While Marty Mornhinweg saw a number of positives in the offense's preseason debut against Detroit, the Jets first-year offensive coordinator wants more explosion plays and more points from his unit.
"I believe we had eight including penalties, but six without the penalties that I call explosive plays," he told me. "However those explosive plays were 20-something and we're looking for the 40, 60 or more yards. We want to score, so there's the next step. Four to eight of those a game and you will typically win the game."
Mark Sanchez's final drive against the Lions featured three chunk plays through the air — Kellen Winslow for 24, Jeremy Kerley for 24 and Jeff Cumberland's score for 26 — in addition to an 11-yard run from Bilal Powell. Greg McElroy also hooked up with reserve wideout Ben Obomanu for 20-yard and 24-yard gains respectively on the Jets' second TD drive and RB Chad Spann got into the act with 23 more on a pass from G-Mac.
The quarterbacks got off to an accurate start, hitting on 69% of their passes for 292 yards. But Sanchez's errant screen toss in the first quarter resulted in a pick-six and a Lions strip sack of McElroy led to another three for home club.
"We have to score more points than that period and we gave 'em 10 points. We didn't score enough points," Mornhinweg said. "That's the big picture look at it and then we get into all the details how we're going to get that accomplished."
Of the Jets' 11 penalties, six were committed by the offensive line. Both veteran G Willie Colon and rookie T Oday Aboushi were flagged for holding and false start infractions.
"The false start and the holding calls — we just have to get that corrected," Mornhinweg said. "It's very difficult in this league to overcome too many penalties. We only overcame two of them."
Among the great signs Mornhinweg saw in the preseason opener was the play of both Stephen Hill and Clyde Gates. There were huge question marks at both wide receiver and tight end at the conclusion of minicamp, but both positional groupings — led by Sanjay Lal and Steve Hagen respectively — have taken a leap forward.
"I've seen a great progression with both of those spots," said Mornhinweg. "Now we have to stay healthy there and we have to keep after it every day mentally."
Gates suffered a head injury this week in practice and may be questionable for Saturday's matchup with the Jaguars. Santonio Holmes continues to rehab from his Lisfranc injury and would be a huge boost for this West Coast attack.
Slightly disappointed in a rush offense that amassed 37 yards in Detroit, Mornhinweg featured two-back sets on 13 of 16 attempts. The Jets got a lift this week with the return of Chris Ivory (hamstring) to full contact and Powell has had an excellent camp.
"You have to give him great credit. He has taken that thing and ran with it," said Mornhinweg. "He had one just outstanding run where he made one man miss and broke a tackle. He's just excellent in the pass protection as well as the passing game. He's done a heck of a job."