The more things change, the more things stay the same. It’s a saying that is true in many walks of life, but it is especially true with the New York Jets. Let me tell you what I mean.
Marty Mornhinweg comes in here with his “West Coast” offense. We have talked about how the system works, short passes used to open up the running game. We have talked chapter and verse about the relationship between the quarterback and the offense.
But how does the offense perform on the field? Geno Smith has his days where he keeps things close, and doesn’t take too many chances. The results are a win, the young man is excited, and the Jets’ fan base is ready to win a World Championship.
On other days, Geno forgets how to protect the football. Instead, he replaces the good decisions in favor of throws that give us all ulcers. The throws are risky, and more often than not lead to a turnover. Terrible decision-making that doesn’t seem to be getting any better.
What happens to the running game? Some times, it is dominant. Especially of late, when Chris Ivory has run for 100+ yards in two of the last three games, the running game has been like days of old. Other days, we don’t see much from the running game at all. Week one, for example, the leading rusher on the team was Geno Smith. The rest of the backs did nothing, and that was in a win.
What about the win over the Atlanta Falcons? Our running attack never got going that night, as Bilal Powell led the team with 38 yards rushing. On other hand, in the first game against Buffalo (week 3), Bilal Powell set a career high with 149 rushing yards. Quite a day for the young Mr. Powell.
So, sometimes the Jets are a passing team. Sometimes they are a “ground and pound” team. Sometimes they are equally balanced. It’s different every week. The question I pose is, who are the 2013 Jets anyway? Well, we know what they are on defense. What are they on offense?
When you back through much of football history, the great football teams have an identity, especially on offense. The Lombardi Packers were identified by the power sweep. The 49ers were the “West Coast” offense in its purest form. The Giants in the 80’s were Northeast “Smashmouth” football.
Today? Same thing. Most teams are identified with their quarterbacks. The Colts were Peyton Manning, now Andrew Luck. The Patriots are Tom Brady, obviously. The Packers are Rodgers’ team, and the list goes on. But, the point is, all of these great teams have an identity. It’s one that is clear, and obvious every single week.
What is the Jets’ identity? Well, there is a bit of a dichotomy, despite what coach Ryan says, and what Marty Mornhinweg says. We have all see Marty’s teams in the past, he wants to throw the football. He wants to lead through the air, and have the run come off of it. Rex, despite what he ways, wants to run the ball. That is what he is made of.
Now, I am not accusing their being a problem between Marty and Rex, far from it. These two work well together, and have a good working relationship. This Jets’ offense has done some things we haven’t seen in a long time. However, they do need get together on an identity. When was the last time the Jets had one? I am not sure. What I do know, is that the Jets need one in order to take that next step.
The step up from mediocrity.