Aug 3, 2013; Cortland, NY, USA; New York Jets offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg (left) talks with head coach Rex Ryan during training camp at SUNY Cortland. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
We have a new term we can use to describe Marty’s offense with the New York Jets. OK, so I created the term, but it is appropriate, and it works.
And it is a great reason, in and of itself, to put our trust in Marty Mornhinweg moving forward.
Marty Morhinweg arrived on the scene with his great reputation. As a branch off of the Bill Walsh coaching tree, he is a disciple of the West Coast offense, and has had a lot of success in this league. As a coordinator, wherever he has gone, he has turned offenses around, often into top ten groups.
However, to paraphrase Frank Sinatra, Marty did it his way. What is that way? Pass first, which is understandable in part. The West Coast offense has always been based in the theory of pass first. We have talked about this many times in the past, how the West Coast offense uses the short passing routes to open up the running attack. That is what made part of its uniqueness, it being pass first.
So that is what Marty brought to the table for the first two weeks of the new year, a pass first offense. The Jets’ pass to run ratio was approximately 65-35, and we all were excited. When did a Jets’ offense use the pass as a weapon, and aggressively at that? It has been a long time, that’s for sure.
To the team’s credit, it was partially successful. The Jets won their opening game over the Buccaneers. Geno Smith was an efficient 24-38 in week one against Tampa Bay. They lost to the New England Patriots on the road by only three points. The Jets did not quit, and nearly were able to beat their arch rivals from New England.
However, we learned a lot about the team in those two weeks as well. For one, we learned that Geno Smith is not ready to simply throw the ball all over the field. Three interceptions in 11 minutes against New England was clear evidence of that. For a rookie quarterback to be successful early, they must have help from the players around them. Unless you are a rare talent like Andrew Luck, or Peyton Manning, to name just a couple, a rookie cannot carry the team on his own.
The help, however, wasn’t there like it needed to be. They didn’t have much of a running game over the first two weeks, and there is no reason to rehash the dropped pass situation. No doubt this caused Geno Smith to force passes, leading to the three interceptions.
Following the game against New England, Rex Ryan called for a more balanced offense. He admitted that the run didn’t need to be “favored”, but he hoped for more balance.
So what did Marty Mornhinweg do? On Sunday, he invented a new brand of game plan, called the “Rex Coast” offense. He actually favored the running game, but still attacked downfield. It paid off, and it paid off in spades.
The ratio of run to pass, in terms of number of plays, was 41-29. The Jets rushed for 182 yards, which was nice to see, but with that, they still attacked through the air. The Jets posted an average gain per pass play of 11.4 yards. That, my friends, is huge. Not only did it create a career day for Bilal Powell with 149 yards, and Santonio Holmes with 154 yards, but it also created a historic day for the FRANCHISE.
Sunday was the first time in team history that the Jets had a 300 yard passer, 100 yard rusher, and two 100 yard receivers. That was the product of the new gameplan. It got the running game going, and the passing game was an attacking passing game.
It was only one game, granted. But the signs are good. If the progression continues, the “Rex Coast” offense is something we will be proud of for many years to come.