Jets offensive coordinator John Morton is excited to travel to Oakland for many reasons, but one you might not expect.
"I wouldn't be sitting here right now if it weren't for Al Davis," Morton said. "He's the one that got me started, he gave me a job. I was just a practice squad player there for a couple years and we always talked football after practice. He's a football junkie and he told me when I stopped playing to give him a call and that's what I did. I gave him a call and he gave me a job.
"I owe him everything. I can't wait to go to The Black Hole and listen to that AC/DC music."
Morton played three seasons for the Silver & Black before he started his coaching career there from 2002-04. Fifteen years later, Morton called his first game as an OC in the NFL last Sunday against the Bills. The offense incorporated a handful of new players such as wide receiver Jermaine Kearse, who Morton said was "remarkable" considering he tied a career-high seven catches and was acquired nine days before the Bills game. However, the offense only totaled 214 yards.
"It wasn't good enough all across the board and that includes me," Morton said. "I have to coach better, players have to play better and we all have to play better. Football is all about 11 guys on the same page. When you don't do that, you don't execute well and that's one thing that we worked on this week. Then getting the new guys up to par. We had a lot of new guys last week and I thought some of them did really well, but it all comes down to execution.
"The bottom line is everyone doing their job and executing on the same page. The drive we went down and scored, everybody was doing what they were supposed to do, so we need to get everyone on the same page. That starts with me."
It may start with Morton, but next up in the chain of execution is starting quarterback Josh McCown, who completed 67% of his passes (26-39) for 187 yards, and also rushed for the Jets' lone touchdown. He threw two interceptions but both came in situations where the Jets trailed and needed to quickly put points on the board.
"I think he played a really good game, if you look at it stats-wise," Morton said. "There were a couple plays there towards the end where we could've had a couple big plays, whether it was somebody running the route the wrong way or we could've made the throw. Those things come up, but I think he played a really good game. I'm really proud of the way he played the game. Obviously, we want to take care of the ball, that's one of the biggest things that we always preach, and we gave it away twice."