Sunday, December 23, 2012

Jets' Problem Was Sparano's To Fix

Hiring a recently fired NFL head coach to coordinate an offense or defense is a bad move.  NFL head coaches have been their own coordinators over the years with moderate success, but most end up giving up the reins to others that can focus the necessary amount of time and energy to give the team its best chance at winning.
Tony Sparano was hired by the Jets to run the offense.  I don't like the move in the first place, regardless of having Tim Tebow dropped in his lap this off-season.  Older coaches are much like the saying suggests, "You can't teach an old dog new tricks."  All people gravitate towards what they know and are comfortable with.  Old coaches are going to stay with what they know as they have to show confidence to their players in what they are teaching.  Mix in Tim Tebow and you have something that nobody has ever seen before, other than the Denver Broncos, who didn't know what to do with him until he became the starting quarterback and changed the entire offense to suit his unique abilities.  But as a back-up QB to Mark Sanchez, Tebow had to be engaged differently in the offense and not as a quasi tight end.  That was just plain silly and didn't give the defense anything to think about or adjust to.  I didn't see every snap the Jets played this year, but never saw Mark Sanchez ever fake a handoff or toss to Tebow and raise up and throw a pass the opposite direction.
Last night the Atlanta Falcons hit a long touchdown pass on a very short quick screen.  They faked a toss to the right, which made everyone on defense start moving that way and gave the offensive tackle enough time to get out in front of Roddy White (most quick screens fail because of design and the tackles not getting their outside blocks) to make one of the easiest 40 yard TD passes of Matt Ryan's career.
Tebow should have been used in similar fashion and the Jets would have turned around a crappy season into another AFC Championship appearance at minimum.
Tony Sparano's lack of ingenuity cost the Jets another season of futility and possibly the jobs of Sanchez and Tebow.  I won't put all the blame of Sanchez's poor play on Sparano, the acquisition of Tebow was enough to unnerve him, because Sanchez played poorly in the offense that had nothing to do with Tebow's presence (I chronicled the guaranteed failure of this experiment before the season ever began).
Everybody in New York needs a change of scenery now, because even if Sanchez improves his level of play, it won't be good enough to erase the bad memories of the 2012 season.

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