What Does Marty Mornhinweg Mean to the Quarterback Situation?

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Dec 19, 2012; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterbacks Mark Sanchez (6), and Greg McElroy (14) and Tim Tebow (15) run past head coach Rex Ryan during practice at the Jets training facility. Mandatory Credit: John Munson/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports

One of the biggest issues for the Jets heading into the 2013 season, now that a general manager and offensive coordinator are in place, is the quarterback situation. More to the point, who is going to be the quarterback come 2013? A big part of that decision is the system that the Jets are going to run. That is where Marty Mornhinweg comes in. Let’s talk a little bit more about what he does, and how that applies to the current cast of characters the Jets have at quarterback.

Marty Mornhinweg is a descendant of the Bill Walsh coaching tree, which means he runs a derivation of the “West Coast” offense. Let’s give a basic description of how it works. Basically, instead of using the run to open up the pass, it uses the short and intermediate passes to open up the run game. Most of the routes in this system are run within 15 yards of the line of scrimmage. They are timing based, horizontal routes, as opposed to “going vertical”, or down the field. Each play typically has 4-5 options available in it, the theory being that more options will be out in the passing lanes, cris-crossing, than the defense will be able to cover. It opens up running lanes and the deeper passes because with running and passing plays available at any down or distance, the defense has more to deal with than just looking for standard run plays on running downs, and passing plays on passing down. When run well, it is more of an unpredictable offense.

They also typically script 15-25 plays at the beginning of each game. Walsh would script 25, while most of his disciples reduced that to scripting 15 plays per game. The scripting gives the offense confidence going into each ball game, knowing what they are going to run early. They can practice it, and feel good about it.

How does it affect these quarterbacks? It gives them all the opportunities in the world, but yet is tough on them as well. I will explain what I mean on the next page.

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