Welcome to Part 2 of my breakdown of the New York Jets collapse in relation to the Brian Schottenheimer-Derrick Mason conflict that arose earlier this week.
In the previous article, I broke down the Derrick Mason trade, and although the Jets organization claims that he was not producing as well as they wanted him to on the field, considering his age and the fact that he was past his prime, Mason was a productive addition to the team, and his trade was not warranted unless there was a rift within the organization. To read Part 1, go here.
Onto the next topic, which is Brian Schottenheimer. Since joining the Jets in 2006, Schottenheimer has been criticized, yet the Jets have always stuck by him. It was not until last year when the Jets had some offensive struggles throughout the season that the Jets had to vocalize that they want him as their offensive coordinator.
This year, the talks of firing Schottenheimer have increased ten-fold as the Jets running game has had a downturn, and the Jets offense was shut down two weeks in a row against Baltimore and Oakland; and had a very slow start against the Patriots.
Because of these three losses, some of which the offense deserves the blame for, Mark Sanchez had to stand by his coach during a press conference after the loss to the Patriots in an interview with 1050 ESPN in New York. He said,
"I'm totally behind Brian...I know the players are and the coaches as well."
As for Mark Sanchez's reassurance of Schottenheimer, it does not make up for the fact that Schottenheimer has been and is still holding the Jets back. There have been countless times during games where Schottenheimer has made questionable calls that have been rather obvious, and if the Jets are playing against a smart defense, the play might as well be called dead before they even snap the ball.
When Should the Jets Fire Brian Schottenheimer?
Not all has been bad with Schottenhimer, though; this year, he has started to let Sanchez drop back to throw passes on first down. Aside from that, he has no other positives to show for this season so far.
With the departure of Derrick Mason, it seems as if the rumors about the wide receivers complaining to head coach Rex Ryan about Schottenheimer's play-calling may be true, as Santonio Holmes was vocal during Thursday afternoon's press conference about what the Jets should be trying to do on offense. He commented by saying,
"I may be criticized again for saying it, but it starts up front...the big guys know it. If they give Mark enough time to sit in the pocket and complete passes, I think everything changes." via Rich Cimini
Holmes' comment was backing up his theory that the Jets should throw more deep passes. Holmes is not too far off with his suggestion of what the Jets should do, over the last few weeks, the Jets have tried to go to their "Ground and Pound" offense and it has not worked well.
The short passes have become very predictable, which was displayed against New England, as their linebackers and secondary waited on the short passes for most of the game.
Also, the running game is not where the Jets want it to be, as Shonn Greene had his best rushing game of the season against a mediocre New England defense with only 83 yards on 21 attempts.
The same things have been said about Schottenheimer over and over again this season; he has great offensive weapons in Santonio Holmes, Plaxico Burress, LaDainian Tomlinson, Dustin Keller and Shonn Greene, but he does not know how to utilize them.
It took him until Week 4 of the regular season to realize that outside running plays work better when rushing with Shonn Greene, and hopefully that should help the running game build from the shaky foundation it has started with.
All in all, Brian Schottenheimer plays a massive role in the Jets inability to produce on offense this season. Over the past two years, Schottenheimer was given the keys to a brand-new Porsche, since then, he has managed to mess up the engine and now it is struggling on the road as other cars begin to fly by.
It will be interesting to see how Brian Schottenheimer and the Jets react against Miami on Monday night after all of the rumors and reports of low morale have surrounded them for the last week.
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