Is an Identity Necessary to be Successful as an Offense?


May 4, 2012; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets offensive coordinator Tony Sparano during minicamp at the Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Jim O

We have talked a lot about how the Jets offense didn’t have an identity in 2011. Is one necessary?

The Jets say that one is necessary, and the man to bring that identity back to the Jets is Tony Sparano. He is making it clear, even early.

“We know what he wants to do,” right guard Brandon Moore said last week. “He wants to run the ball. He wants to use play-action. He wants to get the ball down the field. He voices that every day. Everybody understands our philosophy and what our makeup on offense will be.”

The Jets had their identity in 2009 the famous “Ground and Pound” mantra.  Since then, the Jets, as we know, have focused less and less on the run, until the climax last season when the team threw 59 passes in the loss to the Giants.

They were basically game plan specific in 2011, and we know where that got them.  Now, they will go back to the bread and butter approach of past Rex teams, run that football.

You can make either approach work.  Our friends from Foxboro make the game plan specific approach work, but that is an easy task when Tom Brady is in charge of the offense.  For teams with mortal quarterbacks at the helm, this approach is more difficult since there is a lot more to learn.

The Jets, in going back to ground and pound, will have the opportunity to get good at something they have been good at before, running the rock.  The downside, though, if they aren’t careful, is that they could be come predictible.  They could also have difficulty coming back in games.

What the deciding factor has to be, what system is best for your players? The Jets feel the best system for Mark Sanchez is to be run-heavy. Here are three excellent reasons why, courtesy of Jets’ beat writer Rich Cimini:

1. Fewer pass attempts, less opportunity for turnovers. 2. Running sets up play-action, which freezes linebackers and creates passing lanes in the seam and intermediate/deep zones. Statistically, Sanchez is more effective when throwing deep; his accuracy issues hamper his ability to operate a short, controlled passing game. 3. An effective running game means more eight-man fronts by the defense, resulting in single-high safety looks — an easier defense to read for Sanchez.

I personally believe that this will be the best way for the Jets.  They will have to execute, as I have mentioned in the past, but if they can do it, this will put them in the best position to win.