New York Jets: Hiring Tony Sparano Was a Big Mistake

Aidan MackieSenior Analyst IJanuary 16, 2012

In typical New York Jets fashion, the franchise decided to part ways with one of the most ineffective offense coordinators in the NFL and replace him with an even worse one.

The hiring of former Miami Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano will not fix the free-falling Jets, nor will it bring fans the coveted Lombardi Trophy.

Instead, the move may end all possibility of Mark Sanchez developing into a franchise quarterback, and it may actually lead to a regression on the offensive side of the ball.

Sparano loves to run the ball. And by this, I mean he hates to throw the ball. In his four years as head coach, the Dolphins ranked 12th, 3rd, 11th and 6th in rushing attempts per game.

Many may think that the Jets are attempting to get back to their "ground-and-pound" roots. However, the team has too many holes to successfully return to that strategy.

Shonn Greene has proven that he can not be a consistent feature back in the NFL, and LaDanian Tomlinson's age is finally catching up with him. Joe Mcknight has potential, but he is still a big question mark heading into the offseason. 

The offensive line is also a mess. Right tackle Wayne Hunter cannot block to save his life, and tight end Matthew Mulligan and left guard Matt Slausen also struggle in run blocking. Heck, even Pro Bowlers D'Brickashaw Ferguson and Brandon Moore regressed this past season. 

Unless New York can solve their major offensive line problems and find a speedy running back, then Sparano's offensive game plan will be largely ineffective.

In fact, Sparano's run-heavy system in Miami wasn't all that effective. The Dolphins ranked just 21st, 15th, 30th and 25th in points per game in Sparano's four-year tenure as head coach.

The hiring of Sparano also shows that the Jets have no trust in Mark Sanchez as the franchise quarterback. The team looks to be going out of their way to keep the ball out of his hands. 

The conservative offense will hinder Sanchez's development and prohibit him from taking the next step. New York's front office needs to be patient and let the USC product come into his own, much like Eli Manning with the Giants

Tony Sparano is also not shy about voicing his opinions. Will a locker room that consists of a diverse group of players and a bombastic head coach be a good fit, or will it lead to another media blowup?

Most importantly, Sparano has not won with this conservative approach. He had a losing record with the Dolphins, while appearing in just one playoff game. 

Too many factors point toward the Sparano hiring being a mistake. Tony Sparano will not just lead to the doom of the Jets passing game, but he will lead to the demise of New York as a winning team. 

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