Does the West Coast Offense Work for the Jets Wide Receivers?

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Dec. 23, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Chaz Schilens (85) runs with the ball against the San Diego Chargers during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Chargers won 27-17. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

We have been talking over the last couple of days about the West Coast offense, and how it will mix with the current Jets’ roster. We talked about how it affects the quarterback situation, and how Shonn Greene is not a good fit for the system. This morning, I wanted to take a look at the group of wide receivers as a whole, and talk about whether any of them are a good fit for the West Coast system.

To reiterate, the West Coast offense is based on a series of horizontal pass routes, based on timing. All of the receivers flood the defense with a lot of different crossing routes, in an attempt to overload the defense with more routes than defenders. To achieve that goal, you need reliable wide receivers. They need to have good hands, and be able to make the catch in stride and go for yards after the catch, otherwise known as YAC. You also have to have receivers that are physical and good with their hands. What do I mean? Well, when you are coming off the line for short to intermediate routes, you are more often than not going to face press coverage. Your receivers in the West Coast system have to be able to get off the initial “hand-check”, beat press coverage and get to their spot. If not, the system will be a disaster, because the QB throws to a spot the receiver is supposed to be at. If he isn’t, it’s a problem.

Let’s talk about the Jets current cast of characters and how they fit these roles.

We start by talking about the process of getting off press coverage. This is where all the Jets receivers have trouble, other than Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards. You all saw it this year. Once Santonio Holmes was lost for the season, did you feel comfortable with ANY receiver getting separation off the line of scrimmage? Jeremy Kerley got better, but nobody was very proficient at it. Time and time again, we saw this younger group of wide receivers have trouble getting off the line. It wasn’t the only reason that Mark Sanchez had difficulty, but it certainly was a mitigating factor. Sanjay Lal will have to teach these guys well on this topic.

We will go into some of the other factors on the next page.

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