During the offseason, I’ll be looking back at certain aspects of the Jets’ season by analyzing data compiled from all nineteen games, rather than watching film. I will be tackling as many diverse topics as possible, but welcome your suggestions or requests in the comments.

This week's BGA focuses on the Seminole formation. With Brad Smith's departure, I'll be looking at how successful this formation was and recommend whether or not they should continue to use it.

In doing so, I'm going to investigate whether or not the assumption that using the Seminole formation throws the offense and/or Sanchez out of rhythm is accurate. I'll also try to determine how much of the success or otherwise of plays made in the Seminole formation was down to Smith.

Once again, this article has used data exclusively provided to us from the guys at PFF. Our thanks, as ever, go out to them.

Introduction

Fortunately, I don't need to do all the legwork this week. PFF recently did a study on teams that run the Wildcat formation - and variations thereof - and you might be surprised at the results of their findings:

While most NFL fans are familiar with Ronnie Brown and Josh Cribbs, the best wildcat quarterback in 2010 was by far the lesser-known Brad Smith. The backup receiver ran the ball from the wildcat 30 times for 212 yards and a touchdown … 7.1 yards per run. Half the time he handed the ball off, and the Jets other rushers had 4.0 yards per carry and a touchdown.


The league average for a Wildcat play was 4.3 yards per carry, just above the average for "normal" running plays. Smith was the only player to account for over 100 yards in the whole NFL.

The Jets were unquestionably very successful from this formation, which ties in with my own findings:

Here is the breakdown of the success of each formation over the course of the regular season:

Pro Set – 155 carries, 638 yards, 4.1 average

Seminole – 48 carries, 288 yards, 6.0 average

3 WR – 80 carries, 372 yards, 4.7 average

2 TE – 197 carries, 882 yards, 4.5 average

3 TE – 27 carries, 96 yards, 3.6 average

Immediately, we can see that the Seminole formation was the most successful. However, it was boosted by a several big gains in the meaningless final game of the year against the Bills. Entering that game, the average was 5.3 yards per carry, which is perhaps a more realistic number to quantify the success of that play.



In addition, I later calculated how successful they were from this formation if you omit plays of over 10 yards. The average was 3.5 yards per carry, which was still higher than every other formation the Jets ran from.

If the Seminole was so successful, why did many people still want to get rid of it during the season and why are many people glad that Brad Smith left, because his departure likely signals the phasing out of this formation?

The reason most often given is that whenever they use it, it breaks the momentum of the offense and/or Sanchez. Okay, let's see if that's true...

Does the Seminole Break the Offense's Momentum?

Let's find out the answers to a series of questions that will help us contemplate this. Please note that due to Smith's injury in the postseason, I only analyzed the regular season.

1. How do the Jets fare on the play immediately after Brad Smith leaves the game following a Seminole formation?

47 plays, 315 yards. An average of 6.7 yards per play. This included 10 plays that gained at least ten yards and five that went for a loss.

On this basis, I'd say that the effect of any immediate momentum loss is more than counteracted by any confusion caused in the opposing defense.

2. How often do drives stall immediately after the Jets use the Seminole formation?

When Sanchez re-entered the game after the Jets used a Seminole formation, the Jets failed to get a first down on their next series on 17 occasions. They picked up a first down and kept the drive going on 26 occasions. That's a 60% success rate, although 12 of those 17 failures came in the second half of the season, so the success rate was higher earlier in the year.

3. How often did the Jets score on a drive where they used the Seminole formation at least once?

13 Touchdowns (30%)

10 Field Goals (23%)

14 Punts (32%)

6 Turnovers (14%)

1 Missed Field Goal (1%)

How does that compare with how well they performed for the regular season as a whole?

34 Touchdowns (18%)

30 Field Goals (16%)

84 Punts (45%)

30 Turnovers (16%)

9 Missed Field Goal (5%)

Once again, they seemed to fare demonstrably better when they did use the Seminole, compared with when they didn't use it.

Does the Seminole Break Sanchez' Momentum?

Well, he said it does, so it must do...right? Or, does he actually calm down as a result of coming out of the game and make better decisions when he re-enters? These are Sanchez' numbers for passing the ball having re-entered the game following a Seminole formation play, for the remainder of that drive:

39-for-72, 477 yards, six touchdowns, three interceptions

Hey, that doesn't seem too bad. In fact, it's a marked improvement upon his regular season numbers. The completion percentage is about the same, the average yards per throw is better and he has a better TD/interception ratio. Overall, it translates to a QB rating of 85.2, almost ten points higher than his regular season total.

Once again, the evidence seems to suggest that using the Seminole doesn't have a negative effect upon Mark's performance.

One thing I did notice while compiling the data for this section was that Sanchez was sacked FIVE times on the play immediately after re-entering the game following a Seminole formation. If anything, that suggests that maybe it was the offensive line whose momentum was affected by the differing blocking requirements of the multitude of Seminole formations and these sacks could have been the result of some confusion. Without those sacks, the numbers on plays immediately after a Seminole play would have been even better. (Note: When I say Sanchez re-enters the game, sometimes he didn't leave the game, instead lining up out wide, but I mean that he returns to the Quarterback position, just to make that distinction.)

How Much of the Seminole's Success is Attributable to Brad Smith?

We've established that the Seminole was a successful play and didn't seem to negatively affect the Jets' chances of scoring on a given drive. However, if you remove Brad Smith from the equation, could you expect the formation to be anywhere near as successful with someone else at the Quarterback position?

We saw first hand that this isn't a "Plug 'n' Play" situation during the postseason last year. With Smith out injured, the Jets inserted LaDainian Tomlinson in his place and tried to use the Seminole formation twice. The results were a fumbled snap and a delay of game penalty.

Obviously, there is an inherent advantage in having a Seminole Quarterback with experience of actually playing the Quarterback position. The familiarity with taking a snap and reading the defense cannot be overlooked. However, it's worth remembering that the formation was initially designed for Leon Washington (and many of the other Wildcat teams over the last few years have used non-QB's to take the snap).

One other apparent advantage is the threat of a pass. However, as I've often said on TJB, Brad Smith doesn't have anywhere close to an NFL-caliber arm with his slow, upright release, floating passes and questionable accuracy. I'd go as far as to say that any of the running backs or receivers offer just as much of a threat in that area. You don't need the Seminole QB to be a great passer anyway. The most effective plays are usually just dumped over the top to a wide-open leaking-out tight end.

There's no question that Smith was responsible for many of the successes running the ball. Many times he turned a short gain into a longer one by breaking a tackle, or used his elusiveness to get back to the line of scrimmage to prevent a loss of yardage. Overall, he averaged one broken tackle every six carries and 3.1 yards per carry after contact. (Note: This includes end-arounds). Not bad numbers, but perhaps not irreplaceable when you consider that Shonn Greene achieved similar numbers in 2009 (one missed tackle every eight carries and 3.3 yards per carry after contact).

Smith was also to blame for a few of the failings of the Seminole, notably when he fumbled against the Packers and when he made a bad read on 4th and one against Miami.

Conclusions

The Seminole formation worked. Brad Smith may well have been the primary reason for that, but there is evidence to suggest that using it had a positive effect on the Jets' ability to score. Now that he is gone, it is up to the Jets to decide whether it is worth continuing to use the formation and whether there is anyone on the roster capable of performing anywhere close to as well as Brad Smith did.

I'll leave you to discuss who - if anyone - you would employ in this role in 2011 in the comments.

This is the final BGA Weekly of the offseason. I may squeeze in one more BGA Nano before Monday night and then I will put up a bumper links post summarizing everything I looked at this offseason. Preseason BGA returns next week! Thanks for reading.

Tags: BGA, Main Page, Bent Double

GEICO SportsNite: Jets camp 00:03:01
Jeane Coakley talks to Muhammad Wilkerson about being one of the older, vocal leaders in the locker room at Jets camp.

 

Read More

Daily News Live: Bowles' future 00:04:48
The Daily News Live panel discusses what Todd Bowles can do to save his job and if he is the right coach to lead a rebuilding effort.

 

Read More

In the latest episode of The Jet Stream, Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon look back at the eight sacks the Jets' D laid on the Tennessee Titans, as well as Christian Hackenberg's performance. Later, the guys discuss the wide receivers, offensive line, and their expectations for this week's matchup with the Detroit Lions.

Read More

 (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

Looking to gain a physical edge on the field, Jets linebacker Darron Lee gained nine pounds heading into training camp. 

Lee, who was 227 pounds after minicamp ended, is now 236 at training camp. 

"On my conditioning test, everybody was like, 'You look noticeably bigger,'" Lee said, according to the New York Daily News. "Hey, I put in that work."

Tags: Darron Lee
Read More

Bowles rewards team during camp 00:02:29
Jeane Coakley and Ralph Vacchiano report from Florham Park where Todd Bowles allowed his team to remove pads during practice on Wednesday.

 

Read More

 (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)
(Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)

Jets linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin showed up to a Manhattan court on Wednesday for his alleged assault of a Queens man, but the case has been delayed because prosecution wasn't ready to file paper work, according to multiple reports

Mauldin had turned himself in to authorities in late June for his alleged role in the nightclub attack that took place on April 2. The New York Post reported on June 21 that Mauldin had been charged with misdemeanor assault, which carries a maximum sentence of year in jail.

Read More

New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles answers questions from media at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: (Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles answers questions from media at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: (Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV:

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - In the wake of the ugly riots in Charlottesville, Va., there's a possibility that more NFL players will decline to stand for the national anthem during preseason games this weekend, joining a protest started by Colin Kaepernick last year. So far there's no indication any Jets players will join them.

But if they do, their coach will have their back.

"We don't have a rule book on what's right to protest and not protest," Bowles said at Jets training camp on Wednesday. "You don't know those things until the course of time, whether it's sitting for the anthem, whether it's raising your fist, wither it's speaking out, a walk to Washington -- who's to say whose protest is good or bad?"

Read More

New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) throws a pass against the Tennessee Titans during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) throws a pass against the Tennessee Titans during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV:

John Morton seemed to like everything he saw with Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg on Saturday night. He liked his poise, his decisiveness, the decisions he made. It was clearly a step in the right direction.

But was it a big step toward Hackenberg getting the starting job?

That's a question that Morton, the Jets new offensive coordinator, wasn't willing to answer on Tuesday. In fact, Morton made it sound like Hackenberg still has a long ways to go.

Read More

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Lucky Whitehead (13) during the second half against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Cowboys won 35-10. (Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports)
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Lucky Whitehead (13) during the second half against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Cowboys won 35-10. (Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports)

Jets WR Lucky Whitehead, who suffered a broken foot during Monday's practice, will have surgery for the injury, head coach Todd Bowles said on Wednesday.

Prior to deciding on surgery, Whitehead was expected to miss four-to-six weeks, SNY's Ralph Vacchiano confirmed.

Whitehead joined the Jets after he was released by the Cowboys on July 24. He returend two punts and a kickoff in the Jets' preseason opener. Serving primarily as a returner, he caught three passes for 48 yards for the Cowboys in 2016.

Read More

GEICO SportsNite: Jets camp 00:01:46
Jeane Coakley reports from Jets camp, where Todd Bowles was pleased with his team's response to his criticism.

 

Read More

Jets Training Camp report 00:01:37
SNY's Jeane Coakley reports from Jets training camp where head coach Todd Bowles was not pleased with the team's most recent practice.

 

Read More

New York Jets running back Matt Forte is tackled by Miami Dolphins corner back Tony Lippett during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Jets running back Matt Forte is tackled by Miami Dolphins corner back Tony Lippett during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Jets running back Matt Forte is missing time in the preseason and training camp due to a hamstring injury for the second year in a row, but told NJ.com's JJ Conrad he feels he is close to returning to the field.

"I'm feeling good, but not good enough to be in full practice yet," Forte said to Conrad on Monday. "I'm just going through what the trainers tell me, easing back in. I don't want to go back out there immediately and get injured again."

Forte, who did not play in Saturday's 7-3 win over the Tennessee Titans in the Jets' preseason opener, said he the trainers are being cautious with him given the nature of hamstring injuries and the fact the veteran running back underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus at the end of last season.

Tags: Matt Forte
Read More

Oct 17, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; General view of a New York Jets helmet during the game against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports (Matt Kartozian)
Oct 17, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; General view of a New York Jets helmet during the game against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports (Matt Kartozian)

The Jets have signed undrafted rookie WR Daniel Williams, and waived WR Deshon Foxx, per SNY's Ralph Vacchiano. 

Williams spent time with the Oakland Raiders after going undrafted out of Jackson State (Miss.). Standing at 6-foot-2, 234 pounds, he totaled 184 receptions for 2,497 yards and 19 touchdowns in four years at college. 

Foxx went undrafted as well out of UConn in 2016. He spent time on the Seattle Seahawks practice squad before joining the Jets this offseason. The Jets waived him on May 9, but eventually resigned him on May 22. 

Read More

New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) watches as quarterback Josh McCown (15) warms up before a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) watches as quarterback Josh McCown (15) warms up before a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

With Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty still early in their NFL careers, Josh McCown is taking a leadership and mentorship role at quarterback in his first season with the Jets. 

"Every quarterback goes out there and they want to finish each drive with a touchdown, so when those things are happening, there is kind of an inner fight of, man, do I need to do more?" McCown said, according to Newsday. "Things happen and you get kind of delayed, but the fight as a quarterback is to stay in the system, stay within the game and don't be greedy and force the ball. So my hat is off to both of them for not doing that."

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg
Read More

SNY's Jonas Schwartz and former NFL guard Willie Colon are live from Jets training camp in Florham Park. The guys open the show with SNY Jets reporter Jeane Coakley to discuss the biggest storylines from camp. Then, they welcome in tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who opens up about the troubled start to his NFL career, and how he is a changed man. Later, rookie safety Marcus Maye joins the show to give his thoughts on his first NFL training camp, and how he is adjusting to life in the New York area.

Click below to listen

 

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins
Read More

Atlanta Falcons free safety Robenson Therezie returns a pass interception against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the second quarter at the Georgia Dome. (Dale Zanine/USA TODAY Sports)
Atlanta Falcons free safety Robenson Therezie returns a pass interception against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the second quarter at the Georgia Dome. (Dale Zanine/USA TODAY Sports)

The Jets signed former Atlanta Falcons defensive back Robenson Therezie after safety Doug Middleton reportedly suffered a torn pec.

Therezie, a 26-year-old free safety, recorded one interception, two passes defensed and 36 combined tackles in 25 games with Atlanta over the past two seasons. He was an undrafted free agent out of Auburn.

Middleton, who was competing for a backup role with New York, recorded six combined tackles and one pass defensed in four games as a Jet last season. He suffered the injury in the fourth quarter in Saturday's 7-3 preseason win over the Tennessee Titans and is expected to undergo surgery, according to the New York Daily News' Manish Mehta.

The Jets also announced they waived fullback Algernon Brown, who appeared in eight offensive plays and two plays on special teams on Saturday. He recorded 1,310 rushing yards and 13 rushing touchdowns in four seasons with BYU.

Read More

Jets WR Anderson on Hackenberg 00:01:31
Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson chats with SNY's Jeane Coakley about the Jets' preseason win over the Tennessee Titans.

 

Read More

This preseason, I'll be spotlighting an under-the-radar player who impressed me in each game and assessing that player's chances of making the team.  Today we'll look at defensive lineman Claude Pelon, who was one of the top performers in the Jets' 7-3 win over the Titans in the preseason opener.

Read More

Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) throws a pass against the Tennessee Titans during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)
Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) throws a pass against the Tennessee Titans during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The last time anybody saw Christian Hackenberg in a game was the preseason finale almost a year ago. It was a disaster. He completed just 11 of 31 passes for 54 yards and threw an interception, too.

It was a much, much different and better Hackenberg that the Jets got to see on Saturday night.

Tags: Christian Hackenberg, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More

Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Tennessee Titans quarterback Alex Tanney (11) is sacked by New York Jets linebacker Julian Stanford (51) during the second quarter of a preseason game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Tennessee Titans quarterback Alex Tanney (11) is sacked by New York Jets linebacker Julian Stanford (51) during the second quarter of a preseason game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Josh McCown threw the Jets' first touchdown of the preseason and the team's defense tallied eight sacks in a 7-3 win over the Titans on Saturday at MetLife Stadium.

The Jets kept the Titans out of the endzone for the duration of the game, allowing only a field goal on a five-play, 49-yard drive in the third quarter. 

Read More

 ( Adam Hunger)
( Adam Hunger)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The good news is the Jets really have no choice but to play most of their starters in their preseason opener. Or maybe that's the bad news given the low expectations for this team.

But Jets GM Mike Maccagnan and coach Todd Bowles have promised competition all summer long for almost every job on the roster, and the competition begins for real against the Tennessee Titans at the Meadowlands on Saturday night. Not all jobs are up for grabs, of course, but quite a few are.

Here's an inside look at some of the battles and 10 intriguing players to watch:

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Chris Harper, Christian Hackenberg, Juston Burris, Ralph Vacchiano
Read More

 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

Some of the Jets' newest additions, TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins and S Marcus Maye, had high praise for their new head coach, Todd Bowles. 

Both appeared on SNY's The Jet Stream podcast, and when asked who is most impactful to the Jets this season, Seferian-Jenkins showed love to his coach. 

"I would definitely say, first of all, coach Bowles," Seferian-Jenkins told SNY's Jonas Schwartz and Willie Colon. "I never had a coach like that, that really just says a real, honest thing. Just tells you the truth. He doesn't want to lie to you, he doesn't want to sugarcoat anything. I think he's a phenomenal coach."

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins
Read More

GEICO SportsNite: Jets camp 00:02:31
Jeane Coakley reports from Jets training camp to preview their first preseason game of the 2017-18 season on Saturday, August 12.

 

Read More

New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) warms up before a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) warms up before a game against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - The memories of Christian Hackenberg from last season are few and not very good. He had two ugly preseason performances and then was buried on the depth chart, only resurfacing to occasionally misfire in practice. His future didn't appear bright at all.

That's why all eyes will be on Hackenberg when the Jets open up their preseason slate against the Tennesssee Titans at the Meadowlands on Saturday night.

Read More

Jets training camp 00:01:42
Jeane Coakley breaks down the latest news and updates from Jets camp as they get ready for their first preseason game on Saturday.

 

Read More

 (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)
(Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)

Jets corner Buster Skrine thinks this year's secondary will not only be an improvement over last year's but that the group also has the potential to stand out. 

"This is my seventh year in the NFL and this is one of the most aggressive groups I've been around - and confident," Skrine said, according to Newsday.

Tags: Buster Skrine
Read More

New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) attempts to pass during New York Jets training camp at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. (Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) attempts to pass during New York Jets training camp at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. (Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports)

Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg had another tough day at practice Wednesday, throwing two interceptions during team drills. It marked the second straight day that Hackenberg threw two picks during 11-on-11 drills. 

The second-year quarterback had not thrown an interception during his first eight practices of training camp. Head coach Todd Bowles is still confident in what Hackenberg can do on the field, regardless of what has happened the last two days. 

"It's practice," Bowles told reporters Wednesday. "The defense has got to get turnovers. I'd be concerned if they weren't. They got two today, but we're cleaning some things up, and we're learning as we go. It's going to be up and down every day, so we'll just go from there."

Read More

 (Robert Deutsch)
(Robert Deutsch)

Though the Jets lost WR Quincy Enunwa for the rest of the season, the other receivers are not viewing it as a setback, per Newsday's Kimberly A. Martin.

Leading the wide receiver corps now is WR Robby Anderson who saw limited time in his rookie year last season. The 24-year-old viewed the situation entirely different than the reporters asking him questions after practice Tuesday. 

"It's not a challenge," Anderson said, "it's an opportunity."

Tags: Jalin Marshall
Read More

GEICO SportsNite: Jets' offense 00:01:57
Jeane Coakley reports from Jets camp in Florham Park to discuss the Jets' depth chart and how the offense can stay competitive this season.

 

Read More

New York Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson during practice at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. (Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson during practice at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. (Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports Images)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Todd Bowles has had more than enough of the Sheldon Richardson-Brandon Marshall feud.

After 11 months of sniping back and forth between the two of them, and one day after Richardson reignited the war by ripping Marshall in a radio interview, the Jets coach made it clear he's had enough of their fighting. Bowles even grew testy with the media when asked about Richardson's latest remarks.

 

Tags: Brandon Marshall, Sheldon Richardson
Read More