Brett Favre's Impact on the New York Jets' Ground Game
We’re all familiar with No. 4's rifle arm, but it’s his impact on the Jets’ ground game that will translate into more wins for Gang Green in 2008.
Chad Pennington is the consummate pro. He is as cerebral a quarterback as there is in the league. He excels in his ability to read coverages and recognize blitz packages. He has been a great leader for the Jets over the course of his career, and, for the most part, has handled the New York media with dignity.
He will be an asset to his new team, whether he finds himself under center for Week One or on the sideline adding depth to a roster.
He will make a fine quarterback coach when his playing career is over.
But the deep ball was never Pennington's strong suit, and his surgically repaired shoulder could no longer challenge opposing safeties deep, which severely handcuffed the Jets’ running attack as a result.
Offensive linemen had to constantly account for safeties at the point of attack. Yards-after-catch were often difficult to come by for the Jets’ receivers, as they faced cornerbacks that allowed them no cushion underneath, as they had no respect for the deep ball.
Kellen Clemens possesses a stronger arm than Pennington, but his inability to recognize coverage schemes and blitz packages often put the Jets in unfavorable down-and-distance situations, and the running game suffered.
Nothing stuffs the running game like a 3rd-and-8.
Suddenly, offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer’s offense has more options. The 15-yard out, the slant-and-go, and the post will force opposing cornerbacks to give the Jets’ receivers space, opening up the underneath as a result. But more importantly, it demands the attention of opposing safeties, who are forced to think twice before crowding the box.
Look for more shotgun and multiple receiver sets, as well as the no-huddle, motion, and shifts to create mismatches.
Don’t expect Favre to star in any pantyhose commercials, wear a fur coat on the sideline, or even take the Jets to the Super Bowl, but expect his presence under center to translate into more wins for Gang Green. And while Jets’ fans envision the new concept of their quarterback going over the top for a 42-yard touchdown strike to Laveranues Coles, it is the domino effect that Favre will have on the Jets that turns them into instant contenders in the AFC East.
Receivers will get increasing yards-after-catch as cornerbacks give them cushion because of their newfound respect for the deep ball, and the impact that he will have on the running attack as safeties are forced to protect the deep middle of the field.
Brett, from one country boy to another, if you need a place to hunt in the tri-state area, I have a cabin in the six-million acre Adirondack Wilderness—strong populations of deer, moose, and bear. Drop me an email below.
God Bless America and our brave men and women fighting for freedom around the world!
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