What will the Jets offense look like in 2013? No one quite knows yet, but it will be an amalgam of the philosophies of new offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg and head coach Rex Ryan. Who the starting quarterback will be is still up in the air but if Geno Smith wins the job both coaches have been down the road of having to start rookies. The meshing of these two coaches’ philosophies will decide what direction the Jets go this year and how rookie QB Geno Smith develops.
In 2009, the Jets started Mark Sanchez immediately after being drafted in the 1st round. Rex Ryan decided it was in the best interests of that year’s team to run the ball behind the league’s best offensive line and take advantage of having Thomas Jones, Shonn Greene and Leon Washington in the backfield. The Jets ran the ball 607 times compared to only 393 passes, a 60/40 split. Sanchez’s role was minimized and it was made clear that his job was not to lose games for a team that revolved around defense and running the football. His 6.7 yards per attempt showed that he was throwing short passes and trying not to make the big mistake. Sanchez had his ups and downs with 12 touchdowns compared to 20 interceptions but the team finished 9-7, made the playoffs, won two road playoff games and were one win away from the Superbowl.
With the Eagles last year Marty Mornhinweg had the unenviable task of reworking his offense on the fly when an injury to starting quarterback Michael Vick in Week 10 forced rookie Nick Foles into the starting lineup. While Vick is the gunslinger who scrambles out of trouble and throws the deep ball proficiently, Foles is a pocket quarterback who likes to throw in rhythm and is limited athletically. Mornhinweg took advantage of Foles skill set and hid his inexperience by having him throw 157 of his 238 throws either at the line of scrimmage or short routes. This quick, short passing game (a staple of the West Coast Offense) helped Foles complete 77.7% of those short throws and allowed him to complete 61% overall for 1699 yards in just 7 games (6 starts). The Eagles passed 613 times overall and ran 413 times for a 60/40 ratio favoring the pass. Foles also had 6 touchdowns to 5 interceptions during that period as well. The Eagles defense and offensive line play were their ultimate downfall as they finished the season 1-5.