After a disappointing 2012 season, the Jets completely cleaned a house full of inadequate coaches. Former offensive coordinator Tony Sparano was first on the list after the dismal showing for the Jets last season. Gang Green’s defense has been consistently good under the leadership of Rex Ryan, but the offense has often looked shaky.
They now look to bounce back and have high hopes for the upcoming season under the guidance of the new offensive coordinator, Marty Mornhinweg. Mornhinweg was the offensive coordinator for the Detroit Lions (2001-2002) and the Philadelphia Eagles (2006-2012). His system puts a much greater emphasis on the passing game, which is a strong departure from the Jets' recent ground and pound offensive style.
All eyes will be on Mornhinweg as he makes his decision on the team's starting quarterback. This is the biggest question and the biggest concern for Jets’ fans this offseason. Will he choose the young, talented, but unproven Geno Smith or the experienced, clutch, but inconsistent Mark Sanchez?
When evaluating the Jets’ second round pick in the draft, Mornhinweg gave fans a glimpse of what the rookie will need to do in order to capture the starting job.
“Geno Smith’s challenge is to continue to progress so when he gets (an) opportunity to play in the Green and White and the preseason games he can go in and function at a high level,” mentioned the Jets new offensive coordinator. "Geno Smith has a lot to prove if he is going to win the starting position. He has to be better than a five-year player, which is very difficult for a rookie quarterback. However, Smith seems to have a large amount of natural talent at this position because Mornhinweg believed, “He was just smooth as silk from under center at his Pro Day”.
On the other hand, Mark Sanchez is coming off a disastrous season, and he will undoubtedly be booed when he takes the field. Mornhinweg insisted that the two players will be splitting repetitions with the first team and splitting time in the preseason games.
“It’s almost hourly-to-hourly on virtually all positions and certainly the quarterback position,” admitted Mornhinweg.
The Jets' offensive coordinator is also very optimistic about his pool of running backs. He thinks they are a tough group of guys and have a lot of talent. In the coordinator’s mind, John Griffin is capable of being an NFL back, but he needs to work on reliability especially with fumbling the ball. According to Mornhinweg, Chris Ivory also looks like a quality player, but needs more repetitions in catching the ball out of the backfield.
Santonio Holmes has been another question mark for the Jets after his LisFranc injury, but the Jets have contingency plans in place in the event he cannot return in time for the regular season opener.
“We have plan A, B, C, D, E and all the way down” claimed Mornhinweg.
Mornhinweg thinks that the Jets receiving core will be prepared even without Holmes. However, if he becomes available in the middle of the season, then they are also ready for that.
The entire coaching staff is feeling the pressure from Jets' fans, but also embraces the challenge. Transitioning between three offensive coordinators in three years is never an easy thing, but there is still reason for optimism with Mornhinweg calling the offensive shots in 2013.
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