At quarterback things are similar for Sparano, going from Chad Henne and Matt Moore to Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow. Sanchez will be the starter, and Sparano has the advantage of already having to deal with a quarterback on the hot seat in Henne. Sanchez’ strengths (play action, bootlegs) are also very clear at this point so Sparano can focus on getting Sanchez to play within his game, which an effective ground attack would make easier. Last year Moore showed a similar ability to Sanchez in avoiding pass rushers, something Sparano mentioned when he took the job with the Jets. Knowing this, Sparano should be inclined to let Sanchez move a little more, possibly running more bootlegs. As for Tebow, we all know he’ll be used in some outside the box type situations such as the Wildcat, which Sparano has experience with.
Quick Analysis: Similar scenario to last year’s Dolphins but more pressure on Sanchez to be efficient.
The starting Dolphins line last year included Richie Incognito, Jake Long, Mike Pouncey, Marc Columbo and Vernon Carey. This compares to the projected Jets line of D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Matt Slauson, Nick Mangold, Brandon Moore and of course, Wayne Hunter. Both teams best lineman are their left tackle and their center. Long is a pro bowl tackle and Pouncey had a great rookie year. The Jets have Ferguson who should bounce back after an off year and Mangold, arguable the best center in football. Pass blocking is not the Jets strength. So last year when they started off by throwing the ball all the time, it got the lineman into a funk they never really recovered from even after returning to the run game. Assuming Sparano sticks to the ground game, the line should fare better. Getting into a rhythm early in the year is important for the line. Additionally, Sparano came up the ranks as a line coach, so there is hope he can get Slauson and Hunter to perform at a higher level this season. Slauson should also be recovered from his nagging shoulder injury. Sparano likes to use two tight end sets, using them as blockers, which should give the line more support especially Hunter at right tackle. Fasano was a better blocker than Keller is, so it will be interesting to see how Keller is used.
Quick Analysis: More experienced line than last year’s Dolphins however weak spots remain at right tackle and possibly left guard.
To sum it up, Sparano is looking at an offense with a much more physical backfield that should translate well into his scheme. While they lack backs who can break big plays, they have the personnel to wear down opposing defenses. Additionally, if Joe McKnight can hold onto the football he may give them that missing speed element. The Jets receiving corps provide Sparano with Chaz Schilens and Stephen Hill, who have the raw attributes needed to stretch the field and open up routes for Santonio Holmes, Dustin Keller and Jeremy Kerley. This receiving group is an undoubted improvement over that of last year’s Dolphins. The offensive line still has question marks and their quarterback needs to perform. Sparano has dealt with both these issues in Miami. His experience could prove instrumental to getting the Jets offense back on track. Compared to Sparano’s Dolphin team of a year ago, the Jets personnel seems to fit his game plan much better at the skill positions. However the decisive factor for his offense will be line and quarterback play, which will dictate how effective this offense can be, especially in a division of improving defenses.