Jul 27, 2013; Cortland, NY, USA; General view of a New York Jets helmet during training camp at SUNY Cortland. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
In case you missed it last night, the Jets finally announced that they have hired Chan Gailey to be their next offensive coordinator, replacing Marty Mornhinweg after two seasons. Gailey spent his most recent time in the NFL as head coach of the Bills from 2010-2012. On his resume include offensive coordinator stops in Pittsburgh, Miami and Kansas City. Gailey had been targeted by the Jets for days, it was a “done deal”, then it wasn’t, and then last night, it was.
Our good buddy Scott Salmon wrote a great piece on his site, Gang Green Nation, all about the Chan Gailey offense. It’s a great read, and will bring up some points about Gailey that many of you, myself included, may not have even realized.
There are some positives to Chan Gailey coming on board. But, I still believe that the negatives outweigh the positives, so I am not as enamored with bringing Chan Gailey on board as others are. Here’s why.
Next: The Spread Offense
Dec 21, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterbackGeno Smith
(7) drops back to pass against the New England Patriots during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
There is a lot of talk about Chan Gailey running the spread offense. The idea is that since it is similar to what Geno Smith ran in college, this will bring out his potential. It might. It might not. The offense might be similar to his college offense, but it doesn’t mean the game will slow down for him like it did in college. It took him two years, and still wasn’t great at running the current offense. To think that this will turn him around quickly isn’t realistic, no matter how good you think Chan Gailey is.
A different offense is no replacement for football smarts. Geno Smith has not given us consistent football smarts. The offensive coordinator doesn’t make that a guarantee to change.
Secondly, when running the spread offense, Gailey doesn’t use the power run game much. He likes the quicker stuff, to the outside. This basically minimizes the Jets best running back, Chris Ivory. It doesn’t play into his skill set. That means we may see a great deal more of Bilal Powell. Are you convinced that Bilal Powell can be the primary running back? I’m not. They may sign C.J. Spiller, but that is no guarantee.
Chan Gailey’s offense just may not play to the strengths of the current skilled players.
Next: Downfield Passing
Dec 7, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Jets wide receiverPercy Harvin
(16) rushes against the Minnesota Vikings in the first quarter at TCF Bank Stadium. The Vikings win 30-24. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
Chan Gailey likes to put emphasis on the downfield passing game. That is an exciting prospect to all Jets fans, I get that. I also agree with Scott that it makes Percy Harvin a very interesting weapon choice. But what about the other weapons? Do we regard Eric Decker as a great deep threat? Not really. We know that Jeremy Kerley isn’t one either, that’s not his role. Gailey may bring a downfield passing attack, and may improve the play of Geno Smith, but they still need vertical threats to throw the ball to.
It will take work to give Chan Gailey the offense that he needs to get it done.
Next: Previous Experience
Jul 26, 2014; Berea, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterbackTyler Thigpen
(4) during training camp at the Cleveland Browns training facility. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
A lot has been made of Chan Gailey’s ability to get a lot out of mediocre players, and how that also gives Geno Smith the chance to excel under his watch. A lot of it is true. A big example is career backup quarterback, Tyler Thigpen. While running the Chiefs’ offense, Gailey mentored Thigpen to 18 touchdowns versus 12 interceptions, and 3,200 all purpose yards. Gailey deserves a great deal of credit for this.
But, it helped a lot to have Larry Johnson in his prime, running it for over four yards per carry, and Jamaal Charles as a SECONDARY option. I think any quarterback is going to improve when Tony Gonzalez is the guy at tight end as the safety valve option. My point is that yes, he got a lot out of Thigpen, but Thigpen was in a good scenario to succeed as well.
He also never showed the clear lack of football intelligence that Geno Smith has. It’s hard to teach that, even if you believe Chan Gailey is a great hire.
Next: Past Experience
Dec 7, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinatorTodd Bowles
against the Kansas City Chiefs at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Chiefs 17-14. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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And finally, I question Todd Bowles’ choice to run his offense because the guy has been out of football for two years. Like it or not, things change. Gailey has done nothing in the sport after being fired by the Bills, following the 2012 season. If Chan Gailey was so good, why hasn’t he been a coordinator, positions coach, or anything since?
Wasn’t there somebody that has been in the league, anyone, that could have been chosen?
I am just not sold on Chan Gailey. Hopefully he will prove me wrong.