Normally, I don’t spend a lot of time on assistant coaches. Whomever our coach wants to keep around is typically fine by me. But, with our assistants still in limbo, there are a couple of names on that list that I have strong opinions about. The first was Karl Dunbar, whom the Jets desperately need to keep around.
This other coach is one that the Jets could desperately do without. I am talking this morning about wide receiver coach Sanjay Lal.
There has been a lot of talk about the offense over the last couple of years. We have gone from a struggling quarterback that doesn’t make the guys around him better in Mark Sanchez, to a rookie that showed his flashes, but struggled as well in Geno Smith. It’s not all on the coaching.
The wide receiver depth chart is not exactly filled with “A” level talent either. Santonio Holmes, Jeremy Kerley, Stephen Hill, Chaz Schilens, Clyde Gates, David Nelson, and all the rest, haven’t put any fear in the hearts of ANYONE. Can these guys play? To varying degrees, sure. Jeremy Kerley, for instance, has become a viable threat in the slot. But the point is, nobody on this roster is gameplanned for.
The problem is not all on Sanjay Lal. But he is far from a part of the solution.
How can we tell? Just look at the progression, or lack thereof, of Stephen Hill, and it tells you all that you need to know.
Stephen Hill came into the league with a lot of potential, but at least a lot of questions as well. Due to the type of offense played at Georgia Tech, he didn’t have a lot of experience running a pro style route tree. He’s fast, and can get deep, but was far from a proficient route runner.
We also learned that his hands were terrible. Right away, we saw that he catches the ball against his body, instead of taking it with his hands, like the good ones do. This led to a lot of drops, and eventually dwindling playing time.
This is where coach Lal should have come in. After two years, Hill still doesn’t run a decent pass route, at least not consistently. He can’t be trusted in an offense like Marty’s, that is entirely based on timing. His hands haven’t improved either. Yes, much of it is natural talent, but the coach has to take what a player has trouble with and make it better.
Sanjay Lal doesn’t do that with Stephen Hill or anyone else. That is why he has to go.