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  1. #1
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    Ryan-Mornhinweg pairing perfect for Jets

    http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/jet...rfect-for-jets

    FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The first time they sat down together to discuss X's and O's, Rex Ryan and Marty Mornhinweg didn't have much privacy. They were on television.

    It was January 2007, and their teams -- the Baltimore Ravens and Philadelphia Eagles, respectively -- had been eliminated from the playoffs in the divisional round. They were invited to NFL Films in Mt. Laurel, N.J., to serve as guest analysts to preview the conference championships.

    "I had a chance to meet him in a different way," Ryan, the New York Jets' head coach, said Thursday of his current offensive coordinator. "I really liked him. He was funny. He was smart. That was obvious."

    That TV appearance turned out to be a good test of their chemistry. Host Brian Baldinger had to leave after the first segment, leaving Ryan and Mornhinweg alone on the set. They improvised, Ryan breaking down the defensive stuff, Mornhinweg handling the offensive material.

    "We fed right off each other," Ryan said.

    Six years later, it hasn't changed.

    Hiring Mornhinweg was one of Ryan's smartest moves. One year after the Tony Sparano debacle, the Jets actually have a clue on offense. At times, they're not the prettiest, but you never get the feeling that Mornhinweg doesn't know what he's doing.

    Under him, the Jets have improved in almost every offensive category, significantly in some cases. They're ranked 15th in total offense, averaging 343 yards per game (up from 299). The last time they sniffed the top 10 was 2010, when they finished 11th with Brian Schottenheimer calling the plays and a still-promising Mark Sanchez playing quarterback.

    We could throw out a bunch of impressive numbers to demonstrate Mornhinweg's impact, but it's plainly obvious the Jets are running it better and throwing it better than the past two years. And -- don't underestimate this point -- they're doing it with a rookie quarterback, Geno Smith.

    Plus, we're not talking about an abundance of talent here. The Jets don't have a rusher in the top 15 and they don't have a receiver in the top 50. Smith is 27th out of 33 in passer rating. Despite the lack of star power, they've played well in most of the games.

    "I think he's done a great job," Ryan said of Mornhinweg. "It's been impressive, without question. He has been impressive."

    Philosophically, they're a football odd couple. Mornhinweg's affinity for the passing game figured to clash with Ryan's defensive-minded, ball-control style, but they've made it work.

    Recognizing how the game is changing, Ryan let his hair down, so to speak, leaving Ground & Pound in the past. Mornhinweg has adjusted, too, especially the past three weeks. Without injured wide receiver Santonio Holmes, and with Smith coming off a disastrous game in Tennessee in Week 4, Mornhinweg has leaned more on the running game, featuring his inside receivers (tight end and slot) in the passing game.

    A team has to throw the ball to score points, according to the Mornhinweg doctrine, but sometimes it takes some dinosaur football to win a game. As Ryan noted in his postgame speech to the team after last Sunday's upset of the New England Patriots, "Our offensive coordinator, seems to me all he wants to do is run, because we ran it 52 times."

    The players roared.

    "That's funny," Mornhinweg said Thursday.

    Ryan hired Mornhinweg because he wanted a coordinator who coached offense the same way he coaches defense -- aggressively. He showed that fearlessness last Sunday. Instead of babying Smith after his first-quarter interception was returned for a touchdown, Mornhinweg called a pass on the ensuing first down -- a 17-yard strike to Stephen Hill.

    "We threw the ball a couple of more times right away on purpose, just a 'Let's go,'" Mornhinweg said. "That's just the way we operate."

    If Sparano had been calling the plays, he would've had Smith in bubble wrap for the rest of the game.

    Ryan is fortunate. Not many head coaches last long enough to hire a third coordinator. This was a make-or-break hire for Ryan, whose rear end is on the hot seat this season.

    Mornhinweg, the first to interview for the job, was summoned to the Jets' facility last January. He met for three hours with Ryan, two assistant coaches and center Nick Mangold. It's unusual for a player to be present, but Mangold is respected for his offensive acumen.

    The interview covered everything from "soup to nuts," Ryan recalled. Before they got into the heavy stuff, they enjoyed a good laugh, remembering their joint TV appearance at NFL Films. Mornhinweg aced the interview.

    "He had me at hello," Ryan said, "but we were going to do our due diligence."

    He interviewed a few others and offered the position to Mornhinweg. Once again, they're on TV. Their set is the sideline, and they're feeding off each other.

    This time, without makeup.
    I wish they had footage of that show! Must-see TV right there!

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  2. #2
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    I'm not trying to sound rude, but you could have brought in one of the NY Jets cheerleaders to run the offense and it was going to be better than what you had under Sparano.
    PSD's Sheldon Richardson!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ccugrad1 View Post
    I'm not trying to sound rude, but you could have brought in one of the NY Jets cheerleaders to run the offense and it was going to be better than what you had under Sparano.
    lol yeah Sparano had no experience coordinating a system and it showed. The entire offense looked like it had no clue it was supposed to do. And the Tebow experiment didn't help. That's what happens when you hire the first guy you interview.

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  4. #4
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    I think it's a good pairing because you have a head coach in Rex who handles the players and the defense and doesn't care about offense, and another guy in Morningwood who handles offense and doesn't care about defense. We desperately needed a guy who could come in and basically be the head coach of the offense and Morningwood has been that guy so far. I don't think he's perfect but it's certainly a breath of fresh air to have a real OC for the first time in a long time.

    I think my favorite part about him is that on a 3rd and 12 or 3rd and 18 he's looking to pick up the first down, not just pick up 4-6 yards and punt the ball away. We've converted I want to say 3 or 4 long 3rd down situations this year where last year we wouldn't have even tried. Hell, we were a Cumberland drop away (the play where the ball bounced off his right shoulder as he was coming across the field) from converting a 3rd and 20 this week.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nymfan87 View Post
    I think it's a good pairing because you have a head coach in Rex who handles the players and the defense and doesn't care about offense, and another guy in Morningwood who handles offense and doesn't care about defense. We desperately needed a guy who could come in and basically be the head coach of the offense and Morningwood has been that guy so far. I don't think he's perfect but it's certainly a breath of fresh air to have a real OC for the first time in a long time.

    I think my favorite part about him is that on a 3rd and 12 or 3rd and 18 he's looking to pick up the first down, not just pick up 4-6 yards and punt the ball away. We've converted I want to say 3 or 4 long 3rd down situations this year where last year we wouldn't have even tried. Hell, we were a Cumberland drop away (the play where the ball bounced off his right shoulder as he was coming across the field) from converting a 3rd and 20 this week.
    Yep, I agree. I couldn't stand watching the conservative game calling by our previous OC's for years and years. If you want to win in this league you have to take chances downfield. I love that MM lets Geno air it out at least a few times a game even if he's a rookie. You have to keep defenses honest and you have to move the chains, and you can't do that on a consistent basis by running the ball 80% of the time, and the other 20% is quick outs and slants...drives me nuts. That kind of play calling ruined Sanchez IMO. We babied him to the point where he felt like he was going to make a mistake if he threw more than 15-20 yards down field. This is the NFL...gotta let it fly!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beltrans Mole View Post
    Yep, I agree. I couldn't stand watching the conservative game calling by our previous OC's for years and years. If you want to win in this league you have to take chances downfield. I love that MM lets Geno air it out at least a few times a game even if he's a rookie. You have to keep defenses honest and you have to move the chains, and you can't do that on a consistent basis by running the ball 80% of the time, and the other 20% is quick outs and slants...drives me nuts. That kind of play calling ruined Sanchez IMO. We babied him to the point where he felt like he was going to make a mistake if he threw more than 15-20 yards down field. This is the NFL...gotta let it fly!!!
    This is a quote from Mark Sanchez's dad before Sanchez was drafted

    His father, Nick Sanchez: "There's no doubt Mark has that gunslinger mentality. He wants to come out and make a play. The last thing you want to do is to take that out of him. You don't want to give him a 'gunslinger-otomy.' But it's got to be tempered to a degree. He has to learn when to and when not to."

    Looks like Sanchez's dad is a smart guy.

  7. #7
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    marty gets the way the game is changing and credit rex for adapting

  8. #8
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    I know Jets fans are tired of talking Sanchez, but I actually would have liked to have seen Sanchez his rookie year with a legitimate OC like Marty on the NY Jets. I think Mark would be further along! He had his duh moments in the preseason, but I thought in many ways, Mark had a very solid preseason before he got hurt under Marty.
    PSD's Sheldon Richardson!!!

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