One mediocre week does not make a season. New York Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer is confident in his unit and is looking for improvement Sunday in Baltimore.
"The offense is fine. I am not worried about the offense at all," Schottenheimer said today. "We did some good things last week, we did some bad things last week. Hopefully, we've corrected a lot of the bad things and we look to get off to a good start again this weekend."
A quarterback question mark still remains as to whether Kellen Clemens will make his first NFL start against the Ravens or Chad Pennington will give it a go on his injured right ankle.
"Whoever ends up starting for us, the Ravens are a terrific defense. I give [Ravens defensive coordinator] Rex Ryan and his staff a lot of credit," Schottenheimer said. "We played them a few years ago out in San Diego and they're terrific. They play with a lot of enthusiasm, a lot of energy, and they have multiple looks. It will be quite a task for us, but our guys have had a good week of practice and are looking forward to the challenge."
The Jets failed to get RB Thomas Jones really going against the Patriots. After a quick barrage from the Pats, the Jets were forced into playing catchup. Schottenheimer believes it is only a matter of time before Jones breaks out.
"I have no concerns about Thomas. He had a couple of nice runs in the second half," he said. "We just keep working to be more efficient and do the things we are doing, those core plays, as well as we can."
Jones carried 14 times last week and averaged 3.0 yards per carry. The Jets, who had only 55 offensive plays, need to increase that number to function at an optimal level.
"Thomas is a guy — like a lot of backs — where the more he touches the ball, the better he's going to do," Schottenheimer said. "We want to run the football and we can clearly run the football better that we did last week. There is a commitment to continue doing that."
But the second-year coordinator doesn't feel that the 5'10", 215-pound Jones is necessarily more effective once his carry number reaches the high teens and beyond.
"I think the reason people assume that with Thomas is because he's such a big guy and he's such a powerful runner. I look back at the Super Bowl last year and I think one of the first carries he had was the big run [52 yards] down the boundary," he said. "I don't want to put him in the category as that's the only thing he's good at because he's a guy who has a ton of ability."
After a brilliant summer, Schottenheimer praised Clemens for his professional approach and his leadership. If No. 11 is called, the Jets don't plan on babying him.
"He is a good player and we expect big things from him if he plays, and I know he is looking forward to the challenge if in fact he is asked to do that," Schotty said.
But Pennington's resolve is one of his greatest qualities. A number of media outlets have speculated that Clemens will start, but we probably won't know until a few minutes prior to kickoff.
"I wouldn't rule him out," Schottenheimer said of the eight-year vet. "That's something we'll discuss tomorrow and see ultimately how Eric [Mangini] wants to go."