the nose on Monday, so they might use his speed to bring the heat, like the Ravens sometimes do with Ngata.


Rex said during the week that a staple of a Mike Nolan defense is bringing the blitz and they are prepared for that. So it’s interesting to note that they only brought extra guys 9 times. Do you think this is why the offense started off slow because they didn’t get the look they expected? Should they keep that kind of stuff under wraps because teams maybe are starting to figure out that Sanchez starts slow and can’t pick apart what a defense is doing yet? I’ve noticed the jets talk about other teams gameplans freely, especially the coordinators. Do other teams also do that? Maybe we should lay the bait and practise something and say we are practising something else, or just have a contingency plan, which I think is something Schotty is slow to pick up on. I think I just nailed the reason for the slow starts. What do you think?
For one thing, we don’t know whether and for how long Schottenheimer scripts his plays. If the plays aren’t working, do you abandon the script or stick with it? (Note: I wrote this before today's report).

I share your concern that the coaching staff is sometimes a little too honest. For example, Westhoff said that their return success has been because every team tries to boom it down the middle and this week, the Dolphins kicked short and even benefited directly from that with a freak turnover. Is that the sole reason behind their struggles, though? I doubt it.

Maybe the fact they didn’t blitz that often was a smart coaching decision that screwed up the Jets’ gameplan – they were throwing plenty of quick passes early on, for example. Then again, I suspect Miami felt the Jets’ line was struggling so badly that they’d be able to get pressure anyway. If that’s the case, they underestimated how well the Jets’ line have bounced back since that Baltimore game.


Did Ellis’ play on the D-line earn him a spot on the active roster each week? Will Lankster’s play on ST mean Trufant will be cut? Do you get the feeling Maybin isn’t a Rex/Pettine type player, and if so, what could we trade him for next year if he racks up 10 sacks as a specialist? How much more confidence do you have that Vlad will eventually be a starter after seeing him succeed, albeit in small doses? What value does Mulligan bring to this team?
The Jets often only go with five linemen, so I’d hesitate to say Ellis will be active every week, but he’s earned a more extended look. He’s still number six at the moment though. If Pitoitua sits for another week, he’ll definitely play this week. If he’s back, I’m not sure.

Lankster wasn’t especially outstanding. He did okay. Unless he’s going to be limited for a long time, I think Trufant is a Rex favorite that will jump back in front of Lankster once he’s healthy.

If Maybin becomes a 10-sack specialist, he’ll soon become a Rex/Pettine type player if he isn’t already, trust me on that. He’s a restricted free agent next year, so I guess they could put a first round tender on him and trade him for a lower pick if nobody bites.

Seeing Ducasse manage to go eight whole snaps without a mistake doesn’t really do anything to increase my confidence in him, but is a nice confidence booster for him. There’s definitely something there in terms of physical tools, but I have no idea how and if they can harness that. Not that this is a reason not to do so, but I think changing the offensive scheme next season could set him back more than anyone.

Mulligan is struggling, but he is still a decent special teamer and he actually did have a good game against the Jags as a blocker.


Everyone seems to be touching on this. It doesn’t seem like the receivers, mainly Plaxico and Holmes, are getting separation. Why is that? Also their body language seemed terrible to me, it looks like Schotty has lost them, I noticed one run play in particular where Sanchez motioned Holmes over to block and he barely tried to block. Also, what’s the deal with them laughing on the sideline in the first quarter?
They were probably responding to some kind of stimulus which amused them. I don’t see poor effort from the receivers in their blocking assignments, just poor technique, to be honest.

With Miami dropping seven or eight into coverage on most pass plays, Burress and Holmes had a lot of safety support rolled over to their side of the field. Holmes at least managed to get good separation on his touchdown, as the Jets exploited a zone coverage that left Cameron Wake as the nearest guy to him. I talked about Burress and separation earlier.

F 16:

On running plays , does it look like the offense is staying with their blocking assignments until the whistle blows. I don’t just mean the offensive line.
If I noticed players not playing to the whistle, I’d have mentioned that. I haven’t so far, but I will keep an eye on that, especially with the receivers. As noted above, they blew some blocks this week, but I didn’t view that as caused by a lack of effort.


Sanchez seemed better moving the defense around with his eyes and not staring down his first read. Any truth to this?
He seemed to, yes. In the second half, Sanchez looked as comfortable as he has since the second quarter of the Raiders game. Hopefully that’s a return to his early season form and not just a false dawn.

james the jet:

It seemed like we were forcing a fumble every other play, but could not recover a single one until Cole recovered the one Leonhard popped out. How many times did the Dolphins fumble in this game, and why couldn’t we recover any? Were there any players who had a chance at recovering one but blew it?
There were five, so the Jets failed to recover four. Maybin forced two and both bounced straight out of bounds with nobody really having a shot at recovering. Bart Scott forced one on a run up the middle, but this bounced right into the hands of a Miami player, so again, no Jet really had a shot at it. On the last one, Pace sacked the QB and the ball rolled out right to Vernon Carey, with no Jets around him. Sometimes, that’s just the way the ball bounces. If they can force five fumbles every week, good things will happen.

The Jets led the league in percentage of fumbles recovered last year and all the stat-junkies were saying they would “regress to the mean” this year. However, maybe they led the league because they have a bunch of opportunistic guys who swarm around the ball and chase lost causes. (Notably, two of their fumble recovery specialists – Drew Coleman and Dwight Lowery – are now Jaguars).


Would love to see a season-long review of Kyle Wilson – based purely on my watching, he seems to be much better in coverage, has made some really solid open-field tackles and displayed some Revis-esque swagger.
Numbers-wise, he isn’t faring a whole lot better than last year. However, it is obvious he has been more consistent. Last year, he struggled at first, then played well with Revis out, but then started to struggle once Revis returned and got benched. He played pretty sporadically after that.

He’s being targeted just as often and so far has given up 13 catches for 134 yards on 19 targets for an 88.5 QB rating. Last year, he was thrown at 41 times and gave up 20 catches for 248 yards and one touchdown for a 76.1 QB rating. He broke up six passes. It would be nice to see him intercept a pass some time soon.

He only has one penalty this year, although you may be surprised to note that he only had three last year, all in the first three games.

His run defense has generally been okay, but he’s been exposed a couple of times the last few weeks. As a pass rusher, he had five pressures last year and already had three this year, after having a sack in preseason.


Were there were any open receivers that Sanchez missed on those first 4 drives (other than Greene in the flat on the one play where Sanchez threw it too wide). On the TV coverage, it looked to me that nobody was open. Granted, Sanchez threw the ball so quickly it’s possible he wasn’t giving them time to get open, but it looked like those plays were designed to be quick throws.
These were the passes thrown by Sanchez on those first four drives:

1. Had Greene open in the flat for maybe a five yard gain, but misfired.

2. Went deep to Holmes down the sideline and Holmes looked to be pulling clear, but the ball wasn’t thrown far enough out in front of him. There was contact from Vontae Davis.

3. Quick slant to Kerley who was open, but Sanchez threw the ball hard and low and Kerley was unable to make a tough catch. A perfect throw looked like it would have been enough for an easy first down.

4. Five yard completion to McKnight on first and ten. If McKnight didn’t have to jump for the ball, he’d have had at least two or three more yards and a chance to juke the defender.

5. Five yard completion to Holmes on first and 15. This was a quick out and the defender closed to make an immediate tackle. Again Holmes had to leave his feet to make the catch and it may have been a beat late. That probably cost him a yard or two and the chance to beat the defender. Sanchez also had Kerley open underneath in a similar situation (short gain, with a chance to run for more if he beats the first defender).

6. Four yard completion to Tomlinson on second and ten. He faked to Holmes running a crossing route from right to left and then hit Tomlinson going the other way. The pass was very slightly behind Tomlinson, slowing his momentum and the DB was able to make a tackle before he could start to turn his momentum upfield. Holmes wasn’t really open, but Keller ran a stop-go move downfield which looked like it may have fooled the defender. That might have opened some stuff for him coming back to the ball later on.

7. Incomplete pass on corner route to Keller. He was well covered, although a perfect throw might have given him a shot. The pass was overthrown – possibly even thrown away. Holmes may have been the first option. He ran an in-route which the defender was sitting on.

In terms of passes where Sanchez could have thrown elsewhere, there was one that stood out. When Sanchez threw deep to Burress late in the game and it was almost intercepted by Sean Smith, Mulligan had leaked into the left flat with 30 yards of space ahead of him.


How did the offense perform with Ducasse in the jumbo package? Does Mulligan provide any positive impact when he is in the game? I noticed once or twice that Santonio didn’t seem to be making much of an effort in run blocking and his man ended up making the stop. Is this a common occurrence? Is Plaxico seeing double coverage or is he just failing to get separation?
With Vlad at tight end, the Jets had an incompletion to Keller – Sanchez was well protected – and a 3rd and one conversion up the gut.

Although Mulligan makes a lot of mistakes, he does usually manage to do his job. As noted above, his run blocking was good in the Jags game, but otherwise he is struggling.

I already commented on Holmes’ poor blocking. I felt this was more technique than effort or focus. He looked annoyed with himself. He’s not a great blocker, but he seems to try his best.

As noted, Burress is seeing plenty of double coverage.


It seemed to me that Joe McKnight split out wide would be a great addition as a stretch the field receiver guy- someone who, based on (the granted limited sample) his receptions and route running yesterday seems to be a guy who can really help the jets in this area- what are your thoughts on this and if you see McKnight becoming a bigger part of the offense, NOT as a running back but as a receiver, and how best to utilize him if this would be the case.
I like his versatility and he did a good job on that one big catch he had, but I’d need to see more. I’d like them to give him more shots at what he was drafted to do first, but after last year, it’s just good to see that he’s contributing regularly.

Boozer up the Middle:

On the drives when the Jets scored:

1) What was the pass run ratio compared to other drives?

2) What was the pass run ratio on 1st down compared to the other drives?

In general: Did the O-line grade higher in pass protection after a run or after a pass and was the outcome affected by how good the run had been?

The run:pass ratio was 6:5 on the first TD drive, 5:8 on the FG drive and 2:2 on the second TD drive. Overall it was 29:27.

On first down, they ran eight times and passed four times on their three scoring drives. On non-scoring drives, they ran five times and threw four times on first down.

The line gave up pressure on just five plays, otherwise were perfect in pass protection. The plays before each of the pressures were:

1. The first play of the game

2. A two yard run by Tomlinson

3. A short pass for four yards to Tomlinson

4. A run for no gain by Tomlinson

5. An incomplete pass to Burress

Clearly when they run well, this helps the pass protection out, which I gather is what you were getting at.


I’ve been impressed with how Mark has thrown the screen to the backs this year. The problem is we haven’t really used it. When was the last time we threw one and is it something we can use more? LT (or Joe McKnight) must get more snaps for this to happen.
Yes, he’s thrown it much better this year. I wouldn’t sat they “haven’t really used it”. Through six games, they’ve thrown passes behind the line 10% of the time and Sanchez has completed 95% for a 12.0 yard average. They threw three for 20 yards on Monday.

Last year, they threw screen passes 8.1% of the time, which was near the bottom of the league. However, back in 2008 when Favre was the QB, they did it 18% of the time. Favre completed 89% for a 5.7 yard average. Sanchez’s completion percentage on screens went up from 72% in 2009 to 81% last year but his yard per completion dropped from 7.5 to 4.0. Even if you exclude Tomlinson’s 70 yarder, they’re still averaging over eight yards per completion, so they’re executing much better than in the past.

Harlan Lachman:

My read of Westerman’s miscues was that he was getting sucked inside rather than blocked inside. As an OLB, I thought he was supposed to seal the edge … When you redo the tape, I would be curious if he played as badly as I saw on some of the longer Miami runs.
I gave a breakdown of Westerman’s mistake on the first play above. Yes, he was sucked in, then the block forced him to stay inside. On the 3rd and 10 run by Daniel Thomas, his assignment was to rush the passer from a three man front, so they were quite easily able to block him to the inside once they handed it off. I think that would catch most linemen out in that situation.


I have a question on PFF stats. Considering Harris’ average/slightly above average grades in his seasons with the Jets, isn’t he hugely overrated by the fans, with all the talk of the “core four” and all that?
I spoke to PFF about this in the past and they said that they recognize Harris’ talent, but that he does sometimes get bad grades from their system against certain teams. That’s probably because teams know that if they are able to block him out of a running play, the play has a higher chance to be successful, so he is actively targeted. While PFF’s system is a great measure of efficiency, one thing even they admit it can’t account for is degree of difficultly.

I think he is overrated by some fans, because he isn’t as good at getting off blocks as Bart Scott and he misses a lot of tackles or sometimes makes a bad read, but in terms of leadership, reliability and production, he is a great player and worthy of the big money as long as he can stay healthy. He’s even reliable in coverage and pretty productive as a pass rusher, despite the fact he only had four sacks in his whole college career. The fact that his PFF grades are “average/slightly above average” certainly do not mean that he’s just an average or slightly above average player.

I don’t think he is worth $9m per year, but if you consider that the Jets always promised to give him a fair market deal after he played out 2010 for $550,000 then the five year average of $7.4 million is exactly in line with guys like Ryans and Vilma – in other words, one tier below Patrick Willis, who represents the league’s best inside linebacker.


Not heard a lot about Tom Moore, but are you seeing the same red zone excellence that the stats guys are?
Absolutely – they’ve gone from 30th to 8th and should have had a touchdown on the possession where they settled for a field goal, because Keller was wide open in the end zone.

They’ve been good in the purple zone too (20 to 40), with Burress and Holmes twice scoring touchdowns of more than 20 yards.

I assume Moore is the main reason for this, but whatever the reason, it’s good to see.


I had a very early meeting scheduled for Tuesday morning, so for the first time in a long time I did not drink a single alcoholic beverage during the game, and they WON! Now my superstitious (or just ball-breaking) friends are telling me I cant drink during this weeks game, especially problematic since it is my “new meadowlands/metlife stadium” debut. May I have a few drinks????
You’re asking the wrong guy if you wanted permission. As a fan, I’m as paranoid, neurotic and superstitious as it gets, so I’d respectfully ask that you don’t drink during the game at least until they lose again.

If they keep winning, we’ll all buy you a drink after the season.

Violent Jets Fan:

I’ve heard people pointing out certain predictable tendencies in the Jets Offense. I happened to have noticed the “Turner split wide = toss” tendency and the “Conner split wide then motion into the backfield = counter” tendency. What tendencies have you noticed in this offensive scheme and how have opposing defenses been recognizing and adjusting to them?
I talked about tendencies earlier on. As I said, maybe they’re not actually a bad thing. Conner motioned into the backfield quite a lot on Sunday and they certainly didn’t run as many counters as that, so this isn’t one that I’d say teams would react to. The other classic is that the fake reverse means they’re going to run the ball up the middle, but they’ve already deviated from that one a few times with play action. The next step will be to actually run a reverse.


Next question, why did Marshall run out of bounds? It almost looked like one of those commercials where the maintenance guy turns on the sprinkler system which pops up out of the field and trips the wide open receiver. Or perhaps it WAS the ghost of Jimmy Hoffa? In any case, if he scores there it would have been more of a nailbiter and I might have had to have a drink.
Harris did it too, after he picked off that Eli Manning pass in preseason. It’s a balance thing. I once played soccer with a guy called Len who kept running off the side of the pitch to the point where we started wondering if the pitch was on a slope.

I actually reckon Cromartie would have knocked him out of bounds at about the ten yard line if he didn’t step out.


What are your thoughts on getting Joe $ a touch or two early in the game and then breaking out a wheel route ala :30 into this clip.
Shhh…maybe Norv Turner reads BGA.

(Nice idea, though).


You mention the recievers had only 1 drop (Plex), but I thought I saw Kerley drop one, (on 3rd and long) though the ball might have been a tad overthrown. He is dynamic but his hands are suspect. One thing the Jets are missing is a reliable slot reciever that can go over the middle and catch the big third down ball ala Cotchery. Can you see Kerley developing into that type of guy?
I’ve liked what I’ve seen from Kerley so far, but he did put a couple on the ground in preseason too. For the record, the one on Sunday doesn’t go down as a drop because he was at full stretch and only got his fingertips to the ball, rather than blowing a realistic chance to catch it. Poor throw, there.


As for the defense, does it seem the Jets are softer this year? I feel like they (the secondary and LB’s mostly) are missing a lot of tackles and letting running backs get those 4 or 5 extra yards on every play.
A lot of the issues with the run defense have been when the Jets have had seven defensive backs in, so they are literally softer when teams cross them up and run with a pass having been expected.

In terms of missed tackles, they had 71 in 19 games last year, but this year have 28 in six games, so they are missing tackles at a slightly higher rate. Jim Leonhard “leads” with five.


I have a real problem with Cromartie’s play. How many times has he been burned deep for huge (or potential huge) plays this year? And it seems when he is having one of those games, he pulls himself out with an suspect injury. Is he grossly overrated?
I don’t think he’s grossly overrated, but he’s always been inconsistent and I think he got more money than he’s worth, but so did most of the free agent cornerbacks over the past few years. He’s a great athlete and despite his struggles, has also picked off three passes and contributed a ton of return yardage.

He’s only actually given up two plays longer than 20 yards all year, but he has been beaten for three touchdowns. Overall, his numbers don’t look too bad when QBs throw his way (17-30-213, 3 TD, 3 INT for a 72.6 rating), although he has benefited from a few drops.

The NYC Parking Expert (comments presented by Aflac):

You wrote "On those four plays, Sanchez was 0-for-3, so that underlines how important keeping the pressure off him is.” Why 0-for-3, was the other play a penalty?
He was sacked on the other one.

The NYC Parking Expert (comments presented by Aflac):

The announcers also seemed to think that the hold on Holmes was a bogus call, what did you think?
That was a blatant penalty and Sparano’s complaints that the ball was uncatchable are moot because it was illegal contact and not interference. The defensive back grabbed him and slowed him down.

The NYC Parking Expert (comments presented by Aflac):

The announcers and also the SNY team ripped Schotty a new one for the gadget play. To me that seemed like one where if it works, he’s a genius. What did you think?
The Dolphins reacted well - Despite their 0-5 record, my feeling after the game was that this Miami team is pretty well-coached and that their struggles must be talent-related. The main reason the play failed was because the Jets were relying on the likes of Holmes and Keller to pass protect. They both did a less than ideal job and Brandon Moore also got beaten, meaning that Tomlinson had no time and no room to make anything else happen.

Ironically, Plaxico Burress did get some separation on this one and was possibly open down the right sideline, but Tomlinson did the right thing to eat the ball. That’s a play where if it’s wide open, you make the throw and hopefully score. If Tomlinson was more confident, he still might have been able to make a tight throw to Sanchez for a first down, but it’s not worth the risk. Doing this on third down when there’s a pretty high probability of eating the ball or throwing it away means that the drive is probably over if the defense isn’t fooled. However, on third down, they’re arguably more likely to get sucked in by the run action.

If the play works, I still don’t think anyone would call him a genius.


Schotty – we can argue if he’s good OC or not, but clearly his playcalling is bit shy of average? Also, perhaps he does not still get the strengths and weakness of his offensive players (i.e. Holmes – short yardage and expect YAC, Sanchez – he just needs to manage game and let running game do the talking etc..) what do you think?
I actually think that the playcalling is not the problem. If there is a problem (and clearly there is), it’s more scheme related or how the individual personnel has been coached. I understand how it looks like he doesn’t go to player’s strengths, but he is looking for those things – they’re just the things the defense is actively trying to prevent, so it’s not always an option.

As for Sanchez, they’re still developing. Yes, in the short term, they’d probably win some games more easily if they played super-conservatively, but I believe they’re still trying to develop him into the kind of player than can run the show and make his own decisions.


I also noticed the TE’s struggle. For being a blocking TE Mulligan leaves much to be desired. Do you think Josh Baker would be an upgrade? Also, are there any other TE’s on the market that you’d like to see replace Mulligan?
The oft-criticized Ben Hartsock would probably have been an upgrade and he only plays a few snaps per game in the goal line package with the Panthers. However, with Gary Barnidge out for the year, I don’t think they’re going to release him.

Right now, Mulligan is struggling and almost anyone would seem to be an upgrade, but they’d likely be inconsistent too, until they got to grips with the playbook. My view on Baker in preseason was that I liked his potential but still saw him as a work in progress, especially as a blocker.

Um, Anthony Becht, anyone?

Michael (via e-mail):

Is Maybin a one trick pony? He seems predictable in his initial moves.
Pretty much, although he’s way better at that one trick than anyone else on the roster, which means he has value.

To be fair, I did notice him trying some inside moves on Monday night. That will keep tackles more honest.


You mentioned in the earlier Conner/Lombardi article that the Jets have an even 50/50 split when Conner is in the game, which presumes you have the data of what the Jets did every time he came in. So I have to ask, game by game, how does the Jets offense compare with him in vs. him out? … I would gather he’s not in on most passing downs (ed note: Except for 3rd and 2 and less, which for Schottenheimer is, apparently a passing down) … I’m curious if you have a game-by-game breakdown or situational breakdown of how the Jets offense runs with Conner (Or Tomlinson/Greene for that matter) … I would think (without diving into numbers) that the Jets offense has been slow and predictable with Greene on the field, rather than Conner. But that’s only based on cursory observation (Unlike Lombardi, cursory observation is not enough for me).
This information isn’t readily available, but I’m so impressed that you have your own editor, I’ve compiled it for you anyway!

Running the ball with Conner in the game, they’ve gained 172 yards on 52 carries. That’s 3.3 yards per carry, which is the same as their average for the year. However, he’s trending upwards – it's 3.6 since week two and was 4.8 this week.

When they pass the ball with him in, they’ve actually had seven passes of 15 yards or better, which suggests that maybe they aren’t as predictable when he’s in the game as you’d think. Overall, they are 18 for 35 for 202 yards when he’s in the game. This is trending downwards – they were 10 for 16 for 120 yards in the first three games, but have only been 8 for 19 for 82 yards in the last three.

You asked how often he was in on passing downs. In 100 snaps, he’s only been in for two third downs with more than two yards to go and two second downs with more than ten to go.

Statistics and data from PFF were used in this article and we thank them for providing us with exclusive access.

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