In order to compete in today’s NFL, you need to score points. No team in the divisional round put less than 28 on the scoreboard this past weekend and the heat is on the Jets to play catch-up this offseason in order to get their offense up to speed for 2013.
Last season, the Green & White ranked just 28th in points per game at 17.6. Five of the Green & White’s 31 TDs were of the return variety, so the offense actually averaged 15.4 points a contest. In half of their 16 outings, the Jets failed to score more than 10 offensive points.
If the Jets are going to compete with the big boys, they have to get their offense headed in the right direction. They have to figure out a way to throw the football down the field and get chunk plays — especially in the pass game but in the run game as well. The Jets combined to tie for a league-low of 45 plays of 20 yards (40 Pass, 5 Rush).
Now searching for his third offensive coordinator in three years, Rex Ryan wants to have an attack-style unit that is unpredictable. You probably won’t hear Ryan talk too much about the ground & pound in the future because that philosophy is one that is best kept in the past.
Publicly the Jets have kept very quiet this offseason. They haven’t commented on their GM or offensive coordinator searches, but we have heard the names being thrown around in media circles. Numerous outlets have reported the Jets will meet with former Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron, former Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, Bengals assistant Hue Jackson and Stanford offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton.
While Cameron, Mornhinweg and Jackson have been head coaches in the NFL, Hamilton has not served as a coordinator on the pro level.
Cameron, who was relieved of his duties as Ravens offensive coordinator in December and has experienced success a number of young QBs in his career including Joe Flacco, Philip Rivers and Drew Brees, was on the same staff as Ryan in Baltimore back in 2008. Teams do not have to allow assistants to interview for coordinator jobs, so the Jets will have to be granted permission if they want to speak with Jackson. Currently the Bengals secondary coach/assistant special teams coach, Jackson was Flacco’s QB coach in 2008 & ’09.
Having served as the Eagles offensive coordinator the past seven seasons, Mornhinweg most recently worked with Michael Vick and rookie Nick Foles. Mornhinweg is definitely a West Coast disciple while Cameron transitioned from run reliant early in Flacco’s career to more pass heavy in recent years. Jackson’s philosophy in Oakland was to combine a power game and take your shots down the field.
Hamilton, just 38 and someone who worked with the Jets for three seasons under Herm Edwards, called his Stanford linemen “playmakers” and put an emphasis on running the football to open up the passing game.
Just like the GM position, the Jets probably won’t comment on the OC interview process until it is complete. The Jets need a sound offensive system in place, but they also need playmakers once 2013 commences. This is a scoring league and the Jets need their scoreboard operator to be a heck of a lot busier next fall.