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What the New York Jets Can Expect from Marty Mornhinweg

By Alan Schechter
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Sep 30, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick (7) talks with offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg during the first quarter against the New York Giants at Lincoln Financial Field. The Giants 19-17. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

There is a new sheriff in town. OK, maybe not a new sheriff, but a new offensive leader in town, and that man is Marty Mornhinweg. We have talked about it a lot, this West Coast offense. We have talked about the basic premises of the system, and we have talked about who may or may not fit into the system in terms of current Jets.

Now, let’s talk about what the Jets can expect specifically from this new coordinator. We can look at where Mornhinweg has come from, as well as look at some numbers, and get some insight into what this team is going to see. We can learn a little bit about what this offense is going to be like under Marty Mornhinweg. Let’s talk about it.

First of all, we know that the Jets offense will be quarterback friendly. How do we know that? Because Marty’s quarterbacks always have a high completion percentage with him. The best example of this is Michael Vick. As deadly of a weapon as he was in Atlanta, Vick never posted a completion percentage of over 56%. Then he goes to Philly, and plays with Mornhinweg as his offensive coordinator. Once he took over and got his chance to play, he posted percentages of 62%, 59%, and 58%.

This is a great idea for Mark Sanchez, Greg McElroy, or whomever else is brought to Florham Park to play quarterback. Mark Sanchez, for example, is lacking in a major area, known as confidence. His lack of confidence is well deserved, don’t get me wrong. The way he played at the end of 2012, he deserves to not feel great about his play. Nothing could help him more than a shot of confidence. Coming from a West Coast system at USC, Mornhinweg might just be just what the doctor ordered for Mark Sanchez.

If he can get in an offensive system that is based on short, quick hitting patterns that are easy to complete, Mark Sanchez’s confidence will sky rocket. No matter what a lot of the fan base thinks, Mark Sanchez played well when his confidence is up. If he can’t be moved, this could be a way to save him and make him a viable contributor in 2013.

The other element that you can expect is scripted plays. How do we know that? Look at Marty Mornhinweg’s work history.

Marty is a descendant of the Bill Walsh coaching tree, the architect of the West Coast offense. Mike Holmgren worked for Bill Walsh, and Mornhinweg worked for Holmgren. Holmgren used a version of Walsh’s program, so Mornhinweg got to see it first hand.

What he saw was the game opening with scripted plays. Bill Walsh used to script the first 25 plays of the game, but most of his disciples scripted 15. We should expect Marty Mornhinweg to script 15 plays per game for the offense. The concept is to give the offense the confidence to know, “Hey, we go into this game, we know what we are going to do right off the top.”

That could help, or it could hurt. Mark Sanchez needs confidence. We have all seen him on the football field, looking like a headless chicken. Many times, he looks as if he doesn’t know what the heck he is doing out there. Scripting his plays might be the best way to help him. If he knows the plays going into the game, he might feel better about the throws that he is making.

But on the other hand, it does have the potential to backfire, again because of Mark Sanchez’s mind. You know how sometimes, OK a lot, he runs a play, and throws it to a guy because he has chosen that receiver as his target, no matter what happens? It’s like he says to himself that this play goes to this guy, and that is what I am going to make happen.

Well, if Mark Sanchez knows what plays are coming, he also might get locked into what receivers are the primary on what plays. He might go in with not only the play script, but the script that says who he is going to throw to. He might lock in on specific receivers on each play, and that, as we have seen before, will be a disaster.

Just a little insight on what we can expect this fall from Marty Mornhinweg. One thing is for sure, it will be much different that we are used to.

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