First, an obvious reason:
We can talk about the return of the ground and pound all we like. Tony Sparano is getting the team to a physical style of play, which is great. He is a perfectionist, and is not letting his team get away with any mistakes. Also great.
Tony Sparano will estabish an identity of running the football from day one. Don’t get me wrong, this is wonderful news. We can talk about this, as well as how his offense is apparently easier to understand that Schotty’s.
But if the offensive line doesn’t open up the holes, none of it matters. If Wayne Hunter and company watch linemen shove them out of the way, the offense will be no more effective under Sparano than Schottenheimer.
Now, we will talk about the ripple effects the line has:
IF the offensive line doesn’t perform, it has a major effect on the passing game.
Mark Sanchez comes under fire for his decision making, and it is understandable. You can watch a Jets game and for all of the great throws that he makes, you have to scratch your head on many of the other throws.
But, a lot of that falls on the offensive line. Even when you have a great offensive line, the quarterback’s decision making time is approximately 3 seconds. Count that in your head. We fans don’t do a lot in three seconds, do we? A quarterback has that amount of time to choose what throw to make, and make it accurately. When you have poor offensive line play, that time goes down to 1.5 seconds, maybe even less.
Anyone would make bad decisions when you have 1.5 seconds to make them. Of if a guy over 300 pounds is running after you, same thing.
When the offensive line breaks down, all elements break down.