Under Brian Schottenheimer's direction, the Jets' offense seemingly had a new plan every week. While that can work when you've got Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers at the helm -- or any quarterback with a true mastery of most basic NFL concepts -- with a young, growing Mark Sanchez, it clearly overloaded him and his teammates and was one of the reasons why Schotty is off in St. Louis destroying Sam Bradford's development.

Now, Tony Sparano has come under fire for doing Sunday exactly what he said the Jets' offense would do when they hired him last winter and all offseason: execute the playbook every week, regardless of opponent. Sparano's philosophy is about executing a small number of plays well, rather than executing a large number poorly.

It's one of the reasons why I won't kill Sparano for Sunday's calls during the post-fumble fourth quarter drive that ended in a field goal and not a touchdown. After re-watching the tape, the problems with that drive lean more toward the players' execution of the plays and less with Sparano's calls. More after the jump.

First and 10

The play: The Jets pulled out a new "wrinkle" this week, with Tim Tebow lining up deep in the backfield and Mark Sanchez under center. Sanchez eventually motioned out wide, leaving Tebow as the de facto quarterback with Lex Hilliard as his fullback. Jeremy Kerley was in the slot to the left, Stephen Hill in the slot to the right and Dustin Keller was an inline blocker on the right end of the line. They ran Tebow out of the same formation earlier in the game and picked up a big third-down conversion. Obviously, that didn't happen here, although the yardage amounts was pretty similar. On the snap, Hilliard went behind the right guard, while Tebow took the ball behind center as he's done so many times from the shotgun/wildcat formation. While it's a play that's unlikely to gain 15 yards, it's reasonable to expect the Jets to gain 4-5 yards and set them up, eventually, for third and short. Tebow ran into a wall and only gained two yards.

The problem: The Pats' defense knew what was coming. The linebackers all crashed the line of scrimmage and Jerod Mayo hit the designed running lane before Tebow even got out of the backfield, occupying Nick Mangold. While Matt Slauson did a decent job of keeping Vince Wilfork out of the play, right guard Brandon Moore also got zero push and was held up at the line by the Pats' other interior lineman (looked to to be No. 71 Brandon Deadrick). The official play gave Chandler Jones and Brandon Spikes credit for the tackle on the play, but it was Deadrick who was able to get a hand on Tebow at the line of scrimmage and hold him long enough for Jones and Spikes to combine on the tackle. For those that think maybe Tebow should have bounced the play outside, Keller got pushed back two yards right at the snap by Dont'a Hightower and would have been free if Tebow had gone in his direction.

The solution: This seems to be the play that has Jets fans up in arms. With the two-minute warning, why a run play when the clock will stop regardless? I can understand the frustration, but if Moore keeps Deadrick off of Tebow at the line, the play could have gone for 3-4 yards, setting up a much more manageable 2nd and 6 and putting the offense another 3 yards from a 3rd and short, as the play is designed to do. However, I can't help but wonder if this wasn't the perfect time for Tebow to fake the dive and pull back in time to hit Stephen Hill (who was left alone in the middle of the field) on a short 5-7 yard pass. But then again, can you imagine the outrage if Tebow throws the ball there and it's intercepted? Sparano would have been skewered for

2nd and 8

The play: Sanchez was back under center, except the Jets went with I've decided to tag their "Super-duper jumbo package." Stephen Hill was the only wideout, split wide right and the Jets made offensive tackle Jason Smith eligible and lined him up to the right with blocking TE Konrad Reuland covering him up. Joe McKnight was the lone back behind Sanchez. Matt Slauson pulled right at the snap as the Jets tried to create a seal and give McKnight the option to run between a Mangold/Ferguson block and Slauson's pull or bounce it around the right side where Reuland was matched up on a linebacker, this time Hightower. McKnight went right and was met thusly by Hightower and Wilfork after gaining one yard. The Patriots then used their first of three timeouts.

The problem: The problem here was again with the blocking. Brandon Spikes blitzed and with Slauson slow to get around, Spikes blew up the play and was in the backfield before McKnight had the ball. Still, Slauson got enough of a block him to allow McKnight to bounce right and try to take it between Brandon Moore and Reuland, but Reuland did a horrendous job and was literally tossed aside by Hightower, negating any chance McKnight had of bouncing the run outside, where Stephen Hill had given McKnight at lest 5-7 yards of running room.

The solution: Have the blocking TE block better? Reuland's inability to hold Hightower at the point of attack single-handedly wrecked the play. While a hobbled McKnight clearly didn't have the burst Sunday we're used to seeing from him, I still believe he could have gained 4-5 yards on the outside if Reuland had kept Hightower at bay. If Greene was healthy, I would have expected them to try to push the ball inside but McKnight's best runs are when he gets in space and can use his speed and athleticism. While you can second guess the Tebow run, this was a good call and played to their running back's strengths and forced the Pats to use a timeout. The execution was lacking but the call was sound.

3rd and 7

The play: Sanchez stayed under center and the Jets kept Reuland in the game, this time lining both him and Keller up on the left side of the line with Keller  one step off the line of scrimmage. McKnight was the lone running back and Kerley was in the right slot with Stephen Hill out wide right. The Jets ran a designed playaction bootleg to the right, giving Sanchez a little less than a third of the field. Hill and Kerley ran crossing routed with Hill flattening out his route around the goal line and Kerely pulling a double move and eventually turning right at right around the first-down marker. Keller, who had begun to motion right before the snap, continued to the right flat in front of Sanchez. McKnight rolled left  behind much of the blocking, giving Sanchez the option to toss the ball to the side of the field most of the defense had vacated. Keller's motion held up the Pats' outside linebacker (Hightower) and Wilfork long enough for Sanchez to get the ball to his primary target (Kerley), but after a pump fake, Hightower closed on Sanchez. Sanchez ate the ball, took the sack and the Pats used their second timeout.

The problem: While you can have an issue here with the Jets not keeping Sanchez in the pocket and giving him more of the field to work with, Sparano ran a play that Sanchez has been running since his rookie year. Again, Sparano chose a play the Jets tend to execute over and over in a key situation and played to his quarterback's strength (playaction). Despite Alfonzo Dennard in coverage and breaking, Kerley WAS open, but slipped on the second part of his double move, leading to Sanchez hesitating and Hightower closing for the sack. The other problem is Kerley ran too long of a route. A play like that has a very short shelf life. If you're going to leave the outside LB and DE unchecked in order to clear out room, Kerley's route should have been cut short after the cross with Hill.  If you watch the tape, you see Dennard hesitate after Hill went over the middle and Kerley went right. Kerley, who had a fantastic game, should have turned to Sanchez right after the two WRs crossed paths. He would have been a yard from the first-down marker, but Dennard's hesitation gave him just enough room to get it after the catch.

The solution: None. It was a smart call and one that put their best WR (Kerley) a chance to be at or around the marker. It also put a rookie CB (Dennard) in a switch situation and gave Kerley enough room to make the marker and the catch. While Sanchez can struggle to throw the ball accurately down the field on the move, he's easily capable of hitting a wideout with 8-15 yards in that situation. If Kerley doesn't fall down, Sanchez hits him and it's either a first down or very close. With Hill and Keller blanketed, Sanchez did the smart thing and didn't force the ball to anyone. He ate it, took the sack and made the Pats use a timeout.

FINAL CONCLUSION

So what should we take from this? In that situation, the Jets had the job of scoring, killing the clock and forcing the Pats to burn timeouts and they did all three of those. Yes, the Jets ran plays of a conservative nature on the drive, but they're all plays that the Jets have run over and over again to a good success rate. On first and second down, Sparano put his players in position to execute a methodical approach that should have put the offense in a third and short situation. When that didn't happen, he went with a playcall that put Sanchez in a comfortable situation with room to throw to a reliable weapon against a rookie cornerback.

If the Jets were going to play for the field goal, they would have lined up McKnight or Hilliard behind Sanchez and run into the line three straight times. Sparano called three plays that attacked different parts of the Pats' defense. Also, while Sanchez did a good job of exposing a terrible secondary most of the day, keep in mind that from the 18 yard line, there are no deep passes. A weak secondary benefits from a limited amount of real estate because they don't have to cover as much ground or cover as long as they do on deep route. You cannot assume that if the Jets had passed the ball more than once that they would have succeeded.

Sparano coached the drive like he would coach any other drive in the situation -- he did not coach scared. He put his players in a position to succeed with plays they are comfortable running. It was a sound strategy. The players just didn't execute.

Tags: Main Page, NYJets, Opinion, Editorial Aside

 (Ed Mulholland)
(Ed Mulholland)

Jets' first round pick, S Jamal Adams, has already impressed his new teammates, according to NJ.com's Connor Hughes. 

The Jets were exuberant when Adams fell to their No. 6 slot in the 2017 NFL Draft as he was the player the wanted most. Participating at OTAs and mandatory minicamp, Adams has shown his teammates, like CB Morris Claiborne, why the front office was so high on him.

"The things he has done so far?" Claiborne said. "He's unbelievable...He's been out here playing lights out. Picking up the defense, checking to different things, knowing what he wants to check to. He's having fun doing it, too. His spirit is awesome. He's having fun doing what he knows how to do, and that's football." 

Tags: Jamal Adams
Read More

New York Jets outside linebacker Darron Lee makes a tackle on Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Jesse James during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. (Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets outside linebacker Darron Lee makes a tackle on Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Jesse James during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. (Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com

Projected starters: Demario Davis, Darron Lee

Projected backups: Bruce Carter, Connor Harris

Tags: Darron Lee, David Harris, Demario Davis
Read More

 (Eric Hartline)
(Eric Hartline)

The Jets' new linebackers coach, Hall of Famer Kevin Greene, is looking to instill more aggression and power in his players, especially LB Lorenzo Mauldin.

The 25-year-old has shown spurts of potential in two seasons with the Jets, but his 2.5 sacks last season isn't the production they had expected. Greene intends to change that, and he told NJ.com's Darryl Slater why he uses this specific approach to his coaching. 

"Everybody at this level has skill, correct?" Greene said. "They'rea ll athletic, and agility and dexterity and all that stuff. Well, what separates people initially is their physical level of play. That's always our first step, is we have to play more physical than whoever is in front of us, because we're all athletic." 

Tags: Lorenzo Mauldin
Read More

A pass intended for New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson is broken up by Buffalo Bills cornerbacks Corey White and Kevon Seymour during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
A pass intended for New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson is broken up by Buffalo Bills cornerbacks Corey White and Kevon Seymour during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com

Projected starters: Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson

Projected backups: Jalin Marshall, Charone Peake, ArDarius Stewart, Chad Hansen

Tags: Brandon Marshall, Charone Peake, Eric Decker, Jalin Marshall, Quincy Enunwa
Read More

New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) watches from the sidelines during the fourth quarter against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)
New York Jets quarterback Christian Hackenberg (5) watches from the sidelines during the fourth quarter against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com

Preseason Stats: 17-for-47, 159 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions, 1-15 rushing, one fumble

Regular Season Stats: Did Not Play

Tags: Christian Hackenberg
Read More

Part 2 of Jets mini-camp 00:02:01
SNY delivers part 2 of an all-access behind-the-scenes recap of New York Jets minicamp, including the sights and sounds from Florham Park.

SNY delivers an all-access behind the scenes recap of Jets minicamp, including all the sights and sounds from Florham Park.

Click here to watch Part 1

Read More

Behind the scenes at Jets camp 00:01:48
SNY delivers an all-access behind the scenes recap of Jets minicamp, including all the sights and sounds from Florham Park.

SNY delivers an all-access behind the scenes recap of Jets minicamp, including all the sights and sounds from Florham Park.

Read More

New York Jets owner Woody Johnson before the preseason game at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta)
New York Jets owner Woody Johnson before the preseason game at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta)

President Donald Trump plans to nominate Jets' owner Woody Johnson as the US Ambassador to the United Kingdom, the team confirmed on Thursday.

In the case that Johnson is nominated and confirmed by the US Senate, he would hand over his duties as Chairman and CEO to his brother, Christopher Johnson, who will directly oversee the team's day-to-day operations.

Read More

 ( Adam Hunger)
( Adam Hunger)

Jets DE Sheldon Richardson says head coach Todd Bowles has been more strict than in the past, per Darryl Slater of NJ.com. 

Bowles has been left with a young team following the Jets' roster purge that including veterans like C Nick Mangold and LB David Harris. With his job possibly in jeopardy, he has been putting emphasis on working harder.

"It's completely different from the last couple years," Richardson said at minicamp. "A lot more strict now. We weren't loose [in the past], but it's a lot more strict now. It's even more enforced than what it has been in the past."

Tags: Brandon Marshall, David Harris, Muhammad Wilkerson, Nick Mangold, Sheldon Richardson
Read More

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

Jets LB Lorenzo Mauldin turned himself in to authorities Wednesday morning in Manhattan for his alleged role in a nightclub attack that took place on April 2, according to TMZ Sports.

Mauldin, who is also being sued in civil court, was not arrested or charged after the incident. The Jets said earlier this month that they're aware of the lawsuit but had no further comment.

An NFL spokesman told ESPN's Rich Cimini that the league is looking into the incident. 

Tags: Lorenzo Mauldin
Read More

 (Timothy T. Ludwig)
(Timothy T. Ludwig)

Former Jets LB David Harris has agreed to a two-year deal with the New England Patriots worth $6.75 million, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.

The Patriots offered Harris more than the Jets offered him earlier this month prior to his release, reports Mike Florio of NBC Sports.

Harris visited with the Patriots on Wednesday after speaking with head coach Bill Belichick (and coaches from five other teams) earlier this week, notes Florio.

Tags: David Harris
Read More

Los Angeles Rams former and Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker Kevin Greene attends a NFL football game at between the Miami Dolphins and the Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. (Kirby Lee)
Los Angeles Rams former and Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker Kevin Greene attends a NFL football game at between the Miami Dolphins and the Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. (Kirby Lee)

The Jets were one of the worst pass-rushing teams in the NFL last year, finishing the season wtih just 27 sacks, and only 5.5 of them coming from the team's outside linebackers.

Todd Bowles brought in former NFL linebacker Kevin Greene as New York's new linebackers coach, and Greene has already expressed optimism towards his young group of players.

"The sky's the limit for all my kids," Greene told Daniel Popper of the Daily News. "I'm teaching my kids technique and fundamentals not based on athletic ability and skill. It's based on physicality. It's based on drive and desire and want-to and being a student of the game. ... All my kids can really be as good they want to be."

Tags: Darron Lee, Jordan Jenkins
Read More

 (Mike Dinovo)
(Mike Dinovo)

The Jets have signed former Bears WR Marquess Wilson, per ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Wilson only played in three games last season as he was on the IR with a broken foot. He is a big target, standing at 6-foot-4, 205 pounds, and will add some competition before training camp begins.

In four seasons with the Bears, Wilson played in 31 games, hauling in 56 receptions for 777 yards and 3 touchdowns. 

Read More

 (Dennis Schneidler)
(Dennis Schneidler)

The Jets new running backs coach, Stump Mitchell, believes RB Bilal Powell has Pro Bowl ability, according to ESPN's Rich Cimini. 

Mitchell has been impressed with Powell since joining the Jets this season, and he thinks if he didn't have to share time with another back, he has would attain Pro Bowl status. 

"Bilal is a Pro Bowl back if he was playing by himself, make no doubt about that," Mitchell said at minicamp.

Tags: Bilal Powell
Read More

Jacksonville Jaguars running back Chris Ivory is tackled by New York Jets outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins during the first quarter of a preseason game at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
Jacksonville Jaguars running back Chris Ivory is tackled by New York Jets outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins during the first quarter of a preseason game at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com

Projected Starters: Jordan Jenkins, Lorenzo Mauldin

Projected Backups: Dylan Donahue, Josh Martin

Tags: Deion Barnes, Jordan Jenkins, Lorenzo Mauldin, Mike Catapano, Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson
Read More

GEICO SportsNite: Jets minicamp 00:02:24
Quarterback Christian Hackenberg and defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson break down Jets minicamp and their expectations for the season.

Quarterback Christian Hackenberg and Defensive Lineman Sheldon Richardson break down Jets minicamp and their expectations for the season.

Tags: Christian Hackenberg, Sheldon Richardson
Read More

Former Jets LB Larry Grantham dies at age 78: Larry Grantham, a member of the Jets' only Super Bowl team in 1969, died on Tuesday at the age of 78. Apart from being a Super Bowl Champion, Grantham has been enshrined in the Jets Ring of Honor as well. 

Elsewhere in New York sports the Mets dropped a slugfest to the Dodgers, the Yankees lose their top prospect to injury, and the NBA draft is just two days away. 

Read More

 ( Adam Hunger)
( Adam Hunger)

The Jets' roster purge and commitment to begin rebuilding this season earned them a "C+" offseason grade, per ESPN's Rich Cimini.

As the offseason is normally used to rebuild rosters, the Jets tore theirs down thanks to move made by owner Woody Johnson. Among the roster cuts were LB David Harris and WR Eric Decker, which saved the Jets almost $14 million in payroll alone. C Nick Mangold and CB Darrelle Revis were also part of the 11 veterans the Jets go rid of this offseason. 

Cimini said the grade should be worse considering the Jets now have one of the worst rosters in the NFL, but looking at the big picture, the Jets are acknowledging their rebuild and will have $80 million to work with next offseason.

Read More

New York Jets running back Bilal Powell leaps over Miami Dolphins safety Isa Abdul-Quddus during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Jets running back Bilal Powell leaps over Miami Dolphins safety Isa Abdul-Quddus during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com

Projected Starter: Matt Forte

Projected Backups: Bilal Powell, Elijah McGuire

Tags: Bilal Powell, Matt Forte
Read More

GEICO SportsNite: Larry Grantham 00:00:26
Michelle Yu reports on the passing of former Jets linebacker Larry Grantham, a member of the Jets Ring of Honor, who was 78 years old.

The Jets announced former LB Larry Grantham, a Ring of Honor member and Super Bowl III champion, has died at age 78.

Grantham opted to join the AFL's New York Titans despite being drafted in the NFL by the Baltimore Colts in 1960. The Titans became the Jets in 1963, and Grantham would stay with them until his retirement in 1972. 

He was the starting linebacker for the Jets' Super Bowl III championship team where he called all the plays on defense. Grantham played in 175 career games, and was a five-time AFL All-Star and a five-time all-NFL selection. 

Read More

GEICO SportsNite: Jets receivers 00:01:37
Jeane Coakley talks to Quincy Enunwa to discuss his expectations for himself and the young receivers for the upcoming season.

SNY's Jeane Coakley talks to Quincy Enunwa after the conclusion of Jets minicamp to discuss his expectations for the upcoming season.

Tags: Quincy Enunwa
Read More

Former Jets wide receiver signed a deal with the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.  (Bill Wippert/AP)
Former Jets wide receiver signed a deal with the Tennessee Titans on Sunday. (Bill Wippert/AP)

Former Jets wide receiver Eric Decker is now a Tennessee Titan after agreeing to a deal on Sunday. 

Elsewhere, Jacob deGrom homers, the Yankees drop their sixth straight, Bradley Wright-Phillips scores twice and the Rangers, Islanders and Devils announce their protected players list ahead of the NHL Expansion Draft. 

Read More

Eric Decker (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)
Eric Decker (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)

Former Jets wide receiver Eric Decker agreed to a contract with the Tennessee Titans, the team announced Sunday.

Decker, 30, played 33 games with the Jets over the past three seasons, totaling 163 catches, 2,183 receiving yards and 19 touchdowns.

Decker had appeared healthy entering organized team activities in May after he missed 13 games last season due to rotator cuff and hip injuries.

New York released him last Monday when they were unable to find a trading partner. The Jets will face a $1.5 million cap hit this year and next after releasing Decker.

Tags: Eric Decker, Tennessee Titans
Read More

 (Ed Mulholland)
(Ed Mulholland)

RB Matt Forte says the Jets aren't tanking the season, despite the fact that they've cut the majority of their veteran players this offseason.

"It's a good thing we don't operate off of what the fans think and what everybody on the outside thinks," Forte said, according to The Record. "What we think as a team, that's what's going to happen. And none of us on the team think that we're going to tank. So all I have to say about that is: Bring it."

The Jets, who went 5-11 last season, have cut Brandon MarshallEric DeckerDavid HarrisDarrelle RevisNick MangoldNick Folk, and Breno Giacomini since the season ended. They also declined their option on Ryan Clady.

Tags: Matt Forte
Read More

 (Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports)
(Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - It's really quite an accomplishment for the Jets to come off a disappointing and perhaps disastrous 5-11 season and find a way to get worse. But they did it. They purged their roster of most of their veterans and replaced them with untested, unknown players. They're playing the long game, even though their short term looks rather bleak.

Who knows if they're "tanking" with their eyes on a top draft pick next season? Maybe they're just acknowledging the need to experience short-term pain for long-term gain. Whatever it is, there isn't a lot of hope for the 2017 season. Their eyes are on 2018, or perhaps beyond.

Read More

Rookie Marcus Maye on minicamp 00:01:51
SNY's Jeane Coakley chats with Jets rookie safety Marcus Maye about his first minicamp in the NFL.

SNY's Jeane Coakley chats with Jets rookie safety Marcus Maye about his first minicamp in the NFL.

The Jets selected Maye in the second round of Apri's NFL Draft.

Read More

Jets quarterbacks practice during minicamp on Wednesday. (Julio Cortez/AP)
Jets quarterbacks practice during minicamp on Wednesday. (Julio Cortez/AP)

Jets coach Todd Bowles said Thursday there is no frontrunner for the srarting quarterback job. 

Elsewhere, the Yankees lose in extra innings, Juan Lagares is injurede in a Mets loss and the Giants ink their first-round pick. 

Read More

GEICO SportsNite: Jets 00:02:10
Jeane Coakley talks to Jets coach Todd Bowles as they wrap up spring practices about the quarterback competition and the rookie safeties.

Jeane Coakley talks to Jets coach Todd Bowles as they wrap up spring practices about the quarterback competition and the rookie safeties.


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

Jets DE Sheldon Richardson wants to stay with the team for the rest of his caeer, but is not open to giving a hometown discount. 

The Jets, who finished 5-11 last season, are entering a rebuilding phase. But Richardson wants to be a part of it.

"A lot of guys just want to go jump on a bandwagon," Richardson told Manish Mehta of the NY Daily News earlier this week. "Older guys. Later in their career, it's easy to go jump into a good situation. It's a free market, so by all means, do your thing. But me personally, I like to make history, not be a part of it."

Tags: Sheldon Richardson
Read More

 ( Adam Hunger)
( Adam Hunger)

Jets head coach Todd Bowles insinuated the team's starting QB is job still up for grabs, noting Thursday that there is currently no frontrunner.

The Jets, who are expected to turn to Josh McCown as their starter, have also been giving reps to Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty.

McCown, 37, signed a one-year deal worth $6 million this offseason.

Tags: Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg
Read More