The New York Jets made the right call by finally moving on from offensive coordinator John Morton who failed to use common sense in certain situations on offense.
After several weeks of pending speculation, the New York Jets officially fired offensive coordinator John Morton on Wednesday, and will now be looking for a new play caller. Morton lasted just one year as the Jets coordinator and did a solid job with the pieces he had to work with, especially when you consider how low the expectations were for the Jets offense coming into the season.
Reports are now coming out that Morton’s firing might have less to do with the overall success of the offense and more to do with a tumultuous relationship with head coach Todd Bowles. The two personalities clashed all throughout the year, and that tension and friction were present between them behind the scenes. Evidently, Bowles wasn’t the only one who had issues with Morton’s play calling as other assistants spoke out about their displeasure with the team’s coordinator.
Morton, who took over the job following Chan Gailey’s retirement, comes from the coaching tree of Sean Payton, Jim Harbaugh, Jon Gruden and had a very “his way or the highway” approach. Despite all the controversy that took place between him and the other coaches on the staff, Morton got a career year out of several members of the Jets offense including quarterback Josh McCown.
McCown had career highs in completion percentage (67.3), passing yards (2,926), passing touchdowns with 18, and rushing touchdowns with 5. Bilal Powell also had a career year with 722 rushing yards to go with five touchdowns, and in just his second season wide receiver Robby Anderson caught 63 passes for 941 yards and seven touchdowns.
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Morton was a very pass happy play caller who choose to throw the ball rather than run it in short yardage situations which did come back to bite the Jets on more than one occasion throughout the course of the season. The example that comes to mind the most is when the Jets had the ball first and goal from the one against Carolina and opted to throw the ball three times coming up short in every one of them.
The next question for the Jets now will be who takes over for Morton? Quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates is an obvious name that comes to mind since he’s been in the system for a year and is comfortable with all the coaches. Another interesting name could be Todd Haley who was relieved of his duties this week as the Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator. Haley has been known to be a bit of a tough personality to get along with, but enjoyed terrific success during his six-year run as Steelers offensive coordinator, and could bring a refreshing change of culture to a franchise that has struggled offensively over the last decade.