Jets Coordinators Look Ahead to Sunday
By Alan Schechter
Sept 9, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets offensive coordinator Tony Sparano talks to New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow (15) and New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) during the first half at MetLIfe Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE
The Jets are coming off an impressive 48-28 win over division opponent Buffalo. They had little time to revel in it, with the tough task of going up against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on Sunday. Coordinators Tony Sparano and Mike Pettine are busily getting their squads ready. They looked ahead to the game in their press conferences this week. First, coach Sparano talked about leaning on veterans when going into a hostile environment:
One of the things is that you lean on your veteran players that have been there. It sounds to me like it didn’t go well, it obviously didn’t go well the last time they were there, but it had gone well a time before that. There are some guys in the room that have won there and there are some guys who obviously recently lost a big game down there. That’s all in the past. Every year is a new year. I know that sounds kind of corny. (With) our football team, the thing that I think has been impressive is our veteran players and what they’ve done with the young players on the team. Having the experience of a (Nick) Mangold or Brick (D’Brickashaw Ferguson), these type of people, a Holmes, who has played there, and Sanchez, I think (sharing their experiences is) important to the young players like Stephen who have not played in Pittsburgh. I think that you can help them with that information and from a coaching standpoint, all of us have played there. We’ve been in that environment before and we’ve been in big environments before, so I think you can talk about those things too. We know it’s going to be a physical football game. We’re preparing for a physical football game. That’s the way it’s going to be played. Anytime you play Pittsburgh, it doesn’t matter where you play them, it’s going to be that kind of game.
When you have the right mix of guys, this is what happens. The young players lean on the veterans, and together they can play well in a hostile environment. It will be interesting to see how the offense works on Sunday.
Coach Sparano was evasive on the use of no-huddle, which the Broncos had success against the Steelers with. Look for it to come in spurts, but not to dominate the game, as it doesn’t play to Mark’s strength as much.
Aug 15, 2012; Cortland, NY, USA; New York Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine talks with the defensive unit during training camp at SUNY Cortland. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-US PRESSWIRE
Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine talked about how the style of the Steelers’ offense has changed and evolved:
The style’s changed some. They made a change, it was for a reason. There’s much more emphasis on two-back sets then there has been in the past. They’ve certainly done a good job of kind of blending the run game, where they want to come down hill and double team you and move you off the ball. They blended that with the explosive athletes on the outside, where it’s any of those guys that get the ball in their hands, whether it’s on a screen behind the line of scrimmage, or on a vertical route, they can go the distance. I think they had a mindset of what they wanted to look like offensively, and they built it around Todd Haley.
Haley has certainly brought a different feel to the Steelers offense, although they already were pushing the ball down the field more than they used to, before he got there. This is certainly not the same offense that the Jets went up against in the 2010 title game. Tomorrow we will see if they are up to the task.